So Thought Catalog published a post by resident asshat and all around terrible person Gavin McInnes back in March that I thankfully missed because my Facebook feed knows better than to recommend posts entitled “Hey, Ladies! Short Hair Is Rape”, “When Is It OK To Hit A Woman?”, and “Having Kids Turns You Into A Complete Fag”. McInnes relies on radically hateful language to bring in audiences. There is no nuance or thought to what he writes. He writes what he does for pure shock value, which I find funny for someone writing for a blog entitled “Thought Catalog”. He insults and rejects his critics by calling them uneducated plebes. It upsets me because I have seen some really interesting and funny content come from this site, but this has me wanting to leave them forever.
So the post, “Hey, Ladies! Short Hair Is Rape”, was offensive enough. The fact that Thought Catalog kept it up and allowed him to post a follow-up “No, Short Hair Is Not Literally Rape, You F#cking Idiots!” was just depressing. I don’t want to link the posts here because I don’t want this man getting any more attention than he has already received. It really doesn’t surprise me that he is a frequent guest on Fox News. Ugh.
Ok so back to the original post. It is the same type of patriarchal, woman hating, rape culture writing that has been blowing up the web and putting me in an all around bad mood over the past few months. Everyone remember the recent slough of bad posts on rape over at the Washington Post? Here’s a reminder. And here.
The title of the post alone suggests that McInnes has no idea what rape means.
So here, Mr. McInnes, is what I have to say to you.
As a survivor of rape who also has friends and loved ones that are survivors of rape let me just say McInnes, you have no idea what you are talking about. So please shut up. Your post was offensive to those of us who are still dealing with the trauma that we overcame. It undercuts and devalues our experience. And that alone should have been enough to warrant a withdrawal of the post, or at least an apology.
You state that when a woman gets her hair cut short that she is “Saying yes to yourself and no to us(men)” which is fine, according to you, if “You want to check out of society for a year”. I really don’t even know where to begin with this one. As if saying yes to ourselves is a bad thing? Something that warrants hiding away from society? I myself have my hair shaved down at the moment, but that is neither here nor there. The point is women (and men) cut their hair for various reasons that may or may not have anything to do with what you Mr. McInnes, in your very limited world view find attractive. We are autonomous beings that exist outside of what you find attractive. I personally cut my hair because it’s hot as Hades in New Orleans right now and I am training for my second marathon. Short hair is cool hair.
Also, I feel sexy as hell.
But I don’t need to explain myself to you. That’s not the point. No one harasses you when you choose to cut your hair, grow it out, decide on a beard, opt in for a goatee. Whereas women and women’s bodies are constantly policed. If I decide not to shave my legs for a month I am making a statement. If I then decide to shave my legs I am making an equally powerful statement. I wear a skirt that is too short? I am a slut, I wear a one-piece bikini, I am a prude. I decide to cut off all of my hair and my upstairs neighbors assume my roommate and I are life-partners (true story). A woman cannot make a decision about her body without someone somewhere having something to say about it. Everything we do is valued only as much as men appreciate it. And that is the problem with a patriarchal culture. Well one of the problems. And only one of the problems with your piece McInnes.
You say that my short hair is “More than unattractive. Its rape” And then you follow up by saying “No, Short Hair Is Not Literally Rape, You F#cking Idiots!”. Well let me begin by saying if you really think your audience is that stupid maybe you should be more clear in your language. But also, yes I understood that you were trying to use rape as hyperbole, as a metaphor here. For what, I am not entirely sure. (By the way, when I said New Orleans is hot as Hades right now that was a simile. And a hyperbole. Just to be clear.)
In a culture where women’s bodies are constantly objectified, where men such as yourself seem to think that they have some kind of claim over them, a post such as this only serves to further the idea that consent is some silly slogan those “crazy feminists” throw around, rather than something that is essential for safe and healthy sexual encounters.
You say the definition of rape is being diluted. Rape is and always will be a lack of consent. Don’t forget that. Sometimes rape is coming home to a husband/boyfriend who believes that because you are his wife/girlfriend he is entitled to sex. Sometimes rape is waking up the next morning naked, bruised, and alone with only the haziest of memories of your assault. Sometimes rape is having a family member tell you that it’s your little secret. Sometimes rape is having your employer tell you no one will believe you. Sometimes rape is a group of men on a crowded train with no one intervening. Sometimes rape is an acquaintance, or friend taking advantage of you on a night out. Sometimes rape is the man your family hired to get you across the border assaulting you night after night because he knows that you can’t do anything. And yes sometimes rape is a stranger in a dark alley with a knife. Not to mention countless other scenarios.
So no Mr. McInnes, we are not diluting the definition of rape, we are trying to help survivors understand that what happened to them is not and never will be ok. We are trying to help them receive the support and help that they deserve without being ostracized or blamed by the very institutions put in place to keep them safe.
Rape is not having sex with a girl with short hair. Don’t disparage this very real issue for the sake of getting hits on your half-wit post. It’s not responsible and it’s not funny. I’m not even going to touch on your horific use of the word tranny or your statement that “(men) aren’t intimidated by anything that has a vagina”. I mean, not right now anyway.
Here are some rape jokes, rape satire that work in case you are interested. Maybe you can learn to be funny? I doubt it.