What’s a Geek? Are there Fake Geeks? Do You Care?

I hate to keep relying on the same couple sources, but my internet friend Emmie keeps writing smart things. (It’s also a quantity issue, I think; by my calculations, Emmie is writing approximately 35 percent of the modern internet.) Yesterday she was at Spellbound Scribes, writing about the idea of the “fake geek” and how profoundly silly all that is. It isn’t the first time I’ve seen that subject dealt with (not by a longshot), but the writers of those other pieces typically lament (rightly) the treatment of certain women, especially cosplayers, at conferences and the like, and leave it at that; Emmie’s is a more inclusive and holistic approach. I won’t quote much, because you should go read her words for yourself, but the key takeaway: “Being a geek is about loving a thing.” Geeks know what it is to be an Other, and denying others their geekery is really just Other-izing someone else. What sense is there in keeping anyone out?

I love this. For the most part.

In addition to all the reasons Emmie gives: where does that weird geek pride even come from? I don’t get that, and I say that as a confirmed, dyed-in-the-wool, multidisciplinary geek; there’s just not much to be proud of in knowing every Doctor Who or Battlestar Galactica episode by name, number and its three most memorable quotes. You really, really like something that someone else created; come forward and claim your cookie! Don’t get me wrong: we loves what we loves, and should feel all sorts of good things (in addition to, y’know, love) about those things. Pride, though, the kind that makes you want to keep other people out of your exclusive little club? Eh. That’s pretty weak.

I do get where the impulse comes from, I think. It’s easy to say “you know what it’s like to be Othered, so stop Othering others.” The thing is, though, that to a large degree, geekdom developed because geeks were being Othered, and was created to allow them to escape all that, to escape the whole rest of the world. It’s a step beyond the Golden Rule; it’s asking your OG geeks to treat others not only as they would want to be treated, but precisely as they were not treated, growing up, by some of those same others, which is why their little club existed in the first place. I can see how some geeks would find that sort of thing a bit irksome, and especially so when the “fake geek” looks like the kind of guy or girl who gave you wedgies and swirlies and worse in school (or who dated that first guy or girl). It’s wrong, of course, it’s stupid, for Emmie’s reasons and the one or two above. I get the impulse, but impulses can and often should be ignored.

So my quibble isn’t with that, but with this: I want words to really mean something, and I want to avoid broadening their definitions so much that every word means exactly the same thing as a ton of other words, such that we just keep sliding further and further toward Newspeak. When you hear the word “geek,” you think certain things, and even beyond the unfortunate appearance- (or even gender-) based stereotypes, you think of certain real, immutable things, too. It can’t just mean “one who loves a thing” — we have words like “fan” and “devotee” and “connoisseur” and a dozen others that all mean basically that. A geek has to love a certain type of thing (or a thing within a certain range of types of things), and in a certain eccentric way. I’m not an authority on this (or on anything), and I’m not going to tell you what those types and ways are. But I definitely envision certain qualities, and so do you, and there’s a pretty good chance that what you are envisioning right now resembles what I’m envisioning, and it definitely goes well beyond just loving a thing. There’s plenty of room for differing types and degrees, but there’s a certain indispensable character to geekery. Continue reading

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Seven Hundred and Thirty-Two “Men” to Stay the F*** Away From

I had big plans for today (Wednesday). Really Big Plans, in fact. I still do have those plans, and I worked a little bit on them today, and will probably work a little bit more on them tonight. I’m excited about these plans, and hope they become a Thing That Happens, and that I can share with you soon.

But it turns out that tonight (Wednesday night) is not a night for Big Plans. Today (Wednesday) was a day of untimely deaths; of way too much hate, generally; of bizarrely crappy deniapologies; of incredibly blasé and casual celebrity racism; and of a bit of personal stress and discouragement (nothing major, but overall: oy, today). Tonight, then, is a night for family, and beer, and baseball, and possibly video games. There will be better days for Big Plans, and probably soon.

Instead, I want to talk for just a second about this. If you missed it, on Wednesday morning the internet very suddenly became aware of a Kickstarter project called “Above the Game: A Guide to Getting Awesome with Women,” through which a mouth-breathing and probably badly deluded little lump of diseased chipmunk feces named Ken Hoinsky sought $2,000 to finance his book doling out advice regarding how to successfully get women in bed. He ended up raising over $16,000.

