Serendipity

Was I born a masochist or did society make me this way? I demand unconditional love and complete freedom. That is why I am terrible.

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I told her ‘darling it gets better’ but she didn’t believe me. I wouldn’t have believed it either. But it did. One morning I woke up and the world wasn’t dreary. One day I got out of bed and I didn’t think about calling him, or wanting to hear his voice. I didn’t miss him anymore, not the way I used to.

Time does not heal all wounds, but it does make the pain easier to swallow. I wanted her to believe me, she needed to hear the truth. She needed to know that one day she’d wake up to a mouth waiting to kiss her good morning, from a man who has been missing her while she was sleeping. There will be days when she misses the peace and quiet, but watching her children grow will make these mistakes feel like nothing. I wish I could tell her that the pain is only temporary, but if she didn’t stop destroying what he left over she won’t have a heart left to give to the next one.

It’s about control, because it’s the only thing she has left, because he left holes in her heart and she’s still bleeding, I can see it. So she hides behind bottles and pills till she’s so numb it almost feels better, almost. She makes herself violently sick till all that’s left is skin and bone and the tall boy masquerading as a man in his cheap suit tells her she looks amazing because he’s too busy kissing her collarbones to see that she’s rotting on the inside. But then he leaves in the morning, they all do, and she wakes up to more blood on the sheets and wonders how she’s even still breathing.

Darling, when will you learn to say no? If he doesn’t love you now he won’t learn to love you when you’re 20 pounds lighter. Don’t fall for all that self improvement bullshit, you’re perfect the way that you are. If he doesn’t love you then throw the flowers out and slam the door in his face, don’t give him a chance to explain why he’s selfish. You keep thinking that this pain is just what lovers go through, but I’m here to tell you that love is never supposed to feel this way. If he doesn’t love you then he’s going to hurt you, just like he promised, but you’re stronger than this, so get up and walk away. Don’t waste your faith on a liar’s breath, don’t let me watch you waste away.

If he doesn’t love you, someone else will. I promise.

The Superiority Of Patriarchy

(Disclaimer: Please don’t take this too seriously, this is not a serious argument against feminism. It’s just funny.)

Quite a few years ago, I had the pleasure of watching the Dutch version of Survivor with my feminist roommate. That particular season would have two islands, one populated by men and one populated by women. My roommate had been promoting that particular series to me and the other students in the house for weeks because it would show us, according to her, what a society run by women – free from the evils of patriarchy – would be like.

And it did. Oh it did.

Here is what happened: initially both groups were dropped on their respective islands, given some supplies to get started and left to fend for themselves. In both groups there was some initial squabbling as people tried to figure out a local hierarchy. The men pretty much did whatever they felt was necessary – there was no leader giving orders. Men who felt like hunting, foraging or fishing did so. Another guy decided he was fed up with sitting on sand and started making benches. Others built a hut that gradually grew and evolved. Another guy cooked every night. Within days a neat little civilization was thriving, each day being slightly more prosperous than the previous one.

The women settled into a routine as well. The hung up a clothesline to dry their towels, then proceeded to sunbathe and squabble. Because unlike men, women were unable to do anything without consensus of the whole group. And because it was a group of at least a dozen women, consensus was never reached. During the next few episodes, the women ate all their initial supplies, got drenched by tropical storms several times, were eaten alive by sand fleas and were generally miserable. The men on the other hand, were quite content. There were disagreements of course, but they were generally resolved.

Eventually, the people running the program decided something had to change. In order to help the women out, three men would be selected to go to their island. In return, three women would take their place at the men’s island. The look on my feminist roommates face during this episode was priceless.

Initially, the three men selected for the women’s island were ecstatic, for obvious reason. But then they arrived at the island and were greeted by the women.

‘Where is your hut?’, they asked.

‘We have no hut’.

‘Where are your supplies?’ they asked, dismayed.

‘We ate all the rice’.

And so on. The three men ended up working like dogs, using all the skills developed by trial and error in their first few weeks – building a hut, fish, trying to get the women to forage. The women continued to bitch and sunbathe. The three women who were sent to the men’s island were delighted – food, shelter and plenty of male attention was freely available. They too continued to sunbathe.

And that my friends, is what patriarchy is. My former roommate, unsurprisingly, is no longer a feminist.

