thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Keep Hoping Machine Running ([personal profile] thefourthvine) wrote2015-02-24 04:13 pm

[RL] Team Angry Cat

Last year, I went to a con in Chicago. On Saturday morning, I took the elevator from my room (fourth floor) to the con suite (second floor). Also on that elevator: a dude taking it to the first floor. As soon as I pressed the button, he said chidingly, "Two floors! Should've walked it." And then he literally, actually tutted at me. "Tut tut tut" went the arbiter of everyone else's body and abilities. Just so I'd know for sure that I'd been bad and been judged for it.

Now. There were a couple of conversations we could have had at this point. I could have told elevator dude the truth: that I have lupus (please please don't make the House joke; you have no idea how many times I've heard the House joke, and I promise you that sometimes it is in fact lupus), so I keep an eye on my energy and pain levels and try to save some of whatever ability I have for later. That I'm especially careful to do that when I'm at an event or traveling, because I don't want to be in my room exhausted or in pain when a thing I really wanted to do is happening two floors away, and I really don't want to be in pain and out of energy while traveling in modern American airports (apparent motto: "If you can't stand for four hours and run two miles full-tilt while carrying two weeks' supplies, lol no go fuck yourself"). So I'm careful. I don't push it. In the mornings, I might take the elevator, which the hotel did, after all, install for people to use.

I could also have told elevator dude to go fuck himself, which is the other honest conversation we could have had at that point. It is seriously none of his business whether I use the stairs, or the elevator, or rappel down the outside of the building, or maybe just dissolve into primordial ooze and drip down the walls.

But, you know, confrontation is another energy burner. I wanted to save my energy for having fun with my friends, the people I came to see. So I said something non-committal. Elevator dude wasn't done, though. "You should always find the stairs, first thing when you check into a hotel," this dude who was maybe ten years older than me and in no way my father said. "Did you know you're not allowed to use the elevator during a fire? Whenever you check into a hotel, you should think: what if there's a fire?"

Indeed, elevator dude. What if? What if, in my second decade of staying alone in hotels, you had not come along to tell me how to do it? I might have done it wrong, and then I would surely have burned to death in a fiery inferno, just as I have at least once a year throughout my adulthood, despite my mother giving me pretty much exactly those instructions back when I was seven and actually needed them.

Fortunately, at that point, we arrived at the second floor. I headed to the con suite and settled in. Some minutes later, I mentioned the mansplainer in the elevator and his profound concern for my well-being in case of fire. I didn't complain about the "should've walked" comment, largely because I didn't expect any support for it; I know an apparently able-bodied (and fat!) woman taking the elevator is cause for judgment in this world. (In some places, going by the general response, it's borderline actionable.) And most people at that particular table didn't know the details of my medical status, since in general, when given the choice between talking with my friends about lupus or talking with them about people banging, or being unicorn space eagles, or both, I tend to choose the pointy space birds and their sexytimes.

"Why would anyone say that to you?" one of the women at the table asked, in that mystified dudes-why-are-you? tone. "How does that even come up?"

So I explained about how we got on the topic of elevators. As soon as I said, "He said I should've taken the stairs," ten women around the table looked up and angry cat hissed in unison. It was like they'd rehearsed it for weeks after months of watching angry cats and studying their motivations. Truly a beautiful moment.

From this experience I learned some things:
  1. Support matters. Those women and their instinctive and audible anger didn't just make me feel better; they actually changed the way I remember the event. They became what was important about it rather than elevator dude. His judgment has become small and insignificant to me, and in fact I smile when I think about him, because he's inextricably linked to that moment ten people became Team Angry Cat for me.

  2. A lot of times, I don't reach for support because I don't expect it. I don't talk about the random elevator dude type aggravations of life, because I assume there's a good chance most people will side with the elevator dudes of the world. It's worth it to find the places where that isn't true. And it's worth it to reach for support when I can.

  3. I need to look for more chances to be on other people's Team Angry Cat. I don't need to know about that person's life or judge their worthiness; if they've experienced harassment or microaggressions, I'm gonna try to support them.

  4. I'd pay significant money for a YouTube series that was just ten women angry cat hissing at ability enforcers and mansplainers and dudes shouting "smile, baby!" at random ladies and so on.
Oh, yeah, and to the ten members of that particular Team Angry Cat: thank you. You're the best, and I will hiss for you anytime.
lunabee34: (Default)

[personal profile] lunabee34 2015-02-25 12:30 am (UTC)(link)
I just posted about something very similar in my journal.

