What’s Eating the Smash Community

I’m back motherfuckers, here to tell you more of my controversial thoughts, because why? Because somebody needs to say something.

Let me talk about something that’s totally unrelated to video games for a moment. I work at a small restaurant where the owners are there daily, and everything is totally fun. I got a raise for telling a retarded joke that my boss laughed at for 20 minutes. Everyone there is chill, we can wear whatever we want, say whatever we want, and talk about any subject, as long as we first and foremost do our work (duh). We don’t have scripts to follow when we talk to customers, and we don’t have to upsell products or credit cards. I really like working there.

I’ve worked for large corporations before too. They do alot more business. The owners of Wal-Mart are way richer than the owners of my restaurant. The owners of Wal-Mart get way more monetary benefits from owning Wal-Mart than they would if they owned one small restaurant. They don’t even have to pay their employees much, hell, they never even meet their employees or know them on a personal level. They think up a bunch of rules because they can’t be present, and they employ management to make sure their rules are followed, and nobody can just wear what they want or say what they want, and definitely no raises are given out for telling jokes.

In a large corporation, the employees suffer. This is a generally understood fact of life, yes? Those that benefit from large corporations are the owners, and the upper management, and the consumers who really have nothing to do with how the store runs and operates. The employees though, are typically pretty miserable.

Now we hear alot of jargon about “small businesses” and how we need to support them, but why? Why does anyone talk about that? Corporations sell us things for cheaper, and why should we care about the employees? They can always get another job, if it’s so bad. And yet, we do all recognize, in one way or another, that large companies are…well…bad. Or at least…not very nice. Some people even go so far as to say corporations ruined America, which I disagree with, but I see where they’re coming from, and I’m sure you do as well.


One might argue that this actually does have something to do with the video game community, and they’d actually be correct, because it does, or at least, it does have something to do with the point I’m trying to make.

I saw the invitational tournament list, and I saw the video - the biggest circle jerk of pretend importance I’ve ever seen - announcing the participants. And I saw all the facebook statuses complaining about who got invited, gender issues, etc. I’m not saying these aren’t concerns, because they are. But I think everyone misses the bigger picture, and if we took care of the bigger picture, all of the little issues that we debate to hell simply wouldn’t exist. I think it’s far too late for anything to change, so I don’t know why I write this, probably because I’m a crazy person who has to write words on blank white pages to maintain my sanity.


You all are excited that smash is this big. You all are glad that Nintendo finally recognizes us, sort of, and made the controller adaptation, and that this invitational event is happening, and that Melee went to Evo, and that we are streamed constantly, and ALL DAT. All that shit. I see why you are, because you love the game, and I love the game too, believe me. It has saddened me to think about the future of smash, because I probably won’t be a part of it, and the game has brought me so much - confidence and maturity and friends and people and connections I can’t even describe. I am sure all of you (99% of you anyway) feel the same way I do towards the game. I see why there is such excitement.


But I’m telling you, smash getting big is not a good thing.


When I say this, I want to make something very clear. My definition of “big” is not “a large community of many players.” When I use the word “big” I use it to mean the “mainstreamification”. That’s not a real word. But it means the exposure of our game in the FGC, our attempts and being a part of the FGC when we never really were before, our new need for streams and viewers, and our departure from our old ways as a grassroots community. Please understand this distinction. With that being said…


I know the world of e-sports has exploded in the last few years, and it’s not just our game, in fact, most of the other games are much bigger than ours. But hasn’t that been the beauty of ours, and our community?

Would you rather work for Wal-Mart, or would you rather work for a small business? You’d want to work for the second one. But if I asked you which one you’d rather own, well, you’d pick the first.


To the majority of players:  we are not the upper management, we are not the owners, we are not even the consumers really, we are the employees. And we are affected greatly by how big the game gets, negatively affected, I might add, and we don’t even realize it. Our thirst for internet fame, for gamer fame, blinds us, just as it would if we were lowly managers at Wal-Mart trying to climb the ranks. Because that is what most of us gamers want. We play the game for recognition in some way, we want to be great, we want to be seen as “good” players and we want the respect and even reverence that the best players receive. Just as management climbs the ranks in a corporation for greater pay and power, we want to climb the ranks of our game.


