I used to think you were a bad bitch, but now that we’ve both gotten older and wiser I’ve come to realize you’re just a brat. Kudos on the persona you’ve managed to project, it works on the right people.
I was most definitely a brat. No question about it. Thing is, I can forgive myself for being a brat, and in another seven years, I’ll be able to forgive myself for whatever shortcomings I have today.
Now it’s your turn. Forgive the part of yourself that used to think I was a bad bitch. After all, that’s what this is really about. You may be older and wiser, but you still resent the person you used to be.
Let go of that person and forgive yourself. You were doing the best you could with the knowledge you had at the time. We all were.
121 thoughts on “On the person you used to be”
A brat, but a brat with an eager nose and a sharp tongue. In a time where everything seems to be collapsing, you’re a wonderful reminder that we can rebuild. (And reach for better metaphors/language…)
This post made me nostalgic.
I’ve been reading your blog so long that I feel like I’ve grown up next to you, except that I was reading you grow from my current age whereas I was spending this whole time figuring out my shit enough to be entering the brat stage at which you started writing this thing. Maybe that’s a lot more common for people with siblings to experience, but for me it’s pretty surreal as an only child.
Anyways, I’m embracing the fucking change: in you and in me.
me too. [snif]
I’m turning 28 this year, and based on the clues you’ve given us you were somewhere around my age when you started writing this blog. I started reading it when I was 22, and your advice really resonated with me then because what you were giving me was advice relevant to the next level of my life.
That advice may seem bratty/rude/whatever now, but it really comes straight from the world people live in during their 20s. Any advice someone in need their late 20s could give would be similar. I imagine the advice I would give in a similar situation and it wouldn’t differ all that much in tone.
Hi, are you me? Also 28. Also started around 22. I have grown so much through and because of coketalk.
28 in 2 months. Been reading Coke Talk since 2011.
It’s amazing—I feel like CQ’s readers have all grown with her, but people are reacting to that in wildly different ways. I wrote in to her a bit ago explaining that her writing has shifted in my life from being that of a guru to being the work of a writer I love and respect. But I don’t fault either of us for me giving her that guru status. It’s just who I was then. All the iterations of all of us are valid.
Edit: To the person above me—same! I turn 27 tomorrow. I wonder how many of us are in this age bracket.
Turning 26 in a few weeks
28 in three weeks!
28 in 3 months.
Well that clears up a few things.
As to what, exactly ? I’m curious about what you link to my age in my (few) comments here.
Your responses tend to be a bit hotter. You’re clearly a very bright person, but you have an edge I associate with the early 20s. It’s an aggression that comes from seeing and feeling these issues as a matter of personal identity rather than a more dispassionate and global issue. I’ve been watching your comments since we were arguing the other day, since I recognize your handle now.
Haha yeah I can be a bit intense like that. The whole BPD thing is fairly fresh for me too so my comments the other day were rather hot-blooded in consequence.
Been there. Still there sometimes. I relate, lol
I just turned 25 and started reading CQ in college.
27 here! Reader for years.
30! I’ve always assumed most of her readers are late 20s / early 30s.
Some of us are over fifty – and might just be your parents. Next time you wonder how Mom or Dad got smart all of a sudden, it might just be because they read Coke.
I’m 42, so in mom-of-a-teenager range. 🙂
(Actually, I have a sister two years younger than me who is about to become a grandmother. Man, I’m going to enjoy giving her shit about that.)
I said most, not all! I’m not surprised even a bit that there are older readers as well. 🙂 I would be VERY surprised if either of my parents were here, though, but that’s due to who they are, not due to their age…
I’m 24 and started at 17. The only child thing is legit. It’s the closest I’ve felt to having an older sister.
17 here – I’ve been reading for 2-3 years.
20 and been reading since 14. love this shit.
Haha, holy shit, what’s it like to literally become a person under the guidance of Coke?
I just recently turned 21, and have been reading since I was also about 14.
I learned a lot from CT.
I’ve been trying to type up exactly what that is, but a lot of what I’ve read from her various blogs, and the conclusions I have drawn from thinking about her writing as it applies to my life are very wrapped up in who I am.
