Words, words, words, art.

The Blatherings Of A Blitherer

That’s just some PC thought police bullshit.

August11

Here’s the thing about “Political Correctness.” It’s not about policing thought or taking away “free speech.” What it’s about is elevating people who aren’t privileged (White Privilege, Male Privilege, Straight Privilege, Cis Privilege, Abled Privilege, and more (sorry if I’ve forgotten anyone)) to the same level of humanity as people who are privileged. It’s about not doing actual harm to a person or group of people.

When people use racist or sexist slurs, or ablist language, or co-opts chunks of someone else’s culture/heritage (hipster eagle headdresses, anyone?), or uses “Jew” as a verb, or claims loudly that the only reason person X got a job was because of X’s race/religion/gender/etc, those people are fostering an atmosphere where the people they slur are treated as Other and Less Than. It’s reinforcing notions that they aren’t good enough, aren’t equal, don’t belong, and don’t deserve respect.

If you are willing to defend to the death your ability to use the phrase “gypped” or “death march”, why is that? What do you gain by causing pain to others, to emphasizing negative racial stereotypes or belittling traumatic (and relatively recent) history? Why does your “right” to express yourself trump the very real pain that other people feel? Why is your ease more important than treating other people– other human beings– like actual human beings?

posted under life, politics, racism, social responsibility | Comments Off on That’s just some PC thought police bullshit.

But where are you FROM? I mean, originally.

July12

Nesko gets asked that a lot.

“But where are you FROM,” people ask, when looking at his ID or debit card (so usually when he’s trying to buy something).

“Evanston,” he answers, which is true!

“Oh, no!” they persist. “I mean, originally.”

“Ahhh!” he answers, like everything is coming clear. “Well, I was born in Chicago.”

Obviously, he’s had lots of opportunities to work out a pat, humorous answer to nosy people. Because, you know, there are certain names that are “American” and certain names that are foreign.

I used to have an “American” name. Sullivan! It’s actually a really awesome name to have when you live in Chicago, because Chicago prides itself on being all “Irish-American” and shit (Irish people! Now they are considered White and not scum!) and has lots of “Irish-American” politicians and chiefs of police etc. I used to bust out my ID or debit card or whatever and people would nod knowingly at my name. It was a correct and proper name. I fit in. Nobody ever suggested I change my name to be more “American,” as Texas state rep Betty Brown (R) suggested that every Asian in the USA do, you know, to FIT IN. And people didn’t really grill me on my name and heritage! It was awesome!

Then I got married to a dude with a silent “J” in his name, changed my name to match his because I am a baaaad feminist who buckles under the Patriarchy’s massive weight, and things changed.

FOR INSTANCE! I once had a temp job at a state agency, and had to call IT to get my email account working. Man, where they glad I could speak English! Because obviously with a name like mine I would be an old fat Russian lady with a hairy chin and a thick accent or maybe poor English skills! Well… I was 30 at the time (almost old), fat, have a hairy chin, and am obviously from the Midwest. I drop my G’s a lot lately. That’s kind of like having an accent! I guess! They were DREADING speaking to me, based SOLELY on my last name, and actually told me (in a relieved voice) all that they had assumed. Stay classy, state departments!

And then yesterday I was headed in to another temp job (more counting passengers on trains, which gave me the ideas for 2 different Secret Chicago pieces… or 1 piece and a longer short story, not sure which) when I stopped into a convenience store in Union Station to get some water as I was going to spend 8 hours locked in a moving metal box in Chicago Summer Heat (90F*+, tons of humidity; I actually started getting sick to my stomach from the heat at one point). I grabbed a magazine and a bottle of water and went to check out. There were two women behind registers. One was, I think, Vietnamese and she had a little accent but nothing unusual for the USA! Many people who live in this country, who work in this country, who study in this country, have accents! For instance: every single person who lives in Maine has an accent! Anyway, the white woman behind the counter said she’d take me (I assumed the other woman didn’t have an active cash register or was in training or something, nothing out of the ordinary). The white woman then started, every time the other woman said something, interrupting her to say “chin chin chonnnnng ching chon chon ching.”

I was… baffled.

If I’d had my wits about me, I would have abandoned water and magazine and gone someplace else. But no! I did not!

