Friday, May 30, 2014

5 on Friday -- Set 225 -- The #YesAllWomen Edition

Spinning Friday tunes since 2010...

For anyone who wants to join in, simply choose five pieces of music and post them for other bloggers to enjoy. Then check out the set posted by the other 5 on Friday blogger -- you can sign in over at Golch Central's Rambling Stuff.

If you've been following the #YesAllWomen social media trend this week, you'll know that the recent murder spree at the University of California, Santa Barbara triggered an outpouring of reaction from women in response to the shooter's perceived lack of social success with the opposite gender.

In my opinion, the murder spree is a mental health issue, just as here in Halifax the murder two years ago of Raymond Taavel was also a mental health issue, though it triggered a wave of support for gay rights due to the words spoken at the time of the attack -- "He was consistently using the word faggot," said a witness to the fatal attack. (CTV News)

A tumblr blogger wrote the following account of just another day in the life of a woman, adding her voice to the #YesAllWomen hashtag:

In response, male writer Tom Hawking wrote this encouraging piece, which looks at the encounter from a broader perspective, which often gets missed in the heat of people sharing painful experiences: 

"Put yourself in his position, in isolation, and you might see how he felt the way he did -- to his own eyes, he was no doubt making mildly flirtatious small talk with a girl who, to his eyes, shut him down with unnecessary emotional force. And now he feels like a victim. He didn't deserve that, he thinks to himself. What's up her ass, anyway? Why didn't she enjoy the attention?

If you're a woman reading this, you're probably shaking your head and saying, "F**k that guy'...

Understand that your actions don't exist in a vacuum. They exist in the context of a society where literally every woman you will ever meet has a similar story to tell...You don't get a gold star for being a good person. It's the minimum standard of human decency that anyone should be able to expect." -- Tom Hawking, Flavorwire

I am one of those with multiple #YesAllWomen stories to tell, only one of which I will share here with you:

After a long day of editing my fourth year film at Ryerson, I headed for the streetcar in Toronto in the late afternoon -- a bright, sunny day, lots of people around, and me dressed in comfortable, casual clothing for the editing room (not in any sort of come-hither outfit, which has to be mentioned because that is apparently always relevant.)

I was stopped by a young man about university-student age, someone who was well-groomed and not crazy-looking (also relevant, as there are enough odd sorts of people in the downtown of a large city, and giving wide berth to those who look like they've been on a bender is a good start.) So, not expecting trouble, I listened as he asked if I knew what time it was.

I checked my watch. "Quarter to three," I said.

"Beautiful tits," he said.

Me: going from tired and thinking about what was I going to have for supper, to mind-blanking rage in one split second (bearing in mind what Tom Hawking said about actions not existing in a vacuum, and already having too many #YesAllWomen encounters in my life)

Me: grabbing my purse from my shoulder intending to clobber him in the side of the head with it

Him: seeing me start to grab my purse to hit him

Me: (in my mind) No! No! You can't do that! It's assault. You can't assault someone. 

Me: changing to my left hand, darting it forward, grabbing the white styrofoam coffee cup out of his hand, squeezing it and dumping the coffee all over him

Him: "What the hell are you doing, you f**king bitch?"

Me: "What did you say to me?" (loud enough for eveyone to hear)

Him: "I said 'What time is it?"

Me: "You said 'Beautiful tits'!"

I dumped the empty cup on the ground, looked up the street at everyone frozen in place, and carried on until I got on board my streetcar.

Another day in the life of two people whose experiences up to that point resulted in a misguided attempt at flattery (!?!) from him, and a Kill Bill reaction to it from me. 

So this week's musical set is dedicated to the work that still needs to be done in our culture when it comes to gender relations.

1 - Shaking the Foundations -- Rough Trade

2 - Street Fighting Man -- The Rolling Stones

3 - Uprising -- Muse

4 - Radioactive -- Imagine Dragons

5 - Power to the People -- John Lennon


Mike Golch said...

I have to say power to the people is my pick of the week.

Nikita Banerjee Bhagat said...

Wow...I wish the coffee was scalding hot!Playing Street Fighting Man on the loop now :)