I know she has a backlog of questions, I almost wish she could resend me all of the questions I’ve sent into her over the years.
Just turned 16. love her.
I’m 30. I’ve been reading CQ since I was 25. Happy Birthday, Katie!
22. Started reading when I was 19. (And yeah, I’m fairly certain Coq is in her mid-thirties.)
27 in a week 🙂 I guess she had a definite audience when we all started reading. I think I started reading sometime around 2010/2011
And thank god you were/’are’ a brat.
I’m an odd little person, but I ain’t thick. Somewhere between you and Crass, I learned that my life happens on my terms. I don’t owe anyone my time, my apologies, or my explanations. Fuck polite. All I’m going to give you is my authenticity because I have enough faith in my humanity to believe I yield a net positive.
Just the other day I was being talked down to by a peer, a coworker, and I told them quietly but bluntly, “You have no right to talk to me like that.” Then I walked the fuck away while they made a little scene in front of everyone at work – customers, employees, managers. 5 years ago I would have taken her shit. 3 years ago I would have asked you what to do. Today I let snarky fucks get themselves fired.
Y’all didn’t change me, but you informed my change. I don’t know if I’m more or less of a brat, but my quality of life has improved in all directions. Frankly, I could care less about the former. It doesn’t register as a concern. But I’m at least enough of a brat to ask for what I deserve, now.
Can you tell me who/what this Crass you speak of might be?
With the utmost pleasure:
Are you me? From Coquette to Crass to a self-transformation set on unapologetic authenticity… Am I in love or just a narcissist?
Heh, I do this all the time. Someone on the internet will write about two or more of my very personal interests, then I carry myself off on a fantasy.
It’s fun to imagine the person who shares something odd, specific, and personal with you. For me, it has something to do with how far each of my interests distances me from the average person. It’s nice to believe I’m not as alone as this city would have me believe.
You’re actually average. It’s not about the place, you’re alone because you are a narcissist. Sorry you are boring.
Mr. Yuck face disapprove.
lol, I never said I wasn’t average. I just said that my interests are not. But that’s not even the issue.
Have you lived in a big city? I feel like the people who have understand what I mean when I say that. Walking past thousands of different people every day, you develop this sense of comfort with strangers, but you become more and more aware of the distance between you and them.
Say then you head to a bar, a game, a show – anywhere with alcohol, really. Go alone because it will give you the space to clear your mind and watch, listen. The distance breaks down so suddenly, dramatically around you.
At the bars, people will strike up with you like you’re old friends. You’ll have a few laughs, maybe an interesting conversation, and you will part ways. Probably permanently.
At a game, you’re surrounded by an honest, unguarded emotional reaction being shared by tens of thousands of people. Some people shed literal tears of either sorrow or joy, and everyone around them is just like, “Shit, I feel ya’.” Then y’all walk back out into your real lives, ignoring all the people with whom you may or may not have, just last week, shared an intense emotional experience with. Your best way to communicate that experience to someone else is, “White Sox fan!? Fuck yea!” And then you conclude that fun little joyful interaction, and you move the fuck on.
But I like the crowds at the really big shows. People touching people who they don’t even know, yo.
These unguarded moments are, in my opinion, a near necessity of living in a city. You have to be so guarded around so many people so many hours of the day that it wears you out. So you go somewhere and you let it all hang out. That’s easier done with a whiskey than without one.
But sometimes you get trapped a little longer than you can bear. Maybe you work 12 hour shifts all weekend. Maybe you’ve got two jobs. Maybe your 9-5 is sucking your soul out through your anus. Then you have to create those moments for yourself.
You’ll gossip with the wait staff, get chummy with the janitors, or talk shit with whoever else is getting fucked in your industry. Maybe that’ll tide you over better than it does me.
But maybe something recently caught your attention, and you’re just gonna drift off in your head about it for your 30 minutes liberty.
Some (most?) people will conjure the sensation they’re deprived of: intimacy. You could play through a memory or two of those super deep convos that you had with ur bestie, but there ain’t nothing wrong with a well-nurtured fantasy life.
Here’s the problem, Jessica Sen: you are no fun. Let yourself have a little fun, Jessica Sen.
Awesome response. Your writing really took me there.
