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St. Absentia on PCisms and Objectifying
(or The Complexities of Crude Etiquette)

In too many ways, the women’s rights movement has taken a 180. Women wanted to show that they were strong and independent, now they want to be coddled against trivial little things. It’s a splinter retreat, and it definitely isn’t only women who are to blame, but unfortunately this retreat also happens to be a PC topic.

May the Jellyfish please save us from PC topics.

Quite possibly it’s re-become seemly for a woman to say something like “Eeeewww... someone made a crude remark about me on Facebook! It must be stopped!”. Soooooo...? The online world has always been awash with crudity, and with people who behave like they have safe anonymity behind fake names. It’s no big deal! Ignore them, be crude right back at them, say something even scarier to them than they said to you, educate them in their vocabulary range, or (if you’re in a cheerfully smarmy mood) you can roll your eyes, laugh, and think “What a dork”.

I’m not on Facebook because they’re asses on the censorship and stomping all over privacy rights fronts, but I’m reasonably certain (as in I hear about people doing it all the time) that you can clean up crude remarks on your page, if you are so inclined, without uttering a high-pitched shriek to society to censor them on the whole. Or, even better, you can consider not having a Facebook account!

I can understand that the delicacies of individuals are highly varied, just as I can understand that many men would also squeal in dismay about much of what can be seen online. I prefer to treat people on individual levels, whether in person or online. I can speak plainly and unoffensively, as I am at this very moment... or I can call you a cock-sucking dildo and ask what you think of getting sodomized with a rifle. Then I can tell Louis Kahn Nin that if I have my way he’s going to deep throat the Buddy-Packer so dramatically that it’ll remove his tonsils and his lower intestine at the same time! And then I can, perhaps, move along to another forum and talk about flowers. Amongst Cnidarians, any of those obviously work out at any given moment. Though speaking politely might cause us to lapse into sudden giggles for unknown and most likely sordid reasons.

Which brings up this topic: you think the ways some guys talk to women is bad? You should see the way they talk to each other! I was always considered unladylike for being able to mouth off right along with them. If they’re crude to you it could mean any number of things: they think you’re a bitch, they’re goofing off, they like you, they’re teenagers who rarely hear broader ranges of vocabulary in school, they’re adults who enjoy pretending to be the latter while using fake names, etc.

Addressing people individually can be extremely different in online areas of social commentary... Mailing lists, usenet groups, irc, webchats, officially deemed “social media” sites, online news article comments sections, Mayor Jean Quan of Oakland’s public FaceBook page... How can you even be Mayor of Oakland without expecting people to hurl all sorts of offensive commentary at you through any possible medium? Anyway, comments in online comment areas are different – because they might be directed to someone in specific, or they might be directed to an audience. Even while seeming to be addressed to someone specific, the odds remain strong that the comments are written for an audience. Normal laws of individual respect and individuals’ normal ways of behaving toward others don’t apply under “on stage” circumstances.

Or sometimes they do, but a lot of people are extremely unhappy with you – as with when Mayor Quan squeaked about offensive comments. Not that there wouldn’t also have been plenty of stage-writing, for the sake of other unhappy people, aimed at her.

Either get used to it, or don’t look (or don’t open yourself up to it in any way). My recommendation is that you do look to whatever extent you can, and get used to whatever you can. Then you’ll restrict yourself less in what you can and can’t handle doing (whenever you feel like doing it). Be free! As free as you can be in this grand diminishing rights nation.

We’re all accustomed to having places and situations where we feel compelled to behave better than we normally do. Be that Church (no, I’m not talking about Cnidarian Churches – those are moreso places of hideously crude mayhem... consider Church to be like when you don’t want to get busted and kicked out during a scouting mission at a Mormon Church), your parents’ house, around little kids, at work, or whatever else might convince you to keep a grip on your grammar and mannerisms. Some of us are simply more polite any time we’re dealing with anyone whom we don’t recognize as just as crude as we are.

The internet is still a brave new world, though, as the Pope’s staff undoubtedly discovered when he got a Twitter account. You have about 3 choices: avoid it, use the ample tools at your disposal for creating an insular little world that won’t offend your sensitive eyes, or deal with it. What’s the alternative? Deriding free speech and limiting everyone’s options! Let us not fuel that adequately self-burning fire.

Nor do we need to fan the wildfire torrents of PCism. They have survived quite well for a nauseatingly long time as it is.

Should all women be reverently coddled? What about all of the women who legitimately are strong, and prefer making their own choices? How do you think they feel about it being PC to treat them like they can’t handle anything? Do they want or need a room full of guffawing men to go silent and awkward when they walk in because, eep, it’s a woman and everyone must behave? Is there a reason it never seems to be noticed that PCisms marginalize groups and treat their entireties like pathetic individuals who must be treated with kid gloves?

