Fear and Loathing: An Oberlin Feminist on Men, Republicans and Heterosexuality

http://theothermccain.com/2015/12/17/kaela-elias-oberlin-feminist-tumblr/

 

 

“I hope men realize that we (women) actually fear for our safety every time we walk by you on the street.”
— Kaela Elias, Aug. 4

“when i was younger, i thought i was straight because society makes you think that. it’s sad.”
— Kaela Elias, Aug. 9

“. . . luckily i have parents who accept me for whatever i am and i live in berkeley and have plenty of friends who aren’t straight so it’s not that big of a deal. but sexuality is something that changes a lot, so i guess i’ve accepted that it’ll keep changing as i get older and it’ll never stop being confusing.”
— Kaela Elias, Sept. 19

 

“So many cishet white boys make misogynistic comments around me purposefully because they know I’ll react, but don’t worry everyone!! It’s okay because it’s just a joke :) saying offensive things to a girl that make her uncomfortable is A+ humor, 10/10.”
— Kaela Elias, Nov. 18

 

 

“I recently learned that the guy who lives next to me and literally never even makes eye contact with me is a REPUBLICAN. I am scared.”
— Kaela Elias, Dec. 14

 

 

Kaela Elias attends Oberlin College (annual tuition $50,586) anddescribes herself on Tumblr as “a queer introverted feminist” whose “blog is a space for me to unapologetically love myself.” Being from Berkeley, California, where so many of her friends “aren’t straight” and her parents are “accepting” of her “confusing” sexuality, Kaela’s feminism is inspired by her “fear” of males, especially “cishet” males. As incredible as this may seem, some male students at Oberlin College are actuallyRepublican, so she’s “scared.” Feminist Tumblr is full of frightened young women like Kaela Elias, and we must ask whether:

A. Tumblr is an effect, and this easy-to-use blogging platform more or less accidentally became popular with a certain type of feminist;
or
B. Tumblr is a cause, and this hive of LGBT activism actually facilitates the adolescent sexual confusion that so often accompanies the self-described “feminist” identity.

There is a certain type of brainy, socially awkward girl, of which Kaela Elias is an excellent example, whose tendency to overthink everything makes them vulnerable to the kind of “bisexuality” she describes as “confusing.” While I don’t want to play amateur psychoanalyst here, anyone who has read my series of posts about Feminist Tumblr knows how often the same set of factors overlap.

What we might call Feminist Tumblr Syndrome is manifested by a cluster of symptoms that typically include depression and/or anxiety, an inability to form stable romantic relationships, an irrational fear or hostility toward males, and the expression of a non-heterosexual orientation as a basis of personal and/or political identity.

Excessive involvement in online social media, to the detriment of real-life interaction with people, can be seen as both cause and effect of Feminist Tumblr Syndrome. The more she isolates herself alone in her room with her laptop, the more she identifies with the like-minded feminists she encounters online, and the less she is able to relate to ordinary people around her, especially heterosexual males, who are constantly the object of scornful denunciation on Feminist Tumblr.

Kaela Elias uses “bossy-feminist” as her Tumblr URL and calls her blog “Professional Killjoy.” Here is what she wrote in answer to someone who asked her if she “hates” men:

 

I hate male entitlement; I hate the things men are expected to do and think; I hate how much space men take up and that they don’t even realize it; I hate the way men oppress others and create violence and the fact that it’s often unintentional; I hate that I often don’t feel safe around men but still feel pressure to seek their approval.

 

So, she doesn’t “hate” men, she just hates everything they do or say. She hates men for being so . . . well, masculine, basically.

Men “oppress others and create violence” — even at an elite liberal arts school like Oberlin College, where Kaela Elias encounters “cishet white boys” who say “offensive things to a girl that make her uncomfortable.”

Kaela Elias is “scared” of the Republican guy who “literally never even makes eye contact with me,” but can you imagine the terror she would experience if he did make eye contact? My hunch is that the Republican guy never makes eye contact with any female student at Oberlin because he knows they’re all paranoid feminists who would accuse him of “objectification” and “harassment” if he ever so much as looked at them. (Smart boys avoid unnecessary interaction with women who exhibit an attitude of hostile suspicion, as crazy feminists usually do.)

Is feminism a political movement or a personality disorder? Feminist Tumblr is an environment where it is impossible to draw an clear line between ideology and mental illness. Kaela Elias’ parents in California are rich enough to send her to a private college in Ohio where tuition is $50,586 a year, yet she has a weird fixation with “oppression”:

 

friendly reminder that it’s not the job of an oppressed person to educate someone who’s privileged. if someone who’s oppressed feels comfortable to inform a privileged person about that system of oppression, the privilege person should be eternally grateful and also not expect the oppressed person to be 100% polite. systems of oppression are literal shit, and if the privileged person did something to perpetuate that system, they shouldn’t expect the oppressed person to calmly sit down with them and explain way they’re offended. It’s not their job, and if they are kind enough to do that, the privileged person should be thankful rather than defensive.

