This past year I have found myself involved in some Women’s Issues Activism. I have made videos speaking about this, I have spoken about this online, and I have written about this. When I was on My Strange Addiction, in a way I sort of, unintentionally, became a symbol for female independence and solidarity. My man made me choose him or the puppets. I chose the puppets. I got fan letters from many young women telling me how men mistreated them or how they escaped the throws of an abusive relationship.
As a result I chose to take the activist route. My mother told me it wasn’t the thing to do, but I feel I have a bigger duty to young women.
As a result I have been called names like: man basher, dyke, lesbian, man hater, etc. Many of these honorary titles are bestowed by males who have no idea what they are talking about. Just because I speak out against violence when it comes to women doesn’t mean I date other women. It doesn’t mean that I hate men like my father and my brother who are doing the right thing; standing by their families and supporting their very talented and brilliant wives. Just the opposite. I hate men who abuse women whether it is physically, sexually, emotionally, or spiritually.
It’s funny to me when these Einsteins start speaking. I want to tell them that they are taking it personally if I am not referring to them. When I speak of men who lie, cheat, and abuse I don’t speak of all men. I have never once said that. Yet I am bound and gagged by these fools constantly having to defend myself against the patriarchy.
Recently, I have gotten opportunities to do activism; to tell my story about being in an abusive relationship. Sometimes it is hard to go back to that place. Actually, it always is. There’s nothing like remembering how a man called you names, how you were a doormat, and how he wantonly cheated on you. Then when I defended myself against him and his cohorts, all of whom had something to say about me, I was a “man hater.” Or I was considered less than because I was a woman, and it was no speaking unless spoken to.
Perhaps this is why I lash out against the patriarchy the way I do. Perhaps it is because I have been bullied, and I am not a fan of bullying in any way. As a result, whenever I see certain attitudes prevalent in men and I hear an expression like, “boys will be boys,” it sickens me. It not only cheapens their gender, but also makes way for a societal double standard that paves the way for feminine embarrassment and abuse. It’s the language we use in our culture, the attitudes, that gives the okay for things like dating violence. While as a whole we do not condone this behavior, we enable it with song lyrics like, “Smack up my bitch.”
Then there are jokes where the punchline is hitting a woman. Whenever I get testy there are male comedians who say that it’s a joke and tell me to “calm down.” The truth is, it’s not a joke when you have been on the receiving end. And as a society we should not calm down. There are plenty of other things that are funny. Abuse of women is not funny. While it might be ha ha at the club, it okays a disgusting behavioral standard that should never be allowed.
Until recently, there were no real laws protecting stalking victims. Even worse, in the mid-twentieth century, whenever the wife called the cops on a husband who was beating her they usually let it go. Legislation in these departments have come a long way. Unfortunately, as a society we forget all too quickly.
In a way I am glad I went through what I did with the ex. Sure I don’t trust or love as easily, but I am smart and can spot a bully and an abusive male with laser vision. I can also spot a man who has a view of women as inferior, and has a complex and therefore will treat them badly. In addition, while having someone in your life is nice, I know it’s far from the end of the world if I don’t have anyone. I know in the end not to depend on a man but rather to depend on myself. This goes for anyone, male or female.
A lot of women break their necks to get married and have children only to divorce anyway. I don’t feel that need to answer to a power structure that pins it on me if it doesn’t work out. I don’t feel the need to conform to some standard, that when lovely is very lovely, but when terrible is nothing but societal imprisonment. I don’t feel the need to yes some man because I don’t want him to leave. I don’t feel the need to serve an outdated model that has made so many feel so unhappy because they felt this is what they needed to do, this is where they needed to be, and this was how they were forced to live.
If you have someone, great.
If not, no biggie. Life goes on. I know from experience I would rather die alone with my puppets than be with a man who takes them away, makes me feel like crap, occasionally hits me, and promises to kill his mother in order to get the insurance money to be with me. All the while making me support him.
While I have made my way into the world as a standup, I find that a boys club where they are as thick as thieves. Once I was told by a male booker that being a woman and looking the way I did would work against me. Then I was basically told by other male bookers that talking about my breakup with my ex in a comedic way made me look bitter. Meanwhile, the routine is about my ex trying to make a comeback, one, and me rejecting him. Second, my so called bitterness is more about me taking my hits onstage like a man instead of laying down like a woman which would be oh so easy for them. Maybe they didn’t like it, but the fans, male and female, do.
I guess my mission is that I want to be the next feminist icon. Perhaps I will be more Wonder Woman and less Gloria Steinem. (But our dear Glo was a Playboy Bunny, ya know). But I want to be that force that makes it safe for young people, especially young women. While I do not exclude young women from my mission statement I am more familiar with being a young woman, because that is my gender identity.
If wanting to smash a double standard that keeps so many down-male and female-makes me a femanazi, I will gladly wear that crown.
If wanting young women to stand up against men that prey on them makes me a femanazi-put that on my vanity plate.
If wanting young women to know that they are worth something makes me a femanazi-I think I will get that tattooed on my bicep.