I think it is stupid to not identify as a feminist. Being a feminist seems incredibly basic to not being a shitty person.
I hear what you were saying, though. I’ve often thought things along the lines of “I am not that kind of feminist.” Which makes me sad, because, like… Who said that all feminists have to agree on everything? Who said that disagreeing with someone on some point automatically makes them a misogynist? This line of thinking is completely insane, to me.
I have an extremely difficult time keeping my mouth shut. This is something that has been both an asset and a detriment to me for my whole life. It is idealistic of me to think this (the world could stand a touch more idealism, tho, imo), but I do think that speaking up, even and maybe especially if you have a tiny voice, can make a meaningful difference. Unfortunately, no one likes hearing from a dissenting voice, no matter the clarity or sense that it speaks from— so when speaking up, know you will face repercussions.
there was a bunch of good shit posted in the last couple days. here are some of my FAVORITE THINGS I HAVE READ ONLINE RECENTLY
I don’t write book reviews. Personally, I find them to be more arbitrary than truly critical, and therefore pointless to read. What is considered ‘good literature’ is ultimately subjective, and people will willingly choose to gloss over good and bad elements of a book depending on their perspective and mood for that day. It’s not a meaningless craft, but—in my opinion—a fairly redundant one.
With that being said, I finished Scott McClanahan’s Hill William this morning and, in spite of all that, it made me want to write a book review. And as I write this review, I’m going to try my best to remain as on the nose as possible. Now keeping all of that in mind, Hill William is one hell of a book.
Last night, my husband was messaged by a person who told him to unfriend someone because they were a “predator.”
Scott posted the screenshot on Facebook because he thought it was ridiculous and invasive and it pissed him off.
The person then posted in Alt Lit Gossip, saying that Scott and anyone who commented on the post was a rape sympathizer. (The post was removed.)
Scott got angry. A lot of other people got angry, too. A lot of these people — my husband included — were victims of sexual abuse and/or rape themselves.
One poet told Scott him that he was “shaming the victim” by posting this (funny, considering “the victim” was never mentioned). They later blocked Scott (and me too, which seemed odd considering I hadn’t said anything and had also gone out of my way to help this poet in the past in a couple different ways, but whatever) and Tweeted this:
Other tweets by other people followed:
Feel like it should be unnecessary to point this out, but apparently it’s not…
1. You are “shaming the victim” of a past sexual assault/rape by bullying them because they are not responding the way you want them to.
2. Yes, what you are doing is indeed bullying.
3. “Friendship” on Facebook is hardly support. Personally, I know maybe 30% of my Facebook friends. The rest could be murderers, for all I know. They mean nothing to me. Facebook friendship is meaningless. I’m sorry you grew up so attached to the internet that you cannot distinguish this?
Just curious… What would Scott have to do to earn Dianna Dragonetti’s fascist little crew’s support? He already wrote a novel detailing his rape and the behaviors that resulted from it. I thought all you had to do was write an essay or Tumblr post? Maybe a novel is too long and hard to read? Maybe Gawker needs to write an article about him? Maybe it only counts if the rapist is Facebook friends with people that you are Facebook friends with. Maybe Scott needs to say that he no longer identifies as a man.
A couple days ago I, completely confused by everything that was going on on the internet, decided to email Sophia Katz’s original essay to a couple of my IRL friends who have nothing to do with alt lit.
I asked them: What do you think of this?
They told me things like:
It was hard to get through. It reminded me of when I was 18 and (their own experience of coerced sexual assault).
It made my heart hurt for her.
It made me glad I’ve never been so down and out financially that I was in a situation like this.
Then I asked: Is this rape?
One friend said, yes, it was. Another said she wasn’t sure. We talked about why and why not.
Then we discussed why it was bad to discuss what the author could have done differently (“She’s probably already thought about it enough as is.” “It isn’t fair to do this because you never know how you might act in a situation like this— you may surprise yourself with how complicit you may be because your body and mind can shut down. “) We talked about why it was good to discuss what the author could have done differently (“It could give someone who finds themselves in a similar situation the tools to respond in a way that brings them to less harm.”) Then we talked about how terrible it was that ALL of us had something similar happen to us. At how sad it was that this scenario was commonplace. At how badly young people and older people needed to have a serious conversation about consent.
Our opinions varied some, but as a whole we were coming from the same place. It was refreshing, and it made me feel a whole lot less confused about how this whole thing got started in the first place.
But it made me a lot sadder to think about what this had spun into. People telling people how to feel. People bullying people online. People sticking up for one victim at the expense of another. People who want essentially the same thing attacking each other, telling people that they’re terrible, that they’re misogynists, bad feminists, rape sympathizers. Dozens of men — many of them my friends — being accused of being sexual predators or rapists, with the accusations oftentimes being based on little or nothing. Dozens of other men afraid that they would be accused of something, simply for having sex or making out or having e-flirtations with a female writer in the community. People delighting in the fall of other people, seemingly happy to exploit their status of victim in order to help out their “personal brand.”
I don’t know what the solution is, all I know is this isn’t it.
Some people have expressed concern about this sentence: Maybe Scott needs to say that he no longer identifies as a man.
To clarify: That sentence was a disparaging remark about people who have publicly admitted that they have changed pronoun preference solely as social commentary, which seems extremely detrimental to the aim of transgender people. I would never want to discredit the transgender movement, transgender people, etc. That transition seems hard as shit and I have a lot of respect and empathy for those who have that as a part of their experience.
Guess it also has something to do with society’s habit of ignoring male sexual abuse/rape. Very few Hill William reviews mentioned this part of the book, which seems troubling.
I lived in NYC for three years because I thought it would be a good idea to do so if I wanted to be a writer. I met lots of cool people and went to lots of cool events and places, etc. while I was there. I also wrote a total of five decent stories in the 3-year span.
The work I’ve done in my childhood bedroom and in Beckley, WV has far surpassed the work I did in NYC, in terms of quantity, quality, and “coolness.”