Let’s Talk About Rape Culture

Trigger warning–assault, rape and the perpetuation of such including the culture of violence and oppression will be discussed.

Rape sucks.

I was raped three years ago by a former friend. I had been drinking, but was in no way drunk. I was in jeans and a Star Wars crew neck. I was made up. I had high-heeled boots on. My hair was up. We had just come back from a party and all the rest of our friends had paired off. We went to his room to crash–something I had done many, many times. He raped me. I was SAFE-kitted the next day.

Then I was told that by the police at my university that because they found no evidence (he used a condom) and there was no sign of a struggle (I was afraid of getting physically hurt so I didn’t move…something I learned to do, ironically, from a workshop that the UPD ran), they couldn’t help me. The fact that I had alcohol in my system, regardless of how little, also worked against me. I had one of the police officers tell me that “drunk sex that you regret” unfortunately didn’t constitute as rape. I was so shocked at the dismissiveness and immediate victim-blaming (although in retrospect, I shouldn’t have been) that I dropped it.

So yes. Rape sucks. It is shitty.

But I think that as a survivor, worse than the actual act of rape or assault is rape culture. Rape culture is like a perfect shit storm of what-the-actual-fuckery. It’s something that I myself find so difficult to talk about that I’m going link crazy in this post to avoid explicating it myself and thus buggering it up for those who want a clear, conclusive, and non-rambling definition of rape culture.

So here it is (again) if you need it.

Normally, I’m not rape-triggered. I’ll feel triggered when it comes to issues of sex and orientation. I understand that those issues and rape often go hand in hand, but normally my rape does not come up for me, personally. In fact, I remember only two times post-rape that I was triggered. One was when I was at a club; I had been  ass-grabbed by seven different men several different times during a one-hour time span and security did nothing about it (“If you don’t like it, leave,” I believe was the professional response that they came up with). The other was when I actually ran into my rapist after more than two years of not having seen or heard from him.

Today was lucky number three.

I had been walking to grab some lunch with a group of my co-workers and as I briskly passed the street crosswalk, a man bumped into me. He grasped my inner thigh, dangerously close to my crotch, and trailed his hand to my ass as he brushed past me. I was so shocked and it happened so fast that I barely had enough time to register it and half-heartedly shouted “you fucking asshole!” to his retreating figure, which was already on other side of the street.

My co-workers looked at me quizzically. None of them had noticed, and I didn’t blame them–it really did happen fast.

Without another word, I broke away and strode ahead of them and to the gourmet food truck to place my order for lunch. By the time the rest of them had caught up with me, I had already ordered and was waiting for the service people to prep my food. The adrenaline dump was dissipating, my breathing was beginning to even out, my heart rate was starting to slow back down. An older female co-worker of mine, seeing that I was distressed asked me if all was well.

“Some dude just groped me out of fucking no where,” I explained. “Just walked right by me and grabbed my thigh–can you believe that?”

She chuckled. “Jeez. Well, I guess that’s what happens when you’re a pretty girl, right?”

My heart sank as she chuckled again. “Well, I would think that that’s what happens when you’re an asshole.” I tried to say it light-heartedly, but it came out as somewhat of a humorless murmur.

We both laughed uncomfortably and I immediately felt upset. I wanted to be mad at her, but I couldn’t because what she said was out of ignorance. She is not a rape apologist. She is just not informed. And that fucking depresses me, because she is what a lot of people (even myself included) would call progressive, and genuinely meant what she said as a compliment.

Placing the blame of being groped on someone’s level of attractiveness invalidates their experience and shifts the fault of being groped onto the victim. It’s a sad state of affairs and incredibly telling of how we societally think of rape that the first reaction we have to a person who was just groped is to compliment them on how attractive they must be.

I listed my level of sobriety, what I was wearing, and who I was with in the beginning when explaining the events surrounding my rape to demonstrate that it doesn’t fucking matter. A rapist will rape regardless of the situation.

So yeah. Rape sucks. But rape culture? Somehow, it will always just feel infinitesimally worse.

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Misadventures in Tampon-Hunting

Squeamish people uncomfortable with the fact that I am a dysmenorrhoeaic cis-woman: thar be crimson tides ahead. Proceed with caution.

