“The problem with mass surveillance is that we’re piling more hay on a haystack we already don’t understand, and this is the haystack of the human lives of every American citizen in our country,” Snowden continued. “If these programs aren’t keeping us safe, and they’re making us miss connections — vital connections — on information we already have, if we’re taking resources away from traditional methods of investigation, from law enforcement operations that we know work, if we’re missing things like the Boston Marathon bombings where all of these mass surveillance systems, every domestic dragnet in the world didn’t reveal guys that the Russian intelligence service told us about by name, is that really the best way to protect our country? Or are we — are we trying to throw money at a magic solution that’s actually not just costing us our safety, but our rights and our way of life? — Read Snowden’s comments on 9/11 that NBC didn’t broadcast (via wilwheaton)
Educating a Friend
- Me: So, let's say that you're at school and you see a guy you know. I mean, you guys talk every once in a while and he's pretty cool, but you're not like friends or anything. You just talk to him every once in a while.
- Guy Friend: What's his name?
- Me: I don't know. Frank?
- Guy Friend: No.
- Me: Okay, fine. His name is Will. Okay?
- Guy Friend: I don't think it really suits him, but okay.
- Me: ...So anyway, you're at school during lunchtime and you see Will. So, you notice Will's not eating anything. That's when you realize that Will has no lunch, no money for lunch, and no way of getting either. He's just sitting there like he normally would. He's not acting any differently and he's not asking anyone for anything. Not money, not a fry, not even a salt packet, but you know he's gotta be hungry. So, what do you do?
- Guy Friend: Do I have any money?
- Me: Yeah. You have enough for you and another meal.
- Guy Friend: Duh, I buy him lunch.
- Me: Okay, cool. So, like you said, you buy him lunch. You buy your lunch and you buy his lunch and you go over and hand it to him. And, he says, "Wow. You know, that's really nice of you, but I wasn't gonna ask anyone for lunch. I was probably just gonna wait until I got home to eat." And, then you say--
- Guy Friend: Nah, it's cool.
- Me: Exactly. You say, "Nah, it's cool. I'm just being nice. It's a gift." And, Will says, "You know, that's awesome. You're really nice, bro." And, after that, you guys start hanging out. You guys are like really good buds. You are always hanging out and laughing and just having a good time. So, you guys are friends for a few months, and it's tons of fun. Then, one day, you go up to Will and you say, "Hey, Will, you know, I've been thinking, and I kinda want that five bucks."
- Guy Friend: What five bucks?
- Me: Hold on. I'm getting there. So, Will says, "What five bucks?" To which, you reply, "Well, we've been hanging out for a long time and it's been really fun, but like, I've done a lot of really nice things for you. Like, I'm always nice to you and I always listen and do things you wanna do, so I was thinking that because I've been so nice, you should pay me back that five bucks I spent to get your lunch right before we started really hanging out."
- Guy Friend: What? Why would I--
- Me: I'm not done yet. So, then Will looks kinda hurt and he says, "But I thought you were just being nice. I thought that was just a gift." So, you say, "Whether or not it was a gift, don't you think you kinda owe me that five bucks since I've been so nice to you?" And, Will says, "No. I don't think I owe you that!" And you get mad, so you say, "Well, I think that you do, so I think you're being really shitty and stuck up about this and I feel like I've been completely wronged."
- Guy Friend: Oh, my God. That's so fucked up of me. I would never do that to Will. Will was nice. We were buds. That's way screwed.
- Me: I know, right? Hey, just wondering, have you ever heard of this fictional place called "The Friendzone?"
- Guy Friend: Well, yeah, but...
- Guy Friend: ...
- Guy Friend: ...
- Guy Friend: oh
A co-worker closed the door to the staff room behind him.
It locked automatically
and I started planning what I could use as a weapon:
smash the glass beside the fridge into his eye.
pick up the fork next to me and sink it into his leg.
claw him across the face if I couldn’t get to anything in time.
As I calculated how hard it would be to shove his body weight off of me,
he finished making his lunch, said, “Sup,” and left,
the door automatically locking behind him.
I expect if I told him I was prepared to stab him with the corner of my staff ID if I had to,
he would say what I’ve heard too often, the one we all know
but are getting wearily suspicious of:
Not all men are like That.
When I was eleven, all the girls in my class got sent to self-defence
because they assumed we’d need it one day.
When I was twelve, there was a prostitute’s body dumped in the river next to my house
because someone thought she was disposable.
When I was thirteen, it happened again and this time the man went to jail
and people stood outside the courtroom and held up signs that he did the right thing.
When I was fourteen, my friend showed up to a sleepover late, chest heaving from sobbing
and from running four blocks after getting chased by a man that followed her off the bus.
When I was fifteen, my mother accused me of being a Man Hater
and I said, “No, but god, would you blame me if I was?”
I got catcalled and then got laughed at when I flipped them off.
they pulled up beside me and I clutched my bag tighter,
my hand going in for my keys and my mind going over how their noses would look
if I smashed them in with my elbow.