Your writing is perfect for thought catalog. You can have fun when you’re dead. I am nothing but serious.
“Your writing is perfect for thought catalog”
Seriousness is the only refuge of the shallow.
I love you Jessica Sen
Actually, I’ve lived in London, LA and Shanghai. What about you? And people touching people they don’t know is not cool, yo.
Even if my writing were that bad, I’d be content to believe I’m an idiot speaking constructively to idiots. There’s more value in that than acting like an ass, entirely unprovoked.
You sound like one of those insufferable yuppies who would, if they could bridge the emotional chasm, actually thank their parents for taking away their childhood. I can see it now, you’re gonna get married and settled down because you’re not sure sure what else is you’ve been working for. Then you’re gonna pop a resentful little flesh bag out your resentful little vag, and spoil them to quell their discontent because just like your parents, you never quite learned how to show affection, but unlike your parents, you’ve got a soft spot for their bitterness. But that’s if you even get married. You probably won’t, and not because you reject the institution. Rather, all your potential partners just look like idiots and wastrels to you because you’ve got that ivy league level education. You get real disappointed, though, when all the motherfuckers who met your standards turn out to be motherfuckering narcissists. You’re never gonna quite figure out why that is. But baby, I know this the real hell, walking around thinking like you’re surrounded by idiots all day.
But hey, I guess I was doing moshpits wrong all those years. So I ain’t perfect, either.
I haven’t got an Ivy League education, but I like my pronouns. Nah, my pussy is far from resentful after the fuckering of your mother. Don’t vote Trump.
I like how you stick to the factual and literal. It’s like part of you knows that the rest is absolutely spot-on, but you think you can hide it.
It’s very obvious that this comment is trying to mimic the way dearcoquette responses are often written. Especially the part where you tap into a make-believe psychological intuition and try to explain the person to themselves. I see that all the time on these comments. Cringeworthy attempts to rip off the dearcoquette writing style down to the attitude. Sometimes I just think it’s like, one of those kind of funny things that happen thanks to the internet. I mean, it’s definitely normal to like someone’s writing style and try to emulate it as kind of an exercise or to develop your own style. But it’s weird in this context, Brynn, because a. this Jessica person isn’t writing in to you asking for advice, they are just posting some dumb shit on a message board, and in turn you think you have the right to try and totally upheave them emotionally and like, lay bare some kind of Freudian nightmare that resides in the core of their entire life. Like, talk about disproportionate response? And all because you thought this random commenter being slightly snarky (omg how weirddd for that to happen, who does that online…) provided you a perfect window to show the world how you’ve read a lot of shit on this advice column and now you can copy the way someone else writes without missing a step in the formula! ummm….Okay I started with a. sooo…then B!! You DON’T know any of this shit that you said! You don’t have magical psychological mind powers rooted in your high intellect and old-soul wisdom that you get from being so perfectly you and so smart and so in tune with things and so much better than this sad little commenter who just doesnt ‘get’ it. It’s fucking dumb to think that you can read someone’s life for no reason and then when they’re like ‘ummm youre dumb’ you’re like SEE I KNEW IT.
Sorry random Brynn but I really like this website and theses comments sections are just killin’ me and if you’re sooooooo smart then you can just write with your own voice and your own personality and your own attitude instead of mercilessly ripping off someone else’s and creeping out all her readers who are like “Oh god…she’s created a bunch of sheepy monsters.”
But seriously though, please read my life if you want based on me being slightly mean in THIS comment. or try to. just because maybe you DO HAVE MAGIC POWERS? and if you’re right IT WOULD be cool
Nah. Shitting on someone when they’re sharing a moment of vulnerability with somebody else just pisses me off. She had no business in that conversation.
Besides, I think you’re missing the point. My comment wasn’t about revealing who she actually is. It’s about revealing the person she presents as.
The only thing I genuinely believe about all that is that she isn’t any fun (which she confirmed).
Also, I neither see any particular similarities to Coke’s writing in my own, nor am I aiming to emulate her.
ITT: some smug fuck named Jessica tries to shit all over OP for having a sense of connection with an Internet stranger, gets right and well stomped.
What about considering the possibility that I have not acknowledged the noise that is not worth acknowledging?
