Oy, Feminism. Keep it real.

22 Oct

I am a feminist in that I believe that the war on women, and our oppression, discrimination, exploitation, and underappreciation, is real. I am a feminist because I believe that there is no reason why genders, binary and beyond, should experience differences in how they are valued or treated.

As such, I enjoy reading Everyday Feminism because it struck me as a non-misandric, non-angry-rape-victim-lashing out, forum where feminism was promoted and represented in an intelligent way that is beneficial to all. Not like some “feminists” who hurt all of feminism for overtly trying to “get back” at men, declaring all men pigs, all coarse language “rape culture,” and…. oh wait. Did I just say I liked Everyday Feminism because it’s not one of those whiny excessive victim forums where even coarse language is accused of glorifying rape culture?

Well, Everyday Feminism just screwed the pooch here if you ask me. I know you don’t, but I’ll explain anyway because I don’t care about your opinion or appreciation of mine. I don’t even know who I am addressing, so screw your pooch, too. Which is, by the way, contrary to what the author of said article claims, not a threat of sexual violence. I am not announcing to screw your pooch. I am telling you to do that, and not expecting you to obey. Seriously, please don’t go beastiality on your poor goggie.

I just woke up from a late afternoon nap and to force my eyes open, I checked the glaring screen that holds Facebook on my phone. First thing I see? Everyday Feminism making Everyday Swearing all about rape. Now calling someone to go fuck themselves, or saying we had to force ourselves to get a job done, perpetuates rape culture. Ooooooooooookay?

Let me get this straight. By the same logic, am I proselytyzing for Christianity by saying “Jesus Christ, that’s expensive!”? Am I promoting Satanism by saying “Oooh you’re such a cheeky li’l devil!”? Am I a Nazi supporter for telling someone who decided to pig out on beans that he’s gassing me? Do I abuse my dogs just because sometimes I call them stinking curs?
But I am perpetuating rape culture by not watching my tongue with sexually-tinted swearing?

And let’s take a look at the exact examples, shall we?

“Go fuck yourself/Fuck you” – Fucking oneself can’t be rape. You can’t really do something to yourself that you don’t consent to. Mental illness is another issue I’m not getting into. Also, I would fuck myself all day long if I could.

“Force yourself to do something” – And since when has forcing someone or oneself, become exclusively sexual? This is where their article lost my respect. I read all of it because I can’t really respond to something I didn’t study, but this part is where I decided that the writer is being ridiculous and I no longer wish to write or otherwise work for that blog as I had once hoped to. I have to force the door open – am I raping it? I had to force myself to cram math. Was I raping myself? I had to force the poop out of my constipated kitten, let’s not go there. It’s like making the term “to cook” all about meth. What the..?

“Hit on someone” – Oh. And I guess calling a popular song a hit is also rape culture now. And hitting people is also all about sexual violence, I suppose. Even when it’s in self-defense. Don’t hit that ball, you’re raping it! And when you start spanking – aka hitting – my ass while fucking me, stop, because that’d be rape. Oh wait, I want you to spank me. But don’t, that’s rape. Anything with “hit” in it, is rape culture now.

“Suck it” – Okay, this is probably exclusively referring to sucking dick. Penises have long been a symbol of manliness which in turn was/is a symbol of power. I can see where this could make sense but it’s still reaching to make this comeback about perpetuating and normalizing “rape culture”. After all, any sex and gender can suck dick, not just women, and many if not most people, suck dick willingly. Sucking dick is still regarded as kinda dirty and low, and I guess that is where the comeback stems from – do something icky to yourself. It in no way implies to have that dick forced down your throat against your will, which would be rape. It’s the same meaning as “Go to hell” – wishing discomfort or lowliness upon someone without really meaning the literal thing as anyone with half a brain knows Hell doesn’t exist and nobody can be reasonably expected to go seek a dick to suck just for being told to in anger. Even a woman with a man in a bed doesn’t have to suck it – and hence experiences no sexual violence – when her partner tells her to. Is she committing sexual violence by telling him to do something in bed? So why is he? She can also tell him to suck it himself, with little to no consequence in most cases, because in most cases, it is another shallow, meaningless profanity. If you’re like the author of that article, you can find disturbing meanings in everything, really. Maybe even disturbing origins. But just because the Jews originated from the Middle East, doesn’t mean that the mass emigration of Russian Jewish converts to Israel makes much sense. Just because medication was created by torturing human and animal, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be using it today. Origins and their deeper meanings fade. Deal with it.