She scanned my things and I gave her my debit card. It did not go through! This always twists me into a moebius strip of uncertainty and anxiety. She asked for my card and ran it through again, and I was so upset that I didn’t hear her question at first. She repeated it.

“THAT’s an interesting last name!”

“Uh… thanks.”

“Where are you from?”

“Well, I mean, I’m American. My family’s all been over here forever, so…”

“No, I mean, Originally!”

“Jesus. My ancestors have all been here for over 200 years, ok? I really don’t feel any connection to my European antecedents.”

“I’m just askin’, hon! But what ethnicity is this name?”

“My husband and his family are from Montenegro.”

“Montehuh?”

“The former Yugoslavia.”

“Wow! Your husband and his family, huh. So what was your maiden name?”

I should have just grabbed my stuff and walked off, but I was flustered and she hadn’t handed me back my card yet! I was trapped! She also, I kid you not, GOT OUT A SHEET OF PAPER AND A PEN.

“Sullivan.”

“OH! So you’re IRISH.”

“Well, I mean, no. I’m American. I identify as American.” (I want to note that lots of people identify as Irish-American or Polish-American or Guatemalan-American or whatever and that’s great! That’s part of being a citizen (or resident) of the USA and it’s totally awesome! I’m not trying to present myself as being, like, the Ideal American Citizen because I am All American, I just think it’s ridiculous to lay claim to European Ancestry that has very little impact on my personal life other than, like, going to St. Patrick’s Day parades. But if you feel a strong connection to another country, that is totally entirely 100% awesome.)

She started getting offended at this, called me “hon” again, said she was JUST ASKING, and launched into some convoluted tale about how both her parents are immigrants (Polish, and German). Mine… are not. My grandparents… are not. My most recent immigrant ancestors, as far as I know, came over during the Famine. You know. During the 1850s. That… is not recent. I mean, in the grand scheme of history it’s an eyeblink away, but you know. (Also: they might have come over earlier than then, a lot of my family history has been romanticized in the telling. FOR INSTANCE: there is no actual royalty in my bloodline! ALSO: there is actually a lot of inbreeding! Surprisingly!)

She started pushing, like aggressively, to find out what I “am,” what I “identify” as. Like it’s impossible to not cling to the Immigrant experience. I snapped at her that I had an Irish last name, but genetically, I was more Belgian than anything else– which is true. I have very mixed European ancestry (to a degree) (I mean, Scottish/Irish/Welsh/English is more cultural differences than, like, genetic and then there’s some French and several sources of Belgian and a dollop of German and probably there is some Native American and African blood in me that nobody really talks about at all, and there’s some other stuff I think I’m forgetting, also a lot of my ancestors spent a hundred years or so in Canada before heading south to Wisconsin) and she started rabbiting on about how she knows someone from Belgium and it’s so beautiful and blah blah blah and she called me hon again and I realized I had my debit card and had signed the slip and I left while she was still talking.

I don’t really know anything about Belgium (they make beer? Belgians tend to be blond? They have a mild climate?) other than what I’ve seen on, say, “Rick Steve’s Europe.” In fact, my dad thought we were mostly Dutch until he talked to a cousin who said that no, although there’s a “van” in my maternal grandmother’s maiden name, it’s actually a Belgian name, and he gave some more genealogical info. I really have no interest in Belgium, or at least no more than I have in other countries that sound like vaguely cool places to visit if I can ever go on a Grand Tour Of Europe. Sorry, Belgium, it’s not personal.

I have to go pretty far back to be able to point to an ancestor and say that that ancestor is 100% anything; that that ancestor is 100% Belgian or Irish or German. (And even then, all my gallo-celtic ancestors were born from a series of viking raids and rapes that turned them from a short, dark people to a tall, fair people who fear the sun.) And I like that. As far as I can tell, my ancestors came over here against their will or out of dire necessity for the most part. They were convicts and indentured servants, they were fleeing starvation and oppression. They came to a totally new country and did well for themselves. They trapped animals for fur, farmed, dug ditches, constructed rail roads, founded towns. Some of them became very rich (then lost everything in the Great Depression). Others didn’t. But they helped build this country and make it what it is today, just like my mother- and father-in-law, immigrants, are building and shaping this country. Just like every person who lives here who doesn’t have an “American” name is building and shaping this country. Just like every brown-skinned resident of Arizona is building and shaping this country.

