365 T-shirts - the reasoning

This blog should be sub-titled: a journal of my life in geek.

I get my geek on with things about which I am geeky: comic books, Baseball, Ultimate, science fiction, my favorite bands, books I have read and loved, and Jungian psychology to name some of the most frequently traversed subjects.

I began this project simply as a way to count my T-shirts. I own a lot of T-shirts. But how many do I have? Do I have 365? We shall find out.

When I started this blog, I thought about how each T-shirt means something to me. I bought it for a reason, after all. I set myself the task to post an entry about a new T-shirt every day as a way to simply write something every day, a warm up for writing fiction, which is my passion. Writing is like exercise. Warm ups are good for exercise. But after completing a month of blogging about T-shirts, I have learned that this blog serves as a journal; it documents my life in geek, sort of a tour of my interests in pop culture. The blog serves as a tool for self-inventory, for assessment and analysis of self and the origins of self, for stepping through the process of individuation in catalogues, lists, and ranks.

The blog also made me aware that I have some serious gaps in my T-shirt ownership, and I am in the process of collecting some new T-shirts for several of the great popular culture icons that I truly love. Stay tuned.

I was also a bit surprised that people checked out my blog and continue to check it, read it, and even comment on it. I am very appreciative of this readership. Please feel free to share your thoughts in my comments section. I will respond.

Also, please note that I have moved the original introductory text to the side bar. And now, I present to you the most recent entry of 365 T-shirts: a journal of my life in geek. Thank you for reading.
(Second Update - 1310.24. First Update - 1306.05 Originally Posted - 1304.25.)

Saturday, April 27, 2013

T-shirt #37: Take Back the Night circa 2005

T-shirt #37: Take Back the Night circa 2005

I had the pleasure of being asked to speak at a rally for Take Back the Night in 2005.

When I spoke, I was teaching a course in media studies in the Gender and Women's Studies department at Western Michigan University.

I was a bit surprised to be asked.

I was humbled and honored to be asked as well.

My ten years of tenure as the instructor of the course Media and the Sexes (should have been called Gender and the Media) was the best job I have ever held. I did my best teaching work in that course. I feel like I made a difference.



I wish I knew where to find my remarks for my speech at the rally.

I know I talked about two things, and since today's entry must be brief, I will just note these two items and close.

1. I wish we did not have to hold Take Back the Night rallies. As a man, I have never worried about where I went at night and if I was alone. I have never lived in fear for my safety from sexual assault. I do not fear being raped when I have to get to my car across the dark grocery store parking lot or walk home from a party where I had a little too much to drink, a little later in the night than I intended to stay. I wish no one had to think about these things. I wish we did not live in a world in which people had to live in fear for their safety from sexual assault. But we do not live in that world, we live in this world, in which these fears are an all too serious reality.

2. Shortly before speaking at Take Back the Night, a friend of mine confessed to having been raped months prior and how the experience had backed up on her, something she had tried to repress that would not stay submerged in her consciousness. She had not been dealing with it, she told me. And it was all starting to hit her, and she was struggling very much. I never know how to react to such stories. Expressing sympathy does not seem like enough. Sometimes expressing rage seems either inadequate or the wrong reaction to help my friend who is suffering with the after-effects of the terrible crime. And I always ask stupid questions, like "were you alone?" or "did you try to fight back?" These questions seem like good ones at the time, but upon reflection, I know that they are meaningless and even a little offensive. They seem to imply that the result of the attack is the victim's fault. And this is the last thing I ever want to imply, suggest, or in any way convey.

I think I spoke a great deal about trying to be the kind of man who models good behaviors and attitudes in regards to sexual assault. Because I do not understand sexual assault at all. I cannot understand what motivates a person to commit sexual assault of any kind. I am hoping that some day, unfortunately after I am dead (because this transformation is going to take a long time), the world will be filled with such people (not just men) who consider sexual assault to be unthinkable. Take Back the Night events are just one more step toward making that world a reality.

-chris tower, 1204.27, 7:43