The Rape of Alice: An Exploration of the Abuse in The Killing of Sister George

* * * TRIGGER WARNING :: Depictions of Abuse, Stalking, Rape, and Homonegativity * * *

Hello again!

For one of the courses that I am taking at University, I have been tasked with writing 6  reaction papers over the course of the semester. Many of these take the form of psuedo- film reviews, where my reaction is to a film that we watched in class. The first of these was to the film Suddenly, Last Summer (1959). This was not published here as, well, I didn’t think about it at the time. This, the second reaction paper is in reference to The Killing of Sister George (1968). However, before I begin with my write-up, I just want to point out again that there is a trigger warning on this post, as well as on the movie being referred to, for depictions of rape, stalking, abuse, and homonegativity and discussions thereof. Please tread carefully and remember self-care.

[Image] A person with painted nails holding up a card saying "It's NO until I say YES without coercion"The Killing of Sister George (1968) contained quite a few problematic elements. Ranging from conflation of femininity with infantilism to the complete inability to resolve the plot, the movie seemed quite content to make wild, unfounded generalizations and then leave the audience hanging. However, perhaps the most problematic elements of the movie did not lay in the mechanics of plot development or basic storytelling, but instead with the depiction, and implicit normalization, of manipulation, abuse, and rape within lesbian communities of the time.

These themes were almost omnipresent throughout the film, but were mostly tied to those who took an interest in Alice ‘Childie’ McNaught. From the very first scene, it is shown that the relationship between June ‘George’ Buckeridge and Alice is one marked by alcohol, control, and abuse. Within the first fifteen minutes of the film, June is aggressively questioning Alice about who she has been drinking with, as if an empty glass on the table is an indication of sexual indiscretion. Despite this concern being quickly dispelled, June follows up by once again accusing Alice of sexual impropriety, this time with her boss at work. This leads into one of the most awkward and blatantly abusive exchanges in the movie when June screams at Alice “If that’s what he’s like, then why hasn’t he had a go at you?” This is quickly followed up by June exasperatingly adding “No one ever tells me anything” to Alice’s assertions that she is being honest, forthright, and true.

This seemingly confused behaviour on the part of June seeks to throw Alice off balance and pressure her into a certain pattern of responding. This is shown more clearly later in the film when June unexpectedly shows up at Alice’s work to find that her boss is not the sexy, suave, lady-killer that she was expecting, but rather an older, married, Jewish man. In this scene, June insists that Alice lied to her about the sexual appeal of her boss; However, Alice did no such thing. Rather, she gets pressured into responding in the affirmative simply to defuse the anger that was being directed her way by June. This pattern of denial, followed by continued abuse, and finally complete surrender is one that repeats itself throughout the film, and a truism of long-term abusive relationships: learned helplessness.

Alice isn’t the only person to be a recipient of June’s abusive behaviour, however. Rather, this list includes a pair of random nuns in the back of a taxi, as well as the entire cast and crew of the BBC soap opera June was working on. In both of these cases, alcohol fueled her exploits, leading June to act inappropriately. With her peers on the set of her soap opera, June simply hurled abusive barbs at those members of the cast she didn’t appreciate. However, with the nuns earlier in the film, it is suggested that June sexually assaults either one or both of these women, a fact that she uses to taunt Alice later on.

As with many abusers, June also shows a history of abusive, consent violating behaviour. In a scene detailing how June first met Alice, June recounts the story of how she stalked Alice, violated many of her personal boundaries, and even took a piece of her property as a souvenir, all prior to even speaking a word to Alice herself.

June: That takes me back years. When I first met you…

Alice: That awful boarding house.

June: You know, for weeks I watched you come and go, and I never spoke a word to you. Every morning, you set off for work punctually *giggle* at 10 past 9. You were always in such a rush.

Alice: I had no idea you were watching me.

