When [an abusive man] tells me that he became abusive because he lost control of himself, I ask him why he didn’t do something even worse. For example, I might say, “You called her a fucking whore, you grabbed the phone out of her hand and whipped it across the room, and then you gave her a shove and she fell down. There she was at your feet where it would have been easy to kick her in the head. Now, you have just finished telling me that you were ‘totally out of control’ at that time, but you didn’t kick her. What stopped you?” And the client can always give me a reason. Here are some common explanations:
"I wouldn’t want to cause her a serious injury."
“I realized one of the children was watching.”
“I was afraid someone would call the police.”
“I could kill her if I did that.”
“The fight was getting loud, and I was afraid the neighbors would hear.”
And the most frequent response of all:
"Jesus, I wouldn’t do that. I would never do something like that to her.”
The response that I almost never heard — I remember hearing it twice in the fifteen years — was: “I don’t know.”
These ready answers strip the cover off of my clients’ loss of control excuse. While a man is on an abusive rampage, verbally or physically, his mind maintains awareness of a number of questions: “Am I doing something that other people could find out about, so it could make me look bad? Am I doing anything that could get me in legal trouble? Could I get hurt myself? Am I doing anything that I myself consider too cruel, gross, or violent?”
A critical insight seeped into me from working with my first few dozen clients: An abuser almost never does anything that he himself considers morally unacceptable. He may hide what he does because he thinks other people would disagree with it, but he feels justified inside. I can’t remember a client ever having said to me: “There’s no way I can defend what I did. It was just totally wrong.” He invariably has a reason that he considers good enough. In short, an abuser’s core problem is that he has a distorted sense of right and wrong.
I sometimes ask my clients the following question: “How many of you have ever felt angry enough at youer mother to get the urge to call her a bitch?” Typically half or more of the group members raise their hands. Then I ask, “How many of you have ever acted on that urge?” All the hands fly down, and the men cast appalled gazes on me, as if I had just asked whether they sell drugs outside elementary schools. So then I ask, “Well, why haven’t you?” The same answer shoots out from the men each time I do this exercise: “But you can’t treat your mother like that, no matter how angry you are! You just don’t do that!”
The unspoken remainder of this statement, which we can fill in for my clients, is: “But you can treat your wife or girlfriend like that, as long as you have a good enough reason. That’s different.” In other words, the abuser’s problem lies above all in his belief that controlling or abusing his female partner is justifiable…. Lundy Bancroft, Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men (via seebster)
When you are hurting, there will always be people who find a way to make it about themselves. If you break your wrist, they’ll complain about a sprained ankle. If you are sad, they’re sadder. If you’re asking for help, they’ll demand more attention.
Here is a fact: I was in a hospital and sobbing into my palms when a woman approached me and asked why I was making so much noise and I managed to stutter that my best friend shot himself in the head and now he was 100% certified dead and she made this little grunt and had the nerve to tell me, “Well now you made me sad.”
When you get angry, there are going to be people who ask you to shut up and sit down, and they’re not going to do it nicely. Theirs are the faces that turn bright red before you have a chance to finish your sentence. They won’t ask you to explain yourself. They’ll be mad that you’re mad and that will be their whole reason alone.
Here is a fact: I was in an alleyway a few weeks ago, stroking my friend’s back as she vomited fourteen tequila shots. “I hate men,” she wheezed as her sides heaved, “I hate all of them.”
I braided her hair so it wouldn’t get caught in the mess. I didn’t correct her and reply that she does in fact love her father and her little brother too, that there are strangers she has yet to meet that will be better for her than any of her shitty ex-boyfriends, that half of our group of friends identifies as male - I could hear each of her bruises in those words and I didn’t ask her to soften the blow when she was trying to buff them out of her skin. She doesn’t hate all men. She never did.
She had the misfortune to be overheard by a drunk guy in an ill-fitting suit, a boy trying to look like a man and leering down my dress as he stormed towards us. “Fuck you, lady,” he said, “Fuck you. Not all men are evil, you know.”
“Thanks,” I told him dryly, pulling on her hand, trying to get her inside again, “See you.”
He followed us. Wouldn’t stop shouting. How dare she get mad. How dare she was hurting. “It’s hard for me too!” he yowled after us. “With fuckers like you, how’s a guy supposed to live?”
Here’s a fact: my father is Cuban and my genes repeat his. Once one of my teachers looked at my heritage and said, “Your skin doesn’t look dirty enough to be a Mexican.”
When my cheeks grew pink and my tongue dried up, someone else in the classroom stood up. “You can’t say that,” he said, “That’s fucking racist. We could report you for that.”
Our teacher turned vicious. “You wanna fail this class? Go ahead. Report me. I was joking. It’s my word against yours. I hate kids like you. You think you’ve got all the power - you don’t. I do.”
