Men Steal Energy

I’m watching Walking Dead, and the Governor is portrayed as a loving father despite being violent, abusive, and a mass murderer. Men are valorized for being “good fathers” even though they often only play the part of the “fun parent” and treat the mother of their children like shit, withhold financial assistance, and expect day-to-day caregiving to be the responsibility of the mother – this is only in cases where abuse is not present. Even when abuse is present, some will argue in favor of the man being a “good father” despite being an abusive partner.

Men steal energy from young women which is why they prefer them to comparatively older, mature, practical, and realistic women. Children provide similar naive energy that men can exploit. Young naive women and children are joyful regardless of circumstances and extremely forgiving. In this way, men do not have to be held accountable for their actions or modify anything about their behavior and can just continue with their problematic patterns while experiencing unconditional love.

This is the result of boys being coddled emotionally by expecting others (namely female family members) to accommodate and manage boys’ emotions. Boys are also permitted to engage in frivolous play while girls’ play is really practice for domestic labor, if not actual domestic labor. When these children grow into adults, women themselves will defend men who contribute nothing to the household, childcare, finances, or emotional labor of the family by justifying them as “good fathers” despite their many flaws. The result for women is exhaustion, illness, and a lifetime of suffering in a futile effort to protect exploitative men.

Western Masculinity: A Lesson in Masculine Traits

When talking to men, it is extremely difficult to know if what they say is the truth, distorted truth, exaggerated truth, truth minus some crucial details, or just a straight lie. At the same time, we associate communication skills and being detail-orientated as traits more common to women. Why the disparity?

Young boys are encouraged to engage in play that promotes leadership skills, decision-making, and risky behavior while girls are encouraged to engage in play that promotes caregiving, building relationships, and maintaining relationships by managing others’ emotions. As adults, men learn that the decisions they make are based on what is best for themselves regardless of how those around them may feel (think about the lack of concern for others’ emotions when engaging in risky behavior), and women learn that their decisions should be based on the emotions and responses of others around them.

If we consider the function of games we can see how masculinity is constructed. Some anthropologists argue that games are play that prepares group members for war. Games can be strategic that involve planning and anticipation. Depending on the game you may need to rely on collective efforts with other group members to ensure success in the game. Games also teach being able to perform under pressure and in front of spectators.

From the feminist perspective, games teach gendered traits. For example, we can consider the game of poker – a highly masculine game. This game includes strategy and planning, but also lying and manipulation. Yet, within the context of the game itself, these traits are acceptable and highly valued as “skill.” Other games like American football involve deception, aggression, and physical violence – traits that are considered conventionally masculine, acceptable in certain contexts, and, ultimately, necessary for the game. Given that these are the behaviors encouraged in young boys, there should be minimal confusion as to why adult men exaggerate their sense of self, place their perceptions of self as in competition with others, and portray themselves as better than others.

When listening to the things men say about themselves, I am consistently appalled at the gross amounts of confidence men possess. For example, one man I know of was telling me about how he went to see a trainer because he had plateaued in his fitness routine. According to this man, his trainer’s feedback was that “his shoulders are *SO* strong that his other muscles do not have a chance to work.” As someone who works in fitness, I feel that if I had a similar issue, I would probably phrase this quite differently such as “the other muscles in my back are not engaging” which would actually be a more accurate description of the issue. Instead, in man speak, it is important to emphasize the strength of his own shoulders rather than to say his other muscles are not engaging which might compromise his inflated self-image.

This same man also explained an interaction he had with a reiki master who insisted that there was nothing wrong with him, that he had great energy, and that he was “perfect” the way he was and there was nothing for her to work on. <– Not an exaggeration! Now, as much as I’d like to believe that such a perfect man exists, I also feel like there is always something that every single human could always work on/improve.

