The first rule of Lesbian Fight Club is DON’T BE A B*TCH. The second rule of fight club? DON’T BE A F*CKING B*TCH. The third rule of fight club? If you can read, you’re a big girl, and it’s time to fight like one.
You know when you’re arguing with your girlfriend and she’s like, “That’s against the rules!” and you’re like, “Oh where’d you get this from, Papi’s Rules of Poker or Emily Post’s Rules of Etiquette or your last relationship, huh?”
Well, no fear, fighting werewolf lesbians of the world, we have assembled THE RULES.
How to Fight Proper: Autostraddle’s Rules of Argument Etiquette
1. You Are Not a Martyr For Love
Don’t say,”Oh waaah it’s all my fault. I don’t know why you’re still with me.” This doesn’t further the conversation or help you learn anything about yourself or them. It is the most pointless thing you will ever say.
“I’M JUST A STUPID CAT ON A LEDGE! YOU SHOULD FIND SOMEONE BETTER, I GUESS. YOU SHOULD JUST LEAVE ME HERE! I’M POINTLESS! LOOK AT ME – I’M NOT EVEN UPRIGHT!”
How do you expect someone to reply to this inane statement? “No, babybabybaby that’s not what I meant! You’re not terrible! I love you and your shinyshiny hair!” ?? or “Well, now that we’ve both agreed you’re an asshole and I shouldn’t be dating you, I guess your inability to call when you say you will is a moot point.”
Other words and phrases that don’t enable constructive problem-solving: + always + never + every time + I’m going to kill myself*
*Do you really want to kill yourself? There’s a hotline, a whole list of other hotlines, and a Psych ER for that! Seriously. A Psych ER is a real thing. We love you.
2. There’s No Baseball in Crying
No throwing bicycle helmets, dishes, books, laptops or lamps. No kicking or punching walls. It’s super dramatic, cliche, and besides, physical force is ALWAYS off limits. Save your brute strength for assembling that Ikea dresser or playing softball. If you’re that mad, take a fucking walk. Seriously, get the hell away from her.
Especially refrain from destroying your cell phone, because then you just look like a huge douche and we can’t even call you to tell you what a douche you are.
3. And Your Friends They Sing Along And They Love You
Do not use your friends as backup. “My BFF Becky, who only ever hears my side of the story, made a really good point about how you’re an asshole and always treat me so badly and that I deserve better.” Your friends, as well as your therapist and maybe also your mother, will almost always take your side. It’s why you’re friends. As such, their opinion is pointless. Her friends probably think you’re wrong. Who cares? This is between you and her and no one else.
“EVERYONE WHO THINKS MY GIRLFRIEND IS A TOTAL BITCH WHEN SHE MAKES FUN OF MY CARGO PANTS, RAISE YOUR HAND. STACY! WE’RE NOT FRIENDS ANYMORE.”
4. Get a Room
Do not fight in front of other people. Just thinking about this makes me feel awkward and slightly angry. The world does not revolve around how upset you are at any given moment. Much like watching Steel Magnoliasor dancing to LFO, arguments are special, private things and should be treated as such. No one deserves to witness your personal matters — not The Real L Word camera crew, not your roommate, nobody. The presence of others taints the purity of your discourse. Save it for la casa.
“JESUS CHRIST ON A CRACKER, I CANNOT BELIEVE THEY ARE DOING THIS IN FRONT OF ME. I JUST WANTED TO WATCH TWILIGHT AND MAYBE EAT SOME PAD THAI. WTF.”
5. Are You Ten Years Ago?
Keep the irrelevant past in the past. The fact that she used to fuck boys or had a nose job is completely extraneous. Stay on the specific topic that you’re discussing in this moment. If these past events bother you so much, why are you here? Yeah, zip it.
6. You Listened In, You’re Guilty of This, She Should Know This
No anonymous tipsters or resources. If you snooped and saw something you shouldn’t have or heard some weird gossip from last week, fess up. People deserve to know what you know, or what you think you know, you know? And if you read her email, you probs deserve a serious smackdown yourself.
