How I Became Angry

Hi all and welcome!

You may be wondering what made your nerd girl here so angry.  I’ve tended to be such a calm and passive person.  However, 2013 has just begun and we’ve already had the Steubenville case and the backlash that followed.  Countless blogs and even major news networks (looking at you, CNN and FoxNews) blamed the victim.  We have the ugliness that followed many of us on Facebook changing our profile pictures to a pink and red equality symbol.  Every news report I read on it had dozens of people in the comments asking what they should change their picture to in order to show that marriage equality was morally wrong.  Many of them chose a cross, which I find extremely ironic, considering the fact that if you happen to consider homosexuality as a sin (I personally do not) than you must realize that Jesus would have been kindest to gay people.  Whenever people preach about the sins of others, they seem to forget what Jesus himself said about pride and judgment: “Everyone that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted” (Luke 18:14) and “Judge not, that ye be not judged.  For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?” (Matthew 7: 1-3).

I’m angry because what happened to Rehtaeh Parsons should never have happened, and unless we actively take a stand against rape culture, it will happen again.  I’m angry because an episode of this season’s Girls explicitly showed a rape, “grey” as you may want to call it, and HBO simply called it “a trying relationship moment.”  In fact, a great deal of the internet rose up to attack any humble blogger or reporter who called it rape in the first place.  I’m angry that my teenage nieces post things on their walls that say “Having guy friends doesn’t make me a slut.  Sleeping with guys makes YOU a slut” and when I attempt to teach them not to slut shame, I am accused of encouraging underage sex.

I hate that the idea of consent is so nebulous that Rick Ross can rap about rape and say that he would never use the word “rape,” so obviously that’s not what he meant.  I’m angered that a sleeping woman can be assaulted on an airplane and the response from the man who assaulted her is literally “It’s not like I molested you. It’s not like I stuck my finger in your pussy or grabbed your tits.”  By this same token, many of the onlookers in the Steubenville case said that they didn’t realize what they were witnessing was sexual assault because the victim was unconscious and incapable of saying “no.”  Many Americans in Gen X and Y grew up hearing “No means No.”  However, this has now been mutated into “if a woman doesn’t say no, it means yes.”  Fortunately, some schools are now teaching “if you don’t have enthusiastic consent, stop.”

I am angered by the entire concept of the Friend Zone.  There is no Friend Zone.  A woman does not owe you sex in return for your kindness.  I am angered by every man posted on the now-defunct Nice Guys of OKCupid who put that “no doesn’t always mean no,” that contraception is morally wrong, that a man should always be in charge, and then say they’re all alone because women are stupid bitches who only date assholes.  In fact, during my brief foray into internet dating, I was called a slut, a cunt, a bitch, and a whore all for not writing someone back in less than a day.  This was not an isolated incident with one specific person, but more of an overarching theme of my time on both OKC and PlentyofFish.

I’m annoyed that as a woman, I constantly have to prove my “nerd cred” whenever I walk into a videogame store, post a question/comment on a gaming forum, or heaven forbid enter a comic book shop.  There is no such thing as a “fake geek girl.”  There are women who love nerdy things, women who like them and are curious, and women who are paid to look pretty at conventions.  None of us are lying to you about our reasons for being there.  Either we love something that you love and want to celebrate it and/or learn more about it, or we are getting paid.  That’s really all it is.

I am angered that my college, famous for being a place of tolerance and help for the disenfranchised has twice been in the news this year for hate speech perpetuated by students, and once for one of those students dressing in a KKK uniform and parading outside of the African Heritage House.  When classes were canceled for a teach-in and a day of solidarity, many white people protested that this was an overreaction and in essence, letting the terrorists win.  I am angry that whenever the word Privilege comes up in a conversation, the knee-jerk reaction of many cis-gender heterosexual white males is to go on the defensive and paint themself as the victim because someone dared to address their white, straight, or male privilege.  I sincerely wish that were not the case, because the voice of straight, white, heterosexual men carries farther than anyone else’s in this country.  The marginalized need you as advocates, not as rivals arguing over who is the greater victim in any given situation.

On a more personal level, I am angry that I have been sexually assaulted countless times and three times those assaults took place in the presence of my friends.  When I asked them why they didn’t help me, they said “I thought you could use some fun” or “better you than me, and you had his attention. “  Like many other women, when I told my (now ex) boyfriend that his best friend had molested me and several of my friends, he accused me of trying to break up his friendship and said we should take it as a compliment that his friend found us all so hot.  He would then send me off on movie dates with said friend in order to try and make us “play nice and get over it.”  I am angry that when I finally had the guts to tell someone about my rape, one of my best friends told me I was an idiot and brought it on myself for trusting people NOT to rape me.  I am furious that when I was being raped, my rapist told me it was my fault for getting him “so fucking hot” and ignored my tears.  I am angry that when I confronted him and told him I would never speak to him again, he accused me of being an ice-cold prude and, oddly enough, a whore.  Then of course, said he’d still like to fuck me because I got him so hot.  The people who assaulted me were not strangers in dark alleys.  I wasn’t anywhere that I shouldn’t have been.  The men who assault us are someone’s friend, brother, partner, and son.  The sooner that is acknowledged, the faster we can start to fix this and heal.

If you have read all of this, I hope that you are somewhat angry, too.  The time for action and change has come.  Now if you’re wondering “wow, will this blog always be this angry?” I would like to point you to the name of the blog.  That being said, there are plenty of good and wonderful things in the world, and I’ll definitely be writing about those, too.  For instance…

Doctor Who is on tonight!  I can’t watch it live, because I have opera tickets, but I’ll definitely catch it later and air my thoughts.  Please feel free to contact me in the comments and I’ll look forward to talking to you soon!

11 thoughts on “How I Became Angry

  1. Well said, Jessica! Your ability to see the connection and show it so clearly really impressed me. I look forward to many more postings!

  2. Pingback: Check out this really awesome blog. | Almost Hollywood

  3. Love all of this but this one screamed out to my own personal experiecnes .. “I am angered by the entire concept of the Friend Zone. There is no Friend Zone. A woman does not owe you sex in return for your kindness.”

    When will all those self-proclaimed nice guys woefully stuck in the “friend zone” realize this…

    Also, you’re the best! Awesomeness all around!

  4. Where’s the “angry” button? The “like” button seems inappropriate?

    (BTW, have you heard about Audrie Pott? Rehtaeh is not the only one.)

    (And have you heard about the professor at University of Rochester who doesn’t understand that rape is wrong as long as the victim is unconscious?)

  5. Katie H. said it best……<3 This. All of this. and THANK you for writing this 🙂 looking forward to all of your future musings and dialogues.

  6. Pingback: Rape Culture, Again | angry nerd girl

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