8.11.18

Bohemian Rhapsody - Review


I think in my whole life, I never met anyone who didn't love Queen. Don't get me wrong, I know a shitload of people who only know "Bohemian Rhapsody" and/or "We Are The Champions" and/or "We Will Rock You" - who simply are not massive fans who know everything about the band and to be fair, I'm far from knowing every little bit of trivia or every song by heart. But regardless of that - no matter if I ask my almost 70 years old grandma or my mum who's in her forties or my friends in their twenties or my teenage siblings - everyone loves Queen and their music. Those guys are legends. And as legends deserve, as of late October, we now have a movie about this band to follow them through their career.
The movie starts out in 1970 with young Freddie Bulsara (Rami Malek), who is a college student and baggage handler at Heathrow airport, seeing a band live and meeting them after the show. The band, at this point only guitarist Brian May (Gwilym Lee) and drummer Roger Taylor (Ben Hardy) after their original lead singer and bassist just dropped out, can quickly be convinced that Freddie should be their new voice. Add bassist John Deacon (Joseph Mazello) and Queen is born. In the same night, Freddie also meets Mary Austin (Lucy Boynton) and they start dating.
They play local gigs all over the UK, sell Rogers van to get the money necessary to record an album and almost immediately land a contract with EMI records. Freddie legally changes his name to Freddie Mercury. While his mother and sister seem to be pretty supportive, his father is having none of all of this. Freddie proposes to Mary, who he lives with at this point.
On their first very successful U.S. tour, he begins to realize he is also attracted to men.
From then on we follow the band (but mostly Freddie) through the centuries, through their different songwriting processes (for Bohemian Rhapsody as much as for Another One Bites The Dust or We Will Rock You), different hairstyles, Freddies coming-out to and break up with Mary, Freddie becoming more and more extravagant, Freddie going solo, and ultimately, the reconciliation of the band for the legendary Life Aid concert in 1985, shortly after Freddie learned that he has AIDS.
I don't want to give away too many details because this is a movie that you should see yourself. That much in advance.
I want to say: I love this movie a lot. I laughed, I cried, I did both at the same time, as did my friends who went to see it with me. It was big and bold and beautiful. I think, to us poor souls who haven't spend a single second of being alive at the same time as Freddie Mercury, this is the closest thing that we can get to seeing Queen live on stage. 
There are several aspects I liked especially, first of all, the portrayal of not one musical mastermind but four who complement each other - something people who are not die-hard Queen fans might not be too aware of. Seeing the process of songs like the ones mentioned above has its very own magic.
Another thing was the portrayal of Freddie Mercury's sexuality. Opinions diverge on the question whether he was gay or bisexual, and while this was a huge point for criticism in other reviews, I personally like that this question was not answered completely throughout the movie - simply because Freddie never truly answered the question himself. Which one it truly was is a secret he took to his early grave. However, we still get a great portrayal of a queer character who can be read as gay or bi or something without a defining label, but definitely queer. That said - even with his AIDS infection, there is no pity porn in this movie. He is not defined by his queerness alone, he is not struggling because of his queerness alone, it is made just as much a deal of as necessary when you make a movie about Freddie Mercury, not too much, not too little. It felt very healthy that way.
Coming to speak of portrayal, I am a massive fan of the cast. Just look at this: 



They look so incredibly alike! This is one A-plus cast! I am in awe! Even if they didn't make an effort to play their roles properly, this is Queen! Big applause for this cast!
Last but not least, I have read a good portion of criticism regarding the portrayal of the bands (read: not only Freddies) excessive parties including a shitload of drugs and a shitload of sex. To be honest, I think the movie hinted towards that a good bit without showing too much, and I think that makes it more accessible for everyone to watch, so that's a good thing! The way I saw this movie, it wasn't at all swept under the carpet that these guys were no saints, it just wasn't shown too explicitly, and that's ok because not everyone wants to see that kind of things.
To be honest, I think this movie might be worth some awards, and I really hope that it becomes a legend as well, just as Queen themselves.

