... IT HAS BEEN A ROLLER-COASTER RIDE, PEOPLE.

Ryan is taking point on this one because he's half the parents here, no further explanation required.

So while I've been sitting at the computer hard at work, I've had a front-row seat to an old-timey radio show through the bedroom door. And let me tell you, it's a weird one.

hey bink?

do you have a sec?

i know it's almost bedtime
and that's usually your shift
but
just

step into my office for a moment
and don't

don't look at me
like that


Weaning my 3-year-old from his binky is like listening to a literal pirate ease off his methamphetamines.

When you're not looking I'm gonna kick you in the penis

And then I'm gonna bite your face like it's pizza

And then... (heavy breathing) and then... 

Are these doors locked?

I HATE THIS DINOSAUR STUFF IT IN THE GARBAGE

(Side note: the dinosaur is Bonky, the stuffy delivered by the Binky Fairy this morning to ease the transition out of daily binky use. The Internet claims that the Binky Fairy is a sure thing. The Internet is full of shit.

He liked the stuffy fine until he realized that he was meant to trade the binkies for it, and then he threw that poor triceratops overboard so fast he didn't even have time to croak, "I'll never let go Buster..." DAMN YOU THE INTERNET, this is the last time I'll let you lie to me!)

So yeah, weaning Buster off the bink is like listening a sea bandit crack his brain into a frying pan...

...

Until it's like listening to the belov'd baby Jesus Himself who has just received the news that the entire Paw Patrol is not only dead, but was never even alive in the first place. Yes, even Marshall.

Nooooooooooooooo

Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

I miss them soooo muuuuuuch

...

Until it's like listening to a surly teenager slash playwriting savant who you've just had to ground because his performance art piece at the school talent show was an exploration of the question, "If school is a whorehouse who is the whore?"

UUUUUUUGH

Daaaaaaaaad

This is duuuuuuuumb

Just listen to my ideeeeeaaaaaa

...

Until it's like listening to that literal meth pirate who has discovered a hidden last stash in his pirate shoe lining.

Have you ever had apple cider with marshmallows and apple slices and cinnamon 
and have you ever tasted hot cocoa 
it's pretty hot when you try to drink it 
if you drink it it might be hot, anyway, 
I need to find my fluffy blanket where's my fluffy blanket, 
NOT THAT ONE THE FLUFFY ONE
the one I need my truck is so sleepy and Daddy, 
oh Daddy, Daddy, Daddy, let's go to the library tomorrow and play Curious George 
or maybe we could go right now 
Daddy have you ever had marshmallow and cocoa and hot apple cider 
because they're very very VERY yummy 
but if you drink it it might be hot
and

...

Until he's quiet.

at first i was like
great gif
she looks so relieved

but the more i watched it
the more i was like
woah lucy
get it girl

okay listen

don't even try to be blushy and blustery
it's okay if lucy is having
a nice time here
she works hard
she deserves it
and nobody's head exploded right
right?

besides
ain't nobody buying that two twin beds business
we all know where little ricky came from
in case you forgot
he
loves
lucy


...

Until it's like listening to every child with big eyes and a whispery sing-song voice in every horror movie of all time.

Dad
Dad are you awake





they're heeeeeere



So yeah, not a lot of sleep in the forecast over here tonight. 

If you're laughing at this, I'm happy for you. I'm happy for you so much that I want to tell you to just yuk it up, yuckles. Yuk it up all the way to the storm drain.

Oh, and...

sweet dreams

yuckles

see you at 4 am



Follow KatyKatiKate on Facebook & Twitter

Get an email when I post something new

I don't make a dime
100% of proceeds go to RAINN
& Sisters of Color Ending Sexual Assault

This is my work
If you found this post valuable
please consider sharing it with your people
and supporting my work through Patreon 
or Paypal (katykatikate at gmail)
Hey girl!

It's Saturday night.

Pull up a chair and pour yourself a glass of whatever scratches your itch.

Me? I'm going full cliche and enjoying a crisp glass of Nine Hats pinot grigio. Why? Because fuck cliches, that shit is tasty.

It's been quite a week over here and I wanted to take a moment to breathe (well, drink), and reflect on some of the things I've learned since Next Level Rage Stroke: Harvey Fucking Weinstein went mini-viral.

I say mini-viral because apparently, you need 5 million views in this day and age, but again, fuck that. I wrote something that 1,410,000 people have read. It's not hemorrhagic fever-viral. But the post is definitely, like, rabies-viral.

So tonight let's keep it light, drink our tasty bevs, and read on for...

7 Things I Learned After Going Mini-Viral

1. #Yesallwomen are starving to speak and be heard. SERIOUSLY LISTEN TO US. At least 95% of the people who shared this post were just trying to find a volume at which our lady voices could actually fucking be heard.