Another male that I know of recently explained to me that he wants to “attract excellence” for his next girlfriend which he also hopes will be his future wife and the mother of his children. To attract said excellence, he has purchased a nice single-family home, is focusing on his career, and taking steps to improve himself by being mindful of how he treats others. These are all laudable accomplishments, yet this man also explained that he wanted be someone who made others jealous by how well he treated his partner. And that, in fact, another woman had told him while he was with his most recent ex-girlfriend, that she was jealous of how well he treated girlfriend. In my reality, I would never feel jealous of how another man treats a woman because, again, you never know if what you see/hear is true. Men are masters at inflating images of their self and communicating these images to others with great skill, confidence, persistence, and persuasion that others will also believe what they say regardless of whether these claimed traits are true or not.

My last example involves an ex-boyfriend of mine who was convinced that other people made their life decisions around the impact he had had in their lives. He told me stories about others who got jobs, moved to new places, went to school as a result of his direct involvement in their lives. Again, as much as I would like to believe in the grandness and perfection of this human male, I feel that these are probably highly exaggerated stories that are, in no way, grounded in reality. This man was incredible controlling, abusive, and addicted to drama and never had enough validation to feed his ego. I hate to take a Freudian turn, but this man also told me that his mother would always tell him that he was “special” and had a “gift” for helping and healing people. Unfortunately, I felt that this “gift” was completely obscured by the dysfunction and abuse in the relationship.

I would argue that human males are socialized as boys to believe that they are “special” and “unique” and these perceptions of self become even stronger when they play as “leaders” or engage in activities that promote competition. Furthermore, Western individualism is grounded specifically in masculinity. Western culture values individualism as a trait that represents physical and mental strength, stamina, persistence, competitiveness – traits that are conventionally masculine. Masculinity is preserved because femininity also promotes the emotional support and emotional management that women provide in relationships with others. In order to uphold mens’ exaggerated selves, women also need to participate in these delusions. We see women offering validation and mother-like support to preserve male egos. Both masculinity and femininity work together to prevent disruptions in mens’ perceptions of self.

Third Worlds: White Peoples’ Escape

To start, I am ambivalent about my use of First/Third World language as we now use Global North/South to refer to the economic and social power disparities. However, I still consider First/Third World to be highly relevant. I think the numerical implications express the hierarchy of what is valued in a globalized society. While variances exist among the individuals, or even aggregates of individuals, within a globalized society, systemically, there is a clear hierarchal power structure that places the First World/West/Global North at the top, and everyone else at the bottom.

I am also partial to the use of the word “world” rather than the geographical identification of North/South. Often, we hear white Westerners talk about places largely inhabited by people of color as “being in another world.” Even within our own country, this phrase is used to further marginalized “others” by declaring their living conditions as “other worldly.” Spaces such as reservations or Compton – “it’s like being in another world.”

I am not arguing that any particular phrasing used to discuss geography and power disparities is right or wrong – I find all of the language used to describe these disparities problematic as they are grounded in arbitrary social constructs designed to maintain power over “others.” Simply based on the following experience, I found “Third World” to be the most relevant language.

I was at the gym today stretching in one of the fitness studios after class. A white man walks in with little self-awareness or consideration for others talking loudly on his phone even though the room was silent and there were only four women in the studio.

When he got off of his phone, a white women who was doing her exercises started talking to this man about work and her own personal life. She explained that she is on a two-month sabbatical from her job because she couldn’t handle the “rat race” and needed a break. The white man she was talking to suggested that she go to Bali on her break.

This white woman then went on to explain how her friend who had a master’s degree in journalism quit her job and moved to Costa Rica. This friend’s parents couldn’t understand why their daughter wanted to quit her job to serve drinks but this friend, evidently, has never been happier. As I listened to this story between two white people talking about their careers and how financially well-off they are without working, I felt so resentful at their privilege and lack of awareness of their privilege.

Many white people talk about Third World countries as little escapes from “real life,” the “real world,” “real work.” They have the mobility to casually move around from place to place with no commitment while also maintaining the same Western luxuries that they are accustomed to. Furthermore, they get to enjoy their Western white privilege wherever they go.