I spent 29 years awash in the privilege of having people assume that I was a citizen of the USA– a “real” citizen; that I belonged here. That I was an integral part of the warp and weft of “American” culture. I didn’t have to explain myself or where I was from. It was super awesome! And now, sometimes, I do have to explain myself and am pressed to answer detailed questions about where I’m from, to prove my… I don’t know what I’m expected to prove, actually. But it’s harassing and unsettling and puts me on edge.

And for a country of immigrants, a country founded on immigration, that’s total bullshit.

Racist actions and words are racist.

June7

Here’s the thing:

If you firmly believe that the recent actions in Arizona (requiring proof of citizenship from all dark skinned people or people who look “foreign” or “exotic” or “weird”, requiring a mural showing actual students be repainted to portray all students as white, removing an expensive banner targeting people who don’t speak English as their primary language for the census) are totally cool and good because “mexicans” don’t belong in the USA and do nothing but steal and rape and murder and cause problems and are all here illegally and should be deported?

You’re racst.

If you think that no money should have been sent to Haiti to literally save the lives of people who had no access to food, shelter, clean water, medical attention, etc because they are black and there are people in the USA who are homeless?

You’re racist.

If you think that no money should have been sent to Haiti because OMG what has Haiti ever done for the USA, you’re an idiot, because the impoverished peoples of Haiti still managed to scrap together a sizeable amount of money to donate to US citizens after 911 and after Katrina.

If you think that it’s racism that prevents public fund-raising for donations to clean up the gigantic oil spill that is spewing across Florida, I really don’t know what to say. But no, it’s not because Florida is entirely white and people don’t give money to white folks. No, it’s not because everyone spent all their money on Haiti on those dirty undeserving Black people who live there. How can you possibly be cool with BP, a company that has more money than God, sitting back and letting the public donate money to clean up its mess? Do you really think that Florida is populated entirely by white people? Seriously? That’s your argument? That’s it’s too white to get money?

Moving to an area that once was part of Mexico, and which also had once upon a time a thriving population of Apache, Cocopa, Hopi, Mojave, Navajo, Paiute, Yuma, and other indigenous folks, and then complaining about all the dirty, thieving, raping, low down, no good, non-White people who live there is just… utterly, utterly baffling. And also racist!

If you are constantly bitching about people who aren’t white getting donations/assistance for things (earthquake or tsunami relief, WIC, whatever) but never ever complain about white people getting donations/assistance take a good long look at that. You are being racist. You are revealing your underlying belief that people who aren’t white don’t deserve help, care, consideration, to be treated as human beings and assisted in their time of need. If you think that people who are not white cannot possibly be– and don’t deserve to be– US Citizens, you are being racist. You are revealing your underlying belief that people who aren’t white don’t deserve to live in a country that was founded on the genocide of people who were the first inhabitants and who weren’t white.

Arguing that you aren’t racist when, in fact, you espouse racist beliefs doesn’t really accomplish anything. Well, it makes you look even more ignorant. But it doesn’t change the fact that you are really racist and insulting and hateful.

posted under life, politics, racism, social responsibility | Comments Off on Racist actions and words are racist.

Men and Women in Public Spaces

May24

There’s a lot of guys who do this thing, in public, that is really aggressive and potentially threatening and invasive and all around douchey, and I’m pretty sure they’re not aware that’s how their actions are perceived, because if they were aware of that they’d stop doing it. Maybe. There’s a lot of aggressive, entitled, douchey guys out there, though.

Anyway, this is the thing:

When you are a dude in public, especially if you are with other dudes in a group, and you happen upon a lady who is minding her own business reading a book or eating an ice cream cone or working or whatever, and you want to know her name, give her yours first. Don’t just demand her name. Especially don’t follow up with questions about where she lives.

Because that? Is threatening. That’s now two pieces of private information you’ve tried to get out of her, and could easily lead to stalking.

And there is a LOT of pressure on women to play nice and answer the question. Because, you know, he’s just being friendly. They’re just questions. What possible harm could it do?

But it’s one of those things that makes women feel unsafe, especially because if she doesn’t answer these (very personal, private, could endanger her life and security) questions, she doesn’t know if the guy asking them will start screaming at her and calling her an uppity bitch.