What about stop being so salty
So many other flavors to choose from…
29. Been around here since I was 23. This is precisely what has happened to me during this trajectory. I still check in here on a daily basis, almost as a ritual, because it is just lovely to realize, advice after advice, how much we have evolved.
Reading Coke made me find the courage to seek out therapy, continuing to read Coke gave me a sense of fluidity in all this fucking nonsense. I’m still here because why wouldn’t I? We are both much better people by now; we recognize that in each other, we are good in our company.
Sometimes I read the old stuff, or specific advices that struck me on the head, just to remind me that this change, all this fucking change, was fucking possible. And there is so much more to fucking come.
We may be brats, but very tender ones at that.
Idk, I took it as “with growing up comes disillusion, and you learn to accept the faults in those you idolized”.
That or they knew how to get Coquette’s goat.
I love the writing here, even if I don’t agree with everything it’s still thought provoking and makes me analyze my feelings and actions more than I would otherwise.
Also, I’m 23, and I just assume everyone is my age.
(Those two descriptions “bad bitch” and “brat” make me so sad. I don’t now if it’s the descriptions themselves or just the easy alliteration, but even as a critique it doesn’t seem to do justice to CQ.)
I get the notion of criticism. Personally, my world has expanded so much in the years since I started reading this blog (in part thanks to Coquette’s voice). Scepticism towards everything and everyone has become an essential part of navigating the dendrites of the world I live in.
However, I do feel like the less I trust Coquette, the more I trust Coquette.
I think you’re offended by the shortness of both concepts. Both are pretty disrespectful and bandied about to the point of being valueless. They aren’t thoughtful in the slightest and aren’t couched in a manner that would give the judgement credibility or respect. It doesn’t even TRY. It’s the most flaccid and deflated false dichotomy insult I’ve seen this year. They could have said something stronger like, “I used to think you were a badass cunt, but really you’re just an aging brat.” I don’t think it deserved a response, but hey, clearly Cqt has gone soft on us. 😛
Yeah! It was just so lazy (meaning the OP with the bad bitch/brat biz). If I were to critique old Coke vs New Coke, I’d say that in the old, sometimes entertainment value trumped advice value and wit get the better of compassion. But so what? It was sharp and bold and funny. The disclaimer was there, and the great line (pun!) was enough. Now, there’s a sense of caretaking alongside the wit. But in both, there has always been incredible intelligence, perceptiveness, street-smarts and a dedication to truth. That’s what I want, and I’ll take it snarky or serious.
Bottom line: she’s giving us her time and her mind, and it’s worth it every single time!
One more add: an analogy: before, brutal truth like good standup comedy; now, like a David Sedaris essay that makes you laugh, cry and think about your siblings.
25, been reading for years now. Still don’t see why people feel the need to put down Coke’s journey by attaching negative labels to who she was or who she is now. Growing up is a real thing that happens to people, and while Coke has always been a bastion of sanity in a crazy world, she too is a person. Get over it.
Been having issues with fans of my favorite author disrespecting his personhood (his engagement is apparently getting in the way of his writing, according to some folks) so this is a bit of a sensitive issue for me.
I’m 19 years old and a relatively new fan (I’ve been reading for around a year). I’m not exaggerating when I say that your writing has helped both my critical thinking and my emotional intelligence grow more than any other singular source. One of my favorite posts from the old days is “On politically correct fashion”, where you have since revised your opinion based on new knowledge and are unashamed to defend your right to change your mind. That’s not something I’m used to seeing, so thank you for that.
On a side note, it’s strange, but a bunch of my favorite internet-based personas (as well as some of my family and friends) are doing a bit of public reflection on their lives/careers right around right now. Maybe it’s the result of spring cleaning? I wonder what’s making 2016 a particularly reflective year?
The election cycle in the US probably
Yeah, I’m undergoing the same process and it’s related to that. Even people here in Europe are rethinking things, especially because a lot of folks, particularly elites, thought that we’d be better off if we were more like the US (a result of postwar thinking, I believe). And it’s like the underbelly is showing itself now, to everybody.
Neoliberalism/late stage capitalism. It’s pretty fucked. You guys are right there with us in class divides… but at least you have the decency to be overt about it.