I got my period today.

No, no, put away your congratulatory menarche cupcakes, I’ve had it for a while now. What I mean is, I got my period today…kind of by surprise. Now, this normally does not happen to Bourgie. Oh, my period comes, yes. Regularly. Like…annoyingly regularly. Like, so annoyingly regularly, that even when I was extremely physically overactive and medically underweight, it would burst forth from my vagina like a catastrophically drunk, uninvited guest who got tangled up in some endometrial curtains when they stumbled through from wreaking wanton destruction on my uterus, all like, “don’t wanna be tardy for THIS party!”.

In short, I KNOW when my period is coming. DAYS ahead of time.

Because as a woman with endometriosis, my body gives me all these little excruciating reminders of what’s to come. I’ll start feeling some cramping a few days ahead of time. Next, I’ll get the ever-present exhaustion, maybe about 48 hours beforehand. I will literally be falling asleep at my desk at work. Then, I’m bombarded with waves of nausea hours before, until finally I’m retching into a garbage bag while I’m begging for Obi-Wayne to hand me a tampon, a pad, some hugely oversized cotton panties, a hot water bottle, and three pills of Vicodin to make it all stop.

So you can imagine how surprising it was for me when I went to the porcelain throne not to throw up everything I had eaten in the last week, but to take a very much-deserved piss only to find that the toilet paper came back pinkish-red.

“Oh you’ve gotta be fuckin’ kidding me…” I muttered to the crumpled up bunch of bloody toilet paper in front of me. Wiping a few more times, I got up, rolled a new clump of toilet paper into a makeshift tampon and pulled my leggings back on, cursing at myself for having wasted a perfectly good shave.

I waddled over to the sanitary napkin machine, already dreading having to go back out to my desk at work to grab some change–and froze.

Fuck yeah, someone totally forgot the key in the box. Free tampons for err-body!

I breathed an audible sigh of relief, thankful that no one was seated close enough to the ladies’ room to infer that I was just taking a very complicated shit, and opened the box.

Empty.

“Really?” I shot back at the tampon-free tampon-box, as if I could scare it enough to materialize tampons into existence.

The box remained empty.

Clicking my tongue, I spun on my heel and left the restroom to go on a tampon hunt. Now, this is where I started to get worried. I’m one of three women working in my building. One of them is pushing menopause, and the other one, despite being significantly closer to my age, doesn’t seem like a heavy bleeder.

Is that weird to say? Like…I dunno, she just legit doesn’t “seem” like a heavy bleeder.

But I digress.

I walked over to the first woman and prayed she was a genetic anomaly like my mother and was still bleeding well into her fifties and huddled down next to her near her desk. She finished typing out her sentence and looked at me expectantly.

I ignored her male employee sitting across the way, just out of ear shot. “Do you have a tampon?” I mouthed to her, feeling oddly embarrassed. The act of asking or talking about anything period-related in front of men never bothered me, really, but for as nice as my male co-workers are, I just wasn’t up to “outing” my cycle like that.

Female Co-Worker Numero Uno shook her head sympathetically. “So sorry,” she whispered back. “Maybe you’ll have better luck with Female Co-Worker Numero Dos?”

I nodded and then wordlessly made my way over to where FCND was…wrapped up in a conversation with a male co-worker.

I chewed on the inside of my cheek and thought it through. Okay, I could just walk over there and be like, “Hey, FCND! Can I talk to you for a second?” But then I feel like that’d be weird, because then Male Co-Worker will be like “OMG what’d she want?” and then she’ll tell him I wanted a tampon anyway. Why is this a big fucking deal? Why can’t I just be like “Hey, gimme a tampon.”? Baahhhh, co-workers already thing I’m weird thooooough…

They do think I’m weird. All I did was get blank looks when I wanted to discuss the economy and the militarization of the Starfox 64 universe. I think it’s perfectly acceptable to wonder how a brain disguised as a disembodied head and a pair of hands enslaved an entire star system with an army that somehow crippled the entire Cornerian military but got fucking annihilated by four Arwings (but really though? Like, one Arwing…what do Falco, Peppy, and Slippy really do, anyway? Like, okay, yeah, you keep Falco alive long enough and he’ll breeze you through to a planet that’s somewhat more difficult than the last, but really what do they do??).