June: Then, one night I went into the bathroom just after you had had a bath, and the mirror was all steamed up and the bathmat was all wet and glistening where you’d be standing on it. And, there was a smell of bath crystals and talcum powder. It was like an enchanted wood. And I stood quite still on the bathmat in your footprints and then I noticed that you’d left your comb behind, it was a pink plastic comb and it had your hairs in it and I kept that comb as a souvenir. And all that time, I’d never spoken a word to you.

This extreme example very much mimics the way that abusers and rapists choose their victims. They often violate social norms and minor personal boundaries as a way of testing whether the victim would be likely to rebuff their advance or challenge their presumed power. If these small invasions are successful, the abuser moves to larger boundary breaches and more controlling behaviours. Often, by the time the victim realizes what is actually going on, the abuser is far too close or far too connected to push them from their place of power and control. [Dick pictures as minor boundary breaches]

This entrapped nature of abuse, and the random, often unpredictable nature of the abuser pushes the victim in to a state of learned helplessness, much like that exhibited by Alice. In this, the victim often surrenders to the abuse, even when it is over things that aren’t factual or believable, simply because they know that correcting the abuser will only make matters worse. With this in mind, the sex scene at the end of the movie begins to look less like a failed attempt at romanticism and more like a new abuser using the learned helplessness of Alice to take a place of control and power. At the beginning of this scene, Mercy Croft places her hand on Alice’s breast, Alice pushes her hand away, not once, but twice, Mercy continues to push Alice’s limits until, finally, Alice gives up, “allowing” Mercy to do as she wills.

This pattern of learned helplessness does not imply consent; However, in the many years since the films release there is little to no discussion about how the sex scene at the end of the movie may actually be an act of rape. This may be because of general perceptions of rape as a wholly violent act, against a thrashing, fighting, completely unwilling victim. Patterns such as the one described with Alice are often not only discounted from rape discourse, but actively eroticized by generations of romantic comedies. This, along with the passing reference to a sadomasochistic relationship between June and Alice, offers real life people who act like June and Mercy social license to operate. This allows them to use the benefit of the doubt created by “gray rape” romantic comedies, and other aspects of rape culture, to continue their track record of manipulation, abuse, and rape.

Considering that Alice, June, and Mercy are the only developed lesbian characters, and given that not one of the three of them is a positive, strong role model (to say the least), it is safe to say that this film, much like Suddenly, Last Summer (1959) is highly homonegative. Further, since many of the major character flaws present within Alice, June, and Mercy can be tracked back to stereotypes and beliefs about the butch/femme dynamic of lesbian relationships (butch as sexual and physical aggressor, femme as childish, innocent, and passive), the film actively supported the hatred, fear, and misunderstanding that surrounded lesbian women and gay men at the time.

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Gender-blind

Hello Everyone~!

This is the first blog post that I am shamelessly stealing from my academic pursuits. This is something that I am working on a the moment, and I always find that drafting things in a “blog” format is easier than drafting things in an academic format. So, I am going to go through the process of drafting a piece that I am working on, publishing it here, and editing it to make it fit the more academic format that is required of it. I do hope that you enjoy!

Please remember that this is a first draft!

[Image] Figures for men and women in blue and pink. Some men are in pink, some women are in blue. Text in the middle reads "True Love is Gender-blind"

Gender-blind

“Gender-blind,” as it sounds, is a term that is used to describe a person, policy, or service as being blind to the gender of others. In this, the person, policy, or service attempts to communicate an unbiased reaction on the basis of gender identity or gender expression. However, this disinterest towards gender comes across very differently based on whether it is a person or service which claims to be gender-blind.

Gender-blind as Identity

As an identity, the term “gender-blind” lies somewhere between the notions of pansexuality, or panromanticism, and pomosexuality. This is because, much like pansexuality, describing oneself as “gender-blind” acts as a way to tell others that one is sexually or romantically interested in people of all gender identities or gender expressions. However, where pansexuality explicitly allows for sexual relationship with members of all gender identities and expressions, being gender-blind claims to be unaffected or disinterested by the gender of their potential partner, implying an allowance for relationships with members of all genders.

