My problem with this article, Maggie, is that as I sit here and read it at four in the morning here in Grand Junction, it pisses me off so royally (as I holler GOD DAMN IT GOD DAMN IT GOD DAMN IT) because my experience is identical. While on occasion I get trolled by a pissed off old woman who happens to be taking shit care of her body and goes after me for preaching to her (NO honey, this isn’t about you, never was and never will be, you wanna sit on your butt and watch ION TV reruns for the rest of your life have-fucking-at it but don’t blame ME when you die with tubes in every orifice), most of the trolls are men. Men who write the same things to me when I have the goddamned audacity to write about my gang rape at 23 by a senior officer or multiple rapes by a treating psychiatrist in the Army. HOW DARE I call these cretins out? Well of course I was in love with them and just wanted to get even. Well of course I was.

It speaks to the level of sickness in our society that even good women want to blame the victim- and there is a whole psychological profile around this, Mags. People cannot deal with the idea that the world isn’t just. So unless it has happened to them, and they have direct experience of the inhumanity of how we treat each other, it is ever so much easier to say that somehow my camo fatigues and boots were “asking for it.” Uh-huh.

As a pretty prolific author on here (and I read Gillian’s work below, too) I love it when someone respects me enough to offer a different viewpoint with the understanding that I as the author am in every way open to learning more. It is the WAY it’s delivered that determines that willingness. A woman gaslit me yesterday because of some comments I wrote (and referenced with research) by calling me ignorant and saying my work was unvalidated. Women can be just as much a shitheel as a man. I have often shifted words, added references and valued others’ input by changing an article when someone honors me by pointing out- gently, respectfully and via PM- that something I wrote might need a Snopes check or I might want to ensure that I double check THIS- and I am eternally grateful. That is a gracious exchange and it benefits us all.

It asks a great deal of each of us to, as you point, take a moment to self-regulate before firing off shite to someone with whom we disagree. That requires a level of emotional maturity that, I might posit, most of us don’t possess. It demands that we question how we are seeing, reading, experiencing someone’s words through our personal filters, which means that first, we understand that there are nearly eight billion different personal filters and each one is going to hear your or my words a different way. That requires a level of understanding and awareness that, m’dear, I find damned rare. It’s ever so much easier to assume I’m right, the way I see the world is right, you are wrong, and by that, so is everyone else. Such righteousness gives us wars. Hate. Racism. List your animosity, it’s driven by such ignorance.

I also like men. But I like thoughtful, well-educated, mindful men. Thank god I have my share of friends who fit that description. Just had dinner last night with a man who fit that description. Unfortunately there are plenty of bottom dwellers of all sexes who hate themselves so very much the only way they can manage is to dump their buckets of viciousness onto others. ‘

Maggie, it’s not about you. Not about me. It’s a statement of their self hate. Such people are quite happy to have you and me and anyone else wear their hair shirts. Kindly, not our problem. We are a nation in transition, and because we are in transition (women, minorities, etc rising) those who perceive they have a lot to lose will do anything possible to beat back and beat down who and what scares them. And that most certainly includes honest, smart, competent women, transgender, LGBT and others who write their truth.

Which is why we have to continue to write our truth. I don’t give a flying fuck if certain men don’t happen to like it. Not my problem. Not your problem. Its OUR FUCKING TRUTH. That they can’t handle the truth (please see A Few Good Men) speaks to their lack of courage. Not ours.

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Horizon Huntress, prize-winning author, adventure traveler, boundary-pusher, wilder, veteran, aging vibrantly. I own my sh*t. Let’s play!

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