Hi, strangers! So here’s a cool thing – a guest post! I have a friend (Nikki, that’s the only info you’re getting, you heathens) who wanted to weigh in on the wonderful, controversial world of FEMINISM ON THE INTERNET *screams of horror are heard from far away*, and she thinks my blog is cool enough to be the vessel in which to do so. Thanks bud.

*Disclaimer about how guests’ opinions are their own, regardless of if I agree with them or not, etc. This piece has not been edited by myself in any way, shape or form.


 

Today’s feminism ideology is about  feeding the trolls, and dividing genders: not equality

A note to the reader. This is an epically long read. The opinions are mine and I am thankful that I have been given this opportunity to write this. Will there be a commentary option? Well that is up to the website host, not me. But to be honest, I have only seen horrible things from a comment section, where individuals are quick to knee jerk at a specific paragraph rather than take an article in context as a whole. Why? Because someone on the interwebs, needs to have their opinions validated.  Me? I don’t need to feel validated. I have a decent career, great kids, a decent partner (no one is perfect) , friends and hobbies. So why I am writing this? Because every movement should incorporate different perspectives. I am offering mine.

Today’s “feminism” is more about rage, finger pointing and dividing the genders than it has been in the past 20 years. And to be fair, the “journalists”, “news sites”  are taking advantage of “outrage” in order to drive their readership and web traffic counts.  I say this as a feminist, who is approaching 41 years of age, and frankly  I just don’t fit in with the new wave of feminism. I am  ostracized by the new feminists as I do not agree with some of the ideology in this new wave of feminism.

A little bit about me, I am a sexual abuse survivor  (of 5 years) by  a family member. I was assaulted at the age of 12 by a group of seven boys at the school I was attending;  telling the school that it happened rather than pretending it did not, caused me more harm than not telling them. But I made it through grade 8.   I turned to punk rock dressing and turned down modeling jobs because I needed to feel “safe”. (yes, I am well aware that what you wear doesn’t matter, etc…) Feel free to downplay or dissect what I was going through by inserting your commentary or opinions about what I went through in the 80’s and 90’s. Because clearly, you know better about what I was going through than I.

In my 20’s , I was assaulted by then my roommate (whom I did charge; but reasonable doubt made the case weak and thrown out of court) . My word against his and his friends. The detectives told me  if I had only had bruises from him and 3  friends holding me down then I would have had a better chance of getting the case to trial. That day, I learned a lot about the court system.  I am not a misandrist. I do not hate men. I do not think that all men are horrible. I do not think that all men are rapists, sexist, etc.

I do happen to suffer PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) because DUH. but I don’t let it control me, anymore. I am not going to lie, it was tough after the last assault. I could not  even go to men cashiers,bankers etc.  for a few years. I would never ever, ever , wear clothing that revealed that I had big boobs (I still sometimes struggle with this) . But that feeling of uncomfortability, that was/is on me. That was/is something I need(ed) to work out. That was/is something that I am to gain control of.  Don’t confuse my being uncomfortable with fear either. I never feared walking at night, I never feared going to a bar. I never feared taking transit. Was I super cautious around large groups of men? Uh, yeah.

Back when i was in college, the college that I was attending  was predominately male. So I stuck to my punk rock roots and I made myself less attractive with my short hair, army boots and jacket. I didn’t get heckled once, although it’s really hard to say that as I always had music blaring in my ears to turn out the world. I never was catcalled by any of the student body.  However, back then a few of my professors took issue with the way I dressed; stating it wasn’t “professional” for the field that I was studying for. My retort to the programme director was that I was not in a place to be heckled by their student body like my other classmates were.  That if  they would rather me not be in the Dean’s office for wiping the floor with one of their male students’ body’s that catcalled me…. they should leave me be. Suffice to say, I had a compelling argument and I wasn’t bothered by any of my professors after that.

Note that I didn’t go to social media, make petitions, call the newspaper…. Well, at that time,  internet was just starting to be fully accessible… so weird…

I feel that I have to make it clear to you the reader, I do not need to look into “my inner misogynist” and no, I am not “ruled by patriarchy”.  Both my sons were raised not having a gender bias. In fact, I raised both my kids in a focus against the  biases in our society. My kids are exposed to nail polish, items that were deemed to be “only for girls” from a retailer’s perspective. I believe in sex education at age appropriate cognitive milestones. 12 year old boys need to know it’s okay to kiss a girl and masterbate instead of having sex. But that’s another story for another post perhaps….