Later that kid and I became close friends and we skipped class to do anything else and the two of us were lying on our backs staring up at the sky and as we talked about that moment, he sighed, “I hate white people.” His girlfriend is white and so is his mom. I reached out until my fingers were resting in the warmth of his palm.
He spoke up each time our teacher said something shitty. He failed the class. I stayed silent. I got the A but I wish that I didn’t.
Here is a fact: I think gender is a social construct and people that want to tell others what defines it just haven’t done their homework. I personally happen to have the luck of the draw and am the same gender as my sex, which basically just means society leaves me alone about this one particular thing.
Until I met Alex, who said he hated cis people. My throat closed up. I’m not good at confrontation. I avoided him because I didn’t want to bother him.
One day I was going on a walk and I found him behind our school, bleeding out of the side of his mouth. The only thing I really know is how to patch people up. He winced when the antibacterial cream went across his new wounds. “I hate cis people,” he said weakly.
I looked at him and pushed his hair back from his head. “I understand why you do.”
Here is a fact: anger is a secondary emotion. Anger is how people stop themselves from hurting. Anger is how people stop themselves by empathizing.
It is easy for the drunken man to be mad at my friend. If he says “Hey, fuck you, lady,” he doesn’t have to worry about what’s so wrong about men.
It’s easy for my teacher to fail the kids who speak up. If we’re just smart-ass students, it’s not his fault we fuck up.
It’s easy for me to hate Alex for labeling me as dangerous when I’ve never hurt someone a day in my life. But I’m safe in my skin and his life is at risk just by going to the bathroom. I understand why he says things like that. I finally do.
There’s a difference between the spread of hatred and the frustration of people who are hurting. The thing is, when you are broken, there will always be someone who says “I’m worse, stop talking.” There will always be people who are mad you’re trying to steal the attention. There will always be people who get mad at the same time as you do - they hate being challenged. It changes the rules.
I say I hate all Mondays but my sister was born on one and she’s the greatest joy I have ever known. I say I hate brown but it’s really just the word and how it turns your mouth down - the colour is my hair and my eyes and my favorite sweater. I say I hate pineapple but I still try it again every Easter, just to see if it stings less this year. It’s okay to be sad when you hear someone generalize a group you’re in. But instead of assuming they’re evil and filled with hatred, maybe ask them why they think that way - who knows, you might just end up with a new and kind friend. By telling the oppressed that their anger is unjustified, you allow the oppression to continue. I know it’s hard to stay calm. I know it’s scary. But you’re coming from the safe place and they aren’t. Just please … Try to be more understanding. /// r.i.d (via inkskinned)
I could argue that any negative reaction to my skin is a problem for others to grapple with and of no concern to me. I’ve tried that approach before; one memorable attempt ended with me being pulled out of my car by two police officers and handcuffed for the felonious infractions of having a blown headlight and insufficient self-abasement. It is an unspoken rule that blackness’ first and most important task is to make everyone feel safe from it. We ignore this mandate at our own peril, realizing that a simple misunderstanding is a life or death proposition.
Jonathan Ferrell ran towards police seeking help after a car accident and was given a hail of bullets for his troubles. Renisha McBride went in search of a Good Samaritan after her accident and a shotgun blast answered her knock. Teenager Trayvon Martin walked home with candy and tea and was greeted by the nervous trigger finger wrapped in an adult’s gun. Jordan Davis sat in a car outside a convenience store listening to music and a man who objected to the volume cut his life short with the boom of a firearm. The principal crime all of them committed, like countless others over the centuries, was being black and not sufficiently prostrating themselves to ensure the comfort of others. Theodore R. Johnson, “Black History Month Isn’t Making Life Better for Black Americans” (via thisiswhitehistory)
Anonymous asked: hey did u know that its really not good to use like more or less human as words to describe characters?? especially characters like parker who can be read as autistic??
I can understand that and I can definitely be more sensitive in my sentence structures.
I gotta say though my hackles went up when I got this. I can understand as to why my wording could/would hurt someone and can certainly empathize— who hasn’t got their feelers hurt ‘cause some ass-hat is flinging out offensive and hurtful words left and right?
The problem I have with this is: at what point in modifying my speech is it considered enough? I mean, fuck, the only words I’d have left are the conjunctions. That’d be one long run-on sentence ehehee.
Communication is my thing— I’m a writer, I like connecting with people most days and I use words to do it (obviously, okay, yeah— but some people are cool enough that they just use their eyes). To have someone dictate which words I can and cannot use or tell me how to properly word my sentence structures so as not to offend anyone— well that gets me all kinds of pissed off.
So I guess I should make a disclaimer or a forewarning of sorts. I’m not going to tiptoe around using nothing but niceties and dulling my words to appease anybody. I’m not gonna be a dick either so… there’s that.