If a white person quits their job because they need a less stressful life, they might move to a Third World country and almost be praised for their willingness to sacrifice their grand Western status to slum it with poor brown and black people. As if these personal choices made for their own personal benefit are something admirable.

At the same time that the West romanticizes, although more accurately fetishizes, “other” places in the Third World, the West also clings tightly to racist ideologies and imposes “advancement,” “progress,” and “development” onto Third World peoples who are portrayed as obviously unable to organize and subsist without Western intervention. At the same time that white Westerners go to the Third World to “escape” their “real life” in the West, they exploit nations and peoples for cheap tourism, entertainment, and labor.

So as I listened to these two people engage in their fetishization of “other worldly” places to find respite for the stress of Western life, their contradictions were apparent. While white Westerners can enjoy their financial and geographic mobility as “leisure,” many in the Third World are moving around the globe just to survive.

Sexism Isn’t Dead: A Graduate-Level Conversation

In our class discussion tonight on feminist anthropology, I was sadly confronted with blatant ignorance and bias among graduate-level anthropology students.

I will begin with some observations in classes on feminism, women’s studies, and, I can now say, feminist anthropology. Whenever texts are introduced that are written by women and about women, students seem to interpret discussions on these texts as an opportunity to completely disregard the scholarly work presented and substitute a productive discussion about theory and application of the material with their own personal experiences. While feminist work is heavily grounded in personal experience, this does not mean that feminist scholars do not put in the same work, effort, and research into their arguments as other more traditional scholars.

One white male stated when referring to the rewards of caregiving, “we cannot deny that our biology influences our behaviors.” Surely, I can only assume he feels this way about caregiving given that he does not gestate, birth, or nurse human beings with his own body. Therefore, his valoration of caregiving cannot be considered a serious claim given the disparities in his gendered socialization and his inability to grow, produce, and sustain human life. (I will also add that I am not devaluing caregiving, but I think it is easier for males to place caregiving on a pedestal since they are not expected to perform these duties and often receive excess praise when they do. At the same time, women are assumed to be caregivers for free and are frequently chastised for not meeting the standards of perfection.)

Despite overwhelming evidence that women are, in fact, marginalized at all levels of society, another white male offered the fact that women get three months of maternity leave while men only get one week and a half of paternity leave in his organization as “evidence” that women are actually “favored.” Again, the disparity in the actual experiences of the process of creating and sustaining a human life are evident. Given that women’s bodies go through extensive and rapid changes during pregnancy and after birth, it is absurd that women are expected to leave their child and return to work within three months. If a mother wants to return to work within that time frame, they should make that choice. If a mother wants to remain at home, then she should also be able to make that choice without being punished by an employer, colleagues, or anyone else.

Additionally, research shows that, still, women perform most of the caregiving duties at home and perform most of the domestic labor regardless of work status. In our capitalist society where labor is tied to capital, women’s labor remains largely invisible and expected for free. However, among these males, who I am sure would argue that they value “logic” and “reason,” are in no way swayed in their thinking regardless of the infinite number of studies that demonstrate the marginalization of women.

Now, feminism is complicated, so we cannot also assume a solidarity among other women. One white female student noted that a lawyer she knows gave women lots of opportunities to work full-time but the women simply don’t want to. These women, she claims, want to work part-time and they have “good salaries” and so how can we fault these women and tell them that they should want a full-time career “just to fill a quota.” To which I responded, no one is saying that all women should want a competitive career, but the women who do should have the opportunity to pursue one. Again, despite overwhelming evidence that women are less likely to receive promotions and pay increases, more likely to take on additional unpaid administrative and emotional support roles, and more likely to be pushed into part-time work (many who do not do this out of choice), these basic stereotypes about women remain persistent.

