Its been almost a week of media and blogosphere frenzy of rape culture, misogyny and #yesallwomen but #notallmen since the most recent American mass murder last Friday. In case you somehow missed it, a psychopath who refused to take his meds who had some pretty fucked up ideas about people went on a killing spree leaving behind youtube videos explaining it was because of his frustration with women who weren’t attracted to him. He was 22 and never been kissed and we all know what that makes us. That’s right, such a loser.
Maybe you won’t be surprised by that synopsis that I’m of the unpopular opinion that the guy was a bit nuts and that’s unfortunate but we’re getting a bit rabid here. I mean, when people kill in the name of religion we call them extremists but when some nut kills in the name of misogyny we decide the whole culture is misogynistic. Don’t get me wrong, I hate sexism (obviously!), along with all the other isms as well, but something about all of this has just not sat well with me all week long. I know that our culture is actually sexist, I do buy that. Misogynistic, or an actual hatred of women, not so much, but that’s hairsplitting I know. Anyway, I didn’t always believe that society in general was sexist, because I haven’t always felt it. Growing up I didn’t think that being a girl meant I couldn’t be whatever I wanted to be. I didn’t particularly notice anyone think I wasn’t as smart as the boys. It wasn’t until I got older that I noticed and I’m more than willing to admit, it may just be a mature mental faculty thing. But also to tell you the truth that one time some guy grabbed my ass was a lot less damaging than the constant abuse and mental anguish I got from girls, and not just in school, but after then too. More on that later.
And so while I really couldn’t pinpoint why I felt uneasy about all this #yesallwomen stuff I continued to ruminate and think about it, ‘cus that’s how I am. Its not like I don’t absolutely and completely stand behind women who have been raped or told they are less worthy or not given promotions. I totally stand behind the woman who has decided to wear shorts under her dresses because of not just ass grabbing but penetration by unseen hands when she goes out. None of that is OK. But today, when I finally figured out why it was I felt like saying, “oh just shut up already” it felt like an obvious epiphany. One of those thoughts that is always there, everyone knows this but no one is tying it all together.
You know what I wanted to say to the #yesallwomen crowd? I wanted to say “yeah it really sucks when people are crap to you because you don’t fit into their worldview of what people should be like doesn’t it?” Maybe it’s because I never really felt like I fit into any group of people that I can’t quite get behind this movement, because all it’s really doing is dividing people further. #notallmen discriminate against women, #notallwhites discriminate against blacks and other minority races, #notallmiddleclasspeople discriminate against the working class and #notallnormalweight people discriminate against fat people, but like John Scalzi says we all do really. I reblogged his post for a reason, it’s worth the read, go for it now.
I’ve been discriminated against for all sorts of nontraditional reasons. Basically I’m weird and people don’t like it. #notallnormalpeople are assholes to introverted, geeky creative types but you know what? A damn lot of you are. The fact that we need to face up to is that humans in this western society (and who am I kidding WHAT society is different) loves a pecking order. Its a bit more subtle once you’re out of school but that’s because kids have immature growing brains and haven’t figured out subtlety yet. We all like to rail against bullying but you know what?
They learn it by watching us.
Kids learn from modelling not from lectures and every time you have something to say under your breath (or not) about that fat kid, or that grubby looking couple or that girl in the weird outfit they get the lesson that people not like us are not worthy. You don’t even have to go that far. Every time you talk about how fat you look or how awful you look so you can’t go out and be seen you’re setting the exact same example. Obviously some people are worse than others. Some go as far as to talk down to minorities or people of a different class, or indeed, women (or men) or gays (the list goes on and on doesn’t it?) I haven’t spoken much about my disdain for pink and frilly baby girl clothes and toys (as well as the blue and browns, trucks and trains for boys). Other people have done a far better job anyway. Suffice it to say we freaking love to have a neat little category to put everyone in so we know where we all stand with each other (cluck! cluck! cluck!) and if they don’t fit it well we don’t like that one bit.
So this is where I’m going with this, it’s not that I’m pro-misogyny or anything, in fact I’m anti-isms in total. Can we please just stop with the sorting game and let everyone just BE!?