Outdated Thoughts: October 2014

Outdated Thoughts: October 2014

I’ve this horrible habit of beginning posts and not finishing them. At times I ceasefire because I find another post on the same subject that articulates a comparable perspective but so much better than I ever could, and other times I find my position shifted and the entire post bunk. The solution might have been to work faster or to stop comparing myself to others, but those are just excuses, aren’t they?

In consideration of the fact that this site is supposed to be a public documentation of my transition away from who I was and into a more conscientious, thoughtful human being, I’m just going to dump my thoughts, from my notes, my social media, etc etc, into this slice of the web and see what happens. This includes but is not limited to feminism, social activism, white / male privilege, and my various relationships.

Not your body, not your choice. If you seek out private photos of a person’s body without their consent, you should go to jail.

I’ve sought a cure for my chronic canker sores for years. I shouldn’t knock it until I try it but I think THIS IS THE WORST ADVICE I HAVE EVER READ.

I’m really proud. The American Film Institute has announced that Amy’s work in FELT will be recognized as one of only eight American independent films to play at their festival this year. It will screen twice at the world famous Mann Chinese Theater, on November 10 and November 12.

I wrote this on my one-year anniversary with Amy:

You know when that light bulb goes off in your head and so much just seems to come into focus? Meeting Amy was kind of like that, only 365 days later and the light’s luminescence over my life shows no signs of dimming.We spent the last few days looking through the 12,000 photos we’d taken during our one year together. Cemetery picnics. Muppet quizzes. Endless laughter. Pretending we had a baby. Spontaneous naked dance parties. Film festivals. Patient disagreements and thoughtful discussions. Shifting perspectives and newfound political aim. We tackled everything that I had always imagined outside the scope of my mind’s comprehension – gender, sex, healing, activism – and somehow it’s all become palatable. Enjoyable. Important. I feel my convictions thickening and my empathy growing outward. I feel like a real human. I feel like – IN THE MOST NON-CREEPY WAY EVER – I’ve met my twin.I’m grateful, so grateful, to have found a partner who has cultivated a space with me wherein I can grow, and grow, and grow.What a Happy Anniversary to share with the love of my life.

Catcalling is not a compliment. It’s harassment and it’s horrible.

For all of the men who derail / deny / marginalize / ‪#‎NotAllMen‬ / make excuses for sexual violence and the global harms of patriarchy, head over to Twitter and look at the trending ‪#‎BeenRapedNeverReported‬

A very dear friend of mine expressed their being offended by my putting “sex worker” in quotes. I had to mull on it a while, but my conclusion is that, in light of what the industry actually is (exploitative, problematic, dangerous, oppressive, violent, damaging, cruel, made up mostly of trafficked women and children), the quotes are not offensive. Dignifying prostitution and rape as “work” is offensive. I don’t care what exceptions may exist and how many hundreds of people allege to be empowered by their being exploited: their opinions do not justify an industry that rapes and murders little children systematically, and I will not / can not / shall not hold still in compliance when I’ve already wasted three decades in shrugging support of it. I’m off the boat, and I’d rather drown than get back on.

What is the purpose of sharing horrible videos of men doing horrible things? To remind women what they already know? To convert the majority of men who already have a habit of coming onto my feed and pulling a ‪#‎NotAllMen‬ or defend their privilege or deny female subordination?

Would it be wrong to just start dropping names? My thinking is: it’s a fact that prostitution use diminishes in all areas where legislation revokes anonymity for “johns.” When anonymity is not on the table, men act a hell of a lot differently. So what happens when we all make a habit of calling out shitty things people say and do and stop worrying about what they think or what they might say about us?

If we remove anonymity for all offenders, we can create a dynamic wherein men may realize their violating-with-impunity is not a right. I know that people probably know better than to start shitting on females or denying male / white privilege in my vicinity, so I guess this is my way of saying that if you DO do it in my vicinity, I am going to practice quoting you and making sure other people heard what you said, too.

If you don’t want people to hear it, don’t say it. If you don’t know people to know about it, don’t do it.

I’ve been struggling with whether I can like problematic media.

Is it okay to love the Nightmare on Elm Street series while knowing that Freddy Krueger – a pedophile who tortured and killed kids  – has become mass-appropriated into kiddie costumes for Halloween?

I think the film series starts with some unexpected and disturbing depth. Wes Craven asks, in the first film, “If it’s a really despicable human being, do you have the right to take the law into your own hands?” This idea is explored through a vicious cycle of violence: Freddy hurts children, their parents kill Freddy, his death manifests into violence against the next generation of children. The film offers a question, and I’m left shaken and uncertain as to the answer.

But then something happens on the way out of the theater. Something insidious. Something capitalistic. Freddy became a phenomenon. A 900-hotline number. An action figure. A bobble-head. Since his initial portrayal as a misogynistic boogeyman, Freddy has been transformed with various sequels and pop culture into a funny horror villain that people actually root for.  He’s a goddamn hero. I should know: as a child, I not only dressed went as Freddy for Halloween but I regularly had dreams wherein we were best friends. BEST FRIENDS! Can you imagine how uncomfortable it is, in light of my understanding that media is largely influential, to admit that I once had a dream where he and I scaled ourselves up an Advent Calendar house and pushed the Easter Bunny outside the window once we ate the chocolate in the room?

Horror has fantastic potential as a medium of exploring ideas metaphorically, and the first Nightmare does a great job of this. But the series exists beyond the scope of that first metaphor, and its antagonist now bleeds outwardly onto the faces of little children with painted burn scars and plastic knife-gloves, onto the posters in the bedrooms of teenagers, into a society that’s largely welcoming of misogyny and violence against women. I stand resolute that I can appreciate the first film on many grounds, but does my enjoying the sequels as entertainment make me complicit in perpetuating cycles of normalized violence? Considering the first film’s question, would I be that ironic?

What a nightmare.

A number of months back Amy and myself had a frustrating debate with a counselor who stands in solidarity with the sex industry, despite her one-on-one work with teenagers trafficked into it. She eventually petered out of the argument, but got her revenge at the gym yesterday when, in a game of dodgeball, she threw the ball at me in such a way that I somehow found myself wobbling entirely on top of it. I fell on my back. It kind of hurt. I don’t know for sure, but I imagine she enjoyed that. Well-played, perpetuator-of-violence-against-women. Well-played.

Sex is biological. Gender is an imaginary construct made into real-life hierarchy. A year ago, I would have What-ed the hell out of that. Now I get it, and I agree with it. Does that make me a Radical Feminist? To borrow from Cathy Brennan, maybe “Identity Politics is not my bag“. However, all signs point to Radical Feminism, which blankets a cluster of beliefs that I find logical, obvious, and necessarily direct.

Okay, I’m a Radical Feminist.

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