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I Hate Political Correctness.

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No really, I do. I mean, I know cray-cray feminists are supposed to be all politically correct and intolerable to be around and stuff, but I legit hate political correctness.

What’s that? Did I just hear a gleeful stream of racist, sexist, homophobic, cissexist, and ablist slurs? No no no. I’m not ok with that shit. When I say I hate political correctness, what I mean is—

I hate language and ideologies that support oppression, that ignore inequality, that prioritize the concerns of the privileged. I hate it when inequalities are only superficially discussed—when people try, for example, to talk about class without also addressing race, gender, and sexual orientation. (I’m looking at you, OWS.) I hate it when people say, “sure, he’s kinda racist, but he’s not a bad guy.” I hate calling someone out on their racism, only to be told that I’m not “patriotic.” I hate it when tone arguments are lobbed at members of oppressed groups, and then used to justify the completely unwarranted anger from members of privileged groups. (“Well, you put him on the defensive!”) I hate “I was just joking,” and “you’re just looking for something to be angry about,” and “it’s just a movie.”

I hate all forms of bigotry, basically. That is political correctness—bigotry wearing a mask. Native American Day and Black History Month are not politically correct; if they were, racists would have no problem with them. “I’m not racist, but” is politically correct. And that’s why we hear it all the fucking time.

“I don’t see race”—politically correct. Reality incorrect, of course, because it’s not true, and it’s a stupid and superficial way to address racism. But politically correct.

The thing is, I do see race. And I am racist. I try not to be, but I was socialized to be racist, and I benefit from white privilege, and now, here I am. Racist. And I don’t think I’ll ever be not-racist, but I can be less racist, and that’s my goal. To be less racist, and to shut the fuck up when I think something racist, and to really look at my motivations and prejudices and supposedly-objective opinions about racial politics. And to step the fuck down when I have nothing useful to offer, and to avoid swanning in on discussions between POC about race, and to learn through reading and listening, instead of pontificating.

Of course, I’m kind of pontificating now, but at least I co-run this blog?

And I also hate that, in writing about race, it’s the writing of white people that gets read, promoted, and praised. So. Here is a brief list of social justice tumblrs I’ve been reading lately—please feel free to add more in the comments!

Dumb Things White People Say

Hi-C Educates the Masses

Soy Dulce de Leche

Esoterica

I’ll Make This Quick.

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Hi NYC Slutwalk! How are you? I bet you’re cranky. You certainly have sounded cranky lately. That’s unfortunate, because you really have no excuse to be cranky at all. On the contrary, you should feel ashamed.

No really, you should!

Slutwalk, I want to support you, and in theory, I think you’re great. But this racism and racism apologizing bullshit is giving me a rage.

Yeah, you know what I'm talking about.

Slutwalk organizers, you were never going to erase the damage that was done by the racist fuck who made this sign, but you had an opportunity to say “no, this is wrong, we’re against this,” to show your solidarity with non-racist-fucks, to condemn anyone who didn’t stand in solidarity. And you blew it.

There is nothing that excuses the sign, ok? Nothing. John Lennon doesn’t mitigate a damn thing, and it’s frankly hilarious, where hilarious = goddamn depressing, that anyone would think it could. “But guys, a white man came up with that saying first!” is an absurd defense. It always has been. And “Yoko Ono told him it was ok!” is absurd too. One woman of color does not equal all women of color, and while I’ve no doubt that Yoko Ono has heard a lot of racist bullshit in her time, I somehow doubt the N-word is included in that.

Slutwalk, you didn’t just create an environment where a woman thought it was ok to hold a sign with the n-word; you created an environment where it was ok. She held her sign, and only one woman of color asked her to take it down, and she didn’t do it. She didn’t need to do it, because she knew she could get away with walking around with her racism prominently displayed on a huge goddamn sign.

And she held it up, and posed for the picture, and basically became the face of exactly the kind of feminism I can’t get behind.

And this is why I roll my eyes when white women bitch about WOC who don’t identify as feminist. Yeah, I wish more WOC would identify as feminist, but I see that as a failure of feminism, not WOC. Because why the hell would a person of color—whatever their gender—want to stand with a movement that has such a history of epic race fails? I can’t imagine I would.

When this shit happens, I usually just say, well, that’s not my feminism. But that’s easy for me to do, because feminism is all about young, white, cis, het, college women. Feminism is a pretty safe space for me. I get angry when things like this happen, and disgusted, and ashamed; but that’s it. I’m not threatened by it. I’m not marginalized. I’m just pissed.