Now that you have a bit of a back history about me. Let’s get down to the real reason of this blog. There are tons of messages, content, blogs, articles, stories, memes on the internet that are creating more of a divide within gender equality than ever before. The messages that are being sent out via the interwebs that are causing more harm than good .

feminism

For example here is a comic strip that was posted by individual on social media claiming that this is what the “feminists” are about. I don’t know if this comic was made by a “feminist” or perhaps an individual that believes that this is what feminism is about.

Why creating stuff like this is detrimental, you ask?  Content like this being out there altogether means that someone else can “relate” to it. All it takes is a generalisation based on an individual’s personal experiences to make them feel that this is a “truth”.

What are you getting from this? We could pick apart that clearly this was made by a male artist as the women seen as having an opinion is not as attractive or as thin as the other women in the comic. And then the women that is “attractive” and “thin” has a very “vacant” stare for 3 frames. But if you look at the next picture that is a tweet from a woman, it’s not really hard to see why  “agendas” are created.

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Could Shelby have just stated that if you declare yourself to be a MRA or in support of them you are not helping gender equality?  Is that not what all “feminists” want, is equality?

So why does one individual’s overdramatic response have to be associated with a  “feminist” movement? Why do we need to make the statement someone doesn’t deserve to live. That’s not about equal rights.

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If you weren’t all over social media when the outrage happened on the “article” that Kyle Smith wrote for the New York post. You missed a serious shit show. Why is this a serious shit show? The only purpose of this article was to create outrage to increase web traffic clicks. But  a lot women jumped on the internet rage bandwagon and thus not only proving his point but fueling the fires of the vehement that is on both sides of the debate.

Kyle even admitted on twitter when I questioned him if it was all about the web traffic and he replied “Bingo”. After I tried really hard to have discussions with the “Feminists” and asking them to stop with the name calling because really it only adds to the divide and fits the “anti feminist” agenda.  I was told that if I didn’t like their tweets to unfollow. I was told that “my misogyny” was showing because I had a different point of view on the article, and one that was confirmed by the writer himself. Read the article yourself, really how it reads is someone’s opinion based on their experiences. And that is how we should take it. As someone telling their story.

Now if that isn’t just crazy I don’t know what is! If this isn’t a clear enough example of why we should not be feeding into and buying these articles. Scroll down. I have more.

 

The internet had to take this scientist’s story personal where he discussed HIS problems with girls. His experiences. Yet if a woman was to talk about her experiences we would defend her right to feel the way she does.

“Let me tell you about my trouble with girls,” Mr. Hunt told an audience on Monday at the World Conference of Science Journalists in South Korea. “Three things happen when they are in the lab: You fall in love with them, they fall in love with you, and when you criticize them they cry.”

It doesn’t help that the web article that I have linked somehow forgets a vital part to the quote… the “my”

Notice that he didn’t say “The trouble with girls” He said “My”  If anything we are taking away his rights to talk about his experiences. But the internet made it to be a generalization about women in the field.

 

R v Elliott

This is the Toronto case where a Toronto “Feminist” felt unsafe from the harassment of  an individual’s tweets. And charges were laid. My problem with this is that both individuals were in the wrong and both said some very horrible things to each other. But she experienced feelings of unsafeness and some individuals on the internet stood by her and stated that she has a right to express her feelings about her experiences.  Which is fine.

But we can’t pick and choose a gender that this is appropriate for. If we want equality we have to allow EVERYONE that right. Not pick and choose when the moment suits us. Here is where you might say well, but if we did that what about the murderers, rapists, etc? They have experiences and feelings too!

Clearly, you missed the point that experiences will also be weighed by the context in which the experience came from. Context. We miss out on that a lot.

Harassment can come in many forms.

In case you didn’t click on the hyperlink I provided you, the summary is the accused was found not guilty of criminal harassment. Many are saying that this isn’t the right verdict. But then that would mean we would be putting freedom of speech on trial, wouldn’t we?

With social media, and specifically twitter, if someone calls you fat, ugly, a feminazi, a cunt, a whore, dumb, (insert other names as you see fit) We need to all be an adult about our interactions even when we are not agreeing with the agenda and not feed into it. Just because someone calls you a name, does that give you the right to call them one back?