As these terms are so close in their meaning, it is common for people who identify themselves as pansexual to also describe themselves as gender-blind. This is not to say that these terms are simply interchangeable, however, as one could be gender-blind without identifying with pansexuality or vice versa. This is exactly the case with aromantic asexual people. For people with these identities, there may be a disinterest demonstrated towards gender expressions and identities of potential sexual and romantic, but only because of their lack of desire in having romantic or sexual partner at all. Further, those with demiromantic or demisexual identities may also endorse being gender-blind, whether or not they have also endorsed a panromantic orientation.

Likewise, gender-blind, as an identity, overlaps with pomosexuality, or the “erotic reality beyond the boundaries of gender, separatism, and essentialist notions of sexual orientation” (Queen & Schimel, 1997). This deconstruction of the assumptions of, and around, gender boundaries is something that is inherent within the concept of gender-blindness. People with this identity often question the relevance of the gender divide in many aspects of life. This especially true with regards to sexual realm, but some may also find it pertinent to support gender-blindness in policy and services as well.

Gender-blind as Public Policy

From a public policy and social service perceptive, gender-blindness takes on a slightly different reality. Rather than being about opening oneself up to the possibility of having romantic and/or sexual partners of many different gender identities or expressions, gender-blind public policy seeks to remove gender from the determination of provision of services. To this end, gender-blind programs attempt to provide services to the population without regards to the gender of the recipients of said services.

This type of formal equality (treating all people the same, regardless of circumstance) is not typically a problem when there are few barriers to people of any gender accessing said services. However, as the number of barriers to access increase, so does the potential for gender-blind services to neglect the needs of people of a certain gender identity or expression. While this may sound straightforward in theory, in practice, it usually is not. This is because, often, barriers to accessing services are not readily apparent or readily connected.

Take, for example, the complex issue of access to healthcare. In countries without socialized medical systems, the largest barrier to accessing the healthcare that one requires is their access to the finances to pay for this treatment. However, even today, this economic freedom is not afforded to men and women equally. This is especially true considering that women are still disproportionately taxed with the costs of money and time to raise and care for children. These additional costs place women at a disadvantage when it comes to accessing healthcare services, and preventative services in particular.

Further, healthcare services often completely ignore the experiences of people with other gender identities or expressions. This leads to doctors who lack the knowledge or the comfort level to deal with these patients appropriately or adequately. This makes it hard, if not impossible, for these patients to access the healthcare that they require.

Perhaps the European Commission (2013) on gender equality summarizes it best: 

Gender blindness is the failure to recognise that gender is an essential determinant of social outcomes impacting on projects and policies. A gender blind approach assumes that a policy or programme does not have unequal (even if unintended) outcome on women and men.

Concealment in an Unlawful Assembly: A New Weapon for Police Officers

[Image] Two protesters wearing homemade Guy Fawkes masks and heavy coats.

Photo by: Dmitri Korobtsov

Yesterday, a new private member’s bill was passed into law in Canada. This bill, C-309, sought to change section 65 and 66 of the Criminal Code to make it illegal to wear a mask at a riot or unlawful assembly. While this may seem like something that could really be in the public good, I am of the opinion that the law is nothing more than a covert attempt by the Harper government to dissuade people from taking part in protests and other demonstrations.

You see, there are two main problems with this law as it exists:

1) The law is defined much too broadly.

I have to admit that part of the reason that the law is defined too broadly is because it relies heavily on other legal terms that are already much too broadly defined. Like most bills, you get into this definitional nightmare where everything is defined in a circle, and as you follow that definition circle, you realize that it could mean just about anything.

For this law, the definition of the situation under which the law can be utilized was defined as any “unlawful assembly.” However, the term unlawful assembly already has a definition in the Criminal Code of Canada, and is defined as:

63. (1) An unlawful assembly is an assembly of three or more persons who, with intent to carry out any common purpose, assemble in such a manner or so conduct themselves when they are assembled as to cause persons in the neighbourhood of the assembly to fear, on reasonable grounds, that they

(a) will disturb the peace tumultuously; or

(b) will by that assembly needlessly and without reasonable cause provoke other persons to disturb the peace tumultuously.