This—this, right here—is why feminism has such a piss-power track record when it comes to racial issues.

So, dear Slutwalk organizers whose first response to get all defensive and whatnot, y’all need to sit the fuck down and think for a minute. Ok, so maybe you personally didn’t see the sign. Fine. It was a big crowd, you can’t see everything. But now that you’ve seen it, condemn it. Don’t bring up John Lennon. (Really, don’t. Every time I read the name John Lennon, Imagine starts playing in my head and I hate that song.) Don’t try to invoke the power of Yoko. Don’t take the criticisms personally. Don’t think about yourself at all, because it’s not about you.

And don’t, for fuck’s sake, try to argue that the N-word is only offensive in certain contexts. If you aren’t black, you can’t use it. Ok? That’s the rule. Your whole protest is about reclaiming the word “slut”; would you be ok with a bunch of men saying “uhhhh, you guys are using it, which means we can use it too, in whatever context we want”? Of course not. Logic, people. (And let’s be honest here—slut does not have nearly the sordid history that the N-word does.)

Oh, Slutwalk. You had a chance to make…not good, exactly, but better. You could have made better. And you chose to be racist, privilege-denying douchecanoes instead. If you don’t get your act together, I’m gonna have to let you go.

Swooping Back In to Drop a Rant on Alla Y’all

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So I read this stupid article the other day. It was called “8 Reasons Young Americans Don’t Fight Back: How the US Crushed Youth Resistance,” and while it had some semi-decent points, it was mostly very “man, the establishment and stuff.” Education, college included, is making us all conform to…something; television allows us to live in a fantastical dream world in which actions come consequence-free (dude. watch some crime shows, ok?); and most predictably, we’re all being medicated into compliance!!!

Which, no. No, no, no, no, no.

Setting aside how steeped in privilege this entire article is (how cute that the author has apparently never had to imagine the social and economic ramifications of not finishing high school), it’s also dumb in that very special fauxgressive, elitist, cis-het-male-able-bodied-middle-class-Caucasian kind of way. And it gave me an annoyed.

(Oh, and this is kinda off-topic, but just as a side note—what is it with the hand-wringing, pearl-clutching older generations who apparently cannot fathom the possibility that people who grew up with television and other technology would, in fact, be able to differentiate between TV, video games, and Real Life™? Violence, racism, misogyny, ablism, homophobia, transphobia—their presence in the media is a problem because it’s indicative of actual attitudes held by actual people, because their popularity suggests that bigotry is rampant, and because their prevalence reassures bigots that it’s all cool, don’t bother rethinking your bullshit. But the media is not dragging people into a Big Crazy Dream Land. People create entertainment, and then the media reinforces their bigotry. It works cyclically. The No-Good Terrible Very-Bad Media is not some kind of mysterious entity swooping down to corrupt us all.

Plz to not anthropomorphize the media kthanxbai.)

Anyway, here’s what I don’t get about the Meds Are Making Us Conform bullshit: well, everything, but my biggest problem with it is that, if you really want people to be malleable and ineffectual, you keep them sick. Right? I mean, before we had meds, we had…what? Institutions, and before that, nothing. Sick people just stayed sick, or got sicker, and eventually died.

If you deny treatment to someone with a physical ailment, whether they ignore the sickness or go into debt trying to buy treatment themselves, you have weakened them and taken some of their power. Is it really such a stretch to apply this to mental illness?

Oh wait. Yes it is. Because people get weird about mental illness.

If I had any doubt about the general public’s apparent inability to treat mental illness as a real thing that actually happens and is the fault of brain chemistry, not the person suffering from the illness, those doubts were put to rest the day Amy Winehouse’s death was first reported. Because here’s someone who stated publicly that she suffered from bipolar disorder, who became addicted to multiple substances, who wrote music about her addictions—and yet, after she died, I heard tons of people essentially saying “oh well, dead junkie is dead.”

Because yeah, that’s fair. Because this is totally the first time someone with bipolar disorder has ever developed a compensatory substance abuse problem, and clearly, it was entirely her fault.

I mean really. Obviously, I didn’t know Amy Winehouse, and I don’t know what her life was like, and I’m not going to pretend I had some deep personal investment in her well-being. That would be kind of creepy. And I don’t have bipolar disorder, so I can’t personally testify to how it feels. I do know plenty of people with BPD, one of whom is an immediate family member, so I’m fairly close to it, but no, I haven’t really been there.

