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Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture by Roxane Gay
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Not That Bad Quotes Showing 1-30 of 59
“An angry man in cinema is Batman. An angry male musician is a member of Metallica. An angry male writer is Chekhov. An angry male politician is passionate, a revolutionary. He is a Donald Trump or a Bernie Sanders. The anger of men is a powerful enough tide to swing an election. But the anger of women? That has no place in government, so it has to flood the streets.”
Roxane Gay, Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture
“Not everyone gets sex when they want it. Not everyone gets love when they want it. This is true for men and women. A relationship is not your reward for being a nice guy, no matter what the movies tell you.”
Roxane Gay, Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture
“Don’t ever use an insult for a woman that you wouldn’t use for a man. Say “jerk” or “shithead” or “asshole.” Don’t say “bitch” or “whore” or “slut.” If you say “asshole,” you’re criticizing her parking skills. If you say “bitch,” you’re criticizing her gender.”
Roxane Gay, Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture
“Anger is the privilege of the truly broken, and yet, I've never met a woman who was broken enough that she allowed herself to be angry.”
Lyz Lenz, Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture
“Because of course I feared that i might be overreacting, overemotional, oversensitive, weak, playing victim, crying wolf, blowing things out of proportion, making things up. Because generations of women have heard that they're irrational, melodramatic, neurotic, hysterical, hormonal, psycho, fragile and bossy.

Because girls are coached out of the womb to be nonconfrontational, agreeable, solicitous, deferential, demure, nurturing, to be tuned in to others, and to shrink and shut up.

Because speaking up for myself was not how I learned English. Because I'm fluent in Apology, in Question Mark, in Giggle, in Bowing Down, in Self-Sacrifice.”
Elissa Bassist, Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture
“The only solution for female anger is for her to stop being angry. And yet, when Jesus flipped tables in the temple, his rage was lauded. King David railing to the heavens to rain fire on his enemies is lauded as a man after God’s own heart. An angry man in cinema is Batman. An angry male musician is a member of Metallica. An angry male writer is Chekhov. An angry male politician is passionate, a revolutionary. He is a Donald Trump or a Bernie Sanders. The anger of men is a powerful enough tide to swing an election. But the anger of women? That has no place in government, so it has to flood the streets.”
Roxane Gay, Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture
“No one gets to rake over the details of my life and determine if they think what happened to me was bad enough for me to have earned my scars, my limitations, my superpowers.”
Roxane Gay, Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture
“Rape was and is a cultural and political act: it attempts to remove a person with agency, autonomy, and belonging from their community, to secrete them and separate them, to depoliticize their body by rendering it detachable, violable, nothing.”
Roxane Gay, Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture
“Because I questioned myself and my sanity and what I was doing wrong in this situation. Because of course I feared that I might be overreacting, overemotional, oversensitive, weak, playing victim, crying wolf, blowing things out of proportion, making things up. Because generations of women have heard that they’re irrational, melodramatic, neurotic, hysterical, hormonal, psycho, fragile, and bossy. Because girls are coached out of the womb to be nonconfrontational, solicitous, deferential, demure, nurturing, to be tuned in to others, and to shrink and shut up. Because speaking up for myself was not how I learned English. Because I’m fluent in Apology, in Question Mark, in Giggle, in Bowing Down, in Self-Sacrifice. Because slightly more than half of the population is regularly told that what happens doesn’t or that it isn’t the big deal we’re making it into. Because your mothers, sisters, and daughters are routinely second-guessed, blown off, discredited, denigrated, besmirched, belittled, patronized, mocked, shamed, gaslit, insulted, bullied, harassed, threatened, punished, propositioned, and groped, and challenged on what they say. Because when a woman challenges a man, then the facts are automatically in dispute, as is the speaker, and the speaker’s license to speak. Because as women we are told to view and value ourselves in terms of how men view and value us, which is to say, for our sexuality and agreeability. Because it was drilled in until it turned subconscious and became unbearable need: don’t make it about you; put yourself second or last; disregard your feelings but not another’s; disbelieve your perceptions whenever the opportunity presents itself; run and rerun everything by yourself before verbalizing it—put it in perspective, interrogate it: Do you sound nuts? Does this make you look bad? Are you holding his interest? Are you being considerate? Fair? Sweet? Because stifling trauma is just good manners. Because when others serially talk down to you, assume authority over you, try to talk you out of your own feelings and tell you who you are; when you’re not taken seriously or listened to in countless daily interactions—then you may learn to accept it, to expect it, to agree with the critics and the haters and the beloveds, and to sign off on it with total silence. Because they’re coming from a good place. Because everywhere from late-night TV talk shows to thought-leading periodicals to Hollywood to Silicon Valley to Wall Street to Congress and the current administration, women are drastically underrepresented or absent, missing from the popular imagination and public heart. Because although I questioned myself, I didn’t question who controls the narrative, the show, the engineering, or the fantasy, nor to whom it’s catered. Because to mention certain things, like “patriarchy,” is to be dubbed a “feminazi,” which discourages its mention, and whatever goes unmentioned gets a pass, a pass that condones what it isn’t nice to mention, lest we come off as reactionary or shrill.”
Roxane Gay, Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture
“My brother once called me a hard person. I think he meant that I am a person who does not forgive. This is true. I find it difficult to forgive people who have done harm to me.”
Roxane Gay, Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture
“Summary If a boy treats you like you’re special, it’s probably because he wants to come and not because you are a treasure he discovered. You are not a treasure. You are a thing a boy can use to make him ejaculate. This makes sense because you already believe this at your core. You have been taught.”
Roxane Gay, Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture
“It is more like carrying something really heavy, forever. You do not get to put it down: you have to carry it, and so you carry it the way you need to, however it fits best.”
Roxane Gay, Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture
“Anisha tells me, “A good therapist knows you have to live in the house while you remodel.”
Roxane Gay, Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture
“The constant drumbeat of stories of sexual assault—from R. Kelly to our own goddamn president—keep me in a constant state of postrape PTSD. Some days, I feel like I have to hold my breath just to read the news so I can get through it and on with my workday.”
Roxane Gay, Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture
“THE LIFE RUINER ALONE DIDN’T RUIN ME. THE WORLD THAT made him did—the place that continues to manufacture replicas of him and continues to create the circumstances in which he and his replicas thrive. What is there to do about that?”
Roxane Gay, Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture
“quote by feminist writer Nawal El Saadawi in bright red. “I speak the truth and the truth is savage and dangerous,”
Roxane Gay, Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture
“Perhaps the most horrifying thing about nonconsensual sex is that, in an instant, it erases you. Your own desires, your safety and well-being, your ownership of the body that may very well have been the only thing you ever felt sure you owned—all of it becomes irrelevant, even nonexistent. You don’t need to be a helpless, innocent child to be changed by that.”
Roxane Gay, Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture
“If rape culture had its own cuisine, it would be all this shit you have to swallow.”
Roxane Gay, Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture
“rape was not an act between an individual and an individual, hidden in a dark room—that was what my rapist wanted me to think. Rape was and is a cultural and political act: it attempts to remove a person with agency, autonomy, and belonging from their community, to secrete them and separate them, to depoliticize their body by rendering it detachable, violable, nothing.”
Roxane Gay, Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture
“So you decide, for the first time in your life, that you aren’t going to be one of the good girls anymore. You decide that “good” is not an adjective that ought to be applied to a person, as it only rendered you inanimate and inhuman, like a piece of cheese or a watercolor painting. The good girl is nothing more than a myth. We long for her for the same reason we long for utopia: Neither exists.”
Roxane Gay, Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture
“Anger is always reserved for someone else. And yet, I've been in a room with a woman who escaped a war, who lost her father in ethnic cleansing, whose mother burned her hair, whose cousin raped her. "What right do I have to be angry, when I'm alive? she said.

