That wonderful feeling when you get called socially awkward by your partner’s friends
That wonderful feeling when you get called socially awkward by your partner’s friends
IF YOU FEEL OFFENDED THAT I WENT TO A PARTY DRESSED AS A NATIVE AMERICAN YOU REALLY NEED TO STOP BEING A LITTLE SHIT
or maybe you need to wake up and realize you’re an ignorant dumbass and the DEFINITION of privilege itself when you ignore other cultures and cultural significance for your own enjoyment and benefit.
You want to say Hi to the cute girl on the subway. How will she react? Fortunately, I can tell you with some certainty, because she’s already sending messages to you. Looking out the window, reading a book, working on a computer, arms folded across chest, body away from you = do not disturb. So, y’know, don’t disturb her. Really. Even to say that you like her hair, shoes, or book. A compliment is not always a reason for women to smile and say thank you. You are a threat, remember? You are Schrödinger’s Rapist. Don’t assume that whatever you have to say will win her over with charm or flattery. Believe what she’s signaling, and back off.
If you speak, and she responds in a monosyllabic way without looking at you, she’s saying, “I don’t want to be rude, but please leave me alone.” You don’t know why. It could be “Please leave me alone because I am trying to memorize Beowulf.” It could be “Please leave me alone because you are a scary, scary man with breath like a water buffalo.” It could be “Please leave me alone because I am planning my assassination of a major geopolitical figure and I will have to kill you if you are able to recognize me and blow my cover.”
On the other hand, if she is turned towards you, making eye contact, and she responds in a friendly and talkative manner when you speak to her, you are getting a green light. You can continue the conversation until you start getting signals to back off.
The fourth point: If you fail to respect what women say, you label yourself a problem.
There’s a man with whom I went out on a single date—afternoon coffee, for one hour by the clock—on July 25th. In the two days after the date, he sent me about fifteen e-mails, scolding me for non-responsiveness. I e-mailed him back, saying, “Look, this is a disproportionate response to a single date. You are making me uncomfortable. Do not contact me again.” It is now October 7th. Does he still e-mail?
Yeah. He does. About every two weeks.
This man scores higher on the threat level scale than Man with the Cockroach Tattoos. (Who, after all, is guilty of nothing more than terrifying bad taste.) You see, Mr. E-mail has made it clear that he ignores what I say when he wants something from me. Now, I don’t know if he is an actual rapist, and I sincerely hope he’s not. But he is certainly Schrödinger’s Rapist, and this particular Schrödinger’s Rapist has a probability ratio greater than one in sixty. Because a man who ignores a woman’s NO in a non-sexual setting is more likely to ignore NO in a sexual setting, as well.
So if you speak to a woman who is otherwise occupied, you’re sending a subtle message. It is that your desire to interact trumps her right to be left alone. If you pursue a conversation when she’s tried to cut it off, you send a message. It is that your desire to speak trumps her right to be left alone. And each of those messages indicates that you believe your desires are a legitimate reason to override her rights.
For women, who are watching you very closely to determine how much of a threat you are, this is an important piece of data."
an excerpt from Phaedra Starling’s “Schrödinger’s Rapist: or a guy’s guide to approaching strange women without being maced” (via lostgrrrls)
HOLY FUCK THE TRUTH.
Can every one of my male followers read this? And please, before you get defensive (“I would never rape anyone!”) keep in mind, women being afraid of Shrodinger’s Rapists (oh my god i still can’t get over the encompassing brilliance of this phrase) is a conditioned, learned response from being immersed in rape culture and the evolution of sexism and sexual violence in our society from the day we’re born. And unfortunately, it’s very difficult to unlearn without the efforts of all genders to dismantle it. Which is where you come in.
- Just move to another state to get married
- Just move to another city or country
- Just be more open minded
- Just wait it out
Why.the.FUCK. should I have to pick up and move my entire god damned fucking life for that kind of shit?!
Do you hear yourself speak? Do you understand how pretentious and privileged you sound saying that shit?!
Why the fucking hell should I have to move to the god damned northeast or west coast, and spend idk how much money in the process starting a new life, so that I can get married or find someone?
This is why I’m gonna need people to step they games up, because this is a huge no no.
Most queer folks are poor as fucking hell and you just want them to hit the road to find love
And this sounds a bit wild but hear me out
HOW ABOUT WE FUCKING COUNTER ALL THE RACISM, SEXISM, ABLEISM, TRANSPHOBIA, TRANSMYSOGYNY, CISSEXISM, FATPHOBIA AND OTHER SHIT PRESENT IN OUR FUCKING COMMUNITIES
HOW ABOUT WE DISPEL ALL THE POISONOUS BULLSHIT WE DO AND TRY TO FIX SHIT IN THE PLACES WE’RE AT?!