This means that any gathering with three or more people could be considered to be an unlawful assembly so long as the neighbourhood around the gathering fear that the gathering will disturb the peace in some shape or form. As these guidelines for determining whether a gathering is lawful or not are not exactly stringent, the vast majority of large protests and peaceful demonstrations can easily be categorized as unlawful. This means that, as far as this law is concerned, it is no longer legal to wear a mask (or paint your face) for a protest or large gathering.

2) The law is redundant

Of the two main problems that I have with the law, this is likely the bigger of them.

As I have already mentioned, the law seeks to make it illegal to wear a mask in an unlawful assembly. However, as the name “unlawful assembly” implies, it is already illegal to take part in an unlawful assembly. So, basically, what the law is asking for is to make it illegal to do something while doing something illegal.

This leads to this odd enforcement problem of: Can you arrest someone for wearing a mask at an unlawful assembly, but not arrest them for being part of an unlawful assembly? If you can, isn’t it the job of the prosecutor in the case to prove, not only that the protester was wearing a mask, but also that the assembly was unlawful? And if the police officer didn’t arrest the person for being part of an unlawful assembly, doesn’t that mean that the officer didn’t have probable cause to assume that the person was part of an unlawful assembly?

So, basically, for you to be arrested under this law, you have to already be breaking the law. However, because being part of an unlawful assembly is a summary offence, and wearing a mask in an unlawful assembly is an indictable offence, what is essentially happening is that the government is imposing harsher sentences on members of unlawful assemblies (again, which includes just about every large protest or peaceful demonstration).

Conclusion:

What this law boils down to is nothing more than a philosophy of “if we make punishments worse, it will stop.” The stated goal of the bill was to make it illegal for one to conceal their identity while rioting. This would make it easier for police officers to identify, charge, and convict protesters for being part of an unlawful assembly or doing something riotous. However, should the law be enforced as it is stated, the concealment of identity will cause the same exact problems for this new law as it did for the last one, expect this time, the punishments are bigger.

However, the idea that police officers are going to wait till after the fact to charge people with wearing a mask in a protest is truly ludicrous. Empowered by this new law, what is more likely to happen is that police officers will start arresting people with masks prior to the protest becoming a riot. This would allow the police officers to bust up protests faster and levy harsher punishments for otherwise peaceful protesters, possibly escalating the conflict to a point where it boils over into something more dangerous than a simple gathering.

In short, what this bill offers the people of Canada is not more protection against those who choose to riot, cause damage, or bodily harm, but instead a legal weapon that police officers can use to goad peaceful protests into something more dangerous, and thus, more arrestable.

Related Links:

Why Hating Justin Beiber Means the Failure of Anti-bullying Campaigns

[Image] A young child reading a pamphlet called "No Bullying Allowed!"

No Bullying Allowed, Unless you are rich, or famous, or old enough to know better or…
Photo by: Working Word

Just about every week, a new campaign comes out with the mission of ending bullying amongst youth. These programs are often praised by parents, teachers, and school administrators alike as they seek to reduce or eliminate the most negative of negative outcomes associated with bullying. Sometimes these programs are even tasked with, or credited with, saving the lives of children and teenagers who have been bullied to an extreme. However, despite this positive press and no lack of funding, these campaigns will ultimately fail in their task and waste thousands or even millions of dollars doing so.

Of course, the reason that these well meaning programs will fail is not for a lack of trying. Rather, these programs will fail because they neglect to address the much larger and more present issue: the culture of bullying that already exists in our society. This culture, which is created through our continued production of media that is negative, attacking, or harshly critical of other people, is sustained through our perpetuation and unquestioned support of this media despite its negative messages. This media then teaches our children, whether we counter it or not, that teasing, taunting, and bullying are acceptable actions with few, if any, negative repercussions.

A perfect example of this culture at work is in the case of celebrities and other television personalities. It is no secret that celebrities are subject to a fair amount of abuse, both inside and outside of media representations. Sometimes these concerns can be chalked up to whether we like or dislike their work, but far more often the discussion steers away from such constructive criticism and opinion and towards attacking them as a person. When this happens we start criticizing the person for gaining or losing too much weight, questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity, calling their fans names for enjoying their work, complaining about the clothing choices they made, or something else to that effect.

