aquila_black: Grell, smiling. He looks almost sane and put-together, here. Colorful, but not out of control. (Grell: Happy)
( Sep. 25th, 2014 09:48 pm)


[Cut for length.]

I’ve always been told that misogynistic abuse from strangers is something that happens to all women [...]

In some ways, I’m grateful that I seem to have been “spared”…but I’m also confused. Because, since I know this happens to all women, has been that street harassers, dick pic dudes, etc. don’t perceive me as a woman. And that doesn’t seem to make sense either. While I’m certainly not “traditionally feminine,” I don’t typically pass as masculine-of-center unless I really try to. And so it’s always left me with this feeling of, like…apparently, I’m so ugly/unappealing/worthless that I don’t even deserve street harassment. And that’s a fucked up way to feel. Especially because I’ve always felt so alone in it.

Anyway, I guess my point is just that it really helped me to hear a) that I’m not the only woman who doesn’t experience this and b) some helpful critical analysis about what might be going on with that. Thanks. <3

I think there are plenty of women who don't experience street harassment. I've never been mistreated in the ways that the comments you were responding to talked about, either. I went through a scary period when I was just hitting adolescence, somewhere between 13 and 14, when men were bothering me and paying a lot of uncomfortable attention to the fact that I was becoming an adult woman. With the ... skinny and the curves and shit. Then I got mild acne. I can't swear to the fact that it filters out guys who are are just going by what I look like, but I had to deal with random, I-like-the-look-of-you based hassles for less than one year. (And that was long before fucking me would have been remotely legal.) I'm still skinny and curvy. I can't tell for sure what it is about me that makes me not get street harassed, but I'm a lot older now and it's never been a problem. Unless you're counting that one, short window of yuck. 

The idea that a problem is only a real problem because it happens to all women is innately flawed. It's rooted in the invalidation of women. We should be arguing that women have this problem, and just as a result of that, it's worth taking seriously. I don't care if it's only happening to conventionally attractive women, or even women who wear makeup and skirts. It needs to stop. The relevant question is how do we create a world where all people are treated with respect and can be comfortable in their skins? How do we create sufficiently serious social consequences for being an entitled dick that guys cut that out? And I also think we need to lay it at the feet of mainstream feminism that, with as long as it's had to address street harassment, that problem has lingered decade after decade. 




Animal welfare is the biggest bullshit ever.
Animal rights is the way to go. 
No ‘bigger cages’, no ‘free range’ or ‘organic’. It’s all part of the same exploitative system.
Animals are not products.
Animals have a right to live.
Animals are not ours to use or buy.

Human welfare is the biggest bullshit ever.

Human rights is the way to go.

No ‘bigger cages’, no ‘open borders’ or ‘higher wages’. It’s all part of the same exploitative system.
Humans are not ‘workers’.
Humans have a right to live.

Humans are not ours to use or buy.

Relevant to Maymay's observation that humans are animals. With a toxic superiority complex dating back to Aristotle. I forget to say that because it seems so completely obvious. But human liberation = animal liberation. These ideologies need to go together. Unquietpirate reblogged an excellent post explaining how that works. To wit:


As long as it is considered acceptable to ignore the interests of others based on such an arbitrary distinction [perceived humanness], it will always be possible to define and mold the hierarchy to include or exclude others based on the interests of those with the most power. In other words, the problem isn’t that some people mistakenly fall into a lower level of the hierarchy than they deserve, the problem is that the hierarchy exists.

And just to be clear, the distinction is arbitrary. Humans, after all, are animals. Because of this, humans often act and look like animals. If all it takes to have your interests become worthless is to be labelled as “animal”, then the only thing that those in power need to do in order exclude you from moral consideration is to point at the ways in which you are like an animal. And they are guaranteed to find them. This happens all of the time. It is why people in marginalized groups often become, understandably, upset when some vegans make comparisons between them and non human animals. They are well aware of how arbitrary and tenuous their classification as “human” is. And yet, on the other side, when trying to explain to vegans why the interests of animals shouldn’t matter, people are incapable of presenting a distinction that doesn’t also exclude some of the already most marginalized humans.

We cannot simply keep fighting to make sure that those who we have arbitrarily decided are deserving can get to and stay at the top of the hierarchy. As long as it is considered acceptable for the interests of anyone to be devalued and ignored, we all will be at risk. But even if that weren’t the case, the idea that it is ever okay for the interests of some to be categorically valued over the interests of others is abhorrent.

In the most pragmatic terms possible, this is why throwing more stigmatized groups under the bus is an inherently self-defeating strategy. As long as society has a category of "okay to abuse. Okay to hurt," devalued, sentient beings are at risk of being demoted into it. When that isn't challenged on all fronts, the prison just keeps getting bigger.