It sounds innocent enough, if incredibly dumb; these “pick-up artists” lurk in creepy dark little places everywhere, and while stupid and probably not strictly harmless, they aren’t exactly Public Enemy No. 1. This is a lot worse than that, though. Hoinsky wisely wiped the existing segments of his book from the internet, but a wiser blogger/comedian named Casey Malone (who appears to also deserve credit for calling this to everyone’s attention in the first place) was able to archive some of his words. There are too many atrocious bits for me to pick big chunks to share here, but the gist of the worst bits were: first, always be “escalating,” making more and more intrusive physical contact with the woman you’re creeping on, and don’t stop until she shouts “NO” or pushes you away (and even then, maybe just take a break and try again later).

A bit later (all emphasis Hoinsky’s): “Physically pick her up and sit her on your lap. Don’t ask for permission. Be dominant. Force her to rebuff your advances.”

Later still: “Pull out your cock and put her hand on it. Remember, she is letting you do this because you have established yourself as a LEADER. Don’t ask for permission, GRAB HER HAND, and put it right on your dick.”

That’s sexual assault. All of it. It’s sick, and it’s quite reasonably very illegal. It’s a step-by-step manual for dehumanizing and sexually assaulting women, and it leads you right up to the doorstep of rape. It plainly violates Kickstarter’s guidelines, which bar offensive content (specifically listing hate speech, which I’d argue this is, as an example). Kickstarter must have received thousands of “reports” through its own website and thousands of tweets bringing this atrocity to its attention.

Kickstarter did nothing.

As I write this, Kickstarter’s twitter account hasn’t tweeted in more than 24 hours, and the company has allegedly directly refused comment to at least one media outlet. No action, nothing to justify its inaction. (Later update: they did eventually issue a kind of milquetoast statement. Malone has it, and a bit on why it was the wrong call, here.) It’s a disgrace all around. I was happy to participate in one Kickstarter project (both as a writer and a “backer”) a while ago, and this probably won’t keep me from using it again, but it’s terribly disappointing.

Think about this, though: there are 732 people (almost all men, of course) who backed this project. Now, I don’t actually believe Hoinsky has ever followed his own advice in any meaningful way — both (a) because the people who espouse this sort of nonsense tend overwhelmingly to be sniveling inarticulate lying dullards who aren’t actually capable of talking to or making eye contact with a woman and (b) because I have enough faith in humankind to think that these tactics would lead to arrest and incarceration at least as often as they’d “work” — but I could be wrong. Regardless, though, there are now seven hundred and thirty-two* cripplingly self-conscious, dim-witted little boys (of all ages) out there in the world who will be receiving Hoinsky’s book and reading his mental diarrhea.

Some of them are bound to try his tactics. I still don’t think they’ll “work,” by and large, but I wouldn’t want to be any of the women at whose expense they fail, either.

The thing is: the backers are listed right here, and though they’re not required to, the vast majority appear to provide their real names (first and last), their location, or both.

Kickstarter backers

I think if I were a woman who is likely to go out…anywhere, ever, I’d look through that list for guys near my area. If I found one, I’d find out as much as I could about him, through Facebook, Twitter, Google, whatever — and let’s face it, if he’s leaving his whole name on a Kickstarter for what is basically a criminal instruction manual, there’s likely to be a lot of info on him out there. And then I think I’d make sure all my friends knew everything about him that I now knew.

(Just for instance: one of them is Frank Galatis, who lives in Chisago City, Minnesota, not at all far from me. This is his Facebook page. This is his LinkedIn page, which identifies him as an owner of Fallout Shelter Arcade, a video gaming center for Battletech:Firestorm and Red Planet games (Facebook). If I were that kind of gamer, male or female, I’d probably avoid that place on account of one of the owners being like super creepy.)

These are 732 guys who may or may not themselves be the same sorts of loathsome puerile woman-hating fuckwits that Hoinsky is; they could also just be insecure, desperately lonely and shockingly gullible boys. But either way, they’re going to be unleashed on the world with this nonsense in their heads, and in that case, is the second possibility really that much better than the first?

* Roughly. A few of the backers identify themselves as women, weirdly enough, and not all of them actually pledged enough to get a copy of the book.

