I’m not on board with Fat Acceptance and Here’s Why


Fat Acceptance as a concept has always seemed like a great idea to me. As someone who grew up overweight and gradually became obese, I know the sting of body judging all too well. It’s also no surprise that this movement has worked in tandem with 3rd wave feminism to break down our culture’s fixation on women’s bodies. So as a feminist, I see why it’s needed and important. Because simply by existing these people are committing two unforgivable societal sins: being fat and being female. This relegates them to the outskirts of society, unrepresented in our media beyond the headless fatties on the news with captions that read: “IS AMERICA EATING ITSELF TO DEATH?!”

We need to see fat women. Fat women exist. We need to see them living life, dressing the way they want, and feeling confident. The core of Fat Acceptance is restoring fat people’s humanity and in this way it has my full support.

I’d like to specify that I’m speaking about Fat Acceptance as expressed by white women. In my experience, the Fat Acceptance movement is made up almost entirely with women who are white and middle class. Women of color have their own brand of Fat Acceptance, but I’m not familiar with it and therefore can’t comment.

But then I see articles like this recent Buzzfeed list.

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Just to clarify: this woman is not fat.

I can see that this article is well-meaning. Bikini season is approaching and it’s a time of anxiety for a lot of women. Many of us struggle to lose weight fast enough in order to fit in (literally) while others feel left out completely, accepting baggy t-shirts as their only option.

In reality, these types of articles are extremely patronizing. They infantilize grown-ass women by telling us that we’re all special and all beautiful. This is, of course, impossible. When everyone is special, being special becomes meaningless. Same with beauty.

Now beauty is complicated. Certainly no one is arguing that fat people don’t have inner-beauty. Unless you’re one of those sad sacks over at fatpeoplestories on Reddit, in which case: what the fuck are you doing with your life?

But the issue I take with this Buzzfeed article is what seems to be a growing trend within the Fat Acceptance movement. The claim that fat people’s bodies are inherently as attractive as thinner, healthier bodies. Beauty is a broad concept and is not the same as sexual attractiveness.

Obviously, there is a spectrum of being overweight. Being a little curvier or having some extra fat is trivial and rarely interferes with people’s attraction. Women are beginning to celebrate curvier frames more in recent years and that’s good. But there’s a limit. There comes a point where fat begins to overtake your body. It hangs and sags, hiding your real curves and facial features. Especially if you’re short like me, being obese can completely consume your appearance. At my highest weight I can barely recognize myself.

And that just isn’t sexy.

There is a growing denial in Fat Acceptance about beauty standards. It is difficult to argue against the Fat Acceptance claims against of traditional beauty standards. Beauty standards are problematic. Yes, our culture is undeniably hateful toward fat bodies. Yes, women are the main target of this hate and are scrutinized within an inch of our sanity. Our bodies are a social battleground and that is beyond fucked up. It has to stop.

But the answer is to take control of our bodies, not to cover up the problem with airy platitudes like, “real women have curves” or “men like something to hold onto!” These are emotional band-aids that need to be ripped the fuck off.

The hard truth is that being obese makes sexual relationships more difficult. Stamina, joint problems, blood flow – all of these become relevant. Does your stomach hang over your genitals? Doubly so. What your partner probably won’t tell you is that these are all barriers that make attraction a struggle. That doesn’t mean they don’t love you. This does mean that your inability to control your weight will make sex harder.

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Neither is she.

It’s strange to me that so many people who talk about “body positivity” do so without a single thought for the negative affects of being fat. Please don’t send me your essay about Health at Any Size as I find the entire concept to be intellectually bankrupt. If you’re looking to be the magical fat unicorn that’s perfectly healthy at 350lbs, odds are you aren’t that unicorn. Focusing on the legend of such people actually does a lot of damage to others in the long run. Because, in the real world, most people who are obese are that way due to an unhealthy lifestyle. And it’s a hell of a lot easier to rationalize that you’re healthy at any size than to reevaluate your habits. I know, I’ve been there.