And yet, I know better than to blame people for not winning the neuro-lottery. Crazy, right? (That’s not to say I won the neuro-lottery myself; I haven’t really. But I didn’t fare too badly, and I have plenty of other privilege that helps compensate for the problems caused by the issues I do have.)

People love to trot out Personal Responsibility as an excuse to ignore mental illness—because like, duh, you gottta take responsibility for your problems and stuff! It’s not even that I disagree; I think that sympathy, taken too far, can become coddling, which is enabling (and one of the reasons I prefer empathy to sympathy, but that’s a whole other post). I think it’s easy to slip into the role of an enabler, and I dislike arguments which assume that the mentally ill can never have any power or agency.

But.

First, there are people whose illnesses really are so severe that they literally cannot be held accountable for their actions. They don’t comprise the majority of the mentally ill, but they are there. The degree of their illness might be temporary, or it could be permanent, but they shouldn’t be ignored.

And second, I’m not going to jump on the Personal Responsibility bandwagon until our cultural attitudes toward mental illnesses change. I’m not going to criticize people for not seeking help when the likelihood that they will be shamed for it is so strong. Actually, I probably wouldn’t criticize them anyway, but you know.

Not to be one of those obnoxious self-referential bloggers who makes everything relate back to Me and My Issues, but I’ve dealing with this problem right now—because while I am finally, after years of being really fucking miserable, coming to recognize the depths of my issues with food, I cannot pick up the phone and schedule an appointment with a counselor. Part of the problem is that I’m tired, and used to feeling shitty, and terrified of gaining weight. But another part of it is the fear that I’m not sick enough, that I’m exaggerating, that I just need to go eat a waffle and go biking in the sunshine and listen to the birds chirp. (Or whatever.) Part of it is the fear that I’m just privileged and self-obsessed, and that the counselor is going to shrug and say, meh. You’re fine. You don’t look like someone with an ED. And part of it is simply not wanting to put up with the bullshit that comes when people discover you have a problem.

Which, whatever, I’ll be fine. But this just reinforces my anger when it comes to popular attitudes in re: mental illness, because really, what the fuck? I mean, I understand that there’s magical thinking at work here: the stubborn belief that people with diagnosed mental disorders are weak, that the contemptuous magical asshat in question isn’t weak, and therefore, that zie is immune from mental illness. Ok, fine, I get it. But it’s stupid and damaging.

And it enrages me (enrages, I say) when people who ostensibly support universal health care either make exclusions for mental illness, or pretend it’s a non-issue. No, it’s not. It’s really not. And sorry, but you don’t have the right to determine what kind of illnesses deserve treatment. You also don’t get to decide who deserves treatment, or for how long, or to what degree. You just don’t.

I wish I could write more on that subject, but now I’m pissy.

All I’m really asking, I guess, is that mental illness be treated as something real, as something harmful, and not as a sign of non-comformity and exciting independence. I also want this to be a genderless issue, but of course it isn’t. I remember when Amy Winehouse and Pete Doherty were both gaining notoriety in the States, and the ways they were discussed were, ah, radically different. Amy Winehouse?—worthless junkie, terrible person, and people kept making fun of her beehive and beat-up ballet flats. But Pete Doherty? He was a misunderstood genius with a boyish face, which could be totally cute if he just got off the heroin and started bathing again.

Basically, I want a world that encourages anyone suffering from mental illness to seek help, regardless of who they are, how affable they seem, how sympathetic their suffering is. I want treatment to be free, for as long as it’s needed. I want everyone to realize that no, medication isn’t Destroying Young Minds; when used appropriately, it empowers people who suffer from problems they never asked for.

I also want this post to be more coherent, but I have too many thoughts and not enough focus. Heh.

In Re: The Blogosphere Lately

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A Brief List of Shit You Should Not Do:

The Atheist Elevator Debacle

Dictate another person’s boundaries

Decide that you are entitled to their time and/or attention

Approach them in an enclosed space with no other people present, acknowledge that you’re being inappropriate, but boldly soldier on

Insist that women are responsible for magically intuiting the desires of sad, socially inept men

Suggest that men are literally incapable of following accepted social guidelines, then accuse feminists of being “misandrist”

Turn someone’s story of a creepy come-on into the most contrived controversy ever

The Hugo Schwyzer Paternity Kerfluffle

Compare “paternity fraud” (really, guys?) to rape

Decide that a brief run-down of what is no doubt a very complicated story gives you enough information to make sweeping judgments about everyone involved