HOW FUCKING HARD IS THAT TO DO?!
I AM FED UP WITH THIS BULLSHIT
I AM FED UP WITH IT
HOW ABOUT WE TELL OUR AWFUL FUCKING FAMILIES AND FRIENDS THAT THEY SHIT THEY DO IS PROBLEMATIC AS FUCK, MAKE THEM FEEL BAD FOR BEING THE PROBLEMATIC PIECES OF SHIT THEY ARE, AND FUCKING *MAKE* THEM GET WITH IT (and yes I know we don’t all have the ability to do this, this is all within reason)
Do folks NOT understand how fucking shitty it is to be queer and to find someone who ISN’T a fucking ticking timebomb of poisonous horrid bullshit?
Do folks honestly believe that it’s all hunky dory to find friends and relationships?!
If straight people have a fucking lake of people to choose from everyone else has to work with a god damned small fishpond where 3/4s of the fish in it are sickly as hell and the other 1/4 of them are still not functioning all that great either. And this is barring EVERYTHING else, this is baseline bullshit we have to deal with.
And on TOP of that
Try fucking finding someone interesting and compatible barring ALL THE OTHER ISMS AND EVIL BULLSHIT
Imma need folks to do better
Imma need folks to shut the fuck up and fall back
None of us should have to deal with all of this crap on TOP of everything else life throws at us
And it’s only going to get worse
We got queer children coming up listening to pieces of shit like Lady Gaga who claim to be bastions of equality and love but for the life of me can’t stop being appropriating racist pieces of shit? Oh ok, because fucking over other people’s cultures is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO equality
We got swaths of people honestly blaming black people for being too homophobic and ruining things for gay people by voting for shit like Prop 8
We got colonizing voices like Macklemore preaching to us about “Same love” in a god damn genre invented by people of color when those very same people of color have been doing queerness FOR CENTURIES and doing it better. And they STAY ignoring actual queer rappers of color, don’t worry, I see all of you.
We got folks believing that Africa is one big horrible monolithic homophobic entity COMPLETELY ignoring the fact that colonialism and imperialism EXPORTED THAT BULLSHIT TO THOSE PLACES AND FORCED IT ON THEM
We got people defending the ideas of “preferences” when those very same preferences echo racist(and other isms) sentiments and are COMPLETELY ironic considering queer folks don’t like being treated unequally…but it’s ok to do that to your own people…oh ok
We got so-called allies COMPLETELY dismissing queer folks and their struggles and instead just expressing complete and total apathy for what they go through, because it’s 2013 and apparently the queer struggle is over and we’re ~just like everyone else~
We got folks conflating the queer struggle with the struggles of POCs and erasing the identities of QTPOCs who have to face a double/triple/super dose of that bullshit throughout their lives
We got folks out here actually mad over the fact that BLACK WOMEN, ACTUAL BLACK WOMEN are telling their asses to stop making a mockery of them…that black women are being racist and homophobic by telling your gay ass that you need to fucking stop appropriating her mannerisms because your busted ass can’t get your own personality(and I hope that inner sassy black woman erupts from your chest and twerks over your rotting corpse)
WE HAVE QUEER FOLKS OUT HERE ACTUALLY SHAMMING FEMME PEOPLE BECAUSE THEY’RE “Obnoxious and loud and annoying and make us all look bad for the straight people” COMPLETELY IGNORING THE FACT THAT QUEENS ARE THE ONES WHO LAID DOWN THEIR LIVES FOR US TO HAVE WHAT WE HAVE RIGHT NOW AND WERE THE ONES ON THE FRONT LINES DYING SO WE COULD HAVE IT BETTER
I’m going to need allies to do better
im going to need all of us to do better
Because it’s not going to get better, nope, not with all of this bullshit folks pull
And they wonder why so many of us are alone and unhappy
Reblogging this again for the mid day crowd
Four years ago, (when I weighed 250) I was walking in a parking lot, and I was hit by a guy driving a pickup truck. An F250, actually. I tried jumping out of the way when I saw it coming, and it ended up knocking me down with the driver’s side front tire parked on my left leg.
if this doesn’t make you angry at our fatphobic system reading this, you have a problem.
There needs to be a code word or something that means “my brain is fighting me every step of the way today and I feel like I’m going to vibrate out of my skin, so I need you to forgive everything and go slowly and speak softly and lower your expectations.” And then we could all just be like, “I know I said we could go to a movie tonight but… tangerines.” And the other person would nod and squeeze your elbow or rub your head and you wouldn’t feel like a failure.
