gaslighting is a specific abuse tactic in which someone consistently and deliberately makes someone doubt their perception of reality, frequently by doing something and then denying it, over and over, in order to make their victim question everything and establish control over them
it does not mean: someone lied to you once, someone got something wrong, a politician lied, someone you don’t know on the internet told you that you were wrong, someone didn’t believe you, etc
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early-seasons supernatural wanted so bad to be a horror show but refused to engage with the inherent horror of being trapped with an angry man. your father drives you back and forth across the country. your home in the shape of a car shrinks to tiny proportions; you’re never alone. it’s been months since you lived anywhere for longer than a couple weeks; you realize no one would know if you died. your father stands at the foot of the motel bed and watches your brother and you field stripping guns. he clicks the stopwatch and tells you there are things out there in the dark that want to hurt you, that will kill you if you’re not careful. more than once, you wonder if he’s one of those things. your father starts the car again and you realize that it’s just this, forever. you will never get out. you will never be anything different than what you are now. you toss your duffel bag into the trunk and get in the passenger seat. the angry man drives on.
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There’s a phenomenon where a lot of feminist and queer spaces will talk a lot about supporting trans women, and view trans women as one of the most oppressed groups there are, while at the same time being pretty inhospitable to actual trans women and more willing to ostracize and punish them for infractions which they’d forgive others for. And downstream of that, they’re rendered a lot more vulnerable to abuse by the precarity of their place in the community.
Some of what’s going on there is just, well, talk is cheap, and it’s easier to get people to say the right slogans than to actually unlearn transphobia. But I think some of it is this:
A common form of transmisogyny is the idea that a trans woman, as a man pretending to be a woman, is something threatening pretending to be nonthreatening. (Julia Serano’s “deceptive transsexual” is basically this.) Now the people in these spaces don’t think trans women are men, oh no. They’ll say “trans women are women” and fully believe it. But it’s one thing to think that trans women are women in the abstract, when the word “women” is right there in the subject of the sentence to guide you. When you’re dealing with an actual trans woman in front of you... maybe she’s got masculine features and you kind of think of her as a man even if you wouldn’t say it. Maybe she’s half a foot taller than her partner and if there’s abuse going on there, there’s no question in your mind who’s abusing whom. Maybe she said something you disagree with and well, would she really have said that if she hadn’t spent most of her life being treated as a man? Maybe she’s taking up more space than you’d like her to and that feels pretty masculine to you. And you’re not saying that she’s faking her identity or anything, but it sure is convenient for her that she can accuse people of transphobia if they point out how she’s exhibiting toxic masculinity.
So sometimes without explicit misgendering (although explicit misgendering definitely also happens), people and groups can pretty easily be convinced that trans women are wolves in sheep’s clothing, dangerous and deceptive and untrustworthy. “Trans women” in a lot of these people’s eyes, are great, but actual specific trans women not so much.
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What you did all those years, It wasn't you. You didn't have a choice.
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When Zuko talks about "a time when our family was actually happy," he is trying to reconcile positive feelings he has about his family, that image of his father's hand on his shoulder and the flashback to him and Azula playing as a child, with the things he is beginning to understand. That's why he's burning the pictures in "The Beach," because he is sixteen years old and confronting the reality that just because you had good times with your abuser doesn't mean you weren't abused. It's not about how the family used to get along or Zuko being biased, it's about needing to understand that just because there were good times doesn't mean you weren't hurt and doesn't mean you owe your abuser anything, and I think it's very important that ATLA shows that.
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He Wants to Know Why Sometimes in the Face of Conflict I Neither Fight nor Flee, but Instead Go Disconcertingly Mute, Eyes Locked Ahead Like Some Sad Dead Thing Looking off into the Empty of Its Own Future
Children who have no escape
from the hands that harm
learn to die over and over again.
— Jeanann Verlee, published in Hematopoiesis Press
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No, please, I won’t say nothing, I swear. If there’s one thing I can do, it’s keep my mouth shut. Ask the Feds; I’ve never grassed anyone up.
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not to single out this post, but this is exactly the kind of stuff I mean when I’m talking about how often people have this idea that “extremism” is the result of some sort of brainwashing or mind control or something.
