I’m a Rape Survivor With #MeToo Fatigue: Here’s Why

I’m a Rape Survivor With #MeToo Fatigue: Here’s Why

I have a confession to make: I’m sick of #MeToo. Whenever I see the hashtag, I feel dread. I lived through rape, abuse, and torture, so this is, in one sense, a personal reaction — reminders of familiar traumas make me hurt. That’s on me. No one else is responsible for my mental health.

But the dread is mixed with frustration. Me Too is a movement dedicated to eradicating sexual violence, started over a decade ago by Tarana Burke, a black woman from the Bronx — yet in interviewing (white) people about their use of the hashtag, I regularly encounter those who have no idea who Tarana even is, let alone her story, what she says her movement is about,  her work (featuring Terry Crews!), et al.

I also encounter too many well-meaning people in denial about the fact that anything that’s constantly on the news is going to attract grifters and attention-seekers who feel the need to hijack an important cause.

The most obvious example is Jacob Wohl — a conspiracy theorist who attempted to discredit special counsel Robert Mueller by claiming he is a rapist. We were all so focused on the ludicrousness of Wohl’s scheme that we forgot its implications: Any popular movement, let alone popular hashtag, is going to attract its share of people with dubious agendas, and admitting this should not be tantamount to discrediting survivors.

Continue reading “I’m a Rape Survivor With #MeToo Fatigue: Here’s Why”

“Do Marines like cake?” “Does God have a butt?” Conversations with a five-year-old

“Do Marines like cake?” “Does God have a butt?” Conversations with a five-year-old

“Mommy, you’re a hippo.”
“I’m a what?! Why?!”
“You’re a mommy hippo. Because I want to be a baby hippo.”
“I’m a baby hippo, but I’m also Denzel.”
“So like a baby hippo whose name is Denzel?”
“No, sometimes I’m a baby hippo, other times I’m Denzel.”
“Mommy, you’re also a baby strawberry.”
“Because it sounds nice. Daddy is a watermelon.”


“Are Marines allowed to ride in elevators by themselves?”
“Do they have guns?”
“And unicorns?”
“They wear unicorns?”
“Mommy, you’re laughing too hard. You’ll pee yourself if you don’t stop.”
“Says the kid who accuses Marines of wearing unicorns.”
“Do Marines have to eat dinner?”
“What if they don’t like their dinner?”
“I’m pretty sure they just buck up and eat it anyway?”
“So they don’t cry?”
“Not over stupid stuff like dinner.”
“What do Marines cry about?”
“Serious stuff. Probably.”
“Like when people die?”
“Like when people die.”
“Does everyone die?”
“Eventually, yes.”
“Do Marines like cake?”
“Of course they do.”  Continue reading ““Do Marines like cake?” “Does God have a butt?” Conversations with a five-year-old”

Dress Like Water

Dress Like Water

Mr. Hodges says that not enough people come to see him and that those people who don’t should get their hides ready for a slow roast in hell. The nurse says he’s rude to put it like that, but Mr. Hodges argues that dying men don’t need manners. What can you even say to that?

I guess the fact that I come over reminds Mr. Hodges of how Billy isn’t coming over. When I say that Billy’s not around, people’s facial expressions turn complicated, and they say things like, “So he took off? He snapped?” They say it like they’ve been waiting for him to do it for a long time.

The truth is, Billy is in Louisville, he has a job and a house with a big yard, and his wife is already pregnant with their second child. Billy is solid – not snapping, breaking, cracking, or otherwise disintegrating. He just doesn’t want to see his dad. Or else he wants to see him, but feels like he can’t. He won’t say either way.

So it’s been pointed out to me that I’m not necessarily the one Mr. Hodges wants to see, but the old man’s grip on reality isn’t as tight as it used to be, so certain things he can let slide. There is also the fact that Mr. Hodges says that “a good-looking woman who knows Billy” has been to see him.

“She’s a sly one,” Mr. Hodges murmurs, eyes closed, facing the wall. “Slinks around everywhere. Her dresses look like water. I like her.”

The woman sounds awfully like the bitch Billy left me for. I’m not staking her out – but I’m staking her out.  Continue reading “Dress Like Water”

From Woke Vets to the Putin Paradox: news of note from me

From Woke Vets to the Putin Paradox: news of note from me

I recently made my Coda Story debut writing about the controversy surrounding a new movie made by an ostensibly pro-Kremlin filmmaker. This is what happens when you let religious extremism run unchecked – and by that I mean Christian extremism (a pertinent topic for all of us in the U.S. as well, even though Trump would have us believe that only Islamic extremism is a problem).