We start discussing these topics back and forth amongst our peers, joking and laughing about how gay Justin Beiber is, how Kristen Stewart can’t display emotions, or how stupid Jessica Simpson is. We joke, in full view of our children, about the people from the Jersey Shore. We publish facebook statuses or forum comments that claim hipsters are nothing more than entitled kids who need a bath. We openly air our biases about women, children, trans* people, other races, foreign nationals, or people we just disagree with. And then, when it comes time for these children to go to school, we expect them to know better than to tease, taunt, or bully someone else.

We expect, even though we live and take part in a culture that actively bullies, criticizes, and debases others, that our children shouldn’t do the same. We assume, despite watching television networks that develop and produce shows designed specifically to allow the audience to talk about the misgivings of the characters, that our children will somehow not take this as permission to say the exact same things to their teachers, friends, or peers. This is why these anti-bullying campaigns will ultimately fail: because systemic problems require systemic solutions.

So, until we, as adults, understand that to end bullying amongst youth we must first end bullying amongst ourselves, we are merely telling youth to do as we say, but not as we do. And, that has never worked.

[Autogynephilia] Reviewing “Men Trapped in Men’s Bodies” :: An Introduction

[Picture] A stack of brightly covered books roughly making a rainbow

Photo by: Horia Varlan

Last week, I took some time to pen a letter to you, the reader of this blog. In that letter, I mentioned that I have found new motivation to create and write, and that I am interested in making writing a larger part of my life. Of course, if you happen to know me, you know that I would never risk saying something like this without some sort of plan to back it up. So, I would like to welcome you to my plan: the first series written for this blog!

All the way back at the beginning of January, I was just sitting around idly checking my email when I saw a message forwarded to me by an academic listserve that I am part of. In this email, Dr. James Cantor, a rather infamous figure in the field of transgender research, recommended a book for everyone to read about transgender issues. Being that this email was from James Cantor himself, I was already a bit wary of the type of book that he would recommend to a list full of academics interested in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Trans* issues. However, once I opened the email, shit hit the fan. It would seem that the book that he felt best to recommend to this rather discerning crowd was none other than the most recent book by yet another hugely infamous figure in transgender research, Dr. Anne Lawrence, Men Trapped in Men’s Bodies: Narratives of Autogynephilic Transsexualism.

[Picture] Cover for Men Trapped in Men's Bodies: Narratives of Autogynephilic Transsexualism

Men Trapped in Men’s Bodies: Narratives of Autogynephilic Transsexualism

After taking a minute or two to cringe (and maybe dry heave) at the thought of Anne Lawrence’s works being offered as a positive resource for academics to gain accurate knowledge about transgender people, I penned a polite response back. Then, a few days later, I got another email in my inbox. This time from a Trans* positive researcher in the field. He offered me a chance to write a review of the book, and I jumped for it! I thought it a great opportunity to make use of an academic medium to explore and explain the internalized transphobia that saturates just about every word Anne Lawrence writes.

However, this isn’t what ended up happening. Instead, after only the first chapter, I am finding myself enthralled by the book, trapped by the nuggets of well-reasoned, rational points in a sea of transphobic language and biological determinism. And this is exactly the problem, unlike what I originally thought, this book seems to be rather complex. Sure, there are a huge number of problematic aspects of the book (and the research that it is based on), but there also seem to be good things that can still be gleaned from its pages.

So, instead of just simply reading the book through and bashing it for its more obvious faults, I have decided to take things slow and write reviews as I read. Hopefully, by doing things this way, I will be able to read the book in more depth, evaluate its points with more complexity, and allow my thoughts a chance to grow and naturally develop before I confine them to the pages of an academic review. This means, that, while I don’t plan on holding back on the more academic side of my writing, I do want to strive for a more expansive and revealing series of posts, in which I can play with ideas, dabble with theories, and say rather nonacademic (and sometimes even rather rude) things.