Elliott lost his job and other things because of this. It’s a heavy price to pay for challenging someone’s opinion on the internet and then just not being able to “let go” of an argument.

What we need to start realizing that people are bad, it’s not gender specific. We need to think more about the context of a situation rather than spewing off commentary as a knee jerk response.

There are many times I have had discussions with males about feminism and  they express their concern that men’s rights are not being looked after. That men are falsely accused of actions such as abuse and rape and put to jail. This does happen. In fact my sister at the age of 14 when she was in a foster home, told her foster mother that she was raped and that is why she didn’t make curfew. She gave the police a description of a man. Because she had vaginal bruising the police had no other choice but to take her seriously. A man was found with that description in another city and brought to trial. In the end, the man had lost his job, his family. but she was  found guilty of making a false charge against a person. And she went to juvenile jail.

When men scream “women are not getting enough jail time for abuses, etc.”  They are blaming the women. When women scream “men are not getting jail time or enough jail time” they are blaming men. This needs to stop. None of this has to do with men or women having more rights but it’s  about the judicial system in that city, country etc.  No one cares to take a look at the judicial systems, their processes, as well as the judge presiding over the matter. THAT is where the issues lies on those matters.

What am I hoping that you will take away from this? That not all anti-feminists are misandrists. I don’t believe that all men are assholes, rapists, etc.  I do believe that people are capable of being decent, and respectful.  I also believe that people are capable of being the exact opposite.

If someone is being rude and disrespectful  to me, then my reactions to the situation are my responsibility. This isn’t a woman or a man thing. It’s about being an adult.

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#WhenIThinkOfMentalIllness is a hashtag going around. The first response I saw to it was “#WhenIThinkOfMentalIllness…I don’t fucking tweet about it.”

Well, I don’t either…but sometimes I write about it. It’s after 6am, and my chest hurts and my heart is beating faster than it should be because it does that sometimes…so I’m going to write about it again.

When I think about mental illness…I think about how easy it is to throw a label onto a bad feeling.

Yes, it’s upsetting that after throwing my back out at the beginning of October, I still can’t get a normal job because simple things like bending at the waist or sitting at a computer desk cause me pain.

Yes, it’s a bummer that the last guy I invested any effort into practically ran out the door and eventually blocked me online when I confessed I used to have an STD forever ago as a result of a negligent boyfriend.

Yes, it’s frustrating that my PC is a billion years old and I can’t play Fallout 4 or really any new game like my friends.

But…

These things are trivial. They were/are temporary. Identifiable. Tangible.

Mental illness is not tangible. You can’t put it in a box and say, “I had depression for a week, but I’m okay now.”. “I was so bi-polar last year, wow!”. “My anxiety disorder went away as soon as I finished my exams.”.

You can’t throw a label on a bad feeling and call it mental illness.

Bad feelings and events are THINGS.

You can explain what they are, how they happened, and when, if applicable, they ended.

How do you explain that you spend your waking life being scared and empty and miserable ALL THE TIME for no discernible reason whatsoever?

How do you tell the people close to you that you don’t want to die, you just almost always want to not exist anymore because it’s exhausting as fuck?

When I think of mental illness…I think about how I’ve spent the last decade taking medication for depression and anxiety, and yet the majority of my day is spent in this bed, being depressed and anxious. The irony. Barf.

I read a thing somewhere that anxiety is like that feeling you get when you accidentally miss a step, or for a split second your chair almost falls backwards. It’s that feeling… except all the time. Combine that with a weird cold “nothing” feeling in the middle of my chest that makes me wish I would just stop existing and chest pains that make me afraid of dying (more irony, har har), and a constant looming cloud of anxiety, disappointment and lethargy…and you have me.

But hey, being an idiot on the internet is a lot easier than telling the people close to you that you spend far too much time staring at your shitty basement apartment ceiling wondering what initially got this trainwreck of a life rolling.

I lose track of what day it is all the time because I sleep at the most bogus hours, and those hours always change. When I’m asleep, I don’t have chest pains that have forever been unexplainable, and I don’t want to cry or vanish into thin air or whatever because existing doesn’t really appeal to me.