None of these profanities, contrary to what the article claims, represent “threats of sexual assault”. The article further says that using such language desensitizes us to sexual violence and shapes the way we see our world, ie. tolerant of sexual violence. What the fuck. If it were up to me, all sex offenders would be shot in the throat and left to bleed out just slowly enough to think about why they deserve it. Most people I know harshly condemn sexual violence, including a distant relative of mine who is constantly heard saying things like:
“Who wanna suck me off?”
“If I do that, they gon rape me.”
“If you don’t stop that, imma fuck you.”
Now, the difference between a woman and a whiny little bitch, is how this is perceived. I am a woman and have experienced sexual violence in abundance. I got the fuck over it. How? By not making everything that even remotely involves “dick” or “fuck” about sexual trauma. And this guy’s vulgar language. Does. Not. Bother. Me. I find it funny, to be honest. Means I don’t need to watch my tongue, and he says it with the biggest grin. I love coming up with just as vulgar comebacks. Rape culture? First of all, things like “Who wanna blow me?” indicate he’s looking for volunteers, not victims, and secondly, does any sane adult around here think for a second that he means any of it? When I say “Shit”, am I referring to actual faeces? When I say “Oh my God!”, am I a theist? When I say “Asshole”, do I honestly believe that the target of the insult is a smelly brown little bodily orifce that excretes shit? I never even knew what a “douchebag” literally is when I started calling people that.

And as for “shaping our world”… Intelligent people (unintelligent ones I refuse to take into account as I believe that what sets us apart from beasts and makes us human, is our superior intelligence that earned us our species’ name) should realize and internalize that our language does NOT determine our views. Just because I’m usually polite doesn’t mean I don’t have a lot of disdain for the largely primitive and simpleton people around me. Neither does my using sexual foul language indicate that I am tolerant of sexual violence. It’s like saying that playing violent video games makes you a mass shooter. I say “Sieg Heil!” or “Heil Hitler” for fun. I’m Jewish. I am against genocide. I’ve alienated many friends protesting the war in Gaza and Israel’s treatment of Arabs. I even went vegan in a protest against violence and slaughter.
If one leads to the other, then something has always been wrong with you and it’s not your language/video games. If you grow tolerant of rape (culture) because of sexually tinted coarse language, then the language is only the final straw and you have always been seeking excuses to tolerate rape or rape culture. Language alone never shapes us, ever. It also rarely reflects our attitudes. Being polite doesn’t make you nice, using soccer mom speak (“Oh gosh that is adorable, amazing!”) doesn’t make you truly loving, and using sexual swear words doesn’t make you an Apostle of Rape. I have experienced most sexual violence or harassment from very sweet and smooth tongues.

Also, while males can obviously be victims of sexual violence, it’s most often male-on-female. Yet things like “Fuck you” or “I’m gonna fuck you up” is most often heard in male-on-male exchanges. And being “prompted” to “suck it” is quite far removed from rape – after all, a prompt is of no consequence since you can usually turn it down. You are not given that option when raped. “Oh, please don’t rape me today.” – “Okay, bye”. Nope.

And if – if – any of the sexually infused coarse language were indeed referring to rape (although after making “forcing oneself” about rape, I’m so done with that whole argument) then one would not have to make a bigger deal out of it than of asshole, bitch, idiot, moron, retard, or…

“How ignorant you gotta be to believe any of this? You need to slit your wrists, skip this, and go jump off a bridge.”

-Hollywood Undead

Now, let’s look at a couple of selected claims.

Notice certain people that tend to trigger this language? Revaluate your relationship, or at the very least, ask them to hold you accountable for what you say.