“What’s the big deal,” the guy at the steering wheel asked. “We’re just complimenting you. We’re not like That.”
Sorry, but I’m not going to trust you in case I end up on a poster labelled ‘MISSING.’
Even if you seem like the nicest guy, I’ll still have one hand holding my keys
as the only knife I’m allowed, because I don’t know how far you’re going to take it:
if you won’t back off when I tell you I don’t want to date you
if you’ll shout BITCH at me when I don’t respond well to your catcall
if you’ll expect my body as a reward for treating me like a human being
if you’ll try to take what you think you’re owed by being a man
if you’ll turn me into another statistic that people shudder away from.
I have been trained to assume that it’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing
or face the consequences.
I don’t know if you’ll nod when I reject you
or pump me full of bullets.
Every single woman I’ve talked to has a story where they haven’t felt safe in their own body
because of what a man said or did.
Not all men are like That, but god, it’s enough.— 'Welcome to Girlhood: None Of Us Are Safe,' theappleppielifestyle. (via theappleppielifestyle)
But if you think for one second, for one solitary second, that demanding tolerance for men as a group, that dismissing the reality of violence against women because not all men kill, not all men rape, if you think that’s more important than demanding justice for those who have been brutalised and murdered by those not all men, then you are part of the problem. You may not have pulled the trigger. You may not have raised your hand to a woman in your life. But you are part of the problem.
This is not the time, to use the refrain of apologists for bigotry, to play devil’s advocate. The devil has more than enough advocates today. On most days, I can put up with aggressive faux-objectivity being used to shout down women’s experiences and silence gendered trauma, but not today.—
Like many of us, I’ve spent the last few days reading and thinking and reading and thinking about violence against women. I watched a shitty Friday the 13th sequel last night, and what screamed out at me was not Jason’s violence, but the many instances of the nonkiller men in the story who got angry when they were denied access to the women whose bodies they thought they deserved. Rodgers didn’t exist in a vacuum.
I read this piece a few days ago, and read it again today, and I think it’s rawness gets right where I needed to go.
I was supposed to be taking the weekend off of social media, but I logged in tonight (of course) and saw the #YesAllWomen hashtag going crazy on Twitter. I added my own:
When a woman makes a video, most comments are about tearing apart her looks. Or if they’d “do” her. With a man, almost none. #YesAllWomen— Felicia Day (@feliciaday)May 26, 2014
To which a lot of people responded supportively (including awesome YouTube creators like Freddie Wong and the Fine Brothers) and then I got a ton of “Unfollow”, and sarcastic “#menhateday” and “Oh yeah, all men are terrible”. Which makes me a) Who cares if they’re gonna unfollow me because of that, they are clearly people I don’t need to be appealing to anyway, and b) and c) Oh gosh, do I even have to call out the ridiculous exaggeration? Or how sad it is that they missed the point, and the possibility to maybe see things from someone else’s point of view for a change?
So anyway, there are amazing comments around that hashtag, and you should check it out. But the one that got me the most was a recurring comment by a lot of women about how “it’s easier to tell a guy that you have a boyfriend so they’ll leave you alone. Because they respect a guy they’ve never met more than you.”
(Which is so sad and true, and every girl knows it in her bones as the way to deal with some horribly obnoxious person at a bar.)
But for me, the flip side is also true: How sad it is if you’re talking to a guy in a social situation, having a really fun conversation, and then somehow it comes up you have a boyfriend, and they drop you like a hot potato. Like, I’ve literally had a person say, “Boyfriend”? And WALK AWAY MID-SENTENCE.
Oh, and then I’ve had it happen that the guy acts like you were LYING to them by HAVING A FUN CONVERSATION AND BEING INTERESTING. HOW DARE I BE FUN IF IM NOT WILLING TO FALL IN LOVE/AND OR HAVE SEX WITH THEM?!?! I mean…sigh.
I am a person who has always had a ton of guy friends, and the fact that there are many social situations where I’m not worth talking to as a person because I am not sexually available makes me so sad. For myself, and for the friendships that could be, but will never happen because to them, I’m only there for a possible hook up.
Once I came home from a party crying after such an incident, telling my boyfriend, “Men and women can’t be friends, I guess.” Which is totally not true, but when an incident happens like that a few times…it makes you less willing to even reach out and try to connect. Or worse, you strangely spurt out the word “BOYFRIEND!” in a reflexive way within the first two sentences of meeting someone, because you don’t want to be rejected later for “not being honest”. Which feels so wrong and is so messed up when you think about it, that it’s a girl’s “responsibility”. Might as well wear a stamp on your forehead, huh?
And that’s my long #YesAllWomen comment. I hope a few people can relate, because sometimes I think I’m just crazy haha.
And for the record, I am very happy to have many guy friends in my life who have NEVER done that. I love them dearly. Platonically, of course. :)