Thursday, 10 January 2013

On friend-zoning, nice guys, and the rape culture

 "Friendzoning" is bullshit because "Girls are not machines that you put Kindness Coins into until sex falls out." - Aeryn Walker

My son made a comment using the term "friend-zoned" today and I told him it doesn't exist; there is no such thing. Friend zoning assumes that the person (usually female) would have been romantically interested in another person (usually male) except somehow she got sidelined into thinking of him as just a friend and can't pull him out of that category anymore. He could have had a chance if it wasn't for her silliness.

I told my son that people who think that they've been "friend-zoned" need to grow up and face reality. There is no law that says just because you love someone romantically, they have to like you back. Even if they like you enough enough to be friends, they don't have to love you. That's called a crush, it happens and that's okay. No one dies from a crush.

Friend zoning often seems to happen to the self-proclaimed "nice guys". The ones who insist they treat women well but never get what they deserve. That makes them creeps, not nice guys. If you're treating a woman well just so you can have sex, you're not treating her well at all. You're seeing her as nothing more than an object, a means to your own personal gratification.

Which leads to the whole rape culture. We live in a society where women are taught how to protect themselves from rape. Don't wear overly tight clothes, or clothes that are too low cut or too short. Don't go outside at night, especially on your own. Don't go places alone like trails or laundry rooms or parking garages. And if a woman's assaulted, the first reaction is to wonder what she did wrong. Did she follow the rules?

What we need to do is teach the boys. We need to teach them they are better than this. We need to teach them to respect themselves and others. We need to teach them they are responsible for themselves. We need to teach them that no means no all the time. It doesn't matter if he's two seconds away from penetration. The words "no, stop" mean exactly that. We need to teach them that no one is "asking for it". No one. It doesn't matter if she's walking around naked, she's not asking to be raped. As soon as someone's drunk, the ability to consent is gone. I don't care if she's saying "I want you, lets have sex now". If she really means it, she'll mean it tomorrow and it'll be that much more special if she remembers it or doesn't throw up on you. And if she's so passed out she's non-responsive, you take her to the hospital, not your bed.

And we need to teach the girls they are worth more. They can say "no" without being frigid. They can say "yes" without being a slut. Their worth as a human should not be defined by who's been between their legs and they should give that same worth and respect to others. And we need to teach them that boys can say "no" too. No means no, no matter what gender is speaking and if he's drunk he can't consent either.

We need to treat our children equally when it comes to where they go and how late they stay out. We need to treat them equally when it comes to teaching them about sex and sexuality.

I am leaving a link with a video here. It's worth reading and it's definitely worth sitting down and viewing with your teens. The video shocked me, there are boys my son's age joking about raping a drunk and unconscious teenage girl while laughingly wondering if she's dead. But the video covers, in plain language, exactly why this is wrong and how boys should act instead.

A Horrifying Thing Happened In Ohio. Not Being Creepy Could Prevent It From Happening Again.

Monday, 7 January 2013

(Attempts at) exercise...

I've got the day off today and my son went back to school, leaving me seven whole hours to myself. Talk about bliss! Or it would have been if I didn't immediately tackle his room in search of dishes and laundry. Now I know why he has nothing to wear the day after I do the laundry and where on earth all my bowls and spoons went. I'm *this* close to slapping a condemned sign on his door and writing it off.

After I carried a few loads of dishes into the kitchen and heaped my laundry basket with all the clothes son didn't see, I decided to head downstairs to the gym. I bought a new exercise bra this weekend and an arm band for my MP3 player and wanted to try them out.

Also, I'd dearly love to know if I'm the only one who's ever accidentally hog-tied themselves with an exercise bra and if it gets easier to put on. I'm a bit scared of that thing now.

I walked into the gym and there was a lady on the treadmill. Kiss of death, she had the TV on; that's when I know someone's there for the long haul. The treadmill's the best piece of equipment in the room, especially now that the elliptical died. The elliptical's usable but there's no resistance option now that the battery's dead.

And, of course, she turned the TV up shortly after I arrived. Maybe she was concerned I wouldn't hear the TV through my headphones. I already keep the music low enough I can hold conversations with my headphones on, when the TV's turned up, I can't hear the music at all. Thanks lady but I'm not interested in the beautiful doctors or Jamie Lee Curtis.

I exercised for fifteen minutes (missing my 20 minutes on the treadmill) then headed over to the pool area and discovered it's closed for a pump issue. Thankfully it should be open by this evening. When I left the room, the lady was still on the treadmill.

I walked into the elevator in gym clothes and runners, a towel draped over one arm, water bottle in the other hand, headphones over my ears, and an MP3 player strapped onto my upper arm. There's a woman in the elevator. She looks over and asks, "Are you doing laundry?" I wonder if she'll ask if I'm going to the gym when I drag my waist high laundry basket downstairs.

And now, while it's quiet, I'm going back to edit Small Dreams a bit more.

--------> off to sharpen my hatchet