LOL wut? Other than their actions, no, there is no pattern. And the only pattern in their actions is that they’re fucking annoying and I will happily interchange “Fuck you” with “Go to hell” or “Go make snow angels in a mine field” or even “May Hamas slit your mother’s throat”. Where’s the sexual violence in that? It’s all merely a brief expression of anger with no consequence unless you choose to dwell on it.
Traffic participants scream “Fuck you” at the driver who ran a red light, I tell my dog to “suck my dick” for chewing up my shoes, and I’m not thinking sex, much less rape, when “forcing myself” to clean the litter boxes. Unless you’re from a very apple pie society, it doesn’t take certain feelings or people to trigger coarse language of ANY kind. I’m in the Middle East. People here have no patience and little class (sorry guys, it’s true). If I were to take all those curses seriously, I’d have to wear iron knickers with a 12 digit lock and put my mother under 24/7 police protection because everyone is constantly cursing someone’s mother(‘s vagina). And I’m pretty sure most of those people who scream abuse about fucking, peoples’ mothers’ vaginas, and dicks, would enjoy seeing rapists dangling from what little trees we have.

Along with changing yourself, you also probably want to change other people’s use of sexually violent language, too. After all, isn’t that what activism is all about?

And don’t forget to tell them to accept the lord and savior Jesus Christ into your life. Sexual violence isn’t gonna end by swearing fuck-lessly. Ever had a good look at Japanese porn and Japan’s overall depiction of women in the media? And do they sex-swear? Don’t be silly.

Think about a time when someone said or did something that was problematic and you did nothing. How did it make you feel and why didn’t you intervene?

If it was just dirty language, I GOT THE FUCK OVER IT. If I didn’t, it was more than coarse language or I was PMSing and everything upset me. If you don’t get over “problematic” language that does not specifically and deliberately push your personal buttons (“Nigger” to a black person, “Faggot to a gay one, or “Whale” to a fat person, or even “shitty mother” to someone who had a miscarriage, for example), then you’re the one with a problem. You think I’m gonna dwell on all the times I have been told to go fuck myself, suck some dick, or get bent? Psycho much? Dwell on your real problems. The ones that really hold you down. Seriously, I am extremely sensitive and thin-skinned, but “Fuck yourself”/”Suck my dick”? Really? Such boring profanities are supposed to bother me? Go kill some actual rapists and their “What was she wearing”-advocates!

It’s likely that you were taken off guard and didn’t know how to react. I know I’ve been in plenty of situations like this myself, and I would spend days thinking of witty responses that I shouldhave used.

What, is this article specifically targeted at “special” kids? Off guard? Cute! Someone tells you to fuck yourself? Tell them to provide the tools! Someone tells you to suck it? Tell them you wish they had something to suck! How does that take days? And why would you even be upset and dwelling on it for days just because of a garden variety curse phrase? Come on! Get a life. You dwell on “Fuck you” and your regret for not having had a witty comeback ready? You have 99 problems, and all of them is you. You’re a strong, liberated woman, ey? So be strong and free and allow yourself to move the fuck on from a curse word. Nobody’s stopping you. Oh wait. You are.

You could pull the responsible person aside after a group conversation and explain to them why that kind of language makes you uncomfortable. You could even Facebook message with the person about it, if you don’t want to speak face-to-face.

Grrrmpf hahaha oh god, that’s embarassing. “Listen, you used a garden variety, boringly typical, and over-used swearing phrase that has lost its impact decades ago; this upsets me very much. We need to talk.” Quite the insult to people who have been exposed to the very tangible difference between sexual swearing, and real sexual violence. How about you also go and stage an intervention, bake some apple pie too, because someone said “Fuck you”, and tell them all about the history of correctional rape, witch burning, and doctor Mengele? GTFO.

If you want to avoid this altogether, maybe consider telling your close friends and/or family about your quest to eliminate sexually violent language from your speech and ask them not to use it in your presence.

