Me, Too.

This was the original post, when it came across my Facebook feed:

Me, too

As suggested: “If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote ‘Me too.’ as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.”

 

 

It resonated, deeply.

So I went for it, as did probably a gajillion other women I know and love.

And then…

Look, it’s not as if women are somehow unaware that men are also sexually assaulted and raped. In fact, despite the fact that they are assaulted and raped, most men almost never mention it, even in passing, and despite the fact that MRA-types like to whine about the undeniable fact that things that women experience daily are also occasionally things that can happen to men, women of third-wave feminism are the only ones actually fighting in any material way for protection and services to be available for men who are oppressed in these ways, too. We’re the ones campaigning for male oppression by the system to be recognized. We’re the ones who keep reminding the world that men, too, are victimized and assaulted.

 

But this wasn’t about that.

“Me, Too” was an attempt to show the world just how incredibly pervasive the problem is for women. How it affects pretty much every woman that you, as a man, has ever come into contact with. That it’s your mom, and your sister, and the woman in the Starbucks line-up ahead of you.

“Me, Too” was an attempt to start a conversation about this enormous problem that impacts women disproportionately, and is one of the key foundational weapons used to keep women in a subservient position in the world.

Within minutes, though….the idea that this wasn’t representing men became the topic.

 

You know what subsuming men into the sexual harassment/assault “Me Too” campaign actually did?

It made the men who become victims of sexual assault even more invisible and easier to be ignored, while subverting what was intended to be a very visual statement about women’s oppression into how we didn’t include the male victims.

It’s basically one big distraction move that took the teeth out of the impact — for ALL victims.

What might have been a great way to show just how big that impact is for women, and maybe make some men a little more aware of the problem, has turned into something that men can ignore.

If, however, y’all had waited, and then, once the conversation had gotten going, had your own “I Have” moment (or whatever two words seemed best to you), that impact would probably have been greater, and more powerful for EVERYONE.

Now, the conversation is not about sexual harassment or assault of anyone.

It’s about how women are mean because they didn’t include everybody.

Derailed and ignored, once again.

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Fame from an Unfamous Person’s Viewpoint

I don’t get it.

FAME

I really don’t.

What is it that makes people want to get up close and personal with celebrities? What is it that urges people to collect autographs, or meet, in any way possible, a famous person?

How do they justify interrupting a total stranger’s date-night with their need to tell them what a wonderful, lifelong fan of theirs they are?

Why do they read about these people’s personal habits? Why is it so needful to track every rumour, and devour every paparazzi photo of someone they don’t know’s intimate moments?

It weirds me out.

I mean, I get that you join a Facebook page, and enjoy what an actor, a musician, or a writer says about their work. I even get why when they post about their lives: it’s amusing and heartwarming and fun.

I do actually follow some writers, artists, film-makers, and musicians on Twitter and FB – it’s fun to know what Neil Gaiman thinks about a review of American Gods, or why the writing team of Ilona Andrews’ novels are behind schedule – but those are controlled by the people involved: they tell you as much or as little as they feel comfortable with.

Interviews: sure. The famous person in question can refuse to allow certain kinds of questions, or simply decline to answer.

PR pix – ditto.

Bu think about how you’d feel if someone burst into your room at 6 a.m., snapped a picture of you in your raggedy-ass PJs and messy hair, and then put it up on the public bulletin board at work for everyone to criticize or chuckle over.

Think about going into a performance review and salary negotiation with that as common property, and ask yourself if that isn’t a violation.

People will say that if they didn’t want to live in a media fishbowl, they should have stayed in a dead-end job and out of the public eye – but that’s really the most selfish, obtuse, and unfeeling answer of all.

Would you prefer only self-centred, talentless show-offs to be the creators in this world? Really?

I think it’s really important not to overestimate what people making the art and entertainment you crave actually owe you.

They owe you the very best their talent can provide.

But they don’t owe you one nano-second of their lives outside of that, and expecting more than they are willing to give is unreasonable.

