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May 06 2014

Rekwired Reading Korner

Amy Schumer’s awesome Gloria Awards speech should be read aloud at all high school graduations, except nobody listens to graduation speeches. So, in the manner of wizened crones since the dawn of the printed word, I’ll just pronounce it required reading for all women graduating from high school.

I can’t say whether things would have turned out differently for me if I had seen this speech before fecklessly biffing off to my spiritual death at college, but it sure would have been nice, going in, to have been given a little advance notice regarding the degree to which I could expect to be bootylized by Dude Nation. What happened instead was that my freshman year leaped out at me in a dark alley and amputated my mojo with a dirty shard from a broken Budweiser longneck. It took me about 30 years to grow it back.

I have nicked Schumer’s speech in its entirety from Vulture.com, because when a thing is required reading, it just feels wrong not to steal it.

Here I go, and if it doesn’t go well, please just don’t blog about it.

Right before I left for college, I was running my high school. Feel it. I knew where to park, I knew where to get the best chicken-cutlet sandwich, I knew which custodians had pot. People knew me. They liked me. I was an athlete and a good friend. I felt pretty, I felt funny, I felt sane. Then I got to college in Maryland. My school was voted number one … for the hottest freshman girls in Playboy that year. And not because of me. All of a sudden, being witty and charismatic didn’t mean shit. Day after day, I could feel the confidence drain from my body. I was not what these guys wanted. They wanted thinner, blonder, dumber … My sassy one-liners were only working on the cafeteria employees, who I was visiting all too frequently, tacking on not the Freshman 15, but the 30, in record-breaking time, which led my mother to make comments over winter break like, “You look healthy!” I was getting no male attention, and I’m embarrassed to say, it was killing me.

But one guy paid me some attention — Matt. Matt was six feet tall, he looked like a grown-up von Trapp child, and he was five years older than me. What?! An older boy, paying attention to me? I must be okay. Uff. I made him laugh in our bio lab, and I could tell a couple times that we had a vibe. He was a super senior, which is a sexy way of saying “should have graduated, but needed an extra year.” He barely spoke, which was perfect for all the projecting I had planned for him. We grew up in the same town, and getting attention from him felt like success. When I would see him on campus, my heart would race, and I would smile as he passed. I’d look in the mirror and see all the blood rise to my face. I’d spend time analyzing the interaction, and planning my outfit for the next time I saw him. I wanted him to call. He never called. But then finally, he called.

It was 8 a.m., my dorm room phone rang. “Amy, wassup? It’s Matt. Come over.” Holy shit! This is it, I thought. He woke up thinking about me! He realized we’re meant to start a life together! Let’s just stop all this pretending that we weren’t free just to love one another! I wondered, would we raise our kids in the town we both grew up in, or has he taken a liking to Baltimore? I don’t care. I’ll settle wherever he’s most comfortable. Will he want to raise our kids Jewish? Who cares? I shaved my legs in the sink, I splashed some water under my armpits, and my randomly assigned Albanian roommate stared at me from under her sheets as I rushed around our shitty dorm room. I ran right over to his place, ready for our day together. What would we do? It’s still early enough, maybe we’re going fishing? Or maybe his mom’s in town, and he wanted me to join them for breakfast. Knock-knock. Is he going to carry me over the threshold? I bet he’s fixing his hair and telling his mom, “Be cool, this may be the one!” I’ll be very sweet with her, but assert myself, so she doesn’t think she’s completely in charge of all the holiday dinners we’re going to plan together. I’ll call her by her first name, too, so she knows she can’t mess with me. “Rita! I’m going to make the green bean casserole this year, and that’s that!” Knock-knock. Ring ring. Where is he?

Finally, the door opens. It’s Matt, but not really. He’s there, but not really. His face is kind of distorted, and his eyes seem like he can’t focus on me. He’s actually trying to see me from the side, like a shark. “Hey!” he yells, too loud, and gives me a hug, too hard. He’s fucking wasted. I’m not the first person he thought of that morning. I’m the last person he called that night. I wonder, how many girls didn’t answer before he got to fat freshman me? Am I in his phone as Schumer? Probably. But I was here, and I wanted to be held and touched and felt desired, despite everything. I wanted to be with him. I imagined us on campus together, holding hands, proving, “Look! I am lovable! And this cool older guy likes me!” I can’t be the troll doll I’m afraid I’ve become.

He put on some music, and we got in bed. As that sexy maneuver where the guy pushes you on the bed, you know, like, “I’m taking the wheel on this one. Now I’m going to blow your mind,” which is almost never followed up with anything. He smelled like skunk microwaved with cheeseburgers, which I planned on finding and eating in the bathroom, as soon as he was asleep. We tried kissing. His 9 a.m. shadow was scratching my face — I knew it’d look like I had fruit-punch mouth for days after. His alcohol-swollen mouth, I felt like I was being tongued by someone who had just been given Novocain. I felt faceless, and nameless. I was just a warm body, and I was freezing cold. His fingers poked inside me like they had lost their keys in there. And then came the sex, and I use that word very loosely. His penis was so soft, it felt like one of those de-stress things that slips from your hand? So he was pushing aggressively into my thigh, and during this failed penetration, I looked around the room to try and distract myself or God willing, disassociate. What’s on the wall? A Scarface poster, of course. Mandatory. Anything else? That’s it? This Irish-Catholic son of bank teller who played JV soccer and did Mathletes feels the most connection with a Cuban refugee drug lord. The place looked like it was decorated by an overeager set designer who took the note “temporary and without substance” too far.