Okay, yeah, but how????

Okay, yeah, but how????

Anyway.

I didn’t have time to continue my internal monologue–I felt my makeshift tampon starting to fail.

“Shit.”

I waddled over to where FCND and Male Co-worker still conversing. “Hey,” I started, and before I could change my mind, “do you have a tampon?” I blurted, not making eye contact with MC.

“Yeah, sure,” FCND said with a shrug, and, without getting up from her seat, wheeled over towards her desk.

I practically kicked myself. This was totally NBD, yo! All I seriously had to do was waltz over and just ask. MC appeared relaxed in his chair, and FCND had already pulled out what looked to be a…regular flow tampon.

And then, all of a sudden, my super chill, NBD proposition got really awkward.

“Yeah, there’s no way this is gonna hold back what’s coming,” I snorted.

“I dunno, I’m white!” FCND replied hastily.

I raised an eyebrow, “Wait, what, and that like…lessens your flow?” Hah. New she didn’t look like a heavy bleeder.

“I dunno!”

“Well, shit me neither!”

“Well, uh…I dunno!” she said again

“Me neither!”

“Ah!”

“Ahh!”

We both looked at each other like scared rabbits until MC cleared his throat uncomfortably. “I’m…learning a lot today…” he mumbled.

I felt my face burn. “I’m sorry,” I blurted to FCND.

“Me too–wait for what?”

“I dunno!”

“Ah! I dunno either!”

“Ah!”

“Ahh!”

And then, to avoid further embarrassment, I fast walked as quickly as my four inch heels let me all the way back into the bathroom.

“Damn it, damn it, damn it…” I muttered under my breath as I pulled the completely soaked rectangle of toilet paper from inside me and inserted FCND’s ring finger-sized excuse for a tampon. It would have to do for now.

I pushed past the flip-door and strode back out of the restroom, making a beeline for my desk. After managing to fish my wallet out from under two hundred dollars’ worth of makeup from my purse, I ran to the lobby, pressed the down button on the elevator, and waited for what seemed like forever, periodically (har, har) touching my crotch in the slickest way possible to check if I’d bled through.

With the cheerful ding of the elevator came an exhale of the breath that I didn’t realize I’d been holding.

As soon as I arrived downstairs, I broke into a run through the unnecessarily long corridor that led through to the entrance of the building, my heels clicking loudly against the marble floor. Once outside, I froze. Where the fuck was I supposed get fucking tampons?? I work in the heart of The City, but the actual building isn’t anywhere near a grocery store or a even a Walgreens. The street I worked on, despite being only a few blocks away from all the high-end stores, was occupied by crackheads and working girls, with the only real businesses being strip clubs and liquor stores.

I wrinkled my nose. Ugh. Liquor store tampons.

Seriously? Now you’re too good for liquor store tampons? Who the fuck is too good for liquor store tampons? You fucking diva! Quit your bitching, Bourgie, and go shove some cotton up your vagina!

I grumbled my way into the store and was immediately slammed with the smell of shitty, skunky, weed.

Nope. Leaving. Leaving now.

I felt my tampon get wetter.

Damn it.

I strode in, and the first thing I noticed was two security guards on either side of the store.

Well that’s a good sign.

Telling my instincts to shut the hell up, I nodded courteously to a bald woman who was particularly strung out and then decided to keep my head down instead. I clicked through the aisles, my eyes scanning for an abundance of pink (probably one of the few times that gendering certain items actually helped me out) until I finally found the “feminine needs” section. Which is stupid. They should call it “for your female badassery”. Because if you think about it, you’re bleeding for seven days, mother fucker. I think marketers need to up their game. No more women in white doing yoga.

Be like, "got tampons, motherfucker?"

Be like, “got tampons, motherfucker?”

I reached for the last box of supers (isn’t it always the last box?) and made my way up towards the register just in time to have a dark-skinned man looking rather worse for wear throw up on the floor right next to me.

“‘m drunk, sorry ma,” he croaked, and was immediately hauled up to his feet by one of the security guards, and then dragged towards the door. “Ahh, y’hurtin’ me, man!” he yelped.