I was saddened because I had hoped that people who were graduate students and who pursued a relatively “progressive” field such as anthropology would be somewhat more flexible in their thinking and open to other perspectives that do not conform to the standard white, hetero, cis, male narratives that are pervasive through every discipline except for women’s studies (which I would argue that, although women’s studies is not male-dominated, it is very much so masculine). Yet these basic assumptions about sex and gender that feminists have fought so hard to dispel are clearly still, not only pervasive, but insidious. And when these graduate students were confronted with material that challenged their limited worldviews, they reacted with strong resistance.

The only other texts by women in the course were by Mead and Benedict which were also met with strong resistance. As problematic as some of their claims may be, I did not see such a strong reaction when we discussed blatantly racist and sexist material written by white men. So I can only assume that this is pure sexism. That when students immediately disregard any validity of a text with a woman’s name or the word “feminist” in it, leads me to conclude that this is nothing more than sexism.

I have tried to distance myself from feminism because of the emotional toll it has on me and have tried not to feel so passionately about feminism. But I will be honest and say that I was extremely disappointed and hurt by the discussion. I am saddened by the strong resistance to feminism and the even stronger attachment to the devaluation and disregard of women, their experiences, and their struggles in society. Education level is clearly not an indicator of one’s ability to view women as equals.

 

Thoughts and feelings: on the verge of rapid global change

I wrote the following a few days after the inauguration.  I did not post it at the time, but have decided to now since the sentiments are still valid.  Given that it has only been one month since the inauguration, for those of us who are concerned with social justice and feel a general sense of compassion for living beings, it feels like eternity.

This is how I feel and have been feeling about the unknown political landscape.  I had tried to stay away from NPR, I do not have cable so I do not watch news, I get my news from feminist sites on social media which I have also been avoiding.  I have tried to isolate myself from the changes that are stirring in our country and all over the globe, but I still find myself overwhelmed with fear.

I think about our feminist foremothers and what they must have endured for basic human dignity and how easily that can and very well may be taken away from women.  On a personal level, I think about what I endured for basic human dignity and I refuse to live as I did before.  I will not do it.

Consequently, I find myself plagued with anticipation about what might come.  Because the future is unknown, I do not find it particularly beneficial to consume myself with what may or may not happen, but the future comes on its own and the future is nearly here bringing in the next leader of our country.

Fears:

I am very fearful of the time of conservatism we are about to enter into with Donald fucking Trump as our new president.

I saw on the TV at the gym that congress voted to begin the repeal of Obamacare – ostensibly, they will not get rid of Obamacare without a replacement, but it is frightening to think that things might be the same or worse than they were before.

My mom was sick with cancer for many years, and I think about how much she had to pay for treatment and how difficult and stressful it was when she was already sick and had to deal with doctors, insurance companies, state insurance, copays, deductibles, “pre-existing conditions” stipulations.

It’s so horrible to think about how it was before and to think that I may end up going through the same.  My only hope is that this era of conservatism will propel us into a time of social justice/activism/change and that Trump will only be in office for four years.  That is not to say that activism is not happening now, but hopefully the people who are complacent in their idleness and ignorance right now will be moved to take action in the near future.

Trump has had so much support and has built a team of people around him who will bring us into a fascist state.  Stating these facts is not just a tactic to build fear.  The fear is real and increasing in those of us who are marginalized in society.

NPR reported that Trump’s approval rating is only at 37%.  Do these polls matter?  What matters more is who is in that 37%.  Who has the social power to make someone with such low approval ratings secure the most powerful leadership position in the world?

In a class last semester, someone discussed in their presentation about a culture of “non-truths”.  This is how politics will manifest moving forward.  We will just have to assume that anything communicated to us from the president or anyone he has approved to hold office is likely making statements that are in no way evidence-based.

As a woman, I am fearful that I may have no more reproductive rights.  I am fearful that men will see that our President, a global world leader, sexually assaulted women and will get away with it — and that is only what we know of, which it is likely he has probably done much worse.

As women, we are not safe in public and we definitely also are not safe at home.  Where, then, should we go to feel safe and have a minute of peace of mind?