Anger is a privilege of the truly broken, and yet I've never met a woman who was broken enough that she allowed herself to be angry. An angry woman must answer for herself. The reasons for her anger must be picked over, examined, and debated. My anger must stand the scrutiny of the court of law, of evidentiary procedures. I must prove it comes from somewhere justified and not just because one time some man touched my sister. Or because one time some man touched some woman and will continue on and on.”
Roxane Gay, Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture
“We speak of men and their rage as if it I laudable. "Men just get mad and push each other and it's over", we say. "Women are just bitches; they never let it go." That's because we never can let it go. Because where would we put it? What system? What faith? What institution has room? Has patience? Has understanding for an angry woman?”
Lyz Lenz, Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture
“The part I wanted them to understand is that these equations can implode, constricting your whole life, until one day you're sitting in a locked steel box breathing through an airhole with a straw and wondering, 'Now? Now am I safe?”
Roxane Gay, Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture
“Surviving is some kind of sin, like floating up off the dunking stool like a witch. You have to be permanently écorchée, heart-on-sleeve, offering up organs and body parts like a medieval female saint.”
Roxane Gay, Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture
“This is rape's legacy, the countless deaths women die just trying to keep existing in the world as it is.”
Roxane Gay, Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture
“My unarticulated logic went like this: if I give my body away, over and over, I can prove to myself that sex is my choice—even though, and this seems significant now, I always let the men choose me. Until I was nineteen years old, it never occurred to me that I could do the choosing. Not you, not you, not you. Yes, okay. You.”
Roxane Gay, Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture
“Sometimes people tell me that something bad happened to me, but I am brave and strong. I don’t want to be told that I am brave or strong. I am not right just because he was wrong. I don’t want to be made noble. I want someone willing to watch me thrash and crumple because that, too, is the truth, and it needs a witness. “He broke me,” I say to a friend. “You’re not broken,” she whispers back. I turn my palms up, wishing I could show her the pieces.”
Roxane Gay, Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture
“Angry women care. Angry women speak and yell and sob their truths.”
Roxane Gay, Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture
“Angry women are always the villains.”
Roxane Gay, Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture
“Anger is always reserved for someone else. And yet, I've been in a room who escaped a war, who lost her father in ethnic cleansing, whose mother burned her hair, whose cousin raped her. 'What right do I have to be angry, when I am alive?' she said.
Anger is the privilege of the truly broken, and yet, I've never met a woman who was broken enough that she allowed herself to be angry.
An angry woman must answer for herself. The reasons for her anger must be picked over, examined, and debated.”
Roxane Gay, Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture

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