3.10.18

Love Letter to the Discord Family or Why everyone should have a solid support group

On March 6th 2018 I joined the Discord server "ThistleFly" and I think this day may have changed my life a bit.
This server is Liam Dryden's server, the internet dad whose content I have enjoyed for ages. You might think, ok, that is a fan group, and in a sense, I guess that's true. But mostly, it is just an amazing community with a lot of very wholesome people taking care of each other.
When I joined this server I was in a not so good place mentally: I had only two weeks left in a job that I had quit because even though it paid me well and apparently I was good at it, it did not make me happy, and despite my efforts I hadn't found a new job yet that would at the same time secure me a living and make me be happier. And I use the word "happier" on purpose because "actually happy" was off the table, given that happiness for me still is to be found in a field where propper jobs are very rare. So I felt a bit shitty about myself and everything.
Now there were all these new people and I didn't really know anyone yet, which usually is a situation I don't do too well in, especially when I am having a rough time. Gladly, I didn't need to - because all of them were incredibly welcoming to begin with, as if we'd known each other for years.
Off to a great start, I quickly became comfortable enough to share my worries, and without second question, people would catch me. I can't really put it much differently, because this is exactly how I felt: Caught when falling. By people who didn't even know me. I felt secure with those people ever since.
Of course a big part of this is down to Liam: The rules he set up are all designed to have a respectful, friendly basis with each other, and the people he made mods are incredibly good at enforcing those rules. However, it is very rarely that they even have to bring the rules up or even kick someone - those people are just respectful and friendly to begin with.
Now I have this great bunch who have my back, who I can talk to about everything, may it be negging about stuff I am angry or sad about, may it be my period, literally everything. I can post my art there or my blogposts or selfies and there's always someone to tell me I am good and encourage me to continue what I do. There's people reminding me to hydrate, telling me that I should be asleep right now, telling me my feelings are valid and that it's ok to feel like I feel even if how I feel may not be good or happy at that point. They are taking care of me. And I am taking care of them. We keep holding each other up and I think this is beautiful.
Honestly, I have never felt so loved and seen ever in my life before. Of course, I have friends and my family and my fiance and I would not want to weigh them up against the people in the Discord. But the big difference is that due to timezones, there's always someone up, and due to the sheer number of people there's always someone who is up for the task in that moment. And that is something I truly wouldn't want to do without again ever.
Dear Discord Family, I love you so so much. Thank you for being there.

28.9.18

The future isn't female, but the present is male

Last week, I read an article on the German blog Im Gegenteil titled "The future isn't female - a plea for more cooperation between the genders" that was, in my eyes, pretty ill-informed and not fully thought through. I decided to write an article myself, an alternative to what the other author wrote and made feminism out to be. This article was originally published on Im Gegenteil in German as well. 

Oh, when will we finally get rid of that old fairytale that feminists want to get rid of men. When will critics of feminism finally realize what feminists already know: That feminists, of course, don't want to get rid of men, because a) it's simply impossible and b) doesn't help at all?
Why do so many people still believe this nonsense? Probably because they lack the willingness to abstract. Because the thing feminism wants to get rid of is the patriarchy, the supremacy of men - and when we say "men", we mean masculinity as a social concept, not "each and every individual man has to cease to exist". Maybe that is because we are not a children's playtime club, no fancy trend that is in right now, but individuals with a political opinion - opinions, that is, which can differ a lot and can be expressed differently as well, of course. Because that is basically the main point of feminism: We are not a homogenous group. Because women are not a homogenous group. Men aren't either, by the way.
Now some may say: "When neither men nor women are a homogenous group, why do you fight against the supremacy of men, isn' t that a contradiction?"
Let's start at the very beginning, with the idea that "man" and "woman" are merely categories that we as humans use for ourselves. The failure of those begins when we are asking for definitions: What makes someone a man or a woman? A lot of people love to answer that with genitals or chromosomes. I'm sorry to disappoint you: Even from a biological view there are not only man and woman, two categories existing strictly like this. There's way more variety than XX and XY and there's a spectrum between vagina and penis. I know, all of us learned that differently in school but just because our curriculum is simplified that doesn't mean reality is as well.
So it's natural to just assume that gender is a social construct and that also means that so-called femininity and masculinity are only learned behaviours. And now we are at the roots: We live in a society that works within these exact categories. We humans just really love our labels. In the end, the aim is that each and every person can do what he or she or they or every other pronoun should be able to do whatever they want. Every person should be able to live however they want and however it makes them happy. Of course with the usual limits: My freedom ends where it limits the freedom of someone else. That goes in every direction - doing things that don't fit your socially assigned gender role, doing exactly those things, everything in between.
And yes, sure, by law we already got pretty far, but only because it already got better that doesn't mean we are already done. When I go on vacation I don't stop half-way down the road either and say "Ok, here we are, vacation time!" when I'm still in France but originally planned to go to Portugal. Sure, by law we can live our lives quite freely already. The problem is mainly the reactions of others to how we live - sure, women can have a career, but there's still always the worry that they could get pregnant the next second and go on maternity leave. Even when they can't have children. Which is not anyone's business, really. And even if they get pregnant: Why does it harm the professional life of the person giving birth so much, but not the person who impregnated them? When we always say that it takes two people to make a child (which is correct), why is only one of them taking the responsibility for it? Why isn't it more normal for both parents to equally take care of their child? We are having a structural problem here, a vicious circle that needs to be broken. And that isn't only the case here but also when the topic is the choice of profession, the gender pay gap, and many more
The point is: Yes, theoretically, women can be and do everything they want in Germany, but it will be so much harder as soon as they want to be or do something that is viewed as masculine. The other way around as well. Ever seen the drama when a man wants to be a nurse or a kindergarten teacher?
My favourite argument is still that it is women making other women's lives miserable. And again: yes! It was never about blaming one gender. Sometimes I wish it was that easy because that would make these problems way easier to solve. The sad truth is: women are sexist. Of course they are. All of us are sexist. Simply because we live in and are socialized by a sexist society. Vicious circle, again.
So when we agree that everyone should be able to live a life in equality and well-being regardless of gender and that neither women are the only victims of the patriarchy nor men are the only ones responsible for it: Why call it feminism and not humanism? That's basically not wrong. On the German Wikipedia page about humanism you can read the following definition: "[Humanism] drafts an ideal society where the best possible personal development of every individual person should be enabled. This is linked to criticism of current circumstances which are opposing this goal from the viewpoint of humanism." So you could say in your best conscience: Feminism is always humanistic. The reason to still call it feminism is explained just as quickly: When everything that is viewed as masculine by humanity is valued more than everything that is categorized as feminine we have to bring both to an equal level. And only then we have a chance to get rid of those categories for good.
So yes, I do agree: The future isn't female. The future is diverse and great for everyone. And yes, for that to happen all of us have to work together regardless of gender. So please: Reflect on yourself, your thoughts, your behavious, talk to your friends, family and everyone you know, raise your children to be individuals and maybe, in a few generations, we can be truly humanist. Because feminism is only necessary as long as sexism exists.