“OH THIS TEXT FROM HER EX-GIRLFRIEND IS VERY INTERESTING. VERY INTERESTING, GERTRUDE. I’M GOING TO WRITE THIS ONE DOWN AS SOON AS I FINISH PHOTOBOOTHING HER CALL LOG.”
7. Let’s Not Talk About Money Honey
If you volunteered to pay for things, insisted on being the primary breadwinner while your ladyfriend finished college or made purchases for your partner on your own volition, they’re off-limits as examples of how one-sided, etc., this relationship is.
8. Don’t Speak, You REALLY DON’T Know Just What She’s Thinking
STOP interrupting! You should be listening with your ears, not formulating rebuttals with your brain. I know you have fifty really good points to make, but at least try to respond to what she is actually saying when SHE’S DONE SAYING IT. You may be able to talk louder or talk longer, but that doesn’t make you a winner.
And! And! If you’re on the interruptee side of this and do convince your lady-love to STFU long enough for you to speak, please do! Nothing darkens your future of seamless speech like crossing your arms and saying, “Well, now it doesn’t matter anymore” and letting the fight languish into silence.
Special Tip From Laneia: Think it’s weird to take notes during an argument? Think again! There’s a reason Moleskins were invented and that’s so you can WRITE SHIT DOWN IN THEM, then reference that thought later. Try it.
9. Think Before You Drink (and Argue.)
If you drink before a fight, you might say some things you wouldn’t have said sober. That’s fine, sometimes you say honest things, but there’s no take-backs the next day. Drinking may be a reason, but it’s not an excuse.
While we’re discussing substance abuse – DO NOT TAKE ADDERALL OR ANY AMPHETAMINES BEFORE OR DURING AN ARGUMENT. Seriously, even if it’s prescribed. Why? While 100% tunnel-visioned focus may assist you in writing a term paper, you don’t want that kind of attention paid to your girl-on-girl argument. Perspective is important, and you won’t get it if your brain is telling you that this fight and this girl is the only thing in the whole world that exists. Especially, my dear drug-abusing bunnies, if you’re also drunk.
10. I Don’t Care How Fast You Run, Just Tell Me Baby When You’re Done…
I know it feels super dramatic and special to Run Away, but running away, hanging up, or shutting down your computer is likely the number one reason your girlfriend is completely insane. This kind of behavior isn’t going to solve anything. Furthermore it’s disrespectful to the human being who wants to love you. Trust that, sooner or later, she will pick up this conversation exactly where you left it.
11. This Isn’t a Marathon
If you’re talking in circles or the sun is rising, you should put things on hold for a few hours. It’s ok to take a break! Courts do it all the time. It’s called ‘recess.’ You should find a slide or a swing set maybe. Take a nap.
12. Nothing To Figure Out, You Gotta Get Her Out
How you know this relationship might just be over over OVER:
+ You’ve had the same argument more than three times or as recently as last week. + You spend more time talking about your relationship than being in your relationship.
“IT’S OKAY I LEARNED A LOT ABOUT MYSELF AND NOW I CAN READ A BOOK IN THE QUIET AND STUFF YEAH I’LL BE TOTALLY FINE I BET MY FRIENDS MISS ME.”
You: Hi. I feel like I’m going to throw up. Are you going to throw up?
Your Ex: No, I’m not.
You: After all these years, you still have the power to make me nervous and nauseous. I hate you for that. Why can’t I do the same to you? I want you to be sick!
Your Ex: I’m sorry. I feel fine. Maybe a little congested.
You: Allergies? You always got those in the summer.
Your Ex: Must be it.
Your Ex: Why did you want to interview me? This feels weird.
You: I feel like I have a lot to ask you but I didn’t know if I had the right. Doing it in an interview makes me feel protected or something, like I could ask you anything because it’s for the interview and not really about us..
Your Ex: Do you still think about me a lot?
You: No. I don’t.
Your Ex: That’s not true. Look where we are now.
You: I mean, I do. But not really. Weird things will trigger it. Like when I pass that McDonalds on Orange Grove. Remember when we spent six hours there one day just hanging out?
