Sunday, August 8, 2010

Club Politics of the Misogynist Kind

Hey all,

So inbetween packing up my apartment and reading for my research, I kept thinking about this man that happened to be at the club Thursday night. This man was presumably heterosexual, African American, about 5'9", and wearing one of those bro long sleeve shirts that show just about every crease of your muscles. None of the above were of any issue, but his attack on women were.

My first interaction with him is when he came up to try and dance with my very queer appearing friend. Being the fantastic clubbing sidekick that I am, I started grinding all up on her and spun her around so he couldn't touch her. When he tried to dance with me, I kindly elbowed him and told him to back off. He got the hint, this time.

After rejection, I watched him go to the girl next to us and he forcefully grabbed at their hips and kept his mouth close to her neck and ears. She looked pretty uncomfortable, but her friend eventually saved her. What did he do? He moved on to the next girl.

This chain of events kept occurring, a predator in all his glory. What finally set me off (and could have very quickly escalated into a fist fight), was when I was dancing with some friends and he comes up behind me and pushes his very apparent hard on up against my backside. I turned around and pushed him, perhaps harder than I should, and he BLEW UP. He pushed me back then screamed into my ear, "IF YOU DON'T WANT ME TO DANCE WITH YOU DON'T STICK YOUR ASS OUT!!"

The phrase kept ringing in my ears and it took everything in me not to deck him. Did he not realize he was in a gay club? And what the hell made him think that my dancing was FOR him? Yes, I was dressed queerly feminine, but I recall giving no such invitation of "Hey you! Yeah, you. Come rub your dick on me."

I'm sick of this disgusting assumption that femininity means submissiveness, someone and thing to have and they won't fight back. His aggressive reaction was him trying to put me in my place. I was taking the power and control from him, and that's not a womanly thing to do. I have no doubt that he would have hit me (granted, I'd be hitting him too), but it would have been for two entirely different reasons. I'd be decking him for being a misogynistic pig, and he'd be decking me because, as a female-bodied individual, I'm less than him, property if you will and he can't have that changing.

What he doesn't realize is femininity is fierce, bold, and unapologetic. Materialistic things don't make up what it means to be femme or feminine, the power within to rock femininity in a hypermasculine world makes feminine individuals fiercer than the biggest male body builder in the world.

I was later met outside by another man, who came up and straight out asked me if I was gay. I said yes, then he told me I was looking real good and then asked me if I could identify his accent. I could, he was from Jamaica. I have no doubt that he was using this to try to make himself enticing, but then he went on to ask me which of my two friends he can have. I looked at him and was like, "They're not interested."

He responded with something along the lines of "I promise not to take your girl, just let me have the other one." I said they were both my girlfriends and they both only like women (only half true, but I wasn't going to pass my good friends off onto this sexist power-monger).

He didn't seem to understand this. He felt like because he talked to me he was entitled to "have" one of my friends. What world are we living in when sexual orientation has nothing to do with whom people want, if you are female bodied, you will, by default, have to give into a man if he decides HE wants YOU.

This culture is dangerous. When women don't have the freedom to choose, they're subject to rape, sexual assault, and violence. It's time to up the ante on the wombyn's movement, we need social change. If I am this uncomfortable in a place I generally feel at home at, something has got to change. We live in a state of terrorism, and it has nothing to do with the Middle East. If our government is so set on maintaining this "War on Terrorism" they need to start within our own borders. Women are not treated equal, they are constantly reminded of this by comments like both men said to me earlier, the fact they can't walk home alone at night without being petrified, the fact that one in four women will be victim to sexual assault in this country.

It's time to fight, it's time to have those tough conversations until our mouths run dry and our lips are cracked. Women need to stop perpetuating vulnerability when it's not the truth, and men need to stop treating women aggressively just for the sake of doing so. We need to start hosting more events, more seminars, more rallies and protests, and demand wombyn's voices be heard. In our country today, we are not all created equal. It's about time we are.

Peace, Love, and Revolution,


Saturday, August 7, 2010

Bullseye. Hitting the Target on Homophobia

Hey all,

I'm sure many of you are aware of Target, a major retail corporation, donated $150,000 to Tom Emmer, a politician running for Governor of Minnesota. Why is this an issue? Tom Emmer frequently spews homophobic ideals, does not support marriage for same-sex couples, and hangs out with the likes of people who think LGBTQ individuals should all be killed.
Target claims they didn't realize that Emmer was so homophobic. I think this is a load of crap, as any major corporation would check out as much as possible about the politician before they would fund a third of their advertising campaign. Yes, Tom Emmer might be good for big business, but he's going to kill profit margins with his anti-gay banter and entourage.

My personal view is that Target saw legislation going their way if Emmer were to be elected, but once they started getting heat about their choice in politicians, they tried to play the victim card. Anyone with access to the internet can find out who someone is associated with and what their opinions are, especially when it comes to politicians running for major office. I think Target DID know that Emmer was notoriously anti-gay, but they didn't care, business is business right?

This is our chance to make a difference. Yes, all big business is corrupt, but it is possible to make change happen. Everything is about profit, and who gives corporations profits? Consumers, that's who. We have the advantage of pocketbook power. I vote everyone should boycott Target until change is made. Having worked at target for 2 years, I know how they function. They freak out hard core if they don't make sales in a given month. Enough months of that, and you'll see some results. We are in the majority, America is overwhelmingly turning to the side of pro-LGBTQ politics, so the time is now.

I think it's also important to note that there are other ways to boycott Target that can get to the big shots. Hand out fliers or tell people about what Target did, write stock and share holders, hell, write the CEO's. Employees of Target are going to be feeling a boycott as much as the big shots, because when profits are low there are less hours of work to be had. While I hate to think of putting fellow working class individuals in a tight position, it's only going to put more pressure on the big wigs. If they have thousands of angry employees, and potentially strikers, they will have to change how they do politics.

It's up to us to police bigotry and negligence. We have more power than they give us credit for, our dollars fill their pocketbooks. With a lack of customers and a boat load of angry employees and share holders, they will have to make some changes. It's time we unite and fight for what is right, and stop allowing big business to trample on the lives of the people who helped them stay in business in the first place.

Until next time...

Peace, Love, and Revolution,