But wait! There’s more:

Privileged people need to stop criticizing the way marginalized people react to their oppression. If you’re an oppressor, it is never your job to criticize the

 

What inspired these particular bursts of jargon? She doesn’t say. She also doesn’t say what made her choose to attend Oberlin, rather than staying home to attend UC-Berkeley, where in-state tuition is only $13,432 a year. When you’re spending Daddy’s money, the sky’s the limit, so Kaela Elias locks herself away in her dorm at Oberlin, scared of that Republican guy next door, blogging about how “privileged” people should never criticize “marginalized” people about their “oppression.”

Perhaps you have noticed something about Kaela Elias:

people telling me I’m looking for a reason to be angry is ridiculous considering how many things in the world are worth being furious about. If you’re not mad, you’re not thinking critically. anger and productivity go together, and frustration makes me passionate, which motivates me to combat injustice. why is anger negative? anger is necessary. anger is a justified response to oppression.

Men have a problem with Kaela Elias:

I’m done trying to reassure men that the feminist movement benefits them. It absolutely does help men, but if the only reason you support a movement is because it directly affects you, then we have a problem.

Kaela Elias has a problem with men:

I have such low expectations for men, but 90% of them still don’t meet them

Men get defensive with a feminist like Kaela Elias:

if a woman expresses her opinion about the patriarchy, men freak the fuck out and get incredibly defensive, yet women are the ones who supposedly overreact about everything?

Other feminists need political advice from Kaela Elias:

Regardless of how problematic Hillary’s policies are, she’s a CONSIDERABLY better candidate than any republican running. If you think you’re protesting her policies by not voting or by voting for an obscure third party candidate, understand that you’re just making it more likely for us to have a republican president.

Despite her willingness to publish her angry rants on Tumblr for all the world to see, Kaela Elias is shy and awkward:

i want to get to know so many people but i’m too shy to talk to them

Again:

so many people to meet at my school, why must i be so shy?

And again:

i hate being shy. i hate feeling awkward or not knowing what to say because then people think i’m boring, but in reality there’s a lot going on in my head i just choose not to share it. i’m usually quiet around people whose opinions i care about and loud around people whose opinions don’t matter to me. so people who i don’t particularly like tend to like me, while people i like don’t always like me. it’s a constant cycle i wish i could stop.

 

Tempting as it is to recommend Wild Turkey and cocaine — a miracle cure, according to the famed expert Dr. Hunter S. Thompson — I’m not sure Kaela Elias could handle such strong medicine. Who knows how an introverted queer feminist would react to the gonzo treatment? Case studies indicate the effects can be unpredictable.

As I recall, back in the ’70s, a college girl with a steady supply of Daddy’s money could get herself into all kinds of trouble while trying to overcome her shyness. That was before the Internet, however, and now all the shy girls are on Tumblr ranting about “oppression” instead of partying with rock-and-roll outlaws. But I digress . . .

Feminist Tumblr is narcissism masquerading as political activism. Ranting inside an echo chamber about “cishet white boys” doesn’t persuade anyone or accomplish anything in terms of ending the “oppression” under which Kaela Elias imagines she is suffering. Rather than admit that she is the problem — she is privileged, not oppressed, and her shyness and insecurities are the real source of her own unhappiness — instead she uses politics as a rationalization, a defense mechanism that protects her damaged ego by externalizing blame. Her unhappiness is not her fault.She blames “society” for making her think she was heterosexual when she was younger and blames men for the irrational fear she feels toward them, even while she feels “pressure to seek their approval.”

Because she can never accept responsibility for her own problems, Kaela Elias needs a scapegoat and feminist ideology offers her “the patriarchy,” a “system of oppression” of which she may imagine herself a victim. Never mind all those poor people who can’t afford $50,586 a year to attend Oberlin — none of them are oppressed the way Kaela Elias is. They are “not thinking critically” like her. They are not full of the “frustration” that makes Kaela Elias “passionate . . . to combat injustice.”

And as for men, she has “low expectations” for them that 90% are unable to meet. Who could blame Kaela Elias for hating men, considering how they “oppress others and create violence”? In fact, she may considers it violent oppression for me to quote her blog. I just hope she doesn’t “freak the fuck out and get incredibly defensive.”