Your Ex: I think so.
You: Fuck you. I’m already getting angry.
Your Ex: Why?
You: Because now I feel stupid for even mentioning it. It’s clear that you’ve forgotten it. So why the hell do I still remember it? Why do I turn into a deer in headlights when I pass a fast food restaurant when you can barely recall the memory? I want to be you in this situation. I want to not remember McDonalds.
Your Ex: You sound crazy right now.
You: Yeah, well it’s because I am. You make me crazy. You make me psychotic.
Your Ex: Okay.
You: Tell me what you do remember then. I’m curious.
Your Ex: I don’t know.
Your Ex: Okay. I remember you making me laugh a lot. You’re very funny but you know that. And you liked to listen to this one song by The Field Mice a lot whenever we would make out. It was hilarious. You’d act like it accidentally came on when you had clearly cued it. Um, I remember your family was crazy. I remember us taking the train a lot one summer. And…
You: That was fine. You can stop. Thank you.
Your Ex: What? Was that not what you wanted? Jesus, I can’t win.
You: I’m okay! I just didn’t need you to continue.
Your Ex: Okay, what else would you like to know? Let’s get this over with.
You: I guess I would just like to know that you don’t hate me. And that you look back with fondness on everything. I didn’t know if you even liked me for a period of time afterwards.
Your Ex: I probably didn’t. But everything’s okay now.
You: Good. I just can’t stand the thought of people I once cared about not liking me. It feels like such a waste of love.
Your Ex: You’re so dramatic! You can’t control everything, you know.
You: I know.
Your Ex: Things happen. Life is not like a movie. It ebbs and flows. You have to respect that. (SNIFFLES)
You: Are you crying?! I got emotion out of you! Hallelujah!
Posted on July 13, 2011 by Geoff Lemon on the Heathen Scripture Blog, the account has been suspended but I bring you this via Google Cache.
Three days on from Julia Gillard’s policy announcement, and the most striking characteristic of the carbon tax debate is just how closely it resembles a dozen retards trying to fuck a doorknob. The only apparent solution is a massive airdop of Xanax into our reservoirs, because really, everyone needs a few deep breaths and a spell in the quiet corner.
Sure, the weeks leading up have all been hysteria: Tony Abbott marching that bulldog grimace up and down the length of the country, like a Cassandra made of old leather and stunted dreams, cawing grim warnings of imminent ruin and destruction at the gates of Troy. But you might have expected, once the details had been released, there would arrive a little more perspective.
Far from being objective carriers of information, media outlets have been trying to manufacture furore. “Families earning more than $110k will feel the pain of the carbon tax,” warned the Herald-Sun, straightfaced. “Households face a $9.90 a week jump in the cost of living.”
Cry me the motherfucking Nile.
Households on less than that income would be even less affected. Those in the upper range would have their ten bucks a week at least partly compensated, while others would be fully or over-compensated.
The tax, after all, was not on people, but on 500 high-polluting companies. The compensation was to guard against costs those companies might pass on to their customers.
So, no big deal, I said to myself when the details were announced. Surely this’ll all blow over. And then, found myself more than a little surprised when a Herald-Sun commenter (one step above YouTube on the food-chain, I’ll admit) said “Somebody needs to assassinate Julia Gillard NOW before she totally destroys our way of life.”
Just… hold up a minute. Ten bucks a week? Our way of life? Aside from incitement to murder a head of government being ever so slightly illegal (and something the Hun mods should probably have picked up on), the response just doesn’t make any sense. Here is legislation that might make some things marginally more expensive. Probably not much. It isn’t going to drive industries offshore, because things like power generation and mining Australian resources kind of have to be done in Australia.
And yet the hysteria, even when not reaching Lee Harvey Oswald levels, has been constant throughout, led by the paper who defines ten bucks a week out of a hundred grand as “feeling the pain”.
“Social demographer David Chalke said the tax threatened values at the core of Australian society. ‘To an extent it will make people question, “is it really worth the bother?” They’ll smell in this something of a class war,’ Mr Chalke said.”
