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I’m a feminist. It’s not a big deal for me to say it. I seek equality for all people regardless of gender. The way I see the bias pop up is in little stuff. For example, I’m a person who’s done a lot of therapy, so I try to be self aware. Beyond that, I did study psychology as an undergrad, with the hopes of becoming a counselor. I’ve given up on that idea long ago, but the skillset remains. One of which is a pretty much go to statement when I’m talking to someone, to follow up with “and that’s fine” or “it’s fine” or some variation. This is done for me to acknowledge and validate the other person’s statement, and present my tacit agreement usually. But, as much as stand up comics would have you believe, the phrase “it’s fine” is somehow a trap.

It’s become this code for “don’t do it!” or “figure out what I’m really thinking!” and that is just bullshit. The idea of behind it is, on it’s surface, a joke. Because it is hilarious for a woman to actually say what she means. It. Is. Fine. How banal a statement, and yet, an utterance means something completely different, or the exact opposite. It further invites conjecture that the woman is playing games, manipulating you somehow, or not taking the interaction seriously.

The insult here is that our ability to convey our meaning in the same language as men subtly and subconsciously makes it okay to discredit or disregard anything we say. Because, if we take it as read that if a woman says “it’s fine” but it is most certainly not fine, how can we be so sure that anything she says is actually what she means. No means yes becomes a very easy leap in that way. And, there you can see the formation of a logistical argument that puts women possibly in the position for basic consent to be misconstrued.

The ability to remove our autonomy is what it means to undermine personal freedoms. And yes, I realize this is a bit of a stretch to go from a stand up comic’s joke to a justification of rape culture, but the faulty logic that exists is part of an underpinning of consciousness in which certain portions of humanity are, in fact, exploited. It is just one example of how we can find our way down the path to tacit acceptance of one, and turning an uncomfortable eye away from the outcomes.

For the record, I’m not going to stop saying it though. I’m also not going to let someone undermine my meaning by making a joke out of it either. It’s fine. Really.