Tuesday, December 18, 2012

In which CW defends herself, probably badly.

Edit: This page was part of a massive cluster fuck on my part. To find out how I reacted to the cluster fuck, please visit this page

Okay. Time to be a big girl.

I fucked up. I will study more. I expect people not to trigger me, I will learn now not to trigger other people.

I can admit when I was wrong. I hesitated before using the word "bitch" before I used it, which should have been my clue. I decided to use it anyway because I felt Anita Blake's fucked up lack of morality and the author's decision to make Anita's rape alright due to orgasm justified calling the character a dessicated waste of skin and moral fiber, and I felt that "bitch" was a good short hand for it.

I see now that was a mistake. I understand why it was wrong. I will try not to do it in the future.

It would have nice to have had this explained to me the first ninty times I used the word bitch, rather than having other people blow their shit at me, but apparently that is the only way for me to learn.

I am sorry for anyone I offended. I will learn not to do it in the future.

The rant from before is below, in tiny text. 

Go Here. Read that.

Come back here. That is the page they're talking about.

First off, let me state that I don't think LKH was raped, because if she was, she wouldn't be writing this shit. I'm saying that she fantasizes about other people being raped. I want that out for the masses, because if somebody's going to call bullshit on me, I want it to be on the right bullshit. I didn't want to say it out loud because it is ugly, but here it is in plain english: She wrote a completely accurate rape scene and intended it to be sexually stimulating for the reader. You don't do that if you've been raped, because that would require imagining yourself back in the event. You imagine somebody else in that position. That way you get your sexy fun-times without having to deal with the nasty fallout.

Now, for the out of context shit. I posted this over on the other blog, but I have no way of knowing if that will show up. So I'm ruining all our fun and posting it here.

I called Anita a bitch because her response to someone trying to protect her from one of the two creatures that raped her less than an hour ago is to attack them verbally using the most damaging emotional ammunition she has. She flat out accuses the cop's wife of sleeping with a vampire so that Anita herself doesn't have to deal with the idea that maybe, just maybe, she's in an abusive relationship. Is it mysogynistic? They say yes. I say no. Anita is supposed to be this glorious empowered woman, and instead of realizing that one or more of her lovers is treating her as less than a worthy human being, she's pulling low blows so she doesn't have to face the idea that maybe she's in a bad relationship. I'm calling Anita out less on being a woman and more on being a terrible cacurature of a human being. And I'm calling her that because Anita is not real. 

Anita is LKH's vehicle for the ultimate female. Anita is as much of a strawchick as John Norman's  Elinor Brinton, and not in a polar opposite way. They are the same kind of stupid, just a little less magnified in Anita's case. Strawchick was a punching bag. Anita is LKH's Virgin Queen.

Huh? You say? Anita is no virgin. Right. But Queen Elizabeth was.

To be a monarch in England, Elizabeth had to be a virgin. She had to deny her femininity and sexuality and conform to male expectations of morality. She had to refuse to have any relationships at all because to do so would be to undermine her own power. She had to accept male definitions of value to avoid being devalued herself. She had to chose to be a Queen or to have a life as a human being, and because being a woman in her era sucked, she chose to be a Queen.

Anita, virginity aside, is the same damn thing. I criticise her clothing choice because she dresses like a hooker when she goes to crime scenes. This results in scenes where she gets her spike heels stuck in the chest of her opponant, and while doing the inadvertant splits, lets the whole room full of cops know that she isn't wearing underwear. That happened in Kiss the Dead, in a VERY early chapter. Women should get to dress however they want to, but I don't know any woman who would dress in a mini-skirt, midrift shirt and thigh-high boots when she's going into enemy territory to rescue a friend. It's not empowering. It's impractical. It makes Anita look stupid for not taking five minutes to put on new shoes, and maybe check the rest of her costume to make sure it's work approprete. And it happened because her author thought it would look good, not because Anita thought it would look good. Her author wanted a fight with heels, and didn't care that IRL that's a good way to break an ankle. Her author basically treats Anita like she's freaking Power Girl, and if you say the superheroine with the steadily inflating boobs is a respectful deception of costuming for women I will punch you, I swear to God.  Anita gets into stupid pissing contests with male authority figures, trying to prove that she is just as good as them, even when the pissing context damages the cause she is fighting for, because surrendering the point would be denying that she's got a bigger penis. Anita constantly belittles blonds and "feminine" women because they are not masculine she-monsters like her and thus could not survive the terrible things that she's seen, when she has no clue what the blond bubble-head's true character is. For all she knows, the bubbly girl has just a big kill count as Anita does, has survived the same terrible history that Anita has, and is just secure enough in her person-hood to not assume the persona someone ELSE thinks she should have. Micah, the POS that raped Anita is viewed as a good guy because he gives her an orgasm, and he has a big penis. Dolph, the cop that Anita verbally abused, is a bad guy for telling Anita that she might be an abuse victim and MIGHT want to go get help. Because showcasing your masculinity is a good thing, and being soft and respectful towards others is bad in this bizzaro "men's world" Anita's author has created.

