Editorial Note: This post was originally published on Part Time Monster in 2017. It’s my work, and I’m republishing here with permission from the original host. Post contains some discussion of sexual violence.
I was born with cerebral palsy. I have limited use of my legs and my lower leg muscles are basically nonexistent. When I was three, neuromotor specialists began recommending a daily routine of physical therapy to help maintain my level of mobility.
The exercises I’m supposed to do feel like someone is trying to rip my legs apart on a medieval torture device. As a toddler and young child, I was never given an option to refuse this treatment. I have no memory of anyone explaining the benefits of this therapy.
I know I said that Feminist Friday posts would be running every other week, but this one is important and timely, so I’m making an exception.
In 2017, hundreds of thousands of women took to the streets to march in protest of newly inaugurated Pres. Donald Trump. Lots of them were wearing these pink hats with cat ears, and I heard them called “Pussy Hats.”
I was a little late to the show, since the so-called pussy hat movement had been in the makings for months, and I’d never heard of it. But I knew that it was at least partially a reference to the president’s disgusting brag about grabbing women by the pussy.
My reaction was, “Oh wow, how funny!” I like a good pun, and I thought the hats were cool. I didn’t give it much deeper consideration until I noticed that several of my trans and nonbinary friends were saying that the hats and the ideology behind them were exclusionary and harmful.
It’s sad that I’m a Christian, and yet when someone tells me they’re a Christian writing about their faith or Christian life, I worry whether I should even attempt to go to their website. I cringe because I’m waiting for the judgment that almost always vomits off of so-called “Christian” sites.
My grandmother’s in her 90s. A lifelong Catholic. This November, her daughter married another woman. You know what my grandmother did? She went to the wedding and danced.
If a 90-year-old woman can dance at a gay wedding, you can learn to treat people with grace and kindness today.
Over the past week or so, I’ve gotten several comments on my various social media feeds that were rude, ableist or otherwise offensive. Each time, I’ve been polite and either explained my position or simply asked the other party to disengage. The usual response is, “This is a public space, don’t I have the right to express my opinion?”
Here is the deal.
Your opinion isn’t sacrosanct. The fact that I keep my timelines public doesn’t mean you have impunity or get special consideration given to you when you express an opinion. If your opinion is factually erroneous or supported by oppressive social assumptions, I will say so. If I know your comment is just going to start a fight, or is meant to agitate on something I don’t agree with, I will ask you to stop commenting about it and close the thread. This isn’t personal.
The name on all my accounts is some variation of “Rose B. Fischer.” or “Evil Genius RBF.” I maintain these spaces to talk to my friends. Behave like my friend, respect my friends, or leave. If I close a thread, it’s closed.
Over the last few days, I’ve had several conversations with male friends about the need for safe spaces. I’m combining elements from different ones to illustrate a point. The men I was talking to are all resonably progressive and college educated.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you I’m thinking about about spending next year drafting the rest of my fox series. I would do first drafts of all the arcs (about 20-30k each) and then revise once it’s finished. This conversation with Hannah is an example of why I think this is a better strategy for the way my brain works. And an example of how I need to stop saying “actually” every other word.
Rose: I’ve been up since four. So far, Noah’s explained ominverse theories, dog food formulae, given me the history of the main villain race for the space foxes, done his chores and shopped for Christmas presents. I mistyped something as “hackpack” and I can’t figure out what I was talking about. Noah doesn’t have a backpack that I know of. Is he taking up hacking…?
Hannah: LOL Rose: He could be a good little hacker with organic tech. Hannah: Oooh… Rose: There’s a theory about using plant matter to store volumes of data encoded in genetic memories. Hannah: The fairies in Artemis Fowl yesterday were talking about that too. Although they were actually talking about whether or not they could store data in piles of poo and/or cigars. Rose: I think it would be a lot safer stored in trees. Hannah: LOL Yeah. Rose: …it would actually make a lot of sense. The space foxes have organic tech, not electronics (I don’t know what Redi’s phone is actually made of…) Pete and Priam both have this Druid-wisdom thing that would make more sense if stuff was actually getting encoded in the forest since neither of them have much green energy, and Micah could’ve gotten involved in book smuggling by storing data that way too. (He’s probably got half of Synn’s knowledge base in his head if that’s the case.) Hannah: Yeah. Rose: Redi’s phone should be like…a wand with a big jewel on the end. Hannah: LOL He’d like that. Rose: OOooh, I know! He can have a whole set! (Note, they wouldn’t actually be magic or look like the sailor scouts’ wands, it was just a visual example.)
Hannah: Yeah Rose: I am totally giving the navy sparkly wand communicators now. Hannah: LOL Rose: Tree-computers would explain why so many dumbasses keep trying to steal/harvest little trees. If most of the civilization’s knowledge is in the trees, and the big ones are sleeping, they’re probably trying to use the little ones as ciphers.
Hannah: *facepalm* Yeah Rose: My subconscious must literally be some kind of a maze. It’s like, I spend years trying to figure out why everything we do ends up with child trafficking and bad guys using plant-children for unsavory activities. Then I’m like, “okay, nevermind the plants, just work on Diana’s orphanage thing… Wait, now I’ve got a villain who acts like they’ve been around since the dawn of time but the motivations don’t make any sense and I don’t have a background. There has to be something else going on. What is it? Okay, forget it, do a draft of a story about space foxes…OH, so it’s the same villain lost in time…okay, let’s randomly decide to write a blog for Noah since we can’t start anything else right now…*typos “hackpack”*…OH WELL THAT EXPLAINS EVERYTHING IN THE WORLD. I think I’m just going to need to write first drafts of the entire freaking series. “I can’t figure this out…must be time to write somebody else.”