2. No matter how many views my blog gets, when my kid shits his diaper, mama's gotta stop typing and take care of business. The day the post hit 700,000, I got a phone call from an old friend, congratulating me on the post. Here is a transcript of that conversation:

Me: Hey you!
Her: Hey hey, lady! Look at you!
Me: I know! I honestly can't belie-- CHICKEN WHAT IS IN YOUR MOUTH
Her: ...
Me: CHICKEN WHAT IS-- IS THAT-- okay it's a cracker.
Her: Everything okay?
Me: Oh yeah, you know, just a regular-- BUSTER IS THAT VASELINE ON YOUR HANDS
Buster, in the background: Yeah! It's smooth!
Me: I'm sorry I gotta go BUSTER DON'T GRAB THE CURTAINS--
(line goes dead)

Listen, life is life, and life with a 3-year-old and a 5-year-old is like playing a double ping-pong game where both of the players are literally trying to die and/or destroy everything you love over the course of the game.

3. Chad is everywhere. And let me remind you about the Chad. Chad is not Harvey. Chad is the nicest guy in the world. He's so nice that if you could shut up for one fucking second he would tell you about how much he listens to women.

Chad, if you're reading this, don't worry. We are definitely going to keep making fun of you, but we're glad you're here. Calling out your Chad stuff is our way of checking to see if you are for real.

This world churns out Chads. That's what the system is designed to do; like a crayon factory spits out wax wrapped in paper, USA spits out well-meaning Chads who walk all over the ladies.

And on another level, most of us were or are still Chad in some way. I am Chad, when it comes to race. I mean well, but fuck up and hurt people, because I'm white and I grew up in a world that loves my whiteness. I'm Chad when it comes to gender identity and sexual orientation. I'm Chad when it comes to disability. We all have our shit to learn.

Chad, the fact that you're Chad isn't a deal-breaker. If you STAY Chad, bail when we call you on your Chaddisms, turn into Harvey, or get all fragile on us, that's a deal-breaker. Stick around and keep listening. We see you when you do.


4. Harvey is also everywhere, usually hiding behind a thin veneer of Chad. I'll tell you what, all you have to do to find out who you're dealing with is establish some explicit boundaries and wait for the the first joker to call you a cunt.

I posted a message in the comments thread of the Next-Level Rage Stroke, basically saying, listen, if you mansplain, #notallmen, or are generally Chad here, I'll probably just delete your comment without responding, because this space belongs to me, and I don't owe you a platform for your bullshit.

10 seconds later the comment appeared: "You are a piece of shit cunt."

AND A GOOD DAY TO YOU SIR!

#deleted



A few minutes after that: "Why are you causing so much trouble?"

By talking about documented sexual assault? I guess I'm just asking for it.

#deleted



A few minutes after that: "If I had the chance to fuck you, I'd run so far in the opposite direction."

#metoo

#stopmakingyourdickaweapon

#itstoppedbeingcuteafterpottytraining

#deleted



Then THE SAME GUY, who apparently didn't realize that I too could play this game all fucking day, started clicking on random posts from several years ago, probably cackling with glee in a basement somewhere drinking a carton of warm milk, leaving foul little Easter eggs in the comments section of posts about trips to the zoo and sleep training.

BTW, I get an email every time someone comments on my blog.

So your comment, "I'm not mansplaining, you're chicksplaining," while hilarious, was in no way spycraft.

"chicksplaining"
#deleted
#butphotographedfirst


Chicksplain: 
verb
to use a woman's power of speech to write or say true things to men in a way that incites panic, terror, or inexplicable rage. 
See also: Talking (female). 
See also: Writing (female). 
See also: Occupying space (female).

5. I spelled ficas wrong. I spelled it with a u. You've found me out, trolls of Reddit. I'm a fraud. How could I possibly have anything true to say about the experience of being a woman if I'm such a brazen lying whore that I spell the names of plants with only 4 out of 5 correct letters? I'm sorry I wasted your time. I will never write again. Good-bye forever. Please impregnate me.

6. Lance Bass might tweet ABOUT you, but he won't tweet AT you. Girl, who do you think you are, Mariah Carey? Sit down and count your blessing.

7. It turns out, the money means something to me. It's not about the money, though. It's not about the dollar amounts that people pledged or gave. It's about the number of people who read my post, took the time to seek out my Patreon or Paypal accounts, and decided yes, that collection of foul language was worth a few of my hard-earned simoleans. (We are bringing back simoleans, people. Gird your loins. It's happening.)

Like most writers (and mothers), I've worked for free because I love the work and need to do it to feel like a complete person. I have always found value in writing. But now other people agree with me. And not just with their words. And it's a whole new world. I can't tell you how many times I cried, reading the notes you all sent with your Paypals, and the messages you sent with your pledges on Patreon.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Please remember that the reason these posts resonate with you is because of how much you fucking love yourself, and how hard you work to be heard every day.

You are great.

PLUS A BONUS, JUST BECAUSE IT'S YOU...