Now this might all be a fluke, a white raven, an exceptional case not representative of society as whole. But that particular season of Dutch Survivor is not unique. CBS broadcast several Survivor seasons in the US, where men and women started off in separate groups. In most cases, the result was the same. The men quickly got their act together, getting access to food, fire and shelter while the women spent a lot of time and energy on petty little squabbles, eating their meager supplies, getting drenched in storms and generally being pathetic. The opposite situation, where men didn’t get their act together while women quickly built a functional micro society, has not yet been observed outside of feminist fiction, and it probably never will.

Original Article

 

The Big Lie of a “Rape Culture” by Wendy McElroy

April is Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, and it will be used to promote a big lie — namely, that we live in a “rape culture.”

The term “rape culture” was coined by politically correct (PC) feminists in the 1970s. It refers to attitudes, beliefs, and values that allegedly normalize sexual violence against women and encourage the act of rape by men. America is called a “rape culture” because sexual violence is deemed to be so pervasive that all women live in constant danger from all men. The violence or threat of it occurs on a continuum running from sexual glances to physical rape. The fact that so many people are unaware of the rape culture surrounding them only points to its omnipresence; that is, the rape culture is supposed to be as common as air and taken as much for granted.

The solution proposed by PC feminists is to change the fundamentals of society, especially with regard to gender, sexuality, and power. Institutions such as law, religion, and the educational system must be deconstructed and reconstructed in order to remove the alleged danger and discrimination that is inherent in being a woman today. Of course, this deconstruction and reconstruction requires extensive action by the state. For instance, PC feminists are trying to use the dubious legal doctrine of “affirmative consent” to increase the regulation of sex on post-secondary campuses.

The idea that America is a rape culture is a particularly vicious big lie, because it brands all men as rapists or rape facilitators. This lie has been successful despite reality. The rate of actual rape is declining. The crime is severely punished, and even an accusation can ruin lives; men who rape are reviled; the social messages on rape delivered regularly to young men are the opposite of encouragement.

Nevertheless, in January 2014, the White House Council on Women and Girls issued a report that stated, “1 in 5 women has been sexually assaulted while in college” (PDF). A key reason for this amazingly high statistic is that the report significantly expands the definition of rape, and it counts every accusation as true. Since then, the “1 in 5” statistic has gained legs in the media and been used as proof that we live in a rape culture. (For a debunking of the White House report, please see The Future of Freedom Foundation article “Making Men Rapists.”)

How do big lies like this one become politically powerful forces?

Finally, a good reason to use Hitler in a discussion

The concept of a “big lie” as a propaganda tool is often traced back to Adolf Hitler and his book Mein Kampf (1925). In its pages, he accused Jews and Marxists of shifting responsibility for the loss of World War I onto the shoulders of a particular German Army officer. Hitler wrote,

[I]n the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily.… [T]hey more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation. For the grossly impudent lie always leaves traces behind it, even after it has been nailed down, a fact which is known to all expert liars in this world and to all who conspire together in the art of lying.

Here are some of the components that build a successful big lie:

  • The lie must be “grossly impudent” and “colossal” — for example, the lie that men and women are not human beings who share the same political interests, such as freedom of speech, but are separate classes with separate and antagonistic political interests.
  • The lie must be frequently repeated, because some people believe whatever they hear often enough or from enough people. For example, PC feminists who endorse the idea of a “rape culture” also interpret everything in society through its lens, from casual glances to the prospect of a nuclear winter. It is the constant explanation.
  • It should make the average person ask, “Who would lie about that?” It is assumed that women would not lie about rape, and that feminists would not commit the intellectual crime of a mass fabrication about women. After all, aren’t they for women?
  • A big lie must be maintained by the state. For example, tax-funded campuses become places where ideas are stifled rather than explored. In classrooms, only “correct” discussions occur, and they do so only by using “correct” words.
  • A big lie must impact “the deeper strata” of people’s “emotional nature.” Few images elicit as much emotion as that of women being savagely raped. That’s why “they are coming to rape our women!” has been a popular rallying cry to rouse men into battle.
  • It must be something many people wish to believe. The gender war has broadened and deepened since the ‘70s. There is a palpable anger within PC feminism and within many women who feel oppressed, whether or not they really are. The “rape culture” myth appeals to that anger.
  • A big lie is best expressed in a tone of moral outrage and in the name of a noble goal. Both aspects discourage casual critics and allow the liars to vilify any critic who dares to proceed. The rape-culture myth is advanced in the name of protecting women, and anyone who questions it is said to be defending rapists.