If the game gets bigger, and you are good, you will get greater exposure, greater e-fame, and greater self confidence and greater feelings that you are a worthwhile individual living on this Earth, which is really the desire of most people. It’s something we all want to feel, and most of us feel like we can’t even achieve it because we aren’t good enough. But the game, we can get good at the game, right?


And even when we can’t get that good at the game, which some of us never do, it’s true, we can be famous streamers, or famous TO’s, or famous commentators, or famous article writers, or famous women (thank you, thank you). There are many possibilities for us to get recognized in the community, and we are all hungry for them, aren’t we? And as the game gets bigger, there are more opportunities for more people, and that’s so appealing.


But yet again, I’m telling you, smash getting big is not a good thing.


Your need for importance, your escape into the community for your own wish fulfillment, it will result in a huge loss. Unfortunately, it’s hard to see what we’re sacrificing, because it’s not physical things. So when smash gets big, what do we lose?


We lose the very things our community was founded on. Because we weren’t founded on reaching for our own personal desires. We were founded on the simple concept of playing Smash Bros with our friends, because it’s fun. When you first started playing smash, did you have the goal of being recognized by the community? No. You didn’t even know there was a community. Did you have the goal of making alot of money? No. You didn’t even know there was money to be made. Did you have the goal of being one of the top streamers or commentators at tournaments? No. You didn’t even know those existed. But you knew you liked playing the game, and that you wanted to beat your friends, because winning is fun. That’s all the tournament scene was founded on. Friends, fun, and competition.


How much recognition do you need? How much e-fame do you really require? I might as well ask Sam Walton how much money he needs, and how many more Wal-Marts he needs to open this year, yes?


I am not getting down on you guys, and I am not saying I don’t understand your motivations, and I am not even saying that they’re your only motivations at all. I’m not saying any of you are bad people, or that these are unreasonable feelings. After all, why does anything grow? Why did Wal-Mart become as big as it was? Not, I’m sure, because the department store industry needed another chain. Not, I’m sure, because Mr. Walton simply wanted to spread the spirit of “always low prices” around the country. Not, I’m sure, because it helps the world in some way for Wal-Mart to be the huge corporation it has become. The main reason Wal-Mart grew was because the owner wanted more money.


What have we really gained from smash getting bigger? What has improved about the game? Whose lives have significantly changed since Melee went to Evo? Ask yourself. All of you. Great players and nobodies alike. What have you truly gained? What has truly improved for you? Weren’t great players still recognized in the community as famous and great, and didn’t they still make alot of money? Didn’t all of you still have tournaments, and travel for tournaments? Didn’t you still get enjoyment out of winning? Why do you need more now than you did when you picked up the controller for the very first time? Why are grassroots tournaments no longer good enough? Why does the amount of viewers watching a stream suddenly matter? None of that mattered before. The community existed before. We enjoyed it before. Why is that no longer enough?


It’s true that some of you really don’t think like everything I just described. It’s true that some of you honestly do play just because smash is fun, and you love the game, and you don’t really care about recognition. But I know this is a minority. Because let’s be honest, if this was the majority, I wouldn’t have written this article, because smash would have remained the simple community that it always was. And that is not the case. I believe then, that my words are true. Whether any of you choose to believe me is another matter entirely. I don’t really think that the problems I’ve described will be fixed, because it depends on the majority as individuals (alot of whom are already tasting the sweet nectar of e-fame and are receiving their personal feelings of self-worth) relinquishing their need for recognition in the community for the greater goal of preserving smash as it once was, and I do not think that occurrence is very probable. However, it is possible. And I hope it happens. I really do.


Because, I’ll say it one more time, smash getting big is not a good thing.


And one more thing. The Brawl community, which generously donated the money that sent Melee to Evo in the first place, died. Let us not forget where Melee was before it went to Evo, because believe me, I remember. The Brawl community saved Melee, but Melee did not save Brawl. The Melee community only served to kill Brawl even faster. And I don’t argue that Brawl is a fun game to watch, or even a well designed game, but our community was having fun, and we liked playing it, and so many Melee players have expressed their disdain over and over again for the simple fact that we prefer Brawl over Melee. Which is utterly ridiculous. Who the hell cares what game we enjoy playing? The Brawl community didn’t. The Brawl community was happy that any smash game was sent to Evo. It was on the now-dead Brawl community’s dime that Melee was revived. Nobody should ever forget that.