The problem I have with Anita dressing like a hooker, verbally abusing the people who try to help her and criticising other women is that it is re-enforcing male values, rather than trying to alter them. In effect, Anita has decided that she has to fit into a man's world, and that to fit into the man's world she has to both deny her femininity (something devalued by the male world) and showcase her sexuality (something valued by the male world) in order to prove that she is worthy of working a job that is steriotypically male. She has to prove she has value to men to do her job, rather than saying "Fuck that shit" and accepting that she has value without male approval, and going about her business.

That. is. WRONG.

I'm not saying that it's wrong for a sex worker to dress how she needs to dress to do their job. Nor am I saying that there is anything wrong with a sex worker DOING their job. You make more money than I do, you deserve respect for being a human being in an industry that chews human beings up and spits them out like bubble gum. What I am saying is why the fuck would anyone wear five inch heels and a mini skirt to a crime scene? No one would. So why is it okay for an author to objectify her characters in ways that are offensively stupid?

In short, when I called her a bitch, and said she was everything that men hate about women, I fucking meant it. A friend flat out told her that her relationship was abusive, and she responded by going for his jugular and accusing his wife of having an affair. That is not how a good person behaves. That is how a terrible waste of a human being behaves. She is every non-feminine character trait men have ever belittled, magnified to the extreme and showcased as something that women ought to become because it is "empowering". It is "Empowering" to display your sex appeal to men to earn their approval. It is "empowering" to belittle women who would rather have a designer dress than a Sig-Saur. It is "empowering" to ignore consent and have sex when you don't want to just because you'll have an orgasm at the end. Gag me. I'll be over here with my devalued "feminine" hobbies and my "feminine" love of clothes and makeup and my respect for other human beings, which is obviously another devalued "feminine" trait because it's one Anita doesn't fucking have.

Yes. I called Anita a bitch. Because "terrible, horrible waste of human skin" takes too many words, and it isn't half as funny. If using the word bitch offended you, I am sorry I used one of your trigger words. But I'm going to stand by it. Anita was a fantastic character for nine books, she turned into a horrible excuse for a human being in this one, and she stayed that way for the next ten plus novels because her author thinks Anita is exactly what a free, empowered woman should be like.

That thought alone should make you want to take a fucking shower. 

5 comments:

  1. So I think I should start this by saying I don't think I've ever commented on someone else's blog. I'm hard-core lazy. No matter how much I love/hate something, I almost never feel compelled to leave my 2 cents.

    I've been reading through some of your archives for the last day or two. I'm enjoy your writing style--I like angry, foul-mouthed women (you know, since I am one). I did start at the NiC blogs because I fucking hate what LKH has done to a series I absolutely adored and it's good to know that someone else's mind exploded when they hit that pointless, pointless book.

    Then I reached these posts, and I think the level of anger I attained was similar to the reading of that book. The fact that a bunch of internet harpies ganged up on you for your opinions on your blog and tore sentences from it while ignoring your well-reasoned arguments for WHY you chose to use the language you did made lava shoot from my eyes.

    Seriously, people who make arguments based on semantics rather than content need to be beat to death with a fucking thesaurus. You know the reason that people use words like 'bitch', 'dick', 'bastard', 'douchebag', etc? Because they are words used in anger to describe undesirable traits and behaviors, and every frickin culture has them. If 'bitch' wasn't the word they were jumping on you for, it would be something else. Do they really think they're going to change the world by eliminating the word bitch? No, people would find some other word to describe a woman whose actions were reprehensible. Why do we attach gender to insults? Because the goddamn point of language is to be descriptive. The same thing with 'hooker-wear'. If, as they so snottily put it, "There is no such thing as hooker-wear! Hookers don't have uniforms!!!111!" then why did everyone who read that sentence know exactly what kind of clothing you were talking about? Slut-wear is a real thing. I should know, I have plenty of it in my own closet for fun weekends. I don't think there's anything wrong with dressing or being promiscuious, as long as you're responsible (i.e. two consenting adults, not cheating, not actively pursuing people in relationships, safe sex, maintaining self-respect and respect for your partner).

    Anyway, my point is this: You didn't fuck up. Don't feel pressured to change your style of writing or thinking because a bunch of first-year psychology students took an Intro to Feminism class and got their asshairs in a twist. You got swarmed by a pack of internet crazies and decided that you must have been in the wrong because that's the assumption most sane, thoughtful people make when their views are universally criticized. While this is a good rule to live by in real life, it doesn't really work well on the internet. This is where the cockroaches of the human species come to hide. In general, you should never take advice from people who are determined to dislike you no matter what you do.

    Anyway, I'm tipsy and it's 6 in the morning. Hopefully I didn't say anything too exceptionally stupid in this rant. I can never tell if I'm explaining myself coherently, which is the other reason I never leave comments. Sorry to clog up your page with this, I just felt the need to bring a different perspective to this mass of insanity. So good luck, be strong and goodnight.