So now everyone has to bend over backwards to accomodate your individual sensitivities, yes? Okay, I hereby demand my friends and family no longer assume I love and accept them just the way they are including the perhaps offensive, yet not actually, tangibly harmful way they talk, and stop mentioning God in any shape, form, or fashion, because I think religion is bullshit and a mental illness and I don’t want that unintelligent, unmodern, anti-progress shit around me! So guys, no more talking about God in my presence! Oh wait, does that mean I’ll no longer be invited for Passover dinner? Shit. Fuck me.
No. You don’t get to dictate how others get to express themselves. You get to choose whether or not you wish to remain around them. If they bother you, get the fuck off their case and go look for an entourage that suits you better. That shit is like telling your overweight partner to lose some weight because you don’t find them attractive fat. Leave them the fuck alone to be who they have always had a right to be regardless of your highness’ preferences.
Language may offend, but this thoughtless, shallow cursing has killed nobody. Rape does harm. Rape is hands-on, real, tangible, dangerous, and rightly considered a horrific crime. Coarse language is nothing other than unclassy speech unless you’re a whiny little bitch with no real issues to focus on.

When she has sex, her worth decreases. When he has sex, his worth increases.

This model is obviously sexist.

It also enforces stereotypes and defines sexuality based on propriety. This is precisely where“he’s a stud and she’s a slut” originates.

I agree with all of this, yet not within the context of sexual swearing. Sexual swearing doesn’t discriminate between men and women when it’s about things like “Fuck you”, “Suck it”, etc. They are sexist when one specific gender is the butt of the joke. But two buddies telling each other to suck it?

Since women’s sexuality is based on a value judgment of her worth, and certain types of women are worth more than others, victims of rape are often blamed for the crimes committed against them.

Since men are encouraged to have many partners, and are thought to have uncontrollable“urges,” they are often given a free pass for the crimes that they commit.

This is also the basis of the cause of the erasure of people of other identities experiencing rape; victims come from all identities, although the majority of rapists are men.

Yes, yes, that is true, but again… how does “Fuck you” come into this? Especially since fucking oneself is fun… Or would be, if feasible… Sex is seen as a vulgar and icky thing by many, to be discussed and practiced in private, and hence it’s used in negative context such as swearing. “Fuck you” et al don’t come with connotations of gender dominance. They simply do not. Same for violence beyond verbal abuse which also includes “Drop dead” or “Retard”.

And this leads us back to language: We threaten rape and sexual violation so often because of this stigma.

Language like “f*ck you” and “suck my d*ck” is rape-permitting and normalizes sexual violence. It creates a society that is full of rape myths and rape, even though we never talk about it. It creates rape culture.

Oh please. That’s like accepting the lord and savior Jesus Christ by saying “Jesus, I can’t with this!” and I am saying this over and over reading that absurd, reaching, overdramatic article. “Fuck you” or “Suck my dick” also aren’t threats. They are prompts that can usually be ignored without consequence. A threat is “I’ll fuck you”, or “I’ll feed you my dick”. Yes, phrasing matters. A lot.

And finally but importantly, context. It’s always all about context. There is a difference between saying “Suck my dick” just as you are about to rape someone, and saying “Suck my dick” to dismiss a dumb encounter. There is a difference between making a blonde joke among people who can laugh about it, and in front of a blonde girl who is insecure about her stereotype. There is a difference between a disgruntled shopper saying “That merchant is greedy like a Jew” and a Gestapo officer saying that to reinforce his “reasons” for executing a Jewish business owner. It’s like the difference between saying “Shit!” to point out where the dog pooped so nobody steps in it, and saying “Shit!” when you tell your friend what you think about their new look.

I’m really disappointed to see Everyday Feminism frantically reach for discussion fodder by making everything about victims and people taking their sensitivities too seriously. It’s like HuffPost Gay Voices turning every time someone says “Fag” into a headline with 2 pages worth of naming and shaming and invoking absolute drama and apocalyptic fears of persecution and hanging and Holocaust and Nazis riding dinosaurs. LGBT discrimination is as real as rape culture, but neither is fought by tearing into everyone with a foul mouth.

Calm the fuck down.

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