You may think you’re sending out positive messages to those who need help salvaging their self-esteem in a world full of fat hate. And to some that’s exactly what you’re doing. But what we don’t see are the people who are addicted to food and covering with Fat Acceptance ideals. There are people in the Fat Acceptance movement who are killing themselves slowly with food and sedentary living while others applaud and tell them they’re flawless. There is- and I’m being totally serious here– an ongoing search by Fat Acceptance activists for doctors who will ignore weight problems when treating illness. Those doctors are then reviewed favorably online and passed around to others who have been “fat shamed” by their doctors.

Just in case you haven’t noticed: that’s fucking insane. If 5 doctors tell you that your weight is a contributing factor to your health problems, the answer is not to find another doctor. This avoidant behavior is at the core of where Fat Acceptance has gone off course. It’s blatantly ignoring health, to the detriment of it’s own community, in order to create an accepting environment. What’s shocking to most is the best example of this is in the Pro-Ana movement.

Pro-Ana (also called “Thinsperation” or “Thinspo”) is objectively heartbreaking to anyone outside of its community.img_1610

Young women support each other in their search to starve themselves in the name of Fashion, beauty, and a feeling of control. They give each other tips, tricks and even help each other hide their disorder from family and friends. It is both the completely opposite of Fat Acceptance and its greatest parallel. Feminists have condemned Thinspo as degrading, horrific and a symptom of living in a world where women’s worth is based on their dress size. Women everywhere cry out, “This is awful! How could she think this is sexy? Can’t she see she is hurting herself?” And they’re right. Regarding the physical component of sex drives- bodies that are physically unhealthy or malnourished aren’t as attractive as healthier bodies.

These women take their weight to extremes which objectively hurts them. Yet the Thinspo community eagerly jumps to their defense, swaddling them in a blanket of comforting platitudes, reinforcing their feelings with validation. They are enablers, just as addicts of all sorts enable others.

On the other side, Fat Acceptance communities are doing their version of the exact same thing. They create online communities that encourage people to accept their bodies without any knowledge or consideration of their health. A popular saying with this crowd is, “You can’t look at someone’s size and know their health”, which has a grain of truth but it goes both ways. No, you can’t always know if an overweight person is healthy or not. They could, in fact, be dangerously overweight. They could be only a few years from losing their mobility or even a limb to diabetes. But the need to enable each other overrides any health concerns. Perhaps it’s easier to get behind Fat Acceptance because of its foundation in feminist thought. Pro-Ana is a clear example of damage caused to women by living in a patriarchal culture. It sends the strong message, “This is what happens when men control women’s bodies.” Fat Acceptance, in theory, should be about women taking back that control.

I’ve noticed that the vast majority of people in Fat Acceptance are young women, mid-twenties to early-thirties. Very few men, unsurprisingly. These women are at an age where serious weight-related maladies may have not yet presented. The decline of their health may not be fully apparent yet. Unfortunately, the reality is that it’s only a matter of time and both Thinspo and Fat Activists need to realize the limits of the human body…

You can get to a point where you are too old and unhealthy to fix your body. People can, and do, get stuck. Some damage is unrepairable. There is nothing feminist or empowering about becoming trapped in your body. Nothing at all.

WomanFeminists want equality. But that also includes taking responsibility for ourselves and accepting reality. We can’t demand equality while expecting everyone to pretend that someone who appears unhealthy is as sexually attractive as someone who takes better care of themselves. It’s the same thinking that leads adults to tell their children that they can be dinosaurs when they grow up. These placating white lies are meant to soothe egos but ultimately only infantilizes women, keeping us in a place of inferiority. The trade off for equal treatment is that we can’t expect to be handled with kid gloves. Thems the breaks.

I still firmly believe that Fat Acceptance at it’s core is a positive movement. I’d like to see it move away from comforting platitudes about sexuality and focus on the capabilities of fat people. I want to support those efforts to humanize and to push for representation. You have a right to take care of yourself as much or as little as you want, no one can force you to gain or lose weight. But I’m not going to lie to you and tell you that it’s sexy when you don’t care for yourself, it isn’t. We are grown ass women who can handle ourselves, and it’s time we act like it.