8. Holy shit, did you guys know Jamie Lee Curtis is married to Christopher Guest? I learned that this week and it made me love him even more than when he did the nut thing in Best in Show.

And because not every blog post ends in a BLAM, and some end in more of a "huh," I now present to you, that nut thing from Best in Show:

harlan pepper
if you don't stop naming nuts...


I swear to GOD, I like to write about other shit too. But dammit all to hell if the motherfucking hits just keep on rolling. 


Have you seen this





Scott Rosenberg's... apology? If we're calling it that?

Take a moment. Read it. Let it wash over you. Then take a shower and pour a scotch. I'll wait.

I know this is old news. 
I saw it the day it came out. 
I skimmed it. 
I rolled my eyes. 
I moved on. 
But I revisited it today, and you know what?

No.  Nope. No. 

Is this another next-level rage stroke? I wouldn't call it that. I'd say it's more of a cold-blooded, out-of-body verbal thrashing.

About this, Scott.

You just served me a plate of human shit and now you're standing here, waiting for me to eat it and say wow, thank you for shitting on my plate, Scott. I can tell you really worked to get this one out. This is a carefully crafted piece of writing that is designed to make us feel obligated to say good job, Scott. We forgive you, Scott. We understand, Scott! No, Scott. Bad job, Scott. Don't forgive you, Scott.

But oh, we understand, Scott.

I understand it was so fun to party with Harvey! FUN IS SO FUN! GLAD YOU HAD SO MUCH OF THE FUNNEST FUN, BRO! Your word painting of OG Miramax sounds exactly like the frat parties every girl at school knew not to attend. Which would be fine. Except women fucking worked there. They had to go get their paychecks there. They were there doing the SAME thing YOU were - chasing dreams, trying to win the lottery and get their moment in the sun. Instead they got their moment in the corner, and the next day they had to come right back, or get fired, or lose their shot. And as you said, you were right fucking there, Scott.

I understand that you are working overtime to make sure we all understand why turning the lights on at THIS PARTICULAR PARTY would have been, like, so lame. I understand that you assume we can all get behind the idea that your lameness would simply be totally fucking unacceptable.

I understand you wanted personal fame and success more than you cared about anything else, including whether you were making deals with the actual fucking devil. BTW, if your career cools here, I understand that North Korea has a booming film industry, as long as you don't care about whether your actors have been kidnapped. Doesn't seem like working alongside human beings trapped in coercive and abusive environments will bother you one teensy bit though, pumpkin, and the money is decent I hear, even if the portions are small. You might put a call in.

I understand that you called yourself pathetic in order to preempt accusations that your excuses are, in fact, pathetic. Good effort there, Scott, but no dice. Ready? Here we go. Your excuses - "what should I have done? Did you want me to call the pretend Attorney General of Hollywood? THERE WAS NO INTERNET THEN!" - are the most paltry, whining, pitiful garbage excuses I have ever heard in my life. What should you have done? ANYTHING. FUCKING ANY. THING. You could have asked a woman about it. "Hey, did anything happen last night? Are you okay?" You could have talked about it. "Listen, I know he holds all the cards here but don't go to Harvey's room alone." What could you have done? You could have given one single hamster pellet of a shit.

(Side note: You also could have refrained from cracking a snarky joke about how ABSURD it would have been for you to reach out to law enforcement, which is what you did when you invented a quippy and imaginary guardian of the law in your self-important overly-written "apology."

Sure, sure, my female friends told me that he was a predator and that he'd actually assaulted and harassed them. But what, was I supposed to call the... the... the Grand Vice Butt-Whumpus of Encino? I mean, come on. Don't be ridiculous, ladies. Calm down.)

I understand exactly what this fucking poem is about, Scott. It's about absolving yourself of own guilt for things YOU KNOW YOU DID in the past - but dang, they're in the past now, and are therefore "regrettable" but unchangeable, so shoot, shucks, if they happened again YOU WOULD DEFINITELY DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

I understand that you're like the guy who poured shots for the troops, hid in the basement while the battle raged, and once his side lost he turned his shirt inside out, ran onto the field, and said, "Oh no! Did I miss the battle? Shit. Next one. Next one."

I understand that you chose the self-flagellating language both as self-defense so nobody yells at you because you've already yelled at yourself, and also to communicate to us how deeply, beautifully, articulately fucking AWARE you are of how POETICALLY AWFUL YOU ARE. Your apology would mean more if I didn't get the sense that you wrote it while gazing contemplatively into the sea while wearing linen pants and refreshing TMZ every 10 seconds to find out exactly what everyone knows at this point. With a bourbon in a $275 glass. And sunglasses dark enough to demonstrate that you're staring into the abyss, should any photogs pop by. And as soon as you were done you started making notes for a new script called "The Sorry Man."

I understand when I'm watching a performance.