11.9.18

Where am I?

This blogpost was originally published in German as part of the Retales series on countessleto.wordpress.de

"Where am I?"
This seems to be a question that customers just love to ask themselves but only after entering a shop and asking the assistants one or two questions. Or not at all. You usually get whether or not they did based on what they ask you.
During my bookseller apprenticeship, there were two types of people. Type 1 was all the people (and yes, they were quite a lot) entering and saying something like: "Hello, I'd like a book please." Internally, I'd roll my eyes at them and make a huge gesture around the room, as if to say: "IF ONLY WE HAD BOOKS!?" Of course you can't really do that. Instead, I'd ask a simple counter-question: "Would you like to specify that question a bit?" Usually, that'd do the deal.
Not with type 2 though - type 2 enters and asks for everything except for books. Sure, we can help out with some of those things, like calendars, planners, notebooks and so on. But then... all the times people asked me for stamps. Kind of related, sure, but no, you get stamps at the post office just down the road. Usually, they said that's too far away. But people also requested completely unrelated things like CD-players. And the best thing about that is: When you start explaining that you don't have what the customer was asking for - they start discussions. "That's incredibly bad service!" I mean, sure, but that doesn't make the thing appear magically out of thin air. I'll order any available book for you overnight, it would be my pleasure, really, but I can't get my hands on a CD-player just like that. That's not my job either. I'm a bookseller after all.
Now, about a year after I finished my apprenticeship, I work at a crafts shop because the job market for booksellers is shit. Maybe that would be different if people would ask us for books for once instead of CD-players. But oh well... crafts shop it is. Don't you think that kind of conversation was done now, oh no, it just changed.
"Hello, I'd like to present my gift of money in a lovely way, do you happen to have a good idea for that?" (By the way, I love it when the word 'idea', which is the name of the shop as well, gets emphasized like that and then the customer thinks they made the greatest pun ever. Didn't hear that one before. Yes, you came up with that as the first person ever. So funny.) Yes, I have one or two ideas. Look, here, frame with cords, you can hang your money on there and put some stuff around that matches the occasion or the presentees interests. "Oh, that's too elaborate for me, that would require crafting." Thanks to some colleagues I know it's perfectly fine here to answer: "Well, you are in a crafts shop here..." Doesn't help though. Crafting ideas in a crafts shop, who would come up with that crazy kind of ideas? Then the customer lays an eye on the models in the shelf for inspiration and asks if they could buy that one instead. In some cases, they can, for example, the Schultüten (school cones, google it, that's pretty specific for Germany). When you tell them the price though, they usually lose it within seconds. They absolutely love to make a counteroffer that doesn't only disrespect the hours of work one of my colleagues put into it but also is way below the mere cost of the used materials. But buying ready for use packaging for gifts of money somewhere else is bad because you want something individual and not staple goods.
And here, as well, there are customers that go completely wild and yell and curse when you don't have what they are looking for. My favourite so far was an elderly man, I still don't know what he was actually looking for because his explanation was really inadequate before he started yelling at me, cursing on about todays youth and, anyway, no surprise retail is dying when we don't have what he wants. I could only smile about that. Because at some point you learn that those kind of moments are actually reeeeally funny when you yourself actually have nothing to do with them at all.