He started to go down on me. That’s ambitious, I think. Is it still considered getting head if the guy falls asleep every three seconds and moves his tongue like an elderly person eating their last oatmeal? Chelsea? Is it? Yes? It is. I want to scream for myself, “Get out of here, Amy. You are beautiful, you are smart, and worth more than this. This is not where you stay.” I feel like Fantine and Cosette and every fucking sad French woman from Les Miz. And whoever that cat was who sang “Memories,” what was that musical? Suze Orman just goes, “Cats.” The only wetness between my legs is from his drool, because he’s now sleeping and snoring into me. I sigh, I hear my own heartbreak, I fight back my own tears, and then I notice a change in the music. Is this just a bagpipe solo? I shake him awake. “Matt, what is this? The Braveheart soundtrack? Can you put something else on, please?” He wakes up grumpily, falls to the floor, and crawls. I look at his exposed butt crack, a dark, unkempt abyss that I was falling into. I felt paralyzed. His asshole is a canyon, and this was my 127 Hours. I might chew my arm off.

I could feel I was losing myself to this girl in this bed. He stood up and put a new CD on. “Darling, you send me, I know you send me, honest, you do …” I’m thinking, “What is this?” He crawled back into bed, and tried to mash at this point his third ball into my vagina. On his fourth thrust, he gave up and fell asleep on my breast. His head was heavy and his breath was so sour, I had to turn my head so my eyes didn’t water. But they were watering anyway, because of this song. Who is this? This is so beautiful. I’ve never heard these songs before. They’re gutting me. The score attached to our morning couldn’t have been more off. His sloppy, tentative lovemaking was certainly not in the spirit of William Wallace. And now the most beautiful love songs I’ve ever heard play out as this man-boy laid in my arms, after diminishing me to a last-minute booty call. I listened to the songs and I cried. I was looking down at myself from the ceiling fan. What happened to this girl? How did she get here? I felt the fan on my skin and I went, “Oh, wait! I am this girl! We got to get me out of here!” I became my own fairy godmother. I waited until the last perfect note floated out, and escaped from under him and out the door. I never heard from Matt again, but felt only grateful for being introduced to my new self, a girl who got her value from within her. I’m also grateful to Matt for introducing me to my love Sam Cooke, who I’m still with today.

Now I feel strong and beautiful. I walk proudly down the streets of Manhattan. The people I love, love me. I make the funniest people in the country laugh, and they are my friends. I am a great friend and an even better sister. I have fought my way through harsh criticism and death threats for speaking my mind. I am alive, like the strong women in this room before me. I am a hot-blooded fighter and I am fearless. But I did morning radio last week, and a DJ asked, “Have you gained weight? You seem chunkier to me. You should strike while the iron is hot, Amy.” And it’s all gone. In an instant, it’s all stripped away. I wrote an article for Men’s Health and was so proud, until I saw instead of using my photo, they used one of a 16-year-old model wearing a clown nose, to show that she’s hilarious. But those are my words. What about who I am, and what I have to say? I can be reduced to that lost college freshman so quickly sometimes, I want to quit. Not performing, but being a woman altogether. I want to throw my hands in the air, after reading a mean Twitter comment, and say, “All right! You got it. You figured me out. I’m not pretty. I’m not thin. I do not deserve to use my voice. I’ll start wearing a burqa and start waiting tables at a pancake house. All my self-worth is based on what you can see.” But then I think, Fuck that. I am not laying in that freshman year bed anymore ever again. I am a woman with thoughts and questions and shit to say. I say if I’m beautiful. I say if I’m strong. You will not determine my story — I will. I will speak and share and fuck and love and I will never apologize to the frightened millions who resent that they never had it in them to do it. I stand here and I am amazing, for you. Not because of you. I am not who I sleep with. I am not my weight. I am not my mother. I am myself. And I am all of you, and I thank you.

82 comments

  1. gwyllion

    Thank you Twisty – i needed that today.

  2. ew_nc

    This seriously choked me up. It reminded me so much of all the years I sucked on the crack-pipe of male approval. How I wish I could go back and tell that me how unimportant that was.

  3. buttercup

    Required reading indeed. Thank you for sharing. Off to share further.
    (those of us who do not attend college may spend up to 25 years in that freshman bed.)

  4. K

    If anyone read that as a high school graduation speech, *everyone* would be paying attention.

  5. Twisty

    @K: Ha. So true.

  6. Ackerley

    I teach high school seniors. Where to plant this so that they can read it and I won’t get fired? Women’s toilets? (O the comic resonances.)

  7. Mildred

    who started chopping onions in here?

