Sunday, 31 May 2015

Illustration ~ Irrelevant


As a feminist lady type this sort of thing is happening to me/being thought about by me a lot so it came out in a doodle while I was sat in the garden and I ended up painting it. I uploaded it onto instagram and I was adding tags as I do, #drawing, yep, #illustration, yup, #painting, yes, #feminism oh, um. I don't know. Basically I hesitated because I thought it might encourage idiots. Idiots that have made it their mission to make using words like feminism a scary thing. Then I felt kind of ashamed. Inequality is such a huge embedded problem and people shouldn't be able to make people feel like they can't talk about it. Also, to be honest, I figured I wasn't a prominent enough internet figure (at all) for anyone to notice me and my little addition to the conversation.
So I added #feminism.
Just over an hour later a man (I presume based on the profile) had left a comment under my painting.
"Have you never rendered an unsolicited opinion...?"
I was kind of shocked. At first I thought I must have misunderstood it, but no. I read it out to Will who sighed and said, "You should reply, 'have you ever left a comment without the aid of a thesaurus'".
It all makes me so angry. The whole "I'm just politely asking you an intelligent question, you can tell because I'm wording it in a way you wouldn't in regular conversation. I'm being academic. I'm not doing anything wrong. I'm not breaking any rules." When they know full well they're trying to aggravate people. It reminds me of that episode of Friends (I think) where Joey and Chandler are fighting over a chair and Chandler's in Joey's face all 'not touching, can't get mad, not touching, can't get mad'.
I decided to believe in the goodness of people and the fact that a lot of sexist men genuinely don't realise what they're doing and aren't actually twats and replied "Not to a stranger who just happened to be walking past."
I was expecting to just not get a reply and that would be that. Almost instantly he said something along the lines of "Not even, 'hey that's an awesome dog'?"
So I blocked him and deleted the comments. He was clearly a lost cause and I don't need this shit.
No one is saying strangers can't chat to each other but reducing someone down to something for you to look at based on gender is wrong. Telling someone you think their dog is awesome is not wrong. It's definitely not the same thing.
It's creepy, it's sexist, stop it.
Why should I care if you think I'm pretty? a) you aren't genuinely trying to make me feel good, you're just asserting yourself b) why do you think the opinion of a complete stranger should be important to me?
What you think about how I look isn't relevant.
How I look isn't what's most important about me. If that's all you have to say then you don't need to talk to me. And let's face it, you don't even think I'm actually all that pretty. You're just hoping for a reaction that makes you feel like a big powerful man. "Yeah, she smiled, her self worth is reliant on my opinion, I control whether she feels good about herself or not." Well you don't. Even when the response is a polite smile it's a self defence tactic to make sure you don't get aggressive. It's not "yay, my day is made, this creepy dude thinks I'm pretty".
If saying 'I think you're pretty' to a stranger got the response 'yeah, I know' and that wouldn't put a massive smile on your face, because it's good for people to like themselves, then you're being a twat, leave her alone.