A sea change on “rape culture”?

A fascinating phenomenon is occurring. There has been significant blowback to the White House report and to PC activists who suggest lowering the standards of evidence and legal procedures by which, for instance, campus hearings find male students guilty of rape. A remarkable flood of articles have criticized the “rape culture” campaign, and they have done so in prominent venues. One example: Caroline Kitchens has published an article entitled “It’s Time to End ‘Rape CultureHysteria in Time magazineKitchens points to an even more surprising example of blowback. 

The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) is America’s largest anti-sexual-violence organization. In a letter of February 28 addressed to the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault, RAINN rejected the idea of America as a “rape culture” (PDF). The letter stated, “Rape is caused not by cultural factors but by the conscious decisions, of a small percentage of the community, to commit a violent crime. While that may seem an obvious point, it has tended to get lost in recent debates.” As a result, the letter continued, the dialogue on rape has tended to focus “on particular segments of the student population (e.g., athletes) … or traits that are common in many millions of law-abiding Americans (e.g., ‘masculinity’), rather than on the subpopulation at fault: those who choose to commit rape.”

The letter argued powerfully that focusing on the “rape culture” makes “it harder to stop sexual violence, since it removes the focus from the individual at fault, and seemingly mitigates personal responsibility for his or her own actions.”

April is Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month. Outcry against the “rape culture” will almost certainly be a core part of the rhetoric and reporting. As a woman who has experienced genuine sexual violence, I ask one thing of the awareness month and the people promoting it. Tell the truth. Tell the truth to women and tell it about men. Those who use the big lie of “rape culture” to promote their politics have more in common with rapists than they know; both use the pain and fear of women to their own advantage.

“I can get my head turned by a good-looking guy as much as the next girl. But sexy doesn’t impress me. Smart impresses me, strength of character impresses me. But most of all, I am impressed by kindness. Kindness, I think, comes from learning hard lessons well, from falling and picking yourself up. It comes from surviving failure and loss. It implies an understanding of the human condition, forgives its many flaws and quirks. When I see that in someone, it fills me with admiration.”

Lisa Unger, Beautiful Lies

 

An older friend once told me, “I know you want a pretty boy right now, but when you get older you’ll find that his looks aren’t important. Find a man who will hold the door open for you. Find a man who is good to his family. Find a man who respects his mother. Do not fall in love with a man from a broken home. He will not know how to build one with you.”

I met him because of his wicked sense of humour, and he can make me laugh even when I feel like crying. He’s intelligent but not arrogant, and he exudes the kind of quiet confidence that takes years to perfect. He does not think that I am broken, or indulge me in my flaws, but he understands and accepts me for who I am. If this isn’t love, I don’t know what is.

P.S. He is actually very pretty too. I got lucky.

Letter to a cheating ex

I gave you everything, you know this.  My heart, my soul, I went all in. I planned my life around you, and that was my fault, I know. I should never have let that happen.

I should never have trusted you. I should never have believed a single word when you were so reluctant to say I love you. I should have read the signs. I should have held my tongue. I should have left when I had the chance to walk out with my head held high, I should not have let you beat me to the floor. I should not have crawled on all fours, begging for the broken pieces of my heart.

I should never for a second have let you think that it was okay to treat another human being the way that you treated me. And I wish the first girl that you cheated on had the good sense to tear you apart, your dirty heart. I wish she hadn’t turned off the lights and cried in the dark, I wish you saw the mascara run down her face and watched her bleed, her anger raw.

I wish that girl had nipped it in the bud, your rotten heart. Your liar’s mouth, your faithless promises, your clever tricks. I wish that girl had broken your spirit the way you tore down mine, ruthlessly, as lovers do. You do it best.

I wish I had been a woman enough, to say enough was enough.

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One day you will fall for the right man, and when he touches you it won’t feel like your world is being shattered, and his fingerprints won’t leave bruises like your old flames. You won’t have to count his promises or compare them to regrets, and the way he explores your body will erase your scars. He will leave daisies on your skin with his mouth, and make you smile even when your insides are aching. He will follow you into the darkest corners in your world of sin, and see you for who you truly are. He will bring you joy with his kindness and even when you are alone you’ll no longer feel lonely. And it will feel like someone has reached through your ribcage and found the last piece of your heart that you’d forgotten, and he will make it grow; he will rinse it with his love. 