[Hey, there’s a follow-up now: In Which Kickstarter Rules the (Corporate) World]

Comedy, Rape and other stuff, Censorship, and Embracing the Pariah

I’m a big fan of stand-up comedy, and I’m surprised I haven’t really had an occasion to do a post about it here yet. I’ve started one — one in which I describe every comedian I know of in exactly eight words, because obviously [reasons] — but it might never be finished. In any case, I love my comedy.

And comedy’s been through the wringer a bit recently. Lindy West and Jim Norton debated “rape jokes” earlier this month, in a thoughtful and generally respectful debate that later got posted on the internet and was quickly made the opposite of thoughtful and respectful. Which is what the internet tends to do to things.

You’d guess (correctly) that I come down firmly on West’s side. There’s no way around the truth that while no topic should be off-limits in comedy (or in art generally), there are certain ways of framing certain sensitive topics, and especially this one, that can (and do) shame and encourage the mistreatment of already disadvantaged groups. Any joke about rape of which the victim is the target, in any way? Not okay. West wrote a post about a year ago called “How to Make a Rape Joke” that I think does a really good job of explaining the difference between jokes involving rape that “work” and rape jokes that do not. A lot of people have written a lot more and a lot better about this than I have or can, like West and Patton Oswalt (at Part 3).

There are other (relatively) easy lines to draw, too: generalizing about people of other races, where the other race’s imputed characteristics are the joke (fairly rare now, among white comics); men generalizing about women (still sadly pervasive).

But I’ve been thinking a lot about comedy more generally, and where the line between “funny” and “offensive” falls, or ought to fall, in less clear-cut cases. Because comedians really do need to have basically unfettered access to any topic; comedy’s purpose, as people like Norton point out, is frequently to call attention to all the horrible things about the world, and to take some of their power away by making light of those things. Many comedians need to be able to shock you and disgust you and make you groan and laugh at the same time. There are comedians for whom producing that effect is basically the essence of their art form, and they’re brilliant at it. Not everyone has to like it, of course, but it’s not something that should be shut down wholesale.* August’s post earlier this week made me think about it again too; her point had to do with “blonde jokes” (which, it was a good opportunity to remind myself, are uniformly terrible) and how sexist and demeaning they can be. Poking fun at people who are different, in whatever way, has always been the crutch of the hacks at the bottom of comedy’s barrel.

There has to be a line, however hard it is to find or identify, one that doesn’t apply exclusively to rape jokes. Funny on one side of the line, offensive and off-limits on the other. Of course, a lot of it is a matter of personal taste, too, and I suppose everyone has their own line. Some people are offended by profanity, in which case the “OK” side of their line has Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Cosby and Brian Regan on it and basically nobody else, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

But I think I’ve identified The Line, the one place where, at least for me personally, acceptable is on one side and you’re-a-horrible-person-who-shouldn’t-be-allowed-to-talk-in-public is on the other.

And that line is Anthony Jeselnik.

Or rather, he’s just, I mean barely, almost imperceptibly, on the “OK” side of that line.

That’s not going to be a terribly popular choice. A lot of people who think like me hate Jeselnik. He says some of the most shocking and intentionally tone-deaf things you’ll hear from anyone. He’s also one of the most outspoken anti-censorship comics out there; there’s no chance he agrees with me that there even is a line. And he’s made some missteps; I gave up on him for a while after a tweet about the marathon bombing I thought was in incredibly poor taste, and he has a couple other jokes that I think come too close to victim-shaming. But that tweet was quickly removed, and I’ve since listened to more of his material and become convinced (again) that he’s one — maybe the one — who, those few exceptions aside, gets the incredibly fine line between edgy and demeaning.

The topics Jeselnik covers are almost uniformly sensitive topics. Mistreating women and the elderly. Violence toward women and children. Death, including of children. He made a point to open his last album with a track titled “Rape.” Exactly the opposite of everything you’d think I’d stand for.

But if you listen carefully, I don’t think — you might disagree, and I’d respect that — the real punchline is a victim, or a class of people, or anyone but him. The point of nearly every Jeselnik joke, the thing you laugh at, is what an unbelievably, shockingly horrible person he is. Or not Jeselnik, rather, but the character he plays: the joke is that anyone could be so depraved, so stupid, as to honestly believe the things Jeselnik claims to believe. He’s said, “if people think I’m serious, then they won’t laugh,” and I think that’s right; if you’re inclined to agree with anything Jeselnik’s character says, you’ve missed the joke. And at his best, he does just what comedy is supposed to do: he calls attention to the worst parts of society and makes us laugh about them, without asking us to laugh at anyone who suffers because of them.

