Friday, December 17, 2010

I Quit

Maybe this comment was just the straw that broke the camel's back but I think that this rant has been a long time coming. A friend made a comment on my facebook wall as a response to this post about rape and dog fighting. I am seething with rage over the comment and it isn’t even remotely close to the worst thing a friend has said to me or that I’ve read in my cyber life. But I am pissed and I need to get some things off of my chest.

Women’s Studies, academia and feminism have taught me very well to be critical of the world around me. So well, in fact, that I see the violent, diminishing, smothering hatred of women everywhere I look. This is not because I look for things to be mad about or because I want to see it so I do, this is because that shit really is everywhere. I am made to feel stupid constantly by people in my life who think I am too sensitive or that I am just an angry feminist who shouldn’t be taken seriously. And on my really down days, I start to believe them.

I am angry because around every corner I see evidence that men hate women and am told that I am crazy because I see it. And for once I am not going to qualify that statement and say “some men” or “institutional systems of oppression.” I am just going to say that men hate women because that is sure as hell what it looks like a lot of the time.

If I were to list examples to prove my point I’d be here until I die and that isn’t even an exaggeration. I’ll just give you an example from this week. One of my good friends and fellow bloggers sent me an e-mail with at least 20 tweets she had received in just a few days from a man who felt the need to terrorize her for no other reason than that she had the audacity to be female and to have a voice.

Here are some highlights from that diatribe:

“The better question is what good is a woman without a bruise and a mop.”

“You don’t need a psychic to tell you that you’re a cunt… you’re a cunt.”

“Fair-trade gifts…hmmm. My cock in your mouth in exchange for your femmy silence… fair enough?”

“Your writing is so boring your family would skim your suicide note and kick your bled out corpse for wasting their time…cunt. ; )”

And here is a recent comment I deleted from my own blog (this isn't even a contender for the worst I've gotten either):

“The quote is not ‘Get away from me or I’m going to carve a fuck hole in your torso.’
It is ‘Get away from me or I’m going to carve ANOTHER fuck hole in your torso.’
Also, you left out my personal favorite from this movie: ‘You may be able to vote and drive, but you will never be equal.’
Although this one also deserves an honorable mention: ‘...Women belong chained to a stove with just enough slack to reach the bedroom because those are the only places that your rib-stealing gender is worth a damn.’
I will leave you with these parting words. It is, and will always be, a man's world. Get used to it. Oh, and make me a fucking sandwich, bitch.”

That is just from this week. I can only ignore that shit for so long before it really does start to do something to me. I am angry and I am tired of being angry. But how can I not be angry when male violence against and hatred of women is a constant symphony playing in the background of my life? And that is just the little comments, the hilarious jokes and the shit my friends say on my facebook wall that I supposedly take too seriously.

I can’t even get into the news or popular culture because that would be another chore that would last a lifetime. I hope this isn’t news to anyone but I am sure it is and that is why I have to even write this post: when it happens to other women in other places, it happens to me because it is just the luck of circumstance that it wasn’t me that time. When Michael Moore diminishes the claims of a rape victim, it is just luck of circumstance that he isn’t talking about me. When Larry Smith says that dogfighting is worse than raping a woman he is talking about me. He is saying that my bodily autonomy is not taken seriously in this culture and that it is just a matter of time before it is me. I live everyday of my life aware of that fact and so do most women whether they fully realize it or not. And the saddest damn thing of it all is that one need only look at rape prosecution statistics to see that he is right.

So, do I think young women should study feminist theory? I don’t even know anymore. Maybe if I didn’t know I’d be happier and, frankly, life is just too damn short to be this angry all the time. Maybe other women have better outlets for the frustration and the feeling of being on the defensive all the time.

I am really tired and angry and tired of being really angry. That is why I don’t have the energy to blog anymore. I really do feel like I am trying to empty the ocean with a teaspoon and for now, I give up.