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Fuck Politeness

This is a revolution, not a public relations movement

So I wasn’t going to hop on the net this morning as I’ve got quite a bit to do. But I just checked in and I found a link to this article on a friend’s facebook wall (hi Beppie!).

Now that I’ve read it…Melissa McEwan is a beautiful writer – clear, concise, passionate and articulate. It takes immense courage to formulate and express opinions in the way that she does (since as women we’re expected to incessantly apologise whenever we make some discomforting observation of society) and it does unsettle to read so clearly articulated the discomforts and indignities of being a woman in a man’s world.

I think that at various times in my life I’ve chosen the easier route to joke along, to do what it took to be ‘one of the boys’, to ignore the ‘jokes’ or to make them myself. I try not to do it any more, but this description of being somewhat on guard even in the company of men you know, respect and like rings true all the same. The knowledge that you’ll be required to just calmly accept a casually made nasty bigoted joke, resigning yourself to the fact that most of the world thinks that to use a woman as a source for your nasty humour (haha, insult her, undermine her, make her jealous, it’s FUNNY) and that even people you love will do that and you’ll have to ‘perform’ not being disappointed and hurt, exhortations not to take things ‘personally’ when men take far less serious things far more personally, and on and on and on and on…

I added the link to my facebook wall.

How will that go? Well if I’m lucky it will go below the radars of the vast majority of my ‘friends’. I suspect it will not and the guy who is one of my oldest friends, the guy who’s declared he loves me countless times, the guy who says he wants to sleep with me when he sees me cos his desire is so lasting, the guy who thinks he knows me, who thinks he cares, who thinks he’s being a good friend…that one, the one who moved way north (thank fuck), got a job down the mines and embraced Redneck as though it’s a religion? He’ll be first in line with rude and aggressive assertions on what a fucking whinging paranoid feminist idiot I am. If it plays out anything like the last time I tried to mention an instance of entrenched sexism in the form of not acknowledging women in music then guys I don’t know well, who think themselves progressive, who can’t out argue me in real life without this tag-teaming of idiocy will jump on that first fuck-knuckle’s bandwagon with some generic dismissing crap. School friends may or may not comment, but they will think I’m a moron. Family members won’t read and if they did they’d roll their eyes and despair of me. Friends I get along with well will be discomforted ‘But…what? She *seems* to enjoy men’s company? Is she having a breakdown?’.

Anyway…I’m gonna go do those things I need to do, and try to ignore the anxiety of what might be sitting on my facebook wall when I get back. It’s an excellent post and the reason I linked to it publicly (and not just in a space one step removed from my regular interactions and already marked as feminist) was because I’m a little sick of ‘the way things are’ being used to keep women in line. Make your jokes, have your clubs ladies, but don’t rock the fucking boat. You rock the boat and we’ll make sure you feel like a crazy bitch idiot. And the thing is that my feminism means more to me than the approbation of the guys like Captain Redneck these days. Plus I have to go study like a hundred more fucking pages of family law and delving into the way things are is unsettling and sad-making and I don’t feel like pussy footing around. Guys, yep, I do love you, but read the fucking article, and if you see yourself in it, then don’t come at me for being ‘sensitive’, instead stop being a fucking JERK.

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