VWW- Compliments

Part of the backlash of the Brock Turner rape case was responses from men declaring they won’t commit rape. Thanks guys, but that is about as useful as me saying I won’t levitate since I had no intentions to do so in the first place. Then there are the blogs and comments about the good men attempting to enlighten the not good men about the realities on everyday sexism. I applaud your efforts, but that is a brick wall you are talking to. Besides, you are going about it all wrong.

One of the commonly used arguments for harassing women is that the perpetrator is only trying to give a woman a compliment. I have seen many content pieces where these good men are stating that they don’t want to compliment anyone anymore because women have so many men approach them and behave rudely. That banner is being taken up by the not good men as a claim of victimization. “Oh, now we can’t even compliment a woman anymore?” Read that with the correct tone of whining, disbelief, and hyperbole. You know the one.

I would like to point out that the issue isn’t that women don’t like getting compliments, but rather how too many people have forgotten what a compliment is. So we are all on the same page, Webster’s definition of the word Compliment is as follows:

  • an expression of esteem, respect, affection, or admiration; especially :  an admiring remark
  • formal and respectful recognition :  honor

Looking at that we can derive that the not good men that catcall and harass women under the guise of compliment have the admiration part down. Usually for a body part that is sexualized. They have seemed to ignore the part about esteem, respect, and honor. If you wouldn’t walk into a family gathering and tell grandma she has “a nice ass, no wonder grandpa wanted to tap that shit. But bitch, you should smile more,” then you probably don’t want to say that to a stranger. Note the part of the definition that states a compliment is formal and respectful. It’s important.

Want to know how to give a good complement? Watch how women compliment each other. Example:

Hey, that is a great top. I just love the color.

Oh, thank you. It’s new.

It’s very flattering. And it looks really comfortable.

Yes, it is. The material isn’t clingy at all.

Well, it looks great!

Thank you.

Have a nice day

You do the same.

Take a moment to compare that to the following:

Hi baby, how you doing today?

I’m fine

You need to smile more honey, you look so much nicer when you smile.

Silence

Don’t you want to give me a smile?

Silence and looking away

Bitch, don’t let it go to your head. You’re not that hot. You should be grateful I gave you a compliment.

Can we see the difference here? OK, I know you are thinking that is fairly extreme. You would be incorrect, but let’s examine the two scenarios.

The first one focused on an object, the wearer’s top. There was an expression that identified an admiration for it and why, the color. It was met favorably so then the conversation continued to point out other positive attributes of the item. Notice they were still talking about the top. The top looked flattering, not that it flattered any specific part of the wearer’s anatomy. Then the compliment was stated again and they wished each other well and went about their individual business.

Notice that there was no implied quid pro quo in that dialog. It was positive comment given with the intent of making the other party feel nice. The giver got nothing in return. It was polite, respectful, and there were no strings attached.

Now the second example started off with diminutive pet names that should only be used by people who have a certain level of familiarity. Right off the bat that will put someone on the defensive. Then there was a command issues. You need to smile more. This was then met with refusal to acknowledge. The command was then changed to a pleading request and a second rejection. This was then met with hostility. The entire exchange was a type of gas lighting designed to get something for the person giving the compliment as opposed to showing respect or admiration for the person receiving the compliment.

Still confused? OK, there are many subtle clues you can look for to see if your compliment is being well received or crossing over into harassment territory. Did the person answer you with a pleasant and friendly tone? If so then you can proceed. If not, perhaps your opening should be more general and to the point. For example, I like your sunglasses. Are they not responding and/or looking away? Do they have a strange expression on their face? Are they turning their body away from you or trying to create space? Are their eyes moving quickly around the room as if they are attempting to determine the fastest exit plan? Answering No to all of these means you are doing it correctly. Answering yes means you fucked up.

And should you respond with venom when you have crossed over into the creepy guy zone? No. You should acknowledge that you have made them uncomfortable. An example “Oh, I didn’t mean to offend you, my apologies.” That’s it. That’s the end. Don’t try to justify or clarify. You’re sorry and you will now demonstrate that respect by silently moving on with your life and no longer bothering the other person.

 

 

Thanksgiving

It’s Thanksgiving. And on this day let us not forget the true meaning of this beloved holiday. The brutalization of indigenous people.

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Yup, it’s still happening as we speak in North Dakota. Sure, the authorities are denying that they were intentionally targeting individuals with water hoses in below freezing temperatures, but what did you expect them to say? Do you really think they would stand in front of the press and admit to valuing human life so little? Do you think that humans have evolved to prioritize equality over ego? If you do I want to know what rock you have been hiding under because that fucker is impenetrable!

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So eat your turkey, drink your booze, and make sure you take some time to shop, shop, shop for those good deals. Don’t give a moments thought to people standing in the cold trying to peacefully protect not only the water that affects them, but the water supply for all of us. Don’t ponder for a second that these are the people who have been lied to, stolen from, demonized, and systematically abused by both the government and the rest of the population. Forget about the violence, the forced sterilization, and the diseased blankets. Turn a blind eye, again, to what our tax dollars are supporting.

Because it’s Thanksgiving, the day we feed into the fallacy of an inclusive America.

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If You Voted for Trump

“Can’t we all get along,” “It’s time to heal,” and “You’re being intolerant.” I am sick of it. So let me set the record straight. Yes, I am intolerant of the intolerant people and no, I won’t apologize for it. Now let me tell you why.

Because of the photos attached below, only two days after the election. The president elect has not even been sworn in and the social order is falling apart. Because the people perpetrating these activities are not looking for justice, they are not trying to get their place at the table. No, it is because these are the people that have taken control of the table and excluded everyone else for centuries. They are angry that someone different is demanding their rightful place among them. They don’t want everyone to live together under the same rule of law. They only want people who look and think like them to have rights.

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11/09/2016

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Durham 11/10/2016

 

I am standing up and declaring firmly that I am against white male privilege. I am against returning to a colonization mindset. I am against forcing anyone or anything deemed “other” as inferior. And I am turning the buzz words back to the privileged white people who are expressing such vitriol at anyone who doesn’t look like them “Why can’t we all get along?”

I blame you. I blame your arrogance, your ignorance, your unwillingness to bend, your hypocrisy, and your blindness to the power you wield simply by the random chance of being born with less melanin than other people. I say this as a white person. I see how you behave and you embarrass me. I am not one of you. I stand apart from you. I stand with all the thing you try to destroy with your fear and hate. Yes, I am against white privilege. No, you don’t speak from me. No, I will never unify with you until you learn tolerance.

Soon you will look around and realize that together the “minorities” outnumber you. Soon you will have to face your fear of losing you position at the top of the social strata. Because no longer do those you hate stand in the shadows, marginalized and victimized. Your actions have brought us all together. We disagree so strongly that we, the “others,” have put aside petty differences that were dividers only a week ago and united in one cause. That cause is to stop you, privileged white people. To stop your hate and violence. The sleeping lion has been awakened and it is angry. It is angry, it is educated, it is informed and it has powers you have not even dreamed of. It is time to heal. And sometimes the only way to heal a wound is to cut out the disease.