“You’re only given one little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it."
- Robin Williams [July 29th 1951 - August 11th 2014]
“Last night… I… my son is in the hospital, dying. I’ve been crying all day. He’s not here, and I can’t even go see him. I can’t help him. I can’t do anything. What am I gonna do? I need to be there. I don’t even know if he’s gonna die. How am I gonna know? I don’t even have a phone. I’ve got two dollars to buy a calling card. The thing is, I need to be next to him. He’s dying. My other sons went there, but I can’t go because I don’t have any money. I wish I could go and do something.”
“Last night, he got attacked by a gang in my country. El Salvador is very dangerous. They hurt good people. Gang members split his head open, and now he’s in a coma. He’s a big kid, so there must’ve been a lot of them—one guy can’t bring him down. And even then the only way they could get him is if they hit him in the back. They stole his wallet, his glasses.
“I just found out this morning, when I checked my email in the library. Somebody stole my phone at the shelter last night at 10 o’clock. My brother said he called me at 11 o’clock to let me know what happened. I don’t know, man, it’s very sad what’s happening in my life. If he dies, I’m gonna kill myself.”
“Don’t say that. You have other children. They’ll need you.”
“They’ve got their momma—my ex wife. I’m single, and I stay at a shelter. I’m not worth much.”
It is literally impossible to be sexist towards men because men are not systematically oppressed because of their gender.
Because MRAs, “real justice” warriors and anti-feminists seem to have a hard time understanding this, I have compiled some data to help them along.
- Nearly 1 in 5 Women Have Been Sexually Assaulted
- More than 64 million girls worldwide are child brides
- 140 million women in the world have suffered female genital mutilation
- 98% of of the estimated 4.5 million forced into sexual Sex Trafficking are women
- 85% (1.3 million) of domestic violence victims are women
- 91% of victims of rape/sexual assault are female
- Our brains are conditioned to objectify Women
- Men overwhelmingly get custody if they ask for it (even if they abused their ex-wives and children)
- Women’s only shelters exist because 92% of homeless women have experienced severe physical and or/sexual violence
- Women are dehumanized in the media (video)
- Blatantly misogynistic reproductive laws
- Wage gap: In comparison to white men, white women make 81 cents per dollar, black women make 70 cents per dollar and hispanic women 60 cents per dollar
- Women earn lower pay for equal work
- Trans Women are 2.9 times as likely to be subject to police violence
- "Transgender women were much more likely to have been denied
- access to shelters (34%) than their transgender male counterparts (20%)”
- 24% of trans women have been refused medical treatment
(special thanks to misandry-mermaid for some of these links)
(со страницы catastrophecutie)
Children of Darkness is an Oscar nominated 1983 documentary film produced and written by Richard Kotuk and Ara Chekmayan. It explored the topic of juvenile psychiatry - an acute lack of mental health care in America for seriously emotionally disturbed youth.
Many children in these institutions were simply warehoused and the common basic form of therapy was drugs, which didn’t really help the kids but merely controlled them. The film not only uncovered the mistreatments in mental institutions but it also captured the cold realization that mental illness can happen to anyone. Public mental institutions were not just for the poor. Children from middle class families and upper middle class families often ended up there due to inadequate insurance money and dwindled savings.
Someone asked me once – recently – if in my opinion, Russians were on average more bigoted than Americans. Despite their long-winded effort to convince me that they didn’t intend to generalize and were simply looking to understand the culture, I had to stop after every paragraph of that message to roll my eyes.
Not because it was a wrong claim to make.
Not because it was simplistically worded.
Not because of any suspicion that their interest wasn’t genuine.
More than anything, it was because I have seen this question surface in many different forms over the years, and I still don’t know how to answer it.
Yes, I want to talk about Russian bigotry, I want to talk about it at length, exchanging stories and perspectives with people who will have some insight to offer on the topic. What I don’t want to do is talk about it with Westerners who will likely take the opportunity to smugly nod and say to themselves in Mid-Atlantic English, “I knew Russia was all backwards!”
I once saw a post that shot down the idea that being a feminist is as simple as believing in gender equality by arguing that if this were the case, almost everyone in the world would be a feminist, which is clearly a nonsensical claim to be making. Something about that assertion felt off immediately, but I couldn’t quite place what it was.
And then when I finally did, it was a little sickening.
Pick an average American who regularly engages in some kind of casually misogynistic behaviour and ask him if he believes in gender equality. He could have made a rape joke 5 minutes ago, but chances are, he’ll say yes. I mean, really, a person could be complete scum, and would still save face by assuring you that yes, of course they believe in gender equality.