I appear to be able-bodied, and I am very active. I go to the gym almost every day. I also have degenerative arthritis in both my knees; this was confirmed when I had an MRI at 15. Sometimes my knees don't hurt me at all. Sometimes I lay awake at night unable to sleep because they hurt. Or like yesterday, spent a 45 minute drive to town in almost excruciating pain in my driving leg because I couldn't stretch it out.

I don't take the stairs. Stairs kill my knees, and I've actually fallen multiple times. A colleague I no longer work with used to always go to the gym at the same time as me and one day he made a similar snide comment about it being so counter productive of me to take the elevator if I was trying to lose weight. Ever since then I've felt like everyone is secretly judging me for using the elevator, but dammit! It hurts. I also don't genuflect when I enter the aisle at mass, and I often don't kneel either if my knees are hurting too badly. But it's not a visible problem, so I feel like people think I'm just being lazy.


*solidarity fist bump*

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celtprincess13: (Default)

[personal profile] celtprincess13 2015-02-25 12:31 am (UTC)(link)
I really don't want to be in pain and out of energy while traveling in modern American airports (apparent motto: "If you can't stand for four hours and run two miles full-tilt while carrying two weeks' supplies, lol no go fuck yourself")

I have never read a more true or accurate description of what modern travel is like. Its like they all got together and said, "hey, people are already stressed out and anxious about flying, let's make it MORE challenging". Fuckers.

Just so you know, I will always be on your Team Angry Cat.
quinfirefrorefiddle: Sophie from Leverage, in black and white, looking over her shoulder. (Default)

[personal profile] quinfirefrorefiddle 2015-02-25 12:36 am (UTC)(link)
Angry cat, angry cat, whyyyy aaaare you hiiiiiissing,
angry cat, angry cat, HOLY SHIT HE SAID WHAT?
(That would be a slightly different Phoebe.)

Yes yes yes. Any time you need a Team Angry Cat, I am so there.
lilacsigil: 12 Apostles rocks, text "Rock On" (12 Apostles)

[personal profile] lilacsigil 2015-02-25 12:40 am (UTC)(link)
One *really awesome* thing about being a cancer survivor is the ability to say "Actually, cancer" to people like that and watch them shrivel up. It also works well for terrorising fat-shaming doctors. The sad thing is that this doesn't work for any other medical condition, even things actually more limiting than cancer. But cancer, well, apparently that's really scary.

In conclusion, HSSSSSSSSS.

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[personal profile] princessofgeeks 2015-02-25 12:41 am (UTC)(link)
Thank you.
nestra: (Default)

[personal profile] nestra 2015-02-25 12:46 am (UTC)(link)
If he's so into the virtue of stairs, he should have walked down three flights his own damn self, and spared you his presence.
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[personal profile] out_there 2015-02-25 01:47 am (UTC)(link)
That was actually my first reaction. Anyone in the *elevator* with me has lost the right to judge anyone for elevator use. I mean, if he'd come out of the stairwell and made a comment, he'd still be in the wrong (because not your place to assume and judge, dude, and I'd roll my eyes and think him a stair-loving freak) -- but to make that sort of comment while on an elevator is ridiculous.

And go Team Angry Cat. I love that the response was instinctual and such a great expression of shared annoyance.

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via_ostiense: Eun Chan eating, yellow background (Default)

[personal profile] via_ostiense 2015-02-25 12:59 am (UTC)(link)
Team Angry Cat is the best. Team Judgmental Mansplainer is the worst.

Relatedly, I tried to take the stairs at school today, rather than the elevator. There were two cockroaches on the first step. You bet I ran screaming out of the stairwell and took the elevator. It's going to be all elevator from now on!
kass: Geoffrey facepalms (geoffrey)

[personal profile] kass 2015-02-25 01:00 am (UTC)(link)
YAY for Team Angry Cat.

Also, good God, what a jackass that fellow is.

But mostly: fans are awesome. As are you.
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[personal profile] reginagiraffe 2015-02-25 01:25 am (UTC)(link)
Yet another reason to love fandom. And hate asshole mansplainers.

elf: Crowley's Queen of Wands (Queen of Wands)

[personal profile] elf 2015-02-25 01:32 am (UTC)(link)
I am able-bodied and reasonably healthy, and I dislike long waits for crowded elevators at hotels. I often try to take the stairs.

I have found that many hotels holding conventions DO NOT WANT people taking the stairs instead of the elevators. Sometimes the stairways have alarms--they're available in case of fire, earthquake, etc., but they are not for regular travel to and from the rooms.

Even when they're not alarmed, hotel staff doesn't like the stairways being used, because if they're used for travel, they quickly become used for LARPing, making out, and occasionally sleeping by people who didn't manage to get a room at the convention rate before they sold out. Hotel staff hates having to patrol the stairs as part of their rounds.