“I’m sorry, but you gotta stop struggling, sir,” the security guard shouted, not sounding like he was very sorry at all.

The drunken man made eye contact with me. “I’m Virgil!” was the last thing I heard him shout back at me before the guard closed the door on him with a resounding chime of the bell.

I shifted uncomfortably in line and stepped away from the vomit. The funny thing about all this is, I’ve been to and even lived in places far worse. On any other day, I wouldn’t have batted an eyelash. But when you’re trying to keep from bleeding all over your own crotch, everything takes on a sense of urgency.

“Whatchu got there?”

I jumped and came face to face with the bald woman from beforehand. I couldn’t tell if she was brown or if she was just dirty. “Tampons,” I replied, trying to at least be friendly.

She moved closer to me, not seeming to care that she was now stepping on Virgil’s vomit. “Why’s that?”

I raised an eyebrow. “That’s a weird question,” I chuckled pleasantly.

“WELL THEN WHY DONCHA FUCKIN’ ANSWER IT YA SPIC SLUT?!”

“BECAUSE MY VAGINA IS BROKEN!” I wailed back hysterically and, without another word, slammed the box of tampons on the counter, overpaid the nice Indian man by eight dollars at the register and stomped my way back to work.

“I hope your vagina get better!” I heard someone shout as I blew past them.

Me too, Virgil. Me too.

Wedding Shit or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Planning My Nuptials

For those of you who don’t know/actually care, Bourgie is planning a wedding. Apparently, some folks were a little miffed at Obi-Wayne’s and my decision to begrudgingly pay $200.00 to the government to recognize our six-year relationship as somehow more legitimate than the twenty-two-year relationship my old neighbors Joseph and Darryl had. Not because of the preferential treatment Obi-Wayne and I had received, but because WTF, no party?

At first, Obi-Wayne and I ignored the puppy dog eyes and the pouty faces. Who cared? It was a contract between the two of us that we needed to have fulfilled for a valid reason (one which shall be explored another day) and that was it.

But holy shit, YOU GAIS. The social pressure was enormous. People who had seen our relationship blossom from two best friends to two drunk (alright, mostly one) folks that occasionally made out to two lovebird and eventually two marrieds were disappointed because they too, had wanted to share in that moment. They, as our family and our family of friends, wanted to witness our joining together in not-so-holy matrimony, and then immediately imbibe copious amounts of champagne (because remember folks, we’re a classy bunch here) and attempt something close to something resembling dancing, probably with much flailing of the arms.

The point is, no matter what we have been told, the wedding is not about us. It is about our community.

So, here I am, a month and a half later, planning a wedding. At first, it was begrudgingly. “Curse you, Wedding Industrial Complex!” I would say, with my hand resting daintily betwixt my breasts for no other reason than to give me an opportunity to say “betwixt” and “breasts” in the same sentence. I’d downplay our upcoming post-nuptial ceremony-slash-reception as “something to do for the family”. I’d give nonchalant “I dunno’s” to anyone that asked if I was excited.

"You are tearing me APART, Wedding Planning!"

“You are tearing me APART, Wedding Planning!”

But as I slowly began to tell more and more people of our elopement and our plans to celebrate, the more I realized that this meant a lot to them. We had friends get happily teary-eyed. We had others beam joyfully back at us. I had one friend jump on my lap and dry-hump me in excitement.

We have weird friends.

Also, I may have dry-humped her back.

Also, I may have started the dry-humping.

The point is, that the deeper I got into the wedding rabbit hole, the more I realized that much of my trepidation wasn’t with the wedding itself, but with the possibility that I might be sucked into the wedding industrial complex (WIC). When I thought “wedding”, I thought about the white dress and the fancy cake and the something-blue-heels and the sleek-straight-hair-that-was-then-curled-and-lol-what-why and UGH. I didn’t want to have flowers. I didn’t want to have bridesmaids. I didn’t want to be “given away”, or lose my identity as Bourgie, and suddenly turn into The Bride or Mrs. Obi-Wayne’s Last Name. I hated how gendered the wedding world was. I hated how heterosexist it was.