Winter quite literally destroys me. I’ve lost jobs because I can’t bring myself to go outside in -20 degree weather and I cry and try to make up some stupid excuse that never flies and I go back to freelancing. I’ve spent weeks on end inside in the winter.

I’ve spent weeks on end not actually speaking, because all my interactions happened online.

If you live outside of my downtown comfort zone, or want me to attend something far away, I will most likely not go. I want to, I really do – the distance just makes me too nervous.  There are a few exceptions to this, and even though they exhaust both my physical and mental energy when I get home, they mean the absolute world to me. One being Fest, which I go to every October. But I’ll talk about that another time.

When I do go out, more often than not, I drink as quickly as possible so I can enjoy myself..not bonkers wasted, I can control myself, but you get it. Otherwise, I’ll just lay in bed. For a few hours when I’m around friends and music, I can pretend I don’t actually loathe my existence most of the time, which is nice. I don’t have alcohol at home, though, and I usually only drink once a week, if that…so I guess I have that in my corner.

The amount of money I’ve wasted on delivery instead of getting dressed and buying groceries is astounding. I’m horrible with money.

When was the last time I cleaned my apartment? I know it hasn’t been since I hurt my back. I can’t bend down or lift anything. But it’s been much longer than that.

I think maybe 4 of my friends know where I live. I don’t want people to see my daily life.

I have vitamins I’ve been taking, but I often forget. I don’t know if they’re working. Maybe I’ve convinced myself they won’t.

My tattoo that says “I never finish anyth“? It’s a joke, but it’s also quite literally the truth. I’ll invest money and time into something I love, and just…stop. Even if I’m good at it. I’m not afraid of failure, I’m used to failure and fucking things up for myself…I just suddenly find laying in bed way more interesting.

I constantly flake on plans; not because I don’t want to see people, but because going out for the most part weirds me out unless it’s someplace familiar.

I mean, I still shower and brush my teeth, so I’m not at total rock bottom yet…but is rock bottom different for people?

I could get a new doctor, but that requires phone calls and going to a new place. Back to anxiety. I just don’t bother. I’ll stay in bed and then wonder why I don’t get better, and sleep more.

I don’t want to hurt myself AT ALL, but I’ve had some pretty frightening dark thoughts in the past about what it would be like if I did. I think that scares me the most – when things make their way into my mind that I don’t ever want there. Because when it happens, I get an anxiety attack, and then the whole world is a giant ball of NOPE and EVERYTHING IS NOT OKAY and I dope myself up on Ativan until…you guessed it…I fall asleep.

Then I wake up and get pissed off at myself for thinking about something so ridiculous (because that’s logical). Lather, rinse, repeat. Thankfully such instances are very few and far between. It’s been years. But the fear that it will happen again, is still there. Why? Who the hell knows why any of this is a thing. But I still get the creeping feeling of losing control, sometimes it only lasts a second or two, but…it’s really scary. Intrusive thoughts are by far the worst part of all this. The strange and shitty part of that is that I’ve never in my life experienced them until a few years ago when my awesome meltdown happened. I think most of the reason I’m afraid to make any changes is because of that night.

I’m basically caught between two severe issues that often contradict each other. One makes me feel nothing…the other, throws in moments where I feel way too much of something I don’t want to.

Why haven’t I gotten better? Maybe I haven’t tried hard enough. Maybe I’ve been trying the wrong things. Maybe I need to move. Maybe a lot of things that for some reason I can’t bring myself to care enough to make the effort to pursue. Maybe I’m just doomed to be like this forever.

Do I need help? Probably. Do I want it? Also probably. Maybe. Will I go through with it? Probably not, because everything scares me and it’s easier to just…be.

I stopped asking “What’s wrong with me?” a long time ago. I’ve just settled with “a lot of shit.”.

I’m not even going to touch on dating. The longer I spend alone, the more I realize that I have no business dragging someone into any of this.

I’m well aware that this is REALLY heavy…and I’m well aware that this will change at least a few people’s opinions of me in a negative way. That’s okay, and I won’t hold it against them; I just hope they never find themselves here.

There are, despite all of this, people, and places, that temporarily let me be, I think, truly happy. I treasure every moment…but I fear it’s not enough.

These aren’t just bad feelings. I don’t know what to call them, other than illnesses… because I don’t remember ever not feeling so sick, and tired.

When I think of mental illness…I can’t stop. It’s just always there.