Individualism as a Remedy for Feminism

The dichotomy put forth by feminists can hardly be considered intellectually rigorous or value-free. There is little need to state the obvious; male disadvantages and injustices as well as female privileges and aggressions do also exist. Feminism is an ideologically biased, emotionally fuelled, preconceived narrative, and must come to face the reality of ever-mounting opposing evidence.

In rhetoric, feminists often claim to “speak on behalf of” women and the marginalised (which is quite presumptuous in itself). Yet their sympathy only extends to what falls neatly into their narrative, and injustices that fall outside of their margins are blatantly ignored. Any reminder that, for example, males can also be victims of violence or discrimination, will usually be met with a dismissive and often offended tone, as the feminist begins to lecture on how much more oppressed the non-male population is.

Such behaviour is not only unbecoming and inconsiderate, but it also breeds a worrisome culture of victimisation (far from instilling empowerment), where discourse often devolves into status seeking (as opposed to substantive argumentation), resulting in a “more oppressed than thou” pecking order where the proclaimed “least privileged” enjoy the consolation prize of having the highest valued social currency of the group.

We’ve seen this often enough in other “progressive” settings. Anyone who may think of this as exaggerating need only examine the derailment of the Occupy movement. In the beginning, Occupy started as a group with understandable grievances against a concerning trend of political corruption. Later, however, it devolved (not solely for this reason, of course) into a movement more preoccupied with identity politics and giving precedence to those considered “the most marginalised” at the expense of everyone else who were seen as relatively “more privileged”.

Those who are genuinely concerned with injustices committed against humanity would be better off shedding divisive labels like feminism, and opt for a more concise and less polarising term to identify their views. When I stopped calling myself a feminist I did not stop believing in women’s rights. I am merely dissociating myself from the extremists who draw the most attention and drown out reasonable voices. Through the inclusive, non-presuming lens of individualism, advocates of dignity for all human beings need not resort to treating men hostilely as criminals until proven innocent nor gloss over the institutional advantages given to women. We also need not remain constrained to question begging narratives regardless of opposing evidence. Contrary to the holistic and unrefined social analysis of feminism, methodological individualism allows us to demystify men and women in a nonjudgmental manner in order to realise that legitimate concerns are to be had on both sides and that neither side is inherently at fault.

Perhaps most importantly, we need not objectify both men and women by confining them into the archetypes of “oppressor and oppressed” or “aggressor and victim.” This is simply because we’ve all been born into unique circumstances and enjoy certain unearned advantages over others. If nothing else, we are all equal in our individuality.

Acknowledging this is the first step toward not only recognising our own privileges (yes, even if you consider yourself the “most marginalised,”) but finding common ground with others who we may have considered to be “unfairly advantaged” in ways we found envious or contemptuous. Reality is indeed more complex than most of us would like to believe. Admitting that the “us versus them” mentality does no one any good, and can only hold society back as a whole, is a crucial step toward striving for not only intellectual honesty and credibility, but also a sense of personal contentment, as well as peace with those around us whom we were used to constantly comparing ourselves to and envying their perceived privileges.

The basic acknowledgement that men and women are different right down to the biological level should be noncontroversial and evident to us all at this point. Yet the logical implications of this is where feminists take issue and feel obligated into taking dogmatic stances, which can be inconsistent with modern science (especially evolutionary biology, cognitive science, economics, and cultural anthropology), as well as risk sounding hypocritical (supporting discriminatory quotas and coercive regulations in the name of “equality” and “fairness”).

Given the continually piling scientific evidence, there does not seem to be much (if any) empirical grounds to simply assume that all outcomes in social and economic life ought to somehow result in either equality, or the fulfilment of arbitrary, ideological quotas. If feminists truly want to empower women, they must start by supporting freedom of choice for employers to hire the best applicants they see fit for the position. Any compulsory public policies, no matter how well intentioned, will only result in an increase in resentment (and thus added conflict) toward that preferred group and the suspicion that they may not be qualified for the job based solely off of their own merit, even if that wasn’t true (or the quotas would not have been necessary to begin with).

