Disclaimer: This blog post is written in the style of a tale simply to make an interesting read. This is not meant to come across as insensitive. I completely aware people are still being affected by the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy. In fact, I am one of those people affected.
Once upon a time not to long ago in a time of the yesteryear, a life-changing storm by the name of Sandy swept through the East coast of the United States. Sandy’s impact on the United States was legendary; it altered the lives of many Americans permanently. Speaking to Sandy’s legendary power (not to idolize it), it was the first storm powerful enough to cripple the “Great” Big Apple (New York) for an entire week: destroying entire neighborhoods, flooding and shutting down electricity in most of Lower Manhattan, closing down the public school system for a entire week, and crippling most of the underground transit system, unheard of! During Sandy’s reign of terror it was anthromorphised as a psychopathic, delusional, and skanky woman throughout the various social media platforms. Memes like the ones pictured immediately above and below were abundant.
Frustration was at an all time high and people took to social media to vent about the devastation Sandy caused. First people began posting statuses characterizing Sandy as a promiscuous woman this was not to bad people make memes tinged with sexual innuendo all the time lets take into account this is social media and not where people makes jokes of the nature because generally they know each relatively well. However, suddenly things escalated and took a turn for the worse when people started posting statuses entailing them performing violent acts toward Sandy gendered as a woman such as: “cutting the shit out of that bitch”, “beat[ing] that bitch”, “stab [bing] that bitch”, and worst status of them all “hope you fucking die you dirty bitch, fuck you twice” pritty disturbing. The popularity of these statuses of violence against women proves that practices of punishment against women are still subliminally ingrained in our culture. Or as Jill Filipovic in her article entitled, Stop Calling Sandy a Bitch: It was a Storm, Not a Woman to Hate for guardian.co.uk best put it, “…we don’t hate the hurricane because it’s a destructive force of nature; we hate Sandy because she’s a slut and a whore and a bitch. And sluts and whores and bitches deserve physical punishment”.
Retrospectively, looking back to that time not to long ago it is difficult to reprimand people who were obviously faced (and many still facing) the tough circumstances created by of Sandy. It is evident the gendering and sexualization of Sandy is rooted in the deep-seated patriarchal terrorism (abuse almost entirely male that is oriented toward controlling the partner often a woman through fear and intimidation) directed toward women. The popularity of the characterization of Sandy in this manner lies in the fact that it allows for the trivialization of a very serious threat through the fostering of denial as a means of coping with the devastating circumstances created by Sandy. Just look at ABC News video below depicting the devastation caused by Sandy. Its understandable the trivialization of Sandy as a means of coping.
Its quite ironic that many people took a liking to the characterization of Sandy as a sexually promiscuous woman “Screwing (or blowing in the case of the image way up above) the whole East Coast”, as if she was the sexually passive person in the situation. In actuality, we the people in Sandy’s path were the ones playing the passive role of the victim getting screwed.
One more thing before ending this blog post. Going a little off on a tangent Sandy is a unisexual name, and until the memes with Olivia Newton John as Sandy from Grease I thought the following: Sandy was a man’s name and hurricane Sandy was being sexualized not as a sexually promiscuous woman, but as sexually promiscuous homosexual man. Nevertheless, even this interpretation is troubling, because violence is directed against the LGBT community, which is deplorable seriously we are in 2012!
This tale is coming to an end it has no happy ending. Sandy was a ferocious storm. Stories of its wrath will be told by parents to their children for generations to come. If you want to help victims of Hurricane Sandy donate to American Red Cross.
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