And then the world exploded.

I had a few entries all lined up – then I went to Chicago to see some dear friends and the world exploded.

I got in on Thursday night then – Friday morning, the world changed again. By now, everyone has heard about the shooter, his video, his reasoning for doing what he did, and we have all witnessed the collective sound of the internet basically breaking in the weeks after.

It has taken me a while to even begin to respond to this, Except the night after. The night after I posted something on my Facebook. Something to the effect of (without knowing all the facts at the time) Of – “Can we please stop saying that this guy was mentally ill – He wasn’t. He was a misogynistic asshole on a power trip.” This is, of course paraphrasing. This was immediately followed  by a backlash from a friend. It ended up making me take the post down for a number of reasons. Number one, because I was not expecting the differing opinion from her – Before you say anything, I’m totally fine with debate. I have amazing, awesome, intelligent and amazing friends – but because it came as a surprise in the way that it went down.

I am not going to lie here – the whole shooting, for some reason, hit home in a really powerful way. I haven’t been tweeting about it. I haven’t been making powerful declarations on Facebook – I’ve been just sitting here, watching the whole thing unfold.

It goes without saying that SOME of the men involved in the discussions have some serious issues. I actually read on one forum “He should have killed more of them. That is what happens when you stupid bitches don’t just know your place and put out.” Yet on the other end of things there are clearly women who have completely lost it as well. I’ve sort of been watching the whole thing unfold in disgust and often I’ve found myself yelling at the computer screen.

Being a pin-up model has put me in an awkward position with a lot of feminists. I have actually had women tell me “Look at you. You have no respect – You flaunt your sexuality – YOU are the reason that women get raped.” It has been a very long road to walk…Not really knowing where I fit in. This shooting tapped something inside me that made all of the anger I have been taking and ignoring and stuffing down inside me completely bubble over.

It bothers me that people are blaming the shooting on his mental illness. Was he mentally ill? Probably. It goes without saying. He shot a bunch of people and killed a good number of them. He made a video and wrote several things detailing what he was going to do. As a woman? This makes every ounce of fight in me come to the surface.

I am listening to men respond to this – in anger “Come on. You know not all men are like that…” Every time a guy says this, I want to smack him. Most of my dearest friends are men. Some of them even gun owners. To me, the debate is less about gun ownership, or men vs. women (Though the shooter was definitely a misogynist. There is no getting around that.) To me? There are a lot of parts of this whole discussion that we are not having…in fact that we are just ignoring, and instead, blaming it on the availability of guns. Or the treatment of men, and women in America alone…There are just so many conversations that we should be having that we AREN’T.

In my line of work I get just as many hateful comments from women who consider themselves feminists as I get letters from men (And sometimes women) demanding more nude pictures…Demanding inappropriate attention that to me crosses the line into personal – And I always respond politely, but I tell them “I’m sorry. I’m not giving those to you. I’m not meeting you. I’m certainly not having sex with you just because you have seen my naked body and you feel entitled to touch it.” Most of the time, it never escalates past a few more angry messages. I am not even involved in a part of the industry where I would have a massive fan base – I live in a small corner of the net and have a small number of fans.

I think one of the real problem here is expectation. Entitlement. This man decided that since he was a “Nice Guy” He deserved to have what he desired (Which was a beautiful white woman on his arm.) And because he was not getting it – he decided to make a lasting impression to teach someone some kind of lesson.

I’m still not sure what message we were supposed to get other than “When I say I want you – you have no choice, you’d better fuck me or I will kill you because you are THAT disposable to me.”

After the shootings I went back and looked over every creepy letter I have ever gotten. A lot of them sound a lot like the way that this man was speaking. I don’t feel like I can really be open with women who self identify as feminists because a lot of them have been downright mean to me about what I do – up to and including telling me that my embracing of my sexuality is the reason that men “Like him” do this kind of thing.

I can’t really talk to my male friends because all most of them do is apologize and do things to show me that they are not at all like that (Which I already know. It’s why we are friends).

I have felt really challenged by this.

I want to speak out – but it seems like everyone else has that covered and quite frankly, the one time I did, I was chewed out publicly and by someone who I thought was my friend. I’m pretty sure that it was because she was just feeling as impassioned as I was…but it really just showed me that I have no place anywhere.

Lately, I have been feeling like my opinion doesn’t matter. Like my presence doesn’t matter. A lot of signs in my life have been pointing toward me needing to make some MAJOR changes. I just don’t know what they are.