What we must advocate, then, is an increase in overall individual freedom so that the truly qualified of all genders, races, etc. may flourish and thus everyone as a whole may benefit from having the most qualified people serve the needs of society. Making excuses and demanding entitlements signals to the world that you are not fit for positions which require exceptional resilience and thick skin in the face of potential uncertainty and adversity.

This is particularly true for roles considered to be positions of leadership, such as the CEO of a corporation. Feminists do women a disservice when they demand that more women ought to be given leadership positions. As any established leader will tell you, neither credibility nor respect is ever simply handed to you (and for good reason). Instead, one must earn a high reputation amongst their peers by outperforming their contemporaries and proving their superior skill, knowledge, resolution, and so on.

There are certain jobs which do in fact fit one gender better over another. That is not to say that only this particular gender is fit for the job, but simply an acknowledgement that they tend to be better suited, mentally or physically, for the tasks required. Thus, when these differences manifest themselves into reality, we must not make baseless assumptions which jump immediately to the conclusion of sexism just because the reality of an academic field or an industry does not conform to an idealised bias for “equality” (or a specific quota) and may even naturally trend toward the “overrepresentation” (in the descriptive, non-normative sense) of a particular gender.

For example, it should not be a mystery as to why men throughout the majority of human history have made better soldiers. It is not merely due to their physical strengths, but the common sense realization that, in early human societies where survival was at a premium, humans could ill afford to send their women off to potentially die knowing they were crucial to reproducing the next generation of protectors, workers, and future mothers.

Men, on the other hand, have been historically considered to be disposable (at least relatively speaking). If one man dies, the rate of new births need not change too much since one man can reproduce with more than one woman if need be. But if one woman dies, it could be a potentially devastating blow to a small society’s survival or, at the very least, a substantial setback. Thus, women were in fact the higher valued gender throughout human history, for it was their supply which determined the difference between social advancement, subsistence, or possible endangerment.

When it comes to more modern occupations, we must embrace the general principle of personal liberty and freedom of choice over “equality at all costs.” After all, why pressure young girls into becoming engineers or CEOs if they would like to do something else? These are not objectively superior jobs which they ought to strive for and often come with a level of stress and responsibility that most people in general do not prefer.

The types of work feminists usually try to push on young girls are often male dominated, but more notably, they tend to be jobs that society usually considers venerable, coming with high social status and above average pay and benefits. There are many male dominated lines of work that we rarely (if ever) see feminists encouraging girls to join when they enter the workforce. Some examples of these jobs include garbage collection, construction, mining, ditch digging, sewer maintenance, perhaps by now you get the point. Is it unfair to question the sincerity of feminist equality given these many inconsistencies?

Some feminists concede that quota based equality is impractical or unrealistic and that they merely support equality of opportunity instead. They may pay lip service to supporting equal opportunity in theory as well as women’s choice in general, yet when women’s choices do not conform to their own egalitarian constructs, and equal opportunity does not appear to be enough, they conclude that the choice was not only invalid, but that it must have been based off of false “patriarchal” pretences or some other unfalsifiable exercise in value projection, and not their own values.

This is not only condescending, but it further objectifies women and assumes they’re not individuals capable of making their own choices (as well as being responsible for the outcome) independently of feminists who have the presumed authority to “speak on their behalf.” It also shows a streak of elitism and assumes feminists know what is objectively in the best interest of an individual just because they happen to be female. Can any reasonable adult truly claim to know what’s in the best interest of any young person whom they don’t even personally know?

It should not be assumed that there are too few women in S.T.E.M. fields, politics, the financial sector, etc. and that they ought to be nudged into these areas if many would prefer to choose careers in liberal arts, teaching, homemaking, or some other “traditionally female” career. They should not be pressured into jobs they may not be best mentally or physically suited for (or even like) simply because feminists want to spite “the Patriarchy” and make a grand statement that women can achieve the same accomplishments as men.

Women are not chess pieces to be used to give credence to political agendas. Nor should men be used by scare tacticians as scapegoats and boogeymen for any and every social ill that exists in the world today. If a girl has no interest in careers traditionally “underrepresented” by women, then it should not be assumed that she simply hasn’t been “pushed hard enough in the right direction.” Nor should she be shamed for choosing a less prestigious career path and not “aspiring” to the expectations that feminists have set for her.