So, without any further delay, I would like to introduce you to the first series for this blog: Autogynephilia!

The Nebulous Definition of Rape: Critique of My ‘Diet Caffeine-Free Rape’

Hello everyone,

Right now, I likely should be sleeping, but I thought that I would quickly write a post about something that I just read. The article that I am referring to really pissed me off and, what’s more, is that it wasn’t meant to. It was meant to be one of those articles that all feminist/women positive people really agree with. It was meant to be one of those scary yet affirming stories about a young woman battling with the role and identity of being a sexual assault survivor. And, like most of these stories it ended with the woman understanding and accepting that identity, in effect highlighting the nebulous definition of rape that society uses.

For those of you that aren’t mind readers the article that I am referring to is linked here. I strongly suggest that you read it and form your own opinion on the topic.

As I mentioned above, in my opinion this article has one major flaw: in this case, it wasn’t rape! This is likely to really annoy and piss off people, but please bear with me as I explain. I am not trying to claim that everything that this guy she mentions did was saintly, I am not saying that it wasn’t a bad situation, and I am NOT claiming to know all of the context. For all I know, the context was cut out of the article in editing, or it was too painful or too long to write into the article in the first place.

So, I am not saying that this woman is not a sexual assault survivor. What I am saying is that what was described in the article is not something that I would call rape, and there is one passage in the article that really drives this point home for me.

I never said, “No, no, no.” When I’d cry — almost every time we had sex — he asked if he should keep going. Keep going, I’d say. Just finish. And he would. He could.

My issue is not that she never said “No, no, no.” There are millions of ways not to consent to sexual activity. My issue is that when he asked her if he should keep going, she agreed that he should keep going. For me, as someone who focuses a lot of time and effort on consent during sexual activity, this means, well, keep going.

If my partner and I are engaged in sexual activity, whether it be vanilla sex or intense pain and edge play, if I ask my partner if she wants me to continue and she says yes, I take that as consent.

That being said, it is fair to point out that the consent that this woman gave was far from unequivocal, and that is something that should give anyone pause. However, what she went on to say was not something that completely negated the consent that she gave; Instead it changed the consent from something clear (a “yes” or “keep going”) to something a bit more murky. That is, she made the answer to his request for permission to continue a “yes, but…”.

In answering the question in this way, she moves from giving her full consent to giving conditional consent. That is important, and it should be respected (as all consent should be)! This means, at least to me, that the condition that she made should be followed out, and if it can’t sexual activity should end. And from my reading of the next sentences, that is exactly what happened.

I mean, don’t get me wrong here, when she starts to express displeasure with the sexual activity, and asks for it to end sooner rather than later, this should sound all kinds of alarm bells in her partner’s mind. He likely should have stopped at that implication and done a more in-depth check-in making sure that she didn’t feel pressured to continue and the like.

But in my mind that is exactly the problem, this was based on an implication; this wasn’t based on verbal speech or intense, clear signs of transgressionsee notes. The removal of consent was done through implication. This is a huge problem for me, as it should be for all feminist/women positive people, because this is one of the main ways for rape victims to be ignored and blamed for their rapes!

I mean, how many times have we heard that a woman implied that she was wanting sexual activity based on how short her skirt was, where she was, who she was with, when she was out of the house, how tall her shoes were, or any other absurd thing? I think that I can safely assume that all women positive people think that this defense and victim blaming is completely and utterly ridiculous; But, how, exactly, is implying one’s non-consent any more or less relevant than implying someone’s consent?

Even though this seems like it is simply airing on the side of caution, relying on implication to remove consent still strips women of agency over their sexuality. It takes the power and control that comes with consent and places it in the hands of the person interpreting the consent, rather than in the hands of the person consenting (or not) to the sexual act. This is a major problem!

On top of that, this heavy reliance on the implications around women’s consent during sexual activity feeds right back into the old social tropes about women not having a voice and about how women are always manipulative in relations with men. Again, this is a huge problem, and one that feminists have been fighting for more than a century. 