It happens every cycle, although this is certainly a special one. 2016 is truly a special year because it’s a palpable cultural turning point (in America), and that seems to really prompt introspection. This year has been a thrilling, terrifying and absurd ride so far, that’s for sure.
You gonna vote for Hillary? Genuinely interested. I will probably vote for her but rather grudgingly if I’m honest
What does being a brat mean in this case? I know it means spoiled, but I never got the feeling that CQ was spoiled… What does the term brat mean here?
Ho she was definitively spoiled some years ago, I’m pretty sure she admitted it herself on here actually ?
CQ was a lot snarkier back in the day. Compare some of her earlier blog posts to her more recent ones and it’s a lot more evident.
The wisdom has always been profound.
Coquette is more mothering now. In the past she whipped posters who had written in about problems of their own making or ones that weren’t really problems but now she gets more serious posts and responds more tenderly.
I’m probably stuck being eternally immature because what I remember was that she delivered sharp advice with a deft tongue. Now she delivers hard advice with a careful eye. If you identified her as a bitch, maybe you just couldn’t handle that kind of love. If you identify her as a brat, I think you’re projecting.
The wrapper may have changed but the hard candy is still the same flavor.
Same feeling here.
The snarky one-liners may have shown a lack of sympathy, compared to the long, detailed answers of recent posts. But they were just as thought-inducing.
There have already been a lot of good reflections so I’m just going to add I really appreciate the transition and it reflects my own growth in a lot of ways, but I still enjoy reading the old advice and blog entries and find them wildly entertaining and funny and still as on point as today’s advice, just a different lens. I think CQ was quite honest about the perspective she was bringing then.
This entry is a timely mention of self-forgiveness for me. Here’s an exercise that did a lot for me, if you need an effective way to start (just get over all the jargon) http://www.fluentself.com/blog/stuckification/destuckification-practice-journal-self-forgiveness/.
I’m 24, and I’ve been reading since I was probably 16.
I am always slightly confused by the people who send in resentful sorts of letters (both to Coke and perhaps more broadly on the internet). If they don’t like reading your advice any more, why not just stop visiting the site? Why do they feel like you need to know about them not wanting to read your blog anymore? Seems like they still really want some type of validation or attention from you still, or they would just fuck off and move on with their lives.
Because they feel the need to tell either mommy or daddy that they’re all grown up and just like, totally over it, you know?
I appreciated her tone and advice back then, and still today. I have that growing-up-alongside feeling as well. Coquette has always been super perceptive, and now her perceptiveness is topped with so many mindfulness sprinkles and it’s my favorite.
32! Been reading since 27, I think. I check in almost every day, and read random advice when I get bored. It’s fun and oddly comforting to see how her tone has changed over time. Love this blog so much.
Brat? No, brat = spoiled. CQ seems anything but. There are any number of adjectives to describe her younger self, but bratty isn’t one of them.
43 here and have been reading and loving Coke for years. Something to learn from every part of the evolution, hers, mine and ours.
I needed this. Thank you.
One could do a lot worse than brat.
Cheers coke! I enjoyed the writing then and I enjoy it now, bratiness or not.
I am 30. I’ve been reading for couple of years now. I wake up, go to work, turn on the computer, get a coffee and open up cokes website and hope for a new post. I read all the comments too because this is the only place on the internet where people actually think before they write (most of the time) and I feel like I belong here, somehow and it’s a great feeling.
People can be so ignorant and boring and it wasn’t until I started reading Coke when I started to let my frustration go.. There are obviously bunch of AMAZING, deeper thinking people on the internet and I am grateful for you! All of you!…
About this bad bitch vs brat post… obviously this person has grown up with Coke.. She thought she was a bad bitch herself when she was younger and that’s why she looked up to Coke (The baddest of them all) and I guess this is what happens when you grow up and realize your idols are humans too.. You get frustrated…
I’m still waiting for Britney Spears to become a “bad bitch” again but that’s a whole other apple! Coke probably knows what I’m talking about..
