And really, my opinion hasn’t changed.
Someone had to know I would broach this. It was inevitable.
In an interview aired this past Sunday, Todd Akin, a Republican candidate for Senate in the great state of Missouri, made this statement when asked about his feelings on abortions resulting from rape circumstances.
“First of all, from what I understand from doctors, [pregnancy from rape] is really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
He really said that. Really and truly.
Now, let me start by saying, as a woman – he has no right to an opinion. Really. I don’t get all up in his scrote and he’s never carried a baby, so we should just agree to keep our politics out of each others’ crotches.
And secondly, as a rape victim – fuck you, Mr. Akin.
What are the other kinds? Illegitimate? Imagined? Maybe she didn’t say no loudly enough? Maybe she was “asking” for it?
I realize that people are falsely accused of rape. I know that happens, and it is a sad thing to know that someone would abuse such a delicate area for whatever reason.
But the majority of rapes (60-68%, according to a quick Googling) go unreported, and do you know why? Because of douchebags like Todd Akin. Because the first thing asked of anyone claiming rape is not, “What can I do?” not “How can I help?” it’s…..”Well, what happened?”
Because its not enough to be taken advantage of. It’s not enough to be violated. It’s not enough to matter so little that you don’t even get a choice in what happens to you.
You have to justify. You have to prove what you’ve claimed. It’s no wonder that women and men in staggering amounts just choose to opt out. Why prolong things and expose yourself to embarrassment…criticism…shame?
It happened to me. And just because it wasn’t a stranger in a dark alley doesn’t mean it wasn’t real. It doesn’t mean I deserved it. It doesn’t mean I hurt any less. It doesn’t make it any less legitimate.
So while Mr. Akin sits in Missouri with whatever opinions he wants to have about situations he will never face, I will try with all my might to let everyone know that things like this are not okay. It’s not okay to trivialize someone else’s hurt. It’s not okay to make blanket statements when you don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about.
Help a little more, talk a little less. I think that’d do some good for everybody.
I generally think of myself as an open, honest person. I have worked for many years to be a very what-you-see-is-what-you-get kind of gal.
And I think I’ve done well.
Because really? No one does that. There is always something underneath or to the side. Where I just let the freak flag fly and try not to worry about it, the rest of the world tries to pretend to have their shit together.
I’m not fooled.
But I do wonder if it’s even healthy to be so open. I mean, do I have to hide faults to make someone want to like me? Do I have to pretend to be something I’m not? Because I’ll be honest – I’m not gonna. Takes too much effort. And the result is that I’m pretty much on my own, but I’m content with that. I have people to love.
Being me is something I’ve become okay with being.
Always, right? It’s always been the case that being an adult means being responsible and not always doing what you want just because you want to do it.
Deep down I know this to be true.
But this weekend is BlogHer12 (in NEW YORK CITY), and I’ll just be honest – I am aching.
Aching not in the “oh, poor me” sense…though maybe a little bit…but mostly aching because I KNOW there are things (and people) there that I desperately need in my life.
Some people are gamers. They create networks of love and friendship through the common love of a specific goal – a set of rules, a way of doing things. Some people make these connections through church and belief systems. Still others find fulfillment and friendship through causes and uproar.
Me? I’m a blogger.
I’m not the best at being a blogger – I slack on commenting and I tend to gravitate my like of anyone towards how they interact on Twitter – but I give it all I have. I spill out my secrets and I tell you about my days.
For no reason, really. No reason other than the hope that somewhere, someone will see me and relate. Know they are not alone.
For me, the BlogHer conference is just that – a meeting of people like me when people like me are so hard to find. People who know what I mean when I say “I have a blog” and they know and understand all that is entailed.
They accept me even though all they’ve ever been confronted with is the REAL me. The me on these pages. Seriously – that in and of itself is enough to make me want to cry.
So while I can’t go this year, one day I will. And it will be just as lovely and right as I envision.
This blog is a big deal to me. It always has been.
Only for the past year or so, though, have I attempted to care if it were a big deal to other people too.
It’s something about me I’m not fond of – this apparent need to be liked. I never thought I had that very much. I’ve found myself censoring more, saying less. Trying to appeal…and for what?