  8. TwissB

    I can’t say I was exactly carried away by Amy’s inspirational message. After all that enlightenment, why does she make a career of self-violation with a comedy act coyly called “Inside Amy Schumer” that seems to focus mainly on pseudo-anecdotes about sex? It seems that being a strong woman is now defined as self-invasion, a perky will to commit suicide before they murder you. In contrast, Gabourey Sidibe’s story seemed to me to show self-empowerment through determined self-respect. It also saddens me that people, including Sidibe, can’t seem to talk without junking up their words with s**t, a*hole, f*ck, etc. Pres. Obama at the Press Club Gala had to prove his helluva guy credentials by declaring himself p*ssed off. Thank you, Mr. President. And now, Hee-eeres Amy!

  9. iorarua

    @TwissB. I sort of know what you mean. I liked the Gabourey Sidibe speech too. It’s rare to downright unheard-of that we ever hear from a woman who had to actually overcome a ‘superiority complex’ in order to be accepted by others. That’s my kinda woman!

    As for Amy Schumer, I found her speech a very uncomfortable read (sorry, Twisty).

    For one thing, it went way over the top in assuming that her audience wanted this overload of bodily-personal and degrading information about her sexual experience with this guy. Maybe I’m a minority of one, but I didn’t appreciate the raw intimacy of it all.

    However, what I most reacted against was that on the surface it appears to be a celebration of a woman’s liberation from the cultural straightjacket that measures a woman’s worth purely in terms of her fuckablility. But the speech basically endorsed the age-old patriarchal trope that women experience their spiritual awakenings via some kind of sexual experience – either positive or negative – handed down to them by a man.

    Had a man made the gender-equivalent of this speech, it would have been about his spiritual awakening through military combat or a career challenge or making his fortune or some form of mentoring by an older man – certainly not about being sexually used and degraded by a woman.

  10. Lidon

    TwissB, is it swearing in general that bothers you, or specifically when people are giving public speeches?

    I thought the speech was enlightening in some ways but iorarua, you brought up some good points I hadn’t considered. Oh aaand as usual, don’t read the comments on that site!

  11. josquin

    I get the point of the speech, but it seemed a bit facile. The epiphany that came in the form of a drunken incompetent would-be lover seemed too easy somehow. So many women don’t get a Matt in their “freshman year” – they get rapists, shamers, mockers, belittlers, threateners, assholes, who aren’t as easy to get out from under. The speech just didn’t feel very “inspirational” to me. The only lame analogy I can come up with is if someone gave a speech about racism and said that once a clerk at a store was really rude and frowned at her suspiciously because of her race instead of being respectful, but then she decided that the clerk was an idiot and she held her head high moving forward and didn’t feel ashamed or second class anymore. Whaa?? If only it were that simple!
    Apologies for a lame analogy.

  12. Barb P

    I like the speech for what it meant to her. And I agree that male approval should definitely not be the point of any action a woman does.

    But it’s such a similar narrative to the whole “saving yourself for the right guy” kind of thing. (i.e. “respecting yourself = not having sex”; or “casual sex leads to disrespect for women”). Without hearing more detail about it, it sounds like the worst this guy did was to be unaware of her crush on him, plus drunk/incompetent in bed. She’s projecting so much onto him: a) that he didn’t actually like her in any way, and b) it was because of her appearance. Not that either of those couldn’t be possible, just that the story doesn’t make that clear.

    I mean, if he had been better in bed, and paid more attention to her, would that have made her seeking his approval OK?

    The last paragraph is great. If you replaced all the paragraphs between the first and the last with “I was so desperate for approval from guys that I became obsessed with someone who barely noticed me and then ended up acting like a complete fool” it would actually probably be a better speech.

  13. Nimravid

    Don’t have sex with people who are severely impaired and fading in and out of consciousness.

  14. quixote

    It was an excellent speech. I’m very much a spare-me-the-details, too-much-information, finicky kind of person, but in this case I’d say they were necessary to show how low desperation for male approval can bring you. And no, it wasn’t about the horrific crimes way too many women deal with, which was the right thing to do in this case. It allows you to focus on the patheticness of her mental state, which is the point.

    There are definitely thousands of other speeches that need making to unmask the P. This one wasn’t one of those speeches. It was this one, and a damn good one, and a point that lots and lots and lots of people need to hear.

    As for using misogynist “f(ck” as some kind of verbal pepper, well, just don’t get me started.

  15. Lab Rat

    F*ck can be an awesome word when Xena says it.

    Speech worked for me. And it doesn’t have to be sexual to be similar. Don’t get me started about how I spent a semester of my freshman year doing some asshole’s homework for him.

  16. TwissB

    @ iorarua Fascinating insights.

    “But the speech basically endorsed the age-old patriarchal trope that women experience their spiritual awakenings via some kind of sexual experience – either positive or negative – handed down to them by a man.

    Had a man made the gender-equivalent of this speech, it would have been about his spiritual awakening through military combat or a career challenge or making his fortune or some form of mentoring by an older man – certainly not about being sexually used and degraded by a woman.”

  17. tinfoil hattie

    I like the speech. It’s raw, and funny, and pathetic – and familiar. And in patriarchy, what way for a woman is there to experience a spiritual awakening, other than via crappy sexual exploitation by some asshole man? We are the sex class; of course we wouldn’t have opportunity to experience anything outside of that rubric.

