Thursday, January 11, 2018

Heartache and bad cinnamon rolls

I wish that everyone who is upset about the overreactions (they exist!) to #metoo could understand what it's like to read this and feel your heart ache:
Last night, I made cinnamon rolls. I’m not a huge fan of cinnamon rolls, per se, but this recipe was included in Mario Batali’s sexual misconduct apology letter, and so I feel compelled to make them. Batali is not the first powerful man to request forgiveness for “inappropriate actions” towards his coworkers and employees. He is not the most high profile, and he is ostensibly not even the worst offender. But he is the only one who included a recipe.
I find myself fluctuating between apathy and anger as I try to follow Batali’s recipe, which is sparse on details. The base of the rolls is pizza dough – Batali notes that you can either buy it, or use his recipe to make your own.
I make my own, because I’m a woman, and for us there are no fucking shortcuts.
We spend 25 years working our asses off to be the most qualified Presidential candidate in U.S. history and we get beaten out by a sexual deviant who likely needs to call the front desk for help when he’s trying to order pornos in his hotel room.
Donald Trump is President, so I’m making the goddamn dough by scratch.
(Please, by all means, read the whole thing.)

There's so much to be angry about. It's not just gross behaviour in professional lives followed (or not) by cinnamon roll recipes. It's offhand comments that might have nothing to do with obviously unwanted sexual advances. It's being expected to repeatedly laugh off stuff that makes us really and truly uncomfortable. And the fact that being expected to laugh that off means taking responsibility for stuff we didn't even do. It's being treated like we couldn't help it when we do misstep. It's frustration when we look at the world and Hillary friggin' Clinton was somehow the best chance for a female POTUS in 2016. It's the fact that she lost to a guy who bragged about assaulting women with impunity. It's about facing crappy expectations because of the category of person you are and being damned if you meet them and damned if you don't. It's knowing friends who just break themselves trying to make things perfect while their partners combine a total lack of effort during the rush with a guilt trip at the end of it because they weren't asked to help and it's loving your friends too much to speak your mind before they ask. It's feeling almost guilty about it if you're lucky and none of these things describe you when you're a shoulder to cry on for someone trying to bear any or all of it.

None of this is just stuff that happens to women. But there are a lot of reasons for us to feel like it is, or that it overwhelmingly is, even if not exclusively. Maybe try to get that, too.

There are overreactions. There really are. And there are oversimplifications that I think make everything worse. But if you can't get why there is so much anger you're not going to help improve things any more than those who are overreacting or oversimplifying. You're just going to dump fuel on a fire.

Finally, to everyone who listens and tries to understand when they don't get it right away, and to everyone who has asked and does ask and will ask how to help:
Thank you, thank you, thank you. 
You make things so much better. You make me, at least, feel like we're not going to be stuck like this forever.

Inspired by Everywhereist: I Made the Pizza Cinnamon Rolls from Mario Batali’s Sexual Misconduct Apology Letter.