I am fearful that I will have to live the way I did before — hating everyone and everything because I may be suppressed in every aspect of my life — the life I thought I had escaped from.

I am fearful that if I were to get married, maybe my husband would feel entitled to me and my body and my children’s bodies — since society gives him that entitlement — maybe I will have no way to escape.

I do not think these are unreasonable or unrealistic fears.  This is what has been and continues to be and now we have a world leader saying it is ok to treat human beings poorly — that women are ornaments and sex toys and replaceable/disposable — that violence is how we demonstrate power and dominance over others.  This can apply to people and/or nations — doesn’t really matter.

I hear about how much we will expand our military — how many lives will this destroy?  How many lives should we feel ok about destroying “over there” and here at home?

I see vets and they are fucked in the head.  Many are people who had hard lives or needed ways “out” of their living situation and the military offered that to them (although, the military also targeted them).  Then the resocialization process of the military fucks them in the head in new ways.

It’s so painful to see these people’s lives destroyed — and that’s just here where some vets can at least get an education and have homes.  How much more pain do we cause to the people “over there”?

All of the “others” we literally blow to pieces — we destroy their homes and families and any sense of security they may still be clinging on to.

How horrible that people want to do more of this? and cheer and chant and clap their hands in support of murder on a mass scale.

Even if we don’t “kill” these “others” until they are actually physically dead, we destroy their lives and spirits and then hate them for it.  We confine them to refugee camps and let them suffer and we can see that they suffer but instead of seeing “them” as humans, we want them to suffer.  We say they deserve it.

I have two students from Iran.  We held an info session with an immigration attorney to talk about CPT/OPT paperwork.  They were advised not to leave this country.  They started our program late because Iran would not let them out, and now there are trapped in.  They do not know the next time they will see their families.  I started crying and went to the restroom because I was overwhelmed by their obvious worry.  I kept looking at my students and they are not terrorists, they are not bad human beings at all.  One of them cares more about his skinny jeans and hipster hair more than anything.  The other student from Iran caught me on the way out and asked if I was ok.  I started crying again and told her how sorry I was that she had to experience this.  I saw how hard it was for my family to be divided.  For seven years, my uncle, his wife, and his daughter were in three different countries — only one example among many I saw, and one example that turned out well since they were reunited, many others never have that opportunity.  How horrible is it that we divide up land and people and families over invisible lines that were created by men.  My student told me that Iran was in a good place until “that crazy president came in” (Ahmadinejad), and that their country never bounced back after that.  That is the trajectory we are on here in the US.

I feel saddened and do not feel that there is any comforting way to address what is and will be happening in our country.

I’m sorry for being sorry: the devaluation of feminine traits

I’ve recently been seeing a lot of articles in my Facebook feed about how women need to stop saying “sorry.”

On one hand, I understand the push for women to stop apologizing for existing.  In a male-dominated society, men feel entitled to physical, mental, and emotional space, and women are expected to accommodate for that.  Women are so fearful to offend these men, that they feel compelled to constantly apologize for any discomfort or unease they may have caused.

Additionally, in order to be successful in a male-dominated society, women have to pander to the male ego and apologize for any misstep whether actualized or merely perceived.  We teach ourselves, in order to be labeled a “bitch,” to apologize for things that men do all the time — interrupting, talking loudly, bumping into someone, taking up space while sitting on a bench.

On the other hand, to be truly competitive and to get into these male-only spaces of higher level leadership, it is necessary for women to adopt masculine traits.  As a result, women are now being told that constantly apologizing for their behavior is a negative thing.  We do not want to be perceived as weak or easily intimidated or lacking strong leadership abilities — essentially, we should not be apologizing for doing the things that society has told we should do our entire lives, we should apologize for being women.

What I find problematic about being sorry for being sorry is that I do not really see what is so wrong with being sorry.  We consider it a negative thing because we devalue femininity and women and apologizing is a feminine trait.  If I interrupt someone, that is rude, I should say sorry to acknowledge that I interrupted and will let the other person continue.  However, because men will statistically interrupt more often and women will statistically apologize and back down more often, it is not in my best interest as a woman to do those things.