2.9.18

Re: Chemnitz

August 25th/26th 2018, Chemnitz, Saxony, Germany: Daniel Hillig, a German man of Cuban heritage, antifascist, is stabbed to death - allegedly by two refugees. The next day, hordes of Nazis hunt people of colour in the city.
August 27th: The Nazis organize what they call a "funeral march" - several thousands of Nazis attacking people of colour again, giving Hitler salutes and showing their naked asses. So much for mourning. For the first time (that I am aware of) there are more people demonstrating on the right-wing side than in the counter-demonstration. While the Hitler salute is illegal in Germany, the cops do nothing against them. While there are bottles and other stuff being thrown by the Nazis, cops are pointing their water guns at the antifascists. While the Nazis do all the things that lead to left-wing people being violently punished by cops at other demonstrations (e.g. the G20 protests in Hamburg), cops turn a blind eye today. There are thousands of counter-demonstrators, even more Nazis present, and only a few hundred cops. The proportions are worse than for every football game. Some might conclude from this that it's not wanted to hold Nazis back.
There are demonstrations like this almost every day now. In Chemnitz, but also in Dresden. The Nazis are violent, harassing and physically attacking people of colour, journalists, and antifascists. Most media outlets still hold back from calling them Nazis or right-wing extremists and still call them "worried" or "mourning". However, everyone who is against Nazis is called left-wing. In my opinion, left wing wouldn't even be a bad thing, but it simply isn't true.
It'd be easy to say that all of this popped up surprisingly. It didn't. When in 2015 the first massive bunch of refugees came to Germany, racist voices started to become louder. The Alternative für Deutschland (alternative for Germany), a racist party, was formed and got more and more successful. Bit by bit it got more accepted to say racist things out loud, after all, those people were "just worried", bit by bit it got more en vogue for people not being openly racist to be aggressively centrist, claiming that Nazis and antifascists were equally bad. People are still claiming that.
One thing that helped Nazis to get this loud again was the discourse being shifted more and more to cater to them. The CDU/CSU (Christian/conservative party), one of the major parties in Germany, increasingly discusses more racist views, even the social democrats are in the center at best nowadays. Increasingly more threatening statements got excused and played down again and again. Nazis are given a huge platform in talk shows and similar outlets. The general idea seems to be to listen to Nazis and their so-called "worries" to solve the problems they see so they can't use them for their hate and violence. It's a noble and well-meant approach - it just doesn't work.
The other huge factor in the uprising of the Nazis is the silent majority that doesn't say anything when facing racist worldviews - and equates Nazis and anti-fascists who don't stay silent. It all seems incredibly bizarre. People have been comfortably waiting for it to get so bad that even us white people who are not targeted by racism can't turn a blind eye to it anymore. And some are still trying to.
Another factor that played into the Nazis hands perfectly was the exaggeration of the so-called refugee crisis. This term has been incredibly present in the media for the past three years, and in my opinion, it was made much more of a big deal than it ever actually was. Yes, it started out pretty chaotic - after all, there were thousands of new people suddenly in Germany that no one really knew how to deal with first. It was a new extreme situation. But you know what? I think it was handled pretty well - no one who was in Germany before had a worse life or huge problems because of it. Now some might say that there has been a lot of crimes happening from the hands of refugees. And that is true. However, there have been a lot of crimes happening from the hands of people born and raised here as well. It is a fact that there are no more refugee offenders than non-refugee offenders. It is logical that when there are more people, there's more crime. The proportion stays the same though. It is also logical that in the age of the internet, people are painfully more aware of crimes happening around them than before the internet was such a wide-spread thing. That plus the prioritization of refugee offenders over non-refugee offenders in the media leads to a bizarre distortion of the public perspective that is not very close to the truth. The thing is that no one is saying that individual refugees can't be shitty people and are generally perfect human beings. Refugees are just as little of a homogenous group as German citizens are, neither in being perfect nor in being all bad. If only Saxons would put as much energy in making that clear as they put into defending themselves of being generalized as Nazis because they are so common here... However, no one ever gets tired of assuming that this is what antifascists think.
All of this is happening an one hour drive away from where I live.
Saxony's prime minister Michael Kretschmer refuses to see an actual Nazi problem but worries more about the image of Saxony. Dear Michael Kretschmer, dear everyone who worries about all people in Saxony being seen as Nazis now: We have a bigger problem than our image right now. I will stand for having to explain that I am antifascist every time I mention that I am from Saxony if it means that our very real and very bad Nazi problem gets taken seriously.
I was at none of the demonstrations. Mostly because those were always during my working hours this week. But to be brutally honest: I don't know if I had gone if I had been available. Because I am scared. I am very very scared of Nazis, especially with my constantly decreasing trust in public authorities to manage situations like this. And even with me not going to the demonstrations, I am also scared of going home alone at night right now (which I have to when working the late shift), mostly because it's important to me right now to be visibly antifascist, so I wear my jackets with antifascist patches, but that might make me a target. I can only imagine how people of colour feel right now. I can leave that patches at home. They can't.
It's all a big mess. We got a big mess happening over here. I'd love to say that I had done everything in my power to stop that from happening, but I haven't. I am personally co-responsible to all of this happening right now. All of us could have done more. I have been silent too. Not every time, but too many times when facing racism, I have been silent. Even though a lot of people around me have constantly been annoyed by me talking a lot about racism and Nazis being a problem, even though people have called me to radical and too extreme in my attempt on anti-fascism, I have not been annoying enough, not been loud enough. I realized that when I mentioned to a colleague this week that I was worried about friends who may have gone to Chemnitz to demonstrate and who I haven't heard of again yet and she had to ask me what side my friends were on. I thought it was obvious. It wasn't.
So this is ground zero for me and everyone to do now, the very least: Making clear what side you are on. Not only not agreeing but visibly and audibly dis-agreeing with Nazis. Even if all you reply to racist remarks is "I disagree", it is something. Don't let them believe that you agree just because you didn't say otherwise. Yes, that includes friends and family and it hurts. But it has to be done.
Another thing all of us can do is to look out for each other. If you can't go to demonstrations yourself for whatever reason, at least listen out for your friends who are going, make sure they got home safely again, take care of their mental well-being afterward. Also, reach out for your friends of colour twice as much. If you can, offer people who otherwise can't go to demonstrations but would to look after their children or pets. If you can, offer your friends to help them to pay for train tickets to Chemnitz. Support people who demonstrate against Nazis.
Thirdly, criticise the media and the police when necessary. Don't stay silent on unhelpful phrasing in the news or cops turning a blind eye to Nazis. Hold them accountable for their part in this.
And last but not least, as usual, go and vote in each and every election you come across. Because if Nazis win elections, shit will hit the fan. Seriously. We can not let this happen.
To all readers from outside of Germany: Please look out for us as well. Reach out for your friends living here. Spread the word about what's happening right now. Especially since our oh so precious image might take a hit or two - don't shut up. Please make our officials aware that you are seeing what's happening here and that you don't approve of it - so that they finally start acting.