Haters Need Not Apply: Friendship and Third Wave Feminism


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It’s always a shock to me when I lose a friend. There’s some vestigial feeling from years of after-school specials that my friends are my friends for life. B.F.F – best friends forever, right? It feels alien, despite the fact that it’s totally natural. As people grow, our values and personalities change and that inevitably means social circles must be culled. As a young woman my low self esteem taught me that a loss of a friend was a sign that I was a bad person, a mean person, a “bitch”. These days I know better, or at least I’m trying to remember to know better.

Approaching my 30th year I can safely say I’ve lost a lot of friends in my life. But I no longer have the erroneous fear that it reflects poorly on me. Rather, it shows a progression toward not tolerating toxic people. In addition to that, I’m beginning to finally understand what friendship is and surprisingly most of my female friends have fallen short.

My original understanding of friendship and sisterhood was defined simply by just the women in my life. Friends by default simply because we liked the same things. But this practice has backfired more times than I like to admit. Because the unfortunate truth is that most women in America create environments that are hostile toward each other. We engage in behavior that reinforces the negativity toward ourselves, willingly and with a viciousness that’s extremely damaging.

Few times in my life have a felt the sting of feminine misogyny like when I break up with a guy.

Full disclosure: I’ve broken up with lots of guys. Sorry, not sorry. I have a tendency to come into relationships too weak and always trying to see the best in people. But once I find my footing, I’m usually shocked to find myself attached to someone pretty unworthy of my attention. Hence all the breaking up.

It’s during these times of transition that women show their true colors. True allies will be supportive, empathetic and honest. But I have admit, these reactions are the minority. Here’s a list of things I’ve experienced from other women:

  • Refusing to speak to me ever again because they’re mutual friends with my ex.
  • Believing everything my ex tells them without bothering to ask me anything personally.
  • Going through mutual friends to ask if I’ve cheated on my ex.
  • Flying into jealous temper tantrums when my status turns from “in a relationship” to “single”.
  • Perceiving any emotions I have about my ex as proof that I’m one of those “crazy bitches”.
  • Slut shaming me for getting into relationships too quickly after my break ups.

The worst part of all of this is I’ve known most of these women for 5 years or more. These weren’t office friends. Break ups are a time when women are asked to stand with other women. But this often proves too much for them, the knee jerk instinct to align oneself with men is too strong.  And can often have disastrous consequences. Women often stay in toxic, abusive relationships partly because the other women in their lives refuse to acknowledge what’s happening is abusive or unhealthy. They try to help find ways to cope with unacceptable behavior instead of helping them leave. And when those relationships do end, those very same women create an air of silent judgement more chilling than the break up itself.

All these things have happened to me and as I em entering my 30’s this May, I’m determined to stop this pattern. I want and need women in my life, sisterhood is extremely important. But a strong dedication to supporting other women is a requirement. If you’re not a feminist, you’re no friend of mine nor to any woman. I no longer have the time or interest to drag people with me into a healthier way of friendship. You get it or you don’t, you’re either in or out.

Don’t waste my time, ladies. I promise not to waste yours.

XOXO

We are not the Specials: the Nerd’s Appeal to Pity


Bitter Nerd: A portion of the Nerd community. These people struggle to self analyze and a have strong need to protect themselves from any criticism. They resent that they’re lonely and often blame women for their lack of sex lives.

[NOTE: If you are a Nerd, but do not fit this category: good. You do not need to send me an essay long email about how you’re not bitter. Do not send me your memoir about how hard things were for you growing up. If you cannot control your urge to inform me about how you’re not a bitter nerd- you probably are a bitter nerd.]

I recently tweeted out the following series of messages on my Twitter.

This came from a place of frustration. I realized during a conversation that I genuinely feared the reactions of nerds to my content. I feared it in a way I never felt about any high school bully. The anxiety over backlash and internet tantrums had actually kept me from writing my feelings, posting content, and saying what I really felt on more than one occasion. All this from a demographic who rallies about free speech in violent games. And it pissed me off.

The subsequent reaction to it blew up my Twitter feed for a bit. The majority has so far been mostly positive or at the very least introspective. The negative reactions were… less than constructive, as they tend to be. In instances like this negative reactions tend to spiral down 1 of 2 different crap chutes. So here’s a handy guide that may help you pinpoint the particular issue you’re dealing with.

Appealing to pity

Arguments that fall under this category generally take the form of…

“I was bullied in the 80’s and girls didn’t like me.”

