春景 by nr on Flickr (edited)
I don't mean to be rude, and I'm not saying you do, but do you hate men in general? Or just those one asshole type?


You know, I’ve had a lot of ridiculous asks in my time on tumblr but I think this one wins. 

No, I do not hate men in general. I’m straight so I do, literally, love men. I have a brother and a father whom I adore. I have great male friends. I. love. men. 

But I hate the system in which we live in. 

A system which tells boys that they’re superior than girls with terms like ‘man up’ or ‘don’t be a girl’. A system which sympathises with rapists and mourns their ‘promising futures’ as football players. A system which would rather say that a man is mentally ill in excuse for him killing 6 because he wasn’t given sex. A system which consistently, day after day, endorses these words as a response to a women getting raped: “well, she was asking for it”, or “she probably provoked him.” A system which tells boys that its okay to catcall from cars - it’s a ‘compliment’ for those women. A system where legislators - LEGISLATORS - say the phrase: that victims of “legitimate rape” rarely get pregnant, because “the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down." Or what about a system which has a political party that pushes 700 proposed laws that regulate womens bodies? 

But hey, I live in Australia, so why am I using American examples? Okay, our Prime Minister said that "Abortion is the easy way out". He also said: I think it would be folly to expect that women will ever dominate or even approach equal representation in a large number of areas simply because their aptitudes, abilities and interests are different for physiological reasons”. Yep - he really said that shit. And he’s now Minister for Women, along with being Prime Minister. If you want an overview of how fucking shitty and patriarchal the system is that we live in, watch this video of former Prime Minister Julia Gillard destroying Tony Abbott. It’s pretty much an overview of how difficult it is to be a woman in a position of power - not because your opponent is a misogynistic shit stain, but because the media will consistently label you a bitch, and hysterical when she is assertive or gives a speech like the one linked. But if a man had the same passion in a speech? It would be labeled ‘powerful’, it would be ‘moving’ and it would be ‘passionate’. 

I hate the system of patriarchal dominance that we live in. Yes, those are two scary words and when I first heard them, I thought it was an overreaction. But it’s not. Because little boys are told that if they wear dresses or like the colour pink, they’re gay. Because men are consistently conditioned to not show emotion, because that’s too feminine, or to never cry, because god forbid a male with an actual penis cries. Because the strict confines of masculinity and gender roles is killing mens confidence, empathy and humanity. 

I have been sexually harassed since the age of 11. I have been groped on trains, and been told by my boss when a 85 year old man told me that I had a ‘nice chest’ that maybe I should stop wearing revealing shirts to work and I won’t get those ‘compliments’. When men would yell from a car while I was walking my dogs to ‘show me your tits’, or when men would ask a thirteen year old me in a bikini to pull up my top, I thought it was a compliment. ‘Oh, men are paying attention to me - they’re complimenting my body and that must mean I have some worth’. That is literally what I actually thought when men would harass me. But that’s not the truth - the truth is that girls do not deserve that harassment. Boys do not deserve that harassment. No one does. And they certainly do not deserve to be treated like meat in a butchers shop. 

I am seventeen now, and I’m a feminist. Yep, I’m a feminist - I know that’ll ‘scare a lot of guys off’ as one of my friends put it, but fuck it I want social, political and economic equality of the sexes. I’m seventeen, and for the first time in my life, I am comfortable enough to criticise terms like ‘boys will be boys’ or rape culture or the constant bullshit women are expected to swallow. I’m seventeen, and when I walk to my car at night, I have to hold my keys in my hands - ‘just in case’. I’m seventeen, and I understand that we live in a society that inherently breeds the view that men are superior and women are inferior. 

I don’t think this is a rude ask, and I’m sorry if this answer will offend you, because that certainly wasn’t my intent - I’m sure you were just curious as to why I say the things I say. I don’t hate men. I love men. But I shouldn’t have to make this clarification when I speak out on how damaging terms like ‘boys will be boys’ are. Because no, ‘boys will be boys’ is not an excuse to make comments on women’s breasts, or to catcall from a car, or to 
rape someone. 

