People were mean to you,
But I always thought you were cool,
Clicking down the concrete hallways,
In your spiked heels,
Back in high school.
—The Mountain Goats, You Were Cool.
~ Manners, Culture and Dress of the Best American Society, Including Social, Commercial and Legal Forms, Letter Writing, Invitations, &c., also valuable suggestions on Self Culture and Home Training., by Richard A. Wells, 1891
via Internet Archive
I will apologise for many things that I have done but I will not apologise for the things that should never be apologised for. It is a little theory of mine that has much exercised my mind lately, that most of the problems of this silly and delightful world derive from our apologising for those things that we ought not to apologise for, and failing to apologise for those things for which apology is necessary.
For example none of the following is shameful or deserves apology, in spite of our suicidal attempts to convince ourselves otherwise:
* To possess a rectum, a urethra and a bladder and all that pertain thereto.
* To cry.
* To find anything or anyone of any gender, age or species sexually attractive.
* To find anything or anyone of any gender, age or species sexually unattractive.
* To insert things in one’s mouth, anus or vagina for the purpose of pleasure.
* To masturbate as often as one wishes. Or not.
* To swear.
* To be filled with sexual desires that involve objects, articles or parts of the body irrelevant to procreation.
* To fart.
* To be sexually unattractive.
* To love.
* To ingest legal or illegal drugs.
* To smell of onesself and one’s juices.
* To pick one’s nose.
I spend a lot of time tying knots in my handkerchief reminding myself that those are things not to be ashamed of, so long as they are not performed in sight or sound of those who would be pained - which also holds true of Morris dancing, talking about Terry Pratchett and wearing velour and many other harmless human activities. Politeness is all.
But, I fear I spend far too little time apologising for or feeling ashamed about things which really do merit sincere apology and outright contrition.
* Failing to imagine what it is like to be someone else.
* Pissing my life away.
* Dishonesty with self and others.
* Neglecting to pick up the phone or write letters.
* Not connecting made or processed objects with their provenance.
* Judging without facts.
* Using influence over others for my own ends.
* Causing pain.
I will apologise for faithlessness, neglect, deceit, cruelty, unkindness, vanity or meanness, but I will not apologise for the urgings of my genitals nor, most certainly, will I ever apologise for the urgings of my heart. — Stephen Fry
this is my suicide dress
she told him
I only wear it on days
when I’m afraid
I might kill myself
if I don’t wear it — What She Was Wearing, by Denver Butson
I mean, isn’t it odd—how you can buy a lap dance, phone sex, or blowjob in a snap, but can’t pay a person a dollar to just sit next to you on a park bench and simply hold your hand? — Jeffrey McDaniel, Dear man whose marriage I wrecked.
Mad Men: Unbuttoned
Sarah Haskins: Target Women
Sexist Beatdown (Sady Doyle) -
“here are some things that can happen to you if you have a fairly high-trafficked blog, on the Internet, and also are a lady:
# You can be called fat.
# You can have someone opine that the reason you write about rape is that you want someone to rape you, because you are so fat.
# You can be called a slut and/or fake feminist for looking okay in a sweater, and standing at an angle in which the viewer cannot help but notice that you like many women are in possession of real human lady breasts, and sharing a room once with President Bill Clinton.
# You can have an online voting poll in which dudes decide whether they would prefer to bang you or your co-blogger.
# You can be called a fake feminist and a hypocrite because clearly you are hot, and wear makeup, and therefore cannot possibly believe that you deserve rights.
# You can be the subject of an online game, in the Tucker Max fan forums, in which the goal is to Photoshop your face into the most unflattering possible scenario.
# You can be told that the only reason anyone pays attention to you is that you are hot.
# You can be the same person, and be told that you are old, disgusting, ugly, and not worthy of attention.
# You can have the only existing photo of you online stolen and posted on a BDSM website in a fake personal ad about how you want a man to come along and rough you up to fulfill your “rape fantasies.”
# You can have your own hate blog!
# You can have the only existing photo of you online stolen, and posted on a hate blog, along with the only existing photo of the lady you do Sexist Beatdown with. One of you will be deemed too ugly to rape; one of you will be deemed rapeable. Which is which? (SPOILER: I was the ugly one. I got off easy.)
And this doesn’t even begin to address your comment section.”
Darnielle: For years, I’ve written narrators who aren’t gender-identified. When I do autobiographical stuff, that’s different, obviously. But I’ve always tried to keep my songs as potentially not a man’s thing. I think so many rock songs you assume by default it’s a man’s thing. That’s a weakness of narrative. And when I was younger, my early songs employed this trope that is popular to this day with indie singer-songwriters, where a guy is gonna hurt himself or do something drastic and appalling in order to show the object of his affection how intense his love for her is.
Paste magazine: And we’re supposed to celebrate his self-destruction.
Darnielle: Yeah! And you’re supposed to think that’s amazing when these guys tell these stories: “Oh, he broke something, he hurt somebody, he did something rash; his love must have been so great!” instead of, “Oh no, he’s a psycho.” When I was younger, I did those too. And then I thought, that’s kinda bullshit to tell stories like that. I try not to write songs in which men glamorize their own need for approval from women. That’s kinda a bogus way to go out. But I try to do this quietly, I’m not about to go around telling people how they should or shouldn’t think. My feminism is for me.