For now though…I’m going to start going through this weeks letters…Counting how many of them say things like “You need to get over here and fuck me.” or “Who the fuck do you think you are? You didn’t respond to me fast enough whore.” And I think I am going to start using them to make some kind of art…because I know I am not the only person in my industry who gets these kinds of letters. It’s time we stop ignoring them ladies and Gents,


xo xo xo



14 thoughts on “And then the world exploded.

  1. I hear you sister. This struck me down really hard to, thinking that there is just someone out there who would go to that extreme after something that to me seems trivial. For him, it certainly wasn’t, and this is just… flargle. I think the art of the letters is a good thing; one final f-off to some people and taking control of a situation.

    • I’m not sure if you really CAN take control of this situation. I think that the sad fact is that people are going to kill each other. The problem I have with this particular case is the brazen sense of entitlement this man had. I have experienced that first hand…and its a very scary thing that very few people talk about.

    • That means a lot actually. Most of the time I feel as though I am yelling into a void. The days when people respond…even a little are the best days. Thank you for your reply.

  2. I think it’s wrong what these other women have been telling you. Embracing sexuality is not perpetuating the problem of misogynistic ideals in society today. The problem is in how some people are raising their children, and unfortunately that means that some fathers (and even mothers) are teaching their little boys that girls and women are objects and not, well, people.
    You keep doin’ what you’re doin’ gurl. We love you all the same.

    • Derek, you raise interesting points here. its a discussion i’ve often had with people and been told i was wrong…because women who “do what i do” are “asking for that kind of attention.”

  3. I just feel that people think that strippers, models, porn stars and yes, even prostitutes are all treated like shit. People expect that they can tear into them just because of their job and then those very same people go to people in the sex industry. Not to say you’re anything other than a model, but I feel that models get an especially harsh wrap. There’s been all this focus on him and no focus hardly on the victims (the people he murdered / injured and the people he stigmatized)

  4. Ever since I lost a friend to gun violence (thanks, local police) I’ve been baffled by stories like this. I really don’t understand how someone can see a human life as something to be traded for their own sense of justice. A person is not a dollar. Life is not a transaction. I felt the same way when I heard of a white supremacist having shot three Jewish people and then went to trial. Even with the brainwashing that one receives in a cult of such a sort, to have murdered someone just because of their differing faith is something I can’t understand in our modern world. It’s easy to label people like this a scumbag, but when we do, we’re not allowing ourselves the opportunity to explore the problem. Of course, exploring the problem is part of what scares people so much.

    But, to put it in the common man’s perspective, I work as a delivery driver, and not everybody in this town tips. Even if I’m just given a dollar, I figure “Well, maybe they don’t have more to give.” Now sure, I have a few choice words and hand gestures for someone who stiffs me, but I never hold on to their order ticket with address and phone number to harass them. For all the times someone has asked me “Are you okay?” and I’ve replied, “NO. I AM MALADJUSTED AND HAVE AN ATTITUDE PROBLEM,” I’m apparently more sane and resilient than I would let on. Now tip me before I do something really bad, like shake up your two-liter.

    • Devil – First of all. I am sorry for your loss.

      I always adore your perspectives on things. I think that the entire world is largely missing out on so much of the ability to actually HAVE conversations that need to be had. For example – I can think the guy is a scumbag. Be vocal about it and still have the hard conversations.

      Thank you SO MUCH for your insight. It is amazing as always.

      • Thank you. To say time has made it easier… isn’t exactly true, but it’s not exactly wrong either. I think it’s something I’ll intellectually wrestle with for the rest of my life. Just about the same with this one. Is all this guy wanted was to be loved? I mean, without knowing his mother and his home life it’s hard to shape a proper perspective of him. Of course, the news media would prefer to present us a one-dimensional look at all of it. But a person is a person, a past, a mind, a set of standards. I can’t make that officer a faceless monster in the dark, especially as I dug deeper and learned more details. Part of me wants to, so it can be simple, black and white, and then the past is the past. But to reduce it to that level would be to do a disservice to my friend, to wipe him away, pretend we didn’t laugh together, to say I didn’t grab him from behind and say “BUDDY!” in the weirdest voice I could think of. Not acknowledging how quickly I found someone I enjoyed working with at my new job would be the true loss in this world.

        So bring on the tears and laughter. At the same time. Let me revel in the confusion. At least I know I’ve tasted something real.

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