-Nicole

PS: I am excited for smash4. I really am. I hope it’s tons of fun, and if it is, I’ll definitely start playing seriously again, because the reason I stopped is because tournaments stopped being fun for me. However, I will say this, and I promise it’s true, I refuse to be streamed at tournaments again. Let my results, whatever they might be, speak for me. I don’t agree with seeking fame, and I don’t agree that we need streams or viewers, because we didn’t used to, and I won’t be a part of it. So if you guys doubt my sincerity, think I’m a liar, think I’m a hypocrite, whatever, believe that. I believe in the greatness of my game, and I don’t need to be great myself (I already am). Peace betches.

Smash Women Really Hate Reality

Ok, let me waste my time real quick and write something to address this (apparently)  really fucking pressing issue. You could all be worrying and putting your efforts towards something actually meaningful, like charities, or the environment, but no, let’s talk about the crushing sadness that is the life of gamer women.

Here’s a little analogy before I get to my points. I do like analogies. I hope you do too.

Most of you girls have never actually worked a job where you, oh I don’t know, have to do manual labor, even. Imagine being asked to do something like mop the floor, take out the trash, unload the truck order and put it all away - most of you ladies have never experienced that. I do all those things at my job, by the way, and I also empty the fucking disgusting grease traps. Since most of you are too busy complaining on the internet, and have probably never gotten to see the thing that I stick my hands into and dump into a bucket to take to the proper waste disposal grease trap location, here is a picture of what’s inside!

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Pretty gross right??

Now wouldn’t it be nice instead if a nice MAN at work would do these nasty or strenuous jobs for me? Jeez, it really would. Maybe I’m a frail woman and I really can’t lift that much weight when I’m putting the truck away. Maybe for some reason I think that even though we live in the age of equality for women, that women are still the “gentle” sex as they used to be called in 1950, and that women shouldn’t have to deal with manual labor or grease.  Maybe I have gotten out of similar situations because of my gender.

But wait.

Maybe my boss pays me less, because I cite my gender as an excuse for getting out of behaving like every other employee. Or maybe my boss schedules me less, or has a negative reaction in some way to my refusal (not inability - REFUSAL) to act like the other employees. So I get all steamed up and get on my high horse and write….


Milktea’s article.


Let me talk a little about Milktea’s first article, because that was the first thing that stirred up this whole shitstorm of sudden womanly displeasure with the Smash community. I do not know her personally. I’m sure she’s a charming individual with a moral compass that would make a nun feel unworthy.

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Now I always thought Milktea was on my level of good in her respective smash game (she plays melee, I play brawl). I read her article and was shocked to learn otherwise. I always thought she was able to place and made money at the game from time to time, and that she had actually beaten people that were somewhat good (as I have done). Instead I read some retarded horse shit about how she can “hold her own” against players, WOW, impressive. Holding her own (aka not get 3 stocked), WHILE NOT PRACTICING AS MUCH AND GOING TO SCHOOL AND WORKING. Let’s take a moment of silence and all bow our heads in awe and respect of the fact that this woman can HOLD HER OWN.


Because Milktea demands respect for her mediocrity in that article, in case none of you noticed that.


Milktea also takes offense to comments like “you are bad at smash.” Well, that’s like me taking offense to “Nicole, you are a self righteous bitch sometimes.” Are people not allowed to state true facts anymore? I’m sorry. I thought we wanted equality in the community. Clearly, we do not. What we actually want is to implement a real double standard which clears women of responsibility to think and act like rational human beings, while protecting them from situations where they would even be asked to think and act like rational human beings, and which furthermore implements a type of sexism against men.

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Oh, uh, sorry that picture was probably politically incorrect. I’M SO SORRY.


Well let me talk about Milktea for one more paragraph and tell you why I disregarded her article entirely and thought it was fucking retarded (“sorry” for offending someone with a retarded brother or niece, plz write an article about my insensitivity and how it affects your very difficult life).