I understand that you have the fucking gall to describe your last conversation with Harvey as "... the condemned man simply wanting to comb some of the ruins of his old stomping grounds." No, Scott. HERE is where the slither meets the slime. Even now that you've heard everything that's been revealed about him, and you claim to have remorse and respect for all the women you list in this garbage monologue, you STILL have the nerve to paint him as some romantic Heathcliff meets The Old Man and the Sea, a "wistful" patriarch fallen from glory, lost in memories, craving a connection with you, his old friend, before he marches forth - with "melancholy" no less - to meet the fate that will surely have them weeping into their popcorn.

Fuck you, truly, deeply, and with all my heart. That conversation was the last flailing swipe of a desperate predator who knew the curtain was about to be yanked open and expose his decades of indefensible crimes, simply wanting to know who his friends were, whose silence he could still buy with the promise of a movie. He's not motherfucking Jean Valjean, Scott. He's the Master of the House, and you're one of the rats who swims in his current through the sewers.

I understand that you're hoping for a shout-out for pointing the finger at other guilty parties. Yeah, let's definitely get a slow clap started for Scott. You really put yourself on the line there when you exploded the Internet with mind-blowing confirmation of the top-secret news that Harvey partied with ACTORS (gasp!) and PRODUCERS (faint!) and ROCK STARS (surely not, no!). You might not have been listening when I said, earlier, that I understand when I'm watching a fucking performance. This is a performance of accusation. This is a guy in the room sweating under pressure, admitting that he saw someone... wearing... JEANS. Yeah, definitely jeans. Blue ones. Sure, you'll point the finger at the guy they've already collared, but you're not about to snitch on your boys. Not really. That would just be so unfair to them. That would definitely have consequences for them, and you.

I understand that there was never any fucking way you were going to do a goddamn thing that would cost you ANYTHING you wanted for yourself. Including your rep as a Class A Secret Keeper and Stooge. Is "Looks the other way" on your resume under Special Skills?

I understand that you had a microphone and an audience and enough social power to command an audience for DECADES, and said nothing. But now that the women have come forward (as if they hadn't come forward until now) (as if lawsuits hadn't been brought) (as if nobody ever said anything to the press), now that Harvey fucking Weinstein is no longer introducing you to Al Gore, you have no problem turning on him. You risked nothing, you scrap of a human. You sacrificed nothing.

I understand that you have done nothing for the women whose careers were hampered or ended, who were hurt and terrorized and violated. What's that? Oh, you wrote this... thing. I see.

I understand that this is your big fucking gesture of apology to the women whose lives were made smaller by this violent bully. To say you're sorry, you describe in lurid gleeful detail with no less than sixteen exclamation points how YOU benefited from the doors he opened for you, and how YOU enjoyed the power that he wielded on your behalf, and how IT WAS A BLAST. FOR YOU. What a comfort that must be for the women who wanted that same access, those same opportunities and experiences, and had to pay with their bodies for them. Oh, how they'll thank you for reminding them that you didn't have to choose between your safety and your success. GREAT APOLOGY SCOTT. IT WAS DEFINITELY NOT ALL ABOUT YOU.

I understand that you penned a patronizingly overwritten confession of what you saw HARVEY (and a bunch of other men whose names you won't mention because you're cool, bros before moral codes, right?) do, COINCIDENTALLY at the exact moment that it will cost you LITERALLY NOTHING. You waited, you cheap coward, until there was nothing you could lose. And then you stepped into the spotlight, stammered, "OH, I... I didn't even prepare anything..." and whipped out your scroll as the house orchestra shuffled around the sheet music you'd distributed in rehearsal.

I understand you were a "broke-ass kid from Boston" who suddenly had access to money, celebrity, luxurious comfort, and limitless personal power. I understand you've spent a lot of time and energy in the mental gymnastics studio, trying to put together the puzzle of Scott Rosenberg, super nice and humble guy with a good vocabulary and a medically baffling absence of spine, who lost his way, was seduced by a charismatic melancholy genius with a lurid sex habit, only to one day, much later, after everybody knew everything already, he finds redemption in the form of an internet letter retelling everything everybody already fucking knows, only with more line breaks.

The puzzle isn't matching up. It's because you're missing one piece. The biggest one. It's the one where you are still fucking up because you still care 100% about looking good and 0% about doing good.

Bad job, Scott.
Don't forgive you, Scott.
Do you understand?

Follow KatyKatiKate on Facebook & Twitter
Get an email when I post something new

I don't make a dime
100% of proceeds go to RAINN
& Sisters of Color Ending Sexual Assault

This is my work
If you found this post valuable
and want more like it
please consider sharing it with your people
and supporting my work through Patreon 
or Paypal (katykatikate at gmail)
Thank you so much for being here



I ask a bunch of men, "Have you ever interrupted a woman?"