Maybe you are thinking to yourself “huh, how could simply knowing a woman’s name and neighborhood make her unsafe?” Here is the thing. It’s really easy to watch women, especially in a big city. It’s easy to narrow down where a person lives, what public transit routes they take, including what block they live on, what apartment they live in. It’s easy to get access to women. It’s especially easy when you know that woman’s name. “Oh, hey, I’m here to see [woman’s name] and I think her buzzer is broken? could you let me up?”

I mean, think of how normalized-as-romantic this incredibly scary behavior is, how often it’s portrayed in romantic comedies.

So, you know, your harmless questions can actually be very alarming. Especially when the flow of information is only going one way.

So be mindful of that. If you MUST intrude upon a woman’s personal space (like, maybe she’s the most attractive woman in the known universe, or she has a tattoo with an obscure quote on it you recognize, or she’s reading your absolute favorite book series about soul-bonded dragons, and you know in your heart of hearts that you are soul mates), open with your own name first. Get the flow of information going both ways. Make it a conversation and not just an interrogation. And be mindful also of the fact that women don’t owe you anything. They don’t owe you a smile, or a conversation, or answers to your questions. If they don’t want to engage with you, that doesn’t make them bitches or whores or nasty people out to get you. It makes them human beings who don’t have the time, interest, energy, or whatever to expend upon you. And that’s their right, to not interact with some stranger who is making unreasonable demands on them.

Sometimes when a woman is being interrogated by a stranger (who, when male, usually is taller, stronger, louder, and heavier than her, all of which put her at a physical disadvantage), she might try to turn attention away from herself and ask questions of the stranger.

This does not mean the woman is trying to bone you, is giving you permission to “have sex with” (rape) her, is flirting “aggressively” with you, or is, in fact, interested in you/your dick. It also doesn’t mean you can then suavely segue into demanding to know what female celebrities she wants to have sex with, nor does it mean you can loudly call her a prude when she doesn’t answer you right away. I mean, you know, maybe she’s flirting with you and wants to get all up in your business. Sometimes people connect in the most unlikely ways! But it is not probable. More than likely she is trying to get you to talk about yourself (most peoples’ favorite topic of conversation) so she no longer feels like you are stalking her. She’s trying to redirect the conversation in such a way that she no longer has to actively take part in it. She’s reduced to this strategy because most women are not permitted by strange men they meet in public to opt out of conversations the men initiate.

Think about that for a minute.

If you are male, are you routinely dragged into personal conversations by other people? Do they ask you personal questions over and over again, getting louder and more persistent? Do they insult you if you refuse to talk to them or avoid answering the question? If you are reading a book or listening to music via headphones, do people assume that you owe them attention, that they can monopolize your time, that if you don’t fawn over them you are somehow at fault?

Because that’s pretty standard for women who go out in public.

If you feel the need to apologize several times for you/your group and your “obnoxious” behavior then consider changing your behavior. I mean, if you are acting obnoxiously and then apologize for it and then keep acting that way it pretty much cements that fact that you’re an epic jackass with no regard for the feelings of others, and no care at all for how you’re impinging on their social/physical space.

Science Fiction

March24

If you asked me about ten years ago what my favorite genre was, I’d have told you right off the bat, no hesitation, “fantasy.” The truth is, though, I’ve always been hugely into science fiction. Ahh, sci-fi! You had me honestly believing that I’d see actual colonies on other planets, hoping that I’d have the option of being a Bold New Settler– and if not me, then my children. That I’d be able to see my children launching themselves into the unknown, Boldly Going. Books involving The Future (whether bright and shining or dingy and dystopic), aliens, robots, Space, exploration, etc were my bread and butter. I’ve read approximately fifty thousand post-apocolyptic dystopia books (current favorite apocalypse: zombie outbreaks, replacing the nuclear holocaust survivors with awesome mutations genre from the 70s and early 80s).

So why list fantasy as my favorite, instead of sci-fi? I mean, you know, sure… I love magic and fairies and vampires/werewolves/etc as much as the next person who came of age in the 90s and fell in love with White Wolf’s World of Darkness games. Or, possibly, more. So why the falsehood?

Frankly, because science fiction is the realm of boys. It’s a male realm, the books populated with male scientists and male inventors and male adventurers, written primarily by men for male readers, and marketed toward males. Until very very recently, it was assumed that only men enjoy and like sci-fi, and the only female touches are heaving bosoms and slightly parted lips sighing after the hero… or some vampy female who betrays the man but not until they’ve had hot sex. I mean, for crying out loud, the sci-fi channel changed its name to SyFy to attract female viewers. Instead of addressing the content of their shows, their advertising, their staff, they… femmed up the name.