Milktea, ironically, is a perfect example of all the privileges of being a woman in the smash community - ironic because she is the one complaining. Milktea has alot of sway and influence on the community because she is an attractive fashionable kawaii Asian lady that most males enjoy looking at. She was also one of the first female smashers that existed that was decent at the game, and she got alot of attention for being pretty and good (she’s dated several famous melee players, but let’s just gloss over that). One could say she was sort of a pioneer for women in entering a male dominated community, and it’s a shame I can’t look up to her as my predecessor, but unfortunately I do not respect her opinions. Now Milktea could focus her energies on something actually productive, but instead chooses to write a really unnecessary piece, and because of her celebrity in the community and because of her vagina, a million people feel sorry for her experience, and see her as some kind of stupid tragic hero, and bandwagon onto her cause - her cause, which, as I stated earlier, is ACTUAL sexism. She, intentionally or not, uses her status as a woman and uses her allure as a woman in the community to spearhead her opinion and her cause. And ironically, if she ever got actual equality (the kind she doesn’t talk about), her views and opinions and long articles would all fall by the wayside and receive very minimal attention, because her pretty face and female gender would not be factors, and all she would end up being is a mediocre player.


Now getting to the actual issue…THE VOICES OF WOMEN IN SMASH

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Firstly I do not know why I wasted my time responding to any of D1’s questions, as I should have known the article published was going to be heavily biased into Milktea’s opinion on the whole matter, and was going to inspire the community to really cater to the 4 women that actually play the fucking game and actually fucking pay money to actually fucking enter tournaments and actually fucking compete in fucking singles….FUCK.


Why, may I ask, are we interviewing women that go to the venue to just go to the tournament, see people, chat, make friends, and so forth? Of course those girls are going to be treated different! They aren’t even competitors. The tournament exists for the purpose of competition. If someone (man or woman) is in an area of competition, and hasn’t actually entered the competition, and isn’t competing, then yes, they probably are going to be greeted with attitudes which convey a feeling of “not being as good.” I do not see what is so difficult to understand here. If I pay money to be in the gym that is holding a basketball tournament, but I don’t actually play basketball, but I hop in the game sometimes (in between the actual competitive games) even though I don’t really practice or play, and I get my ass handed to me because I don’t practice or play, and I mostly spectate, and someone on the basketball team says I’m not very good at basketball and I get upset….I mean doesn’t that whole scenario sound really stupid? I mean, that is what these women that go to tournaments and don’t enter are basically doing! I’m quite sorry, but if you as a woman do not actually pay money and enter smash tournaments and play SINGLES bracket, then your opinion on getting respected as a player is really meaningless. People can sandbag you, wreck you, tell you that you’re ‘pretty good for a girl,’ and whatever the hell else they want to say. Because you don’t actually play the game, and you don’t actually compete! How can anyone be asked to respect a girl as a competitor if she doesn’t even compete?
 

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Now let’s move on to personal respect, because that is probably the only slightly problematic issue that’s drowning in this ocean of self-pity and bullshit. Firstly, let’s draw the line. Comments like “Lauren, a blind person has a better Marth than you,” are not equivalent to comments like “Lauren, I hope you wear a skirt to the next tournament so I have easy access to your vagina.” Comments like the first one, while relatively insulting, are not necessarily disrespectful. The first comment is someone’s opinion.


Lots of people have told me how ugly I am since I cut my hair. This is not harassment. This is their opinion. I disregard it. I can choose to do that, because it is their opinion. Are they dicks for expressing their negative opinion that might hurt my feelings? Maybe. I’m not here to talk about hurt feelings. (PS xyro i cry every night b/c of your hurtful comments).


The males in the community hurt each others’ feelings all the time, I imagine. Men in the community insult each others’ appearance, ability at the game, (in)ability to charm women, fashion sense, social skills, and whatever else. They are allowed to do this. This is not sexism. Men treating women the same way they treat men is not sexism. To ask them to do otherwise, however, IS. I hope you all understand this concept. Expecting men to speak to women differently than they speak to men IS SEXISM.
 