Fellow writer here. So believe me when I say I do understand the kneejerk defensiveness and the almost possessive sense of “but they’re my words and you don’t get to tell me how to use them”. I’ve been there, done that. More times than I care to count.
But to say that “the only words I’d have left are the conjunctions” is incredibly disingenuous. You’re positing a blatantly overblown slippery slope argument.
I mean, you’re a writer. You love language and writing and words and communication. So you of all people should know that language is a vast and varied and adaptable thing, and there will always be some other way of conveying whatever meaning you intended to convey. There are synonyms, descriptive phrases, loanwords and phrases, all the usual hacks and workarounds that any system as complex as human language will inevitably have. Stretch your writerly skills a bit and find them. Find multiple ones and try them out and work with them until you’ve got one that works well for you, or at least well enough.
Because if you adamantly refuse to make that effort, what you’re saying is, “I prioritize my ability to say whatever I want over your ability to navigate the world unharmed.”
In this specific case, we’re talking about a character that could be read as autistic, and a phrasing that subtly implies that she might not be entirely human.
Have you by any chance looked at the statistics on the murder of autistic people by caregivers recently? This is A Thing That Happens. Not just with autistic people, but with people of all kinds of disabilities. Sometimes it’s direct murder. Sometimes it’s medical neglect - there was a horrific story recently about a woman who needed a permanent feeding tube to live, and the doctors and nurses and basically fucking everyone involved kept trying to pressure her out of it, quite literally encouraging her to let herself die rather than seek this treatment. This kind of shit happens, and is excused or at least kinda tolerated even by the well-meaning, because we collectively see people with disabilities as less than human, their lives worth less than non-disabled people’s lives.
So when you refer to a potentially autistic character as “are you even human?” you are, with your choice of words, directly contributing to upholding a collective worldview that literally gets people killed.
Do I think it’s malicious or intentional? Not in the slightest. But the thing is, that doesn’t make it not hurtful or harmful anymore.
So if someone tells you that you’re doing a harmful thing, and your response is “don’t tell me what to say, I’m gonna say whatever I want in the name of “not appeasing anybody” and you can’t stop me”…yeah there’s pretty much no way for you to not be a dick about it. That is, by definition, a dick move.
To be fair, you did start by saying you “could be more sensitive” in your wording, and that’s good. But you then devote like three more paragraphs to why you shouldn’t have to do that. Kind of undermines it a bit, you know? ”Yeah, I could be more careful…but I really shouldn’t have to be and here’s why.”
Your ability to use the words you like should never be considered more important than other people’s lives, health, safety, and well-being. So as much as I understand being upset because someone told you you’re doing something wrong, I would urge you to rethink that position.
Take it from another writer, one who has made some pretty solid changes to their idiolect and writing voice for these kinds of reasons: it’s really not that bad, nor is it that hard. Once you’re used to it and have got your preferred workarounds in place, you don’t even notice the difference. (Hell, it can actually make your communicative abilities better; giving up calling things “gay/lame/r******d” forced me to find new and, at this point, increasingly inventive ways to express my displeasure with or derision for any given object or person or idea. It’s a lot more satisfying to tell someone “that’s the most cocktacular idea I think I’ve ever heard” or “you know, I have to almost admire your ability to combine absurdity with malice” than it is to say “that’s lame/you’re crazy”)
PS using minimizing language like “tiptoe around” and “appease anybody” in your reply is in itself a dick move, even setting aside the ideological aspects of the issue. So if you’re serious about not being a dick, you might reconsider that, too.
Lupita Nyong’o, from her cover story in Dujour magazine about the horrifying things she learned while studying for her breakout role as Patsey in 12 Years a Slave.
So they DID make stuff out of the skin of slaves?
I’ve been in existence for nearly 22 years and I’m just NOW learning this? The American education system can get fucked
I’m probably going to throw up oh my god I can’t believe it
If you don’t believe me about Pope Francis being a huge motherfucker
I am so sick of people praising him just because the motherfucker said that queer people should not be judged for being sinners because we’re all sinners (THAT. IS LITERALLY. WHAT HE SAID. NOT THAT WE’RE HUMAN. NOT THAT WE’RE NOT DEVIANTS.), because he hasn’t YET spoken shit about women since being elected as Pope while he did when he wasn’t - and I mean VILE AS FUCK SHIT ABOUT WOMEN. Shit he’s never once apologized for. Both about his homophobic bullshit and his misogyny.
And let’s again NOT EVEN GET INTO THE WHOLE JUNTA THING.
Or actually, let’s do it.
But others, especially in Bergoglio’s native Argentina, see in Francis the Church’s stubborn pursuit to remain silent over some of history’s worst crimes, even to re-write history to cast a more positive light on the Church.