The pull of my blog has always been that it is mine. That when everything was reduced down to work and play and manifesting your dream, that I had something I had done for myself. Just for the pure craft. Except I wasn’t. I was writing hoping to be popular, hoping for someone to notice me.
There were all sorts of levels of bullshit surrounding that revelation. I was ashamed. I was embarrassed. I was not surprised.
Earlier this week, I found a document that brought me to sobering reality. The-Writers-Manifesto (that’s a pdf link, and if you download it you need to tell him how great he is). After reading it, I wanted to slap myself and write books at the same time.
So with much pain and heartbreak, I’ve come to the realization that it’s okay if no one reads what I write.
I’m not writing for anyone else.
I will have a record – a concrete one – of days, months, years. However meager it may seem, I am shaping my legacy on my own terms.
Whether I move on with my ideas or simply do this and nothing else, it’s okay with me.
And by being myself, whatever happens, this piece of me exists. No one can pay for that.
I am a hypocrite. I own and admit to this.
I’m not proud. I’m not perfect. I’ve always thought owning up to your shortcomings is the best way to remain humble.
And so, I give unto you, ways I am an intolerant ass…
I judge people by their vehicle (no, not in the “you don’t drive a good enough car” kind of way) in that if you drive around in a 1992 Honda Civic with spinning rims and custom paint bumping Toby McGray or whatever twangy nonsense youngsters listen to these days, I will probably roll my eyes at you and you may even get a double-bird for achievement in douchebaggery.
Much in that same vein, if you drive a Hummer and it is not plugged into the wall, covered in solar panels and handing out medications to AIDS patients, you are a pompous ass and I will not feel sorry for you if…well, anything.
If you drive around the WalMart parking lot with your windows down and music up when all I want to do is get across the crosswalk and buy juice boxes without dying, I may cast questionable hexes in your wake.
If I can see your midriff and you are over 12 and not a supermodel, I judge.
If you tell me all your secrets in horrific detail within the first five minutes of our meeting, I’ll probably think you’re weird. Really weird. This is perhaps the most hypocritical of all, because hello, I’m Emily. Have you read my blog?
If you specify race as a way of describing someone, I immediately classify you as a bigot.
If you are a Republican, I immediately either dislike you or want you to explain yourself. This is perhaps the most embarrassing because I firmly believe everyone should be free to have their own beliefs for their own reasons…and if someone made the same statement about Democrats or brunettes I would be highly offended. I suppose that is why this is not my list of reasons I am a fairy princess.
If you “don’t text” you don’t belong in my century. Even my mom texts.
While there are many, many (many) more of these, I will leave it at this.
Like I said before, I’m not proud of any of these things. I despise the feeling of being judged and I realize that my inclinations to do exactly that are wrong on so many levels, but hey, at least I’ve matured some in my standards of judgementery – when I was in high school you were immediately on my questionable list if you didn’t go to church, wear prolife tshirts and date rigidly within the confines of your race and creed.
Maybe when I’m 90 I’ll have this whole live and let live figured out.
The Intolerant Asshole
First of all, have you seen this?
Now, before you click that link, let me say these things:
This is not the original video. In fact, most of it is just audio since the kids in the original were minors and I’m sure there’s some sort of law.
There is lots of language, which is a lot of the point actually. A bunch of filthy mouth asshole kids who are abusing an old lady whose job is to sit on the bus and prevent bullying. So if the language offends you, not only are you reading the wrong blog…but you probably need to mentally prepare.
The video is ten minutes long. I made it through less than one minute before I was in tears and couldn’t take any more.
If you would rather not watch the video, let me summarize. A 68-year-old woman named Karen (who is a widow and a former bus driver of 20 years) has the unenviable job of riding a school bus in the name of “monitoring” the kids. Basically she’s there to keep situations from escalating and anyone from getting hurt.
In the video, she is shown sitting alone in a seat, looking out the window and trying to maintain composure whilst a crowd of truly vile middle school students call her names (“fatass,” “lard,” and “old bitch” are some of the ones I caught), call her ugly, poke her (to illustrate her “lard’), and basically be as loathsome as possible to her (when she finally speaks up to say maybe they shouldn’t say anything if they don’t have anything nice to say, she is told to “shut the fuck up” and that is about the time I was so emotional I had to turn it off).