Sure, they say.
But not just women.
I interrupt men, too. 
I interrupt everybody. 
That's not because they're women. 
It's just because I'm impatient/I want to win the debate/that's just how I talk. 
I really don't think it's a sexist thing I do. 
Yes, it's rude, but it's not sexist.
You don't know me.
I really do listen to women a lot.


(Katie pounds a seltzer water, crushes the can on her forehead)

ok
it's gonna be one of these now

I know you don't, like, hang out behind a chair, waiting for a woman to start talking, and then jump out, throw a blanket over her head, and bellow, "CHADDOM BOMB! No more girl sounds sportsball now."

I know you're not a cave man or a bridge troll. Or, maybe you are. But if you are, then this post isn't for you.

This post is for the men who like 
the women they are always interrupting.


I get it. I, too, am an impatient conversationalist. I, too, like to win the debate. And that's just how I, too, like to talk.  I prefer to conduct conversations at the rate of an Italian rapper with a chip on her shoulder.

I bet that if a hidden camera captured you with your boys, and me with my girls, you'd see us both doing a lot of the same things - chattering a mile a minute, finishing other people's sentences, cutting our friends off when we could see the direction they were going and wanted to keep them on our topic.

But if that same hidden camera captured you and me in a conversation, an average man and an average woman, colleagues, you would likely maintain the same conversational personality that you did with your boys, while I likely would not.

Why?

Watch as the screen wiggles and dissolves into...

dream sequence number 1

You're walking into a restaurant to grab lunch. You're the diner. I'm the server.

Server: Hi there, how are you today?
Diner: I'm pretty good, how are you?
Server: Great, thank you! Our special today is gnocchi--
Diner: I actually know what I want.
Server: Great! What can I get for y--
Diner: I'd like the chicken parm, side of cauliflower, and an iced tea.
Server: Great. And--
Diner: (at the same instant) And-- Oh.
Server: Oh. I'm sorry, you please go ahead.
Diner: And I have a call at 1:30, so I'll need to be out of here in about 30 minutes.
Server: That shouldn't be a problem at all. I'll be right back with your iced--
Diner: Thanks.


That conversation feels pretty normal, right? Everybody's doing what they do - the diner places a quick lunch order, the server takes it, somewhere a child is born, and the world keeps spinning right round, baby. Right round.

Now, when you think about the dining experience, whose experience is it, really? I'll give you a hint. Not the server's.



This experience exists to please the diner on his terms. Nobody sees anything wrong with that. This is a standard industry-wide expectation.

It starts when he sits down.
He calls the server and she comes to him.
He gets answers to all of his questions.
He gets exactly what he wants.
It ends when he is done.

The diner is accustomed to inhabiting all the time and space he wants. The diner feels entitled to that space, not because he's "serverist" or because he thinks that he, as a diner, is better than servers, but because that's what he always gets. That's what everybody getes! Them's the rules.

No diner walks into a restaurant thinking, "Gosh, I wonder how I can get what I want for lunch here today. I better really speak up for myself." Hell no! The diner's not anticipating how to WORK the restaurant to get food. He knows for sure, "I'm about to get everything I want. It's guaranteed. I'm the diner. I deserve this."

Then he walks into the restaurant, takes up all of the space in the experience, and does not see how much work the server does, invisibly, cheerfully, to shape herself around him, in whatever space is left over.

Has this diner ever THOUGHT about HOW to order chicken parm?

Uh, that's a hard no. Because even if he ordered chicken parm so wrong that he accidentally ordered chicken parm backwards in biblical Greek, he would get a puzzled look, a smile, and extra help from his server, whose job it is to make sure that he get exactly what he needs out of this interaction. And would he feel bad about needing 20 minutes of assistance to order lunch? No. Because he's the diner. He deserves this.

Now, has this server ever THOUGHT about HOW to take an order for chicken parm?

Yes. She thinks about it constantly. Because if she doesn't do it right, she will be punished for it. And if she can't help this person order his chicken parm while he's speaking backwards in a language last uttered when Christ himself walked the earth, she will be punished for it. And if anyone feels that she is displaying frustration or impatience while nostril-deep in a hot bubbling vat of frustration and impatience, she will be punished for it. Punished how? At least patronized, forced to apologize, or financially stiffed by the customer, and possibly reprimanded or disciplined by her manager.

Let's leave the restaurant for a moment.

Let's call this our smoke break.

Understand that when women talk to men, as when a server talks to a diner, there is a certain default dynamic that both parties have implicitly agreed to uphold, but that only one party is responsible for consciously managing and maintaining. Guess which party.


When you talk to a woman and interrupt her, 
that is not uncomfortable for you
That's an easy lunch order for you


You don't have to work to keep up with the conversation that you are driving. You don't see the mental gymnastics that your conversational "server" now has to engage in, if she wants to:

a) somehow find a way to say what she had started to say before you took a hard left
b) help you to feel satisfied with the outcome of the conversation
c) not get punished.