I will admit it. I have read all three books in the Fifty Shades of Grey series.

I am not admitting this because I am ashamed of my sexual desires or even because I feel the need to rant and rave about the poor writing quality of these books. (And it is extremely poor. I set my Kindle to count how many times the word “gasp” is used in the third book and the total was more than 70). I am admitting this because I feel the need to share my opinions about what I consider to be the incredibly — and dangerously — abusive relationship portrayed in the books.

When I first heard about Fifty Shades of Grey and learned they began as Twilight fanfiction, I swore I would not read them. I have read all of the Twilight books and I did not enjoy them. I found the relationships between Edward and Bella and Bella and Jacob to be patronizing and emotionally abusive, and I also thought the writing was pedestrian at best and boring to read. Why would I devote the limited amount of time I have for reading for pleasure to a series like this?

But as the dialogue about Fifty Shades of Grey increased, both in the media and amongst my friends, my curiosity was piqued. I attended a talk titled “Fifty Shades of Grey - Bad for Women, Bad for Sex” and decided that I should see what all the fuss was about.

To quote the book, I gasped. I rolled my eyes. I even bit my lip a few times. But not for the reasons Anastasia, the protagonist, did. I did out of exasperation, boredom and disgust, but also out of fear. After reading this book series, I am deeply afraid that this type of relationship will be viewed as the romantic ideal for women. And I consider that to be extremely dangerous — much more so than anything that takes place between Christian and Anastasia in the Red Room of Pain.

Could the character of Anastasia Steele be any more of a stereotype? She is an introvert, has low self-esteem, has abandonment issues from her father, apparently has only one close friend who bullies her and even though she works in a hardware store, she doesn’t seem to possess any self-sufficiency aside from cooking for her roommate and herself. She seems to have no sexual identity until Christian Grey enters her life and requests that she become his Submissive in a sexual relationship.

In order to be Christian’s submissive, Anastasia is expected to sign a lengthy and detailed contract that, amongst other requirements, requires that she exercise four days a week with a trainer that Christian provides (and who will report to Christian on her progress), eat only from a list of foods Christian supplies her with, get eight hours of sleep a night and begin taking a form of birth control so Christian will not have to wear condoms. Anastasia negotiates a few terms of the contract with Christian (she only wants to work out three days a week, not four), but all of her negotiations are only within his framework — none of the terms are hers independently. Nothing in their relationship is hers as an independent.

The character of Christian Grey is a rich, superpowered businessman who was abused as a child. He is in therapy, and Anastasia frequently references his therapist, but based on how he treats Anastasia, he doesn’t seem to be making much progress. As Anastasia’s relationship with Christian progresses, his controlling tendencies affect her life more and more. When her friend takes portraits of her for his photography exhibit, Christian buys all of them, because he does not want anyone else looking at Anastasia. (They weren’t even in a relationship when he did this.) When she is hired as an assistant at a publishing company, he buys the company — to make sure she’s “safe” working there. When she goes out to a bar with her one friend, against his wishes, he flies from New York to Washington State that same night, just to express his anger — and exercise his control over her. When she does not immediately change her name at her office (in hopes of maintaining some professional autonomy, given that he bought the company she works at), he shows up, unannounced, at her office, in the middle of her workday, to pick a fight with her. When she asks why it is so important to him that she change her name, he says he wants everyone to know she is his.

Christian’s possession of Anastasia is the cause of much of my disgust and fear of the book’s influence on people and how they view romantic relationships. After they exchange their wedding vows, the first words he says to her are, “Finally, you’re mine.” The control he exercises over her does not reflect his love for her; it reflects his objectifying of her. Christian never views Anastasia as a person, let alone an independent woman. He wants her to obey him, and even though she refuses to include that in her wedding vows, it is exactly what she does. When her mother questions her choice to keep her wedding dress on rather than change before traveling for her honeymoon, she says, “Christian likes this dress, and I want to please him.” Her desire to try some of the “kinky fuckery” in his Red Room of Pain comes from wanting to demonstrate her love for him, not her own sexual desires.