If this essay accomplishes anything, hopefully it opens some minds and helps show that this insecurity and polarisation need not exist. Far from being conflicting classes pitted against each other, men and women are natural compliments to one another. Feminism indulges in ideological narratives, emotional thinking, and invents social conflict when individuals try to argue with common sense and scientific knowledge. We should embrace individualism, and discard the harmful sophistry of a lost cause. 

An open letter to all the angry feminists,

Last week I submitted my revised “Why Feminism is Hurting Women” article to my university’s student magazine. People got very offended, especially this hipster who gets all his news from The Daily Show.

I have written a response, but the editor of the magazine is reluctant to publish it because of all the hate mail the last article garnered. But I worked pretty hard on it, so I thought I’d at least share it here and see what you guys think.

First and foremost, I agree with the principles of women’s rights, that women should be treated fairly, equal to men both socially and politically. I really thought I made that clear. It’s my opinion that we’ve achieved this (and more) within most parts of the western world. Women can vote, access higher education, work within most fields, and hold positions of political influence. Open expressions of sexism, discrimination, sexual harassment and violence against women are no longer accepted by this society, and there are laws to punish offenders. Anti-feminist =/= anti-woman.

Feminism promotes the rights of women over those of men. It endorses misandry, blames men for the failings of individual women, and thrives through instilling a victim complex within women to further its agenda. I see feminism as damaging to both women and men, their relationships, social cohesion, and the very structure our civilisation was founded upon.

People often confuse the concept of women’s rights with feminism. The feminist ideology is nonsense, and operates on the premise that the sexes are identical, thus interchangeable and in perpetual competition. I am merely pointing out that men and women are different, designed to compliment one another through our differing roles, responsibilities and strengths.

Feminists believe that western patriarchal structure is inherently abusive, implemented for the purpose of ‘keeping women down’, when in reality, it is the natural societal outcome of a species with a high level of sexual dimorphism.

Modern western women are some of the most pampered and privileged humans on the planet, and have no idea what real oppression feels like. Western men want to defend us so much that the idea of 600 words of hard truth hurting the feelings of the female population of New Zealand was enough to make some feel “physically ill”.

I am not downplaying the female contribution to society. Women are invaluable to many industries. Teaching and nursing are two examples of traditionally female vocations. Guess what, these fields are still statistically dominated by women! So much for cultural conditioning! There is simply no need to impose what comes naturally and effortlessly.

Feminists will tell you that you must lead a highly successful career, defined by ‘making it’ to the top of the corporate chain in order to be ‘empowered’ and ‘liberated’. A traditional family set up with a sex-based division of labour and responsibility is what comes naturally and more easily to most people. Obviously a small number of women are more suited to traditionally male occupations, and they should be free to follow this path if that’s where their talents lie. This shouldn’t have to be mandated by government policy.

Feminists love to brandish false statistics. The ‘wage gap’ is largely a myth, and some simple research would enlighten you if you bothered to fact check your arguments (which feminists never do). I never said that employment discrimination against women should be encouraged, or that it’s ethical. I am simply pointing out that it exists. Take a management paper and you will know this, it’s nothing new. Inequality is a part of life. Employers are averse to paying an employee for not being present at work. Maternity leave, from a financial point of view, is a cause of distress to most employers, especially in today’s economy. Feminists’ inability to face reality is offensive to me.

None of us are identical in ability or potential. Feminists like to passively whine about the injustices of life, and wait for others to intervene on their behalf. Overcoming and bettering oneself is the path to true empowerment. Demanding that the field be levelled for your own benefit is completely unfair to everyone involved.

Feminists take the problems and complaints of individual women and turn them into ‘women’s issues’. They want to ‘teach men not to rape’, and are ignorant of the fact that rape is caused not by cultural factors, but by the conscious decisions of a small percentage of the community to commit a violent crime. I don’t want to ‘teach men not to rape’, I shouldn’t have to. My rapist didn’t do it because society told him it was right. I want rapists to be punished and held accountable for their crimes. Feminists blame society for the minority of men who commit acts of violence against women, when it is society that makes men civil in the first place.

My article was never derogatory towards females, and was intended for the eyes of an audience with an open mind to the plight, the experiences and observations of others. Those whom were well-read with a good level of reading comprehension were able to understand. I did not expect unanimous agreement with the article, and in fact enjoy the thought-provoking nature of a well-informed debate. I only request that if you wish to refute my arguments, please form the basis of your rebuttal around what I have actually said, rather than the words you put in my mouth because your level of education hindered your ability to understand the heart of the argument. My article made it very clear that I do not think that women should be treated as second-rate citizens, only that if a woman is not able to be highly successful in the workplace and fulfil all the family duties then she shouldn’t be judged or faulted by society.

