‘If I don’t want it — power — then
it won’t hurt when I can’t have it.’
But you can have it. Don’t you feel it?
Some repressed ambition stirring
nauseously inside you. The piece
of Eve’s apple that won’t digest.
The slow monstering of you
when you have to remind
yourself to smile and be nice.
The tiger hinging on its hind legs.
Don’t be grateful. Be ungrateful.
Be on your last nerve. Get ready.

What Men Want

roxanegay:

Men want what they want.

So much of our culture caters to giving men what they want. A high school student invites model Kate Upton to attend his prom, and he’s congratulated for his audacity. A male fan at a Beyoncé concert reaches up to the stage to slap her ass because her ass is there, her ass is magnificent, and he wants to feel it. The science fiction fandom community is once again having a heated discussion, across the Internet, about the ongoing problem of sexual harassment at conventions — countless women are telling all manner of stories about how, without their consent, they are groped, ogled, lured into hotel rooms under false pretenses, physically lifted off the ground, and more.

But men want what they want. We should all lighten up.

It’s hard not to feel humorless as a woman and a feminist, to recognize misogyny in so many forms, some great and some small, and know you’re not imagining things. It’s hard to be told to lighten up because if you lighten up any more, you’re going to float the fuck away. The problem is not that one of these things is happening, it’s that they are all happening, concurrently and constantly.

These are just songs. They are just jokes. They are just movies. It’s just a hug. They’re just breasts. Smile, you’re beautiful. Can’t a man pay you a compliment? In truth, this is all a symptom of a much more virulent cultural sickness — one where women exist to satisfy the whims of men, one where a woman’s worth is consistently diminished or entirely ignored.

Read the rest at Salon.

Don't Back Me in That Fucking Corner

roxanegay:

[snip]

That’s what happens when we have a culture where men (or women for that matter) are encouraged to push and push and push. It’s a culture that encourages not getting to know someone or flirting or any of that. It treats a “yes” as a prize, a conquest. It doesn’t matter who the yes comes from. A woman’s individuality is completely erased in these scenarios. 

As a feminist, that’s mostly what I’m interested in—how women can be treated like individuals, like human beings with thoughts and feelings that matter—not precious jewels, just, human in the same way that the guys for whom these guides are being written, are being treated as human.

You Can Stop Saying “I’m Not a Feminist But” Now.

roxanegay:

Today, I am done with women bending over backwards to disavow feminism. I’ve been done with this for a while but I am EXTRA done today.

I mean, ladies, do whatever you want and be whatever you want and be however you want and believe whatever you want but stop saying, “I’m not a feminist, but,” and then proceed to list everything that has been borne of the feminist movement. You don’t get to have that cake and eat it too. Wipe that frosting off your face.

How many different ways can a successful, highly visible woman declare to anyone who will listen that she is not a feminist?

Let’s take a look.

Former French First Lady Carla Bruni said, ”There are pioneers who paved the way for us. I am not a feminist activist at all. On the contrary I am a true bourgeoise. I love family life and doing the same thing every day,” and ”In my generation we don’t need to be feminist.”

How nice for her. Feminists, I guess, do not love family life. They fucking hate it. They spit on it!

Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo said, “I don’t think that I would consider myself a feminist. I think that I certainly believe in equal rights, I believe that women are just as capable, if not more so in a lot of different dimensions, but I don’t, I think, have, sort of, the militant drive and the sort of, the chip on the shoulder that sometimes comes with that. And I think it’s too bad, but I do think that feminism has become in many ways a more negative word. You know, there are amazing opportunities all over the world for women, and I think that there is more good that comes out of positive energy around that than negative energy.”

Feminists are full of negative energy, mostly because of the word, got it.

Lady Gaga said, “I am not a feminist. I hail men. I love men. I celebrate American male culture.”

Feminists hate men, obviously.  

Katy Perry said, “I am not a feminist, but I do believe in the strength of women.”

Who even knows what this means.

Taylor Swift is not a feminist. Instead, she thinks, “I don’t really think about things as guys versus girls. I never have. I was raised by parents who brought me up to think if you work as hard as guys, you can go far in life.”

Feminism is guys versus girls… moving right along.  

Artist Marina Abramovic is not a feminist nor is actress Melissa Leo.

I have addressed this elsewhere.

Designer Vivienne Westwood is not a feminist but that’s just because she’s rich. She said, explaining why she’s not a feminist, “Another reason is because I live in the privileged world and I would never accept the idea that somehow I am a victim of society. Just by being born a woman.”

Feminism is for poor people!

Madonna is not a feminist, she’s a humanist. 

We are the world.  

Demi More is not a feminist. She said, “”I am a great supporter of women, but I have never really thought of myself as a feminist, probably more of a humanist because I feel like that’s really where we need to be.”

We are the world. 

Dame Stephanie Shirley, a British philanthropist, said, “I am not a feminist but I have always fought for women.”

I don’t know.  

We could do this all night.

There are, literally, thousands upon thousands of blog posts across the Internet from women declaring why they are not feminists, doing their damndest to distance themselves from the feminist scourge, the scarlet F. 

Guess what? Good for you. You’re not a feminist. Fine. Stop talking about it. Stop reveling in your ignorance about what feminism is, does, and has done. Ignore the reality that feminism makes your success possible and gives you the platform from which you disavow the history that put you there. It’s all good.