Yes, people should learn to treat each other more respectfully... as needed. But not by deciding what “respectfully” entails and forcing it upon an entire blanket stereotype population! In this case: some women want to be coddled, some women don’t. Some women laugh at crude remarks and say humor that pathetic is going to deprive someone of their much-desired flogging. Some women have fun with it and prove to be worse than the troller, or their friend, or whichever crude individual we’re thinking of. Some simply don’t give a fuck. They are only words, after all.

Sticks and stones... Is having a cleanly worded internet that offends no one going to prevent your teenage daughter from getting raped at a party? No, quite frankly, it isn’t. Though it might help her be caught off-guard by it happening. Will it curtail spousal abuse behind closed doors? No, it won’t. Will it usher the women’s rights movement lightyears forward if a subgroup of women manage to force their supposedly puritan (public face) views on everyone? Come on... Leave that to ninnies like Tipper Gore in her PMRC days, and be sure to make numerous crude remarks about them!

A perfectly intelligent man who generally isn’t susceptible to PCisms managed to tell me recently that dressing up in a dominatrix suit and turning men on objectifies women, and is bad for the image of women. I asked how refraining from dressing how you want because some horny guys might need to show a little self control is a step forward for women. He paused and realized he didn’t have an answer for that one. Didn’t we already kind of try that for centuries, and slowly work toward shorter and shorter skirts? Didn’t we work on the short skirt issue back in the 20s?

It’s apparently not PC to call women “hot” anymore. Yet plenty of women put a lot of work into looking hot because they want to look that way. And, sometimes, those women would like a little appreciation for their efforts. You know, compliments! Even if the best you can manage is “Whoa, you look hot”... in which case you might even get a humoring/ pitying pat on the head (unless you happen to be hot enough in other ways to make up for the lack of creativity in your choice of words).

Sometimes women who make that effort simply want to be noticed, sometimes they want to attract someone. Call it a desire of recognition for artistic effort, call it the nesting instinct, call it just plain being horny, call it whatever. We all had the “dressing like a slut” discussion for long enough as well... we still need to work on not, say, judging a person guilty of forcing someone to rape them because they dressed in an appealing fashion. And we need to work on not raping a person at all, for any reason (yes, I know several revenge reasons are suddenly leaping to your minds with a “But, what about...” – they are in my mind now too).

There are also shy, mousey, naive girls who will only be picked up by the crudest, most abusive, assholes in the area because everyone else will be too polite and PC to let them know they have any interest in them. It does happen.

There are always practical considerations, of course. It could easily be a bad idea to dress like a slut and walk into a dark alley, much like it can be a bad idea to enter a dark alley as a babushka with a hefty purse or as a guy who looks like he might have a wad of cash on him. Well... on second thought, the babushka would probably beat any attackers senseless with her heavy purse and be done with it.

And of course if you’re dressed like a slut in a situation that involves several drunk guys, you will probably be hit on. Or worse. If you’re the only coked up girl (dressed in any fashion) amongst a bunch of coked up somewhat older guys you barely know, you very well might be in serious trouble. Either be prepared to fend off what you don’t want, or stay out of the situation. No amount of telling everyone that it’d be very unPC for anyone to hit on you (or worse) will change the fact that it will happen. Being better to each other with our use of words might be more important if we can figure out how to be better to each other with our actions, and how to be better at defending ourselves against bad situations (namely by, cliche time, refraining from biting off more than we can chew).

Only being decent in words serves to bury reality, keeps people uneducated about the harshness of it, and hinders the freedoms of those who don’t operate by the same rules. It enables us to be a polite-seeming society while in reality we’re a treacherous, lustful, and dangerous society.

All of that having been said, I’m going to pause to tell Louis Kahn Nin to fuck himself up the ass with an enormous spaghetti fork for all of the sleazy things he wrote about me in The Perverts. Even if it was a reasonably accurate portrayal of me. This is a matter of personal choice in an individual vs individual situation (even if it is being aired in public). Fuck you, Louis. Seriously, FUCK YOU!!!

Note that I asked him to fuck himself with an enormous spaghetti fork. I did not in any way threaten to do it to him. Hard to believe though it is, I occasionally have moments of being better civilized than The Blasted One.

And, mind you, anyone getting the idea that they can take any admiration and cat-calling directed at me to a level that involves touching me without my consent will be cracked in the nose with a bullwhip handle. Very hard. It will not be a kinky and fun sort of feeling.

I leave you with a reminder of what is truly important for all good Cnidarians to remember: the world is overpopulated by human scum. Always use a condom when procreation is a possibility!

St. Absentia, a Righteous Slut

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