Monday, March 13, 2006

Deux ou trois choses qui m'enervent...

It's a regular column in SCUMgrrrls: "Two or Three Things that Piss Me Off". I woke up with a rant in my head, and though the universe keeps trying to cheer me up today, I refuse to do so. I have a Vesuvian temper; centuries of quiet and then BOOM you are Pompeii going "Holy Shit!!" as I incinerate you with the pyroclastic flow of my wrath.

So let's begin, shall we?

  • Street Harrassment. I have not been hassled at all wandering alone around Paris at all hours of the night (probably because I'm a white girl in the rich part of town). Verdun, however, provides so little entertainment that apparently annoying the foreign chick has become the new sport of choice. Yesterday I was walking to a friend's house, trying to find his street, and I passed a group of teenage boys. How they knew I was American I don't know (must be the faux hawk, it hasn't really caught on with French girls), but as soon as I accidentally caught their eye (fatal mistake) I was hounded with catcalls: " ell-ooooo!USA! I love you! Beautiful!" I pretended I didn't speak English. When they failed to elicit a reaction they changed tactics: "BITCH! Motherfucker! Bitch!"
    What I did: Nothing. Four strapping teenage boys against one 98 pound weakling are lousy odds.
    What I should have done: Taken up a martial art like I keep saying I will so I wouldn't be afraid to tell them to fuck off in three languages.
    This experience, however, was not as bad as the previous one, where three teenagers, two girls and a guy, with a toddler in a stroller (???) followed me several blocks, crossing the streets even, all the way home, throwing bread at me. I still don't know what the fuck that was all about, but they found it hilarious.
  • Puberty. I've decided that adolescence is a highly contagious crowd disease and those afflicted with it should be quarantined until they make a full recovery. I fucking hate teenagers (with notable exceptions). I hated them when I was a kid, I hated being one, and I still hate them now. Working at a collège, I miss the worst of it, but I still have to deal with them far too often. I wouldn't mind having children as long as I could pack them off to boarding school for about 7 years once they hit age 13. Give me a squawling infant any day.
  • Men. I fucking hate men today, individually and as a class. Thank Sappho and Artemis I am not in the least sexually attracted to them. I shall explicate les chose qui m'enervent:
    Matt. We were all hanging out yesterday, I was paging through my already well read copy of Bitch. After inquiring about the magazine, he sniffs "I'm not a feminist", in that tone that implies that clearly feminism is an embarrassing 70s anachronism, like macramé wall hangings and bell-bottoms.
    What I did: "Yeah, well, you don't have to be, do you?" Trying to get across his priviledge as a white guy, but I think I only implied that Feminism Is Girl Stuff and Not For Men.
    What I should have done: Grabbed him by the shoulders and shouted "WHERE THE FUCK DO YOU THINK YOU'D BE WITHOUT FEMINISM, YOU SELF-SATISFIED, SMUG GAY DOUCHEBAG?? I bet you think Queer Eye for the Straight Guy is revolutionary, don't you? Or that the whole point of gay rights is to shack up behind marriage certificates and white picket fences like straight people? Don't you know the gay rights movement couldn't have got off the ground without feminism first?!?!" I swear to god, sometimes gay men piss me off more than straight men. At least some straight men actually know and love women. Gay men wear their misogyny like some fashion statement, and it's so painfully ironic. They have nothing in common with lesbians other than being homos.
    Ricardo: Latino macho culture at its most insidious. Totally nice decent person who nevertheless thinks women exist for his pleasure and entertainment. Too many stories to relate, but no wonder he was dumbfounded when I came out to him. A woman whose entire life does not revolve around her relationship to men? Error! Does not compute! Brain exploding! Oh wait, lesbianism, like two chicks getting it on in porn, yeah, that's hot!
    What I've done about it: nothing. Bad feminist. I suck.
    What I should do: channel Hot-Headed Paisan and bash him in the head with a two-by-four.
    Laurent: again, nice guy, only when I explained how I have a minor in Women's Studies he retorted, "Do they have Men's Studies?" Oh god! We're not kissing male ass for two seconds! The Apocalypse is coming!
    What I did: "Actually, there's a whole field of Gender Studies that includes Masculinities..."
    What I should have done: "Fucking EVERYTHING is Men's Studies, you moron. See this? It's The Second Sex. Read it, because you can."
  • And that's another thing: Disney. As if their patriarchal propaganda masquerading as movies wasn't insult enough, their corporate greed has fucked with the U.S. copyright law, which means we won't get an actual decent translation of La deuxiéme sexe until I'm in my 70s. And my French just isn't up to it. I cry uncle. It has defeated me.
  • Straight people. Shut the fuck up. You don't know what you're talking about. We live in completely different worlds. If you want to hear my thoughts and my experience, I don't mind, but you have to actually listen. Don't tell me what to feel or what you think I really experience, because you don't know. You have no fucking idea what the closet is like. So don't you dare dismiss my words. Of course you can't see what I see, it's called heterosexual priviledge and priviledge of any kind blinds you to the realities of others. Go watch Brokeback Mountain and read Zami and pay fucking attention, and then we'll talk.
  • the Catholic Church. Just because. Also, I'll use them as a stand-in for everything that taught me to be self-effacing, quiet, placating, Nice: religion, tv, movies, my parents. I grew up as the peacemaker in an angry household (it was loving, but very tempestous). So I learned not to make waves, don't make trouble, make nice, swallow your opinion, don't speak your mind. Which is why I'm so bad at confrontation. Why I don't call bullshit when I see it. I'm the fucking Neville Chamberlin of feminism: appeasement! appeasement! What I didn't manage to express in my post on stealth feminism is that I'm trying to overcome that, to put a face on feminism. Just like people tend to be more gay friendly when they know that they know gay people. But I tend to err too much on the side of Niceness and let comments slide and whitewash my opinions. I don't want to be That Shrill Self-Righteous Harpy. Which is stupid, because you can never win the popularity contest anyway. You're either the Ugly Man Hating Bitch, just like they say, or you're failing to challenge to their fascist expectations of feminity anyway. I have button that says "I'm so sorry if I'm alienating some of you, YOUR WHOLE FUCKING CULTURE ALIENATES ME." I should pay more attention to its message. I'm so, so fucking tired of adapting to them, accomodating their expectations, speaking their language.