There’s this weird desire to claim that underneath it all, everyone has the same goals and values, so if someone’s in a hate group or raping people or doing other atrocious behavior, then that means they were somehow manipulated into doing these things, and that we could be too. The whole premise is just devoid of any kind of analysis of power, any kind of accountability and responsibility for people’s actions. Especially when we’re talking about grown adults-- people make decisions about what to engage with based on their values.
Listen, I’m a far left “radical” and I was not “radicalized” by others-- I make the conscious decision every single day to read far left theory, learn from and organize with leftists, and engage in action to further leftist goals. I literally choose to do this because it’s aligned with my values. I’m not a centrist at heart who is lacking vital information or being misled- I’m literally operating on a distinct value system where I believe that everyone is deserving of what they need to survive, and I have a genuine belief that everyone depends on each other to survive and it is in all of our best interests to cooperate and take care of each other rather than compete. That’s what I believe.
JK Rowling and other TERFs and other Far Right actors are not innocent centrists who were misinformed, manipulated, and radicalized by others. They have a value system rooted in transmisogyny, fascism, eugenics. They do this shit to further their goals of making it impossible for trans women (and other targeted groups) to survive.
It honestly reminds me so much of the standard abuse apologist narrative that abusers are just “out of control” due to mental illness or alcohol or past trauma or whatever excuse. Or the idea that rapists rape because they just don’t know any better and they’ve been misinformed about what consent is. Like those articles when #metoo was big being like “accidentally raping people is something anyone could do, so should we really be deplatforming rapists??” It’s nonsense-- rapists and abusers are making choices based on their values. They justify their actions to themselves, and they make decisions to further the goals they want (control, power, sexual gratification, ensuring their partner can’t leave them, etc.).
So no, it couldn’t “happen to” any of us, because it didn’t “happen to” them. They chose to research far right theory and associate with far right people and engage in oppressive behavior because it aligns with their values and it furthers their goals. Hold these people accountable, and hold yourselves accountable instead of perpetuating this idea that otherwise compassionate people could just flip into fascism at no notice. That’s not what’s going on.
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I’ve been scrolling through the Joss Whedon tag and other related tags to see if I can find some posts that reflect my views that I can reblog. But I eventually decided to make my own as I’m not seeing a lot that I fully agree with. There are a lot of people saying “Joss Whedon is a piece of shit, everything he ever did is trash, and it’s immoral to watch or reblog anything to do with him.” And then there are a lot of other people saying “Buffy and Angel and Firefly and Dollhouse were so important and formative for me and I love them and I’ll always love them so I’ve decided the best approach is death of the author and pretending that SMG created Buffy.” There are very few people in the middle, looking at it with nuance, and I’m frustrated by it.
Buffy The Vampire Slayer has been my favorite show for 8 years, and it still is. I still love it with all of my heart, and I probably always will. It has fantastic, nuanced characters, including some incredible portrayals of complicated women. The show does an amazing job of exploring a lot of important, difficult issues such as the effects of trauma and depression. It featured the first lesbian kiss on primetime TV. It did a lot of things with women that were very progressive for the 90s. Many wonderful, non abusive people worked on the show, and even though it was created and heavily shaped by Joss it is the product of a lot of different talented people. SMG is still proud to have her name associated with Buffy, even though she condemns Joss.
But at the same time, Joss is abusive, racist, and misogynistic. We see this very clearly in the way he’s treated Charisma Carpenter and Ray Fisher, but it also shows up in his work itself. I’ll be using Buffy as an example as it’s the show I’m most familiar with, but these issues show up in all of his work. People have rightly criticized Buffy for a long time now for being racist. There are very very few characters of color, when they do show up they’re usually walking stereotypes, and the anti-Romani racism that’s at the center of Angel’s backstory is horrific. Whedon’s misogyny is also very present in Buffy, if in slightly more subtle ways. The way the show handles consent and assault is questionable at best (look at how Xander gets away with his attempted assault in The Pack). Buffy is punished narratively for having sex in season 2, season 4, and season 6. Xander’s misogyny and fetishization of Willow and Tara is treated either as a joke or as completely acceptable throughout the show, and it’s very clear that Xander is Whedon’s self insert. Whedon’s objectification of women is present throughout all 7 seasons.
