Thursday, July 12, 2012

Why "Strident"

The dictionary defines strident as:


Loud and harsh; grating.
Presenting a point of view, esp. a controversial one, in an excessively and unpleasantly forceful way.

However, they fail to note that it's very strongly gendered. Generally, in usage it comes closer to meaning this:

strident: An adjective used to describe
A woman with a strong opinion.
A woman who is stating her opinion firmly and unapologetically in a manner more typical of a man, rather than being polite and self-deprecating.
A woman the men (and sometimes other women) in the room want to silence.

I am a woman of strong opinions. I am not polite and self-deprecating. I refuse to be silenced.
 In this blog, I will talk about things that make people uncomfortable; about misogyny in geek culture and beyond it, about the way we treat people who don't look the way we want them to.  I'll discuss why the ways in which we portray women in fiction matter, and how it influences what is expected out of us in the real world. I'll certainly talk about the harassment and abuse most women deal with every day, and the more acute and demeaning abuse some women experience at the hands of loved ones.  These are important issues, and I feel like I have something to say about them.  I know I'm far from the only voice saying it, but that doesn't make the message any less important.

Some of you may applaud me for doing so. Know that I'll appreciate it.

Some of you will inevitably try to shout me down. You'll tell me that I should be raped, that I am worthless, that I should shut up. You will say I'm not being polite enough, or that I'm taking things too seriously. To you I say: hit me with your best shot; I'm not afraid, and I'm not going anywhere.

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