If you’re here, it’s probably because of this post I wrote about the Kickstarter “Above The Game.” “Above The Game” was successfully funded this morning, raising 800% of its target goal. Unfortunately, the product it’s funding, I think, was pretty repugnant.
Basically styled as a book on “how to meet women,” what the content really did was tell men how to exploit some the awful systemic pressures we put on women, to take an overly aggressive role, and never take no for an answer in order to get sex. Some of the excerpts were pretty disgusting, even in their proper context - context the original author removed when I had linked to it - and it forwards a rape culture, no matter what its proponents might tell you. Even the section which the author, Ken Hoinsky, stresses the importance of obtaining consent ends with the phrase, “wait a few minutes and try again.”
I was upset because this is a really grotesque, upsetting thing being funded on a platform I am bonkers for. So I posted that thing calling for people on the internet to speak to Kickstarter and ask asked for it to be taken down, and holy crap when I woke up and my post was everywhere. Currently at around 7K notes, my second most popular post has 8 Notes, and is a man in a Food Court wearing a Batman t-shirt, seen below:
So all day people have been reaching out to me for comments and questions and telling me to link this thing or that thing and do I have screenshots and telling me I’m overreacting and giving me some degree of either praise or harassment.
One of the groups of that reached out to me was, in fact, Kickstarter.
I e-mailed them earlier in the day, expecting fully for that e-mail to hit some poor community manager who had no idea this was what they were waking up to, and for a simple thanks for your input we’ll look into it or to not hear anything back at all. Instead they got back to me. And after a long day of “one second, we’re still discussing this,” they sent me a statement, the relevant bits I’ve pasted here -
This morning, material that a project creator posted on Reddit earlier this year was brought to our and the public’s attention just hours before the project’s deadline. Some of this material is abhorrent and inconsistent with our values as people and as an organization. Based on our current guidelines, however, the material on Reddit did not warrant the irreversible action of canceling the project.
As stewards of Kickstarter we sometimes have to make difficult decisions. We followed the discussion around the web today very closely. It led to a lot of internal discussion and will lead to a further review of our policies.
This is a huge bummer, it’s a bummer that they allowed this project to be funded, and it’s especially a bummer in light of this statement. Because the statement, “Based on our current guidelines, however, the material on Reddit did not warrant the irreversible action of canceling the project.” is intensely problematic when you look at the guideline I’ve posted above. Because given what the author said, and given that this material was advertised as part of the final product - the author’s Kickstarter was to provide a published and expanded version of the material on Reddit - and they find it “abhorrent and inconsistent with your values as people and as an organization,” how is this not offensive? And then, how does it not violate that guideline?
I suspect that, had the material on Reddit been part of the initial Kickstarter pitch and video, it never would have even been approved. While the material on Reddit ostensibly was what was being Kickstarted, it is admittedly unreasonable to expect for whoever vets these projects to read what amounts to a manuscript for every book that wants a Kickstarter. It’s not feasible for them to approve all content that could POTENTIALLY flow through this channel - to say nothing of books that are unwritten. So we can’t expect Kickstarter to be proactive about policing every piece of writing that might appear in something funded through their site.
But we all pointed it out to them, at which point, they chose to allow it to be funded.
Hoinsky - knowingly or unknowingly - found a loophole in Kickstarter’s guidelines. By hosting the truly offensive material outside of his pitch, people were unaware that it existed until it was too late, and it was too complicated an issue for a multi-million dollar business to do anything about. And I am completely disappointed, because while Kickstarter is a huge company concerned about maintaining policies and setting precedent, I am just a dude concerned about someone getting $16k for creating a manual on how to sexually assault women and concerned about, jeeze, I don’t know, the nobility of crowd funding?
So I understand that this was probably not an easy decision for Kickstarter to come to in a short periord of time (I discovered the content 10 hours before the Kickstarter ended, 6 hours of which were sleeping time for reasonable people). And to me, the result we ended up with was not the moral one.
Here are kind of my final thoughts on this -
1. Don’t let anyone fool you, This Book Is A Rape Manual
I heard a lot of people telling me that I was taking some of those quotes out of context or that “JEEZE when he said take your dick out she was already making out with you!” Well, fuck you. Because acquaintence rape is a real thing. Because a girl kissing you or letting you do SOMETHING does not mean you get to do ANYTHING. And by creating a book whose leitmotif (YEAH FUCK YOU PRETENSION I WENT TO FILM SCHOOL FOR A FEW MONTHS) is “be aggressive, and do what you want because women like that,” you are telling people to rape. Not everyone who’s going to read the book is going to be a rapist, but I promise you - someone who read this book will rape someone. And they might not even know they did it, because you told them the woman wanted it that way, you human nightmare. The whole thing is a boiling cauldron of rape culture, and you are not going to convince me otherwise any more than you could convince me the sun has been replaced by a bran muffin.