Speaking of the arts in Russia, here’s my take on the surreal world of Russia’s not-quite-censorship, and how it benefits the Kremlin perfectly – this was my contribution to the Guardian’s series on the so-called Putin paradox (as in, why is he reviled abroad and popular at home? Lots of great articles in this series).

All of this brings me to renewed protests in Russia. “Nothing is Good and Everything is Horrible” would’ve been my alternative headline for the depressing column I wrote on the subject for bne IntelliNews.

Meanwhile, over at the Anti-Nihhilist Institute, Anna Lind-Guzik and I have launched a cool new series we’re calling Woke Vets. We’re speaking to U.S. veterans about the new administration and all of the crap that lies ahead for us as a country now – because who’s better to talk to about that than the people who execute our (often quite flawed) policy decisions on the ground?  Continue reading “From Woke Vets to the Putin Paradox: news of note from me”

Because I have writer’s block: this one’s for you, Julio Cespedes of Mississippi State

Yeah, douchey columns in college newspapers are a dime a dozen. ONTD, however, highlighted one that is so good, even this man-hater had to put down the gun and check that shit. Basically, some sensitive soul over at Mississippi State watched “G.I. Jane” and subsequently grabbed for the smelling salts. There was violence and graphic language and politics! Demi Moore shaved her head and said “suck my dick”! Well, I never!… Anyway, after getting up off his fainting couch, our hero vented his confusion to the universe, and here are the choice bits:

Extreme feminism tells us women are the same as men.

You mean like, how it talks about how both women and men are human beings? Extreme, bro.

We can talk about equal opportunity all we want, but does anybody really believe that it’s a victory for women to submit themselves to a system which reveres manhood (equaling physical strength and courage and the right to say that infamous three-word phrase which I can not even put into print)?

Well, gee. Last time I pried my ass off the chair and away from the desk I am currently chained to and took a look at the outside world, I was struck by a shocking revelation: manhood is revered in general on this planet. Who owns the vast percentage of the world’s wealth? Who runs the vast percentage of the world’s countries? Who coined the phrase “big swinging dick” as a symbol of authority? Who decides shit around here?

Every single one of us exists within a system that “reveres manhood,” women in the military just tend to have it a helluva a lot tougher, because, aside from the demands placed upon them, their presence is a direct challenge to the status quo. And yet you have the (gendered terminology alert!) balls to ask whether or not they want to be in the game in the first place? Why ever would you think that any of these women owe you an explanation? Wouldn’t have anything to do with the fact that you’re an entitled jackass now, would it?

It is time for post-feminism – a movement which will recognize the equality of women to men, but one which will also realize their differences.

In other words: But you have boobies and stuff! I want access to the boobies without having to worry about some female cadet kicking my ass!

there is no denying women have an incredible gift that a measly, maggot man will never have

Now isn’t this sweet? It’s a bit like those passive aggressive people who say things like, “it’s not you, it’s me,” and stare down into their beer mugs with a soulful expression you want to smack right off their faces. He’s not sexist, ladies! Why, he humbles himself before your mysterious lady-parts! He humbles himself so much, that he feels the need to remind you that you, you know, have them, ’cause you never know, your addled lady brain might forget!

You are a measly maggot, Julio, just not for the reasons you imagine.

Human life can literally flourish in your womb, can feed on your own body and because of that, you will have a connection to life on a level that I will never understand.

Neither will you ever understand how a world where manhood is revered pretty much punishes women daily for producing said human life while cloaking said punishment in rhetoric about the mystical beauty of motherhood [not that motherhood isn’t beautiful, but let’s not pretend as though said beauty isn’t used against women as a way to get them to shut up and sit down]. I mean, one can hope, but I’m not holding my breath.

Forgive me for wanting to protect you, forgive me for being a gentleman and opening the door for your, forgive me for allowing you to make me “weaker,” forgive me for holding you to a higher standard you sometimes view as “oppression.”

Oh, like the higher standard that allows guys like you to high-five their dudebros upon getting laid, while the girl in the situation gets stuck with the label of “skank”? The higher standard that somehow makes you, a college senior who doesn’t have an freaking career yet, think you’re qualified to dispense wisdom on the military careers of women? That higher standard?

I know, I know. You want to bake a cake with rainbows. You just have a lot of feelings. You would shed tears, but you’re just way too manly.

Here’s what Robin Hood thinks of these shenanigans: