I'll apologize now if what I'm about to say offends you. Probably not the best way to start a post, I realize, but there it is.
I waded into some particularly dangerous waters last week, and I guess I am again now. It was against my better judgement to dive in, but in the end I came to the inevitable realization that I was never one to censor myself. A friend once told me that not censoring yourself is fine, but it's really all about timing, and that's something I still probably haven't learned. Or maybe I have. Maybe last week was the perfect time... but I could analyse that to death, and have, but for brevity sake let me get to the point.
FHRITP - Fuck Her Right In The Pussy.
There, I said it. I'm sure you're having some type of emotional response to that statement. It may have even come as a complete shock to you, to see those words being presented so boldly out of nowhere. In all likelihood though, images flashed in your mind of reporters, live on the scene of whatever story they were working hard trying to cover, being interrupted by nimwits yelling that phrase. Most people have heard the story by now, and have seen at least one example of the many that are out there on the interwebs.
The conversation I waded into was the debate that surrounds this unfortunate behaviour from the aforementioned nimwits. What caught my attention was a very vocal element of society propagating a viewpoint that was becoming widely accepted: FHRITP is rape, or at the very least promotes it.
It was this that I challenged.
Okay, I fully admit that attempting to debate such big conversations on a platform such as Twitter is a horrible idea. I think everyone who uses Twitter probably knows this. Nonetheless, this is where my challenge took place - it normally does - and I did it because I think it needs to be challenged. I feel that applying something as horrible as the act of rape to this phrase, which absolutely does not suggest it, is not helpful in any way.
Just read the phrase.
Now read it again without your angry goggles on. Just read the words. Look past the perceived vulgarity in it, and just read what it says.
It's not FHRITPWC - ...without consent.
It's not FHRITPEISSN - ... even if she says no.
It's not PHDAFHRITP - Pin her down and...
It's not DHAFHRITP - Drug her and...
It's not ... I'll stop. You get the point I hope. That phrase in no way suggests rape, and those who continue to propagate that horrible accusation onto these individuals need to be challenged... in my opinion.
Is it sexual harassment, though? I don't know. What I do know is that the accusations that fly shouldn't be focused on men solely. There should not be this vocal hatred focused on the male half of the population, and their inability to control themselves, or whatever other bullshit - as I believe - surrounds the conversation. IF - and that's an all caps if - this is sexual harassment, then it should solely be applied to the individual in question, and not a gender in totality. Why? Because men have yelled the childish phrase to male reporters as well. And you know what? Women have yelled it to both male and female reporters too. It's a fact. I just like to point these things out to those who try to focus this childish prank into something much worse then what it actually is. I do this because I think it's not right to shift the focus this way, and moreso, I think it's unfair.
In my mind - call me naive, or caught in a mans bubble, all you want - FHRITP is a childish prank where individuals get their jollies out of using censored words on live TV. Yeah, it might be an extremely simple view of this situation, but that's exactly what I think it is. That's what I think it clearly is, in fact.
Do I condone this behaviour, you may ask? NO. Should people stop choosing to partake in this stupid prank? YES. I can not be any more succinct than that.
I wont even get into the conversations that followed, and how this whole conversation expanded to be people being fired, and calls for fines for the behaving like this. I just don't have the energy to tackle that mess right now. This one really took the good out of me, and I feel a lot of people viewed me as a misogynist that day, just for sharing this opinion I have. Nobody came out and directly said it, but boy did I get the feeling from the contentious tone of the tweets I was receiving. Of course, my tone is often misunderstood on the old twit box as well, so perhaps my perception was wrong. I actually hate that I feel the need - whether actually necessary or not - to defend myself, to declare that I'm not a misogynist. But simply put, as an individualist, misogyny just doesn't jive.
Some conversations really do drain me, however - the ones I know better to get involved in basically - and this one definitely was one of them. I'm sure any of you who share your opinions widely as well, have had those days of mental exhaustion. Sharing an opinion sometimes can take the good out of you - not to say my opinions should not also be challenged. That's the source of the exhaustion - and I was pretty beaten down by this one I must admit.
The next morning, however, I was shaken out of it by - stick with me here - Penn Jillette. As if the almighty internet knew I was blue, I just happened to come across this Penn quote. It was perfect. I have to be true to myself, and part of me is sharing my opinion. It's jumping in those troubled waters to see what calm can be found. It's challenging things that I feel the need to be challenged. None of this comes from hate though, and none of it from anger, nor any other dark side influence.
It's just a joy of being alive.