I’ve spent all week reading articles on the terrible shooting in Santa Barbara, and trying to select which ones I would post on behalf of Things My Ex Said. Reading all the comment trails, feeling furious alongside my fellow feminists, soaking in messages of despair and of hope, and all the time asking myself, Why? Why? Why? What can we do? What can I do? Well, here’s this blog, right? I can keep reaching out to the people who have stories to share and helping them heal through laughter and see that they’re not alone.
And each time I’ve lined up an article to post and highlight, and gone to attach it through social media, I’ve just felt sick. And I’ve stopped myself. I couldn’t figure out why–I mean, here I am, trying to grow this little site. Shouldn’t I be feasting on the frenzy of discussion going on right now about gender roles and expectations in our culture? That’s what at least half of these quotes are about!
And there are so many examples here of men expecting women to have sex with them. Of the sense of entitlement that’s in the spotlight right now. Attention is being paid to the injuries that don’t leave bruises or scars. I could have been re-posting comics all week about normative objectification and what happens when we learn misogyny through the movies. But six women are dead. Scores more lives have been shattered. My home country is bleeding. The girls in Nigeria remain captive. The “honor killings” and hangings and gang rapings continue. And a couple weeks ago I was asked for “break up sex”. The absurdity is astounding. And it’s all become too much like a dance we know all the steps to.
I get the irony of posting on here about not wanting to post on here. But since the site says “every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday”, and I missed Wednesday without explanation, I knew it was time to post something. The stories we share on this website–men and women alike, are all part of drawing attention to the Problem. The thoughtless things we say are just that: thoughtless. It’s so easy these days to let someone else do your thinking for you. But no comics today. They are important, but we’ll be back with them on Monday. Laughter can heal, but sometimes you need to cry.