Now you might be thinking, hey, sometimes women interrupt me, too. And I don't punish them for it. I like strong women. Sure sure. Yes. I know you do.

I'm reminded of how sometimes I'll be working on a document on my computer and it will have 2 columns in it, and when the page fills the screen, the two columns are the same size, and I can see what they both say. But if I have to make that window smaller, to look at something else, as I begin to shrink the page, one column stays the same size, while the other one shrinks and shrinks and shrinks until I can't even see a word.

OK. Smoke break's over.

Let's head back into that restaurant and meet a strong woman:

dream sequence number 2

You're walking into a restaurant to grab lunch. You're the diner. I'm the server.

Server: Hi there, how are you today?
Diner: I'm pretty good, how are you?
Server: Great! Please excuse me for a moment. I'll be right back.

(a couple of minutes pass)

Server: Thank you for waiting! Do you have any dietary restrictions?
Diner: What? Uh, no--
Server: Perfect, you want the gnocchi with roasted brussels sprouts, they're delicious.
Diner: Oh, I actually want--
Server: No, really, it's the best thing on the menu. Perfect lunch portion, too.
Diner: I'd prefer--
Server: I'm sorry, would you please excuse me for a moment? Thank you!


HEYO!

What just happened? How do we feel about her? Do we like her?

i think
i think i hate her

Are we a little put off? Are we annoyed? Angry? Indignant, perhaps?

But why?

The server stepped outside of the implicitly agreed-upon boundaries of behavior for a server speaking to a diner, for a person of lesser power speaking to a person of more power.

And the diner, for his part, felt off-balance, maybe even scared, and almost certainly angry that his space, his choice, his ability to determine the direction and duration of the encounter, had all been shrunk down to server-size.

She wasn't rude. She was sunny and enthusiastic and knowledgeable.

She was also completely in charge of the space.



And that is not how shit usually goes down between diner and server.

Now the diner's lunch, his easy effortless experience, is ruined. Now he has to work to be heard. Now he has to reflect on what just happened, and on these new feelings of invisibility and dissatisfaction. All of these things feel an awful lot like UNFAIR.

Now he's suddenly also aware that he can't make her bring him chicken parm without kicking up one hell of a fuss, and hell, he just wanted an easy lunch.

Now he's asking himself, "Am I really going to die on this hill?"

Now he just eats the gnocchi. While seething.

It isn't bad. It is just as good as the chicken parm. It isn't what he wanted. But it wasn't worth a fight.

Now he's leaving with a tight, no eye-contact smile. Now he's telling his friends not to eat at that restaurant anymore. They ask if the food was bad. "It's not about the food," he says. "It's just not comfortable," he says.

Smoke break?

Smoke break.

You just experienced what a conversation with you is like, from the other side. Someone else took up all your space. And you had to shrink yourself to fit.

Some people have a lot of social power, whether that's because of your money or race or gender, or because you played a superhero in a movie, or all of the above, which we call "The Full Chris Package."

tis i
chris


You have social power. You're the diner.

And people who have power seem to have this idea that oppressors attack the oppressed. So as long as you're not jabbing the less fortunate with a pitchfork, you're not an oppressor. Whew. That's a relief.

But oppressors don't jab. They smother. They simply unfurl, expand into every inch they can find. They stretch out on top of people they don't really see. And most of the time they're miffed because the mattress is lumpy.

Your habit of interrupting women is comfortable for you, maybe even something you're proud of because it demonstrates your quick debate skills and healthy confidence.

But think of the conversation you build with another person as a meal you share. If you two ordered a pizza together, would you eat the entire thing? Would you snatch a slice out of her hand after she'd taken only a bite? Would you do that in front of the whole office? Would that make you proud of your quick pizza-snatching skills and healthy appetite?

How would you feel about her hunger?

How would you feel if she snatched your slice back? Don't worry, she probably wouldn't. As the diner asked himself whether he would die on this hill, whether his nice easy lunch was worth all that pain and conflict, so she asks herself if her own hunger is worth sating.

And she knows the words "abrasive," "shrill," and "sensitive" spread like mono at prom: faster than she can imagine, and once she's got them they'll be with her forever.

Smoke break's over. Let's head back inside. Last time.

dream sequence 3

You're walking into a restaurant to grab lunch. You're the diner. I'm the server.

...

Diner: And I have a call at 1:30, so I'll need to be out of here in about 30 minutes.
Server: That shouldn't be a problem at all. I'll be right back with your iced--
Diner: Thanks.

(You're not high, that part was the same as #1. Wait for it...)

Another man walks into the restaurant.