Now pick an average Russian and ask him the same. And listen to him tell you about how insulted he is that you would dare to suggest that his worth is merely equal to a woman’s.
Let’s suppose he’s an exception. Pick another one. Listen to him tell you the same.
Ok, maybe it’s a problem with the men. Forget men. Pick a woman, pick a Russian woman, and ask her if she believes in gender equality, and watch her shift uncomfortably as she explains to you that men and women are fundamentally different and that there’s no shame for a woman in admitting that she is less valuable to society than a man.
Pick and old woman. Pick a young woman. Listen to them all tell you the same thing, about how our one and only duty is to be mothers and please our men.
Turn to your own Russian mother and ask her if she believes in gender equality. Verbalize to yourself how you feel when she doesn’t even take the time to think it over before responding in the negative and explaining that the reason men deserve more rights is because they are, objectively, superior to women in every way. Swallow your words and don’t argue back.
Ask me again if Russians are more bigoted, more misogynistic, than Americans. I’m struggling with the answer not because I don’t know it, but rather because I don’t feel like giving you another reason to divert your attention from the problems in your own country by pointing your finger at Eastern Europe and saying to your Western friends, “Now, never mind us, their misogyny is really worth discussing.”
But alright, for the sake of simplicity, let me give you a straight answer: yes. Yes, being part of a marginalized group in a Russian circle is significantly more uncomfortable than being part of that group in an American circle. The difference is palpable.
Let’s take a moment to discuss the fact that there are legal barriers preventing women in Russia from doing certain jobs. As in, women legally cannot be hired for these positions because these jobs are deemed too unfeminine. Or the way a doctor is one of the least paid professions in Russia because most doctors are women.
American bigotry is deep, no doubt, but Russian bigotry is deeper. The roots of Russian misogyny are thicker, and it grows wilder, because there are not enough of us out there willing to keep it in check.
If ever you strike up a conversation about domestic abuse with your American grandma, she may say some things that will constitute victim blaming, but she’s unlikely to attempt to convince you that a certain degree of abuse is necessary to a healthy relationship. She will not lecture you about how it’s impossible for a man to love a woman without abusing her. She will not sigh as she explains that it’s your duty, as a woman, to tolerate and welcome abuse, since it’s the truest sign of love.
I’m sorry, was that too heavy?
Let me tell you instead about the time that a friend of mine suggested we girls form a club and call it “Girl Power” and the way my heart stopped when she casually told our English teacher about it after recess. I don’t know what kind of consequences I expected, but the shock of not being scolded for promoting unladylike behaviour – come on, everyone knows that power is only for boys, right? – was indescribable.
Imagine what it was like for me to slowly start realizing that here in North America, it’s not socially acceptable to openly and viciously dislike other people.
Imagine being 6 years old and not wanting to hug your best friend because she’s black, and your parents told you that black people never bathe or wash their hands.
Imagine thinking about it years later when someone asks you if Russians are more bigoted than Americans.
It must be nice to be born into a culture where you’re bound by a certain contract of politeness, and where your respect for the people around you can be superficial and not even remotely genuine, but you’re nonetheless required to at least pretend.
Imagine instead being part of a culture where no such contract exists, and your deepest hatred of marginalized groups is not only socially acceptable, but expected.
The American misogynist will say, “Of course I believe in equality,” and then turn around and call women sluts.
The Russian misogynist will say, “Yes, women are inferior beings and deserve fewer rights than men,” without flinching.
The American misogynist will tell his daughter all sorts of theories about why women don’t go into STEM fields, but when she makes the decision to do just that, he likely won’t openly discourage her.
The Russian misogynist will yell that she is doomed to fail because she will never be as good as a man.
The American misogynist will admit that there are women who exemplify exceptional physical strength even though most women are feeble creatures.
The Russian misogynist will not be ashamed to say that women who are stronger than men are a disgrace and should be exterminated.
And it’s not just misogyny, either.
The American racist will preface the racist statements he makes with “I’m not racist but…”
The Russian racist won’t bother with disclaimers when he says that black people are simply “less evolved” than white people.
The American homophobe will mumble about “family values” and maybe discuss his disapproval of marriage equality within certain circles.
The Russian homophobe will vocally express his disappointment with the fact that non-heterosexuals are not currently being locked up in concentration camps. (His daughter, who has spent half a year struggling with her own possible queerness, will wonder if he would want her dead if he ever found out.)
The American bigot’s words are often not consistent with his actions.
The Russian bigot’s words often are.
But one of the two is more likely to be called out, and one of them will almost certainly go unnoticed.
