Brute Reason

A collection of thoughts about psychology, social justice, and anything else I give a shit about. freethoughtblogs.com/brutereason

Topics: feminism / psychology / lgbtq / sex / politics / abortion / health / mental illness / language / depression / sexism / sexual assault / fashion / racism / education / social justice

my actual writing, if you're curious

A huge swath of our culture is dedicated to making women feel like their self worth is inexorably tied to how attractive they are to men. While critiquing that system is legitimate, dismissing people who are feminine (under the assumption that they buy into that system) is misplaced and often invalidates their autonomy (e.g., the fact that they may have dressed that way for themselves and not for others). It also overlooks a number of sexist double standards that lead us to perceive feminine dress differently from masculine dress. When a woman gets ready for a date, we often say she gets “all dolled up” (the assumption being that it is a frivolous and artificial process), while when a man does the same we usually call it “grooming” (which sounds so practical and natural, like animals in the wild). And while some feminists may complain about how feminine fashions often “show off women’s bodies for male enjoyment,” that completely ignores the fact that a man can go completely topless and no one will assume that he is doing it for anyone else (rather, people will likely assume it is a personal choice based on the fact that he is probably overheated!).
Some protesters, [clinic workers] say, circumvent the law by planting themselves inside the 15-foot boundary, inviting “offensive fouls” by patients, who must then scramble around protesters to reach the door. Others have caused women to unknowingly violate preoperative procedures by handing them water or food; if the woman eats or drinks shortly before the abortion, it must often be postponed.
What makes me sad about it is that the Women Against Feminism purport to be against feminism because they love men so much, and yet like so many avowed anti-feminists, they seem to appreciate men for the functional roles they fulfill for the WAFs – as providers of paychecks, openers of jars, lifters of heavy shit – and not for the actual human beings they are.

A big part of the reason why I am a feminist is because I don’t want to relate to Brian simply as a provider of paychecks, an opener of jars, a lifter of heavy shit. I want to be able to help provide the paychecks. I want to be able to open my own jars, and open them for him too. I want to be able to help move the heavy sofa instead of sitting around watching him struggle on his own. I want to be his partner in our relationship, and for me that means pitching in and helping with everything, not just the tasks that don’t require a lot of muscle.

If you asked me to list the top million things I like about Brian, his ability to open jars and lift heavy things might show up somewhere in the 990,000s. Here are things that would show up long before: because he makes me laugh, because we have the best conversations over Sunday morning coffee, because I like the way he smells and the way the skin around his eyes crinkles when he smiles at me and the hair on the back of his hands, because he decided to read War and Peace this summer, because he picked out “The Punk Singer” for us to watch one night, because he does funny dances just to make me smile, because he has a way about him that makes people want to open up to him within hours of meeting him. There are so many things I love about my husband, and almost none of them have to do with his grip strength.
You’re not wrong or stupid for wanting an explanation for why someone is dumping you, but if you push for reasons you are going to hear either weak polite excuses (“It’s not you, it’s me“) or an awkward illumination of your less attractive qualities. This may be useful feedback down the road, and it may be useful now if it fuels your pride and anger, but do you really want someone who has decided they don’t want to be in a relationship with you explaining in detail why being with you is sucky? Is there really a logical reason they could give that would make you go “Oh, okay, that’s perfectly understandable, good day to you, sir!” The fact that the person is breaking up with you is the reason why it’s over. Believe the facts, sort out the reasons later.
Q
I always found DBT frustrating. Sitting there with my feelings and not doing anything about them and "letting them be" never worked for me. Have you tried different approach? CBT (although it's not perfect) makes me feel like I'm doing something to improve my life. I know that there are many approaches out there, and if this one is not working, maybe you should try something different and find what's best for you? Hope things get better
A

I find some CBT techniques super useful, especially the more behavioral ones. For other ones…I share some other people’s frustrations in that, for me, it doesn’t really feel like I just have thoughts and then I have emotions in response. It’s more like I feel really sad/shitty all the time, and that makes me sit there and think about sad things rather than doing more productive things. So, sometimes forcing myself to do things helps, but it’s also really hard to do things when I’m constantly sad.

And to clarify, I’m definitely not really “trying” DBT right now since I already know it just frustrates me. That post was more of a response to the fact that people are always recommending it to me. Different strokes for different folks!

Richard Dawkins, and Ranking the Top 10 Kinds of Rape in Order of Badness

socialworkgradstudents:

brutereason:

socialworkgradstudents:

When I left my ex, he tried various tactics to force me to keep having contact with him. Near the end there he “accidentally” sent a Richard Dawkins book he had ordered for himself to my house so now he really needed me to meet him for coffee and return the book.

I went to half price and sold it and used the proceeds to buy a handmaids tale (which I was definitely NOT emotionally prepared to read after just exiting an abusive relationship but anyway), so whenever I see Richard Dawkins pipe up with some confused gotcha ramblings of GREAT MANPORTANCE I just figure it’s time to go get a Margaret Atwood novel and cleanse my palate

I’m sorry about your shitty ex, but that is otherwise a great story.

I literally went up to the half price counter, opened the amazon box, and handed them the book in its shrink wrap. they asked no questions, it is not their way

Someone needs to start a book exchange service for reformed dudebro atheists to return their Dawkins/Hitchens and receive, say, bell hooks instead.

I guess I could never quite buy into the DBT-style “feel your feelings”/”just learn to sit with the emotions for a while” thing. What if I don’t have time? What if I need to do things? What if I need to go to work go to class clean do errands keep my promises make food take showers? And that’s the bare minimum, the things I MUST do rather than the things I want to do in order for my life to be something more than just a series of tasks.

I don’t have time to sit around and cry and “feel my feelings” every day for hours, so I have to look elsewhere for the techniques that’ll help me cope with depression.

Richard Dawkins, and Ranking the Top 10 Kinds of Rape in Order of Badness

socialworkgradstudents:

When I left my ex, he tried various tactics to force me to keep having contact with him. Near the end there he “accidentally” sent a Richard Dawkins book he had ordered for himself to my house so now he really needed me to meet him for coffee and return the book.

I went to half price and sold it and used the proceeds to buy a handmaids tale (which I was definitely NOT emotionally prepared to read after just exiting an abusive relationship but anyway), so whenever I see Richard Dawkins pipe up with some confused gotcha ramblings of GREAT MANPORTANCE I just figure it’s time to go get a Margaret Atwood novel and cleanse my palate

I’m sorry about your shitty ex, but that is otherwise a great story.

(Source: brutereason)

Third—and the motivation for this post—is that the view of “grammar” as “you must learn the rules or else be ostracized” just makes grammar no fun at all! Studying language—really digging into it, uncovering its remarkably complex yet orderly structure, investigating what makes it different across speakers and communities—is SUPER FUN! Giving people a list of rules of things to do in order to not be criticized is NOT FUN! I want my students to think language is FUN, and to have FUN thinking about language!

So as a teacher, I want to say: Weird Al can think what he wants about language, and you the audience can laugh along or not, depending on your views on language or taste in music or whatever. But please do not mistake the video itself for an educational video. It will not teach students about language. It will not teach students about grammar. I’ve seen many comparisons to Schoolhouse Rock, but would any student who didn’t already know what a “preposition” was leave Weird Al’s video understanding it? No. Rather, on its face, this video teaches people that there is a right way to speak/write, and if you don’t do things that way, you’re a bad person (or a sewer person? or a person with a disability?) who should not breed. Nothing about how language works, or why these “rules” are what they are.
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