“Women only like neanderthals.”

“I was never given the opportunity to work on my social skills, that’s why I’m like this.”

The overwhelming message here is of course the word bitter nerds hate most: Entitlement. Along with privilege, they hate these words because they cast criticism on their behavior. And criticism of any kind can’t be tolerated because…

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Bitter Nerds are actually the most sensitive people on Earth.

For all these people complain about the over sensitivity of social justice advocates, I don’t seek them out and never have. Social justice advocates are not the one sending endless, whinging comments to my video about Game Grumps. They see any criticism they receive as the cruelest, most undeserved attack on their poor widdle selves. While seeing any criticism they give anyone else, no matter how toxic or abusive, to be totally justified. It’s just them exercising their free speech and- gosh darn it- they’re proud!

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But back to appealing to pity.

Although these people can be frustrating, they’re problem is really just having a deep-seated sense of persecution that they’ve carried into adulthood. Combined with  feeling entitled to women’s attention, and therefore not responsible for improving themselves- this breeds resentment.

It’s impossible to get through to someone like this until they first understand that they are responsible for themselves and what they say and do. They must be open to the idea that they’re flawed and capable of improvement. But they’re also hypersensitive to anything that might resemble snark, anger, or sarcasm. Replying in any of these ways will result in them doubling down on their feelings of persecution.

Bitter nerds love to consider themselves misunderstood anti-heroes and lone wolves. I’d like to point out that this is a pretty common coping mechanism. One I fell victim to in my own youth. It gives you a  sense of identity and shields you from the sting of criticism.

“I’m not a loser, I’m just misunderstood. They don’t get how special I am. And that’s fine as long as I am super duper special.”

The problem comes up when you’re confronted with the reality that so many other people suffered in the same way. People we thought “had it all” struggled just as much as we did, if not worse.

Case in point, my boyfriend.

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Stupid hot guy… I bet he traveled the world with the money he made being popular in High School.

If I had met him in high school I would have never spoken to him. I would have never even considered talking to him. He was cute and on the soccer team and had legs like Chun Li. Guys like that didn’t go out with chubby nerd girls who drew Sailor Moon fan art in their notebooks. He might as well have been a different species.

But the reality was he was taking so many AP classes at such a young age that he could barely connect with anyone in his school.

“The older kids didn’t like the younger kid showing off, and the kids my age didn’t relate to me because I wasn’t in any of their classes. I felt like I was completely alone. I had some friends, but I didn’t feel like I was part of a group like everyone else was.”

Learning this was kind of mind-blowing for me. I was so absorbed with how everyone dismissed me and how bad that made me feel that I was totally oblivious to the fact that high school sucks for everyone. If you’re fat and ugly, like me, you were an invisible loser. But if you were beautiful then fat, ugly girls like me would resent you forever. You can’t win. And the first step in escaping this persecution complex is realizing that we were not the only ones suffering. And no, our suffering wasn’t worse or somehow more important than others. We are not the specials. 

Appealing to pity only proves that you’re still operating the same way you were in adolescence. It’s a self-centered and extremely flawed perception that has no place in modern conversations about politics, social justice or gaming. I implore you, as a fellow nerd, we all seriously need to grow out of this. I know it’s hard to stop. After sitting in a specific chair for long enough that butt nook is pretty damn comfortable. It soothes us to think that we’re the real victims because it takes all the responsibility off of us to change our behavior. But that’s a coward’s approach to the world. It’s time to take up the sword, put on our big kid pants and start acting like the heroes we look up to in our games.

Pick Up Artist Rehab: How to flirt without making it weird


I understand the need to be desired. I know that feeling undesirable is awful and can make us feel isolated, lonely, even genderless. This desperation leads a lot of young men to the Pick Up Artist (PUA) community where they absorbed horribly backwards ideas about women and dating. I could write an entire separate article on what’s wrong with the ideology of the PUA game, but for right now I’ll say this:

It doesn’t work.giphy (1)

There are always rare exceptions of course. There are always insecure women desperate for any validation from men. But I’ll be straight with you, if you’ve struck out enough times to seek out the PUA community in the first place, their creepy tactics aren’t going to work for you.

Dear PUAs, we see what you did there. We don’t like it.

So what does work? Let me show you an example.

A couple months ago I went to a convention. I wasn’t there to meet anyone, I was there to talk about game development and catch a talk about Sexism in the Gaming Industry by Jennifer Allaway.

I’m not a stranger to getting hit on. I hope that doesn’t sound pompous, but it’s the truth. I’m a fairly attractive young woman so I get noticed a lot. Sometimes it’s nice. Sometimes it’s creepy and weird. And sometimes it’s terrifying. But that’s not really flirtation, it’s harassment. And at this event was no exception to getting a lot of attention.

But one guy stood out and impressed me the most, in part because he wasn’t hitting on me. No cheesy pick up lines, no macho posturing, nada. He didn’t talk at me about how much money he had or his car. He didn’t make subtle attempts to undermine my self-esteem. This is all counter to the PUA method which won’t tell you the real thing  you need to have to impress a girl: the ability to hold an interesting conversation.
Seriously, screw your shoes. Forget name dropping popular friends and work seriously on your ability to be engaging. Halfway through the after-party I was completely absorbed in a conversation with this man. We talked about gaming, politics, social justice, music and so on. I was having a great time and he never made a move. But isn’t that a bad thing? No, because we had just met.
The PUA method encourages young men to force intimate contact with women. Their goal is to establish dominance by initiating physical connection quickly. This is how they define sexy. But there’s a big difference between being sexually assertive and aggressive.
Forcing intimate contact shows you have no regard for personal space. For any woman with half a brain, it’s clear to us that you’re not listening because you’re too focused on planning the best time to put your hand on our leg. It’s a signal that no matter what we’re talking about, the end game is our body and that’s what matters. The only thing that matters. And *spoilers*: that’s really unattractive.

However, this tactic can backfire. For someone who isn’t socially well-calibrated it can be difficult to gauge when the best time is to show any romantic interest. What did he do that caught my attention?

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I was getting ready to leave the party and was saying my goodbyes to all the cool people I had met. There was a lot of handshakes and some excited hugs from the more inebriated among us. When I came to him to say goodbye, I held out my hand to shake. He took my hand to shake it and placed his other hand on top, looked me in the eyes and said, “I really enjoyed talking with you.”
That’s it. No, seriously.

I kept it together on the outside. I mean… probably. I’m sure I mumbled out some half coherent form of “meyah mer twoo kay bye” before I left. I Don’t really recall because on the inside I was all like

swooning

It really was that simple. Women live in a world full of men who try to lord over us. They talk down to us, invade our personal space, expect us to fulfill their Hollywood dreams of the perfect girlfriend who will give meaning to their lives. Men often enter into relationships only wondering what women will do for them instead of who we are, and we know that. We’re awash in a sea of that kind of behavior. What causes us to sit up and pay attention?  Being the opposite.

Why the language we use matters


I’ve previously stated my case as to why using terms like “retard” is a bad idea. Throngs of whiny internet babies were quick to jump to their favorite OMFG CENSORSHIP platform, of course. I honestly can’t think of a quicker way to prove you’re a Ed Hardy-wearing tool not yet old enough to drink. But whatever. I never said you can’t, I only stated that you hurt people when you do. If that makes you feel guilty, well, congratulations you have a conscious.

The language we use helps create our ideas before we even use it. It shapes our perception unconsciously. No, sshh, don’t. You’re not totally in control of everything you think and feel, wee Hardy. Let it go.

I thought of a good example of this:

I think most of us can get on board with the idea that it’s not okay to hit your kids, right? Not just for the untold physical and emotional damage, but because abused children often grow up into socially mal-adapted problems we all have to deal with later. So for the good of society, we try not to traumatize the next generation.

Except a lot of us do.

Because we don’t call it beating, it’s a spanking. We’re not hitting them, it’s whoopin’. Especially in parts of the rural South, it’s still legal for teachers to paddle students as old as fifteen. So it’s okay to hit a child as long as it’s with a piece of socially sanctioned wood. Are you getting how little sense this makes?

We create a division in our minds between which one is socially acceptable and which one isn’t. Despite the fact that there’s no real difference at all. You’re physically hurting a person during their formative years. Whether you make a division in your mind or not, the result is the same.

When you say retard we like, y’know, should just know you don’t mean people with actually disabilities, right? A rape jokes isn’t supposed to actually mean you think rape is funny, God, lighten up- take a joke. It’s just words, stop censoring me!

Ah, “stop censoring me”: the mating call of the naive, privileged youth. I can’t really be mad at you as I was once a self-centered, out of touch, bag of hollow complaints myself. You’ll get there, bro. I believe in you.

So when commenters come at me with these excuses about why it’s not fair, and why they should be able to say what they want, and waaah my rights- this is the type of thing I’m talking about. You can say whatever you want. I’m only asking you acknowledge the impact you have. You are, intentionally or not, contributing to something that makes others people’s lives more difficult. And what’s worse: you’re doing it out of sheer laziness. Because changing the language we use everyday is hard.

Does that bother you?

Good. It should.

XOXO – Mags

A College Memory


I took a Gender Studies class once in college and I wont name names but there were a couple people who stood out.

One was a guy, we’ll call him Craig. He was a bit overweight and not ugly, just unkempt. He would always wear t-shirts with obscure video game references on them with a fedora. We gave him a lot of shit about the fedora. Craig was… a dumb shit. Not just because of his  views on Feminism (which verged on hilarious), but just in general not a smart person.  He would always misuse words like literally, “you literally killed this conversation!” and never seemed to fact check anything. But what got me the most about Craig was the smug, self satisfied tone of voice he always had. No matter what our professor was saying,  he was ready with a pre-prepared comeback. Never once were any of these retorts met with even a single giggle from the rest of the class. But he would plug right along as if the professor was only speaking to him. He’d spend a good portion of the time just shaking his head at her and chuckling to himself. It was beyond annoying.  He also seemed be really obsessed with The Amazing Atheist. You know, that guy from Youtube? He would quote his videos in class like he was Richard Dawkins or something. The guy also ranted about Anita Sarkeesian a lot, which was awkward because only three people in the class knew who he was talking about. I was one of them. The other was a girl we’ll call Janet.

Janet was like Craig’s complete opposite while simultaneously being exactly like him. She was a bigger girl, who wore heavy 50’s style makeup and had a septum piercing. She had a tattoo on her left arm that just said, ” CUNT” which I thought was pretty cool when we first met. That was before I got to know her.

“Nine out of ten women WILL be raped.” she said to me once in what I thought was a conversation, but quickly descended into an all out lecture. I couldn’t get a single word in for a about fifteen minutes. But I had so many questions… like, nine out of ten? Who are we factoring in here? And where? Are you talking about the Republic of Congo or like… Wisconsin? By the end I was so mentally exhausted from her tirade I made my excuses and escaped the cafe, slightly worse for wear.

Janet was frustrating because where she would always start off with reasonable points about Feminism…

“Women shouldn’t have to live in fear of harassment just because men find them beautiful.”

But then would always inevitably go too far.

“Hearing stuff like that is so violating. It’s basically verbal rape.” she said.

This was always met with a groan from the entire class because we knew nothing else was going to get covered that day. Craig was ready with a meladramatic, “UGGGH” and would launch into a sermon about how Feminism is all about maintaining a constant state of victimhood. He encouraged us all to “take the red pill” and see that all of this was a thinly veiled conspiracy to destroy modern manliness.

These two became the center of our class. They could find something to argue about in nearly every subject we covered. When we talked about the concept of rape culture, Janet purposed it was because men are naturally sexually aggressive whereas Craig flat out refused to acknowledge it even existed. Wage gap? Craig spent 25 minutes ruminating about why a capitalist society needed to factor in that women “breed”, unlike men. Janet said that was, “typical”– I agreed until she said, “We wouldn’t even be having this conversation if women ruled the world”.

Eventually we gave in and just let them go at each other. Sometimes we would try to have legitimate conversations around them. Like literally would move our desks so we could talk freely. But their fights would get so heated and volatile no one could concentrate. One guy, Dan– he was from from Texas, insisted on sitting close to Janet because he was sure one of these days Craig was going throw a punch.