The Russian bigot does not save face. He does not beat around the bush or pretend to be a better person than he is. And when he says terrible things, no one speaks up, because that’s how it is, that’s how it always was, and too many people believe that that’s how it should be forever.
Russia’s history of feminism does not measure up to America’s. There was no comparable movement in Eastern Europe.
It’s funny how you have your stereotype of Russians being aggressive, ruthless revolutionaries. I only you knew how much Russian society discourages all radicalism and how quickly all non-conformity is hushed up.
Yes, misogyny in the West is normalized. Yes, it’s disgusting that this is the world we live in.
And yet, I still haven’t encountered a single Westerner who would have told me that yes, I am more disposable than a man, and that yes, people of my gender are a stain on the world’s good reputation, and that yes, I do deserve violence.
American misogyny is off-handed, hidden. Instead of leaving you feeling cold and paralyzed inside, it makes your blood boil.
Because knowing that most people around you at least nominally believe in gender equality puts you in a very different position than knowing that too many of them will admit that you are in fact more disposable than a man, and that violence against you is justified, and that sexism is a good thing.
A good thing. Imagine hearing that said out loud. “Your subjugation is good. This is the way things should be.”
Russian misogyny leaves no room for “I’m not sexist but…”
And what do Westerners do? They sit in a little pseudo-intellectual circle and discuss Russia’s “misogyny problem” like the problem is exclusively Russian and not present in the West as well. I am not a source for you to cite when you decide to slander the culture I was born into. Mind your own business, America, and don’t ask me to quantify Russia’s bigotry for you so that you can complacently pat yourself on the back for not being as bad.
This discussion is not yours to speak in, and the misogyny we face as East European women is not yours to fear. You’re welcome to listen – you are not welcome to smugly agree.
- Russia’s Ugly Little Secret (written in 1997 but still relevant, even though its title reeks of Western condescension)
- Utter Bullshit Brought to You by Some Important Westerner (a prime example of how Westerners react)
- Barbaric Russian Misogyny Continues Unabated (I believe this is a Russian source)
(Shout-out to raduzhno for finding most of the articles for me, providing insight on the topic, and nagging me to post this.)
look, here’s a few pointers on how to oppose Russian government policies without being a dick! :-)
- research your shit
- ffs use reliable sources and don’t spread information about Russia that’s exaggerated or not true. tumblr is…
To anyone who is thinking about killing themselves: please watch this
This is from a girl who’s sister committed suicide. If you are looking for a sign not to commit, this is it.
Please share this so everyone can see.
It’s been a year since one of my friends has passed. Some of you knew him, some of you talked to him, some of you considered him as a friend. Some of you still miss him. I do too. Sometimes I just go on his blog and read everything he has posted to find out why he has decided to end his life so early, why the reality was so tiring for him, why he couldn’t wait just a bit more and kick this motherfucking depression right in the nuts. Sometimes I listen to the songs he loved and pretend that somewhere in the parallel universe where time doesn’t exist he listens to this music too.
Once he has said: “I wonder how many people would become upset if I died”. Now we know an answer. We are still upset, we still wonder if we could help him, see the signs, take his hand when he felt shitty, talk to him more.
Sometimes I want to believe it all was a lie, that he is alive somewhere, laughing at us under the sun. But most of the time I know that he is dead and nothing can change it, no one can reverse the time and be there for him when he needed it the most.
He was funny and smart, he liked the same tv series, he was beautiful, he was kind, he was… such a good man, you know. And it’s so weird to say “he was” instead of “he is”. Our fucked up planet would be so much better if he existed.
We were not very close. but the loneliest part of my heart now belongs to him.
Don’t commit suicide. Don’t do this. Take some time. Wait a little bit. Things may turn out to be better. You may find someone who will share your pain and his happiness with you. You may find a friend, a lover or even a puppy to wipe away your tears in the morning. I know this, I’ve been there, I have felt what you feel. It gets better. Don’t kill yourself. Don’t leave us, your friends, your family, the strangers you once talked to, the people who had a crush on you, the people you had a crush on, to wonder if they could help you at some point, don’t leave us sad and heartbroken. Don’t abandon your future because it can be good and full of happiness I swear. The world may not be the best place for those of you who feel so much, but even your presence can make it better. Don’t make us say the words “rest in peace”, don’t let the others tell us “we’re so sorry for your loss”, because we don’t want to lose you, because we want you to be here even if you don’t see it, we want you to be alive, we want you to dream of better future and to have goals in life and to get up in the morning and go to some stupid job and find a sweetheart at some party and go to the beach and climb the mountains and kiss and do all these things that can make you happy. Don’t make us feel sorrow for the rest of our lives.
Don’t leave us. We need you so much, we love you so much.