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A Bad Taste in my Mouth

29 Apr

Oh, yeah, that’s the taste of psychic toxicity.

I have a podcast app called Castbox. It sent me a notification about a TED talk that Hannah Gatsby gave, so I clicked on it, opening the app.

The first thing I noticed was a couple of long-winded comments, and I skimmed through them… to discover that I can’t even use a podcast app without encountering trolls. I didn’t even know that Castbox had a comments section, let alone trolls.

This troll was accusing Hannah Gatsby of not being funny (even though I found her funny when it’s her intention to be funny), of just whining about her experience of abuse and trauma, and of being full of herself. In other words, this troll projected their own arrogance onto her and generally flaunted their narcissism in public.

The intention of trolls, of course, is to silence women. Misogynists have silenced–and attempted to silence–women for centuries. Time’s up. You can’t silence Hannah Gatsby, and you can’t silence me.

Joke’s on you, troll. Some of us have gone for decades being gaslighted and put down by misogynistic narcissists and narcissistic sociopaths. We’ve learned to see the signs for what they are.

Collecting Books by George Sand

22 Apr

Several of my books by George Sand (Amantine Lucile Aurore Dupin) were published in the 1970s, a decade when second wave feminists wished to read George Sand and found it frustrating that they could read about her but couldn’t find her books. (People found her life scandalous, and misogynists insist on pretending that women are nothing but sexual objects–even a woman as brilliant as George Sand). Maybe Joanna Russ, author of How to Suppress Women’s Writing, sought books by George Sand. The main publishers of her work in English in North America were Shameless Hussy Press and Cassandra Press.

To this day, if you wish to find books by George Sand, you can’t find them in bookstores that only sell new books. Unless you shop on Amazon.com, you can only find them in libraries and used bookstores, even though she was a prolific author and wrote books that are still relevant to today’s society.

Circa 2000, I started searching for books by George Sand. I went to the public library and used interlibrary loan. I fell in love with her epic, historic, and romantic novel Consuelo and wanted my own copy. Since then, I’ve been collecting books by George Sand; some are antiques, and I found the majority at Powell’s City of Books. On Amazon.com, I eventually found print-on-demand (POD) copies of Consuelo and its sequel, The Countess of Rudelstadt, but I kept my antique copy of Consuelo.

Dismissiveness toward women’s experiences and perspectives of course are tied to dismissiveness toward women’s writing. This dismissiveness is, of course, a result of systemic misogyny.

Today’s Asshole Award Goes to: Mansplainer

3 Apr

Today’s Asshole Award goes to the arrogant white male directing traffic with confusing communication skills.

No, your delusions of entitlement don’t mean it’s okay to blame me for your bad communication skills. The way your arrogant white male ass held the stop sign combined with your confusing hand gestures meant I was having trouble figuring out when you wanted me to move forward.

When he seemed to be telling me to move forward, I began to do so–but then he abruptly directed me to stop. He not only stole my right of way, he also directed me to roll down my window, which I did, only for him to condescendingly say, “When I say move forward, you’ve got to move forward.”

I replied, “I DID move forward.”

The asshole talked over me and said basically the same thing. I was too shocked to yell, “YOUR BAD COMMUNICATION SKILLS ARE YOUR OWN FAULT!”

It wasn’t until I got home that it occurred to me that maybe he thought he was directing me to move forward before it was clear he was doing so. Wrapping your hand in a fist and holding the stop sign sideways in no way indicates that you want me to move forward. And of course I have no idea what he was saying until I rolled down the window.

Mansplaining, condescension, disrespect, and false accusations each push my buttons, and all simultaneously particularly infuriate me. Your shit communication skills are your own fault, fucking assfuckinghole.

After this asshole mansplained at me, a woman took his place, and I had no trouble understanding when she directed me to move forward. You can bet I fucking hit the gas pedal.

#

This is what I emailed the city:

At approximately 1:20 PM on Wednesday, April 3, while I was waiting to turn right out of the parking lot on Tyinn St. off West 11th, an arrogant white male was directing traffic with confusing communication skills. I sat waiting and trying to interpret what he wanted me to do; folding up your hand in more or less a fist and holding the stop sign sideways doesn’t make any sense when directing traffic. His lips were moving, but directing traffic is nonverbal, and I couldn’t hear him.

When he seemed to be telling me to move forward, I began to do so–but then he abruptly directed me to stop. He not only stole my right of way, he also directed me to roll down my window, which I did, only for him to condescendingly say, “When I say move forward, you’ve got to move forward.”

I replied, “I DID move forward.”

He talked over me and smugly said basically the same thing and returned to his post. I was too shocked to yell, “YOUR BAD COMMUNICATION SKILLS ARE YOUR OWN FAULT!”

It wasn’t until I got home that it occurred to me that maybe he thought he was directing me to move forward before it was clear he was doing so. Wrapping your hand in a fist and holding the stop sign sideways in no way indicates that you want me to move forward. And of course I have no idea what he was saying until I rolled down the window.