What is ideal, though, is that instead of women feeling compelled to adopt masculine traits, men should adopt feminine traits.  How nice would it be if I sat down at a bench at the doctor’s office and a man saw that I had little space, closed his legs, and said “Sorry, do you have enough room?”  I would greatly appreciate if, instead of cutting me off when I speak and shouting at me, men would apologize and stop talking while I finish my point.  Are these things inherently bad?  Or do we consider apologetic behavior simply because women are generally the ones who do it?

Rather than assimilating us all to adhere to masculine traits so we can fit into male-defined concepts of “success,” it is more reasonable to say that men should adopt feminine traits.  As caregivers, we are socialized to be kind, gentle, quiet, accommodating.  Just because patriarchy insists that we need a dichotomy of feminine/masculine to compliment each other does not mean it is true.  It is possible to have a society where people are just kind and caring and open to accommodating for other people without having to juxtapose femininity against the “Subject,” masculinity.

Josh Duggar is a child molester, but Jesus forgave him

FUCK men’s religion(s).

Within the patriarchy exists a number of institutions designed to maintain male privilege and access to women’s bodies.  Religion is one such institution.

The religions that currently exist are ALL male-created and -defined because the spiritual practices that valued women have been obliterated from human pre/history.  The patriarchy is so pervasive and effective that knowledge of traditions that cultivated relatively egalitarian societies has been expelled from any sort of record.  There are efforts of reclamation, and certainly the feminism I identify with places an emphasis on reclaiming women’s knowledge and spirituality, but the practices and texts are certainly nowhere near as centralized and institutionalized as men’s religions.

Apparently, Josh Duggar from 19 Kids and Counting on TLC (which apparently considers women nothing more than breeders for men’s offspring), has admitted to molesting girls when he was a teenager but Jesus came into his life and forgave him and so now we’re all good and everyone else should forgive him too.  What really pisses me off is that he is quoted as saying, “I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life,” reflecting the blatant selfishness of pedophiles.  Who gives a fuck about his life being ruined?  I sure as fuck don’t — I care about the girls he molested, including some of his sisters, and the fact that this ONE person has the ability to ruin the lives of MULTIPLE human beings.

These girls will have to live everyday with this trauma, navigate through life trying to understand what it means to be in a healthy relationship, and possibly grow up hating their bodies.  They might struggle with depression and anxiety or might act out in hypersexual ways — also from a lack of knowing healthy sexual relationships.  According to Duggar’s statement he and the girls he molested all went to therapy which may or may not help these girls deal with their trauma.  So because of the selfish acts of this man, these girls had to go through the male-defined and -controlled medicalization of the mental health field at an early age.

Boys and men grow up in these environments where they are taught that it is ok to sexualize and exploit girls and women but if you get too crazy with it (or caught), it’s ok because Jesus will come into your life and forgive you.

Jesus does not exist.  God does not exist.  These are male-created justifications for exploiting others and destroying our Mother Earth.  God did not write the bible, men did.  And the authors of the bible were not good people either.  They were man whores and violent, greedy, murderers and yet we are expected to overlook their discrepancies so people will overlook the horrible things men do in real life as well.

So fuck men’s religions and fuck Josh Duggar for thinking that he is forgiven.  He is not — what he has done to these girls will be carried with them the rest of their lives.

 

Review: Mad Max

I am going to write my review on the movie Mad Max:  Fury Road even though I know there is already a lot of discourse about it.  However, I rarely see movies and happened to see this one so I actually have some pop culture knowledge that is relevant to this moment in history..and I do mean HIStory.

1.  Mad Max:  Fury Road or Furiosa:  Fury Road?

I’ll begin my feminist critique with what I feel is the most obvious of the absurdities of this film, and that is why the fuck is this movie called “Mad Max” and not “Furiosa”?  Max has no significant role or purpose or presence in this film except that he offers Furiosa a hand every once in a while, although he certainly is not the (s)hero of this cinematic masterpiece.

