Each week, the Sunday Post highlights a few articles good for slow consumption over a cup of coffee (or tea, if that’s your pleasure). Settle in for a while; we saved you a seat. You can also look through the archives.
Laurie Penny delivers a not-that-gentle-but-still-sorta-loving ass-kicking to men who are worried that the so very long overdue public outrage over sexual assault by men in positions of power feels awkward and uncomfortable.
We are not done describing all the ways this shit isn’t okay and hasn’t been okay for longer than you can believe. We want you to make space for our pain and anger before you start telling us how you’ve suffered, too, no, really you have. We are angry, and we are disappointed.
Because you made everything precious in our lives conditional on not making a fuss.
Because you behaved as if your right never to have to deal with anyone else’s emotions or learn the shape of your own was more important than our very humanity.
Because you made us carry the weight of all the hurt that had ever been done to you, and then you praised us for being so strong.
Because we tried for so long to believe the best of you, because it felt like we had no other option.
I promise you will survive our rage. We have lived in fear of yours for so long.
Ijeoma Uluo delivers a not-that-gentle-but-still-loving ass-kicking to pretty much everybody in this “broken, abusive, patriarchal (and white supremacist, ableist, hetero-cisnormative) trash” society. But in a hopeful way. No, really.
I have not yet figured out how to drive all men into the sea. I’ve considered maybe taking a boat to the middle of the ocean to start shouting about the wage gap to see how many men would try to swim over to tell me that it doesn’t exist. But I’m very fond of a few men (including the two I gave birth to — nepotism, I know) and I also get really seasick on boats.
So if we can’t drive all men into the ocean and start over, do we just throw up our hands? Do we just excuse this rampant abuse as “locker-room talk” and “locker-room groping” and “locker-room rape” and “locker-room forced witnessing of masturbation”? Do we continue to insist that we do not have a toxic masculinity problem and these are just isolated cases of sick individuals who are abusing women and let everyone else off the hook?
Bookslut founder and red state resident Jessa Crispin has a few sharp words for blue-staters who think moving to her town is an act of political heroism.
Problems are never solved by invasion. Storming into a place because you think you know more than its inhabitants about how things should be is ignorant and dangerous. If you want to make a difference in the way this country is run, maybe start with where you are. Start by seeing that the income inequality of New York City is as bad a cultural issue as the perceived homophobia and misguided voting patterns of the Midwest, and you’ll start to see how you have just as much opportunity to effect change where you are.
In a sweeping and thoughtful essay, Nora Brooks examines how the myth of the American cowboy has been used by con men from terrorists to Trump to suppress exactly the values it’s supposed to represent: independence, self-sufficiency, and the equally misused ideal of Real American Freedom.
One day on the campaign trail, Trump pulled into Las Vegas. A group of Black Lives Matter protesters showed up at his rally to register their disapproval. One was dragged from the ballroom across the floor by a knot of security guards. Trump supporters called out encouragement: their ideas including kicking him, shooting him, and lighting “the motherfuker on fire.” Some yelled out “Seig heil.” Trump’s response was that “maybe the protestor should be roughed up.”
The next time Trump was in Vegas, he lamented the passing of a time when protesters would have been “carried out on a stretcher.”
Trump has convinced his supporters he will give them a frontier America again — the “good old days” as he put it, when anyone was free to run someone out of town simply because they were not us.
And, finally: At age 13, the thing Becca Schultz wanted most was to write about baseball. So she did what any aspiring young journalist would do: created a male identity that she maintained online for 8 years, publishing under the name Ryan and eventually forming relationships with women via Twitter in which she harassed, manipulated, and verbally abused them.
Yes, this is clearly a troubled young woman; yes, she did terrible damage and unforgiveable damage to other women. Once you reach the point of threatening suicide to procure nude photos, you’ve gone far past “I’d like more writing gigs.” And still: this is the story of a young girl who believed that she could succeed mostly easily if she pretended to be a man, and who believed that behaving as if she hated women would make that deception convincing. That’s a heartwrenching mirror for us all to look into, as if the last few weeks haven’t provided ugly mirrors enough.
Last weekend, Ryan Schultz made some sort of misogynistic joke on Twitter that elicited a lot of anger and criticism, multiple women told me; Saturday night, the @rschultzy20 Twitter account was deleted. (It has since been restored, and again deactivated.) After this incident, women started talking about having been harassed by Ryan for years, and on Monday night, four writers began searching for the wife to whom he constantly referred to offer support to her and their two supposed children. They feared Ryan’s erratic and harmful behavior might be affecting his family most.
They couldn’t, though, find any evidence that his wife, Blair, even existed. Then they realized that the university Ryan said he was attending while working on his pharmaceutical degree didn’t have a pharmacology school. Finally, after looking at the Facebook pages of Ryan’s family members, they realized that he was not mentioned by any of them and wasn’t in photos with the children he had presented as his, and that another Schultz, Becca, seemed to have an awful lot in common with Ryan.