Ten bucks a week. Core values. Class war. Then, “Generous payments to those on low incomes and higher taxes for high income earners would anger hard-working Aussies.” Because, people on less than $110,000 don’t have to work hard. That’s why they get paid less! Scrubbing toilets is easy and only takes five minutes, while high-level boardroom execs spend 20-hour days chained to some kind of awful lunch machine being beaten with lobster foam.
I also enjoyed “On 3AW yesterday, Treasurer Wayne Swan was unable to say how the carbon tax would affect a Falcon. He also couldn’t say what the price change for a can of tomatoes would be.” The random grocery quiz had undone the Treasurer yet again. “Wait, wait, wait, got one…uh… large box of Libra Fleur? Nope. Uh, Sara Lee Chocolate Bavarian? Hah, you got nothin’, Swanny!”
Then there were the numerous headlines about airfares set to “soar” (geddit!). Well-meaning travellers were interviewed saying higher airfares would make it much harder to afford family holidays. Tres sad, especially when Qantas “said it would need to fully pass on the carbon price to customers, with the price of a single domestic flight ticket to increase on average by about $3.50.”
Three dollars. Fifty cents. They currently charge you more than that for a bottle of water. They charge $7.50 to buy a ticket online, $8 for a cup of noodles, $25 to use their check-in counter, and $6 to board the plane first. The best comment left after that article was, “So people won’t be able to buy a newspaper for the boarding lounge anymore? Good.”
So let’s never hear any talk of ABC bias ever again, because the Sun has well and truly picked its horse on this one. Any online article on the tax was headlined by a video of the lovely Andrew Bolt, telling us it was “the greatest act of national suicide we’ve ever seen.” Funny, I thought that was when they gave him a TV show. There was also a great line about “so-called solar energy” – because now solar energy is just a theory too. Like gravity, or Adelaide.
I am a sometime journalist. In that sense, the staff in the Herald and Weekly Times building are my colleagues. This makes me feel a bit like whorehouse linen. No doubt they all say they’re just doing their jobs, looking for opportunities. Nonetheless, they’re still actively promoting harm for the sake of attracting an audience. Concentration camp guards are just doing their jobs, too.
And with that level of reporting, the effort from their readers is no surprise. “Co2 is not a pollutant. It is vital for life on Earth. Without it, trees will die,” said John. Get that man on the climate panel.
“How much will Australia’s temperatures decline once the tax is implemented?” asked Marty. Well, Marty, the atmosphere takes notes about where its constituent particles come from, so we’ll get a full report from the Hole in the Ozone Layer each quarter. He wears a jaunty hat, and gives every boy and girl a delicious melanoma.
The dumbshititis was also evident in the audience of the Prime Ministerial Q and A on Monday, where the average question could be summarised as, “I’m a person, and I don’t like paying money. Can I not ever pay money for things?” My favourite line, from a surgical swab of a man towards the end of the show, was that because he earned too much to be eligible for low-income handouts, “I feel I’ll be taxed into poverty.”
This taps into a very prominent feature of our political landscape: the constant line from Tony Abbott that Australian families are hurting, that Aussies are doing it tough, that life is somehow getting harder, that the cost of living is on the rise.
Shenanigans, Tony. Let’s get one thing very clear. Australians, en masse, are enjoying a better standard of living than has ever been enjoyed in this country’s history.
And not just marginally, but by a huge degree. Really, along with a few other developed countries, we are enjoying a better standard of living than any group of people has in human existence. We have every kind of food and beverage from around the world deliverable to our doors. We have technological advances that make a decade ago look archaic. We have goods and luxuries of every conceivable kind; cheap and accessible. We have more and better options with transport, entertainment, comfort, place and style of residence. We have the most advanced medicine and best life expectancy of all time.