2.  Furiosa the Matron

Apparently, the MRAs are upset with this movie because of the strong female lead in this movie, but they can sleep tonight knowing that the patriarchy is alive and well — including in this film.  This movie was actually really depressing because while Charlize Theron’s character is clearly the lead, she also takes on a “matronly” role to the wives and to Max as well.

The wives are a group of five women who are essentially the sex slaves of some fat fuck leader of the Citadel.  I don’t really know the specifics because the movie itself does not go into detail about who these women are or where they came from, their main purpose is to satisfy the male gaze.

After a long elaborate vehicle chase, violence, and a dust storm frenzy, Furiosa escapes the Citadel with the five wives as does Max only to find the wives who are all tall, thin, infantile women who look like runway models wearing small pieces of sheer white fabric dousing themselves with water..conveniently enough.  Unsurprisingly, the wives really have a minimally active role with few lines and are the reason for all the violence between the leader (whatever the fuck his official title is) and Furiosa.  Implied here is that men are willing to fight and destroy all of their resources for women.  Assuming men actually do destroy all of their resources for women, it is not the women they are protecting, it is their property and their entitlement to women’s bodies as their property.  Furiosa’s role, then, is to liberate the wives, who are so invalid that they cannot liberate themselves and have to depend on Furiosa wholly to escape.

3.  Charlize Theron the Matron

There is a difference.  Furiosa is the character, Charlize Theron is the actor and they get two sections to point to the significance of casting Charlize Theron as Furiosa.

At some point in her past career, Charlize Theron would have been cast as one of the tall, thin, childlike wives.  But because she is now older according to media/Hollywood definitions, she is cast into a mothering role to the younger women and to the lead male in the film.  Furiosa concocts the plans to escape, she delegates duties, she is highly respected and valorized by the wives and by Max as well.  She is the firm hand that makes everything possible in this makeshift family.  Furiosa is the mother, Max the father, and the wives are their children to protect and care for.

4.  Cock fights

Walking out of the theater, you feel as if you had just witnessed two full hours of a major cluster fuck of large vehicles, large men, a fucking guitar player that never seems to fucking die (why he even exists is beyond me), and some ugly as fuck male leaders all participating in a major fucking cock fight where everyone loses.

This movie will bombard you with so much shit simultaneously it’s hard to even comprehend how it made it through whatever the governing bodies of movie approval and release are.  The perpetuation of hypermasculinity and violence against women is integral to the film and is why I am certain that all the rednecks loved it.

Here is my critique.  I am not willing to waste any more time on this discussion.  I can’t believe I paid money to see this.  Fml.

The past is the present: legacies of violence against women

I had a dream yesterday morning that I was at my grandma’s house, where a lot of bad things happened when I was a child, and in my dream the neighbors and their friends were trying to break in and rape me.

Because of my experiences I am always on edge and fearful of my safety and worry about what will happen next.  It’s not just something anyone is scared of, it is because I am a woman that I constantly fear what men will do to me, and this fear permeates all aspects of my life as it does for many women.

I woke up upset and sad and angry that I am having dreams like this.  These traumas of childhood are not something that are isolated to a specific time frame and then go away.  It pisses me off when people say that “everybody has a story”, “everybody has shit from their past”, “you can’t let things that happened 20 years ago weigh you down”.  I don’t fucking care because it’s not true that everybody has bad shit in their past and it doesn’t change how I feel.  There are, in fact, people who are “well-adjusted” and ostensibly happy who have not experienced trauma.  They aren’t having nightmares about sick shit like this.

Additionally, I think it is perfectly fine for people to hang on to things that happened 20 years ago.  Why should I suddenly stop being angry about things in the past?  What happened in the past has affected me, my relationships, and still affects my *current* mental, emotional, and physical health.  I have a right to be angry so fuck people who tell me to let go.