2. People are way more amazing than awful.
I got tons and tons of e-mails and tweets and Tumblr messages of support and all the reblogs and all of this shit basically saying that women should not be treated this way and people who say otherwise are assholes. And saying good on me for speaking out. And that felt great, to know that the internet - which I find is most often represented by shit like Penny-Arcade and Reddit - is not as bad as I thought. Also, please consider that the VAST MAJORITY of “Thank you for saying this” messages I got were from women the next time you think that maybe this shit isn’t real.
3. This is probably in HUGE PART because I am a man.
All of my photos are pictures of me, and I have a awful (just awful) beard and am clearly not a woman. I think this curbed the abuse I got from the internet EXPONENTIALLY. A few of the awesome women in my life IMMEDIATELY messaged me about blowback this morning, because they had ALREADY RECEIVED HARASSMENT JUST FROM RETWEETING ME, where at that point in the day I had received NONE. They asked me first thing if I was being harassed because that is what the world does to them if they talk about this stuff, and this awful book furthers that attitude. The worst harassment I got - and one nice message, to be fair - was clearly because I have a gender neutral name and they thought I was a woman.
4. I still love Kickstarter, and will keep using it.
They made a really bad call. Straight up, this was a bad call to allow this to be funded. But it’s undeniable that they had not a lot of time to make that call in, and a weird confluences of loopholes in their policies. Big companies move very slowly, and they had to act fast, so you know. They made a bad call. That does not mean it’s a bad platform, or they’re bad people - in fact, they seem pretty upset about the whole thing, and I hope that they re-examine some of the policies that led to that call now that they have more than a few hours to breathe.
I still think crowdfunding in general is the internet’s way of fighting back against the monopolies on entertainment, and Kickstarter specifically is a pretty special tool. My friends have followed dreams because of this, they’ve made games and prank apps and children’s books and burnt giant guitars. It’s awesome. And I find it inevitable that I’ll launch one of my own one day. I hope that more projects like this being funded doesn’t cause that inevitability to fall away.
This project is funded, but make your voice heard by signing this petition someone started over at Do Something - http://www.dosomething.org/petition/kickstarter - Hopefully they’ll know that if projects like this that forward a culture of violence against women or any oppressed group continue to be funded, we’ll stop just stop using it. And as I’ve made clear, I would like to continue using it!
5. Fuck Not Saying Something
I am super burnt out on everything in my life being about rape. I’m a video game designer - so I have to deal with people like Penny-Arcade, or the people that harass the outstanding Anita Sarkeesian. I’m a stand-up comic - so I have to deal with the endless hordes of angry white dudes telling me it okay for them to talk about how funny it is for them to be raping a girl on stage, and how if I say otherwise then I am censoring them. And I love the internet - and here we are. I am sick. and tired. of rape.
But I probably have no capacity to even understand how sick and tired women are of it.
I have an amazing friend who I go to whenever I’m totally lost of this stuff and once I said, “I just am so frustrated with talking about this shit, I am going to just NOT THINK ABOUT IT FOR A WHILE.” and he replied, “Okay, but just so you know, being able to not think about it for a while is the definition of privilege.” Oops.
I don’t want to have to live in a world with this shit. I have a ton of amazing women in my life - the funniest comedians I know are women, the strongest writers I know are women - and I don’t want them to have to live in a world with this shit. But simply blowing past it because I don’t want to deal with it isn’t going to solve anything, because they are not allowed to blow past it - they have it thrust upon them unwillingly every fucking day, a metaphor I chose pretty carefully.
I guess the only way for me and the people I care about get to not live with the specter of rape around them all the time is by shouting that people like Ken Hoinsky need to knock this shit off as loudly as I can and hoping you guys signal boost some more. So that hopefully Ken Hoinsky and his nightmare kingdom of sub-Reddits will shut the fuck up, and stop thinking what they’re doing and what they’re encouraging is okay.
And then, finally, when no one has to deal with these morons being the dominant voice in the culture, and people stop thinking it is okay to sexually assault and rape people, we can all stop having our lives be about rape.
[Update: I tweaked the language in the last section, as apparently some people thought my point was ‘I’m sick of hearing about this so everyone shut up,” which it was not. I would hope the context showed that I didn’t want to silence anyone, but I guess it needed clarity.]