I feel like I should post this at a time when more people are likely to be awake and see this in their feed, but I just watched it so I’m posting it now. I think this topic is extremely important – not just as a woman, but as a human. I also think it’s necessary to take an approach that does not simply demonize men (although it is hella tempting sometimes and I feel the urge to do so as well), because that doesn’t solve the problem. Yes, all rapists are assholes. Yes, all rape victims are in fact victims. And no, there’s never an excuse. But there’s a hell of a lot more to the topic than psychopathic cavemen and terrified virgins, and I think everyone knows that on some level, though they’re quick to respond with outrage without taking the time to think rationally on the topic. It is, after all, a topic that provokes a very visceral response in most sensible people.
Most everyone is used to my humorous, extreme, off-the-cuff responses to topics like this (a.k.a. “just shoot all these assholes”), but the fact that this violation of another person’s body is still as common as it is really should spur us to deeper levels of consideration of the cause. I genuinely do not think all men who rape are monsters. I do not think that all rape is brutal. I do not think that all victims are completely innocent, even though I acknowledge that they are victims. I do not go in for ignorant “victim blaming” nor do I side with the crappy internet nu-feminist “rape culture” of rewarding victim behavior. It’s just not that simple. The reasons men rape, and the reasons women become victims, is a very complex subject that blurs the lines of socioeconomics and delves into social acceptance and power. Gang rape, even more so. Blame games keep things from being talked about – it DOES NOT keep people from doing it. So please think about that before you freak out in a feminist huff or go on about women acting like sluts.
I fully believe that women should have the right to dress how they want and party how they want and not be harassed or violated for it. However, I ALSO believe that it’s common sense to work with your environment. Would you tape a hundred dollar bill to your ass and go jogging in Oakland? Maybe if you wanted to max your run time, but probably not if you were concerned about your safety. Should you have the RIGHT to? Sure. But it’d still be a fucking stupid thing to do, and the same goes for wearing a micro-mini to a frat party and passing out spreadeagled in front of a dozen 20 year old idiots. Or sleeping drunk and naked in your ex-boyfriend’s bed. Or whatever. There is a point where you need to admit that your actions helped to create the situation, even if that does not excuse the people who took advantage of that. That’s reality, and I suggest that everyone start living within it.
Men – ALL men, and that includes all of you reading this – have a responsibility to keep this from happening. It’s your buddies and co-workers and friends of friends who do this, and one of the reasons it keeps happening is that other men are forgiving of it. Be the one to talk about it and make sure your friends know that you, at least, don’t think this is cool at all. That doesn’t mean you need to go start being one of those aggravating male feminists that preaches female issues for all the world to hear in the hopes that it will gain you some female attention, I mean keep the discussion open and take a rational stance. Outrage is all dandy and la-de-dah, but it accomplishes nothing in the long run. Don’t be that guy. Be the guy who makes someone else see a whole fuckton of sense. Also, report anyone who does this, regardless of how close they might be to you. That might be your daughter some day.
Women – Stop playing the game. Every one of you who screams rape because you’re pissed at a guy for not calling you the next day or because you nailed someone you regret or don’t want to admit to while drunk is a traitor to your own kind, and we all know someone who has done this. You are not helpless little girls, you are fully grown adult fucking WOMEN. You make up half the population and a majority of the vote. Learn your power and use it to keep yourselves safe and sane above and beyond simply being the center of attention and sympathy. There is no win in the pity game.
Some people think I’m a feminist and others think I’m anti-feminist just to kick up waves. You’re both wrong. I’m a realist, and I’m tired of blanket outrage and no action or personal responsibility. We all play a part in issues like these, and there is no excuse for this overwhelming lack of basic human decency.
Been at the emergency veterinarian’s office all night long. Mau tanked hard the last few days. They did an ultrasound, and they are “99.99%” sure that he has cancer. I finally came home, he’s still there having some more tests run. It’s probably a waste of money and totally futile, but I at least need to know the real reason behind the looming and almost-definite death of my best friend of 15 years.
The people who know me best will appreciate exactly how badly I’m taking this. All pet owners – at least the good ones – are attached to their pets, and a lot of them consider them family members or even like their own children. It’s always sad when a pet dies, and I’ve been through it before more often than I care to think about. But as with lovers and friends, occasionally you find yourself the grateful recipient of that true unbreakable bond that marks the difference between love and in love, friends and best friends, and that defies definition by simple terms but is easily distinguished by those experiencing it. Mau has been with me through every imaginable strife in this crazy-ass life, and I’ve never once considered him anything so diminutive as my “pet”. He has been my one constant, my one unshakable priority, my grounding point. He’s not just my cat: Mau is the realest nigga in the game, and it’s more like he’s always had my back than anything else.
