So as I’ve told all of you, I’ve started feeling my grief more deeply again. I’m waking up in the middle of the night again, I often cry while I’m trying to go back to sleep. I’m also really angry and annoyed again. I’m so tired of people’s bullshit.
I feel terrible a lot of the time now. I’m still dealing with my health issue and I’m SUPER pissed about that. When is it going to end?!! Haven’t I suffered enough?! The most important person in my life died for God’s sake!
I went to get a massage yesterday, but this one didn’t have the calming effect of the one I had last week. As a matter of fact, the more I tried to relax, the more my mind thought of things that bother/upset me. Has this ever happened to any of you during a massage? It happens to me frequently.
As I’ve mentioned before, when I’m annoyed/enraged, I’ve discovered that going on Twitter rants sometimes helps. I went on one today, but it didn’t really help. I wrote 15 tweets about this opinion piece I read by Lucia Brawley about Aziz Ansari’s accuser. I would link to the article, but it’s absolute trash and I don’t want you to waste your time like I did.
I’ll summarize the piece for you: victim-blaming run amuck. Grace should have left sooner, she should have said no. The truth is she did say no, in more ways than one. Basically, the entire situation, according to Brawley, is Grace’s fault, even though Aziz Ansari encouraged Grace to give him oral sex after she said she wanted to slow down and then bent her over in front of a mirror and asked her where she wanted him to fuck her after she’d already said she didn’t want to have sex that night.
My main issue with Brawley’s piece is that when women internalize misogyny and because of that internalized misogyny, blame other women for being sexually assaulted or for being the victim of sexually inappropriate behavior, it allows men to believe there’s nothing wrong with their behavior. The attitude espoused by Brawley furthers and supports rape culture.
If you haven’t read Grace’s account of what happened between her and Ansari, you can find it here. Grace made it clear, verbally and non-verbally, that she wasn’t interested in having sex with Ansari. Yet, he continued on.
I’ve been in a similar situation. I explicitly told a man, “I’m not going to have sex with you.” After going back to his apartment, we fooled around a bit. Despite what I told him earlier, this guy tried to put himself inside me without my consent. I told him to stop, he did and I left.
But not before I asked him if he knew why I was leaving. He said he did. I said why. I don’t remember his response. But I do recall him saying he took responsibility for doing something he shouldn’t have.
He should have stopped there. But he didn’t. He went on to say that I needed to take responsibility for my actions as well. I said, “What actions?” While we were laying in bed, we were talking about sexism and feminism. This guy claimed to understand sexism and the problems it creates. I joked with him that he was “trying to get these panties.” He referred to that comment and said it made him think I wanted to have sex. In one breath, he claimed to take responsibility for his actions. In the next, he victim-blamed me and attempted to shame me.
I responded by saying, “But I told you explicitly that I didn’t want to have sex. If you thought I’d changed my mind, you should have asked me.” Another strange thing about this night is that in the beginning of us fooling around, this guy had no problem asking if he could touch or kiss me certain places or if what he was doing was OK. At some point, I guess he figured he had been nice enough and could proceed with doing what he wanted to me without asking.
The problem with what happened to me and what happened to Grace is that both of the men involved in these situations wanted sex and didn’t give a fuck if the woman they were interacting with wanted it. Pieces like Brawley’s make it seem like this behavior is acceptable and it. is. not. Lucia Brawley, and women that share her opinion, do better.