    It’s exhausting, too – I’m 53, and shit like that happened to me in college. It goes on and on, and gets worse and worse.

  18. Lidon

    Well, exploitation is one way to experience some kind of spiritual awakening but I’d say there are still plenty of others, even for women.

  19. Twisty

    Did I mention that I am not a fan of Schumer’s TV show? Oddly, I dislike the show for the same reason that I like the speech. The show is icky and define-me-in-terms-of-dudes-y, but unlike the speech, always seems to end on a really un-uplifting, slit-yer-wrists kind of vibe.

    And yeah, the title is asinine.

    I think that for women, it is a particular sort of defining event for a straight girl when she becomes sexually active, since, as T. Hattie reminds us, women are the sex class and are confined to a limited menu. Teen sex is fraught with all sorts of soul-sucking horror and more or less seals the deal as far as women’s assimilation into the P. Absolutely, the spiritual awakening narrative for a dude is all about killing his first deer or robbing his first liquor store or whatever. Because dudes are a priori invited to Life’s Rich Pageant, and women aren’t.

  20. quixote

    I’m not sure I’d call it “spiritual awakening.” It was a moment when she understood one big aspect of how sexism was keeping her down. Understanding that through sex doesn’t seem misplaced. And there’s nothing to stop men from having aha! moments about what they’re doing when using the Global Accords Governing The Fair Use Of Women, except they’re too busy saying it’s both unimportant and super-important to validate their man-cards so they don’t have enough braincells left over to realize anything.

  21. Nolabelfits

    The speech perfectly illustrated how women are conditioned to place men as central characters in various forms of “happy-ever-after”fairy tales while men are conditioned to see women in terms of their fuckability score and use their entitlement to treat them accordingly. The tale she told was about how she initially had to dissociate to deal with how far from reality her fairy tale was and then how she snapped back and saved her own psyche. For me, there was so much contained in that story that I did not know where to begin. We’ve all been there, some of us maybe more than others.

  22. tinfoil hattie

    Women can’t claim any kind of “spiritual awakening” of our own – not while we’re living lives determined and defined by patriarchy.

  23. iorarua

    If ever there were a speech I’d like to make ‘required [viewing] for all women graduating from high school’, it’s this one from Australia’s former (and, so far, only female) prime minister, Julia Gillard in 2012.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOPsxpMzYw4

    Although 15 minutes long, it’s worth viewing all the way through. However, the bit in the middle (about 6.30 to 12.00) is parochial to Australian politics and could be fast-forwarded.

    If anyone else can provide links to similarly inspiring (aka kick-butt) feminist speeches, please do.

  24. TwissB

    The alpha-dude snark attack that preceded and prompted Julia Gillard’s verbal smack-down of said dude are an important element of the show, as is the slow congealing of his supercilious grin as she hammers him into the ground. In the interest of reminding all that politics is politics, it must be mentioned that the same alpha-dude has since replaced her as prime minister. She is NO feminist, although her handling of a student trying to shake her with a question about sexual orientation is another must-see Julia clip. And there are lots more, including her triumphal entrance down the aisle to the speaker’s rostrum when she addressed the U.S.Congress. And that wonderful Australian accent!

  25. Doris

    I wish I had heard Amy’s speech before my very similar freshman experience, I think it would have made a difference.

  26. Lidon

    “Women can’t claim any kind of “spiritual awakening” of our own – not while we’re living lives determined and defined by patriarchy.”

    I don’t know how far I’m willing to argue this, since speaking from my own experience (which is completely subjective of course) I’d have to wholeheartedly disagree. I’ll even go so far to say that anyone who identifies solely with his or her body and doesn’t or can’t go beyond that may not have a spiritual awakening of any kind.

    However, I’m mostly speaking for myself anyway and I’m sure others wouldn’t want me speaking for them and I’d prefer the same as a “spiritual awakening” is completely personal and there’s no way anyone outside of my own mind would be able to grasp what I have experienced.

  27. pheenobarbidoll

    Someone I know caught her show recently. She made a rape joke, at the expense of a woman in the audience.
    Amy: I’ve had sex like, 34 times. Is that too much? I feel like you all might be judging me. -Points to woman in the audience. -How about you? How many dudes have you slept with?
    Audience member: Laughs uncomfortably.
    Amy: Come on, we’re all adults. Jesus, you people.
    Audience member: Three.
    Amy: Wow, what are you, from the Midwest? Or maybe the first two times you were raped, and once it was finally consensual you decided to stick with what worked?
    Audience: Uproarious laughter.

  28. Lidon

    Wow, really? That’s disgusting. I was looking for some kind of contact form to complain about this but just found clips of other degrading material instead.

  29. Twisty

    Whoa, that’s pretty nasty. Yeah, I can’t watch her show, because of stuff like that. It’s on Comedy Central, which tells you everything you need to know about it.

    I’m not sure how we veered into this “spiritual awakening” stuff. All I’m sayin about Schumer’s speech — her speech, not her whole misogynist Comedy Central persona — is that it describes at a pretty brutal level of honesty how crappy it feels to be used as a toilet for the first time. One minute you’re unstoppable, the next you’re a toilet. Sort of a crushing blow. Fairly epic in scale. I put it on a par with being told I had cancer. Only it ended up being worse than cancer, because at least cancer had an explanation. Being turned into a toilet just made no sense at all.