The fact is Francis does not arrive at the Vatican with a clean slate. Even before he could lead eager throngs of Catholics through his first papal “Hail Mary” from the loggia overlooking Saint Peter’s Square on March 13, allegations of his complicity with Argentina’s bloody dictatorship in the 1970s and 80s were already resurfacing on the Internet.
The 1976-1982 junta’s so-called “Dirty War” targeting leftists resulted in as many as 30,000 dead and disappeared, including dozens of priests, nuns and lay people working for the Church at the time.
On Sunday, an Argentinian newspaper published a government memo that seems to definitively prove that Bergoglio did indeed provide information to the murderous dictatorship, informing authorities about allegations against two Jesuit priests who were kidnapped, tortured and imprisoned for five months for allegedly contacting anti-regime leftist guerrillas. Furthermore, Gregoglio is alleged to have sold the priests out even while he personally promised them his protection. On March 13, Digital Journal published a lengthy article detailing Jorge Bergoglio’s— and the Argentine Catholic church’s— alleged role in collaborating with that country’s brutal, US-backed military dictatorship, a regime characterized by kidnapping, torture, murder and disappearance. As many as 30,000 people, from students, trade unionists, journalists and leftists and their sympathizers to children and even pregnant women (whose babies were stolen), were killed or disappeared during the 1976-1983 ‘Dirty War,’ which was fully supported by the Carter and Reagan administrations. Many of the most brutal regime figures, including the dictator Gen. Leopoldo Galtieri, were trained by the US military in kidnapping, torture, assassination and democracy suppression.
I am Chilean. We ALSO had a military dictatorship at around the same time Argentina did. Plenty of other South American countries did. All around the same period of time. All in which the USA’s government was involved.
The Catholic Church was at best silent in every. single. case. Why? Because those dictatorships overthrew left-wing governments, including ours, which was a democratically elected Socialist government (I am no fan of the UP or Salvador Allende either, by the way, BUT THESE ARE THE REASONS WHY THE US WAS INVOLVED. COLD WAR. AND THAT IS THE REASON WHY THE CHURCH COLLABROATED OR REMAINED SILENT TOO.)
Here we have Francis along with Videla, a member of the fascist junta!
Poor thing. He looks so distressed!
About his homophobic and misogynistic remakrs:
says women are unfit for political office, that gay adoption is child abuse and that same sex-marriage seriously damages the family. In short, the new is just another religious bigot, with a record of misogyny and homophobia.
"Women are naturally unfit for political office. Both the natural order and facts show us that the political being par excellence is male; the Scripture shows us that woman has always been the helper of man who thinks and does, but nothing more."
Through a memo, the Movilh (Pro queer Chilean group) assured that the new pope “has taken role into plenty of hateful crusades against equal rights for sexual minorities.”
In the same way, said movement reminded us that he tried to stop in 2010 the bill of marriage equality, which provoked conflict in the Argentinian government.
Time's Person of the Year, everyone!
Crystal Ragin, an Army sergeant serving at Fort Eustis, told a judge that she feared for her life and didn’t know what would happen to her and her four children once she left the courthouse. Earlier, she had testified against her husband in a domestic abuse case accusing him of picking her up and throwing her to the floor.
The judge issued the protective order that day barring John Ragin from having any contact with Crystal. But before it could be served, the Ragins got into a dispute at Crystal’s home. Police arriving to that call for help couldn’t find the order in the system and let John Ragin go. The next afternoon, Crystal and three of her children were found stabbed to death. One child, John Ragin’s biological son, was left unharmed and taken by John Ragin to South Carolina after the murders.
A sheriff’s deputy arriving to serve the protective order 24 hours after it was issued found police searching Ragin’s Newport News home. Ragin, who was arrested in South Carolina, faces charges of capital murder and is awaiting trial. BEHIND THE BLOODSHED: THE UNTOLD STORY OF AMERICA’S MASS KILLINGS
So fellow cis people, the next time that you laugh, stare, point, make inappropriate jokes, sarcastic or abusive comments remember that 238 trans people were murdered this year alone. Also remember the people that have developed agoraphobia, too afraid to come out of their houses lest they be confronted by one of us that refuses to recognise their humanity. Remember people like Lucy Meadows that were driven to suicide because we did not allow her to live the life that she deserved, one free of harassment and doing a job that she enjoyed.
I have been guilty of making stupid jokes in the past when I was too ignorant to understand the full weight behind my words of which I am deeply ashamed. Don’t sit and allow others to abuse trans people either. Challenge them. You don’t have to be personally responsible for anyone’s death, being complicit by remaining silent is bad enough. Be better. Do better. We can’t bring back the trans people that have lost their lives but we can stop the body count increasing. Transgender Day of Remembrance: why you, yes you, need to care (via foucault-the-haters)