executive decisions

1) Personal blog is most likely being deleted tonight. No shock there.

2) Making this blog permanently inactive. Considered deleting it, but it didn’t seem right.

I can’t handle anything anymore.

Advertisements

yet another little part of the discussion on rape humor

Disclaimer: Everything in this post is 100% my subjective opinion, and I’m sure a ton of people, especially other survivors, would not necessarily agree with me – and that’s okay! As stated in my comment policy, you don’t have to agree with me, you just have to be respectful.

 

There’s a distinction I haven’t really addressed in past posts about rape jokes, but that I’m seeing more and more – that is, the difference between “jokes about rape” and “jokes involving rape”. To me, the big contrast is that the former is never okay or funny, whereas the second can potentially be okay by me, and also potentially be pretty funny. My hatred of rape humor as a whole doesn’t mean that any comedy sketch or joke that so much as mentions sexual assault is automatically The Worst Thing Ever, but it does mean that there are a lot of wrong ways to approach the subject and only so many “right” (or less wrong) ones.
To illustrate my point a little better, I’d like to make a possibly controversial statement: I thought the “Grapist” sketch from Whitest Kids U Know was mildly funny and not too offensive. The reason for this is that the punchline, so to speak, was not “rape”. The humor didn’t rely on the shock value of sexual assault or shitty misogynistic ideas. Instead, it was based around a major failure in communication between a member of a committee reviewing a potential advertisement and his coworkers. And while it was certainly sacrilegious and potentially triggering (as anything that even mentions sexual assault can be), the humor therein didn’t rely on “rape is okay”, “certain kinds of rape aren’t real rape”, “you can deserve rape” or any of the other implications that a lot of rape jokes can have. The rape part wasn’t central; the sketch could have been built around any number of other potential situations and still worked pretty much the same way. So while it was kinda abrasive and overdone, as are most WKUK videos, it didn’t leave me hating the world and everyone in it. Humor like this isn’t exactly the pinnacle of comedy, but I don’t have a real problem with it, either.

 

I guess what it comes down to is whether the joke comes at the expense of victims, or society/rapists/something unrelated. It may seem subtle to people who don’t think much about rape culture, but there’s a huge fucking difference between Wanda Sykes’ “Detachable Pussy” piece versus George Carlin making 80-year-old women being violently sexually assaulted into comedy fodder. One has undertones of criticism for rape culture, the other is just someone relying on shock value and normalizing/validating sexual assault.

Now, a caveat: just because a Joke Involving Rape might not be essentially telling any listeners “oh hey, rape is not a real issue and can be justified” or anything along those lines, that still does not make it okay to criticize people who don’t think it’s funny. I don’t care who thinks that Laughter Is The Best Medicine; you are never required to laugh at anything that triggers you, regardless of the intention behind it. If “Grapist” makes you feel sick to your stomach because it still contains sexual assault as a theme, even if it’s not a rape joke in the traditional sense, that’s valid and you have every right to tell people to shut the hell up about it (myself included). If you have survived a violent crime, or if you just happen to not find things like that funny, then nobody gets to tell you to laugh about it just to make the people around you feel more comfortable.

 

A recap: when it comes to anything involving mentions of sexual assault, there are three categories. 1) Things that are never funny, no matter what, even if a past victim is telling the joke (yep, that’s right, there’s nobody who’s “allowed” to make those jokes even by virtue of personal experience). 2) Things that can be funny depending on the context and way in which they’re delivered. And, a third category which can overlap any or all of the above: 3) Things that you are not required to laugh at, no matter what other survivors, your family, your friends, the internet, or anyone else tells you.

personal blog up.

I think you can just find it through my username. But I don’t really know how all these newfangled interwebs contraptions work.

“is she actually WEARING that?”

Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to one of my favorite times of the year. Gorgeous fall colors, the abatement of my hay fever, the smell of wet leaves, nice crisp weather, the uncontrollable urge to bake all of the pumpkin-related things. The hordes of both men and women making snarky comments about womens’ Halloween costu-

…wait, back it up.

 

I am so unbelievably tired of hearing people of all ages and genders beating the everloving fuck out of this dead horse. But I especially want to address the dynamic of women criticizing other womens’ costumes.

So, first of all, as I’m sure you’ve been told since kindergarten, how someone else dresses ain’t none of yo business. As long as they’re not being legitimately offensive, it’s not your problem. Get over it.

 

But, more importantly, drop the attitude that slut-shaming makes you more attractive or edgy. You are not a special fucking snowflake just because you think you’re too good to dress “like that”, or because you roll your eyes at every other costume at the party. That other girl is dressing up, for fun, on a holiday specifically dedicated to dressing up and having fun. You, on the other hand, are getting your kicks by perpetuating misogynistic bullshit centered around judging someone’s worth by how much skin they do or don’t show. Congratulations.

 

Also, riddle me this: what exactly are the options? I mean, it’s not exactly as though the vast fucking majority of recognizable female characters in all manner of media are at least somewhat sexualized, right? Naw. Of course not. Where would anyone get that idea? That’d just be silly. That’d totally be an exaggeration. Right? (I think I’ve made my point)

 

So, as a female on Halloween, you have four options.

1. Go with a recognizable costume and deal with the dirty looks and harassment.

2. Go with a less recognizable costume (I was planning on Death from The Sandman series, but considering that a member of my immediate family has been in a coma since Monday, I’m not exactly in the mood for partying), and look forward to spending the entire evening explaining who you’re dressed up as.

3. Dress as a male character. Because, apparently, you have to abandon the idea of dressing as someone of a specific gender in order to avoid offending people. Now, if you actually want to dress as a male character, go for it. But I don’t appreciate being told (and I have been) that I should do so in order to avoid being a Slut.

