A breakup letter to survivorhood(tm)
CW: sexual abuse, abuse of minors, PTSD, victim blaming
I want to break up with being a survivor and proudly embrace victimhood.
Being a victim is commonly defined as being or behaving as a passive object of misfortune. It makes sense that we don't like people who embrace this fact about their stories, as it reminds us that we too could be reduced to a plaything by someone more powerful. We would like to think that we have some control over what happens to us; this is why it is so common to hear questions such as 'well, what was she wearing?' or 'what did she expect getting so drunk?' in response to stories about women suffering sexual assault. Even though most of us realize that people who want to hurt will find a way to do so, there is a comfort in tracing a victim's steps and figuring out where they went wrong and caused themself to become a target. I will no longer support people around me in their attempts to live in this comfort. The world needs us to wear our victimhood [...]
Intimacy could be abundant (or: What incels get right and why their solutions are useless)
CW: incels, misogyny, hate speech, sex
I find the manosphere fascinating. Last year, I spent countless hours in incel and pickup artist fora analysing the metaphors the users make use of when discussing seduction as part of writing my thesis. One of the most widespread source domains I identified was 'economic transactions'. This wasn't too surprising, as this is the case in mainstream discourse as well: We talk about 'investing' in relationships, being on 'the dating market' et cetera. What was different about the way incels were using the metaphor was the way they seemed to have taken it to its logical extreme, discussing and quantifying the 'market value' of themselves and their 'targets'. In this way, these communities became a mirror reflecting popular ways of thinking and talking about intimacy which are easy to overlook when expressed only through conventionalized metaphorical expressions.
Other than my findings being interesting to me as a linguist and scary as a feminist, it [...]