    Unlike Schumer, I don’t claim to have bounced back from it in five minutes (and I sort of doubt she has either, given the misogynist nature of her comedy jokes).

    Yeah, Schumer is uncomfortably vulgar in describing it. That’s her schtick, and it’s gross, but in this case I feel like the vulgar treatment hit exactly the right, degraded note.

    If this wasn’t your experience, count yourself lucky.

  30. Doris

    I agree with you when you say Amy hits the right note. I’m years older than her but this account shows that the experience remains the same.

  31. tinfoil hattie

    “One minute you’re unstoppable, the next you’re a toilet. Sort of a crushing blow. Fairly epic in scale.”

    That’s it, exactly.

    And having cancer. Probably worst than most anything. Unless you get the crazy, sexy, pink kind. Then it might not be so bad.

  32. XY Feminist

    Wait a minute. Her nasty, useless, alcoholic, class-failing, freshmen-stalking, self-delusional, booty-calling dudebag tried to give her head?

    When was the absolute authority of the missionary position toppled? When did women’s pleasure even enter these a-hole’s minds as a concept, let alone something to actually pay semi-attention to in bed?

    Don’t get me wrong, the guy’s still a waste of good organs. I’m just really surprised by the behavior! It’s like finding a crow at a landfill that can perfectly sing the first few lines of an aria.

    Or is this some kind of primitive sexual instinct that was left unchecked by social conditioning due to his inebriation? Something hard-wired, like a pig rooting out a truffle?

  33. tinfoil hattie

    Lordy, my sides are ACHING from laughter, XY Feminist!

  34. TwissB

    “I am not laying in that freshman year bed anymore ever again.”

    Oh Amy, just grow up and start paying attention to important things like stopping the junking of the language on which you depend for your livelihood. Slob-speak may be the official language of Lower Slobovia* but here in the USA it degrades grace – not to mention clarity – of communication.
    It, like, hurts my ears and makes you look, like, stupid, Amy.

    *Thank you, Al Capp

  35. josquin

    Dang, TwissB, now I’m stuck with the image of Amy Schumer letting out a loud cackle as she lays her eggs on that dude’s bed.

  36. mybodyisacage

    Note that Schumer ends her speech on the same tiresome “I’m beautiful” trope that infects so much faux feminist self “empowerfulment” these days. Can you imagine any man end his spiritual journey with what is, in essence, a line from some Britney spears song: “I’m beautiful, no matter what you say?” Of course not. Only the sex class has such low prospects under the P that journey from degraded sex toilet to self-affirming aesthetic pleasurable wallpaper is a huge accomplishment. I agree with tinfoil hattie.

    Can you imagine if Amy had been the drunk one instead of Matt? The result would have been quite different…no pseudo epiphany, just a brutal rape, with Amy being blamed for daring to be drunk while possessing a vagina.

    The silly imaginings of her marriage and interactions with Matt’s mother after one phone call with the guy seemed unfortunately realistic, from what I’ve seen when I was in college. Yet this phenomenon (women conditioned to center their life around any man who ‘picks’ them for a mere working session to the extent that they will have baby names picked out before they even finish their pre-coital lip gloss, while dude is already imagining who his next blow job donor will be once he finishes with the first naively hopeful girl) went uncritiqued in her speech. And her anger over the jerk interviewer asking about her weight as well as the replacement of her picture with a 16 year old model seemed less like “judging women on their looks is repellent” and more like “waah, I still don’t measure up!”

    As far as her comment to the woman in the audience who only got pronged by three men, I’m just appalled. Not just by the nosiness and insensitivity, but the use of that same disgusting theory that any woman who doesn’t get pronged by every Tom’s Dick that’s Hairy is a sad terrified victim who just needs the right mister man to come along and break her in. What if the audience member was (gasp) a lesbian? Or what if she liked men sexually but did not enjoy being penetrated? From the few episodes I’ve seen of her show (a cis guy friend, a fem bi boy who is an intermediate blamer, or at least I thought he was, suggested I see it), I was decidedly unimpressed, especially with the fake bisexuality episode. Now if the woman in the audience had been raped, I can’t imagine how she wasn’t put into an absolute state of fury by this line of questioning.

    Amy Schumer, in today’s climate, is considered as subversive as it gets with regard to feminism. She’s also considered not thin or p2k beauty compliant enough. This makes me want to start throwing inanimate objects until I pass out with exhaustion. It all just keeps getting worse.

  37. Mildred

    @mybodyisacage

    Feminism it ain’t. However, she is navigating her space within the hideously sexist world of television and comedy. I’m not going to criticize her for trying to get by, as an individual.
    I did like a few of her sketches, I remember a standup scene “Every woman has been raped a little bit, she wakes up in the morning and is like hmmmm that wasn’t 100% consensual.” It was kinda creepy because lots of people were laughing at something that is frankly extremely depressing but at the same time, I’ve not ever heard someone say that bit of truth in a mainstream setting! Considering her own experiences I didn’t feel nauseated in the same way I would have by a male comedian.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYBA1GQf5WQ The O’nutters sketch made a pretty bold and hilarious attempt at X-ing the Y

  38. quixote

    OT, but the P has me down today and I want a Twisty post. I hope the silence is because you’re having too much fun, not too little.