After he mansplained at me, a woman took his place, and I had no trouble understanding when she directed me to move forward. His terrible communication skills are his own fault, not mine.

The Only Good Troll is Under the Fremont Bridge

26 Oct

Since a misogynist (and semi-literate troll) on Instagram essentially told me to shut up and go back to posting cat photos, I’m not posting any cat photos online at least until the end of November. I’ll be posting feminist stuff (feminist books mostly, I suspect) and promoting my self-published books…and perhaps mentioning other stuff I’ve written, perhaps including NaNoWriMo posts (such as pictures in coffee shops).

I wonder if others are experiencing an increase in misogynistic trolling since Christine Blasey Ford’s hearings. I don’t remember trolls attacking me personally before that (not counting people I shouldn’t have accepted as Nazibook “friends”—which makes me wonder if these so-called friends’ only motivation was to harass me). Both these recent incidents have been specifically misogynists attempting to invalidate me and shut me up. Misogynists are excrement.

Actually, that makes me more determined to get more published. I should resume contacting agents for Hauntings—though I know I must do a lot of research on said agents, and it takes a while.

 

Dietland Fan Fiction

6 Oct
Sarai Walker wrote a wonderful feminist novel called Dietland, which is a lot more than a criticism of fatphobia and diet culture.
Below is a tiny bit of fan fiction I wrote, possibly the beginning of something:
Jennifer straightened up over the mound of dirt, leaned on the shovel, and surveyed her work. The mound was an oval, about six feet long, and covered the remains of a sexual predator whom overtly misogynistic politicians elected for the Supreme Court, the highest court in the land. Yup, the entitled parasite wouldn’t be getting away with anything ever again, not in this lifetime. Jennifer sighs in relief and smiles faintly.
Her smile fades, and her sigh becomes shaky, as she mentally reminds herself: so many more sexual predators and their supporters to go. I can’t dilly-dally here.

As if I haven’t had enough Gaslighting

5 Oct
Every woman and girl in every patriarchal country has been gaslighted since the day she was born. The past two weeks have been a nightmare, not unlike being in an abusive relationship.
Today I realized that, emotionally, the past two weeks have felt like being in an abusive relationship.
The abuser in this relationship is the Senate judiciary committee. The abuser is the government of this fucking country, which has told every woman and girl, and every survivor of sexual harassment, sexual assault, or rape, that they don’t matter and that they are invalid. It has told yet another sexual predator that he’s so fucking valid that he’s fucking entitled to be on the Supreme Court, taking away women’s reproductive rights.
This calls for a REVOLUTION.
Facebook had an event on September 27: a rally in Portland, in support of Christine Blasey Ford, across from the courthouse. It began at noon, and I didn’t get organized in time to leave by 10 am…so I posted a comment on the event page.
“It’s too late for me to drive the 2 hours, so instead of attending, I’ll be revising a story about sexual harassment. But I’ll be with you in spirit.”
Just this morning–days later–an entitled male troll fucking reacted with a “laughing face” and commented, “What do you mean revise? Make stuff up?”
I became so furious that my hands were shaking as I typed. At first, I was going to reply before blocking the fucking piece of shit, but I remembered my usual policy of not replying to trolls. I didn’t want this smug and arrogant misogynist and possible sexual predator to have the satisfaction of thinking he’d succeeded. So I deleted what I’d started to write with very shaky hands, blocked the parasite….yelled KILL ALL MISOGYNISTS a few times, and then found the event again and posted this comment:
“The only good troll is the one under the Fremont Bridge. “Revising” doesn’t fucking mean “making stuff up.” It means revising, asshole. As in adding more details. Your attempts to gaslight and invalidate me only prove that you’re devoid of any redeeming quality.”
 I then posted a variation onto my Facebook page:
“The only good troll is the one under the Fremont Bridge.
“Revising” an autobiographical story about sexual harassment doesn’t fucking mean “making stuff up.” It means revising, asshole. As in ADDING MORE DETAILS. Your attempts to gaslight and invalidate me only prove that you’re devoid of any redeeming quality.
And I really, really enjoyed blocking your evil, soulless, entitled ass.”
As a fiction writer, I do indeed make things up. I look forward to writing a story in which a group of vigilante feminists chop rapists, sexual predators, the politicians who gaslight us and reward sexual predators, and gaslighters. At the very least, I could post it on a fan fiction site as Dietland (by Sarai Walker) fan fiction.

Gaslighting, Mansplaining, and Entitlement

28 Aug

Since the 2016 election from hell, I’ve been sick of straight cisgender white men who mansplain and smugly wallow in their privileges. They fucking know the world revolves around them and don’t object. Even many who think they’re progressive talk down to women and judge women instead of their over-rated selves.

They think they’re experts in everything, and they think they’re entitled to explain everything, including things they don’t understand and to which they don’t relate. All their lives they’ve been validated and respected and valued, not invalidated and ridiculed and hyper-criticized.

Women have been gaslighted since the day they were born, and these self-entitled men keep gaslighting us, even on a national level.