Monday, October 5, 2009

Woman v. Union Square: verdict upholds seperate but equal

I'm literally seeing red.

Today it's a beautiful day, probably one of the last before it starts getting cold. The sun is shining, it's not too windy and perfectly enough, my class was cancelled. So I thought, hmm why not spend this lovely afternoon enjoying the sun in Union Square. That's not asking too much, just a little moment of peace to enjoy the sunshine- a modest mission, right?

I scruntch up my jacket put it under my head and lie back. "How freeing it is to feel the sun on my face," I thought. A minute later, I hear a  old womens voice blaring in my ear: "You are lying in a very immodest position... and you probably wonder why men follow you home." Now, I might have pointed out that she looked like she'd probably die tomorrow of natural causes and I bet she had a really shitty life because she let other people run it, but I was distracted by the man sitting next to me who called out, "you know, she's right."

"She's right, you shouldn't lie like that"
"If I was a man you wouldn't give a damn how I sat."
"That's right, but you're not, you're a woman."
"And I'm supposed to accomodate that?"
"Well that's WRONG so I'm gonna lie however the fuck I want"
"I mean you CAN lie however you want you just shouldn't if you don't want men to do something to."

Now, racism is a touchy subject so I'm probably about to piss some people off, but this man was black and he was probably alive during the Jim Crow laws. Doesn't he know social injustice? Shouldn't he at least have studied how fucked up "seperate but equal" is? He LITERALLY told me if I sit a certain way, I'll face reprecussions SOLELY because of the way I was born and he LITEARLLY told me men have the freedom to the persuit of happiness (lying in the SAME position in the SAME spot) without consequences and without fear while I do not because of my gender.
He thinks I'm lesser.
Yes maybe the law says I can sit that way, but I have to worry for my physical safety if I chose to do so? And if someone does decide to infringe upon by BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS it's MY fault because I didn't sit in "my section of of the bus," metaphorically speaking.

This example of sexism is no different than any other kind of "ism." In the 1890s blacks were told, "well legally you can do that, but you probably shouldn't cause you might get lynched." Today I was told, "well legally you can do that but you probably shouldn't cause you might get raped." Notice how the later statement is INFINITELY more socially acceptable than the former? But is it any less wrong?

Gay people can have civil unions but God help us if it's called a marriage.
Women can sit in the same spot as men but God help us of they sit in the same position. 

THIS IS SO WRONG. I am a citizen of this country, I should be able to sit wherever I want, in any position. I should be able to sit in a fucking diamond G-string with my legs over my head if I wanted to. I should NOT have to worry about my physical saftety because I want to rest my legs on a beautiful fall day. Fuck you, little old woman, and fuck you, offensive man.

Y'all can lick my ovaries.


  1. It hurts me that this happened to you. Remember, not everyone knows Calculus, so we have to teach them basic math first so we can communicate with them when we start about multiplication, proofs, and linear equations. Its a process. Always remember.

  2. That's an incredibly clear example of that kind of bullshit that goes on... right in front of everybody's faces. Well put.

  3. Danielle can you explain the way you were sitting, I understand that you should be able to sit any which way you want, but If you were having a part of body exposed I understand the reasoning behind why those two said what they did. Did they go about it the right way, absolutely not, but the intention was right.

    I do not agree with you when saying you should sit in the public with a g-string in public as it would not be acceptable for anyone to something like that.

    Also the comparison to Jim Crow Laws, is outrageous. Danielle you sat a certain way and were ridiculed by 2 people. Those laws prohibited humans based on the color of their skin from using the same books as someone simply based on the color of their skin. They could not marry out of their race, they had to use separate facilities, and in some cases couldn't vote. Breaking these laws resulted in fees or even prison.

  4. I don't think Danielle was under the impression that she was in danger of being lynched, Darren. Yes, comparisons to institutions or periods of time like Slavery or the Holocaust are perilous (I, for one, feel like my head will explode, and for good reason, when I hear these monsterous comparisons between Obama's America and Hitler's Germany) but understanding the more mild oppression of today's climate is often easier when viewed through a historical prism. The man in question was black and I think maybe her point was that minority groups could stand to have a lot more empathy for one another than they often do in this country. As a gay man, this rings true to me; black people should be especially sensitive to the idea of "separate but equal," but that didn't stop over 70% of the black population in California from voting in favor of Prop 8.
    The crux of the issue is in the exchange with the gentleman at Union Square, who felt the need to remind her that she's a woman, and must therefore sit one way or another to accomodate the danger of rape. And it seems to me that he was speaking less out of concern than from a "that's what you get" kind of attitude. That's a shame, don't you think?

    -Matt Williams

  5. Danielle, I am sorry but if you indeed realize, "BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS" then take into account basic human NATURE. It’s a big, fucked up, and convoluted world out there. You’re lucky enough to be in a position to be blessed with the genetics you have, rendering a statuesque representation of a voluptuous woman (BE HAPPY). That being said, men are and always will be, sexually lewd and promiscuous and some men have issues controlling these urges.

    You live in the biggest, baddest, and most (economically, culturally, and philosophically) diverse city in the world, face the facts, there are sketchy, uncontrolled, recidivist felons walking the streets day and night. These people did not grow up respecting women, laws, or anything for that matter.
    Grow up, you CAN sit anyway you want (feel empowered!). But you will never be safe from public ridicule. UNDERSTAND this was an older woman and like my mother, she probably calls girls in scantily clad outfits “tarts” right to their faces. Regardless of your “immodest position” I understand your anger for having to “fear” for your safety (especially your safety from man (the one who was going to follow you home)), but in reality, I think there’s some truth in the matter.

    You shouldn’t see this in terms of women versus man, this is a question of preventing a really horrible situation. You should also understand the power of feminine beauty on man. It can cause men to make irrational decisions, blinds the conscious, and in some cases even drives people out of control. Don’t be scared, be aware.
    But your right, you, Danielle from the W files, should be able to sit there naked (which you could do, but inquire with your state legislatures about that, public nudity is NOT illegal in all states), but face it, your good looking, and there are real-deal predators out there. Don’t tell me you’ve never heard, “your asking for it” whilst being scolded by a parent or guardian for some sort of annoyance you’ve made. That’s all this lady was trying to do.
    And her anger is not at you the woman, forcing you “ever further into your downward spiral of oppression”, her anger is at the potential victim within you, something that she may have once been herself and/or something that she has seen countless times and times again in her withering age. There are two sides to every story, your justified in saying that men have more freedom IN THIS SITUATION of sitting and laying in public. But remember, women have two areas of the body to cover up, men just the pelvis. Think of the inherent differences in women and men’s bathing suits, you naturally have more to cover up i.e. more to restrict, and more to conceal, and less freedom (in your sitting, laying, and standing up arrangements), it’s not oppression its natural in this instance.(lol don’t take that out of context you bitch).
    but your faulty in thinking that it’s a.) NOT inappropriate to be exposing yourself and b.) that the threat of sexual predators isn’t real, and this counts for women, boys, men, and teens of all ages creeds races and genders. Sometimes things just aren’t what they seem.

    Your friend who always yells at you.