Confronting Mr Entitlement Jerk (and his clones that are likely to appear at other conventions) is likely to cost too much energy, but talking to a hotel manager later might be do-able; let them know that some of the guests are telling other guests take the stairs between floors. Mention that guests with disabilities are being told to take the stairs, and watch the hotel staffer turn white at the thought of liability issues.

Sorry you had to deal with Mr Jerk; glad you had the cat-hissing moment of vindication!
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[personal profile] helens78 2015-02-25 03:22 am (UTC)(link)
In many of the hotels I've stayed in recently, the stairs are locked on the inside, except on the ground floor. So you can't take them up to your floor, only down as an emergency exit.

Dude was a jerkface! Nobody asked him! Yay for Team Angry Cat!

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[personal profile] kathmandu 2015-02-25 01:53 am (UTC)(link)
Yay Team Angry Cat!

Can someone design T-shirts for Team Angry Cat?

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[personal profile] kathmandu 2015-02-25 01:55 am (UTC)(link)
On a side note, and hoping I'm not out of line: Lupus? And with an active young child? You get all my sympathies.
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[personal profile] soc_puppet 2015-02-25 01:56 am (UTC)(link)
Hmm. I run the accessibility department for a local anime con (and I had to build it myself and am still mostly the only staffer, so there was and remains a steep learning curve). Last year I spoke at opening ceremonies and asked attendees who could to consider taking the stairs, to leave room on the elevators for people who needed them, especially for one or two flights. I made a point to also ask them not to harass anyone who took the elevator, because you can't tell by looking what someone's ability level is. I haven't actually heard or read any complaints on this (yet), but your post is making me wonder if, this year, I shouldn't just cut the "Please consider the stairs if you can" part and go entirely with "Please don't judge people who take the elevator." (Well, for that part of my opening ceremonies announcements, at least. Still gotta ask attendees to ask the handler before petting the [service] animal, etc.)

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[personal profile] hannah 2015-02-25 02:26 am (UTC)(link)
Christ, what an asshole.

(Anonymous) 2015-02-25 02:40 am (UTC)(link)
Man, I don't realize that about people right away (but I'm slowly growing to be more accommodating because a mutual acquaintance of mine is slowly recovering from a bout of cancer and is exhausted all the time...). Everyone will always agree with you with asshats everywhere ruining your day!!!

PS was the con C2E2? Are you planning on going this year?
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[personal profile] j00j 2015-02-25 02:49 am (UTC)(link)
Yesssss. Team Angry Cat!!!

Also, your description of airports is spot on. God.
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[personal profile] jesse_the_k 2015-02-25 02:57 am (UTC)(link)
I am not the tiniest bit surprised that you had this shitty mansplainer, or that you found solidarity a,one the angry cats, or that you told us about it in words both economical and eloquent. Because you're reliable like that.

minxy: Teal'c raises a hand to say "hey". (Default)

[personal profile] minxy 2015-02-25 03:12 am (UTC)(link)
There are days when a youtube video of an angry cat team would make life so much better. I mean, the spontenaeity of it can't be replicated, and the particular circumstances are yours and awesome. But. I think there is a market here. Or at least, a meme. And I would love to see that take off.
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[personal profile] cadenzamuse 2015-02-25 03:15 am (UTC)(link)
rhi: Zoe Washburne.  Fights like a girl, all right. (Zoe)

Team Angry Cat

[personal profile] rhi 2015-02-25 03:16 am (UTC)(link)
I will help hiss!

Re: Team Angry Cat

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[personal profile] metaphortunate 2015-02-25 07:09 am (UTC)(link)
It is so beautiful to have our people validate our anger.
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[personal profile] lovepeaceohana 2015-02-25 07:16 am (UTC)(link)
The united angry hissing of a group of unrelated people is a completely amazing mental image and I can absolutely imagine how supportive it felt to hear. I am happy to be on Team Angry Cat!!
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[personal profile] china_shop 2015-02-25 08:00 am (UTC)(link)
I'm so glad your crappy encounter had a happy ending for you. May I please retrospectively add my hissss to the chorus.

(And thank you especially for point 3. *adopts*)
goodbyebird: Captain Marvel: Close-crop of Carol and Chewie, looking pissed. (C ∞ grumpycat IN SPACE)

[personal profile] goodbyebird 2015-02-25 08:42 am (UTC)(link)
Well he certainly needed a lesson in Shut The Fuck Up. I'm so happy you landed straight in a supportive environment after ♥

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