Tag feelings

“Both Sides”

They aren’t the same but it still makes me nervous

When a conservative man who utterly snaps on women and he gets described as a “god-fearing preacher’s son” or “a good kid,” we all are angry and disgusted and don’t doubt the reality of the victims (plus this murder got to cover for his violent racism with “sex addiction,” which is a whole additional discussion).

But then when men (and people that engage in a similar problematic behaviors associated with that kind of social entitlement) on the left (or popular with the left) exhibit problematic behaviors ranging from casual sexism to outright assaults, they get to be “missing stairs” with people making excuses for their behavior or lack of meaningful improvement of their behavior because they’re vocal “allies” or “feminists”. They get to say the right words and skip doing the work and then they get a pass too on the minor stuff, or worse. And then people get to be surprised when the house of cards falls if they do something publicly bad enough.

I’m definitely having a lot of trouble processing this and other recent events and re-mapping that into my own experience; thst said, I’m sharing this as a concrete example and not as fishing for sympathy—I’ve gotten that already and I don’t need to rehash it. So: I told people about Jordan’s secret filming and my abuse and abuse of others at his hands, but people still loved going to his bar because it was popular, and he had the vocal “good person,” feminist public reputation—the Josses, the preacher’s sons. And it’s easier to dismiss intimate partners, because truly we can’t know what goes on behind closed doors. I get it; I struggle with it too. But right or left, a lot of the excuses we make for truly disturbing or problematic behavior are so similar.

Conflict is not abuse. People are allowed to make mistakes and learn from them, but people that have a base disrespect for The Other will feel more comfortable acting entitled (or worse) toward vulnerable populations.

And jesus FUCK this was so clearly a racially motivated hate crime. I’m not trying to make it only about the violent misogyny part because it’s so deeply used to amplify the vocal racism against AAPI people. I’m pissed off he gets to “have a bad day” and use “sex addiction” to cover for his hatred.

Also he “had a bad day”? The fucking victims had a bad day. That sheriff… the excuses are terrifying. I’m sure he’s a “good person” even though he posted racist memes about the “Chinese virus.” Is he just one bad day away from yelling a racial slur? Harassing Asian Americans? Abusing women? Murder? That man gets to have a gun.

Yes, I *am* angry

There are masculine people that use the language of self-care and social justice to absolve themselves of ever having to experience criticism and then will attempt to dismiss anyone holding them even mildly accountable as a hysterical woman. 

They maintain a public shield.

The reason they lash out at people in private instead is because if they did it in public, they might open themselves to critique if more than “their” side is available in public discourse. They will say it’s to avoid airing “dirty laundry,” or to protect *you* from criticism. 

“I’m doing this to protect you, it’s for your own good, that’s why I’m agreeing with you publicly but behind closed doors I’m going to use my knowledge of what you’re going through against you and remove the avenues for you to speak up personally and professionally because I’ve been monitoring it.This is so sad, look what you’ve done to yourself.” 

So I get to be one more girl afraid of a volatile masc person in her organizations, and any defense I take to protect myself or others will feed into the “angry hysteria” and “crazy ex girlfriend” narrative. 

I’m not entitled to discussions, or explanations, or apologies, but neither are they free from my criticism and disappointment in their cruelty. Their carefully constructed dismissals and anger illustrate that my fear of retaliation from them isn’t paranoia.  

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#NotAllMen, right?

I know #NotAllMen, but who would like to use me publicly for some woke credibility but privately attack me for personally invalidating other  sexual assault survivors next? What it’s gonna be next? So far men/boys have told me I have invalidated other survivors by:

1.) not crying enough, 2.) being too angry, 3.) insulting burner culture, 4.) not doing enough to publicly distribute help resources despite pending legal proceedings, 5.) going to the police, 6.) not accepting “help” from allies that makes *them* feel better, not me.  

5 out of those 6 were from vocal feminist allies. I’m not saying that I should be free from criticism or consequences from what I say and do. Even in the middle of all this, my accountability is important. But fuck, I’m trying so hard and I know that’s not always good enough but I’m trying to juggle a lot of things here and I apologize that things are getting dropped. But that said, maybe don’t try to use me for public credibility leverage while privately making sure I know that not only am I doing this wrong but that I’m specifically invalidating other victims by doing it. If that’s true, then why the public/private divide? 

Why have these all been men and boys? I’m not saying that I’m incapable of invalidating other survivors but I’m just at such a loss. I mean, on some level I knew that this would happen and it wouldn’t just be theoretical, and I’m still in and ready. But I thought it would be strangers mostly? That said, I’m overwhelmed with the support the community  and our friends have given the (increasingly large) group of us. Thank you. 

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