I’m quite tired of it. But it’s all I know, so…maybe it’s just the way things are now.

Am I rambling?

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“I’m afraid I’ll lose friends if they think I agree with you – but I wanted you to know privately that I do.”

“I refuse to speak up after seeing others jump down their throats and tell them they don’t support women.”

“She assumed the only way I could have that opinion is if I had been abused by a man.”

“Please don’t mention my name. I don’t want any drama.”

These are completely genuine quotes from private messages I’ve received recently. They’re all from women who are afraid to speak their mind in fear of being ridiculed, attacked, or in some cases, rejected by their friends. For doing what, you might wonder?

Two instances recently come to mind. You may know about the high school girl band who came in 3rd place in Battle of The Bands, and was given a critique that they could have been more “sultry”.

Depending on who you ask, this proved to be a very bad thing. The textbook definition of sultry is “sexy”. So, telling 14 year old girls they need to be sexier is pretty weird. Right?

But then you talk to some musicians. They’ll tell you that “sultry” is a style of singing that has nothing to do with sexiness. It’s about passion. And as one journalist friend of mine pointed it after watching the performance…passion was pretty well absent.

Intent is important. But if you want to argue about textbook definitions, “rape culture” doesn’t exist in Western civilization. Remember that.

Point being, this friend of mine dared to suggest that the girls came in 3rd place for the simple reason that the other two bands were just better.

AW, HELL NO. Cue the self-proclaimed feminists immensely on the defence.

“is this satire? It has to be satire.”
“Fuck you. Just…fuck you.”

She was also called a misogynist, for making such a horrible claim.

She also referenced an interview in which Mercedes Arn-Horn, a well established musician and very vocal feminist, told her story of how she hasn’t used the instances where being a woman in the music industry has hindered her as a crutch, but a stepping stool to rise above and overcome the sexism she faces. This was also dismissed, with one commenter going so far as to say she “…maybe isn’t a feminist, she might even be anti-feminist…”.

So what is being said here, is that it’s anti-feminist to overcome any sexism you face with determination and pride. It’s anti-feminist to focus on proving yourself not only as a female musician, but a musician in general.

What is being said here, is that you can only be a “real” feminist if you are faced with sexism and you do nothing but complain about it online.

Because that will surely show those that doubted you that you have the skill and determination to be taken seriously.

And that’s only two things that have happened. In the past month.

Personally, I have been attacked, and blocked more times than I care to remember, by more “feminists” (I will be referring to them as ‘these feminists’ moving forward, as I have several feminist friends in my life who I love and respect and they would never behave in the way I describe) than literally anyone else online. I had a 90 (yes, ninety) page forum thread on everyone’s favourite forum, SomethingAwful, dedicated to making fun of me, and it didn’t upset me as much as some women have. I recognize the difference between intentional trolling, and someone genuinely wanting to upset you. If you anger these feminists, prepare for the latter. Your character as a person is immediately targeted. You are ganged up on and laughed at, treated as less of a person, let alone less of a woman, simply for having a different opinion. Which, if you have any common sense, is nowhere near the same as someone with an egg as their Twitter icon saying “lol shut up bitch”.

Not to mention, you certainly can’t think for yourself. Dissenting opinion? INTERNALIZED MISOGYNY!

Because if you question these feminists for any hypocritical, cruel, or straight up abhorrent behaviour, it’s clearly because you hate women. Not because you actually believe instigating an online hate mob because a man wore a shirt one time, or putting someone in jail for tweeting indirectly at you, makes you kind of an asshole. Not because you point out glaring plotholes in their narrative about “equality”, but because you are only saying and thinking what you are because YOU WANT MEN TO LIKE YOU MORE.

yes, this is a thing that these feminists believe.

 

Yup. If you don’t agree with third wave feminists and their shitty tactics, as a woman, it’s simply because you are incapable of thinking for yourself.

Question something that is being claimed as fact? Blocked.

Ask someone why they are pushing a witch hunt on a man, when a woman has been proven to be doing the same thing, yet the woman is being praised? Responded to with a bot calling you a troll/asshole/etc. AND THEN blocked.

Think for yourself…but only if those thoughts are what WE want you to have.

Silly me.

I guess I should be letting these feminists think for me instead of thinking for myself APPEALING TO THE PATRIARCHY.

