another_constellation: A white man smiling at a laptop (Default)
Trigger warning: cissexism, violence, rape jokes, bullshit

References to a transwoman in a McDonald's getting the shit kicked out of her so badly she seized while a number of McDonald's workers looked on/filmed it are making the rounds. I posted a link on my Facebook and I wanted to say something like "please, if you are not trans and/or not a violence survivor, please watch this. You owe us being a witness to this." But that seemed pushy, and I don't know what everyone's triggers are, so I didn't say it.

A few minutes later, my sister commented to say "Just reading about the video made me feel sick. I could never watch it , but I like to think I would have stopped it, had I been there." And my first thought was how? how? Please tell me, because I wish I knew. because if I were there, I would have been too scard to stop it. I would run away or shut down, pretend not to see it, maybe scream, maybe call the police, maybe appeal to the people who were watching, but I don't think I would have known how to stop it.

My second thought was "how do I tell my own sister that she owes it to me to watch this? That if this woman could get her head kicked in, the least we can do is be witnesses to that?"

I took a shower and the thought came into my head, the thought around which I think a lot of my reaction to this event was centered:

How can they expect me to leave my house tomorrow?

But then:

I was talking with my roommates today, before I saw the video. I have had a few days off, and I am starting to feel human because I have barely left my house. Andthey were making rape jokes. And I kept thinking, how do I make this stop? What can I say to them that doesn't give them too much of myself? But which is still enough that they won't debate me. I came up with nothing, and so I was silent until explictly asked my opinion about the "cis men can't be raped by cis women" thing, when I pointed out that we are having the Wrong Fucking Discussion

After my shower, I was trying to figure out what to do about my facial hair situation. I keep getting she'd and "person"ed, purposely not gendered. Which doesn't bother me, but bemuses me. Pretty much any gender people give me these days bemuses me. All I can think is "is that what you're getting from me right now?" I like to have some facial hair, because otherwise the "she" is too easy, and I don't want it to be too easy for people right now. I am enjoying my body and enjoying my femininity and I don't want that to be too easy for people, because it's not easy for me.

So I was trimming and shaving and thinking:

There is so much of my life that I cannot explain to [straight people, cis people, non-mentally ill people].

And I understood in a new way the need for woman-only spaces, people of color-only-spaces. But where do I go? Where are my spaces?
another_constellation: A white man smiling at a laptop (Default)
I just finished "Flight" by Sherman Alexie. It's about an angry half-white half Native kid in the foster system. He decides to shoot up a a bank and is shot in in head himself. He then skips through the minds of several men, white and Indian, throughout time.

The story that I found most pointant was one where he is an Indian man in his fifties. He wakes up in an alley drunk and throwing up blood. He antagonizes a guy into punching him in the face and weaves up and down the streets looking for a new start. He tells a white man who didn't see him-- didn't avoid him or ignore him like everyone else, but didn't see him-- that he wants some respect. He repeats it over and over. The guy makes some derisive comments and turns away and he grabs the man by the shoulder. He pins him to the wall and asks what he wants.
"I want some respect." "All right, all right," the guy says, "how do I show you some respect?"

What a magnificent question.

The narrator's response is for the man to tell him a secret. I think mine would be to listen to a secret. Or just listen, period. I've been thinking lately, in the radio silence here, how hard it often is for me to pull words out of me, especially verbally. But that doesn't mean I'm not speaking.

What about you? How can people show you respect?


another_constellation: A white man smiling at a laptop (Default)

July 2011

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