  39. Lab Rat

    I feel ya quixote. Now that YET ANOTHER dude has open fired on people because he hates women (somehow the media has forgotten about Montreal), suddenly everyone is shocked to find out that there’s this thing called misogyny. Who knew? Thankfully, there’s a Twitter hashtag available to completely solve this problem once and for all.

    Maybe we really should all just listen to Christina Aguilara in a continous loop.

  40. tinfoil hattie

    Aaaah, Lab Rat. You read my mind. The media has also forgotten about the gym rat asshole who killed all those women because he couldn’t have access to their fuckholes. And the scum who killed the Amish girls (#notahatecrimeohnoofcoursenot). And the men who rape, assault, and murder their “loved ones” every single day. And Valerie Moldanado, still rotting in jail for killing her husband who beat and tortured her and her children every day and even though the judge in her case said it was the worst case of “domestic violence” (sounds like she was beaten up by her laundry, or her kitchen) he had ever seen, he had no choice but to toss her into jail anyway.

    I hate men. Just fucking hate them. And I’m raising two of them, lucky me. So far they’re not assholes, but I have the entire patriarchy working against me.

  41. Lab Rat

    Well this mother of a daughter is soooooo thankful that there are mothers of sons like you in the world.

  42. forp

    The number of people (men) coming out of the woodwork to use this as a chance to justify their misogyny as a healthy, normal male lifestyle choice is overwhelming. We hate women, but we never killed anyone (?) so don’t taint us with this (totally understandable) incident!

  43. josquin

    The number of “normal healthy” men who have responded to the Santa Barbara attacks with the comment that “someone should have gotten him a prostitute” is also sickeningly overwhelming. Why can’t they see that this comment puts them on the same spectrum as the killer? The sense of entitlement to women’s bodies is essentially the same. This attack has saddened me in so many ways.

  44. ew_nc

    Here’s what I don’t get. Jessica Valenti did an amazing post on Tumblr about the Santa Barbara shootings. So good I reposted it. Today she has some drivel about Beyonce.

    Help an old feminist out, young ones, what is so great about Beyonce? What am I not getting?

  45. blue stocking

    Tinfoil Hattie, I know it’s hard to raise boys. Keep showing and telling your sons every day that women are people who have every right that men have, and hopefully, they will grow up just fine no matter what school and religion (see my previous post), etc., tell them to the contrary. My two sons are grown now, and they treat their respective wife and girlfriend with respect and are horrified by the thought of anyone treating anyone else as less than. Of course, it is immensely helpful that Nigel is that way, too, and has always treated me as a person and not as the little wife (which I wouldn’t have been for long if he had!). Raising boys is so hard under the P, but we have to persevere or there will never be any progress. IBTP for making what should be easy enough into a freaking daily uphill battle!

    As more information becomes available about this misogynist murderer and as I read more of the comments regarding him and his actions, all I can think is that there are millions of men out there just a step away from doing the same: “I understand where he’s coming from,” and that was from someone who claimed to totally disagree with his actions. I shudder to think about the guys who secretly admire him. A bunch of self-absorbed, entitled pricks who don’t consider women to be people with agency, only a bunch of holes who owe them a fuck. Women get rejected, too, but you seldom hear about one who decides to go on a murder spree because of it, when it is becoming all too common for men to do so. These guys can’t fathom why they get rejected. The video of this guy creeps me out, and I’m sure he was no better in person when stalking the girls from the “hot sorority” who turned him down. Why is that never the issue? Why is it the mean girls’ fault and not his that he set off alarm bells with women who were so tragically proved to be right about him?

  46. mybodyisacage

    @mildred, yes, I guess I was a bit hard on Amy. Ibtp, not her. O’nutters was hilarious and quite subversive. She is working within a notoriously misogynist industry (comedy central and the malestream media).

    Having close proximity to the recent situation of patriarchal ideals resulting in horrific violence, I really would love to see an ibtp post on the ucsb murders. I had the unfortunate situation of overhearing a dudebro defend elliot rodgers’ actions with this snippet: “aw, every guy feels that way sometimes about hot women who won’t let us f$$$ them. That doesn’t mean we’re all about to become serial killers.”

    All too believable.

  47. forp

    The recent gang-rape and murder of two girls in India is just because of the caste system, everyone. No need to talk about rampant misogyny in the world and whether it’s getting worse. I’m sure as political turmoil, economic inequality, climate disruption, the internet and self-emp0rnfulment crash into each other, the funfems will really get out the message and everything will turn out just fine!

  48. Bushfire

    @ew_mc Nothing is great about Beyoncé.

