By Alyssa Bluhm
This article was originally shared as part of Alyssa Bluhm’s TinyLetter “Things I’ve Googled Recently.” Subscribe here for occasional “litspamming.”
Another day, another hundred think-pieces on misogyny, feminism, everything. I probably read too many of them, but I can’t stop; I have fuckup FOMO. And lately I’ve been stuck in a catalog of fuckup HORROR stories.
- It started with this Fusion story called “Meet the Woke Misogynist,” which details several women’s experiences dating men who claim to be feminist but still harass and assault women. SNL has dedicated not one but two recent skits to parodying the same topic, but they don’t really feel like parodies, you know?
- Around the same time, Chimamanda Adichie stuck her foot in her mouth by vocalizing the misperception that trans women benefit from male privilege and cannot really be women because of it. To make matters worse, her apology was basically, “Sorry, but I know I’m right.” When your feminism has been blessed by Beyonce herself, it’s probably hard to recognize how incomplete it can be.
- Then, a few days later, Donald Trump refused to shake Angela Merkel’s hand during her visit to the US. I know, Trump is the worst, etc. But what bothered me here was how many women I saw online calling out Trump’s misogyny and conveniently ignoring the fact that Merkel is still supporting the burqa ban in Germany.
- Capping it off is this bizarrely captivating profile on the sexual harassment controversies surrounding Miki Agrawal, the cofounder of Thinx period underwear. Her sex positivity went so far as to curve back around to being offensive. The employees’ harassment stories are so shocking and I can’t look awaaaay.
I was trying to synthesize these scenarios into some greater understanding of the complicated politics around how anger, guilt, and forgiveness build allyship, but it all boiled down to a bunch of Audre Lorde quotes that I only half comprehend (read Sister Outsider, then let’s discuss), and then I cornered myself in an argument with the dissonance of moral gray area. I ended up with another list! (Disclaimer: it’s very incomplete.)
- “Woke” men, feminist intellectuals, and trailblazing women leaders are all equally susceptible to massively alienating and fucking over other women.
- Do truly safe spaces even exist? You can’t trust anyone!
- When a marginalized person says that you or someone else is harassing/offending them, they are looking for support, not an argument.
- Fucking up (or reading about other people fucking up) is instrumental to learning how to be better at supporting marginalized people.
Not to end this on too trite a note, but I’ll leave you with this inspo for recovering from your fuckups: Domino’s led one of the greatest comebacks OF ALL TIME by figuring out how make better pizza instead of getting mad about how shitty it was. Every time you fuck up, make better pizza! As someone who’s constantly fucking up, believe me when I say the pizza gets easier to swallow every time.
Anyway, I only brought up Domino’s because I’m obsessed with this Domino’s article you can add toppings to. #journalism! If you take away nothing else from this letter, just know that Domino’s has a bison farm in its backyard.
*Not an actual scene from Domino’s bison farm
Alyssa Bluhm cannot control her Virgo and has overwatered many plants to death because of it. She lives in Minneapolis, where you have a good chance of running into her at any given donut shop.