It must be an odd thing to have your writing style picked apart and to read strangers comments about how you’ve changed. But then again, only ~5 people really know who you are, so fuck it. I’m glad you exist. #grlcvlt
the questioner def makes a valid point. pretty sure only people lacking a certain level of identity within themselves would be so worshipping of coke. hell, she wouldn’t be on this site. but even more so, you guys are so white it hurts.
I dunno if people worship coke on the whole, and I definitely don’t think that’s a prereq for her to be popular. You’re a reader and you obviously don’t worship her. I think a lot of the appeal for me at least is that I don’t agree with everything she says and that gives me something to think about.
Worshipping anyone is a pretty strange and naive thing to do. It’s definitely something I find happening less and less as I grow up.
hello Jackie, I remember your vague racial complaint from another thread. How refreshing to see your race-as-insult insightfully — yet concisely — restated again, in a way that is so pertinent to the topic at hand. I’m sure you are just as constructive in real life.
“y’all are so white it hurts”
Yikes. When did coquette start having such low-level readers ? You’re so basic it hurts.
if you genuinely think saying something is so white it hurts is an insult, you have some mad thin skin. it’s more like I can tell the relative depth of reactions is a bunch of white girls with identity issues. like come on, I grew up in the suburbs, this is some cyclical shit.
Jackie, it’s mostly your bad writing that annoys me. In your vague hostility, it’s the vagueness, not the hostility.
Alright, because I said mad instead of using an adjective more acceptable to those Eurocentric folks obsessed with arbitrary colonial standards. Ayyyye, am I close? Don’t be a half-hearted snob. You have to give it your all and counter with some depth or purposeful conviction as to why you think me calling you guys white is so horrifying.
I had a feeling you would use the word “colonial.” As a prelude, writing well is not the domain of any given race or group. You know that. In fact, it’s a pretty easy argument to make — and one that I believe to be true — that Black Americans have contributed more per capita to the best American literature than any other group. (Just to name one group that’s not white.) And that goes for canonical literary work like James Baldwin, as well as work such as lyrics in folk and pop culture. Don’t use leftist buzzwords to justify sloppy writing, that doesn’t help anyone’s cause. Besides, with your suburban education and all, I’m guessing you can write better, anyway, and just didn’t bother.
I, for one, did not grow up in the suburbs and I’m no girl. There’s probably nothing that you could do or say on this (or any) subject that could hurt my feelings, but that’s probably just because I’m older. If I were your own age, I bet you could hurt me easily. In your comments, you have so far seemed trifling to me, and unserious. Maybe you aren’t, really. In fact, I bet you are fairly interesting.
First, “mad” as an adjective is no problem for me whatsoever. It was perfectly clear and it was vivid. In this context, “mad” was actually good writing.
Next, I am not at all offended by describing people as “white.” It’s just a description. But you didn’t just describe, did you? You “called,” and you know subtle the difference. It’s obvious when someone is using language, in this case racial categorization, to discredit with an ad hominem argument and no further explication. It’s just so petty. It’s not the word, it’s the context, the phrasing, the evidence of care versus contempt. The way you used it (“so much it hurts”) arguably turned it into name-calling, just like the OP calling Coke a “brat.”
With regard to your writing itself, which is really what irritated me and not the racialism, the biggest mistake I’m seeing is letting your pronouns and indefinite articles float around with no clear tether to antecedents. This makes the sentence subject vague. As a result, you seem passive-aggressive in tone because you end up hinting at grievances and complaints rather than stating them plainly and directly. (Perhaps you are afraid to be really blunt — I say, go for it. This is a great place to be blunt, and I bet that Coke’s own directness if why you’re a reader.) To go in-depth line-by-line I can’t do just now, and besides I usually get paid for that service. My quick advice is to break each sentence into several short, very direct sentences to form an argument (a.k.a. “Unpack” the sentence); the lack of clarity I’m seeing happens when a writer tries to convey a lot of ideas at once.
Finally, you might consider me a snob when it comes to writing, depending on how you define the term. I admit that unclear writing irritates me more than some other people. I also don’t like loud noises and people blocking sidewalks. We all have our quirks. However, I’m anything but half-hearted.