4. Hey, maybe you’ll get lucky and find a character/creature/icon mainstream enough that people will know who it is, but modest enough to appease the people around you. There aren’t many, but they exist. In this case, be prepared to have to make your own costume. Don’t have time (like, y’know, most people, especially the college age group)? Guess you’re SOL. Or (if you have the skill and time) you could do some really awesome zombie makeup and go with that. But, it’s nobody’s right to tell you that that’s what you should do.

 

So, why do we feel the need to make a big deal out of all this? Sure, you can be hypercritical if you want, but what good will it do you – or anyone? Even if you’re just trying to get a laugh, you’re coming off as insecure and rude, while simultaneously validating all the grand-‘ol slut-shaming that seems to increase around this time of year.

Next time you feel a nasty comment welling up, just cram a handful of candy corn into your mouth to prevent you from actually uttering it. Everyone will be better off: you won’t come off as a jerk (even if that wasn’t your intention, “little jokes” add up), and you’ll also get candy. Problem solved.

some brief notes on housekeeping-type stuff

1. New theme. Don’t like it as much as the old one, but the old one also wouldn’t show links very well, which was a problem. May change it again if I find something that looks slightly less goofy.

2. Went through and deleted the majority of my posts since June, since they were a little too irrelevant and personal-y. I may just go ahead and make a personal blog at some point if I feel so inclined. I left up the one regarding eating disorders because of the nature of the feedback I got.

 

Oh, and also, happy Halloween, kids!

there are lots of things they won’t tell you about an eating disorder

They tell you you’ll lose weight – and, probably, you will. Not as fast as you’d think, and never fast enough, and not in ways that will likely look good, but you will.

They tell you you’ll be tired – and, probably, you will. You’ll know your basal metabolic rate to two decimal places, and you’ll know how many calories below that you are, and you’ll know what that does.

They tell you you’ll be cold all the time – and, probably, you will. Maybe you’ll even be like me and hate yourself for wanting warmth, so you’ll deliberately skip a jacket no matter what the weather looks like.

 

But they won’t tell you how pathetic and ugly it will make you. How you’ll increasingly be shown a disgusting, animal side of yourself, some lizard-brain remnant that does nothing except plead for food, any food, anything. You’ll hear friends complaining about the quality of cafeteria food, and even though you agree with them, on some level you want to smack them with a rolled-up newspaper and screech fuck you fuck you fuck you for wanting more than something I can’t have I wouldn’t complain I could eat the whole plate, the whole batch, and I’d be fucking grateful. You will truly believe that you can’t have it; face it, honey, you’re the only one holding yourself hostage.

One part of you is whimpering, begging, clawing at the insides of your stomach and trying to bargain with you: come on you’re barely losing anyway and you need to keep your metabolism up and it’s only a cookie it’s not going to kill you and you’ve been so good anyway and and and. But over the top of that there will be another voice saying, almost audibly, that this is why you can’t do anything right – because you cut yourself slack, you make excuses for yourself, oh that’s so fucking precious you actually think you deserve to eat like a little pig. Bitch. You’ll need permission to eat, and you know you can’t give it yourself, so you try to slowly digest yourself until you’re thin enough that someone else will give you permission – not that you’ll believe them, anyway.

Problem is, occasionally that begging-sobbing-oh-god-please-let-me-eat side wins out. That’s another thing they won’t tell you: you will eat. Not in any sort of normal fashion, of course. Now, you know you have to eat something, because otherwise your poor little brain will turn into green jell-o and your hair will fall out and you’ll grow fur (“lanugo”, they’ll call it), and you really can’t afford that in your third year of college.

Here’s the thing though. There are two things that are much easier than eating just enough to get by: eating Nothing, and eating Everything. And sometimes, that little voice in your stomach crawls up into your esophagus and digs through til it can start ripping out the wiring in your brain. And when that happens, you’ll realize that you now have an incredible capacity for food. They won’t tell you how much you can fucking eat after weeks or months of being malnourished; you imagine that your tummy has shrunken into oblivion, and then you scare the shit out of yourself when suddenly you’re sitting down with your fourth plate of food but you can still feel that awful clawing emptiness, which stays even once the stomach pains start in (because, let’s face it, you just don’t know how to digest things anymore). Maybe this will even happen before you sit down to a meal. Maybe you’ll wake up some days, like I did today, and laugh to yourself, and think “Oh my god, this is so fucking stupid. Why am I doing this to myself?”. And then you’ll eat like a normal person (or more, in my case. A lot more) all day, and you’ll suddenly have energy and be able to think about things that aren’t food and you won’t shake anymore and the screaming in your head will stop. But then night comes, and all of a sudden all you can think about is how all your friends saw you Eat, and how now they all Know, and how if this keeps up you won’t be able to feel your hipbones anymore and your spine won’t bruise when you do sit-ups. And then the guilt comes in and swallows you up, and you feel more alone and scared than ever. Only now, you feel alone and scared and like you can’t do anything right, not even stop eating.

 

That’s one of those things they don’t tell you.

oops

Well, I just realized that, while I posted on my Tumblr to talk about the slowdown in my posting level, I never actually said anything about it here. Whoops.

 

Wow. Seventy-something posts on this blog, and I still could probably fill seventy more with things I have bouncing around inside my head on all sorts of related issues. The reality, though, is that the rest of my life is interfering. Relapses hinder a lot of things, in a lot of ways, and productivity is up there on the list.

 

I’ll still post when I can; this is more just a reassurance that I haven’t forgotten that this blog exists.

 

Best,

Avvie