Some-Bunny is NOT Hoppy

TW: Sexual harassment and LOTS of cursing

Hey there, me again!

So, I got to be the Easter Bunny on Sunday! Which was actually one of the best things ever. I figured out the only way I like to interact with small children is when I am completely covered in synthetic fur, wearing a giant plastic mask, and I don’t have to talk at all.

I got so many little-kid-hugs and little-kid-high-fives and so many little kids saying “Happy Easter, Easter Bunny, you’re so soft!”. I got to see all the little kid faces filled with little kid joy and I didn’t have to be in actual physical contact with any of them. My favorite were the ones who were really shy but then eventually gave me fist-bumps. SO GOOD!

But there was one interaction that was, to say the least, unwelcome. I took plenty of pictures with adults, lots of grandparents, and embarrassed teenagers and the like, so when one group of adults asked if I’d come take a picture, I did my standard Easter Bunny thumb’s up which was my way of silently saying yes. Nodding in the Easter Bunny costume was something of a challenge since it was about five times the size of my actual head.

I went over and joined the group, sweating profusely, barely able to see anything, and silently counting down the seconds before I could head back to my safe haven to rest for a few minutes before making another round. All was well, until I felt a dude’s hand on my breast.

If you had asked me before what I would do in this situation I would have given you an earful. I would yell at the dude, probably punch him in the face, at least get him kicked out of the restaurant for the rest of his life, and then hop off in a righteous rage. I am a strong independent woman and I don’t take shit from nobody.

And here is what I actually did: nothing.

I got out of the group as quickly as I could, finished my circuit of saying hi to little children, and finally made it to the back room where I could take off my rabbit head and breathe.

I was so angry. I couldn’t even tell where to start. I didn’t want to cry. I didn’t want to talk to anyone about it. I just wanted the dude to die.

Because here’s the thing. He made me feel ashamed. Ashamed that I didn’t say anything immediately. I know I should have, but I didn’t want to cause a scene. I didn’t want to spoil some little kid’s Easter by submitting them to an Easter bunny beating up a douchebag. I didn’t want to worry my managers who were already swamped on one of the busiest days of the year. I didn’t want to tell my friends because they’ve had to deal with this shit enough. I didn’t want my family or other people to get upset over something as stupid as this. I only told a few of my male friends because, as predicted, they didn’t get it. I was angry and ashamed and I finally experienced firsthand why most sexual harassment or sexual assault cases go unreported.

By the time I got myself together again and re-bunny-suited-up, the group was already gone. So I told myself there was nothing I could do about it anyway. Nothing except replay over and over again all the stories of my friends who have been assaulted, all my fellow women who have experienced harassment like this and so much worse.

If there were ever any doubt that it’s not about what you wear, here it is. I was wearing a MOTHERFUCKING EASTER BUNNY COSTUME. I couldn’t speak, couldn’t breathe, could barely see, and was mostly there because I’m kind of broke at the moment. I was trying to bring joy to some little kids and I was GROPED.

If there were ever any doubt that sexual harassment leaves its victims silent, here it is. I, who for all my life have believed in myself as a person and a woman, couldn’t bring myself to turn in one idiotic asshole.

If there were ever any doubt that ALL WOMEN experience sexual harassment, sexual violence, or sexual discrimination, stop doubting it.

To the asshole who groped me: fuck you for making me doubt myself even for a second, fuck you for taking advantage of me when I was already on the verge of passing out, fuck you for turning something that was otherwise completely joyful into something horrifying, fuck you for reminding me of all the terrible things men do to women.

I refuse to let this sully my life. I had an awesome time being the Easter bunny and I would do it again in a heartbeat. I feel honored that I got to be a part of so many family’s celebrations. It reminded me of my family and how much I love and miss them. I am still going to take joy in all of life’s experiences. I am still going to go on walks alone at night. I am still a strong independent woman who doesn’t take shit from nobody.

I refuse to be beaten by assholes like you.

Happy Easter, everyone. Take care of yourselves.

 

 

White Self-Hatred is Not Enough

TW: discussion of racial violence and self-harm

For a long time I’ve hated my skin. I hate the way it looks: all pale and pimply, puckering in the cold, burning in the sun. I hate its translucency, how it reveals my deepest secrets to the world. But most of all I hate what it represents: genocide, slavery, the KKK, Donald Trump, oppression, colonialism and murder. I look at my skin and I see internment camps, the Trail of Tears, and black people gunned down in the street.

I hate that this skin grants me privilege, privilege not based on anything I’ve done, but based purely on my ancestors at one point acquiring guns, boats, and a feeling of racial superiority. Some days I wish more than anything to peel off this horrid ghostly hide and dance around as a skeleton laughing maniacally at the idiocy of it all.

But I don’t.

I have problems with self-loathing anyway, a history of self-harm related to my struggle with depression. I know that self-harm, while at times a temporary relief, is ultimately useless. It does not change the underlying issues. It does not balance the chemicals in the brain. It does not convince me of my worth as a human or make me feel loved or cared for. Self-harm, like self-hatred, is only a way for me to feel slightly better for a very short time.

And in the struggle for justice for all people, self-hatred is equally worthless. White guilt is simply a way for me to distract from the real issue, a way for me to feel better without having to do any of the work that radical change requires. “Look at me, I feel bad!” does not absolve me of the racist thoughts I still sometimes have. It does not negate my past. It does not bring anyone back from the grave. It does not vote for better politicians. It does not educate my fellow white people. “Look at me, I feel bad!” is nothing but a slight of hand. Self-pity and self-hatred is not enough to create radical change.

Radical change requires radical love. Love of my brothers, sisters, and non-binary relatives who are struggling for the cause. And even love of the ignorant who deny them justice. James Baldwin wrote in his essay “A Letter to my Nephew”: “But these men are your brothers, your lost younger brothers, and if the word ‘integration’ means anything, this is what it means, that we with love shall force our brothers to see themselves as they are, to cease fleeing from reality and begin to change it…” (Italics added for emphasis).

This does not mean forgetting their sins or allowing the white-cis-patriarchy to continue unchanged, it means forcing them to be better people for their sake and ours.

I am not a perfect ally. Such a thing does not exist. I am a coward and I often hide behind my shame and self-pity. But I will not allow myself this escape anymore.

I will listen and listen and then listen some more. I will pay attention. I will vote. I will read and read and read. I will correct myself when I fail. I will correct those around me when they fail. I will struggle with my racial identity every day, knowing that having the choice not to is white privilege at its pinnacle.

I will continue to look for more to do. I will not give up or give in to self-hatred. Because hatred of any kind is not enough. It is a quick burning flame that leaves nothing behind but ashes. And I want to live in a world that is vibrant and alive.

All the love.