Then again, maybe your unclear writing irritates me in particular because I sense that you do have something important to share if you could get it out constructively. I took the time to answer at length because you asked me too, and I tried to avoid drive-by internet sniping in doing so, while also being honest about my irritation and not soft-pedaling it. You have every right to your opinions and I’m sure you have come by them honestly through experience. From this, I bet you have some knowledge and insights that I lack. At the same time, I bet I would find some of “suburban white girls” from your high school just as exasperating as you have. I hope you are enjoying a social environment more of your own choosing now. I look forward to reading what you have to say in the future.
Bruuuuh, I was so ready to dismiss this, but, it was incredibly poignant and surprisingly accurate. I gave some pretty lazy attacks, mostly because when I say white I generally mean a catch all of tired western ideology coupled with some bs entitlement and whiny identity questioning. So, you caught me sleeping at the wheel there. It’s hard for me to articulate properly the sort of separation politics and privilege I see in coke’s writing without being a total boob about it. So, I won’t. When I read OP’s tidbit, I was like yaaas girl I feel you exactly. But J Lynn, you’ve given me some interesting shit to think about while I smoke. Cheers to you, you’ve made my night more interesting!
Thanks for your reply, Jackie! I’m smiling and am ending up enjoying our exchange. Have a good smoke and a great night.
And you have given me some things to think about as well. 🙂
You know what’s really painful? Trying to type out your verbal colloquialisms like, “Ayyye” and “bruuuuuh.” That shit is far more painful to read.
You’re belaboring how cool you are by doing that and trying so so hard to provide us with the cool “i’m a stoner philosopher of color” image. But what sucks is you’re not really bringing anything to the table.
Here’s the funny thing, if you hadn’t made a comment about how white we are is “hurting” you…I probably would have glossed over it. But judging you by your own standards, your own manner of communication is so mechanically raced that it “hurts.”
This back and forth was delicious. Thank you both.
I may be a little too late to this, but I wanted to share the separation politics that I see in her work in a totally boobish manner so that you might feel more at ease to share your insights.
I notice how often Coke goes in hard to detail the grey area. That’s one of the allures of her advice: she captures the normality of your disasters. She imparts a perspective in which you are intrinsically more powerful than your defects.
Her relatability comes from where she paints that grey area. We already have our ideas about where that grey area oughta be seen. I defer to her writing on relationships; it has often articulated my feelings, but she’s got a fairly different frame of reference and a valuable, large bit more experience. Sometimes she’ll change your mind, sometimes she won’t – especially if you doubt her experience. I mean, when she starts dropping psychology, there are things she just gets flat-out wrong. I’m dubious.
I think she is incredibly well-informed on race. Academically and I presume personally, the substance is there. But there are some things that it feels like Coke is overlooking.
I explain the distrust of Bernie to my friends like this:
“Hey guys, get on board with this pseudo-revolutionary, his economic ideas could literally potentially maybe but not in his terms probably benefit you dramatically. We could end the cycle of poverty that keeps ALL the poor people down.”
“That sounds nice, but you do realize how impractical that is, right? Do you know what a revolution would actually look like? I can’t afford that.”
“Yea, but it’s our best hope.”
“Your best hope is an old white dude who came pretty much out of nowhere to promise us enormous impractical changes?”
“You should watch his speeches. There’s never the slightest sense of disingenuity in his voice.”
“His genuineness is not the issue. Actually, it is the issue. History is full of genuine white folks helping blacks into poverty.”
I can go deep into that rabbit hole, but that’s not what I’m here for.
The issue above is trust. Why would I trust this institution to bring the changes I’m looking for? And why isn’t there as ambitious a plan for ending racism as is for the economic promises he makes?
And the problem is that white people don’t often understand that level of distrust in regards to race: what it feels like, why it exists, how it informs your beliefs, and how it informs your actions.
Then they ask for an explanation. They talk like, “if you want me to be on your side, you need to explain to me why this is bad, or you can fuck off. You’re not being constructive.”
That should confuse anyone, right? You play through the shit-show with whichever face it is you wear for white people, you hit all your marks, remember all your lines, and yet the promise of equality still feels like a fucking pipe dream. But some brat thinks you owe them an explanation? Who owes who an explanation here?
It’s about collecting your dues. And apparently white people didn’t get the message that their dues are up. They’re way past up. They started past up.