I bring this up because this is real. This is what kids are growing up thinking is okay. Say anything as long as everyone seems to think you’re cool. I know that kids were mean when I was growing up – but this mean? I can’t wrap my mind around it.
This could be my grandmother. This woman is no doubt the same age as some of those kids’ own grandmas.
It just makes me sad is all. These kids can’t all have terrible parents. Some of them have to have parents who would think their kids would never do something like this. There were undoubtedly some shocked parents when the original video went viral and sweet little Junior was highlighted on YouTube calling Grandma Karen a fat bitch.
I don’t know what I’m hoping to accomplish with this. Maybe nothing.
Please, everyone…be kind. It’s not hard. Love each other. This is just wrong.
Sometimes you just have to sleep late.
Sometimes, after you sleep late, you have to hope that the lunches the kids packed for themselves have at least one thing in them that isn’t chocolate.
Sometimes at 3:30 in the morning you go in to investigate crying, and find your weepy almost 10 year old shuddering from a night terror. One like he hasn’t had since he was two.
Sometimes you watch his baby sister climb next to him and reassure him that she’s right there beside him.
Sometimes, at 3:30 in the morning, you tell your kids to just turn on the TV until they get sleepy. Because they just damn deserve it.
Sometimes you have to shave with a dull razor.
Sometimes you have to let go of something or someone you love. Because it’s just not worth it anymore.
Sometimes you have to be a dick.
Sometimes you have to use impolite language.
Sometimes you forget who you are.
Sometimes you have to realize that you forget just so you can remember.
Sometimes it’s okay to let the baby run around naked.
Sometimes coffee is all that sounds good.
Sometimes you eat pizza after midnight.
Sometimes growing up is growing apart.
Sometimes following your dream is hard.
Sometimes the path is lost.
Sometimes you have to listen to Adele on repeat, no matter how cheesy.
Sometimes you have to cry.
Sometimes you have to laugh.
Sometimes you have to recognize that love is in spite of instead of because.
Sometimes Oprah is right.
Sometimes everyone is just tired.
Sometimes you have to wait for the rain.
See what I did there?
Earlier in the week, I took a stroll through my old blog at Xanga. This is old stuff, folks. The idea of a blig or a blog or whatever it was was completely foreign to me. Facebook wasn’t a thing yet unless you were actually a student, people still used MySpace, and the world, while shrinking, was still pretty big.
I wrote everything I thought in that blog. Insecurities, fears. Reading back over some of the stuff that is still there (not all, though, because I don’t even remember the password, so there’s no doubt all sorts of nuggets hiding in private mode) I was completely embarrassed.
And then I wondered why.
One of my main goals in my writing, whatever format it has been in, has been to be as bald and blatant as possible. To say the things that you might think but never admit. Things like sometimes I have farting competitions with myself and I think I just realized I haven’t worn deodorant in like three days, or that I have coupon codes for sex toy sites in excess. Things that everyone kind of ignores about themselves.
But I realized, in my reading, that I leave a whole lot out now. I don’t post my laments about my relationship…or not as much as I did. I don’t wonder in print about people who talk about Sue Schmo and what they say about me.
I don’t criticize or talk about people I love because I know they’ll probably read it. I don’t say things online that I wouldn’t say to someone’s face….even though I may think them. And while that may be the socially acceptable and responsible thing to do – the smart thing – it makes me feel like a hypocrite.
For instance, I can’t say on Facebook that my best friend’s family hates me or that there are certain people who I keep in my life only because they have to be. I can’t say that there are days I feel like the biggest loser on Earth because I feel like talking to someone and I have only the toddler and the cat. I can’t say the things that annoy me about the people I love most. Not even that I love them maybe too much.
In all honesty, I can’t say which is better. My Xanga posts were lamenty, embarrassing, angst ridden, teenagery blather…but they were straight from the gut. The posts I write today are struggly, observant, sometimes well written, and read by everyone I know.
To be straight, I don’t know where the line is. I don’t find anything appealing about airing marital issues online or sounding like the OMGLOL4RLZ chicks whose posts I ignore on my facebook news feed every day, but I don’t want to feel like I’m being anything less than totally honest.
First world issues, I guess. There are worse problems in the world than my blog. Or so I hear.