I like to think about myself as a strong person. I am aware that this is toxic masculinity. Men don’t cry. Men don’t need emotional support. Men take care of themselves and don’t need somebody else to fix their problems for them. Men are emotionally self-sufficient, and their happiness doesn’t cling upon social approval. It’s funny that despite having been raised as a woman I still ended up internalizing the worst aspects of toxic masculinity while growing up. Then again, maybe those aren’t the worst parts of toxic masculinity—at least I don’t wear tactical body armor, nor do I own any guns, and I don’t do anything misogynistic. It could have been worse.
Yet despite being rationally aware that toxic masculinity is stupid, I still feel that I don’t want to perceive myself as a pussy. A “pussy,” what a stupid word, straight from the repertoire of misogynistic jerks. Why the hell was femininity associated with weakness? Oh yeah, because we live in a sexist society. Still, I don’t want to see myself as weak. I’m not particularly worried that another human being might perceive me as weak. My self-esteem and self-perception doesn’t depend upon how other people see me. Instead, this is about how I see myself, and when talking about “weakness” in this context, I mean emotional strength.
Here’s the problem—my current emotional state is something I associate with weakness. I allowed the actions of another person to get to me. I allowed another person to hurt me. Dealing with copyright infringement is always unpleasant, it’s an uncomfortable chore artists have to do. On a regular basis, we have to waste our time sending DMCA takedown notices to various websites. Unfortunately, this time the art thief actually got to me, they managed to make me feel sad beyond my usual annoyance about having to waste my time. My last blog post was about a particularly nasty art thief who used my images without permission for their logotype.
When I finally got Facebook moderators to delete her posts in which she had used my art without permission, the art thief turned the tables on me by publishing a post in which she pretended to be the victim. She complained about the evil person who was amusing themselves by harassing her for no good reason. Her loyal followers wrote plenty of comments expressing sympathy and wishing her luck and perseverance in getting her deleted images back online in her Facebook page. Oh right, and her kid also went to harass me on my Facebook page. I also have a suspicion that somebody tried to hack my Facebook page. I got some e-mails about an attempt to reset my Facebook password. [Read more…]