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However, there are definitely times when male smashers step over the line of insulting jokes and move onto insulting sexual comments and advances. I do not support that at all, and I certainly demand physical respect for all smashers, male and female. No girl should feel threatened or harassed sexually at a tournament, no girl should feel uncomfortable around a particular male (or males), and no males should solicit the smash females for sex (although they constantly do anyway). No girl, no matter how big of an attention whore she may be, deserves to feel unsafe or uncomfortable. And no men do either, for that matter.


But we need to understand what is inappropriate and disrespectful vs. what is not. That is the issue, and that is what’s driving this stupid politically correct train into the bullshit station. Women are saying that anything and everything under the sun that insults them in any way is targeting their gender, and are demanding that men stop acting like normal human beings and treat them like special princesses. I reiterate once again, just so you all understand what sexism is, THAT IS SEXISM. What women are asking for. THAT IS SEXISM. Holding a different standard for women, an easier standard where men must actively change their actions and manner of speaking while women don’t have to, THAT IS SEXISM.


Women don’t seem to understand the power they hold, so I’ll illustrate it. I don’t make too much of a secret of the fact that a particular smasher did try to have his way with me. Fortunately for me, he wasn’t violent, but he certainly took advantage of me and did much more than I would ever have allowed if it was up to me. I have never publicly revealed who did this to me. I could have, and maybe he would have deserved it, and maybe he wouldn’t have. But I could have gotten him banned from the community just like that. I could have written him like the ultimate villain. I could have gotten immeasurable pity. I could have made it so nobody would ever want to associate with him again. I didn’t. But I could have. And why? Because I would have been a victimized woman. Because of gender stereotypes of rape, and of women being the weaker sex, and because in a male dominated community, I already get special treatment (as I explained about Milktea earlier).


Our community is already plagued by sexism, as is the whole world. The whole fucking country still has the underlying culture where we can’t really be real with women, and we can’t really be truthful, because we can’t really be hurting women’s feelings…for some reason.

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^  She has a beautiful soul that we all need to be respecting…don’t anyone DARE make any statements that are true about the kind of gamer she is or the way she dresses or looks or lives her life. We aren’t allowed to just say true sentences about situations that people put themselves in and have total control over. OKAY? THAT’S SEXIST LOL.

I was interviewed for this article, and none of my views were posted. This “Voices of Women” article is just pushing a thinly veiled agenda of pure sexism in favor of a few selfish women who refuse to be treated like regular gamers and refuse to act like regular gamers and refuse to attempt to create TRUE equality in the community. The article mashes up a bunch of interviews just so we can all agree that gamer women are all amazing people and are all suffering saviors. And then you might actually believe these girls are so special and so precious for dealing with all these evil male sexist pricks. And everyone will say “Aren’t these smasher girls so mature?” “Isn’t it amazing how they still LOOOOVE the game?” Fuck that. If they loved the game, they’d be fucking good at it.


Let me go ahead and answer a couple of the questions that were so poignantly asked by my classy interviewer D1 and were so carelessly disregarded by the charismatic, honest, intelligent writer of the fabulous pulitzer prize winning article “Voices of Women in the Smash Community.”

2. Do you think you have been treated differently because of your gender? In what ways?

Sure I have, all women have. I’ve been white knighted for when I cheated on my boyfriend for no reason. I’ve been given incredible amounts of praise for a mostly unincredible career. I’ve been admired and respected for being the best female brawler and I’ve been asked for smash advice, been a part of interviews, podcasts, and a smashboards back room member, because I am the best FEMALE, as my career as I said is otherwise not terribly impressive (I’ve had my moments lol). But I will say, I can do alot more than hold my own, or I could a couple years ago, when the game was a much larger part of my life, and I actually took the time and effort to practice.


In the same token, yeah I have been approached with sexual advances and one smasher certainly went way too far without my consent.
But you expect that anywhere. Not just this community. My gender has brought me much greater benefits than negative experiences.


3. What specific examples of sexism have you experienced? (Any experiences and online screenshots of sexist comments are welcome)


Oh I’ve gotten many Facebook messages about sex. I would whether I was a part of the community or not, but yeah community members have proposed it. Nothing awful. But they wouldn’t talk to me if they weren’t looking for something.


I think my fellow male Peach players have experienced (probably) annoyance because I get more praise than them for no reason other than my gender. I don’t ask for that but it’s there.