Wanting to please Christian apparently includes subjecting herself to verbal and emotional abuse from him ‘til death do them part, because any time she tries to stand up to him — which isn’t often — he berates her, guilt trips her and beats her down verbally until she apologizes and submits to him. After she uses the “safe word” in the Red Room of Pain so he will stop, he bemoans his sad state of mind later, mentioning that his “wife fucking safe worded him.” He is not concerned with her well-being or why she felt the need to use the safe word. He only cares about how it affects him.

The question that I kept asking myself as I read the books was why Anastasia stayed with Christian, and the answer I found was that she has absolutely no sense of self worth. She only feels sexy when he says she is, and when he insults or patronizes her, she accepts what he says as the truth. One of the passages that disgusted me the most was when Anastasia was at a club with Christian, dancing and thinking to herself that she never felt sexy before she met him and that he had given her confidence in her body. Yes, being with a partner who frequently compliments you can increase your confidence, but Anastasia went from zero to one hundred thanks to Christian. None of that came from within herself. Because of his influence on her, nothing in her life came from herself — her job, her home, her way of life, or even her self-esteem.

The co-dependency between Anastasia and Christian is alarming to read and even more to contemplate. When she breaks up with him at the end of the first book, the second book finds her starving herself and wasting away to nothing until he contacts her again. When she thinks his helicopter has crashed in the second book, she thinks to herself that she can’t live without him. Their marriage only comes about because he is scared she will leave him, and when she asks what she can do to prove to him she isn’t going anywhere, he says she can marry him. Yes, origins of insecurity and desperation are a great start to a healthy marriage.

When Anastasia finds herself unexpectedly pregnant and shares the news with Christian, he rages at her, asking if she did it on purpose and storming out of the house, disappearing for hours. Even though Anastasia thinks to herself that the pregnancy happened too soon in their marriage, she never considers terminating it.

The themes of the novel — that love alone can make someone change, that abuse from a spouse is acceptable as long as he’s great in bed, that pregnancies should always be carried to term even if the parents are not ready to be parents, and the ridiculously antiquated, Victorian idea that the love of a pure virgin can save a wayward man from himself — are irrational, unbelievable and dangerous.

Our culture has seen a radical shift of ideals moving towards traditional gender roles and Fifty Shades of Grey is a shining example of that. Early marriage to one’s first sexual partner, having a baby even when saying neither of the partners is ready to be a parent, and submission to one’s husband as the head of the household are all aspects of life that feminists and progressive thinkers have worked to move beyond. Anastasia and Christian’s relationship is not romantic. It is abusive. The ways he tries to “keep her safe” are not masculine or sexy. They are stalking. Fearing one’s husband’s reaction to an unexpected pregnancy is not normal, because “boys will be boys.” It is sad and dangerous and should not happen in a healthy relationship.

Fifty Shades of Grey was one of the best-selling books of the year. Sex toy classes have been inspired by it, as have new types of cocktails. The film adaptation is already in the works. I sincerely hope that honest discussion will be had about the book and that the Christian Grey ideal of romance is not one that will be perpetuated throughout our culture. The best way that can happen is through open, honest dialogue that leads to healthy relationships of two equal partners. That, in my opinion, is sexier than anything that can happen in the Red Room of Pain.

Fifty Shades of Feminism - A Response to E. L. James’ 'Fifty Shades of Grey'

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Spread this like wildfire on all media!

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Fuck everything about everything to do with this, down to craft services.

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R.I.P. The 2976 American people that lost their lives on 9/11 and R.I.P. the 48,644 Afghan and 1,690,903 Iraqi and 35000 Pakistani people that paid the ultimate price for a crime they did not commit

this is the only september 11th post I’m reblogging