A few years ago I followed a link and read this by Andrea Dworkin. I was upset and confused about such a strong feminist choosing not to report such a horrible thing to the police. I didn’t understand. And I felt it was my right to judge her, and all of her feminist acts, based on this one thing. I was very, very wrong.
These days though, I get it. I have never been raped (to my knowledge), but I have been in bad situations and haven’t reported any of them to authorities. I won’t report him for drugging me. I won’t report him to HR for causing my work life to be increasingly uncomfortable just because we had a bad date. I didn’t report my previous employer for the harassment and subsequent victimisation they put me through, even though it led to me quitting with no job lined up. And those are only the recent examples. I have a long history of not reporting things, and I feel this will continue far into my future (assuming of course that these horrible events keep occuring to me).
I´m currently killing time in a bus station in Marbella, so figured I´d post an update. Especially given how neglected my poor blog and readers have been lately. It´s a pity I have so much luggage and that it´s raining because I´ve heard Marbella is nice to walk around.
So anyway, having an interesting journey on my third trip to Europe since Sept 08. I´m still trying to work out if the reactions I´m getting are based on my age or my gender, but I´m trying not to dwell on it.
On the plane ride between Milan and Malaga I had quite a typical specimen sitting behind me. He was a white, middle aged man (obviously from the ´he´) using a laptop, so presumably important in some way, even if only in his own head. And he was definitely important in his own head. The flight attendants were some of the nicest I´ve encountered so far (and I´ve been on a lot of flights…); unexpected given I was flying with a discount airline.*
The woman next to me appeared to be slightly older than middle aged and was travelling with a four year old girl. She didn´t speak English or Italian (she was Romanian fwiw), and it appeared to be her first flight from her reactions to various things. I helped her, as best I could through the language barrier, to put on the seatbelts and follow the basic instructions of the staff. When the food cart came along, she attempted to purchase a hot chocolate for the little girl, but only had a 50 euro note on her. Now I don´t know what the hell is the issue on this continent, but they will very rarely accept such a large denomination for anything, and when they do it´s always with lots of sighing and pointed looks at all the extra work you´re giving them. This woman had nothing smaller than a 50 and could not understand the attendants, although they did try switching languages for her, and even attempted Spanish. At this point I checked my wallet and took out enough money for her hot chocolate and my coffee. It seemed to be the easiest course of action, and also felt like the right thing to do. As someone who travels quite frequently, and often alone, I´m grateful for every little bit of help I receive from strangers, whether it´s directions, help with my luggage (it´s so heavy! and there are so many stairs! everywhere!), or whatever. So I helped her out because I could. I only include this part of the story because when I was reflecting on the second part it struck me as twice as ridiculous given this part.
I cannot believe how complicated and petty this whole thing got. When I look back on my first date with plateboy, I want to shake my younger self and tell her to just avoid it. At all costs. ARGH.
But anyway, I will blog the end of it, then shut the door on the whole sorry tale and learn my lessons for next time. Although at this point it feels like the lesson is ‘men aren’t worth it’.
So after my last attempt to pick up my stuff ended in pettiness, I was fairly pissed off. I managed to get hold of plateboy by calling from a private number and he once again pretended he hadn’t received any of my messages and that it was all a misunderstanding, except this time I said no. I just wanted to organise to get my stuff back. His phone cut out before anything could be organised and he was uncontactable for the rest of the weekend, and again ignored my messages.
This isn’t a ‘how to’ guide on controlling men, it’s a post on men who like to control. This is probably the most important of the four part series dealing with B*. Honestly readers, if you have skipped the rest of the series so far, read this one. The thing that worries me the most about the examples below is the fact that only one friend in my life picked up on these as signs of a controlling, potentially abusive arsehat. It’s one thing to see these examples as behaviour you don’t want in a boyfriend, it’s another to accurately identify it like that. And I want everyone to be able to accurately identify the warning signals as early on as possible, to minimise the risk to themselves when dating. My friends who didn’t pick up on this shit? I will be demanding full disclosure from them about all dates they go on in future. You cannot miss these signs before it’s too late.
Want to know why I’m so damn bitter world?
Go here. If, after reading that, you still need to ask why I’m bitter, don’t bother talking to me anymore because you will never Get It and I don’t have time to explain it.
In the words of Lauredhel *** trigger warnings for Werribee gang-rape ***
Seriously I can’t add anything to this. I’m too damn furious.
Just in case it was possible for me to go even one hour without remembering that Men Hate Me, my dad decided to help out.
I was at my parent’s house today for Easter, and to get my desktop fixed. The following conversation occurred:
Mum: Oh look, the girl on TV is bubbly and bouncy with three computers! It’s just like [whyimbitter]
Me: No one describes me that way so it’s not actually.
Dad: What do they describe you as then? Big boobed?
My uncle, mum, me: Only once.
Dad: Why only once? What do you to them?
Uncle: It’s hard to repeat yourself with a mouth full of broken teeth
Dad: (laughing cause he’s oh so hilarious) Do you just smother them with your boobs?
Aunt: She’s not as big as [cousin's best friend]
I’m so friggin sick off being reduced to my body parts at every single chance anyone gets. And I’m not yet a big enough blog to get trolls, but if any are reading this and tell me it was a joke and I should lighten up, you will be attacked with troll spray. It’s not a joke, it’s not funny, we do not need to lighten up. This shit is poisoning everyone associated with it. Anyone who says it, laughs at it, remains silent in the face of it, is the victim of it, or hears about it is immediately poisoned. And to face this from ones own parents? Utter crap.
I have no idea how I turned out the way I have, but I’m so freaking glad I managed to wake up and make it through without being trapped in the kind of mindset that makes shit like that acceptable. It’s not. From anyone. In any setting.
Incidentally, Happy Chocolate Eating Long Weekend everyone. If your family is anywhere near as horrible as my dad, my sympathies. If not, my eternal jealousy.
I have them. Like most women in the patriarchy, I believe I have some very big flaws with my appearance. There’s a few reasons I don’t have a photo up on this blog, and my own insecurities definitely play a part in that.
However, I fight as hard as I possibly can to ignore all the voices in my head telling me why/how I’m not good enough. It’s just that sometimes these inside voices manifest on the outside. Some examples:
The government has recently (and maybe not so recently? I rarely watch TV so forgive me if I’m late on this one) released a series of ads containing public service announcements regarding drinking. They can be viewed online here.
Now if you follow that link, you’ll notice there’s an ad for under 18 and an ad for over 18, and both contain two perspectives, one male and one female. If you didn’t follow that link, you now have the same information because I just told you.
Last Saturday I went shopping with my cousin. Big mistake. I was looking for someone who had the stamina to last an entire day because I needed a hell of a lot of clothes. My cousin agreed to come with me to take her mind off her newly found singledom.
She spent the entire time helpfully pointing out that I could fit into the clothes better with just a little bit of exercise and some healthy eating. I never asked for this helpful advice by the way. It was just offered. How nice of her right?
My views on this have already been discussed. See my earlier post for a full outline. I’m only bringing it up again because a supposed ‘radical feminist’ forum that I am part of has started touting this kind of philosophy.
Is this really as far as we have developed? That even in radical spaces, we’re still pulling this shit out? That we can’t even have a discussion about anything that is annoying us without being told to ‘take our ball and go play elsewhere’ (actual quote, for the record.)