half of me is like ‘lets get a billion tattoos and wear killer heels and sharp eyeliner and red lipstick and leather jackets and dye my hair super bright colors’
and the other half is ‘lets wear pastel dresses and cardigans and ballet flats and play ukulele and wear cute jewelry’
and i think that pretty much sums up my entire existence
the gay agenda
or as i call it
For many of these women, the reading experience begins from a place of seething rage. Take Sara Marcus’ initial impression of Jack Kerouac: “I remember putting On the Road down the first time a woman was mentioned. I was just like: ‘Fuck. You.’ I was probably 15 or 16. And over the coming years I realized that it was this canonical work, so I tried to return to it, but every time I was just like, ‘Fuck you.’” Tortorici had a similarly visceral reaction to Charles Bukowski: “I will never forget reading Bukowski’s Post Office and feeling so horrible, the way that the narrator describes the thickness of ugly women’s legs. I think it was the first time I felt like a book that I was trying to identify with rejected me. Though I did absorb it, and of course it made me hate my body or whatever.” Emily Witt turned to masculine texts to access a sexual language that was absent from books about women, but found herself turned off by their take: “many of the great classic coming-of-age novels about the female experience don’t openly discuss sex,” she says in No Regrets. “I read the ones by men instead, until I was like, ‘I cannot read another passage about masturbation. I can’t. It was like a pile of Kleenex.”
This isn’t just about the books. When young women read the hyper-masculine literary canon—what Emily Gould calls the “midcentury misogynists,” staffed with the likes of Roth, Mailer, and Miller—their discomfort is punctuated by the knowledge that their male peers are reading these books, identifying with them, and acting out their perspectives and narratives. These writers are celebrated by the society that we live in, even the one who stabbed his wife. In No Regrets, Elif Bautman talks about reading Henry Miller for the first time because she had a “serious crush” on a guy who said his were “the best books ever,” and that guy’s real-life recommendation exacerbated her distaste for the fictional. When she read Miller, “I felt so alienated by the books, and then thinking about this guy, and it was so hot and summertime … I just wanted to kill myself. … He compared women to soup.”
Here’s a fun thing you learn when you study literature: the western canon is not universally beloved. Those books are not the Truth any more than the New York Post is skilled journalism. The main reason they’re held in such high esteem is because they were written by boring white dudes with rage fantasies and boring white dudes with rage fantasies also happen to be largely in charge of deciding which books are deemed classics and taught forever in the American school system.
So if your boyfriend tells you he loves Kerouac then you tell your boyfriend Kerouac was a fucking second rate hack who wrote Beat style because he didn’t have the skill or talent to write any other way, which is probably also why he just copied every adolescent male wanderlust story since the beginning of time. That shit’s derivative and boring.
I have never trusted men whose idols are Bukowski and Kerouac, and this pretty much sums up why.
Before he raped me, I wished I could love him. I wanted to be with him. He excited me, he challenged me, he made me want to prove myself to him and to the rest of the world. He validated me just enough to make the struggle seem worth it.
And then he raped me.
He didn’t want my consent; he wanted my body. He didn’t want my love; he wanted my submission. He didn’t see me as an equal; he saw me as a conquest. My fierceness, my tenacity, my continual struggle to be who I am and have that self valued? Were all obstacles to be overcome. Not aspects of my being to be cherished.
I miss the him that I thought he was. I see his picture on facebook and imagine myself next to him. I remind myself, daily, that he does not see me as an equal; he does not value my complexity; he does not recognize my humanity. And I wish for what could have been.
I wish for what could have been if he were not himself; if he were not a rapist. If he understood consent and my own agency, if he saw me as a person first and never as just an object to be used for his own pleasure. If I weren’t a trophy to be won despite myself.
But none of that is true and it’s never going to be true. I deserve so much more than this. I am so much more than he sees me as.
Telling the oppressed that expressing their anger and hatred for their oppressors is okay is a huge step toward ending oppression, which is the real goal, not “ending hate” which is some abstract nonsense privileged people like to spout to try and pretend they’re not part of the problem because they don’t actively hate the oppressed.
- smitethepatriarchy in this post. Just thought it was a really good articulation of something that gets repeated often without thought: the end goal isn’t really to “end hate.” It’s to eliminate oppressions. Hate is a feeling everyone has sooner or later, as is love — oppression is an extra obstacle the privileged group does not have to deal with/be burdened with (via feministdisney)
why are all my relationships confusing and complicated: an autobiography
Sex offenders minimize their number of victims. Speaking with 99 male sex offenders, court records showed 136 victims between them, but later during treatment, they eventually confessed to 959 victims between them.
huh weird so rapists are, like, lying about the number of people they’ve raped but all we can focus on are those damn hypothetical lying women who lied about being assaulted? lying liars lying all the time damn women lying. there’s a bigger lie in our midst, it would seem
HEY LOOK ITS ALMOST AS IF ABUSERS ARE A TERRIBLE SOURCE OF INFORMATION ABOUT THEIR ABUSE MINDBLOWING
hey look it’s my post on my dash