Shriek about “poor Ted” and “horrible Jill,”apparently oblivious to the inconsistency in who you’re willing to give the benefit of the doubt/assume the absolute best intentions

Leave a wall of text, using information lifted from Wikipedia, that accuses the author of being a psychopath. That’s just stupid

Say that you would stop loving your kid if you found out he wasn’t biologically yours. Not only does that make you a terrible person, it’s a lie—because if that’s all it would take to make you stop loving your son, you never really loved him to begin with

Get so hung up on the details of the story that you completely miss the overarching point of the article. (For the record, I was pretty squicked out by the story, but in the end I agree with Schwyzer—DNA doesn’t make a parent)

Mac McLelland’s Horrible Article to Which I Will Not Link

Grossly mischaracterize PTSD (Protip: You don’t get a diagnosis so soon after the traumatic event—like all mental disorders, you have to demonstrate an established pattern of behavior. Also, if she really had PTSD, “rough sex” would not have been a cure.)

Falsely equivocate bystander trauma with first-hand trauma

Make someone else’s rape about you

Turn a horrible story of a Haitian woman’s rape into a tale of Privileged White Lady Pain

Be so lazy in your use of language that your writing blurs the very-super-obvious line between sex and rape

Criticize her article on the grounds that she’s OMG SO TOTALLY SLUTTY instead of “wow, what a terrible narcissistic asshole”

This and This

Freely admit to being a stat rapist (2:14 in the video), revealing how utterly unconcerned you are with the potential legal repercussions, then deny that we live in a rape culture. (Yes, that person probably wouldn’t give you his real name, but his IP could be traced)

Be one of those horrible people. I can’t even.

An Open Letter to the Couple Who Roofied Me During My Otherwise Awesome Vacation (TW)

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Man, fuck you guys.

What was that shit anyway? Ketamine? Home-brewed GHB? Some kind of magical Puke In the Gutter and Fail At Keeping Your Head Up chemical masterpiece? I didn’t even know where I was. I had to puke up what was, hands down, the spiciest (and most delicious) Indian food I have ever eaten. I had to do this on the curb, in a skirt. And it came right out of nowhere. One minute I was standing on the sidewalk trying to change from heels into flats, and the next? Boom. Vomit.

You had a pretty smart set-up going, I must say. You, chicky, looked like Ginny Weasley, and barely old enough to even be in a bar; you walked up all, “hey, my brother wants to get you a drink, but he’s shy…” and I was just like, cool, whatever, I’ll take a free drink. So I ordered it, and the bartender made it. You grabbed it and handed it to me, which just seemed polite, given that you were standing and I was sitting. And then you, Mr. Shy “Brother,” shuffled over and made small talk while I drank it down.

I don’t remember what we were talking about, but I think you said you were studying Forensic Science–which I hope you made up, because for the love of whatever, you need to stay the fuck out of the criminal justice system.

Anyway, I drank this sugary, pineapple-infused drink that looked and tasted totally normal, and sure, you, lady, had briefly handled my drink…but you’re a chick. And you were only in my blind spot for a second. And I was sitting right at the bar, so it’s not like you’d had to walk across the room to bring it to me. This was a distance of maybe four feet.

And you, Mr. Shy, you were just a chatty dude. So wev.

And who roofies someone who’s in a group anyway?

Oh wait. That’s right. There is no perfect victim, just like there’s no perfect criminal. There are just, yknow, assholes and the people they choose to target. And while I could continue to beat myself up for accepting the drink at all, I think we all know who’s at fault here.

So you were trying to drag me to a different bar, and we said we’d meet you there even though none of us had any intention of going, and you finally left. And then we walked outside, and bam.

Again, fuck you guys. It apparently took thirty-five minutes for Pepper and her sister to even get me to stand up from the curb, and then they had to walk me to a taxi, and the driver gave me a plastic bag to puke in, and then I somehow made it back up to Pepper’s sister’s apartment and blacked out. I guess. I don’t really remember. I couldn’t even hold down water until two p.m. the next day. It’s taken me a week to even imagine the taste of alcohol without wanting to vomit. I had stomach problems for three solid days. I had to forgo oysters for lunch thanks to you shitheads.

Stay the hell out of my close relationship with seafood.

And personally, I didn’t really enjoy that whole “I can’t move my limbs” feeling. The “where the fuck am I and who am I with?” feeling wasn’t much better. But you know what really pisses me off? The part where I have to take a drug test for my new job, and, since I don’t know what you gave me or how long it can stay in my system, I’m gonna have to drop thirty-something dollars on this shit:

I think you mean "Vile."