These feminists demand that women have a voice. What they fail to mention in their soap box speeches at rallies, at slutwalks, and on tumblr, is that they really only want specific women to have a voice. Women who parrot the same things they do. The rest of us can fuck off, because we’re obviously just trolls or brainwashed by men.

Sticking to your convictions and principals despite being attacked for them isn’t internalized misogyny. Claiming otherwise, is so say that some women are so weak minded that they need the validation of men.

I’d rather have the validation of someone who respects that we won’t all always agree, rather than someone who says if I don’t agree with them it’s because I can’t think for myself.

I’m going to be writing quite a bit more on this topic, as well as taking guest posts from friends who have asked for a platform. If you want to write something, hit me up on Twitter or shoot me an e-mail.

I actually encourage discussion. Talk with me.

Also, if you like what you read, and feel like helping out with a few bucks while I get back on my own little wagon while I deal with my stupid broken back and *gasp* actual, real, diagnosed depression that wasn’t caused by people on Twitter, that’s nice too.

I won’t even call you an ableist misogynist shitlord if you’d rather not. I promise. <3

 

 

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I’ve been sitting on the idea of writing this for over a year, specifically because of the inevitable backlash I will receive. Wether said backlash comes in the form of private, “I’m disappointed in you” emails from my peers, or I get decimated on Twitter by randoms, it is absolutely, 1000% inevitable.

And I’m okay with that.

I’m okay with that because I have the privilege to be laying in bed writing this on my phone, in a good neighbourhood, in a huge city, where I moved to so I could go to College. I’ve had awesome jobs in many different fields. I’m privileged to be able to choose those fields.

Women fought tooth and nail to get where we are today. Women deserve the right to go to school where they want, to work where they want, dress how they want…you get it. Women deserve every right on this planet.

Despite these things, and my completely transparent agreement with them…I’m told I’m not a feminist.

I had an abortion in 2001. I was a stripper from 2006-2010, in the Sarlaac pit of “how many gross dudes can you encounter in a single evening”, breaking down stigmas of men (and women) who considered me and so many other women (and men) “less than” for what I legally and safely did for money, and supporting some of the strongest women I’ve ever met.

Two huge issues concerning women and the hardships they could encounter in their life, dealt with openly and with pride.

But I’m not a feminist.

If this doesn’t make sense to you, good. Because it baffles me as well for a while.

Here I am, believing that feminism is fighting for women’s rights. A woman’s right to be educated, heard, treated fairly, protected. PFFT. Please.

Apparently, or, at least in the past year or so, that definition has become rather skewed.

Last year, “feminism” was voted as the word most people want to be banned. BANNED. NOT ALLOWED TO SAY EVER.* (*note: I’ve been informed that this was mostly due to 4chan. My mistake.)

Many feminists don’t understand why. Because, like myself, their understanding of feminism is a completely rational cause to promote equality between all genders.

Well…I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but ladies…

The armchair feminists have arrived…and holy cripes, are they loud.

Sane, logical activism as we know it is no more. With the growing reach of the Internet, and sites like Tumblr, Twitter and Jezebel, women have taken feminism into their own hands, rebranded it, hashtagged it, and are shoving onto every website and blog they possibly can.

It’s not about being fair anymore. It’s about constantly reminding men of all the oppression they’ve (directly or indirectly) put us through, and not letting them forget for a bloody second.

“Traditional gender roles” are now REALLY FUCKING BAD. What if your son WANTS to play with cars and be a jock, or your daughter LIKES princess dresses and wants to be a stay at home mom? Nope. Not having it. Kirsten Dunst spoke out in favour of them – and was promptly ripped apart.

It’s not about empowering women anymore. It’s about teaching them that there is no difference between a compliment and harassment, and that every strange man is a potential rapist to be feared. Here is an actual rape victim pointing out the absurdity of the majority of online voices re: rape culture.

It’s not even about educating LAWYERS about rape law. It’s about coddling university students so they don’t get  “triggered”.

It’s not about supporting rape victims anymore. It’s about who can make the hugest deal out of vilifying the potential rapist before he has been charged, or in some cases, before he has even been spoken to.

It’s not about enjoying Christmas songs from the 40s anymore, it’s about completely reading into the the wrong way and telling people they’re about rape.

It’s not about discussion or debate. It’s about who can be more feminist than the other, and the loser of the group is instantly bullied into submission.