Sigh. See, this is what blogs are for. The cathartic airing of grievances.


At 7:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

*raises her fist in solidarity*

Rage on, my friend. I agree with absolutely everything you said, plus 10. (And you can add the Mormons to the Catholic Church, too. Grr.) You're damned if you call the boys on their privilege, and damned if you don't. Given the choice, I prefer to annoy people rather than not. Gives me a nice shot of schadenfreude, if nothing else. :)

This reminds me, oddly enough, of what I think was one of our best ideas that never came to fruition: setting up a burning barrel in the quad and burning bras, aprons, etc., etc., in an effort to make enough of a ruckus that Truman would revoke the FMLA charter. Why didn't we do that, again?

Oh, and I believe Jim David said it best when he said: "I believe in capital punishment. And being a former teacher, I believe we should start it at the eighth grade."


At 2:00 AM, Blogger Andygrrl said...

Oh I remember that, sitting in that Chinese restaurant plotting ways to get thrown out of Truman. We should have done that; I think the fact that we're geeks got in the way, we got too busy with finals and shit.
However, I will file it away for future reference.

At 6:43 AM, Blogger TP said...

Right on!
I want that button... Must get out my 'badge it'

At 2:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

First off, that bread throwing thing...what the bloody hell is wrong with these people/kids?

Thank God I'm not the only one having issues with straight people! I thought there must me something wrong with me but I'm just going through a phase of hating them right now. I'll get over it I know but you're right, they just don't know.

-nicotinefreegirl (i forgot my bloody password so i can't log it)

At 6:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

nice blog...

sorry I don't give a shit
about lesbianism - is *that* OK with you? so go fuck yourself or your girlfriend, makes zero difference to me. I think we *can* get along if we just cared a whole lot less about each other...



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