I was afraid of selling out.

But as I cautiously searched the web for ways to navigate the WIC, I was able to find wonderful communities dedicated exactly to that. I didn’t have to have a hairsprayed no-hair-out-of-place undo! I didn’t have to have a wedding cake! Or blue shoes! Or a white dress! I didn’t have to be “classy“! Suddenly, I was excited at the prospect of trying on dresses, entrenching myself in bridal magazines, perusing the world of Offbeat Bride, picking colors with my mom…

And the more excited I got about planning, the more people fed off my energy, and the more I saw just how deeply people cared about us. The outpouring of love has been immense. A make-up artist friend told me she would put my social warpaint on for free the day of. A friend of a friend has offered to make gluten-free cupcakes at a heavily discounted price (Obi-Wayne has a gluten intolerance), and the latest gift I was given was so touching that it made me break down crying in the middle of my train ride home from work.

A lovely man with a conspicuous MOB tattoo even pulled out his red handkerchief and told me he hoped I was crying because I was happy.

It was nice…in a gangbanger with a heart of gold, customer service kind of way.

Anyway, this particular gift had come from my mother, who told me that she was paying for my wedding gown, which we’re collaborating on (i.e., designing). That right there saved me more than a couple grand.

It’s all so overwhelming.

And even my mother, traditional as she is, has been respectful of my offbeat wishes, although admittedly, she is far more encouraging of my more traditionally “classy”, “wedding-y” ideas. She, for example, nodded approvingly at my choice to have cupcakes rather than wedding cake (which is not as scandalous as it was ten years ago), and has been supportive of my choices in flowers and color schemes. She may or may not have balked at the idea of playing John Williams’ “Han Solo and the Princess” when Obi-Wayne and I walk down the aisle together and keeping lightsabers and nerf guns at a table so that when people get into political/ideological/religious disputes, they can solve it with a duel…you know…like civilized people.

But at the very end of the day, my Mãe-zilla (an affectionate moniker that my mother finds hysterical) and my family of friends have been supportive about every decision, every step of the way. So much so, that there may not be any need for the nerf guns.

…well…we’ll see…

Racism! Not Talking About It Won’t Make It Go Away

I am the only person of color in my office.

It’s weird to think about it, but it’s true. Despite my light-skinned privilege, I still stick out like a dark-featured, curly-haired, big-bootied, afro-latina sore thumb in a sea of alabaster faces, hip-less thighs, light hair and high-SES Jewish and aryan-looking goodness.

Let me be clear here: I like my co-workers. I even enjoy having lunch with them. Talking with them. Sharing the space with them. They aren’t my Bee Eff Eff Jill or anything, but we get along okay.

Now, as you all know, Beyoncé recently had a concert on Sunday and interspersed before and after her performance were some commercials and some dudes in tight pants throwing around a giant disconcertingly rotten lemon. Among the excess of advertisements was this feel-good, get-out-your-blue-jeans-and-hot-dogs-and-freedom-fries-and-bibles Dodge ram commercial. You can see it in all its ‘Merican glory here.

Interestingly enough, among the tanned and weathered faces shown in each image, I counted one person of color (0:47), and three ethnically ambiguous (0:17, 1:24) looking-folks. Now, I am basing this on purely anecdotal observations here, but, I gotta ask…where are all the Mexicans, yo?

I mean…okay, let me back up here. I am not saying that there are no white farmers by any means. I’m just saying that, shit, there’s gotta be a hell of a lot more brown folks harvesting your dinner (assuming you are not living off of ramen and oreo cookies), right?

Thanks, Jesus!

Also, my mandarins have been tasting off the CHAIN lately, so thanks for that, too.

Anyway, we were discussing the ad over lunch (thanks, Jesus!) and I had brought up the same observation I made here–that it was a super whitewashed ad. Now, normally, I wouldn’t even bother mentioning it because HI, HAVE YOU WATCHED TELEVISION. I’d go blue in the fucking face if I stressed how the media is whitewashed every time someone brought up anything surrounding it.

But because much of the commentary revolving around the discussion was the “raw”, “realness”, and “authenticity” exhibited throughout the commercial, I felt the need to highlight it (no pun intended).