    --Alexis

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    Replies
    1. I have two responses.

      Response the first (The well-reasoned, nice response): They were idiots, but they were also right ON ONE LEVEL (and only one level). "Bitch" should not be a catch all for "psychotic waste of skin with a vagina". I already consider being called a "cunt" to be somewhat similar to being called an "elbow". Bitch IMHO SHOULD be a term for a woman who is tough, enduring and who does not give one solitary fuck (IE Ellen Ripley) and it's why I choose to self identify as one. But as an insult meaning "Worthless collection of personality traits the universe would be better off without" then gendered insults should not be used. Wastes of skin do not deserve gender. Or the awesomeness that comes with the word "bitch".

      THAT. SAID.

      One of the websites I read frequently posted a notice today that the person behind Requireshate, "Winterfox", is being nominated for a Hugo.

      This is not what has me steaming pissed.

      What has me pissed is apparently winterfox got thrown off of most of livejournal for being an ungodly ass to anybody who didn't agree with her opinions, Social Justice issues or just regular stuff. I spent about the last hour trying to track this shit down, mostly because I KNEW I had run into this blog before, and in the process I found out quite a bit.

      I'm pathetic. I get that. My head is not a safe place, I have major triggers with things that I should just be able to get over, like rejection and highschool type gossip-behind-your-back bullshit. I might as well have "Target!" painted across my back. I'm dealing with that.

      People who pick on people like me are not champions of anything. They're jerks. They're bullies. Being an asshole on the side of angels doesn't make you less of an asshole. It just makes you an asshole who can't get smacked down.

      And I'd be willing to cut them a lot of slack for trying to champion their cause if they hadn't spent the entire fucking day giggling to themselves about how pathetic I was on twitter.

      In short: I feel a lot better knowing I'm not the only person (even if I did totally deserve it) and fuck them for destroying their own cause just as profoundly as anyone else could.

      NP on being tipsy. Is good way to end evening. For that matter, forgive me for getting my angry all over the place. I LITERALLY found all this shit today, and while the first time around hurt, that was mostly trigger-speak talking. Now I'm just pissed.

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    2. Yeah, sorry if I dragged you back into the bullshit with my post. I didn't mean to, and I realize that it was several weeks ago from your perspective--but the posts were new to me, and the whole internet snobbery/bullying thing is really a button for me. It's just so unnecessary. It wasn't even the same thing as trolling--I've seen so much of that that it doesn't even phase me anymore. It was more the fact that you come off as a well-reasoned adult, who probably would have taken that language down if you'd been asked respectfully to do so. They didn't. They DID choose to act like a bunch of giggly, clique-ish highschoolers, which is ridiculous.

      It blows my mind that adults can act that way. And the fact that one of them is nominated for a Hugo doesn't piss you off? It pisses me off. It kinda destroys that nice, warm idea I have that I would like my favorite authors if I met them in person.

      UNFORTUNATELY, I guess my mind was also changed later that night about the gendered insults, and felt like a bit of an ass posting a defense of them. But it was not those obnoxious turds that changed my mind--it was the other woman they attacked in their post. The one that they made sound as though was defending rape in her article (which could not have been farther from the truth). I really liked her writing style, and wondered how she was dealing with all the fall-out from this, so I went to her website. She's been getting constant shit from these psychos too, and started posting their harassment letters online, which I thought was hilarious. But she also had an article about how we should all try to avoid gendered/racial/whatever insults not only because it's hurtful, but because it also dumbs down the language in general. One of her suggestions was 'worse than jalapeno diarrhea' which cracked me up. http://alyssaroyse.wordpress.com/2012/05/10/gender-neutral-insults/

      And I don't think you're being pathetic. Getting angry is a perfectly natural response to unwarranted aggression. On the other hand, the world is full of crappy people and they are utterly unworthy of long-term anger. Just don't turn that anger at yourself, especially if you know you haven't done anything wrong.

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    3. Sometimes it takes a shock to change you out of a mindset.

      Having those idiots scream at me did change my mind. However, it wasn't their screaming at me that did it. It was having to talk about why I used the words that I did that made me realize a gendered word should not be used as shorthand for uselessness, worthlessness or negative character traits. If I had not had to defend myself, then I would probably have not had to look at my own behavior in a stark light.

      Pointing and laughing accomplishes nothing. Opening a dialogue with the other person has a 50-50 chance of changing their mind. NOT because your words convince them, but because in trying to defend their position, they realize (as I did) that their position is indefensible.

      The hugo thing does piss me off. That said, anybody can be nominated for consideration. And even if they do win...well, District 9 lost out to petty politics and James Cameron's divorce IMHO. (It should have won. It should have won all the things). Awards don't mean something's good. THey just mean that you wrote/filmed/did what the judges like.

      And if the Hugos want to reward that kind of a person? Fuck 'em.

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  2. I came across this in a google search. you are a woman and as such have ownership over the word bitch. People within a group that have been hurt by a term have a different relationship to that term than people outside the group. these people are just being assholes.

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