51.343% of the population of New Zealand, and I, do not need people like Craig to defend us against imagined slights and first world problems.

If you really care about the welfare of women who really have been victimised, then donate or volunteer for women’s refuges or domestic violence charities. Work with Amnesty International, be kinder to the women in your life, and read Half The Sky.

 

Sincerely yours,

A 22 year old Asian female, for those who were asking on Facebook whether I was a woman so you could decide how offended you should be.

P.S. “I have a law degree” is not an argument. Craig is the poster child of why people shouldn’t stay in school for too long. I don’t think he is a bad person, but the pathway to hell is paved with good intentions.

Histories

I never asked for love. Love was something that came to me as surely as ocean waves, and equally lacking in origin. It brought lust and jealousy, and eventually, hate. I have asked for pain, unrelenting discipline. I have been damned to eternity by your broken promises and easy lies. I know for certain that these sins will not be washed away with time and my sanity will not return at dusk.

I have sinned, I have taken vows in negligence and removed myself from responsibilities carved within. I have fallen, I have lied my way to better days and told you only what you wanted to hear, not what needed to be said.

I kissed your lips, I tasted mint, I tasted Spring and all your forgotten promises, vanished into thin air the moment your arms lifted from her hips. I held my breath, through the games and the tales you didn’t try hard enough to embellish. I wanted to win, ignoring the costs and indulging in my own ignorance. I read the signs but I might as well have been blind.

I have become pale and thin like the girls who look like ghosts instead of faeries, and every time I smile, my memory of yours fades further away till all I see are traces of your violent words scattered across our borders, choking me back, keeping me still.

I have shown you my world, all of it sin and madness. I tell you I have a soul as black as coal and you can’t light a fire in my heart without burning me to the ground. I begged you not to.

I can feel you in the air even when you are nowhere to be found. I have your old t-shirt hidden in the back of my closet, and I pretend its not there when I’m hunting for a new dress to impress my old lovers.

I show them old wounds to ward off new dangers, and though I have bled my share for you, it was not enough. You demanded more but I had nothing left to offer. I was lost in your soliloquies and I am still hiding in the mists of your neglect, your false comforts.

I have served you whiskey straight from the bottle and pretended not to notice your drunken slurs spelling the wrong name. I have sold my darkest hours for a few seconds of hearing you breathe steadily next to me. I traded my darkest secrets to feel the pulse through your veins. I danced to your heartbeat. 

I remember all your weakness and even at your strongest you were never brave enough to be honest with yourself. I sold your troubles for a ticket down memory lane and swallowed every bitter pill just to learn your name.

All that risky business we liked to call love was only selfish lust pretending to be wise. I held your hand when we ran in the rain and you pretended not to notice my tears. They tasted like the ocean. They tasted like our histories.

Lessons Learned

I have learnt that people are not made of straight lines but blurred edges, and though we break, we bend, we’re soft and brittle all at once and you could stretch me like a rubber band but I’ll still bounce back in the end.

I have learnt that intelligence is strong and cruelty doesn’t belong in my world, that harsh words reveal how helpless you really feel, and most of the things my mother told me were wrong.

I have learnt that not everyone will understand you and not every story needs to be told, that there will always be people who try to bring you down but their voices don’t mean anything if you hear what they’re not saying.

I have learnt that ocean waves can heal a soul better than the sun, that rainy days are just a good excuse to stay inside and cuddle with a book or someone you like.

I have learnt to ignore the men who try to buy me drinks at the bar but I am still waiting for a man who will make me tea in the morning, and I’ll smile even though I wanted coffee.

I have learnt to stop counting my mistakes, to take a deep breath when life gets too heavy and remind myself that all this is temporary, and this ride doesn’t have to be perfect to be worth it.

I have learnt that smoking might be bad for your health, but the stolen glances in between tapping the ashtray mean so much more, and it was always you who made me happy, not the nicotine rush.

I have learnt that love is not weak, nor loud, nor vain, and it’s more beautiful than the sunrise but it’s never easy. Love is changing, love forgets, and love learns to move on despite the hearts we break.

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