I am a fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. That has not changed. Part of being a fan, for me, is being able to criticize the show and acknowledge its flaws without disregarding its values and contributions. It is possible to see both, to hold both at the same time, and for me it is necessary. The only two options are not “Joss ruined everything he touched and I will never watch his shows or engage in his fandom again” or “Joss Whedon sucked so I’ll ignore his role in his creations so I can keep loving them without moral complexity.” There is a middle ground, and I encourage people to feel comfortable taking it.
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When you keep being told you're just like your abusive parent in the midst of dealing with the fear of turning into them and making the same mistakes
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You can't rely on cops or prisons. If the prison system worked to help us feel safe, there'd be one prison in each state. Why are there so many? Because it helps control the people the state doesn't want to exist. Which is why they were so encouraged by AIDS: it was going to wipe out the junkies, queens, gay people, and speed freaks-- so why cure it? We have to rely on ourselves, community, friends, and blood or chosen family.
Miss Major; It Takes Ass to Whip Ass: Understanding & Confronting Violence Against Sex Workers; The Revolution Starts at Home
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when your dragon knocks on the door, princess, does your breath catch in your throat like a knifeblade. pretend it doesn’t, whenever you act scared it gives her ground you’ll need to lose later. she slithers in and the room fills with her no matter how small she is. your dragon, tower girl, from now until a king for thee.
she reminds you why smoke inhalation is why people die in fires, not from burning. she smiles around those teeth and leans in and says how are you, darling? even though you’ve never been darling to her. but you both playact that you love her and she loves you. some days, even though you shouldn’t, you do love her, darling, don’t you. weak girls like you always do.
she makes a face about your hair, darling, about oh, dear, you’ve been picking at your skin, haven’t you, about those round cheeks are not of nobles they’re of fools. she folds her claws and conducts you on how to welcome men. the shifting of skirts, the incline of head. of course, her smile, again, they’ll have to get through me first before they can get in.
she never stays long but it is always too long. and then you hug her, because you must, because she is doing you a favor, protecting you. she reminds you again she’s the reason you get to eat. that she’s the reason men aren’t whisking you off into worse towers in worse places. she is always so hard, so un-warm, wrapping herself around you and hissing down your neck. today is a good day and she doesn’t take a bite out of you for impudence or for walking funny or for how you sit. today is a good day, and you only fear her a little bit.
and then she’s down the stairs and outside, prowling, prowling. when she gets bored of watching you flinch every time the door creaks on its hinges, she goes off hunting. and in the distance, turning, she gives you this little wave. on the horizon, so small there, you see her as who she is. who she always is, when you’re not choking on your own fear and making her big. it’s your fault for making up stories. she always says you’ve got nothing for wit.
but she’s no dragon. she’s just human. she’s just your mother. and god. is she making you pay for it.
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I made a different type of werewolf mom comic this time; I hope it helps.
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i would like to send as much love and support as i can to fka twigs in the coming weeks. the unbelievable amount of strength and bravery she displayed in coming forward and speaking out against the violence and abuse she faced cannot go unnoticed. issues of gender based violence have always and continue to disproportionately affect people of color. she will undoubtedly face backlash and victim blaming, and she deserves all the support in the world right now.
additionally, i send support and strength to those who are currently facing, or have faced relationship violence of any sort. below are links to a variety of support resources and organizations to donate to. i by no means know everything about all of these resources, and i’m sure there are many more that i missed, feel free to let me know or add.