  49. Cyberwulf

    @forp No no, that’s just how brown countries are. Why, Western men would never do such a thing as rape and murder two girls, or stone a pregnant woman to death for marrying the wrong guy, or gang-rape a teenager with thirty-seven of their friends. No, they’d get a teenage girl drunk first, video themselves and all their mates raping her on their phones, and then cry about how their lives are ruined and serve a year in jail. Or get a gun and go on a rampage because friendzone. Or sexually assault a total stranger at four in the morning, whinge that their meds made them do it, and get off with six months and a fine.

  50. Mildred

    Beyonce is the only woman on the planet above criticism. I don’t know how it was decided but it is so. Millions of men above reproach, but only one Beyonce. Thems the rules.

  51. Bushfire

    There’s an excellent article from Gail Dines linking Elliot Rodgers’ shooting to porn. http://m.huffpost.com/uk/entry/5427951

  52. Lidon

    Thank you for that link, Bushfire. The funfeminist claim that porn is empowering (and is totally a choice!) and could just use a “reform” or two is yet another pathetic attempt at putting a band aid on a rotting wound. The very nature of it is domination and exploitation so of course, it serves men’s interests, not women’s.

  53. Cyberwulf

    Bushfire, when you described that article I thought it would contain actual evidence that Rodger was a heavy porn user. Instead Dines pours scorn on people who talk about Rodger’s evident, violent misogyny as if they just say “misogyny did it!” and don’t go any further. She also sails dangerously close to Using a Tragedy to Get My Words Published Reef.

    Our entire culture is saturated with misogyny. You don’t have to watch porn to see that. The “Nice Guy gets the girl because he nobly pines for her and is so nice” is pretty much the plot of every romantic comedy. How many sitcoms showcase inconsiderate, usually out-of-shape husbands who are inexplicably married to conventionally attractive housewives who never leave them no matter how assholish their behaviour? Meanwhile girls are beaten about the head with Beauty and the Beast and the importance of looking at what’s inside a man from the age of five. By solely blaming porn, Dines does the same thing she criticises in the unnamed other writers she mentions at the start of her article.

  54. Bushfire

    Well, yes, Cyberwulf, those are really good points about misogyny being everywhere, and I can’t speak for Dines, but I have a feeling she’d agree with you that misogyny is in many places besides porn. The Beauty and the Beast analogy has occurred to me too—in the animated movie, Gaston actually says “She’s the prettiest girl in town, and that makes her the best, and don’t I deserve the best?” which is pretty much Rodgers’ manifesto. But I haven’t seen anybody talking about porn during this mess. People talk about “male entitlement” all the time as if the entitlement is just appearing for no reason at all in the minds of certain “bad” men. But actually male entitlement is filmed and sold as entertainment for the average man, and even my Facebook friends who post tons of feminist articles talking about Rodgers’ misogyny aren’t daring to mention porn. I was really glad to see somebody talking about it.

    Even if Dines was Using a Tragedy to Get My Words Published—her words are that porn is violence against women and that women are people, so is there really a problem with getting that published? I say, publish more, more, more anti-porn articles.

  55. Jen

    Don’t mean to derail, but I’ve been missing Twisty, and everyone, so I thought I’d share a little more rekwired reading.

    I enjoyed this article this morning: http://billmoyers.com/2014/06/02/the-feminist-battle-after-the-isla-vista-massacre/

  56. awhirlinlondon

    This is genius. I’ve only just stumbled over it; posting in case any of you have not. Came to it via the NYT.

    http://www.theawl.com/2013/07/rape-joke-patricia-lockwood

  57. forp

    I have the urge to write a satire ‘piece’ arguing we should allow pole-dancing as an elective for girls starting in middle school (while the boys watch behind a two-way mirror from their “computer” class, of course) to prepare kids for the future (male-tech) economy while solving the problem of not having enough access to girls-as-sex-dispensers, but I’m afraid it would be taken completely seriously.

  58. Jen

    awhirlinlondon, fantastic poem. Thanks for sharing. And of course male critics have trouble with Lockwood’s writing: http://www.theawl.com/2014/06/men-unsettled-by-womans-poems

  59. quixote

    LabRat: “Thankfully, there’s a Twitter hashtag available to completely solve this problem once and for all. ”

    Hahahaha. God. So true. About everything these days.

    I guess that means the only remaining issue with the P is finding the perfect Twitter hashtag. Holy Grail Twitter Hashtag, the quest begins now.

    I love the commenters here. All y’all posted great links, too. Patricia Lockwood’s poem is — I don’t even know what adjective to use — cleareyed horror. Brilliant.

    The Dines piece is also something that needs to be said. It doesn’t really matter whether any specific serial killer used porn or not. The point she’s making is that the stuff is so prevalent that it’s becoming part of the background noise. It’s not even heard any more. So when some guy goes on a womanhating rampage, never notice that there’s a whole multibillion dollar industry based on torturing women. Don’t even think about the connections unless the specific guy had a specific computer covered in the stuff. And if he did, point out how many millions have those computers and don’t commit mass murder. That works for the industry, but not so much to unravel where all the insane hatred of women is being learned.

  60. Lidon

    It looks like lots of porn isn’t so great for men after all. Who would have thought? (And now I’ll stop the derailing too!)

    http://globalnews.ca/news/1232726/porn-causing-erectile-dysfunction-in-young-men/

  61. Lidon

    Linda, that’s interesting! Call me spiteful, but along with the limp dicks and the altered response to dopamine, I hope it does make their brains smaller.