And let’s dig deeper.

What does it say about you, that you want more?

What does it say about you, that you avidly suck up their every action and thought without respect to them as fellow-humans?

What does it say about you, that you are willing to believe the worst of them, that you, in fact, crave visible evidence of their shortcomings splashed across your newsfeed every day?

If a close-up of a zit on Beyonce’s face fills you with ecstatic glee, this says an Encyclopedia Brittanica volume’s worth about you…

And less than nothing about Beyonce.

TODAY ONLY!

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I’m doing the Reader Giveaway Extravaganza.

There are gift cards to be won, as well as lots of other prizes for readers, so check it out here:

https://tinyurl.com/ybf5w7w9

And for a chance to win a “bundle” of both of my fantasy novels in eBook form, drop a word or gif or even just a happy face (or a sad one, I don’t mind) in the comments thingie at the bottom of this post.

comic con image

There will be some form of random draw process (usually, it’s a five-year-old choosing a name from a hat) (not the name OF a hat, that would defeat the purpose) to choose the winner, who I will then contact.

 

Enjoy yourselves, and (for the Canadians) Happy Thanksgiving!

Words are not enough.

coffee

I appreciate the meme going around, where people are telling others that their door is open, that they are there for them when depression and other hardships in life seem to be getting to be too much.

I know you mean it. I know your intention is not only to open up the dialogue, but to offer safety and acceptance to people who are at the edge of the abyss.

But one of the problems with this mental state – the one that pushes people who are in pain to that edge, and over it – is the inability to reach out.

And even when they think they are reaching out, it’s usually not as clearly a sign for “I need help” as you or they think it should be.

So I’m asking all of you to not just copy and paste, but to listen. To read between the lines.

And then, get up off the couch and go to them, whether they outright ask or not.

Don’t wait for them to come to your door.

Because by the time they realize how deep into the abyss they are, they probably won’t be able to do that.

Be active. Be physically present in their lives.

Be there for them.

It could be the difference between life and death.

And then there were none…

free beach

‘On Friday, a woman at my office who I greatly respect came up to me and said, “I think what you are doing is courageous. Many people your age sit in jobs like yours and stay there for years, even when they are visibly miserable. There is a world of opportunity out there and what you’re doing is brilliant.” ‘

 

http://www.okayafrica.com/careers/i-quit-my-job-because-i-didnt-belong-there/

Assumptions:

a) You won’t starve on the streets

b) Your kids won’t starve on the streets

c) That job you quit paid well enough that you saved some money

d) Your parents will pick up your slack.

I find articles like these problematic because they imply that people who are not able (for a variety of reasons including the ones I suggested) to simply quit their jobs are whiners, are cowards, or are in some other way culpable and to be looked down on.

The real guilty party is not merely the people who can do this (by exploiting those not in this enviable position of being able to pick and choose when/where/what they work at) but the system that literally depends on keeping a very sizable majority in place to be exploited.

And IF everyone did this, there would not be a single barista to get you your latte in the morning, or prep your salad at lunch. Your pristine office would be covered in dust and awash from the overflowing waste bin, the fluorescent lights would all be burnt out and unreplaced, and there would be no pick-up of your recyclables.

Who would mind your toddler at daycare?

Who would sweep the streets every day? Who would restock retail outlet shelves…or run the cash register when you wanted to buy something? Would anyone work the graveyard shift at 7-11? Who would clean the Slushie machine?

These are not jobs that people take for the existential fulfillment of life. These are not “careers”. These are the jobs that people take because they need to eat, to pay rent, to keep themselves and their families alive at the barest level of existence.

But all those people out there advising us to “Follow Our Bliss” depend on those jobs being filled – and indeed, bitch mightily to all and sundry when those jobs aren’t done efficiently and to their lofty expectations, and with a goddam smile on the flunky’s face, to boot.

Entitlement…it’s not just for millenials anymore.

YMMV.