Sunday, May 25, 2014

#YesAllWomen & Singin' In The Rain...

For today's post I wanted to gab about my passionate singing-in-the-car that I do on my weekly long drives, along with my super awkward mouth poses and/or quick maneuvers that I've learned to subtly execute (thanks, DCH improv classes) for when a glaring driver passes by and catches me belting out Jo Dee Messina or Celine Dion in broad daylight. Tinted windows only do so much, ya know. I'm also the world's WORST singer, seriously, it is baaaaad and I'll never publicly prove it to anyone. No amount of Tito's in the world could give me the confidence to karaoke, I promise. I'm sure even the sweet Lord above occasionally ponders as to why He didn't spend a little more time on my vocal cords before May 17, 1990.  But I own up to my non-existent talent and continue to croon to my jams, because what the hell else am I supposed to do while driving in the middle of bumblef*ck nowhere East Texas...

And I've had a lot of time to think about the art of singing-in-the-car (I love to say that four-word phrase because it reminds me of Singin' in the Rain, one of my favorite classics and the first movie that I ever studied/wrote about in film class with SMU cinema guru, Prof. Griffin). And I have a lot of mortifying scenarios to tell you guys all about in over-exaggerating, dramatic detail, of course. And maybe at the end of this post I'll lighten things up with one of my best since this blog is meant to provide slapstick-y solace for everyone involved. But... I absolutely must go into annoying activist mode and address/discuss* one of the most important causes (I hate using this term with the subject that I'm about to preach about, maybe 'issues' would be better?) of my life, and your life, and your momma's life, and your local mailman's life, and maybe even your dog or cat's life: women's rights. And the #YesAllWomen hashtag that has created a massive up roar within the past 48 hours.

*denotes that I'm open for laid-back discussion any time & comments are more than welcome

I know that not everyone is a news freak like I am so long story short, if you've been under a rock, Elliot Rodger, a disgruntled, moronic, 22-year-old, piece of sh*t violently murdered/injured several people this past weekend on/near the UCSB campus in California before taking his own life. He did all of this because he was misogynistic, racist, mentally ill, and hated women. Rodger claimed that he was still a virgin that nobody wanted to date and that all women were at fault. He was determined to revenge-slaughter females everywhere as somebody had to suffer for his "loneliness and sexual frustration," because OF COURSE IT MUST BE SO DIFFICULT BEING A SPOILED "ALPHA MALE" IN THE FIRST WORLD WITH 20-SOMETHING DATING WORRIES...

And with that the #YesAllWomen movement was born.

And the #YesAllWomen hashtag refers to the fact that women everywhere face "dating" and "sexual" worries every single day that are way worse than any concern Elliot Rodger ever had. Men swipe through Tender determining their decision by boobs; girls look at a man and instantly question if he looks like a Craigslist killer or not. At any bar most men buy girls drinks in hopes of getting some action; most girls (the smart ones at least) have to babysit any drink bought for them in fear of being roofied. Uptown Dallas bars are full of this crap, which is precisely why I now only drink at the safer, suburbia, brunch-like places full of moms and polka bands. And if I'm trying somewhere new that's mostly locals or hole-in-the-wall, I make sure to put out the vibe (in Lloyd Christmas voice from Dumb & Dumber) that I do not want a man's hands on me 'til we're basically Facebook official. And I'm eternally single so this says a lot. And lastly... "sexual frustration," Elliot Rodger? Really? You had two hands. What more did you need? Us single women have to buy loud, expensive, plastic devices that only come in neon colors to release the natural beast, (am I right?) or live as nuns so that pregnancy isn't a concern. So come on, dude.

AND SO MANY PEOPLE, men and women, posted incredibly powerful statements online, and I wish that I had enough time/room to post them all on here. Many of my favorite comedians and writers tweeted and I've posted several below that were my favorites. I am so glad that so many influential people decided to take action and turn a horrific event into something that will hopefully make a difference to someone, somewhere. It gives me hope. *cue Sarah McLachlan tunes*

As for my personal "story," I'm not going to publicly go there. Don't get me wrong, I've been a Genesis Women's Shelter volunteer and domestic violence advocate for the longest, and I will gladly listen to anyone needing to vent; I'll even share my own tidbits for the sake of helping any woman (or man) know that she is not alone. I probably have four or five thick journals chock full of the awful male encounters that I've experienced alone, with my girlfriends, in college, post-college, at work, you name it. My latest "bad experience" was only two days ago AND IT WASN'T EVEN AT A BAR OR LATE AT NIGHT. See how I naturally tried to justify my "situation" there? I shouldn't have to be ashamed to say that I was at a bar, or in a bad neighborhood, or it was late at night, etc., when something happens, but sadly I do. Because I am a young female that is unfortunately living in an impaired culture, and I pray to God that my own children never have to experience what me and my girlfriends have. I'll move my clan to Italy before that happens.

Harassment and fear have become the norm for women and that's pathetic. And the thing is, as I type this, I'm realizing that I could go on and on for days, which is precisely why I was a poli sci major but I'll try to wrap it up. If I ever make the rare decision to attend law school it will absolutely be for human rights/women's issues/to work at a non-profit. I have been blessed with so much and I will forever help a sister out and continue to speak up when it comes to this ridiculous status quo. I'm past the arrogant stage and I won't get heated or out of control in an issues debate or if faced with a misogynistic fool. My upbringing and spirituality have taught me how to deal with the extremes/idiots, and my education has taught me how to deal with their arguments.

To this day I carry a box cutter with me at all times and I often make jokes about it, but I do not dare leave it at home. Why? Because as knowledgeable as I am on sexual abuse, men's tactics, the escape routines, etc., I am paranoid of being attacked or raped more often than not. Just ask my friends. They'd probably classify me as borderline paranoid/insane. As a naive 18-year-old freshman at SMU, one of the most sexual harassment-plagued campuses ever, I was forced to find my inner "Alpha female" and learn quickly how to defend myself. I even enrolled in self-defense class for elective "wellness" credit with this terrifying, Russian, martial arts instructor; of which I initially failed but that's a whole other post. Don't worry though, I passed in the end. It was a man's world there but I refuse to let my daily life/world revolve around a gender now. I've had my fair share of d*cks, believe me, but I can only imagine what the many girls out there who aren't educated or bull-headed have experienced. And when sh*t like this happens in the news, and this boy gains widespread attention for killing a group of girls because he has severe psychological/egotistical/hate issues, it disgusts me beyond belief. We can have a world of alpha males AND females, asshole; this is precisely why I'm a huge fan of the Kathryn Bigelows, Amy Poehlers, Chelsea Handlers, Cecile Richards's, Sheryl Sandbergs, Lena Dunhams, Malalas, Gloria Steinems, Naomi Wolfs, and geeze louise I could go on forever.

So, to end this long rambling mess that probably had no formal outline/point/structure, go read up on the #YesAllWomen movement. Join the movement. Or at least think about the movement. Volunteer at a shelter. Talk to someone, start writing, go online, or see a priest if you're a victim. And still go see a priest if you've been violent/psycho in the past.