"Sexism" is present in our world. Women want to be treated like fucking princesses while not having to give a care about the males’ feelings.
Every woman in the world has experienced men who would like to have sex with them. It is perhaps unwanted but in no way do I believe it is “sexism”. Nor do I really even believe it’s inappropriate as long as they stop when the woman makes it CLEAR (not the little attention whore flirting that so many women in the community are guilty of, not “idk I can’t answer if I like you, because I have a boyfriend teehee”).


If women would like to stop experiencing “sexism” I would suggest that they remember to hold themselves to the standards that they hold men to and be very clear about their thoughts and feelings. I would suggest they stop expecting special treatment. I would expect that they could accept men hitting on them, as they surely have experienced that everywhere in other areas of life, and learn to respond with a simple “I don’t like you that way.” Men are going to hit on women. There is nothing sexist about that. What IS sexist is to expect men to act like Prince Charming instead of the normal dudes that they are.

 8. What are some changes you would like to see happen with regards to sexism in the community?


Women to stop having stupid double standards and to stop acting like they want “equality” when they want to be treated better than men.
Women to stop acting like they deserve respect as actual players when they have never had a good singles placing in a offline tournament with more than 12 people and have never defeated anyone noteworthy. When female players do something to earn respect, they will get it. I did.
Women need to stop bitching about retarded shit like sexism in the community and take a fucking look at themselves. Men aren’t perfect and they do cross the line sometimes. But most of this shit is women being insecure, unconfident, and offended by simple truths of life that they don’t want to deal with because they’re not happy within themselves. True equality is holding everyone to the same standards and women need to fucking remember that.


I have always enjoyed the community and individual men in it might suck, but the majority of smashers have been pleasant to me and have never disrespected me nor have they (seriously) solicited me for sexy times. I have not experienced any negative sexism unless it was brought on by myself being an insecure attention whore who desperately needs male attention (except for my friendly molester). I like to think I haven’t been terribly guilty of doing that, but I’ve had my moments.

9. Any other thoughts you would like to add, that these questions haven’t addressed?


Women have a rougher time than men, as far as being a happy confident person goes. Because everyone constantly lies to them. Everyone constantly (because of their gender) sympathizes with them regardless of what they’ve done and everyone always tells women that problems are not reeeeally their fault. I do not know why exactly this is, but it is prevalent in all of society. Women are hardly EVER given a real honest talk.


Because of this, we continue lying to women, things get out of hand, and then we come to this, where women demand to be lied to even more, because they have never even heard anyone tell them the fucking truth, not their girlfriends, not their boyfriends, not their siblings, and not the stupid media either. On the rare occasion someone might tell them the truth, there are 10 other white knights to rise up and defend their princess, and tell her the truth is bad and mean and wrong and she’s not to blame and the responsibility to look at the situation and look at her own actions is not even hers. So how can she even seek equality, or truth, or respect, in such an environment? How can a woman even learn to BE objective, or to be honest with herself?


I really don’t know. But I don’t deserve special treatment for being female. No one does.

-

Any response from one of the previous very important article writers, in the form of another very important article, will amuse me I am sure, and I can’t wait to be called polite, politically correct insults like “misguided,” “uninformed,” and “insensitive,” or whatever other creative ways you can think of to call me out that don’t make you look like a mean person. I can’t wait to read the comments.

Oh and please please please flame me for FLAMING Milktea. Please. That way I’ll know you missed the entire fucking point of this document. Sorry that I called her out in the way that I would call anyone who is disguising their cause of furthering sexism and double standards as a good thing. Sorry that I called out a pretty Asian girl for disrupting the peace in our community so that she can further her own agenda for some fucking reason that is only known to her. Sorry that I called her out on wearing makeup to a videogame tournament so that she can look better for the men that she does not “want” attention from because how dare I suggest that she wears it for anyone but herself because I (a woman) certainly don’t understand what and why women wear makeup. Sorry that I don’t believe in treating pretty women that are mediocre players differently than average men who are mediocre players. Please, white knights, RISE UP AGAINST ME. Please tell me I went too far. Please tell me I should have been nicer. I love being misunderstood.


Signing off, the actual best female in American Smash
-Nicole
 
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PS: imagine if I posted this article and I was a man. there’s some real sexism for you to consider :3