Diner: Mr. Johnson!
Johnson: Oh. Hello.
Diner: It's John. From marketing? I'm on the team with--
Johnson: Right, right.
Diner: I just wanted to say, I really enjoyed the TED talk you gave at--
Johnson: Thanks, John. I appreciate that. Listen, I'm going to have lunch.
Diner: Oh, great. Great. Yeah. Enjoy. The, uh, chicken parm is--
Johnson: Thank you. I'll see you.
Diner: Yes. Thank you. Enjoy your--

(Mr. Johnson is already walking away)


OH HO, what have we here?

A third player has entered our scenario! 

So now we have, at the bottom of the power pyramid, with the least freedom to grow but all the weight to carry, the server. Sitting right on top of her, enjoying the view from way up there, we have our interrupting diner. And now, the diner's boss, or maybe even his boss's boss, has just walked in, and slammed the roof of the pyramid down on top of interrupting diner. Ouch, he thinks. That was not a satisfying encounter. I didn't get a chance to say anything!

I don't have any insights to offer about male-on-male power dynamics.

The only reason we are back in this restaurant right now is to answer this one fucking question:

So you interrupt everybody, that's just how you talk, it doesn't matter who you're talking to, right? 

Do you interrupt your boss?

Do you interrupt a police officer?

Do you interrupt people that you understand are powerful? 

Do you interrupt people who have the power to disrupt your health or welfare?

You do not interrupt everyone. You interrupt everyone you can. 

It will be work to fold yourself in, even just a little bit, to make space for others. 

It will be uncomfortable. 

You will spend a lot of time thinking about how you are in conversations, while you are in those conversations. You will find yourself standing between two colleagues, looking kind of high and paranoid, as you're thinking, "Can I talk yet? Is it my turn? This sucks. I have things I need to say! I hate this."

I need you to understand that women think those exact thoughts every time they talk to you.

Every.

Time.

You'll be relieved to return to friends who don't ask you to make room. You'll be relieved to sink back down in that big open space you're used to, comfortable at last, even if this mattress is a little lumpy. 

But I need you to understand that your relief is another way you punish women. If you have to play in a smaller yard when you play at a girl's house, you're not going to want to hang out there. And when that yard is a promotion, a team at work, or a small business in your neighborhood that you avoid because going there reminds you that you need to make room for someone else,  you are punishing women for existing. You are editing them out of your life. For your comfort.

I need you to understand that your comfort, in conversations with women, is a red flag right now. Your comfort is a sign that you need to check and see if you're ON ME. (You are.)

As soon as you get comfortable, I want you to think about that pizza you two ordered together.

Are you eating all the pizza? 
Has everyone gotten a slice?

Yes, you can love women and hurt them.

Your personal affection for women exists alongside your unconscious domination of women in the same way that you can have both nostalgia for the movie Babe and a bottomless hunger for bacon.

You, interrupter, are a 30-foot-wall that surrounds me in conversation. Every time I take a step, there you are, in my way. And while I'm staring at the wall that will cost me blood to break through, I say, "It's so cramped in here, I want to scream," and you look out at the enormous field you sit in and think, "Look how much space there is! I don't know what her problem is."

Walls don't know they're walls, is what I'm saying. They don't live inside themselves. 

Oppressive systems of power are largely invisible to the oppressors. They're supposed to be. 

So it doesn't matter if you're not personally trying to shut down women's voices on purpose. What you need to understand is that when you are in a conversation with a woman, you both carry on your shoulders the weight of history - personal history, cultural history, the history of women not getting their own damn credit cards until 1974. The history that tells you that women won the right to vote in 1920 and conveniently forgets to remind you both that suffragists met outrage, panic, and violence in the majority of their male contemporaries, and that it was ONLY WHITE women who got the vote in 1920. Asian women and Native Americans got to vote for the first time in 1952. Black women could vote in 1965.

History DOES try to shut down women's voices. On purpose. About everything. And you know what they say: the past is present.

I don't have any further insights on your personal relationships with women. But that's not really the point, so don't make this about your strong mother or kickass wife. Make it about you.

If you interrupt women and you're fine with it because you also interrupt men, then I need you to sit and think for a long while about what you care about, and who you care about, and who you care about being, and who you care about raising. And then I need you to answer this one fucking question:

So you interrupt everybody you can, that's just how you talk to people who you know can't hurt you, right?

Do you understand that you can change?





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this
is officially
the worst club
ever
you don't even want to know
what you have to do to get in

fill out a form?
no chad

interview?
no--
no but like a long interview?
no chad

Women (and more than a few men) all over the internet are confessing the fact that they've survived sexual harassment and abuse. Some of them detail instances of assault from strangers, friends, teachers, and relatives. Some simply say "me too."

I said, "me too."

At one point, my whole Facebook feed was "me too."

Many of us chose to type in all lower-case letters.  I can't help but hear it as a whisper. From strangers, friends, teachers, and relatives. We whispered our confessions into a vast, chattering space where we hoped with equal strength that it would be heard, and that it would never be heard.

I cannot help but think that it is always the women who confess.

