I am so angry. I am so angry that I wouldn’t even have had those four words, without the help of a friend. I’ve felt like this for a while, but I’m saying it now because I keep finding more examples of misdirection and hypocrisy—increasingly disgusting examples—and wore myself to tears trying to record it in a way I thought anyone would pay any attention to. But that’s not why I’m angry.
I’m angry because we live in a world where we’re made to feel afraid of our own bodies, and of touching our bodies, and of other peoples’ bodies, and touching them, and of other people’s bodies touching. These things should be beautiful, but because some people aren’t comfortable with them, nobody is allowed to be.
I am angry because parents are made to distrust their own children, children are made to feel like—and even prosecuted as—criminals, and when a woman respected enough to become the Surgeon General of the United States said that maybe, just maybe, if we don’t frighten kids away from masturbating they’d be more knowledgeable and responsible about sexuality, she lost her job. And this sex-negative culture is so strong, now it may even pervade the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists—the people who are supposed to teach us about sex and our bodies.
And I’m angry because I feel like I can’t make myself heard, and because too few others are speaking up. I’m angry because if you do speak up, you’ll get attacked. You’ll be accused of terrible things, like being a child molester, or enabling rape.
I’m not angry because I was attacked, I’m angry because anyone could be, at any time, and nobody will even bother to watch the whole video before passing judgment. And everybody just accepts this, as though it’s natural for the world to be like this. But it isn’t natural—our culture was manufactured this way.
We could all trust a little more, and panic a little less, and everything would be so much better. But I can’t make that happen, and I can’t make people listen to me. Even if people wanted to listen, they’d have a hard time because other people make sure you can’t read what I write or hear what I say in spaces like public libraries. But most people won’t even try, simply too afraid that they’ll be viewed as dirty, porn-loving perverts.
So I’m isolated, and I’m angry. But the one thing I refuse to be is quiet. Because this culture is telling us we’re supposed to be afraid, and silent, and “decent.” And if I buy that, then I’ll be just as hollow as the lip service this fear-based culture pays to honesty.