I have rage fatigue.
Yes, I'm outraged by Elliot Rodger and the lives he took And yes, I'm outraged by his misogyny, and the misogyny of the thousands (millions? ugh) of men out there that believe that women owe them a piece of ass or an acknowledgment of their greatness or whatever it is they want.
I've been the victim of unwanted advances. I've felt the pressure to perform sex acts because of a date/drinks bought/I have a vagina. I come from an extremely patriarchal family, where the women are expected to put up and shut up and are treated as a fraction of a human even in wills (daughter gets a third what her brothers get; granddaughters only get wedding money, aka a dowry). I've worked in an office where a higher up viewed "18 and Asian" porn right in front of me. I've been talked down to, paid less and treated like shit, just like so many of my fellow females.
But to be honest, I just couldn't muster up the energy to yell lately. I know I should. I could have Tweeted right there with everyone else my stories, my injustices.
But between the War on Women, the umpteenth mass shooting and the pressure to raise mentally healthy children, I was just too tired to yell about this event. I'm sad. So sad. But I've let the others with energy take this one.
But leave it to some jack-off on Facebook to snap me back to the reality at hand.
A friend just posted a photo of herself in a horse mask, being silly on vacation. This is a happily married mother and fitness instructor who spends her time away from her family helping others get healthy and fit through yoga and art. This photo was such a great snapshot of her whimsy and personality. Funny and carefree, enjoying a break from the Rat Race with her family.
And wouldn't you know it, this guy had to make it about tits.
A mutual friend from the gym (who often complains about never finding a woman "worthy" of his time because they are all gold-diggers or classless #soundsfamiliar) commented on the photo how our friend has a "solid rack!", and I LOST. MY. SHIT.
THIS is the problem. THIS is the attitude that we can't defeat. The mentality that says "despite the fact that this human being would like for me to focus on a humorous animal mask, I would like to point out the size and perkiness of her breasts in a public forum."
These little slights, these little comments, those are the little tiny moments that eat away at women. These moments are why, even when we aren't thinking of ourselves as sexual beings, it is always on our mind that SOMETHING we are doing might make us come across that way to someone, and so we better be ready. With an apology, or a defense, something.
If you can't post a photo of yourself in a horse mask without being sexualized, what the fuck CAN you do? Because now, this woman's breasts have become the focus of this moment, and if she is like many of us, she's embarrassed and feels slightly to blame. "Maybe that tank top DOES show off my breasts. I didn't realize it," or "I hope people don't see that and think something is going on between he and I." And now, when she sees this man next, won't SHE feel the need to cover up her breasts a bit more? Because we KNOW he's noticed, and if she doesn't want to welcome MORE comments, it's kind of on her now, isn't it?
And then there's me, a bystander. He didn't say this to me, but he said it to MY friend in public. So I have a duty to say "Hey, asshole, not cool!" but if I do that, I can't take a joke, right? Or maybe I'm just jealous he didn't say it about me? And if I make light of it, call him out in a joking way, that doesn't really help, either. But what REALLY pisses me off is that no matter what I say, it won't matter. Because this is a character issue, and I can't change someone's character. Nothing I say or anyone else says, is going to make someone who thinks that's an ok thing to say think differently.
So no, this wasn't a mass shooting. And I wasn't even personally affected. But my rage fatigue disappeared at this moment of life that happens a million times a day, all over the world, to one-half the population.