women without men

How often my conversations about feminism have spiraled into requests for assault. I say, “Women don’t need men to defend them,” and am asked, “Can I punch you, then?” And I say, “Women belong in movies and video games and everything,” and I hear terrible things, unprintable slurs and demands for my assault, the threatening of a young woman to shut up: What they would do to silence me. The things they’d shove between my teeth. I say, “Men cannot threaten any woman they disagrees with,” and I’m told, “Women are just as cruel. Am I not supposed to respond in kind?” In my inbox today I have deleted sixteen messages asking for my life. When I say, “Your virginity only means what you want it to mean,” I’m asked, “If you believe in sexual freedom can I fuck you?” When I say “All it takes to be a woman is to want to be a woman,” I am asked, “So if I just say that I’m a woman, can I watch you in the shower?” As if women stand shadowy behind each other in our private moments. As if being woman means sexually assaulting each other.

Part of me - cynical, unwilling to be frightened, says that it might be a nice dose of reality. My shower where I am naked but my hair becomes streaky and thin, where my body sags, where my makeup smears. To witness a woman less than sexy, legs akimbo while shaving, pulling up flab thighs to reach the underside. Part of me dares them to punch me because I fight to win and am small but I’ll kill a man if he touches me. Once I dropped a U.S Marine. Part of me, hellfire and ice queen - says come on, then. You want a fight? Come fight me.

But more is scared. More timidly deletes messages, makes sure my name is hidden, doesn’t answer the endless antifeminist comments. The insertion of men and their opinion on simple things like “I teach children to ask before hugging.” When I close my eyes sometimes I wonder if they’re right and that scares me. How much am I going to change when my voice only echoes around me.

Why are you angry. Why are you angry. What do you think we are taking from you? If it’s not already equal why would equality frighten you.

The ancient art of being a woman and trying to get your voice heard: the gentle suggestion, the peaceful comment. The quiet listening to another opinion and the fact we must acknowledge it before we can continue. That I must educate, be sweet, be feminine in my feminism or else it’s “invalid.” I must present my declaration as a timid thing: “Women maybe should be part of more things.” And then the apologies: of course I don’t hate men, yes I like plenty of things with men in them, no I don’t think women are better. And then the explanations: women are people, here is the number of women in media, here is the number of dead women in media, here are the number of shows led by men. And then I brace for it. For the bullying.

Every time I speak it’s from a flinch. From “maybe this isn’t always the case but for me it is.” From please listen. From less demanding. God forbid I state factually that men are violent. If I speak about our fathers and brothers and the cycle of anger unfolding. God forbid I suggest that just once we should cut the bullshit and treat women well without pandering to men about how that helps them. What if I say “Men shouldn’t hit anyone. Hitting isn’t an answer.”

I’ll tell you what happens. The post was up for four seconds with three notes. The message I get is “If hitting isn’t allowed I’ll just go ahead and shove a gun down your throat.”

Part of my book haul from yesterday’s library book sale. Yes, most of these will become giveaways. :) 

Of these, I’ve read The God of Small Things, The Stranger, The Color Purple, Beloved, and The Master and Margarita. I recommend all of them, but I loved The God of Small Things and Beloved best. Have you read any of these? 

The “Can lesbianism survive xyz????” articles that have been popping up more and more these last few years always seem to be just another complicated way to ask the age-old question,

can women really live their lives without seeking romantic and intimate connections with men? Is there such a thing as a woman who is not attracted to men? Is there such a thing as a woman who really, legitimately wants to build her life with women, who is absolutely sure she doesn’t desire men?

Questioning the legitimacy of women without men isn’t a new topic, but the language used to delegitizimze lesbian sexuality is evolving and adapting to new norms.

Misogyny and homophobia haven’t been eradicated, and the intersection of these two experiences (dare I say it…lesbophobia) is something that continues to throw it’s oppressive weight on women who dare claim their sexuality openly. It’s depressing, but at the same time it’s comforting to know that this is just a different version of the same shit we’ve been dealing with since we started to recognize ourselves and form communities.

An incomplete list of things I appreciate about the Old Kingdom trilogy:

Casual matter-of-fact reference to menstruation

When guards, soldiers, community leaders, sea captains etc are mentioned in passing as side or background figures, they’re just as likely to be women as men, without any extra comment or explanation

I’m pretty sure there was just a Disney reference (in Sabriel ‘that’s what he did, it’s what he lived for’, in Little Mermaid ‘that’s what I do, it’s what I live for’—deliberate or not it’s cracking me up this morning)

He doesn’t spend a lot of time describing his female character’s bodies unless it’s practical mentions of hygiene or wounds

But also he doesn’t dance around the word ‘breasts’ when it’s the appropriate practical description of anatomy

Lirael has depression and suicidal ideation and is a badass heroine, Sammeth has PTSD but is still a badass hero, Nicholas the quintessential know-it-all white guy gets humbled and is the vulnerable character who needs rescuing

Mogget and the Disreputable Dog and their impatience with anything approaching YA drama tropes

The romantic elements that are so *mimes swoon* but also so subtle and also rational and drama free? I mean.

There’s even bits of domestic fluff in the middle freaking action adventure stories, I MEAN.

The political stuff in Lirael and Abhorsen is relevant, wow

Characters admitting that they’re afraid, including (especially) male characters

batgirl by joss whedon:

  • the most average white girl with a bad dye job
  • shes ‘sassy and tough but approachable’ so nice guys like joss dont feel threatened
  • an empty crush for some guy (probably bruce) while some other guy (probably dick) pines after her
  • babs fucks bruce
  • probably some weird ass love triangle with bruce and dick  
  • huntress gets a part but only to serve as someone for babs to slut shame at every turn and display how 'good’ babs is in comparison
  • 'witty’ dialogue that neither progresses the story nor adds any substance, but it appears mildly feminist so let’s give him a medal
  • babs spends more time lowkey flirting with her enemies than actually fighting them
  • probably some killing joke level unnecessary trauma that whedon both doesnt have the narrative depth to pull off and will never give the actual emotional attention it needs and is simply added for 'grit’
  • romantic plot intended to 'humanize’ babs bc women arent people without men anyway 
  • a whole promo run of why joss whedon is the savior to women everywhere and we should still hype his ass up for giving us buffy
  • idk probably some twitter breakdown over why everyone doesnt hype his ass up

“But she looked way better before she put all that makeup on!!”
And you looked way better before you opened your mouth and let your irrelevant opinion fall out

i just spent a few hours outside reading the new murakami book and he is such a comfort blanket for me. im just so used to the way he writes (or, how his translators translate) and it feels so good to read new material. also weird that i was just looking up a french director yesterday and wrote down some films i wanted to see, and then lo-and-behold, murakami name-drops him in a short story.  life’s little connections.