Voices.

Not the kind that you hear, but your own. Our own. We, as in women.

C A N Y O U H E A R M E N O W?

I just pulled a piece that apparently violated Medium’s rules on not quoting from private communications. I was told I couldn’t post screenshots of what was sent to me — uninvited, to my phone — via direct messaging. Ok. I pulled the picture. The proof is in the pudding, as it were, and we all know that if a woman says she was threatened or harmed by a man, she’d damn well better have proof. Just ask that reporter who used to work at that steaming pile of shit, Bleatbrattle. Pictures of the bruises left by Trump’s manager when he manhandled her — and notice, it’s not womenhandled, but manhandled because that is an actual thing — weren’t enough for people to be convinced that she had been assaulted.

PICTURES! cried the crowd. OK, here’s a picture.

VIDEO! demanded the dimwits. OK, here’s a video.

FRAUD! cried the fools. Ok, well, here’s his mugshot.

Not his actual mugshot.

Anyhoo. I removed the screenshots and edited the piece to simply quote what I was told. I told Medium I intended to do that, and I was not told I couldn’t. The post stood for a couple of days until I got the dreaded ‘YOU HAVE FUCKED UP’ email this morning.

My understanding is a little hazy on how reiterating a conversation — one that I did not initiate — is offensive. But, whatever. This is medium’s site, and have to play by their rules and I mean, Obivi! I should have known better!

Because when a woman speaks out, dares raise her voice — when she says, Wait a hot fucking second. This is wrong, and you’re wrong, and what you said was ugly and wrong. What do you think is going to happen? Come on women! You already know this is a rhetorical question. What happens is the poor slob who got his manfeelz hurt because you called him on his shit WILL NOT STAND FOR THIS. AND ATTENTION MUST BE PAID. AND SHUT UP WHILE I AM TALKING AND SAYING THAT YOU’RE A (take your pick, we’ve all heard it before)

DRUNK/SLUT/BITCH/FEMINIST/WHORE/TOOOSENSITIVE/HUMOURLESS/BLAHBLAHFUCKINGBLAH.

Now, I know i am not alone in my frustration. Hell, someone writes something every damn day about women being shuttered and shattered and shit on by the patriarchy. I just happen to be really fucking sick of it. We are HALF of this big old floating watery gassy rock. We are probably, for the first time ever, going to have a woman president in this country (and tho I’m not a fan, it’s about fucking time). Yet, when we speak up speak out speak FOR OURSELVES? We’re at risk. Of being marginalized, plagiarized, brutalized, and demonized.

Honest to god. I am sitting here right now in rage, but I am crying. Because this just breaks my fucking feminist heart. What lesson is this to my daughter? Shhh. Honey. Don’t argue. Just do what the nice man says, and play along, and you won’t have a problem.

What kind of feminist am I, what kind of WRITER, what kind of EXAMPLE, am I, if I cave? Right now, I feel like a sham. And it sucks lollipops and other unpleasant things. I think I did the right thing, but maybe not. What was the risk of not removing the post? I believe it may have left me open to having my page or publication pulled, and I don’t want to risk that. I finally found a place that is filled with great writers and stories and a lot of wonderful people, that allows me to tell my 51-year-old stories. First time in my whole fucking life, I am telling my story.

Except for this part. This part is censored.

Oh wait. No. That remains. But that wasn’t written by me; it was written ABOUT me. By a dude.

I’m not saying Medium should be some reckless, rule-less, standardless, platform. I just don’t think literally repeating someone’s words is a violation of anything. I mean, I’ve quoted letters and cards sent to me by my mother. She’s cremated and all, but do I need to get her estate’s permission? Or is this only required when somemen doesn’t like having their words repeated?

Dear Medium. I’m so confused. Can I quote people? Letters of people sent to me? What about books of letters? Quotable or nah? Sincerely, Heather

Please: Tell me your stories. Tell me when you caved or you stood tall and said FUCK NO. (Or heck no, if you’re not pottymouth like me.) Let’s start a string over on Femmes Unafraid of the choices we make to go along to get along.

Be well, my friends. Be well.

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