While there is still poverty in Australia, it does not even touch the kinds of poverty experienced in most countries on earth. Support systems and sufficient wealth exist to cover at least basic needs. The small proportion of genuinely homeless usually have other factors that keep them away from those systems. Being poor in Australia means living in a crappy house, in a crappy area. Maybe a commission flat. It means living on welfare, getting by week to week, not having any money for nice things. It might mean the kids have to go to their friend’s house to play X-Box, or that they don’t get sweet Christmas presents. It sucks, but it’s safe. It’s solid. It keeps you alive. It’s a level of stability and security that half the world would kill for, and even the basic amenities of a commission flat are amenities that half the world doesn’t have.
Poor people in Australia do not starve to death. They don’t die of cold. There is clean water running in any public bathroom. If they’re ill, they can walk into a hospital and be treated. If they’re broke, they can get welfare. They can get roofs over their heads, even if they’re temporary. They have options. If the utilities are shut off, they can find a tap, or a powerpoint. They can make it through the night.
And those poor aside, the rest of the country is doing very fucking nicely indeed, thanks very much. Reading these stories of parents bitching about working long hours to afford their private school fees just makes me want to give their little tow-headed spawn a spew bath. The lack of perspective is astonishing. Their kids are safe and fed and healthy and getting every opportunity to do whatever they want with their lives. They’re not getting sent out to suck tourist dick for enough US dollars to get their siblings through the week.
It should make us ashamed that there are people with good earnings ready to claim victim status on national television over a worst-case scenario of five hundred bucks a year. This is what is driving people into a panicky rage. Five hundred dollars, if you can afford it. Less if you can’t. If you run a red light camera in Victoria it’s $300. Do 40 ks over the limit, $510. If we get fines, we bitch about it, but inherently accept the rationale: the fine is levied as a penalty by someone endangering others in the society. It’s the basic structure of how a society works. We all agree to abide by certain rules as a form of insurance, to make sure that we’re not on the receiving end of the negative consequences of lawlessness. When people refuse to abide by those rules, they’re variously censured by or removed from that society.
If we obtain energy by burning irreplaceable fuel, and the consequences threaten the safety of our society, then surely we should pay a penalty for that (adding to a fund to guard against those consequences). The rule is basic: you make the mess, you clean it up. Ten bucks a week is a sweet deal.
But in being part of the luckiest couple of generations of people to yet walk the earth, most of us still like to imagine we’ve got it tough. It’s that same sense of entitlement that I was discussing regarding Raquel a couple of weeks ago. When you grow up with a certain standard of living, you come to regard it as the natural state of affairs. If someone threatens that state, they are depriving you of what is fundamentally yours. To your mind, you have a right to live like this, purely because you’re lucky enough to have lived like this.
Well, you don’t. So if you claim you can’t afford ten bucks a week, I call Shenanigans, with a healthy dash of You’re a Dick. One dinner at the Flower Drum would make up your year’s liability in one hit. Genuinely struggling people will get compo anyway. But even they could afford it if they had to. Buy one less deck of Holiday 50s a week. Buy two less beers. Leave off the Foxtel subscription. Wear a franger, save half a mil. What the fuck ever. Remember that you live in a country where drinkable water comes out of a tap inside your goddamn house, and where the power runs 24 hours a day. This in itself is a goddamn privilege, and if you are going to bitch and moan about having to pay for that privilege, you can fuck off and die in a ditch.
Because you do not have a right to this way of life. No-one does. We just have the extreme good fortune of enjoying it, and that won’t last forever. We should appreciate it while we can.
Perversely, part of me wants to see what would happen if the sea levels rise a couple of metres, the coastal cities get swamped, the rainfall dries up, the power goes out, the militias take to the streets. Part of me would love to see these squawking indignant right-to-luxury dickwipes learning how to live in the dust, scraping out dried plants from the earth and hoarding their remnants from the Beforetime. It’ll be a sight if it happens. Dirty red skies will rise up from the ground each morning like a curse. The only creatures that seem to thrive, the cockroaches and carrion birds, will swarm black against the sand and the sunset, rasping dry songs with their throats and with their legs. The water will be gone. The world will not remember ice floes. And for her sins, for ten dollars a week from each and every one of us, Julia Gillard will hang from the garret at the gates of Troy.