When it comes to pain and suffering, she's right up there with Elizabeth Taylor.
This is essentially how they got me to like Justin Bieber, except instead of a friend it was a Pandora Top 40 station. THANKS PANDORA, UGH.
37/100 for me here. Just looking at this list makes me want to cry and be 10 years old so I can read all this over again. I'm only on board with having kids if you can guarantee me a girl who loves to read.
I'm not Mormon but I grew up around a lot of Mormons and I was always fascinated by the community. I could never, ever join the church because I disagree with a lot of the fundamental aspects of the faith, but I really admire other parts of everyday Mormon culture - the focus on community and service work and especially the focus on family. It's easy to see how it can drive people insane, but I can also see how it produces a lot of amazing, driven, well-loved children who are very close to their families. As a child of two socially-awkward loners I was insanely jealous of my Mormon friends for their big loving families and close-knit communities. Other people talk about the manipulation that is also rampant within the church and the way that is used to keep adherents in line, and I don't think they're wrong, but. Hmm, how do I phrase it. I think a lot of times when other people talk about Mormonism they have a tendency to throw the baby out with the bathwater, so to speak. Just because I don't agree with the tenets of the faith doesn't mean that there aren't aspects of that way of life that might prove instructive to me. Just because I don't share the same faith as my Mormon friends doesn't mean I can't learn something from the way they live their lives. My point is, I can see how it would be incredibly difficult to leave that world, and not just because of the shaming/shunning or brainwashing, but because it can be really beautiful to live in that kind of social network and self-contained community.
Yeah, I'm pretty sure 90% of the reason my sister exists is because I was old enough when she was born to remind my frazzled parents when they forgot her places.
Hey guys go read America's Women and learn more about this stuff. Every time there's an epidemic or a war or the women are left alone somehow property rights mysteriously start accruing to women...
“Where are you from? Like, what ethni—”
“Yuck,” I say.
I have been working on being way more aggressive in shutting down these douchebags because I realized that if nobody tells them then they just won't know and the world gains nothing by the interaction except more frustration on my end. I'll try to remember this going forward. Jia you're the beeeest.
On Manly Me
It was mentioned in the comments above but nobody linked to the best essay on boys clubs ever by Molly Lambert:
WHY WOULD YOU HANG UP ON YOUR MOM?
I would die of shame. :(
I wish I could take back the beginning of the 2nd paragraph, because I do understand that *right now* it is more important *to the country and society as a whole* for us to focus on the feelings of the frightened black man instead of the frightened white woman. Again, I think the reason I am focusing on her half of the equation even during a week like this is only because my own assault is still very fresh in my mind. It is more important to me, individually, but that doesn't mean it is true for the country. I promise I'm not suggesting that white women can't ever take the backseat in a national discussion! It's just hard for me personally to hear that right now, and I accept that it's something I need to deal with, and not project my own issues onto the national stage. Sorry y'all.
I will admit that I'm having a very hard time processing all of my feelings and reactions to this piece. On the one hand, I understand on a cerebral level that white people do not need to take over this conversation and make it all about them. On the other hand, this is a piece specifically talking about putting yourself in another's shoes and looking at situations through the eyes of another, and Questlove hasn't taken the time to do that for this woman either. I also know that I am taking this very personally because I was assaulted twice in the last month by two different strange men of color, and it's been very difficult for me to figure out how my subsequent judgments have been informed by trauma. To what degree is my risk assessment filtered through racism and to what degree is it filtered through circumstances? Did I find one of the men sketchy because he was Hispanic, or because he was walking behind me on a lonely street late at night? Was I so concerned with not offending the 2nd man when I sat next to him on the bus that I let down my guard and that's why he took the opportunity to attack me? That's why I had to laugh bitterly when I read the line, "Seriously, imagine a life in which you think of other people's safety and comfort first, before your own." No shit, Questlove. Women do that all the time, and sometimes it gets them killed.
I will also say that I find it pretty fucking obnoxious to get told to shut up, again, because this discussion isn't about me even though I'm the white woman in this elevator. "You're missing the point!" says everybody in yet another discussion of those silly white women and their hysterical fears. There are a lot of white women this week talking about their concern for young black men and their concern for the safety of boys like Trayvon Martin, and what can they do to change their behavior and not be complicit in this system. A lot of women like myself are aware of the ways the specter of white women's rape has been used to oppress black men (Danielle L. Maguire's At the Dark End of the Street is a great primer on this). But attempting to dissipate fears of "the young black thug" by conjuring stories of "the hysterical white woman" isn't fucking progress.
At the same time, I'm trying to think about this in a different way. He knows how it feels to have others assume you are a predator, and I know how it feels to have others assume you are prey. Our lives are not the same. I am not Trayvon Martin. My assumption is that my personal safety trumps men's comfort, but my assumptions may indirectly create a world which does threaten his personal safety. I will try to explore that idea and take it into consideration when I made judgments about my environment.