  62. Linda

    Lidon, so do I sister!

  63. Lab Rat

    That billmoyers.com article is by Rebecca Solnit who is brilliant if anyone is looking for a good read and wants to check out her books. She’s not only a great writer, but an very unusual thinker. She’s able to draw corrollaries and see patterns that are so unique.

  64. josquin

    Where are you Twisty? I am in need of your commentary. I am watching in absolute disgust as men start to squirm about the rape-on-campus discussions. Particularly George Will’s comments about the supposed “coveted status” of rape victims. It is so thoroughly predictable. Even old washed up geezers just can’t STAND even a hint of their entitlement to women’s bodies being challenged.
    It just blows their minds. In the paper this morning was an article about rampant plague of unchallenged sexual abuse in the Coast Guard. Those lucky fortunate women! They can now enjoy the coveted status described by georgie porgee.

  65. Bushfire

    Something else for blamers to read: http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/authorities-wealthy-men-drugged-nyc-strippers-24085220

  66. forp

    Another link to share (ahhhh, nuance):

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/14/opinion/the-battle-over-dress-codes.html

  67. tinfoil hattie

    Missing you; hope you’re doing well.

  68. forp

    Dearest Jill,

    I hope this letter finds you well. I have gotten word that you have endured cow trouble; I hope this has since passed and you have been able to return to mundane spider, horse, dog, vineyard and Texas trouble.

    I in no way intend to impose upon you or ask you to carry an unreasonable burden, but your unique perspective is of supreme value in these rather perplexing times. If you find yourself in want of a sufficiently dreadful activity to occupy your time at Dreadful Acres, I suggest that you consider posting, perhaps on the topic of Patriarchal Bullshit, summer 2014.

    Thank you for your time.

    Sincerely and with utmost respect and well wishes,

    forp

  69. mybodyisacage

    Do I ever miss the wisdom of Jill and the commentariat here. –from a longtime reader, recent commenter, and Santa Barbara resident who continues to be enraged over the UCSB hate crimes as well as every other incident on Planet Misogyny.

  70. Bushfire

    Tried to comment with my new blogging name but went into moderation. I miss Twisty terribly! I sure hope she is doing well and that one of these days she will remember that she has a blog.

    @Mybodyisacage, are you reading other feminist blogs? Feminist Current has been on a roll lately. I won’t link in case it puts me in moderation but just google “Feminist Current” if you’re not reading it already. I’ve also been enjoying Sarah Ditum.

    Maybe other blamers will share what they’ve been reading.

  71. mybodyisacage

    @bushfire, I just read John Stoltenberg’s gender warfare, spec-fic novel Gonerz. Other than reading this and watching Mo’ne Davis in the Little League World Series (though of course, the commentary about her was abysmal), this has been a horrid summer. Hoping that yours, and those of Jill and all the other blamers’, was better.

    I wish there was an IBTP forum again! I can find nowhere else like IBTP on the internet, I.e. an advanced, patriarchy-blaming radical feminist space that doesn’t hate on trans people.

  72. quixote

    Bushfire, thanks for the info re Feminist Current. Not like Twisty, who I’m missing something fierce, but very good. My theory is the wine business is taking all her time, especially because she has to test it to make sure it’s okay. At least, I hope it’s a fun reason, and not an unfun reason.

  73. K

    @mybodyisacage and anyone else who’s interested, there is the Facebook group We Blame the Patriarchy. No substitute for Twisty, but just thought I’d mention it for anyone who a) didn’t know, and b) is willing to put up with all the baggage that comes with Facebook.

  74. mybodyisacage

    @K, thank you! That may be the one thing that inspires me to sign up for Facebook. Maybe I will see you and other blamers there if I can find an adequate pseudonym.

  75. goblinbee

    Emma Watson gives a little speech on Feminism 101 and gets a standing ovation.
    I guess it’s better than nothing.

  76. Satchel

    October sixth marks
    five months gone. We blamers hope
    the drought will end soon.

  77. Noel

    Hope you are well, Twisty!

  78. Kate

    Thank you for having a tiny corner of the internet that is safe

  79. jenicillin

    @quixote I never really thought about “fuck” being a misogynist swear, but I parsed it in my woman brain and yeah, it sure is. To fuck something is to penetrate it, act upon it, etc. Men fuck. Women are fucked. (lol and yes, women are fucked. Ugh) I’ll be removing that swear from my lexicon, as well as screw, its mild-mannered alter-ego. Thanks.

  80. quixote

    @jenicillin, yeah, that’s one of my peeves. It bothers me more *because* people don’t even hear it anymore. Then the normalization of women-as-punching-bags never has to pass any conscious processing at all.

    (My last comment or two were sent to mod, not sure why, so I’m trying not to use any Words and hope for the best.)

  81. Mildred

    I just discovered “Designing Women” tonight! Bit before my time as I was born in ’86 but I love everything about this – Bette Davis + Joan Crawford costumes and the ep ends with a feminist rant and dancing! Perfection.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ULy3s0Mniqo

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