Coke’s comments that give the slide on low-key appropriation can kinda sound like, “I know I told you that you couldn’t have any more candy, but I guess I won’t be mad if you steal a couple when I’m not around!”
“Okay, you won’t be mad.
YOU won’t be mad.
You are basically giving away our fucking skittles – partly my own skittles – so some bratty kid can rot his teeth and learn to cheat.”
Then some other dudes are like, “It’s just a few fucking skittles, man. Let it slide.”
“Yea, that’s the norm. They are only skittles. I get it. The idea that this little thing is so important to me is actually absurd to you.”
I brought up trust, earlier. PoC are expected to trust that a white system will right their injustices. Why is it so seldom that the feelings of PoC are trusted? Trust is reciprocal. Why do white people constantly demand PoC’s trust, from their handshakes, to their smiles, to the style of their clothes, or of their sharply perceived vernacular? Why is it that while a PoC complies to the social moors, they will still greeted with distrust?
That is an inherently degrading arrangement.
In Coke’s cultural appropriation post (http://dearcoquette.com/on-cultural-appropriation/) she comes in snapping in front of the noses of SJW’s, telling them to chill out. But the question wasn’t that ridiculous. ‘Crossing the line’ didn’t have to mean crossing that line, but she took it right to the extreme. And instead of an insightful exploration of the overlapping positives and negatives of cultural appropriation, we got a literal hand-waving guide for white people. Seriously. A hand-waving guide. It’s like the no’s were an afterthought.
I mean, sure, cultural blending is great, so why wasn’t she advocating for a more equal exchange of culture? With that African dress, she could have at least made a head-nod towards the idea of fair compensation.
To me, the hand-waving without educating only serves to maintain the status-quo, where white people take things on their terms. The SJW snip gives that dark mythos more undue credibility. It also sets up PoC as the enemy when a white person thinks it’s okay to want [cultural icon] and a PoC doesn’t want to give up [cultural icon] to a smarmy brat. It gives the oppressor final say by virtue of their status, and that’s never going to be an equitable arrangement.
@Brynn because I don’t see a way to reply to your post above.
You’ve given me a lot to think about. I only offer the next thought as an explanation, and not something meant to counter your thoughts.
I am generally wary when told I am supposed to take something as a valid viewpoint based on people’s feelings alone. I’d like to think I do this equally for all people, but who knows. That’s the part I’d like to think about.
Society seems to be full of people that want to make me value their viewpoint based on their feelings: life begins at conception, there is a god, same sex couples shouldnt exist, trump would be a good presiden, gmos and vaccines are bad… that’s just how I feel. You can’t argue with people’s feelings, and yet, there are a thousand examples of when people are wrong because they’ve made a decision based on their feelings alone. It’s these experiences that have made me want to demand more from people’s arguments.
J.Lynn – Thank you for your well articulated and thoughtful contribution. It was a pleasure to read.
Calling someone “white” isn’t “horrifying”, calling someone “so white it hurts” is basic, as in “that girl who wears a short red-haired Rihanna-wannabe wig in 2k16 still outshines you” basic.
I mean come on each time some bougie ass shit is mentioned here everyone is calling coke and her readers white, this is such a tired bait and SO not raising the level around here. Can we not ?
Now that was a redundant and half-assed answer from me. This is what I get for not reading all the long comments before sending mine, I suppose. Welp.
Same thing happened to me. I enjoyed your response anyway.
24 and been here since I was about 18. A loyal and regular reader. It’s one of the first websites I open when I fire up the wi-fi.
I fucking love the response to the writer. She’s utilizing something we all do which I’ll call “projective identification” which rightly gets addressed. I appreciate the ownership in the response as well as the redirection to the bigger issue. I’m not in love with the writer’s pity or criticism or whatever it is of the readers on whom the alleged persona “works.” She doubts her own intelligence as well as that of others. She dismisses and ridicules the need she had fulfilled by reading the blog in the first place.
CQ, why are your comment threads such a shitshow? why are the children bickering?
That’s funny, I was just reading the exchange above you and thinking “goddamn, when does THAT ever happen on the Internet?”
Best comments section, fuck the haters.
yeah, that was pretty special (if we’re talking about the same exchange)