“Maybe the problem is that I am trying to find a different rationale for living or a different code of virtue for men and women, when in fact we all ought to be judged according to a single standard. Things like compassion, honesty, the ability to nurture, independence, self-care, vulnerability, friendship, desire, creativity, assertiveness, or industry are worthwhile qualities for both men and women to possess.”—Patrick Califia, “Manliness”
Hey, you realize that when you go on national TV and proudly proclaim that you are against abortion regardless of circumstances such as in the case of rape or incest, that you’re coming off as a fucking asshole, right? That you are saying that even if the victim was your mother, your sister, your relative or friend, you could give a shit because some asshole in robes and wearing a funny hat and reading from a book that wasn’t even written by your Lord Jesus Christ, son of the Father, from whom all things were allegedly made — that you stand against abortion because some dude who says God talks to them and who is interpreting shit in a fucking book is telling you how you should feel, and what your stance should be, right?
Fuck you, you asshole. Fuck you for choosing the imaginary voices in your fucking head and your faith over the violation that has occurred to a fellow human fucking being. Continue to live in a Bible-based cocoon with your church-based economy and your God-damned interpretation of a religion, at the center of which is Jesus Christ himself telling you not to be an asshole to your fellow men and women. Fuck you and telling women who become pregnant through the most awful of crimes short of murder — on the same level as murder, actually — fuck you for telling them that they have to live with it because God said they have to live with it.
No due respect. None at fucking all.
Fucking this. I am no longer interested in being polite in this debate.
Imagine this - you’re still consumed by your eating disorder and you’re in your bathroom, whether that be starving, binging, purging, what have you. You exhale and step on the scale, waiting for its result. You’ve lost weight. A small tinge of excitement runs through your body, yet it still feels…
Chanting was easy, meeting up with old friends was easy, and showing my support and solidarity was easy. When I stepped out of Union Square and grabbed a drink at Lillie’s after the march, the hard part started.
Ending rape culture means changing guy culture. It means telling the guy next to me at the bar that his joke wasn’t funny. It means telling a client his behavior is not welcome, and it means telling a good friend at two in the morning that maybe they’re both a bit too drunk to be making good decisions.
I marched in Slutwalk because I believe firmly that men and boys need to hold one another accountable. It’s not enough to be supportive, kind, or even radically consensual. Carrying a sign and showing my face was not enough.
Utah Phillips, the famed radical, tells me that being a pacifist is like being an alcoholic. It’s something I have to struggle with every day of my life; as a white man born into 20th century America I was born armed to the teeth with the weapons of privilege. It’s not enough for me to be peaceful. I have to put down my privilege and refuse to pick it up just because it’s convenient.
Ending sexual violence is exactly the same thing. It means every day I have to resist taking the easy way out. It means it’s up to me to hold friends, neighbors, and colleagues accountable when they inevitably let guy culture pull them along without thinking.
So, now that I’ve marched I have to put the cup down and disarm myself not just when it’s easy, but also when it feels impossible. When I’d rather turn my head or laugh uncomfortably I have to speak up and say no.
Ending rape culture means changing guy culture. As men, boys, and guys, that requires us to struggle every day to change the world around us through our actions.
Slutwalk was easy; it was energizing, and it was moving. Now back to work.