most of all, you are not alone, you are loved, you are always and will always be worthy of respect, love, care, and time. please take care of yourself 💛💛💛
https://www.thehotline.org/: National Domestic Violence Hotline: free, confidential, 24/7 call or text lines, recursos en español
https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: confidential, free, 24/7 call and chat lines, hard of hearing and deaf specific resouces, recursos en español
https://www.loveisrespect.org/: Love Is Respect: good for education, 24/7 call or text lines, free and confidential, recursos en español
https://www.rainn.org/: RAINN: free, confidential, 24/7 call and chat lines, recursos en español
https://casadeesperanza.org/: Casa de Esperanza: 24/7 bilingual helpline and services (recursos en español), lots of advocacy and outreach work
http://www.nnirr.org/drupal/: National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights: advocates for migrant rights, border justice and legislative change, recursos en español
https://www.dviforwomen.org/: The Initiative: call line available 9am-5pm M-F, advocates specific support for victim/survivors with disabilities, provides direct service, education, and outreach
https://deafdawn.org/services: DAWN: provides advocacy specifically for deaf or hard of hearing victim/survivors, call and text lines
https://wocninc.org/projects/: Women of Color Network: provides a variety of support and educative advocacy for women of color
https://www.niwrc.org/: National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center: native led nonprofit, links to many resources and hotlines, lots of advocacy and outreach work
https://www.api-gbv.org/: Asian-Pacific Institute of Gender Based Violence: provides a variety of different culturally specific advocacy services including translation and immigration support
https://alp.org/: The Audre Lorde Project: provides advocacy and support specifically for LQBTQ+ people of color, lots of education, outreach, and community support programs
https://translifeline.org/: Trans Lifeline: hotline is free, anonymous, and confidential, all calls are answered by trans/GNC advocates, many many resources and links, recursos en español
https://www.bwjp.org/: Battered Women’s Justice Project: provides a variety of legal advocacy and support services, does lots of outreach and training programs
https://youth.gov/youth-topics/teen-dating-violence/resources: Youth.Gov: a centralized set of resources and educative info for teenagers/younger folks dealing with/learning about relationship violence
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You know, the more I think about it, the more I realize just how awful my life could have been if I hadn’t realized my ex was an abusive fuckstick and gotten the heck out of dodge when I did.
This is the guy, for context, who after I broke up with him, would still email me regularly, or try to find me on social media (the few times this account has been locked down was because of him) and contact me and try to talk to me like we were still friends. This is the guy who messaged me, after he got married, and told me he loved her because she reminded him of me, except if I were only taller and prettier and did what I was told.
God what a fuckstick. I can’t believe I almost agreed to marry him when I was 17. And that my parents thought it was a great idea. Cause y’know, someone willing to put up with my shit doesn’t just “grow on trees”. Apparently.
Ugh, ugh, ugh, what a horrible train of thought to go to bed on.
I’m so glad I ran away over the ocean when I did.
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Hide ‘n Seek~
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OK. Here is my best attempt to explain everything about my callout that I felt was unfair, untrue and deliberately misleading by my ex who made it, which combined with people's response to it resulted in a huge loss of income and emotional support, friends turning their backs on me and massive embarrassment and emotional trauma all of which I am only beginning to truly recover from. I think it is important to see the original callout in context to understand the truth and also how it was misinterpreted and the huge gaps of information that people filled in with their own biases and assumptions. I also included some receipts showing her contradicting her claims and demonstrating the way she treated me to show that she is not afraid of twisting the truth or outright lying in order to hurt people who she feels wronged by.
I was unable to find a screenshot since my ex went on private once I started defending myself but as horrible as this all was, the worst part of the callout was her saying “don’t take June to task over this, one more dead trans woman won’t solve anything”, casually referring to me being harassed to point of suicide as “taking me to task” implying it's something I deserved, and vaguely discouraging it by saying it "won't solve anything" which paints it as not even a net negative. It felt horrible seeing someone I still cared about who I'd shared so many positive moments with over a year and whose best interest I always had kept in mind throughout our relationship refer to my potential death due to her unchecked anger as at worst something that is not entirely helpful. I felt completely powerless and like she would stop at nothing to hurt me which turned out to be true as she ignored her own request and repeatedly harassed my few remaining friends just for having the audacity to talk to me, showing that her half-hearted plea for people not to kill me was as empty as it sounded. Eventually I did realize that she was doing this because I had always let her walk all over me, even after she publicly lied about me because I thought surely this was the last time she would hurt me. As always I was wrong, and for her to stop I had to learn to stand up for myself.
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