Bizaaaaarely enough, the all-white table shifted uncomfortably, and then changed the subject after a few seconds of some truly awkward silence. Soooo, I did anything a normal person would do and consulted the land of social media and Facebook-status-updated the ever-loving shit out of it.

I talked about how it was good to feel uncomfortable about these topics because it reveals how shitty racism is. People still feel ashamed. And that’s okay. And even within the safe-haven of my own little cyberspace surrounded by a multitude of social justice-loving activist friends, people still have a hard time talking about it. And again, that is okay.

The responses were plentiful, and many were well-thought-out. A lot of folks brought up that it was important to continue the discussion of race and ethnicity, because it exists  and we shouldn’t forget about an ongoing occurrence revolving around systematic social oppression. And of those that had already contributed to the dialogue (or had already made their thoughts on the matter heard time and time again) posted hysterically funny gifs and memes about white guilt, regardless of ethnicity, race, religious background, orientation, or gender.

Like this.

Like this.

It was like an Internet kumbaya. And it was beautiful.

And then something poignant happen.

My status got deleted.

Seriously.

It got reported as offensive, and then deleted.

I wanted to be mad, but somehow, I felt validated.

Because it further proves that this is an ongoing conversation that needs to be had. Racism doesn’t go away simply because we stop talking about it. Incidentally, that exacerbates the problem. I’m hoping that whoever found the topic “offensive” either takes the time to engage me in dialogue about why they found it offensive, or kindly de-friends me.

Life’s too short to deal with it with your head in the sand.

lol racism, wut?

lol racism, wut?

In Which Bourgie Writes an Open Letter to A Past Love

This…is a story.

…within a story.

(Because…y’know…I started this blog as a way of telling a story. So then this is a separate story. Just keep reading.)

This is a story about a lost love. About a relationship that I treasured. That I revered. That captured my soul and shook it to its core, its soul (Soul Inception, if you will). This is a story about Bourgie’s relationship with Neuroscience.

Oh, it was a very confusing affair indeed. At first, it started out as some serious pre-Empire Strikes Back Han Solo/Princess Leia type hatred. I’d have high school teachers parading Neuro around and describing him as this engaging and witty. Many would call him engrossing. But I found him boring and contrived; a scruffy-looking nerfherder, if you will.

Good times.

Good times.

One rainy November afternoon, though, we were forced to study for an exam together. Water pelted the windows and the power was out in my shitty, freezing-as-fuck apartment, and we got to know each other by candle light. And suddenly, it just clicked. We stayed up all night exchanging ideas, reading, talking.

And before I knew it, I had begun to fall for him. Anytime I learned something new about Neuro, my heart skipped a beat, my palms would sweat, my breath would quicken. In learning more about him, I learned more about myself. I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t eat, I was always finding excuses to ditch people so that I could spend more and more time with him.

And then, after years of stable, sexy, crazy, foaming-at-the-mouth happiness…

I don’t know what happened. Or when it happened. Or why it happened. But slowly, we began to drift apart. We stopped talking as much. I began realizing that Neuro was kind of a lazy douche. I began feeling like all the time and energy I was putting into Neuro was for naught, because fuck him, what the hell was he doing for me? I was growing tired of him and his lack of energy. What the fuck could I do with him? I mean, here I was, putting countless hours of my precious time into our relationship, skipping out on spending time with my friends and my partner, and now you’re telling me that I can’t even do anything with him unless I make this huge seven-year commitment? Are you high? I mean, sure, we had a little fun, but did I really want to commit that effort into our relationship at the expense of my relationship with others?

Besides, what if there’s more out there? Microbiology and chemistry were both totally DTF and I still might have wanted to sow some serious, scholastic oats.

So I broke up with him. I told him that it was cliched, yes, but that it really wasn’t him, it was me. I couldn’t be tied down to just one discipline forever! I was young and wild at heart! I needed excitement! I wasn’t ready for that kind of commitment.

And so I went on an academic fuckfest, devouring anything and everything that I could to further my intellectual pursuit. I dicked around with industrial organization, fooled around with international political economy, took a fantastic lover in quantum physics, had a fun romp with sociology, a good roll in the hay with medicine, a bit of an awkward threesome with law and philosophy, and an incredibly uncomfortable one-night stand with computer science.