Thanks, guys.

Oh, and to that one person who was all, “well that happens, that’s why I’m careful when I go to the bar”? Stop talking. Not just in this one instance, but as a general rule. Just don’t.

Here, consider this painting Pepper and I saw at the pier in Bandon, Oregon:

 

Yes, it says "Repent" on the bottom.

For the record, you did not ruin my vacation. It was still made of awesome and fuzzy bunny happiness. But seriously–I got roofied by a woman? My faith in humanity, you guys took it.

Sincerely,

Paprika

I Drink Wine and Bitch About the Patriarchy.

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Ah, pick-up artistry. How awful you are.

This Hugo Schwyzer article on negging is characteristically excellent (minus the crack about gay hairdressers, which, what?–come on man, you’re better than that). But the comments are something. They’re mostly fine over at Jez, which isn’t surprising, but over at the GMP—and on Schwyzer’s own blog—well. You know.

My own feelings about negging are not complex: I just don’t think it’s very nice. I don’t understand what would possess a person to walk up to someone they presumably find attractive and make a derogatory comment. Why would you do that? Why would you think that’s okay?

Well, I suppose you’d think it was okay if you had no respect for women, and didn’t quite believe we were people, and if you were too embittered to consider other alternatives. I guess you’d be alright with negging if you were the kind of person who refused to really analyze your failed relationships, if you perceived every rejection as some kind of undeserved slight against You As a Human, if you believed you were entitled to a woman’s time, energy, and body. And if you lacked basic human empathy, that would help too. But nah, clearly the problem is that Women Are Mean.

Here, PUAs, let me explain something to you:

I am a bitch because I need to be. Because I am harassed in some way pretty much daily. Because I’m The Girl Who Walks Everywhere, and people think they know me, and that they’re entitled to my time. And I have heard everything already. I have had people take it upon themselves to figure out where I live; I have had salespeople call my cellphone after I leave their stores; I have had customers call my place of work and ask me out while I was on the clock. I have been pestered on the street, on staircases, on sidewalks, in restaurants, on the job, at home, and in class. I have heard pretty much any line you could imagine.

I say this not to make some arrogant point about how awesome I am (I’m really not that great), but to stress that my bristlyness is a learned behavior. I used to be friendlier, but it complicated my life, and now I’m a little standoffish. According to the PUA literature, this makes me one of those women who “needs to be taken down a notch”—except, no. No I don’t.

In fact, I basically have the self-esteem of a teenager, and although negging won’t hurt me as much now as it would have a couple years ago, it certainly won’t help. When I was twenty, negging could make me start or extend a fast, literally punch my body, or have a panic attack; now it won’t make me do any of those things, but the words will sit in the back of my head, chanting. They don’t just slip through me—they cling.  Remember the Nickelodeon amusement park slime machines?

Those kids look miserable.

Negging, for me, is like standing under a slime machine, only the effects are harder to wash away. I wish I were the kind of person who could just let those comments roll right off, but I’m not, and it’s taken me a long time to realize it, but: nobody gets to demand that I be that person, because nobody has the right to make those comments in the first place. Strange men shouldn’t be taking it upon themselves to “take me down a notch,” regardless of how insecure they are themselves. And chances are, if I’m being pestered, I’m not feeling confident; I’m feeling uncomfortable. I’m feeling cornered, and anxious, and irritated. What you’re reading as arrogance is likely something else entirely.

So yes, negging is mean. It’s a shitty way to treat another person. It suggests that you don’t actually consider me equal on the human scale, which makes you objectively terrible. And yeah, it might be effective sometimes—but it’s generally effective with people who were already vulnerable, whose insecurities are easier to locate and exploit. (I say this from personal experience.) And if you’re deliberately seeking out, and taking advantage of, vulnerable people…well, again, you are terrible, and you shouldn’t be dating anyone.

But, you know, the PUAs have complaints. They always have complaints. The most common of these seems to be “I haz insecurity and bitchez be mean!” I’ve no doubt there’s some truth to that, and to a degree I sympathize—but that’s a very small degree, because there’s no excuse for being a misogynist asshat. I mean, I’m sure it is, at times, ZOMG so hard to charm to laydee folk. But my answer to that is, well, duh—the patriarchy hurts men too.  Any system that attempts to force people into narrow, prescribed roles harms everyone involved. And that sucks for you, PUAs-in-training, it really does. It saddens me. It saddens me so much, I’m drinking a monstrous glass of wine to cope.