A friend of mine sent me some really good books for my birthday and another one sent me a gift card for amazon.com. So I’ve been reading and enjoying a lot of new stuff lately, but also looking at it a little critically and thinking about my reading habits as a younger person, and how I identify as a reader now, and just how much sexist training and indoctrination I had as a kid about what is and isn’t appropriate for someone who was born with a vagina. It’s kind of depressing.

I think I figured out why I don’t “get” TWILIGHT

November18

I love vampires so hard, guys. I really do. I’ve been really into vampire literature since I was 11 or 12 (before that it was werewolves), so on the surface books like Twilight seem like a perfect match, right? It’s Vampires! And they interact with the world! But there’s this “older, more physically and socially powerful man grooming/stalking/courting a younger, less powerful woman” theme that I hate. I’ve always hated it, and it is RIFE in YA lit, in fact pretty much all literature, aimed at women.

Most of the women I know have been sexually assaulted, molested, and/or raped. While some of the perpetrators were the same age or younger, or were female, most of them were older men who spent time grooming them, stalking them, and manipulating them. I don’t know if the women I hang out with are unusually unlucky, if broken people attract each other, or if they just talk about shitty stuff that’s happened to them more than other women do. The Powerful Older, More Experienced Man trope may be sexually thrilling in fiction, but in real life it’s freaky as fuck; and it’s something that’s touched my life both directly and indirectly. When I was 17 I was sexually assaulted at work by coworker with seniority, who had laid down a ground work of intimidation and silencing action ahead of time. Two of my girlfriends, both under the age of 18, had been raped– one by a boyfriend, and one by somebody she grew up calling “uncle.” The boyfriend’s stalking ended after a year of threats; the uncle encouraged the second girl to tell because “nobody would believe her anyway.” Both young women had powerful, assertive men roll up in their lives, treat them specially, “watch them sleep” as it were, and then fuck their shit up.

It’s a fantasy I can’t get behind. I’ve seen it play out in real life, and it’s pretty twisted. A guy who’s interested in you and climbs a tree to peek into your bedroom generally isn’t checking to make sure you’re safe. In real life, he’s likely to send you a photo of your room with a note saying he knows where you sleep at night. It’s a threat. He can get you at any time.

You aren’t safe.

It isn’t very sexy.

posted under feminism, fiction, life, social responsibility, women | Comments Off on I think I figured out why I don’t “get” TWILIGHT

Schrodinger’s Asshole

November7

So if you speak to a woman who is otherwise occupied, you’re sending a subtle message. It is that your desire to interact trumps her right to be left alone. If you pursue a conversation when she’s tried to cut it off, you send a message. It is that your desire to speak trumps her right to be left alone. And each of those messages indicates that you believe your desires are a legitimate reason to override her rights.

Schrödinger’s Rapist: or a guy’s guide to approaching strange women without being maced, by Phaedra Starling, talks about how to a woman, every man who approaches her is a potential rapist and she has no way of knowing if he’s going to bust out the rapifying or not. Starling talks about the precautions she takes, and the fear she lives in when it comes to dating. I’m not trying to imply that she lives in cringing terror, because she doesn’t. But she absolutely lives a life of fear.

Although I’ve been sexually assaulted and virtually all of the women (and some men) that I know have been molested, sexually assaulted, and/or raped, I do not live in the same culture of fear that she does.

But I really hate being approached by men in public. I don’t immediately think they will rape me or do violence to me, although I have had scary moments. And I’ve had a LOT of men react sexually inappropriately towards me. What I hate is the assumption that THEIR TIME AND INTERESTS are more important than MY TIME AND INTERESTS.

When I’m on public transit wearing headphones and/or reading, I’m involved in something. When I’m drawing or writing, I’m involved in something. And that something? Is not other people. So when a dudely type person sits next to me, my gut clenches: not because I’m afraid he’s going to whip his dick out, but because I don’t want to have to try and turn conversation aside and listen to some bore drone on and on and on about shit or make ham handed attempts at flirting.

