Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Something Scarier than Walkers...

Last Sunday's episode of the Walking Dead brought up an interesting topic that was briefly touched on in dealing with Terminus...that rape is still just as big a threat, even when there are undead walking everywhere trying to eat your face.

Courtesy of Tumblr
And that freaking says something!  When as a viewer I'm more scared of the gun toting cop giving Beth the side eye than the yard full of walkers, it shows how ingrained it is in women that we're victimized and treated like shit by society.

If there are flesh eating freaks roaming the earth, that should be my number one fear.  But I understand the notion that moral and ethical boundaries can get warped by apocalyptic circumstances.  Bad people will survive because they have an easier time doing unpleasant/ethically fucked up things.  Like the people who ran Terminus, when it was a shelter for survivors.  They were taken over by evil people who raped and killed, and psychologically damaged the original Terminus owners into becoming cannibals.  It's the extrapolated notion of "nice guys finish last," except rather it is "nice guys become zombies or are raped and murdered."

As the creepy cop made his advances, I just felt it.  The hair sticking up on the back of my neck feeling.  It's an intuition that I've had to hone as a woman because society keeps telling me not to get raped...so now I'm hyper aware of these things.  But I was vindicated by Beth's badassery.
Courtesy of Tumblr

With what happened at Terminus, the wanderers Daryl joined briefly, and now this abuse of power (which FYI is the point of rape; it's about power not sex), it really says something about people and society...that if the zombie shitstorm hit tomorrow, I would still be more scared of being raped than the undead.  Because it seems like assholes are the ones who are mostly making it through.  Well, that's pretty discouraging for a woman...

With men explaining away street harassment and female students being raped on campus with no punishment for the rapist and athletes using their girlfriends as punching bags with no jail time, is it any shock that as a woman I'm more worried about being raped than the zombies possibly trying to eat me?  Society now keeps telling me I'm not worth anything, so why would this apocalyptic society be any different?

Today I Voted For the Very First Time

I know what you're thinking: Alex, you're such a socially conscious individual; how is it that you've never voted before?

Yeah, I know.  I'm a late comer to the political foray.  And I have a reason.  It's not a particularly good reason, but it's my story.  I was raised in a very Conservative family.  At first, I didn't question anything.  Not religion, not politics, not anything.  When I finally got around to college, I realized that I had problems with organized religion.  Then I also realized I problems with Conservative points.  I wanted to talk about politics and try and learn, but I found people unwilling.  That any discussion about the differences in politics descended into yelling or judgments.  Wanting no part of that, I decided to not take part in anything political.  I didn't discuss nor take part in politics.  I didn't vote.

Eventually, through growing up some and becoming the very social justice forward person I am today, I realized that if I wanted things to change, I needed to be part of it.  While I am only one vote, it matters.  My vote and my voice matter.  So I'm proud today to say that I voted for my very first time.  That I voted for people whose beliefs mirror my own.  And that while my vote won't likely be a deciding vote, I was able to stand up for what I believe in and know I did my civic duty.  I only wish I had realized my feelings sooner.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Crushing Weight

Somehow I've been transported back to my adolescence, because I have a crush.  And not a celebrity crush (though I have plenty of those, hey Benny Cumberbatch).  But an honest to whomever-you-pray-to crush on a real guy.  It's just all so middle school.

Suddenly I feel like I need friends to work as a go between or wishing I could pass him a note: Will you go out with me?  Yes?  No?  Maybe?  Check one.

It all started when he innocently enough just stopped to talk to me about the book I was reading.  Not super dramatic or newsworthy.  Just that most associates where I work treat the security guards like pieces of furniture.  So while the conversation was common place, the fact that he stopped to talk to me at all about something not related to work...well that is downright exciting.

Then I had to make it awkward.  I'm being honest about my faux pas, because I know eventually it will be a funny story to look back on, but right now it is far too forehead slapping.  Most people have Facebook these days, though if he does I couldn't find his profile.  So having Google at one's finger tips, I searched out other social media sites.  And I found him on LinkedIn.  Viewed his profile and thought, "Yeah, he seems smart and accomplished."  I was enjoying the crush-y moment.

Then I remembered LinkedIn tells you when someone views your profile.  And usually tells you who it is.  Kill.  Me.  Now.

It felt like a brick hit me in the face.  Creeping embarrassment and wondering if he would say something invaded my thoughts every minute.  But days stretched on and the likelihood of his saying anything lessened.  Though I still expected to one day overhear him tell a coworker I was the creepy girl who stalked him on LinkedIn.

But I haven't yet.  I've talked to him two more times since then whole thing.  He remembered my name which I'm trying not to take as a sign and just that he's really good at remembering stuff.  But it's hard, guys.  Because in my mind, we're the cutest couple.  We have an adorable apartment with two dogs.  Family dinner on the weekends...as I said, the crush is so middle school.  The struggle is real.

And in a week, I won't see him again.  I got a new job and will now be working elsewhere, unable to spend my shift wondering if I'll see him or he'll ask me about what I'm reading now.  And I know I could just be super progressive (aggressive?) and add him on LinkedIn, but then I would just add to my pathetic feeling level.  Or I could be brave and ask him to get coffee before I'm gone and miss the chance.  In my head I do this and it works out nicely.  In reality, my self conscious attitude and social anxiety tell me it's a bad idea.

He also has a name that I find devastatingly attractive.  I'm one of those people who has a name pattern in my attractions.  Like I'm the main character in John Green's An Abundance of Katherines, except with boys not named Katherine...

In any case, I'm on the fence about what I should do.  Bravery in the face of dating denial has worked for me in the past.  But it has also lead me to some crash and burn moments as well.  As I said, this whole thing is just so middle school.