But it’s not my problem.

I have similar feelings about racism, so let’s start there. I personally feel that racists harm themselves, not only because they’re setting limits on what they will experience, and how they’ll feel about what experiences they do have, but also because, while we in no way live in a post-racial society (lollerskates!), there are usually some social consequences to blatant racism. Subtle, underhanded racism, not so much—in fact, it can often benefit a person—but someone who casually tosses out racial slurs will likely face some repercussions. So yeah, racism hurts racists. But it would be ridiculous to suggest that people of color bear the responsibility of reforming racists. (I’m sure that someone has tried to make that argument at some point, but whoever it was deserves a punch in the face.)

Coming to terms with your privilege isn’t pleasant. Realizing how much I benefit by being thin, white, young, cis-gendered, and able-bodied wasn’t fun. But you need to do it, and you don’t have the right to demand that other people drag you up into the light and make it all feel better. If there are people kind and compassionate enough to assist you in that realization, you’re lucky—but you’re not entitled to their help.

Similarly, women are not responsible for correcting the damage done to men by the patriarchy; men are responsible for that. I’m sorry, PUAs, if the pressure to conform to a narrow definition of masculinity has led to insecurity and resentment, but it’s not my fault, and I can’t fix it.

Sex and dating can be hard. It’s harder if you’re a dick.

Do. Not. Want.

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As I’ve said before, I am never having babies. Not because I hate babies, but because I would be a lousy parent. I can’t even fathom parenting; my brain gets to the part where I conceive, and then it just stops. It makes a terrible screeching sound, flips over, rolls down a hill, and stops.

But according to one of my co-workers, I might change my mind. Because, you know, she changed her mind. Because one time, she dated a guy who had a kid, and had the magical experience of helping care for his kid, and now she thinks kids = awesome. She used to be totally anti-marriage and –kids, but now she’s pro-both! Therefore, it is likely that this will happen to me.

Which reminds of the assumption drills in my GRE study book, where they give you a weak argument and ask you to identify the assumptions. You know, like:

Argument: Bossy co-worker was once anti-child, but changed her mind. You are anti-child. Like bossy co-worker, you will change your mind.

Assumptions: Uh, since when do I = bossy co-worker? etc.

So she suggested that I would inevitably develop baby fever, and I just shrugged and said something like, “yeah, I doubt it.”

“You never know…

“I have a good idea.”

“Well, just don’t do anything crazy.”

Like what, exactly? Cut out my own womb?

“Once I have health insurance and can find a doctor who will give me a tubal, I’ll have it taken care of.”

“Um, good luck finding someone in the states who will do that.”

You crazy, baby-hating harridan.

But you know what? I’m not a caretaker. I don’t nurture. I love and I help, but I don’t raise. And it’s not because I’m a fuckup, it’s because those just aren’t things that I do. If you’re going to ask me to raise a kid, you might as well use Red Bull to anesthetize a cat—because clearly, you don’t understand that all things can’t do all the things. Caffeine can’t sedate a kitten, and I can’t raise an upstanding member of society. It’s tragic, I know, but there you are.

And pestering people about having kids is so fucking rude it makes my head spin. As Pepper said when I was chatting with her earlier, you might as well suggest to someone homosexual that they could change their mind and become straight. Just try it! Because a lot of people are straight, and that means you should be too! (And really, when it comes to making babies, you can totally go on a test run. If you end up not enjoying the whole parenting thing, you can return the kid to your nearest Target!)

I don’t even hate kids—some of them are great—I just don’t want any. It’s like how I love cabernet, but would never run a vineyard. Or how I enjoy snow sometimes, but would never move to Greenland. Or how…well, you get it.

And you know, unlike bossy co-worker, I’ve never been “anti-marriage.” Marriage is fine; it’s the needy, crying, time-sucking children I’m against. So it’s not like I’m bumbling around being all “I reject intimacy and love!” (not that being anti-marriage means a person can’t have those things, but that seemed to be what she was suggesting)—I just. don’t. want. the babies.

But it’s not like I’m an autonomous 24-year-old adult or anything, so who knows.

Oh, and by the way, Family With the Constantly Shrieking Toddler Who Destroyed the Place Settings on Four Empty Tables, 9.02 on a ticket of 70.98 is not acceptable. You put me through auditory hell. Also, where were you when your kid was playing next to the fireplace?