Consider the following (all from here, which isn’t the best selection but it’ll do):

We just found out my little brother has a peanut allergy, which is very serious I know. But still I feel like my parents are totally overreacting — they caught me eating a tiny little bag of airline peanuts…and they kicked me out of his funeral.

.

Yesterday I accidentally hit a little kid with my car. It wasn’t serious — nobody saw me.

.

I’ve got a kid in Africa that I feed, that I clothe, that I school, that I inoculate for 75 cents a day. Which is practically nothing…compared to what it cost to send him there.

These are solid. They’re funny (it might help to hear his delivery). You laugh because you’re shocked; he’s talking about death or child abuse, and as you laugh there’s a should I be laughing at this? sort of moment which is an indispensable part of the experience. But, he’s not saying there’s anything funny about child abuse, or Africa, or poverty, or serious allergies; the funny part is that he really just said that, that he really is that completely horrible (though you know he’s really not).

Compare to this one from Daniel Tosh, who in many superficial ways is kind of a Jeselnik clone (good-looking clean-cut youngish white boys who get by mostly on shock value) and often gets lumped in with him:

If you had to eat another human being to survive, do you think they taste like their ethnic background? Mexicans are spicy? Do you have to have chips and salsa before you bite into one? Chinese people: are you hungry 30 minutes later for more? Let’s go everybody — black people: taste like chicken…**

This is far from the worst Tosh joke, but again, it’s the one I found. Tosh would say (and I suppose Jeselnik would agree) that there’s no real difference here; they’re both saying intentionally offensive things they don’t really believe for a laugh. But where the punchline in Jeselnik’s comedy is (usually) Jeselnik himself, the punchline with Tosh is the group he’s singling out (nearly always an ethnic group, gays, or women), and a stereotype about that group. He’ll often make a few cracks at his own expense, but then immediately moves on to just blankly reciting stereotypes, much like the above. So I guess I’d put that on the other side of the line: what Jeselnik does is shocking and offensive, but he’s the target; what Tosh does is shocking and offensive, but “the other is the target.

To me, that makes all the difference. Your mileage may vary, and I respect that; it’s not a topic that has one clear answer we should all be able to agree on, beyond (I’d hope) “jokes at the expense of rape victims are never okay.” I also might be wrong about my evaluation; maybe the difference isn’t as great as I’m making it out to be, maybe Jeselnik crosses the line as badly as anyone (or worse, come to think of it, given how often and relentlessly he does it). But it’s a distinction that makes sense to me right now. For what it’s worth, I’d still prefer comics who get by on truthful observations about actual interactions between actual people, and don’t need to rely on the shock factor at all — Oswalt, Marc Maron, Maria Bamford, John Mulaney — where you don’t often need to worry much about where “the line” is. But there has to be a line, and that’s where (I think) I’m drawing mine.

In any case, comedy is best as a visual thing, so here’s a pretty solid (and extremely NSFW) Jeselnik set to leave you with:

* Nobody should be “shut down,” in the sense of being prevented from speech — we have a whole constitutional amendment about that — but I’d sure like to see rape jokes and the like be shouted down, so that they don’t get to say them on TV or in crowded clubs.

** [Edit:] Two people have told me I’m taking the Tosh joke out of context, that he’s actually making an important point there about the audience’s expectations and discomfort about race generally. Watching the video, I agree. If you can tough it out to the real punchline, it’s actually a pretty good, thought-provoking joke. But the quote on Comedy Central’s website — click on the link just above where I quote him — omits the “real punchline,” too. Which isn’t fair to Tosh, but it gets to the issue, I think — to many of the people who really enjoy Tosh’s comedy, the laugh lines are the stereotypes themselves.

Tattoos, and Misogyny, and Dumb Kids (again)

I didn’t think I’d write here this week, for several reasons. But there’s a certain kind of garbage that crops up on the internet now and then that’s great at pulling me out of my little mindless stupor.

I don’t have any tattoos, and neither does my wife, and I can’t say there’s any sort of void in my life there. List off the usual reasons for not being interested, and I probably have all of them. I hate pain, of all types (I’m a real weenie about it). There’s not much that I’m so passionate about now that I’d want to display it 24/7 on my body, let alone stuff that I’m confident I’d feel just as proud of 50 years from now. It’s just not the kind of thing that I’d spend real money on, somehow. And so on.

