Reflections from the Right Side of the Bed.

My side, your side...of the bed.

My side...yo side..of the bed.

ANYWAYS!  Good evening to my readers and the other three people who somehow ended up seeing this. I need to stay off of Son of Baldwin and Anti-Intellect Blog before I mess around and get my WHOLE life. 

First and foremost, I want to begin by telling you that I wasn't a full on cretin before I started reading their posts.  I was actually a pretty decent person, so I think.  Alas, one thing I always believe..is that you are never too old to learn.  When you get to the point where you think you know everything and cannot learn anything else, then you have failed yourself by way of sheer arrogance.  I love to learn, especially if it undoes incorrect information.

In other words, if I find out the truth, I really need that in my life.

**potential trigger warnings**

One thing that I admit I had to learn was how to stand up for women.  I remember one Tumblr episode in which I reblogged a quote from another lady.  While I cannot remember it verbatim, it basically said that a woman can't get mad about being called a slut when she's sitting around drunk and half naked.  I reposted it because I used to think that women could not be angry if a guy called them a slut if they acted as such.

Why did I feel that way?  Because I was taught that "a lady doesn't DO certain things".

A woman who wants to be respected had to treat herself respectfully, so I was told.  If you went out dressed like a "slut", you lost the right to be mad when he tried to hit on you.  Oh yes...that is what I was always taught, honey.  As smart as I was, I never once thought about the women who were raped walking their dogs at night, nor did I think of the women who were harassed even in baggy jeans and a big ol' college sweatshirt.  Why?  Because I was always taught that women had to present themselves in the manner they wanted to be treated.

I was read from the rooter to the tooter by a person who probably thought I was ignorant to say the least.  We went back and forth for days, never once did we veer into being rude, but we each were passionate in our viewpoints.  I shared my stories and she shared hers.  Out of respect for her privacy, I will not tell..but just trust that she did NOT deserve anything that happened to her.  Just by listening to her, I learned that all the things I had been taught with regards to how to prevent certain crimes towards women were garbage.  With each passionate reply, I felt each rule drop from my head.  All those quotes..all those lessons...left one by one..

"If you dress like a ho, a man will think of you as a ho.."

"When you flirt with a man, he's going to think you want it"

"She knew when she walked home alone that she put herself at risk.."

Each..damn..misogynistic quote..left my head..word..by..word.  And I was sitting there at my computer in a state of shock.  I can't believe that my viewpoints blamed her as a victim of sexual assault.  I was no different than the fools that had done this to her.  I'm sure someone will quickly counter that I'm not...but the views I held made me just as culpable in the sorry ass treatment of women.

Here I am.  A woman.  One who loves to live a non-conventional woman's life.  Telling women to live a conventional life.  In order to not be mistreated.  

What in the blue hell was I thinking?

Undoing the Damage...and Checking Myself

My face was so flushed, and I was truly embarrassed.  I couldn't simply tell her "I agree to disagree" and go on.  For the first time, I couldn't just say that and go on about my merry way.  I had to admit that I was being exposed.  She was brusque, but not rude.  She was straightforward, but not pushy.  She did the internet version of sitting me down and having a Come to Jesus meeting.  And instead of being arrogant in assuming that I was right and she was just irrational, I shut up and I listened.  When other women messaged me in outrage, I didn't attack, I apologized and held myself accountable.  I had to do that thing where I looked at myself in the mirror...mentally stripped nekkid.  

That was when I began rebuilding myself.  I started changing my mind and being what I should be, which is fair to women.  I mean, I learned that being a woman does not make you fair to women.  That's evident as hell when I see women actively fighting alongside men to allow politics in our wombs.  It's also evident when privileged women cast down shady glances at women because they have more kids than them with less familial support.  Yeah mane, women ain't always on the side of womens.

I think of this quote from the Anti-Intellect Blog "They slut-shaming women. They thug-shaming men. "If you dress better we won't rape you." "If you dress better we won't shoot you".  It is my former thought pattern being exposed for the stupidity it was.  I was telling a woman that she has to go against what she wants to do in order to prevent being bashed for doing what she wants.  Here I am..one who loves jeans, tees, sneakers, ponytails and drinking beer.  I don't have a sexy walk, nor am I a delicate soul.  Hell, I have actually been called a "dyke" before...because I rejected a man's advances some years back.

Dude:  Sup, ma.  Let a nigga get to know you better.
Me:  Nah mane, I'm good.  Thanks for the flattery.
Dude:  Aw come on, big booty.  I just want to know what a nigga need to do to get next to you.
Me:  I'm not looking bruh.  
Dude:  Fuck you then.  You look like a fuckin' dyke any fuckin' way.  You prolly want to holler at my sister.
Me:  Nah, but I'm sure she's more man than you.  And it's funny how I wasn't so "gay" when you wanted me.

The enlightened Tamara knows that I didn't deserve that treatment.  As a woman, I don't have to dress and live as another man wants.  I don't have to soften my look nor do I have to take abuse because I reject an advance.  Dude was ignorant as hell for using someone's sexual preference as an insult AND had I been gay, he was disrespectful for not accepting this and leaving me be. Even if I have a flare up of womanly dress, I don't have to worry about how others take it.  I am my own woman, and I my life is to be lived as I want.  

I understand that even as some people read this, they're likely to still tell me that my thinking is flawed.  Alas, people still think that we shouldn't wear certain things because it attracts male attention.  I shouldn't go out at night alone because fools are out.  I will always respectfully disagree because it means that a woman is supposed to always plan her life to prevent sexual harassment, abuse, rape or worse.  I shouldn't have on tight jeans because a dude will think that justifies him smacking my ass.  No sweetie, if I want to wear something to show off my shape, that's my right and my choice.  There are certain things that I will not wear or do, but it's because that's how Tamara is.  

I guess this whole blog can be summed up by saying that I was wrong, and I allowed myself to learn what's right.  I believe that women are still being done wrong by this janky ass world we live in.  It's why Kim K. is someone I like instead of someone I villify.  It's why I tip my hat to women who dress sexy because they have the confidence to do so.  I am glad that I learned the right thing before I brought my daughter up to believe that she has to always "play by the rules"..rules written by a society that tells her to marry by a certain age, produce a kid (but not too many kids, honey..don't want to be all full of kids), to stay out of clubs and to be in the house before the streetlights come on, even as an adult.  I'm glad that I have the chance to be a part of the fight for genuine equality for women.

I plan to keep this in mind:

"One can never discuss racism, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia enough. No person has ever discussed them enough. Keep talking" - Anti-Intellect Blog

I do apologize if any of my prior blogs, comments or posts was offensive to anyone.  I will not go back and delete anything.  Here's why:

1) At the time of all my posts, I meant what the hell I said.  As DUMB and MISOGYNISTIC as it may have been at the time, I meant it.  

2) A part of growing is evolving.  I don't want to go back in my history to "tweak" things in order to make myself look perfect.  You don't get do-overs in real life, so I won't do it in my blogs.  

3) I want to be able to see my mistakes so I can learn from them.  I also want to help others see the foolery that is often implanted in the minds of some people.

Well...I guess this blog has gone on long enough.  I'm tired boss.  Dog tired.

~Fin

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