Feminism has become a club of Mean Girls. If you don’t think and act exactly like them, you’re aren’t one of them, and they won’t waste any time letting you know it.

I’ve been ganged up on, bullied, and/or harassed online for having the opposing view on many issues that people have decided stem from Feminism.

An acquaintance of mine did an excellent interview about her view on Anita Sarkeesian/#GamerGate a few months ago. Since it wasn’t in the normal fashion of “Rah, Rah, Sarkeesian is our Queen!”, she has since had to spend months defending herself on Twitter against Sarkeesian’s followers who harass, insult, and misquote her in an effort to shut her up. Sound familiar?

(NOTE: I’m not having the “are video games sexist?” argument. Some games have sexist elements. Some don’t. It honestly doesn’t bother me. I like shooting things and I’m not offended that my Ranger in GW2 is rocking a cute leather skirt and has bigger boobs than I do.)

I’m sure you all remember #ShirtGate. Sigh. When Matt Taylor landed a probe into A GODDAMN COMET IN SPACE…cries were not of joy, or “holy shit I love science!”, but “WHAT COMET? HIS SHIRT IS SO SEXIST.”
Yes. Feminists everywhere took to the Internet and blasted Taylor for his “misogynist, threatening” clothing (a bowling shirt with cartoon babes holding huge machine guns), demonizing him, his character, and his entire workplace until he tearfully apologized live on air.

A few of my favourite highlights, which I will expand on momentarily:

~ A few women stated that the shirt made them feel unsafe. That if they saw a man wearing a shirt with cartoon women in bikinis on it, they would feel UNSAFE, and threatened, in their workplace.

~ Women stating that “many” young scientists have now thrown away their career dreams due to the shirt.
Now 1) how the hell could you possibly know that, for real and 2) if you spend TENS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS and ALMOST AS MANY YEARS studying in the STEM field, only to set your diploma on fire and cry in bed because SOME DUDE IN ENGLAND WORE A SHIRT, you are a goddamn fool and you don’t deserve that career! Pull your damn bra straps up, girl! If you quit your entire career because an incredibly smart albeit socially awkward scientist made a bad fashion choice…turn in your lab coat and pocket protector BECAUSE YOU HAVE FAILED YOUR FELLOW WOMEN.

It’s hard enough for women to succeed in STEM jobs. Workplace sexism does still exist, sadly. But what does quitting over something so trivial prove? That you’re “making a stand”? No. It proves that you don’t want that job.

Quitting is for when your boss treats you like shit. Or your workplace is legally unsafe. Or the Assistant Manager who is really obsessed with Dr. Who refuses to speak to you on the phone and one day writes on the staff room wall that you do low-grade porn. I miss you, Sunrise Records.

Feminism has become a contest of who can be the most victimized; who can be the most offended; who can be the loudest about it.

The worst part about everything I’ve said? The women who judge, target, belittle, attack, lose their goddamn minds the moment someone says “not all men”…they have claimed feminism. And may whoever’s up there help you if you tell them they’re wrong.

I’ve had friends ask me why I hate feminism. I’ve even had friends TELL ME I hate feminism. I don’t. I’m just confused and annoyed, because there are two very different versions of it being broadcasted all over the place, both claiming they’re right. if you’re active enough online, siding with either one will guarantee at least a bit of harassment. And that’s bullshit.

And I’m not the only one who has noticed this huge divide, and how ridiculously overbearing the “new wave” of feminism has become.

Feminism isn’t about, as a woman, being able to think, say, and behave as you please anymore. It’s about having to think, say, and behave as the Overwomyn of the Internet see fit.

Oh, not to mention they’re GIANT HYPOCRITES.

And really? I don’t like it. It’s counter productive, petty, catty, and generally horrible for women to act this way. Why would I want to be a part of such a “movement”?

“BUT THOSE CRAZY BIATCHES ARE WRONG!”), you cry, unfriending me on Facebook for posting another crazy SJW (Google that at your own risk, dears), or calling me a woman-hater at the bar because I said “Blurred Lines” isn’t about rape (it’s still not). “Real feminists aren’t like that! The extremists on Tumblr are wrong!”

Are they?

