science evangelism

You write about the way it feels
At the beginning
Like someone’s airing up a balloon
Inside your stomach
You write about urgency
That call across the wind
When you say his name

You become a scientist, a philosopher
An evangelist
You theorize, you believe
You write:

“The universe recycles atoms and maybe yours and mine
Were next to each other at the beginning.”

Maybe your collision was the big bang
That kickstarted the entire universe
Maybe the stories are true.

You write about the music
Symphonies and operas
Notes that save your life
You write about how when he looks at you,
It’s the plucked strings of a guitar
The resonant organ in your chest.

You write about how you didn’t want to fall
You didn’t need anyone and you had plans
You were solid and unyielding and stable—

But he crashed into you
And the world shifted under your feet
You were Pangea
He separated you into continents

You write about fear
And the warning signs
You chalk up to anxiety
That inner sound bite you can’t delete:
You never deserve to be happy.
You dare to believe
To shout over it.

“I am–

“I am–

Here comes the letdown
The free-fall off a thousand-foot cliff
All the way down,
You write
The universe is moving toward entropy
So maybe we are inevitable disorder
Meant to dissipate into nothing

Do not/
Am not

You smash into the ground
You are blood and broken bones
Heart in shreds
Nothing catches you
You write

You think you might be insane
That dizzying drop
One second to the next
All in your head
You don’t understand

“If none of it was real…”

And you’ll try to figure it out
Try to define
But it’s all fragmented memories
And crossed out lines

Your hands will continue to type
And through blurred eyes
You’ll write.

—  “When a Writer Falls in Love”

…“Of course, these loathsome people represent a very small percentage of men out there. Over the weekend, as the discussion across Twitter turned to these horrible events, a lot of men started tweeting this, saying “not all men are like that.” It’s not an unexpected response. However, it’s also not a helpful one.

Why is it not helpful to say “not all men are like that”? For lots of reasons. For one, women know this. They already know not every man is a rapist, or a murderer, or violent. They don’t need you to tell them.

Second, it’s defensive. When people are defensive, they aren’t listening to the other person; they’re busy thinking of ways to defend themselves. I watched this happen on Twitter, over and again.

Third, the people saying it aren’t furthering the conversation, they’re sidetracking it. The discussion isn’t about the men who aren’t a problem. (Though, I’ll note, it can be. I’ll get back to that.) Instead of being defensive and distracting from the topic at hand, try staying quiet for a while and actually listening to what the thousands upon thousands of women discussing this are saying.