I kinda dig them, though, on others. I had a woman who cut my hair a few years ago who I hope doesn’t read this (that’d be weird), but she was, and presumably still is, vibrant and spunky and friendly and frankly adorable and did all kinds of awesome and creative things with her time when she wasn’t cutting hair, and she had both arms and her back absolutely covered in highly colorful, completely absorbing art. Not my thing personally, never my thing, but they were her, totally, and I really admired them. It gave me a new appreciation for the whole idea, really; if you’re passionate about something, and that’s what works for you — for whatever that means — I think it can be a pretty beautiful thing.

What I guess I’m trying to say with all this is that OH HOLY HELL PEOPLE ARE AWFUL, as evidence of which I offer the following:

Tattoos and Other Easy Ways to Ruin Your Body” [EDIT: I seem to have a knack for this. He’s deleted the post and replaced it with an apology that actually seems reasonably sincere. EDIT AGAIN: Now the whole blog is private. But it seemed sincere!]

You may have gathered from the title alone that this was written by a man, and a dyed-in-the-wool misogynist, one who claims the right to speak to all women and on behalf of all men based on his own extremely ill-formed and unsupportable opinions, maybe even one who’s exceptionally young and just head-splittingly naive.

And you’d be right about those things. But you still wouldn’t really have a firm grasp on exactly how dumb and offensive this is.

So here’s a taste:

Women, let me tell you something that your friends and many guys will not. Your tattoos are ugly. We do not like them. We respect you less for them. We think you’re a pawn without a sense of solidarity in a world that pressures you to conform.

Note to all male bloggers and writers, the younger and less experienced the better: always start everything you write with “Women, let me tell you something.” They love that!

Also: all men, everywhere? Even me, even with what I just said above about kind of loving them sometimes?

Yep!

Even if we’re not conscious of this belief, we hold it. Men who gush about the sexiness of girls with tattoos do this because they are culturally trained to do so.

Culturally trained. Culturally trained! You either agree with the opinion that this author has formed across what must so far have been just a depressingly sheltered 23 years — an opinion which is in large part about aesthetics, the most subjective thing in the world — or you’re a pawn, a victim of the great cultural indoctrination.

There’s a ton of ignorance in this, but I love the idea that “culture” is something that exists separate and apart from people, or from men. Like there’s a thing that all of the 49% hates, but we put up with it, and some of us convince ourselves that we like it, because this headless monster The Culture instructs us that we must! Cruel mistress, The Culture.

So we’ve been informed that all men hate women’s tattoos and that the men who don’t hate them are just too stupid to realize they hate them. We now get the parade of horribles, the reasons why a woman getting a tattoo is the worst thing. Might as well:

1. Because it’s where another man left his mark on you.

This is exactly what it sounds like: her tattooist was probably a man, and letting him put a thing on her (that she’s asked him and will pay him to put on her) is “lending him a level of familiarity over [her].” And I can’t decide how refreshing/terrifying it is that he actually recognizes the thing he’s doing here:

Does this fall under the category of what the mainstream media calls “jealous men calling normal things cheating?” Yes. Does that make us wrong? No. A man has marked you and you will always carry his handiwork.

asdfadsfkj.

Forget for a moment that the whole idea of a man “leaving his mark” on a woman, like cattle, is repulsive, and pretend that this kind of pathetic sniveling emasculating fear and jealousy is ever even arguably okay. A guy she doesn’t know (if it’s a guy; she’s apparently in the clear on this point if she finds a female tattooist) carried out a job that she asked him to do, maybe even just transferring something she designed herself on paper, because it’s important to her, and she paid him for the service. If this is the kind of thing that makes you jealous akin to the way one might react to a cheating spouse (worse, since this apparently applies to all women who may ever be in a relationship with a man, whether they’re single when they get the tattoo or not), please just don’t bother with human contact of any kind, ever, for the rest of your days. It’s not going to go well for you.

2. Because tattoos were primarily a symbol of prostitutes.

Well, okay. He cites to an Amazon page selling a book containing a highly unscientific 1933 “study” that’s apparently available nowadays as kitsch, like those little yellow “How to Make Love” pamphlets from the 1940s. But even if it’s true, it’s a good bet — and I’m not going to look this up — that earrings and other piercings and many modern hairstyles and clothes were once a symbol of prostitutes, too. Anyone who sees a tattoo in 2013 and thinks “WHORE!!!” (and he’s very clear that he’s talking about all tattoos here: butterfly on the ankle, the whole bit) might just possibly have some issues that don’t really have much of anything to do with body art.

