every 1st september we joke about getting ready for hogwarts to cover up the very real and very very deep scars of never getting our letters
i’m a strong believer that not everything you do needs an explanation. if you want a tattoo, get one. if you rather stay home that night, it’s okay to miss that party. don’t forget that you’re living for yourself. you don’t owe anyone an explanation for your choices or preferences.
We were grabbing a bite of lunch at a small cafe, in a mall, right across from a booth that sold jewelry and where ears could be pierced for a fee. A mother approaches with a little girl of six or seven years old. The little girl is clearly stating that she doesn’t want her ears pierced, that’s she’s afraid of how much it will hurt, that she doesn’t like earrings much in the first place. Her protests, her clear ‘no’ is simply not heard. The mother and two other women, who work the booth, begin chatting and trying to engage the little girl in picking out a pair of earrings. She has to wear a particular kind when the piercing is first done but she could pick out a fun pair for later.
"I don’t want my ears pierced."
"I don’t want any earrings."
The three adults glance at each other conspiratorially and now the pressure really begins. She will look so nice, all the other girls she knows wear earrings, the pain isn’t bad.
She, the child, sees what’s coming and starts crying. As the adults up the volume so does she, she’s crying and emitting a low wail at the same time. “I DON’T WANT MY EARS PIERCED.”
Her mother leans down and speaks to her, quietly but strongly, the only words we could hear were ‘… embarrassing me.’
We heard, then, two small screams, when the ears were pierced.
Little children learn early and often that ‘no doesn’t mean no.’
Little children learn early that no one will stand with them, even the two old men looking horrified at the events from the cafeteria.
Little girls learn early and often that their will is not their own.
No means no, yeah, right.
Most often, for kids and others without power, ”no means force.”
from "No Means Force" at Dave Hingsburger’s blog.
This is important. It doesn’t just apply to little girls and other children, though it often begins there.
For the marginalized, our “no’s” are discounted as frivolous protests, rebelliousness, or anger issues, or we don’t know what we’re talking about, or we don’t understand what’s happening.
When “no means force” we become afraid to say no.
"You’re 6’4", 240-pound Marine, and you’re injured, and you need a Marine next to you to carry you back to safety, and the Marine next to you is a 5’4" woman who weighs 115 pounds,"
in before “well most women can’t do that” because NEWS FLASH most men can’t either, that’s why it’s a highly specialized career that requires a lot of devoted training
One of my former coworkers was a very slim girl only a tad taller than me, and she was training to be a fireman, and she could lift the biggest dude on my crew like this who was around 6’5 and super bulky.One time she picked him up and ran around the crew room with him for about 5 minutes before letting him down.
Even though I haven’t exercised in over a year—if you count DDR—and I’m incredibly petite (5’0”, 100 lbs), I can carry most guys. If they’re under 200 lbs, I can run with them on my back for 5 blocks, but I can walk for a mile. Once they’re about 250, I can only walk about a block or two before my spine feels like it’s about to break. If I were in a survival situation and their life depended on it, I could go on much further, until my legs gave out.
It’s why I hate the bullshit that women are inherently weak. Nah, man. Nah.
More power to you all because I can barely lift my five year old nephew without hating myself ten minutes later….
People have done studies of the military that demonstrate that with the same training for the same length of time, both men and women can achieve the same fitness level. They can carry as much, run as far, shoot as well, you name it. The idea that women are weaker than men is a total myth, and one that that the patriarchy is desperate to make us believe. (I wish I could give you a source for this but it’s been a while since I read it)
I think that pretty much every form of fiction (I’d include fantasy, obviously) can actually be a real escape from places where you feel bad, and from bad places. It can be a safe place you go, like going on holiday, and it can be somewhere that, while you’ve escaped, actually teaches you things you need to know when you go back, that gives you knowledge and armour and tools to change the bad place you were in.
So no, they’re not escapist. They’re escape.