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If my experience is any guide (and according to MRA concern trolls, it is not) rudeness can be an effective and satisfying strategy against sexual harassment.

When I was a budding young man-hating bitch, I was still too young to drive. I therefore had to walk about a mile to the bus to get to my summer job at an art supply store. Back then I lived in Houston, Texas, a city that some have described as “the Asshole of America.” In fact, it is more accurately described as the Cunt of America; Houston is incredibly wet, ridiculously hot, and with a basically roundish geography that some people, unaccountably, find endlessly confusing.

In any case, I was walking along the bayou to the bus. It was hot as hell. For trips like this I always packed a 48oz plastic cup full of homemade iced tea (non-sweet; I was a traitor to the South even back then) . On this particular day, a white Ford Explorer slowed down. The Ford Explorer contained at least four baseball players from the nearby high school, wearing white baseball caps. White-capper Dudes. Great.

They start calling out “hey, babys” and “you look sexys” and “nice ass.” They speed off. They round the corner. They do that again. The slow down as the approach me once again from behind.

This time they drive slowly next to me, and the passenger leans out of the car, and describes, in a creepy whisper, sexual acts he would like to perform on my body in detail so crass and violent I can’t bring myself to repeat it even now 10 years later. Also, if I do, my readership, which seems to consist entirely of c8rpse p8rn surfers and MRA’s searching for “misandry,” would probably double.

I was young, inexperienced both with sex and with the level of hate directed at people with the bodies of adult women. But I only froze in anger and fear for a moment. In the next move, without turning to look at them, I threw the entire 48oz of iced tea in the window of the Explorer.

Passenger Dude stopped talking mid-charming discussion of my various orifices. The Explorer sped off, this time with no intention of circling back for more. I took pleasure in picturing Driver Dude explaining to his mom how the white upholstery came to be covered in tea…

Him: “We were stopped at a red light and this crazy girl threw tea at us!”

Mom: “yeah, my ass.”

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Whoa. What’d she say to him?

M. Leblanc over at Bitch Phd (she’s the Lawyer Bitch) asks us what we think: Should you be rude to your harasser?

My policy is this: when I’m in a one-off cat-call kind of situation, I ignore it. When its random guys saying “hello” on the street for no reason, I nod or say a quick “hello” back and keep walking. But when someone follows me, touches me, or won’t go away, I believe that safety requires rudeness.

First, I’ll defend my fairly passive response to what I think of as low-level background harassment. Yeah, its submissive. Yes, it totally capitulates to the patriarchal order in which half of humanity apparently thinks they have the right to order me to smile (which always makes me wish I didn’t have teeth.) And no, I don’t have to say hello to every joker who greets me politely on the street when what he really means is “you appear to be sexually available.”

But I do it anyway because my aim in every case is to stop the interaction as quickly as possible. With low-level harassers, responding negatively, and often even merely pointedly ignoring them, has the potential to escalate the situation. That escalation is what I want to avoid. A mere “hello” back tends to do the trick.

But some Dudes aren’t content with ritual submission. They want real submission. They want to humiliate you. They want to see you sweat. Maybe they really actually do want to attack you. These persistent fuckers are the gropers, the grabbers, the stand-to-closers, the follow you down the dark street nasties, and the keep-the-conversation-going-at-any-cost salesmen for misandry.

With these guys, its my firm belief that politeness kills. Being polite show you care what they think, that they are in control of the situation, not you. And with someone more interested in real rather than ritual submission, if they are in control, the incident is NOT going to end, no matter how uncomfortable you look or how much you silently pray that they will spontaneously combust. Quite the opposite. Thats just the thing that makes these Dudes’ panties wet.

Thats why rudeness–bitchiness, specifically– is a life-saving skill. It is unexpected. If I do it right, it throws the situation momentarily out of the Dude’s control, and gives me an opportunity to achieve my goal: Ending the disgusting interaction.

With the Grip Dude I am most proud that I was good and rude; I regret only that I wasn’t more impolite.

Its Not Me, Its Them

November 1, 2007

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— From Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride

 

The Dudes have found me on the internet. This blogs top search terms include the following:

Sexy corpse

Real corpse

Rape sexy girl

Real sexy corpse

Now I know thats my fault and all, for talking about SVU. But I still hope those repulsive hate-porn watching motherfuckers die painfully and rot in hell. Also painfully.

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Manifesto is here. Origninal narrative here.

Classy

November 1, 2007

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Teaching is such a joy:

Student: I sent you that email…
Me: No, I was just noticing I didn’t get an email from you. I checked right before class.
Student: What am I supposed to say again?
Me: You are supposed to request a meeting about your problem, which is that you haven’t turned in enough assignments. I cant accept your papers late since I haven’t accepted other students papers, but we can try to come to some kind of resolution that doesn’t involve you failing the class. When you come to the meeting, you need to know how many papers you have turned in, and how many you need. And you wanted to talk to me about your final paper.
Student: yeah, you don’t think I should do that? (i.e. dress up as a homeless person)
Me: We need to talk about it.
Student: Because its dangerous?
Me: (thinking, about to say “no, because its potentially unethical….”)
Student: I thought chicks loved danger!
Me: …..(turns and walks away).