“If anyone’s going to get bitch slapped, it’s Craig.” we joked. And eventually that’s all we could do. I mean if you weren’t trying to discuss anything, the two were pretty funny. Craig would bang on his desk like a pissed off chimpanzee and endlessly quote Youtube and Reddit threads like they we’re God’s word. His zealotry was particularly funny because of how much he talked about Atheism. Despite his hardcore liberal persona, he’d always call Janet a Feminazi– a term coined by Rush Limbaugh. When his eyes bugged out we called it his “Atheist Zeal”.

But Janet was just as bad. Despite knowing she would inevitably end up fighting with Craig, she never bothered to come prepared. Instead she’d depend on anecdotes from her life and her friends to make her cases. Whenever she couldn’t back up something,  she’d just start crying. Anyone who challenged her feelings would instantly get shot down for “abusing her”. Half way through the semester she claimed, “All men are inherently rapists.” and I caught the look of hurt in Dan’s eyes. He stopped sitting next to her after that day.

Fortunately, he found solace in our post-class roast of the two and I think we genuinely started to enjoy it for a while. A friend of mine drew a comic where the two ended up getting married and their baby was a demon spawn. I wrote a short story once about how Craig actually thought he was Neo from The Matrix. Craig was always easier to make fun of, I think Janet got to us more. Mostly because she always gave Craig something to shriek about. Whenever we thought she’d finally cornered him, caught him in a fallacy or something, she’d always punctuate it with something hyperbolic like, “hashtag-killallmen”. She’d say hashtag. Then Craig would crawl up on his cross and stay there until the timer ran out. In retrospect I think the two only showed up to class to yell at each other.

The semester ended and we all went our separate ways. I would see them every once in a while around town, but understandably didn’t go out of my way to catch up. When I showed up from the next level Gender Studies class the following term, I was surprised not to see either of them. I asked a classmate about them and they said, “”You didn’t hear?”

I hadn’t heard.

“Craig went off his meds or something and beat the living shit out of her. She’s in the hospital.”

Holy shit.

After that, we couldn’t really joke about them anymore. I don’t know what happened to Janet, I think she might have moved away or transferred. I assume Craig went to jail for a while. But the stink of what had happened hung over the class after that. Even though they were gone, we couldn’t relax. So we got very little done after that.

 

…by the way this is a work of fiction. None of this ever happened, it’s just how I feel about the internet sometimes.

Get the fuck out of my way


WARNING This post is about Feminism. Disregard.

The only gender studies course I ever took was Gender and Equality. I hated my teacher. Not because of her feminist ideals, but because she was a class snob who commuted from Portland and treated the community college students like imbred morons. I hated that she questioned my decision to take my former husband’s last name, as if this concept was supposed to be mind blowing to me.  I hated that she told the white men that they were all “personally responsible for slavery” because after that few showed up for class.  In the end I aced the class just to spite her for assuming I was a dumb redneck. But she wasn’t all bad. She was bold, funny and kind of a badass. I remember watching her move around the room one day, a bottle of cleaner for the whiteboard was blocking her path and with one casual movement she slide it aside so she could lean on the board.

This blew my mind.  I found myself most impressed that she would move an inanimate object out of her way. And that’s kind of sad.

As a kid our air conditioner leaked in my room.  It consistently dripped chilly water onto the carpeted floor. Without an understanding of how to stop it, I put down a bunch of newspapers. In the months I lived there I learned how to maneuver around them and it became second nature. Walk here, not there. Side step here- jump to avoid the puddle at the end. And I’ve done it ever since. To the point where I’m so subconsciously passive it effects how I clean my house. “Why should I pick up this thing when I can simply move around it?” The thought of me moving it seems like a disruption of it’s natural state.  It’s the most insane thought when you analyze it, “My need to be here is not as important as this thing. This object.” That’s fucking stupid. And where I know no men who have this problem, I’ve known many women who do.

Hoarding shows are also very telling. The vast majority of hoarders are sad, lonely middle-aged women who’ve grown so accustomed to moving around everyone and everything else that they can’t even clean their homes. They don’t feel like they have any power to effect their environment. There is a reason this mostly happens to women. Because men are not raised to be believe such ridiculous ideas, and we are. And that’s dumb. And I’m going to stop doing it.

So get the fuck out of my way.