That sound you hear is this week sucking the life out of me. It’s been … not great. Apparently my karmic retribution for being in a horrible mood midweek was to turn the tail end of the week into my own private failfest at work.
I got called on the carpet for my participation in this conversation, and I can’t say I don’t see why. I’m an asshole! I don’t mince words! I speak to commenters with the same amount of respect they use when speaking to me and others! I’m a horrible diplomat! But, I know. Put the word “staff” in red allcaps by my name and I guess I seem like a MAJOR asshole. To quote Le Tigre: I get it, I get it, I get it. So I will voluntarily resume shutting the fuck up in story comments since I know I can’t just suddenly get nicer, and I’ve been told that my not niceness isn’t going to fly. Fair enough. I’m a big (biiiiig, according to some critics) girl.
It’s humiliating, though. I hate knowing I’ve done something wrong enough to get in trouble for. Makes me feel like an eight-year-old again, like everyone’s looking at me and thinking about what a fuckup I am. The only difference is that this time I was standing up for something I believe and I don’t have an ounce of regret about it. I am grossed out by the pervasive idea that dudes have the right to gaze at Hot ChicksTM on demand and at all times, including on a NEWSPAPER’S website. And if you don’t think that’s where that comment thread was heading, then maybe you don’t know the internet very well. Ugh, I need a shower now.
Oh, and compounding my failure rate for the week was the fact that I lost the “forced sex”/”rape” word battle again in this story. Editors are still sticking by the notion that we can’t call it rape if the court isn’t calling it rape. (Related: We used the word “rape” without hesitation over “coerced sex” in this story.) No one seems to really want to acknowledge the point I’m trying to make: That the court terminology is necessarily muddied because it’s motherfucking COURT and there are all KINDS of shenanigans happening there that laypeople don’t get. In a news story, it is possible to both describe what a person is pleading to/charged with AND what he admitted to doing. Are we afraid of being sued for libel at saying the officer raped a woman? Because, uh, he admitted to it, even if he didn’t technically plead to it. Therefore it’s true and libel-proof. Where does our fear of calling a spade a spade come from?
I don’t know. I love my job. I love journalism as an entity and what it can do for a community. I love working for a newspaper and being a total newspaper wonk. But it’s a lonely life being a shrill feminist harpy bitch hag who raises these questions repeatedly and sometimes to ridicule, not just at work but from everyone.
But hey, I’m not a feminist to make friends, you know?
On a decidedly more positive note, I won an award of excellence from SND for two True Crime packages (this one and this one). I’ll finally make it into the SND yearbook. So at least there’s that to stanch the flow of fail this week, I guess.