So, whether this woman is a survivor of sexual violence or not (which, sadly, she likely is given the stats), can we please not hold this description of rape up as shining example of the complexities of sexual assault? It only serves to further undermine women, not empower them.

Notes:

As many of you know, this is a blog written by someone who identifies as kinky. As such, I read things a bit differently than other people. Many people would assume that her mention of crying during sexual intercourse is an “intense, clear sign” that this woman is not consenting to this sexual activity. However, this is not the case for all women, nor should it be assumed to be.

I, for one, happen to strongly enjoy crying and screaming (something else the author mentioned) during sexual activity. In fact, there have been times where my partner has ended a sexual encounter because she was uncomfortable with my screaming and crying, and I was still asking for more. Whether this is your brand of sexuality or not, the statement stands that the author’s removal of consent was based more in implication than it was in verbal cues, and thus, I feel that the critique is still relevant.

The Marginalization of Vegetarianism

So, today, while I was catching up with some of the comics that I read online, I noticed this little gem posted on Abstruse Goose: 

Abstruse Goose Comic 488 [Orignal Alt Text: Hey, I didn't become the awesome specimen of man that I am by eating salads.]

Transcript:

Vegetarian: I haven’t eaten red meat in 1697 days.

Vegetarian: I haven’t eaten poultry in 1588 days and …

Meat-eater: Hey, nobody cares!

Meat-eater: Why do you keep reminding us everyday that you are vegetarian? Nobody cares what you ate last night! Nobody cares that you don’t eat steak, nobody cares that you don’t eat chicken! And nobody cares that you don’t eat fish or…

Vegetarian: Fish? I haven’t eaten fish in 1027 days.

Box 1: On average, meat-eaters live five years longer than vegetarians.

*All three meat-eaters shown to be beating the vegetarian, one is punching, another is kicking, and the third is holding a baseball bat*

Box 2: Scientists baffled.

 

Did you get that? Did you see the joke there?

Well, you see, the joke is that scientists are baffled as to why “meat-eaters” live five years longer than vegetarians (which is not true, by the way), but the real reason is because vegetarians are insufferable to the point that they get physically assaulted, with deadly weapons, I might add!

HA! Get it!? *crickets chirping*

Oh, this is just a crude rehashing of a common trope? One that claims that all vegetarians come with this internalized need to tell the world that they are vegetarian at every chance they get? No, that couldn’t be it; there is nothing is society that claims that vegetarians are like that! I mean, as a vegetarian, I have never been called such a thing before I said anything further, I have never been attacked because I choose to not eat meat…

Oh, wait, yes I have..

In fact, just about every time that I have mentioned that I am vegetarian I have come up against some kind of resistance. I guess I must have been bragging then, I must have some how claimed to be morally superior to everyone else somehow. But, thinking back to the last incident, I don’t really know how. 

You see, the last time that I was attacked (less viciously than depicted above) I was in an IRC channel talking to a couple friends of mine in a busy room. One of my friends mentioned that he was about to go off to eat dinner, and he offered some to me (you know, in that IRC-esque action script). I declined the offer, mentioned that it sounds nice, but I reminded him that I don’t eat meat.

Well, that was a mistake! All the sudden three or four people that weren’t really chatting about much beforehand started commenting and asking questions. They started off innocently enough; you know, questions about when I decided to go vegetarian and why I chose to do so. But soon, the questions turned to more leading questions like “You know that completely removing meat from your diet can be dangerous, right?” and “You need more protein in your diet. How can you get enough without meat?” Then, from there it turned into a whirlwind of immature banter and trollish comments to try and piss me off. They talked about how meat is the awesome-est and how anyone who doesn’t like meat is stupid or childish or feigning environmental friendliness.

It was really quite annoying.. and, to me, this is that discussion in comic form. This is the backbone of the annoying comments and turned up faces that I need to deal with. This is the trope that makes it so that I don’t want to talk about food with people until I know they are okay with vegetarians.. 

And this is just because I choose to actually eat my greens.. I don’t get it.