I cannot help but wonder: what is the magic number of #metoo shares that will unlock empathy in the people who most need to grow it? 1,000? 10,000?

If 9,999 of us hold our breath and type "me too," will we fail to matter?

#metoo is moving, but it also feels like we're only dealing with half of the issue.

It is not my job to confess my own assault in order to beg for mercy.

It is not any woman's job to prove that she understands what sexual assault is, or that she's noticed it's a problem.

My issue with #metoo isn't the chance it gives survivors to reclaim their own story - that is worth celebrating.

My issue is that #metoo reconfirms #yesallwomen, when it should be hammering home #yesallmen.


LONG SIDE NOTE RE: NOTALLMEN

PLEASE TAKE NOTE, SIRS.

I can say with supreme confidence that you have nothing new to teach me about "not all men." Just don't, Chad. Stuff a KFC biscuit in your mouth until the urge to explain shit to me has passed.

For anyone still confused as to why women make such SWEEPING OFFENSIVE HYSTERICAL generalizations about the dangerousness of men, let me give you a manly metaphor:

Imagine you are a marine biologist.

You are Dr. Chad.

Your job is to give great white sharks check-ups. Every day when you go to work, you put on your work wet suit, and you dive into the water. You are keenly aware that while you have an education, training, and experience, you are also swimming in the water with animals that are larger, stronger, faster, and hungry for you.

Now let me ask you, Dr. Chad. When you dip into that murky water, and you feel the little knot in your stomach as you catch a glimpse of muscled flesh and teeth in the depths, are you going to be thinking, "I'm just going to give him a chance. He could be nice!"

but i'm a nice guy

Or are you going to be thinking, "I have worked with sharks for years. I know that sometimes they bite you and sometimes they don't. But I also know that anything could happen here. I'm outweighed, outmuscled, and if that shark comes for me I am a goner. And I'm not willing to risk getting bitten or fucking devoured for the sake of maintaining, what, my sunny fucking personality? Or the fucking predator's feelings?"

That's why #notallmen. Because I don't know your ass from a great white shark, and every woman you know has scars. Me too.

END LONG SIDE NOTE


So where do I come down on #metoo?

I applaud the way it encourages women to refuse to be shamed.

But the problem was never lack of awareness. Who here was not sure whether rape culture exists? Anyone? Anyone kind of back-and-forth on whether women who are brave enough to speak up will be blamed for their own assaults? Anyone pretty much comme-ci, comme-ca when it comes to whether street harassment is scary and humiliating? Anyone?

The problem with the goal of raising widespread awareness is that the people who care most about raising awareness are already PAINFULLY AWARE.

Women's awareness is not a problem. Yet we're the ones stepping up to prove it.

That's like saying the problem with animal testing is that animals aren't aware they're being tested on. THEY GET IT. WE GET IT. WE KNOW WHAT HAPPENS OUT THERE. You're the ones holding the instruments of pain and power and chatting about the game while we wait for you to do whatever it is you're going to do to us today.

We're missing a key ingredient in this glorious dish of rape culture redemption. It's like we got our Denny's breakfast scramble, and we've got the eggs - a shit ton of eggs in fact - but... where's that sausage?

Yes, the problem is male awareness. Not male awareness of the way the media treats pop stars.

But the lack of daily, personal, male awareness. If you want to raise awareness of sexual harassment, and you understand that if the avalanche of "me too" posts is any indicator, women are FULLY INFORMED that rape culture is a gauntlet of weiners that they'll have to navigate the rest of their lives, then that leaves only one group whose awareness needs raising.

Men, it's time to saddle up. Thank you for your support, and for your efforts to listen more and believe us. But it's not enough.

To paraphrase the incomparable, brilliant Ijeoma Oluo, who said of white people attempting to whitesplain anti-racism to her, a phenomenal writer and woman of color, I don't need you to understand me better, I need you to understand yourself better.

(You have to click that link, it's 1,000 times better than anything I have ever written.)

I'd like to see men begin to acknowledge out loud when they've done something shitty to a woman. No shit is too small to call out.

I'd like to see a hashtag for men begin the rounds. I vote for #IAmAllMen, but I'm open to suggestions.

For example! The Chad I met on a recent flight could write,

I am a businessman who travels often. I was sitting on an airplane next to Katie. The airplane was taxiing to takeoff and I reached over and stroked her ponytail without her permission. Then I asked her if it was her neck pillow. I would never do that to a man. I have no idea what I would do if a man did that to me. She was trapped in an airtight box with me for a flight from Seattle to Nashville, and I reached out and touched her body intimately. That flight must have been really uncomfortable for her. I just thought she had nice hair. It never occurred to me that I couldn't touch her. #IAmAllMen

I'd like to see men share the burden of confession when it comes to offenses committed by themselves, as men. I'm not even asking them to take total fucking responsibility. We'll call that our "stretch goal."

Tonight, we are just asking for a little.

Who's with us?



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