Why I Will Never Back Down

Originally posted on my blog.

An open letter to those who think sexism is dead and the darn feminists need to stop being so angry:

I haven’t been blogging much lately, so when I noticed that I was getting a lot of page views, and a few really angry comments, I was curious. The majority were from a web site called Single Dude Travel, which seemed odd, since I’m not single, nor a dude, nor do I write about travel. Turns out, they had just linked to me because I’m a “retarded feminist.” They said I was too much of a silly idiot woman to take on directly, but they linked to an article that did. I will not link to them here, because they don’t deserve the attention. But basically their response to my argument against fat-shaming was that I’m a fat lesbian, so OF COURSE I feel that way. From there, I found a link to an article that argued that women are not fit to participate in the public sphere (seriously!!!), and they used my blog post as a prime example–apparently, I’m too emotional to tell people they’re ugly or obese, so I make up pseudo-arguments to make myself feel better. I shouldn’t quote this guy, because he does not deserve the attention, but I have to, because I cannot make this shit up (Grey is the guy who called me a fat lesbian, and when the author refers to Feministing, he’s talking about my post, not the whole site):

Grey’s argument was perfectly sound, but in a sense his engagement with Feministing is pointless. The author of the original post is a woman. Of course she’s going to say absurd things in order to ensure that no one feels bad. We should accept that. Often we ought to praise women for their sensitivities while ignoring their so-called arguments.

It’s the ovaries. They give me the crazies. (Also, I love that he tries to make that seem like a compliment…?) Oh, but the problem with this logic is that I AM cool with making some people feel bad…like people who think I’m too emotional to participate in the public sphere… However, if he STILL feels that I am “hysterical,” he could always send me a vibrator–I hear they used to use those to cure the “womb crazies” and stuff–I would gladly accept such, uh, medication for my “problem.”

But my point is, people say these things. Maybe not to your face, because you said nothing to provoke them. Or maybe because they’re scared. Or maybe you thought what they said was a joke. But it’s not. As much as I laughed at what these guys said about me, this is not a joke. This is serious. PEOPLE STILL THINK WOMEN SHOULD NOT PARTICIPATE IN THE PUBLIC SPHERE. THIS IS REAL. It’s extreme, I know. Most of you will be like, “But I support women working!” But, just as problematically, PEOPLE STILL USE FAT LESBIAN AS AN INSULT. And that’s a mainstream opinion.

On the one hand, I kind of feel like I earned a badge of honour. I mean, you hear of feminists being accused of being lesbians all the time–you know, the whole we’re-too-ugly-to-actually-get-a-guy thing, the we’re-bitter-angry-ugly-lesbians thing–but no one had ever said that to me! I was feeling kind of left out. Now I can join the club. Interestingly, I actually find it highly problematic that I’ve never been called a lesbian before. Because that says a lot more about what a lesbian can’t be than it does about me. I don’t get called a lesbian because most people that I’ve engaged with in arguments about feminism have seen what I look like. I’m thin. I have long dirty blonde hair. I wear a bra and girly tops and tight jeans or short shorts or skirts and I have a lot of pretty, impractical shoes. I put on mascara and lip gloss daily. I have long nails and I shave my legs. I’m young and white and conventionally attractive. By not calling me a lesbian, people are essentially saying that the only women who are lesbians are those who do not fit into heteronormative beauty standards. They are saying that if you’re deemed “fuckable” by men, then there’s no way you could refuse the penis! But all these guys online know is that I’m “getting all emotional” about the “fat chicks” and their “feelings” so I must be a lesbian. A fat one, too. Sorry, sweethearts, I’m actually not a lesbian–I don’t refuse all penis, just yours, you misogynistic fuckwads. (Come on, call me a slut now–I dare you.)

But, on the other hand, telling me (or, no, sorry, telling men behind my back) that my voice does not belong in the public sphere? You better be prepared for what you’ve started. I have never been more motivated to put my voice out there. Oh, and I’m a PhD student, too, or I will be in a few months, so you better believe that I have the avenues to do so. I will stir shit up. I’m only just getting started. You think that one blog post was something? I wrote that rant in twenty minutes. I never expected it to go viral; I was writing it for the hundred-odd friends and family that usually read my blog. You just wait and see what I can do when I actually put my mind to it. You will not break me.

Sincerely,

The thin white straight girl who STILL believes that ALL WOMEN ARE BEAUTIFUL

 

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3 Comments

  1. Posted May 17, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    Dear Jocelyn,

    I hope you are proud of being targeted by those sexist losers. As an activist, I know I am doing a good job when misogynists start noticing/talking about me. When Rush Limbaugh – during one of his many sexist rants – called the National Organization for Women (NOW) Nags, we knew our national campaign to take him off air was working.

    Keep rocking!

    • Posted May 17, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

      Thank you so much for the encouragement! In a weird way, it is a kind of empowering experience :)

  2. Posted May 17, 2012 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

    “Single Dude Travel”? Sounds more like “Forever Alone Troll”.

    I admit, I googled the site. Apart from them being very down on PUA’s, it looks like the standard MRA paranoia—I see they have a link to Jessica Valenti on Register-Her.com (I just learned what that was this morning, and I still haz a sad. :( Or a nauseous. Take your pick.)

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