Why aren’t the “real” feminists telling them so? Why are they constantly telling myself, and any others who side with me, that we’re insufferably annoying with our constant need to draw attention to the worst and most negative of the movement? Why aren’t the ones who are supposed to be the true representatives of feminism, silencing the shitty loud ramblings of the women who complain about being “stare-raped” on the subway?

Wait…why is society and the media focusing so intently on the most negative, the harsh, the extreme, the irrationally behaved of a group, and not the rest, who claim the aggressors don’t reflect the majority, who have a genuine, rational cause?

#GamerGate, anyone?

But in conclusion, as it stands…I don’t hate feminism. I hate when women use the word to hide behind as they hurl rocks and cruel names at anyone who hasn’t earned enough badges.

I shouldn’t have to worry about the negative things OTHER WOMEN are going to throw at me for having an opinion. Ever. That’s not feminism.

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Kenny Rogers,  you wonderful man.

Remember how optimistic I was about my new office job?

Yeah…no.

I got the fuck out of there after a week.

“BUT LAURA!” You protest, seemingly unaware that I can TOTALLY hear you yelling through the internet. “INSERT RANDOM REASON WHY THAT WAS A STUPID IDEA HERE!”

do-not-care

 

Y’all gotta listen for a second.

I’ve worked office jobs before. I’ve HAPPILY worked office jobs before. The hours I can adjust to. Ain’t no thang.

Sometimes, you just know that sticking around somewhere is going to stomp on your will to live, make you hate everything and everyone, and spend the few hours that you aren’t at work or sleeping sitting in front of a computer writing on a blog about how you want to kill a motherfucker because they got your Starbucks order wrong AND YOU ACTUALLY MEAN IT.

I have to make a list here.

1. The people. (Not you, Sarah, you’re cool.) I felt like I was in a really shitty, dark, High School, only these girls were like 30 and were, which was brought to my attention, bitter over the fact that I was hired and their friends were not. My every word and move were being lurked all the fuck over in an effort to get me into trouble. Someone actually flat out LIED to my boss about something I said on my first say, which resulted in him calling me into his office and asking what the fuck. No thanks. I am not about to spend the better part of my day being paranoid about opening my mouth and being watched by some weird chicks who have nothing better to do than focus on what I’M doing.

2. Full-time with no benefits. Again, I’m fine with office jobs. But when I’m expected to sit at a desk in a shitty, dark, office for 9 hours a day WITH NO BENEFITS, the excitement of a few hundred more dollars on my paycheque starts to fade away really quickly. Like in a week quickly.

3. The shitty, dark office. A rented out office space with a bunch of mismatched desks in the middle of the room with a bunch of mismatched computers thrown onto them, then down a hallway, then into another smaller room with the same set up and a dying plant against the window-sill of a dark window that is made of these things:

window

which also make up the other window across the room, which I can only assume is facing a brick wall as well because sunlight is a not a thing employees in the back room are blessed with.

Actually, fuck it, I’m drawing a picture.

It’s been 40 minutes, I made this for you in Photoshop and my mouse is being weird so sorry.

BEHOLD.

 

office (1)

Note the sad star. I was that star.

4. The chairs. I something completely awful to my back and I could hardly walk or sleep for 3 days. The chairs are satan. woven into horrible vinyl or polyester or whatever the hell those things are made of. My back got better when I stopped going into work. I spend most of time IN a chair, no problem – but I’ve never had pain like that in my life.

Some people just aren’t built for dark, sad, bitchy work conditions. If that’s your bag, all the more power to you. Sometimes you just KNOW when something is bad for you, and thus, I want to part of it. Not when I’ve been working so hard to get out of the dark place I was in last year.

I’m fine for money at the moment, so that’s not an issue. I still freelance, am currently building a site for a client and friend, and I’m waiting on a call back from DavidsTea (which as you remember was the totally best thing of life)… if I don’t get that, than I’ll just keep looking. I’m not worried.

I’m productive as fuck when I’m happy. Being there was turning me in the opposite direction of both, and I knew it wasn’t for me.

If I were a Sim, my happiness would be a deep red colour, and I’d paint a sad painting, or flail my arms around and yell gibberish at the sky until a hot tub appears in my living room, or maybe pee on the floor.

Something to think about, because that’s pretty bad.

PS: I should clarify, I’m in no way slandering my old place of employment, or my old boss. It’s a well-run business. It’s just not the kind of place I’d do well in. Don’t send a hit out on me or anything.

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