21.8.18

Disentchantment - Review

Yes, this is it: My first review for a tv show! So far, the reason I never did one was that most of the time, I am hella late to the party. Not this time, though - Disentchantment was released on Netflix on August 17th, and we binged it over the weekend real quick.
Disentchantment is about Princess Bean, the princess of Dreamland, a fictional medieval country located on a cliff. The whole setting is based on epic fantasy franchises like The Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones, but in old Matt Groening fashion, it takes the piss out of it. Princess Bean is a teenager, rebellious against her strict father, prone to drinking a lot and simply willing to have a good old time with booze and sex. Also, she misses her mother who got killed when she was a child, and feels very distant from her stepmother Una, who is some kind of fish-creature. The story starts with her getting married to a prince to form an alliance. Disguised as a wedding gift, she is sent a personal demon, Lucifer, who encourages her to go after her urges, and drunk Bean ruins her wedding and runs away. In the middle of it all we also meet Elfo, the elf (duh), who left the Elf Kingdom because everything was too happy and peaceful for his taste. Basically, Elfo and Lucifer act as the shoulder angel and devil for Bean, even though Elfo isn't very good at his job as the voice of peace. Beans dad thinks Lucifer is a speaking cat, and allows Elfo to the castle because with the help of his elf blood, he hopes to be able to find immortality.
While the first one or two episodes aren't that good, the story quickly picks up pace. The initial set-up, character introduction etc. is a bit lame, but it is worth to stick through that for the more interesting stuff. While I have to say that so far, I enjoyed The Simpsons and Futurama way more than Disentchantment, there is a lot of potential, and it is an overall enjoyable tv show after all. And as long as I enjoyed a thing, why should I not say it?

