A man on twitter is trying to discredit my experiences and my friends’ experiences of sexual assault on the dance floor because, “dance music has more veterans that go out for music every weekend. For other top 40 places it’s mainly about sex.” He also said, “Of course but if you are used to grinding chances are creeps will look for someone to grind.” I don’t quite know what he means, but it certainly sounds like he’s blaming the victims here. It’s funny how people think the world works like that.
This is a list of things that have happened to me while out dancing: cornered without a way to escape, roofied, ass grabbed, breasts grabbed, kissed on neck, breasts & lips, hands underneath my shirt, hands DOWN MY PANTS, hands IN MY PANTIES. This is a list of where these things have happened: aliveOne, Smart Bar, Primary, Beauty Bar, Berlin, Empty Bottle, Lincoln Hall. These are all music-oriented places. Not Top 40 environments. Not “meat markets” as he said. This does not mean that we can not and should not go out. I am against this as it further polices my experiences. What I think both men AND women should do is listen when both men AND women talk about their experiences of assault. What is important to remember is that an insidious culture of violence and rape allows even spaces we deem “safe” to be potential dangers. It is not right and it is not fair. But we must recognize this so we can help CHANGE the culture and these environments as best as we can.
I’m only going to post up to five in each category because I am a neurotic that subscribes to tons of feeds. I also organize all of my feeds in subfolders for easy access.
Chicago Stuff: I’m assuming you’re not from Chicago, but if you are, I read the Chicago Reader, Chicagoist, and DNAinfo.
Fashion and Beauty Stuff:
To say I’ve figured out how to manage freelancing while juggling a 9 to 5 would be a lie. In the beginning, it was very easy, but as I’ve ramped up my efforts, it’s been more difficult to find some sort of balance that also ensures I’m not dying of exhaustion.
I think having a day job – a relatively steady 40 hours/week day job, *knocks on wood* – gives an emerging writer certain advantages. A lot of friends have asked me why I don’t freelance fulltime and besides the fact that I need the insurance for more serious medical reasons, I like having the freedom to decide what I want to write and when to write it. Having a day job is a privilege for certain types of writers, if you can handle it. I know a lot of people who studied journalism or want to be fiction writers, but have lost interest in it the longer they’ve worked their day jobs whether it was because of exhaustion or the growing separation between what they say they want and what they actually need.
When I arrived at my current company, I felt a major disconnect. I began writing for Gapers Block for free. Writing for free was a luxury that most emerging writers without a day job can not afford. However, because I could afford that luxury, I felt free to experiment on subject matter and writing style. In the beginning, that is how I managed the 9-5 with the hopeful writing career: by doing for myself because I could.
The amount of writing I do now has increased significantly. For the most part, I try to do a couple of things:
More of the latter. I began this blog in December 2007. At the time, I was a junior in college working in my campus’ housing department. I started it because I wanted more outlets for my rampant thoughts and interests and curiosities and I wanted this space to be different than the blog of essays and Livejournal I already maintained. I wanted to talk about music and fashion and art and beauty and not do it with other people so much as do it for myself. In my head, this would be my ideal magazine: witty, enthusiastic, contemplative, and fun. I don’t know if I’ve accomplished this yet. This tumblr is constantly a work in progress. I’ve developed projects and let them go. I didn’t write very much in the beginning. Now I do it all the time, more confident in what I want to say as a writer (but not entirely confident. Does that ever happen?) What is the secret to a successful tumblr? I don’t know. I don’t think my tumblr is successful, not in the way I want it to be. I’ve had this for a long time. It has been the longest project I’ve ever worked on. It is, I think, because of that reality that I still keep going, adapting based on life circumstance and age and a desire to share in different ways.
NOTED: In a report on a series of “flash mobs” downtown yesterday night, a police officer said, “Chicago is closed. Time to go home.” There are two kinds of flash mobs; the Chicago kind are never pleasant. Summer arrives and so too does the “terror.” Chicago and State becomes not just a train stop, but a means of confrontation, a clashing of the two cities. There is public Chicago and everywhere else, the parts of the city in which people live, but are rarely acknowledged. This of course is more than city structure. It is the further divide of a city of divisions. The “haves” and the “have nots” does not seem accurate enough. “Chicago is closed” he said, as if this part of the city is only open for a few, as if this part of the city is a store, a box, a secret that is locked away for those who are worthy of knowing it. Every year they ask, “Why do they do this? Cause trouble, cause noise, cause presence?” It seems like a subconscious occupation of space, a desire to swoop in fiercely, to stand out with righteous deviancy and angst. Occupy Chicago. They are “doing something.” It is not good or safe or pleasant or welcome, but it is something.