I’m not a sentimental person by nature. I live in reality with a sharpness that bothers me sometimes and is alternately loathed and respected by other people. When my aunt was dying of cancer, we spoke very frankly about a subject that other people danced around. When my mother died unexpectedly, I considered it the unfortunate outcome of her lifestyle choices. When my ex-husband died in Afghanistan, it fucked me up for awhile but doesn’t bother me anymore because he chose to go EOD and that is a risk he chose to take. So with that same kind of clarity, I’m not going to bullshit myself about my options, here. Mau is 15 years old and chemotherapy is miserable and isn’t likely to improve his quality of life or even extend it for a year. I’m going to let them do every test they know how to in order to verify 100% what’s eating him from the inside, and then I’ll do what I can to extend the period of his life that is worth living for as long as is within my power. But I won’t keep him alive at his expense to make myself feel better. Likewise, I won’t euthanize him just to give myself a way out and spare myself the pain of watching him degrade. I’ll have to make that choice when it feels that the benefits no longer outweigh the suffering, and I trust that I’ll know, and he’ll make sure that I know, when that time comes.
Outside of these principles, I admit that I’m at a loss. I don’t know what my options are. I don’t hold with the idea of letting some doctor put him to sleep in a hospital where he’s stressed and miserable. If it’s possible, I’d prefer to do that myself, at home. But I don’t know if it is, and it’s one of the extremely unpleasant things that I have to find out, now.
Of course, there’s always the .01% chance that they’re wrong, but I think hope is an unnecessarily cruel thing to hold out for. If they’re wrong, wonderful. If they aren’t, I know. I’m not going to torture myself with hoping for the least likely option, but that won’t stop me from providing him with the best possible care for as long as I can. Because of course I will – that’s both my duty and my pleasure.
I just wish I could explain to him what was going on and why he feels so bad and is spending so much time having unpleasant things done to him. But I suppose animals don’t need to make peace with a part of the natural process that they’ve never become strangers to the way we have, so maybe that is okay. I hope it is.
I’m not saying goodbye yet, but thought is there, along with all the tears.
This is my personal blog, on my personal domain, about my personal life. Yes, my private life, parts of which I choose to make public because it is my right to do so. Yay freedom.
It seems like one of you – and I know who, since she’s the only one with my email – forwarded around a completely friendly and innocuous email of mine – a mailing list removal request – which of course included my personal email address tied to this domain. SOMEHOW you managed to make it sound like a big deal and like I was all rude and horrible to you, which I was not. I just don’t want to be a part of your knitting club. The chick who is responsible for initially spreading this around is in a position in which I think it’s reasonable to expect better behavior from her…nothing complicated or advanced, just minor, basic things like the protection of private and privileged information and not spreading rumors and creating unnecessary drama and complications over nothing and maybe not adding me to mailing lists without my fucking permission in the fucking first place.
Let me make one thing abundantly clear: I am unconcerned with your petty drama harping. If this were real life (and I say that because you clearly exist on a different plane of reality than I and most other rational people), I would have absolutely no problem telling you exactly what I think, personally. The ONLY reason I don’t right now is because you would go crying to your husband and try to get my husband in some kind of trouble because your flat ass got burned through your own small minded stupidity of action. What you think of anything – him, me, my site, my life, Jesus, God, the Infinite, Fox News or whatever – concerns me less than zero. The only reason I’m posting this here is because it’ll be funnier this way if the squawking hens you gossiped to visit my site and read it. After all, you came here. I didn’t send it to you. What your Google is nobody’s fault but your own. Pervert.
It may very well be that this broad showed some small restraint and spread these rumors without sharing my email address and domain…but you know, I’m willing to bet that’s not the case. Anyone in a bullshit faux leadership position who is lame and lifeless enough to extrapolate “Hi, can you remove me from this list, please?” into massive drama is in no way going to be able to resist looking up the domain of that email and going “OMG” and sharing it with the rest of the screaming chickens in the coop. I’ll have to watch my logs and see how many visits I start getting from on base in Alaska. (and when I say “logs” I’m not talking about the trees, sweetcakes.)
If you have a problem with something I’ve said, act your age and tell me that – don’t go running around spreading rumors and starting shit. I am the reigning queen of taking shit that people start with me to the umpteenth level, so I suggest that you back to buying wholesale packs of Pop Tarts and defining yourself by the men in your life and leave the intelligent and independent women alone.
(those of you on my Facebook know the story behind this)
What I’m writing here is an attempt to communicate the basis for my current state of mind and the reason that I am having the problems I am with the situation I find myself in. Nothing about my past is a secret; it is neither traumatic for me now, nor is it something I find particularly deserving of accolades. It is what it is and I am what I’ve made of it to the best of my abilities, nothing more and nothing less. Let me be clear on this – my history is not a sensitive spot for me the way it is for many people. Most of the time, I am pretty happy with it because it led me to being as resilient as I am. In other ways, however, I recognize that it’s still a major emotional blockade, especially where it concerns what I view as being weakness in others. Some of you know my story, or at least bits and pieces of it. With that in mind, read on if you’re up for a slog (for a slog it will no doubt be).