16.8.18

#MenAreTrash - A discourse

Embroidery by Fembroidery (Instagram), please check her out and give her all the love and money!
The place is German Twitter. One of the trending hashtags is #MenAreTrash. It started with a brown feminist trying to explain that sexism is a structural problem and can't be solved by individuals only - no matter how nice and cool individual men are, men as a social group and masculinity as a social construct are a problem. We can't sustain on the few individual men that are reflecting their behaviour when they stay exceptions to a norm that stays sexist. I'd say that is a pretty simple thing to understand. Now you might say "but you haven't been called trash, you're a woman, you are not adressed by this" - true! But as a white cis woman I do get adressed when trans people call cis people trash, or when people of colour call white people trash. And I accept that. I accept that there is things going wrong between different social groups here, and that no one actually means that I am trash because of the colour of my skin or for agreeing with the gender I was assigned at birth. What they mean is: White people, cis people and, yes, men hold the privilege and the power to actually change something, and yet they don't most of the time - either they actively work against the change, or they refuse to reflect on themselves to start change from within their own behaviour, or they don't actively citicize their peers when they show problematic behaviour. And I recognize that I am by far not an exception and could do more when people tell me that cis people are trash or white people are trash for not speaking out for their fellow human beings who are not as privileged.
Now the first reaction to hashtags like #MenAreTrash are defensive ones. That is just natural - no one wants to be insulted, that's normal. The problem is that this defense very quickly turns into aggression - "I am not trash because I am a man, you deserve to be raped and killed" is a thing I have read way too often in the past few hours. Let me make one thing clear: When you're trying to proof that you are not an asshole, behaving like one and threatening others is propably not the best approach unless you really, really want to confirm the original statement. Now if that was only the reaction of very few people, that would be almost ok. Would be bearable. But it isn't. It's so so many.
Another reaction that is incredibly common is people arguing that aggressive hashtags like #MenAreTrash are a not helping the cause and only paint feminism in a bad light (and provoking reactions like the one above). That it would be the better approach to discuss peacefully and friendly. While I agree that this would be the ideal way: It doesn't really matter anymore how you talk about feminism. Ninetynine percent of the time, you won't be taken seriously anyway. You will be laughed at, belittled at best, insulted and threatened, at the worst you will actively experience physical and sexual violence or even be killed. These are all things that happen at a shockingly high rate when women speak out for equal rights, no matter how calm and friendly they are being. No matter what a fucking ray of sunshine we are being while trying to discuss this, we will get the same reactions. So why should we always take the high road? Why not yell out all the anger and frustration that sticks to our hearts all the time, each and every day, if it makes no difference anyway? To me, #MenAreTrash is an outlet for all the things we usually don't say, all the anger we bottled up over the years, everything we usually swallow in the naive hope that we could somehow be understood and be taken seriously, that we somehow could induce reconsideration and change if we just stayed calm while our counterparts give us shit. That's the thing: No one tries to police the tone of the ones we are talking to. But everyone asks us to be nice and polite while being harrassed and threatened, additionally to all the micro-aggressions we endure on a daily basis when feminism/sexism isn't even the topic. It's frustrating. And this is what is exploding right now with this hashtag. This is a telling-off.
Basically, #MenAreTrash is like when two people fight face to face and one calls the other one an asshole. Not necessarily because the other one is definitely and irreversibly an asshole, but because you are so incredibly angry about the actual reason for the fight. And when the other person just says: "Sure, you have absolutely legit criticism here with all the arguments and stuff but you called me an asshole so I won't listen to anything you just said no matter how reasonable it is!" - well, they can't be helped then.
So the overall insight of this is: Feminism is angry. Feminism is uncomfortable. Because it sometimes has to be - at least, it got people talking. Maybe, some day, they'll also start to listen. And then, only then, we can start to work on the problem all together.