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words and phrases…

17 Sep

…that I am tired of hearing people say:

1. “That’s gonna look pimp as hell.” Unless it’s going to look greasy and disgusting and abusive and oppressive, it’s probably not going to look “pimp.” Pimps are people who manipulate, abuse, and terrorize women and then take their money. They are not cool, smart, good looking, bomb, or any other positive identifiers. Please don’t use “pimp” as a word that expresses anything positive.

2. “Calculus raped me.” Nope. No it didn’t. Seriously though, calculus did not sexually abuse you, have sex with you against your will, steal your bodily autonomy, or generally disrupt your emotional and psychological health. It did not make you feel unsafe or targeted because of your gender, race, sexuality, etc. It was just difficult, and you need to get over it. Also, if someone asks or tells you not to  use “rape” in a casual context, you should probably just say okay and move on, instead of asking them questions like “have you been raped?” or “why not?” Those questions are just insensitive.

3. “What a bitch.” I really really really don’t like gendered insults, because they carry meanings which are inherently sexist and stereotypical. This word, in particular, is used by women, men, and others to put women “in their place.” Calling someone a bitch is an almost sure way to make them be quiet, passive, or otherwise unable to feel confident speaking up and out. “Bitch” is also used to degrade a man expressing feminine qualities. Both reasons for using “bitch” are sexist and I find the word highly offensive.

In other news, I taught someone that genderqueer people exist, and what it might mean for someone to be genderqueer.

Al Gore and the sexual assault accusations

20 Jul

See Jaclyn Friedman’s article here. My favorite quotes:

“The truth is, there are hundreds of filthy rich, incredibly famous men, and only a small handful of them have been accused of sexual assault. If inventing a rape accusation were a great way to make money, it would be a lot more popular.”

“Authorities didn’t take the charges seriously? Not surprising: if law enforcement took sexual assault allegations seriously, there wouldn’t be tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of rape kits languishing untested in police labs across the country. No wonder 60 percent of sexual assaults go unreported.”

” Sexual assault is scary. We want to think it could never happen to us or to anyone we love—or committed by anyone we respect. We want it to be easy to stay safe. We want to avoid thinking about our own vulnerability so much that we weave a web of soothing fiction: she wanted it, what did she expect in her line of work, she’s obviously just after his money. And, of course: he’s a really good guy. He would never do something like that.”

AND the clincher:

“What’s more, our fierce attachment to the idea of the obvious monster has the exact opposite of the intended effect: it puts all of us in great danger. Every time we indulge it, we give cover to the actual sexual predators among us: we discourage victims from reporting because we’ve already told them we won’t believe them, and, when charges do get filed, we’ve already encouraged the police, prosecutors, judges and juries to make like we do and find whatever reasons they can to dismiss, diminish and deny justice. All of which means that these guys—these nice-seeming guys in your community—are free to attack again and again. Which, research shows, they do.”