3. Because your desire to participate in the counter-culture betrays a rebellious heart.

That’s a sentence, I guess, barely, but it doesn’t appear to mean anything. The point is apparently that the purpose of all tattoos is rebellion against something (patently ridiculous), but that they’re so commonplace that getting one makes you a “sheep” — even that it’s not getting one that really makes you a rebel, because everybody’s doing it!

Now, assuming they were that commonplace (and he later moronically cites a study that supports none of his points and in which about 13.5% of female participants had a tattoo — and this is outside my scope, but he apparently hasn’t had time in his 23 years to learn about the whole correlation-does-not-imply-causation deal), the unspoken assumption that “getting a tattoo” itself is the expression, rather than what that tattoo displays or means to the person, might be the single most braindead mistake in this whole braindead mistake of a post.

4. Guys and tattoos

Well, this isn’t a reason anymore, he just wants to really carefully spell out what he’s saying here, in case you missed it: that he hates women, essentially. That men can have tattoos (though he doesn’t like it), because, in essence, they’re not subject to being owned and dominated by the other sex. (In his actual words: “Like sleeping around, the detrimental effects of a guy doing this are much less severe. It’s not fair, but neither is child leukemia or Cystic Fibrosis.”)

The conclusion might be my favorite part: “We will never respect you for having [a tattoo]. You will lower your social value by having one and limit your choice of potential suitors.” Hi-larious. The next study I’d like to see is a comparison of the “potential suitors” of the average tattooed young woman to the “potential suitors” of one karamozov1989. Really. I’d buy a ticket, if they could sell tickets to a study somehow.

One of my first posts here reflected on some incredibly dumb things that had been written by a college senior for his student newspaper, and wondered if it wasn’t a really bad idea to make the half-formed opinions of some poor college kid whose whole outlook will probably change nine times in the next five years freely available to anyone who wants to read or mock them on the internet. The author here is 23 — out of college, presumably, but not substantially different from the roughly-22-year-old there. It takes some of them a while to figure out (and some never do) that their set of ideals and beliefs, no matter how fervently held, just can’t be applied to and forced on everyone generally, or to figure out that they haven’t actually learned everything they need to know yet, and that some of those ideals or parts of them might ultimately prove to be among the stupidest things it’s possible for any person to think.

Ultimately, though? Shit this stupid is out there, and sometimes when you’re reminded of that, you have to take it apart. It’s like intensive therapy for the world’s general awfulness. And dammit, it feels good.

Why Catcalls Feel Threatening

I saw a long, superb rant by my internet friend Emmie on Twitter that referenced an old post she’d written on catcalls, and I had to go find said post.

It’s wonderful. You should read it. And then you should read as much as you can stomach of the comments, where she is soon joined by a self-assured young gentleman who feels the need to mansplain away all her petty concerns with what he calls “loud compliments.” The farcical-and-disgusting-term-that-exists-for-some-reason “misandry” comes in at one point, which is how you know it’s good.

Emmie and another woman who joins in do a great job of parrying the arrogant asswipe’s half-considered arguments…but I couldn’t get through more than about half of it. There’s just nothing I enjoy less than a man telling a woman how she should feel about a thing that — however many parallels he might try to draw — can really ONLY be experienced by a woman. Nothing at all, at least that I can think of right now.

Anyway. It’s a fabulous, eye-opening read. This is my first reblogging (and from my phone)! Hope I’m doin’ it right.

I walk to work fairly often. I do it to save petrol and for the exercise, because I live a brief ten minute walk from where I work.

Barely a day goes by when I manage to walk that ten minutes without one of the scenarios depicted above occurring. Sometimes more than once.

I’ve had guys try to get me in their car. Guys try to get me to come over and eat their leftovers (seriously). I have guys holler all sorts of random “compliments” my way. I’ve been pestered. I’ve been interrupted. I’ve even been followed.

More than once.

For men, this sort of thing is just a non-issue. (For the most part. I acknowledge and understand that there ARE cases of street harassment where the targets are male.) But it’s different when you’re a woman.

Here’s why this subject matters, and why it should be talked about.

It’s…

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