You know what I don’t get enough of?? Harassment. JUST KIDDING.
As a radical feminist who rejects normative standards/ideals of femininity and has spent the last two years creating their own definition of queer woman-personhood? I’ve gotten quite a share. It’s been a really interesting experience in terms of facing one’s own privilege and attempting to reject what pieces you can, etc. and lemme tell ya - as a former henchperson of the right-wing, I used to do that whole “woman” thang RIGHT. The constant feeling of discomfort aside, I was really good at being white and embodying features of ideal womanhood. I did it so right, in fact, that I blended right in – I never made anyone the slightest bit uncomfortable.
I guess that has changed now. I think that I honestly believed, at the time, that it wouldn’t make a difference, ya know? Like…how I looked on the outside wouldn’t – COULDN’T – possibly ever affect how I was treated by others. But I noticed the difference right away. I had no choice. Mostly because I was suddenly being SCREAMED at by drunken college-aged men on Franklin st., but also because of the staring, the oddly frequent AUDIBLE questioning of my gender/sex by perfect strangers at bars, etc.
*NOTE: I am never upset by children who do this. It is the sweetest, most innocent questioning of their little realities, and is never malicious. Even when it’s just a statement – like the innocuous “you look like Justin Beiber – I have a Justin Beiber toothbrush!” that I got last week. I love it. Teachable moments, y’all.
So that was one way I challenged myself and the powers that be, but what accompanied that physical change was obviously (I hope this is obvious…) something greater happening within my dome piece – that lovely sack of membranes known to us as “the brain.” So changing my physical body was a visible piece of resistance – it made people uncomfortable and causes tension to this day, elicits interesting responses, and in general makes particular kinds of people feel suddenly entitled to an opinion about my body practices.
But the more awesome thing here is that brainy change…that interest in challenging people’s conceptions, to whatever degree of civility, as resistance. That sudden (or was it gradual? I have no idea who I was then anymore…) need to call out sexist and racist and classist BULL SHIT on the spot. That point when my fear of confrontation and of my own overwhelming anger were pushed aside for the sake of something bigger. And OH the responses. OH the depravity that a few words rubbing against their finely woven grain can inspire!!!
SO what this was all leading up to is perhaps a bit anti-climactic but nonetheless rage inspiring and I wanted/HAD to share it with someone lest I EXPLODE. It’s that time of the semester. SO – in the name of the awesomely bad ass Hildur Lilliendahl, I present to you, my experience the other day. Double click or triple click or something to enlarge, and then feast your eyes. The first red circle is the message to which I was responding – DON’T ASK WHY – I am not sure why I would feed so many trolls at once! Either way. The exchange went like so, I have blocked the names of those who weren’t involved.
The second red circle serves as a reminder to us all (because we needed one) that people like HIM exist in this world.
And the third red circle…well…
SPOILER ALERT: I won a veiled rape threat.
SO for those of you who do not know, Hildur Lilliendahl is an Icelandic feminist who has gained a certain level of infamy in the woman-hating circles for her screen shots of their misogynistic comments – LITERAL WOMAN HATE – that she collected in a facebook album for the world to see. After receiving death threats and continued harassment, facebook chose to do the right thing and disabled HER account. Excellent. She has moved the album to this tumblr http://karlarsemhatakonur.tumblr.com/ if you are interested in taking a look. It is mostly in Icelandic, but you know how to operate the google translate.
I write this particular post with Hildur in mind. I reported those scum buckets for their harmful/harassing/creepy as shit comments, but the truth is that this sort of behavior is terrifyingly common and there is no real recourse for those targeted by said scum buckets (the joys of anonymity!) Instead, people like Hildur and the women who admin the Uprising of Women in the Arab World (http://www.facebook.com/intifadat.almar2a) are censored and punished for their actions while groups that exist solely to “joke” about inciting violence against sexually active women or raping their girlfriends while they sleep are protected as free speech. Feminists never want anyone to have any fun.
At any rate – that’s my share for the day.
READ THIS GREAT ARTICLE: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2012/11/does-facebook-hate-all-women-or-just-feminists/