…yeah we just…sort of pretend it never happened.

Ahem.

Anyway.

Now I realize that all I want is Neuroscience. That’s all I’ve wanted all along with yes, of course, the occasional FWB kind of relationship with some other disciplines. But ultimately, I really do want to commit! I miss our late night conversations, our pedagogical trysts! Sweet, merciful, crap, what was I thinking??

And here’s the worst part: I’m afraid that it’s too late. This isn’t going to take standing in the rain with a boom box singing the words for me a la Say Anything. No, this is going to take a lot of work. Hours of unpaid experience. Countless weeks of rigorous and faithful determination to study for standardized tests and then real tests and then more tests and fuck.

I’m afraid that I’ve been out of the game for too long. I’m scared, Neuro, really scared, because while I might know stuff, I don’t know stuff, which means that all I really know is how much I don’t fucking know.

But I hope that you’ll take me back one day, Neuro, when you’re ready, because I’m ready. Just give me the time to get my shit together. But I promise you that I will commit and I hope, Neuro, that you’ll still be there waiting.

Today! On Misadventures in Public Transit!

As you may or may not know, fellow Bourges and Bourgettes, there’s this little game on Sunday involving grown men engaging in ram-like head butting and some kind of lemon covered in animal skin being tossed about while onlookers participate in drinking copious amounts of fermented liquid bread that makes a person take their clothes off in public in the middle of the night and sob-slash-demand my husband to fuck me because it’s been over a week and why don’t you love me anymore.

rams-headbutting

Seriously though.

navy-tackle-football-helmets

What is the difference.

Apparently, ’tis also the season for stupid homophobic remarks such as the one made by 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver about whether or not an openly gay player would be allowed in the locker room. Now, Culliver (‘s PR team) has since (made him) apologized, but I can’t help but think that rather than truly learning about the community, he’ll just be better at keeping his mouth shut and instead be quieter about his bigotry. I certainly hope I’m wrong.

“But wait, Bourgie,” says you, my invisible reader, “what the fuck does this have to do with your misadventures on public transit?”

Well! I’m glad you asked!

Today, during one of said misadventures, two guys on the train to work today seemed to think that while what Culliver said was an incredibly stupid and misguided thing to say (“especially in a city as liberal as San Francisco,”), the backlash and ire that people felt was…wrong.

What.

“Yeah, I mean, like…that shit wasn’t cool or whatever, but he shouldn’t have to apologize for his opinion,” said one with an indiscernible facial tattoo.

“Right,” the other agreed, rolling up the sleeves of his red hoodie, “that’s like censorship, you know? That’s like super fascist.”

…I…oh come on.

The argument (and metaphor…dafuq man…) was totally weak to say the least. Equating having consequences for your actions to fascist censorship (Mussolini, how he rolleth in his grave)? What happened with Culliver was not the same as having your face shot off for expressing your opinion. Culliver said some egregious shit, people and especially San Francisco (a city so gay that I have heard it referred to as The Mothership in some queer circles) were unhappy with what he said, and it reflected poorly on the team. I am sorry, Red Hoodie, but if some dude makes a denigratory comment that he knows is going to be broadcasted publicly while representing his team, he’s gon’ have to pay the social cost.

The main point here is that there are ramifications for everything. Culliver was free to make the comments he did (i.e., not censorship), but he had to know that it was going to be shitty for the 49ers’ image (beyond it just being a super douchey thing to say) to express them (in a public forum no less).

In the same vein, I could stand up on a chair and shout out racial epitaphs until I’m blue in the face and have every right to (as long as I wasn’t directly threatening anyone), but the sole backlash or ostracization I’d receive as a result of my acting like a giant asshole does not equate to censoring me.

So you shut your pseudo-philosophical, Kony ’12-endorsing pie hole, Red Hoodie!

And to you, my nonexistent readers. I leave you with a real man’s hoodie…that of the flyest-dressed motherfucker in the whole train, of whom I had the privilege to stand behind in uncomfortably close proximity.

You're welcome.

You’re welcome.