Sunday, December 17, 2017

I Don't Believe in Lumping Everything Together

Alyssa Milano and Minnie Driver are at war against Matt Damon.

For me, it's kind of strange BECAUSE

Alyssa Milano is my favorite celebrity Twitterer.

I've been loving Minnie Driver's TV show.

I've never liked Matt Damon...maybe not for any specific reason besides that his face annoys me. He LOOKS like an arrogant asshole.

But in this war, I'm actually more on his side.

Matt Damon did an interview where he said society needs to differentiate between Weinstein behavior and Al Franken/CK Louis behavior.  From what I understood, he wasn't saying that there's any level of harassment that's okay and excusable. He was saying there ARE levels, and they can't all be lumped together.

Back in October, I wrote my first post about the MeToo movement and I talked about how I felt uneasy adding myself to the list. I had added myself to the list on Instagram. Then, if I remember correctly, I later deleted myself.

In my blog post, I wondered if my experiences counted or not.  I wrote, A part of me thinks yes, of course they do. It all matters...big or small. And small stuff can add up. Another part of me feels weird adding myself to the same list that includes women who have been violently raped multiple times.

I'm still divided into parts.

There's the part of me that agrees with Matt Damon.

There's also a part of me that agrees with Alyssa Milano and Minnie Driver, BECAUSE my problems have been so often minimized.

Like decades ago when my maybe-it-counts MeToo movement happened. I told my best friend. He laughed at me.

Or when I remembered it after all the Trump-related talk of sexual assault started happening.  I told my husband and the basic message I got, from him, is that my incident wasn't that big of a deal. He also made sure to remind me that he knew people who had actually been sexually assaulted, raped, etc.

There was the time an email friend complained about her brother to me because he had her watch slasher films and liked to see her squirm. I gave her sympathy for that. Then I told her I could sort of relate because when I was a young child my father had me watch The Exorcist.  It was a very traumatic experience for me. Her response?  That's kind of mean what your dad did. It seems to be a male humour thing, though. 

When I told my mom (for the second time) that I had recovered from an eating disorder and wanted to avoid going back to that, she told me no, I hadn't had an eating disorder.  People with eating disorders are in the hospital and they weigh forty pounds.

Those are just four examples, out of many many more, in which I have been made to feel that my problems are too small too matter or that my problems don't matter simply because they happened to me and not someone else.

So I would not want ANY person to feel that they can't scream, cry, feel traumatized, and want sympathy because they were flashed with a penis and not brutally gang raped.

I wouldn't want anyone to be told that their depression is too small to matter, because they haven't attempted suicide yet.

I wouldn't want anyone to be told to snap out of it. It was just a hamster, and not like their grandpa or something like that.

If anyone is sad, afraid, angry, etc....I think they deserve to have someone to lean on.  I think they deserve validation.  I think they deserve a shoulder to cry on.


I still think we can't treat every problem the same...outside of providing sympathy/empathy.

For example, my mom was awful for discounting my eating disorder.  On the other hand, because I pulled out of the dangerous behavior before it got deadly, it would have been a waste of money to stick me in the hospital and connect me to feeding tubes.

Yes, I think my father was awful for having me watch The Exorcist and awful for gaslighting me about it in later years. I think I DO deserve sympathy for this...which I have pretty much never have received in a genuine way. And that fucking pisses me off.  But no, I don't think it's equal to a child being raped by her parents, starved to death, bones being broken, etc  No, I don't think my dad should have been put into prison. No, I don't think I should have been put into foster care.

There are levels to bad behavior.

There are levels to problems.

Alyssa Milano Tweeted an analogy. There are different stages of cancer. Some more treatable than others. But it's still cancer. 

Yes. It's still cancer. But there is a huge difference between stage four pancreatic cancer and stage 0 breast cancer. 

Any kind of cancer is terrifying.  And just waiting to hear back from a test result to see if you MIGHT have cancer is terrifying. Every person in a cancer-situation should be able to feel and express their feelings without being dismissed, minimized, laughed at, etc.  But the cancer itself is going to be treated differently.  Some people will have minimally invasive surgery.  Some people will have to have very invasive surgery and medications that will make them feel awful. Some people will have no viable options outside of receiving palliative care as they wait to die.

As for the sexual harassment, assault, and misogyny stuff.....

Any person that has felt hurt from these experiences, and speaks out, should receive emotional support.  There really shouldn't be levels of emotional support, but if there is, it should be based on the level of distress the person feels and NOT on what happened to them.

There has to be a difference, though, in what happens to the perpetrator.  One of the reasons is, if we punish everyone the same, I kind of feel 99% of men will end up in prison.  I know many people would argue against this. They're much more optimistic than me.

But yeah.

Some men need to go to prison for their actions.

Some men need to be fired.

Some men need to be completely blacklisted from their career fields.

Some men need to be ridiculed by the media and/or social media.

Some men just deserve a slap on the wrist and a lecture.

ALL men need to be make changes, and many women (including myself) do too.

2017 has been a major traumatic learning experience.  Some good is coming out of it and some bad as well.  Hopefully in 2018, we'll take more steps towards making things better and less steps towards making things more shitty.