and the days don’t seem to get quite warm enough. Fall is in present tense—and the colors are a kind of disjointed recompense for less sun and more layers. I prefer not needing five extra minutes to put on ten pounds of outerwear, thank you. It takes a lot of the spontaneity out of life.
My students had oral exams today, meaning I had to sit with them two-by-two (à la Noah’s Ark) in a huge, empty classroom and ask them direct questions from which they could not escape. Pobres. I saw so many deer-in-the-headlight looks that I started to feel like I was in some very strange sort of zoo (i.e. my life, but that’s a different story).
I also spent a few hours encroaching on the anthropology department, pretending to be an anthropologist. It was pretty fun. I sort of just start talking about social structure and cross my fingers. Today it got me free cookies, so that was a plus.
And I got a high-five from the bus driver for no apparent reason. I had paint on my hands (from an artistic endeavor that, unsurprisingly, did not go well) and he got splattered, but was totally chill with it. #goals
I’ve seen the #metoo hashtag going viral for the past few days. It’s a strange conversation because it seems that the women sharing it are not being taking at face value. There’s some weird paternalistic vibe going on in which men pat them on the head and say, “I’m sure you thought it was harassment or assault,” and mutter about overemotional ladies being at it again, thanks a lot Internet.
It makes sharing hard, and in some cases, it makes listening even harder. It kind of makes me question myself. Not if what happened happened, because it did happen, and it ruined four years of college for me. But more like if I have a right to share it, and if it will do any good or if I’m just creating a self-soothing echo chamber that serves no real purpose except to alienate people from me or others. And that’s pretty messed up. Because the man who did what he did to me is, I’m sure, not asking himself these questions (he just passed the bar to practice criminal defense—I think it’s okay to laugh at that irony).
#metoo, then, and?
It was a strange moment. He did what he did, barged into my apartment and into my room, threatened me and threatened to hurt himself, and did physical things. And somehow instead of seeing this abusive behavior for what it was, I was exiled for “leading him on.” Like, okay. Because I couldn’t bear to be in the same room with him afterwards?
I feel sick when I hear people say that society’s relationship with women has to change. Because of course it does. What levels of depravity do you have to subscribe to in order to view everything as normal? I usually have my phone ready to dial 911 in an empty parking lot and can’t go out to jog at night and can’t even crack open a window when I shower—someone filmed me bathing once in my own house. But that’s just a few of the perils of living for me and for every woman ever, right? (Actually when I told someone that last story, they said that).
#metoo but you probably could have guessed that, and it’s not enough.