It has happened to me, and I’ve seen it happen to other people. One attractive young woman who spoke English as a second language, so she sounded “exotic!!!”. She had luggage with her and looked tired, she was obviously on her way home from a long trip. And this guy just kept talking at her, asking her questions which she answered politely and shortly before literally turning her head away from him. And he kept at it, finally coming up with inappropriate questions about where she lived and who she lived with. Oh, my, that is not at all threatening! He wanted her attention, and his desire for attention trumped her desire to be left alone.

And I know that dudely types struggle to walk the balance between “striking up a conversation” and “being an ass.” It can be hard to know if your interruptions are welcome. It can be hard for lady types as well. I’ve had to make that decision! Someone is reading “Blade of the Immortal” on the train. Do I ask about it and what other books that person likes, or do I sit quietly and let them enjoy their manga? It’s hard!

In my experience, a good rule of thumb is intent. I’ve had people interrupt my reading to ask about the book specifically, to talk about the book, to get recommendations. If it is straight up a dialogue about the book/reading it’s generally fine. I like books! I like book nerds! I like meeting new people! If it is a chance for the interrupter to talk about him/herself or start commenting on my eyes or shoes or something? Fuck that noise. That is being an asshole and I hate it.

And that kind of interruption? Dudely types don’t tend to inflict it on other dudely types.

This post was inspired by I, Asshole’s Personal Space and Being a Lady, which addresses the same original column.

There are exceptions to every situation, of course, but when the light changed and I walked away, I realized that women DON’T do this. Women do not interrupt people wearing headphones unless they need something. I pick a woman to interrupt, and I see other women at places like bus stops do the same. If a woman interrupts me, there is a good chance that she needs directions, the time, change for a dollar. If a man interrupts me, nine times out of ten it’s to say he likes my hair color. That’s nice; I don’t care.

Starling is right: if you behave like this, “your desire to speak trumps her right to be left alone.” Put another way, a man engaging in these behaviors is not treating a woman like an equal. Would this man make four attempts to pay a compliment to a man on a corner who was also keeping to himself? If I had to guess I would say no.

We live in a culture that devalues women’s autonomy. Men consider themselves free to encroach upon the personal space of women constantly. They touch women, they interrupt them while speaking, they speak to them while silent, they demand that women smile. It is a basic tenet of the culture we live in, that a woman’s time is worth less than a man’s and that she should be grateful for any attentions paid to her. It’s interesting that I, Asshole notes that she and other women are more likely to interrupt women than men. I don’t think it’s just a safety thing, as in, “it’s safer to approach a woman than a strange man, all men are threats.” I think it’s an unconscious “men are more important than women” thing.

A lot of “rape culture” can be eradicated by one simple thing: treating all people with respect. This includes women. Men are free to walk down the street in tight clothing, read a book on the train, or get drunk in public without being hassled. Women don’t have that same freedom, because they don’t get the automatic respect afforded to men.

posted under feminism, social responsibility | Comments Off on Schrodinger’s Asshole

Feminism: all about the men

October9

I want to open this by saying that if you’re a dude I interact with in a positive way, this is not about you. I have male friends who are feminists and if I had a problem with their behavior I’d address it to them directly.

This is directed at dudely dudes in general who are dipping their toes in this crazy thing called feminism.

Here are some pointers for you!

  • There are a LOT of resources about feminism available both on line and in print media. It is extremely lazy and demanding to drop into a conversation about feminism and demand that the people participating drop what they’re doing and educate you on certain matters. Nobody owes you anything. You do not innately deserve women’s attention, nor do you innately deserve personalized educating. Get off your ass and do your own reading; stop trying to change the subject to yourself. You are not the center of the world.
  • Feminism is a large movement with a large number of active and involved participants who are out working to make very real changes in the world. Will your male participation be welcome? In theory, yes. In practice, if you demand respect and attention and accolades simply because you have a penis, you are in practice an entitled douche bag. Feminism does NOT need men as participants to be taken seriously. In fact, that’s the whole POINT of feminism: that women do not need male approval to function. If you act like an ass and are asked to leave a discussion, please don’t rant about how feminism “needs more men” and shouldn’t waste a “valuable male ally/resource.”
  • If you feel compelled to open conversations with “If you have an issue with a feminist who JUST HAPPENS to have a penis, I don’t know WHY so many people TAKE ISSUE WITH WHAT I SAY” than the problem is YOU. If people keep calling you on the same shit, you need to examine that shit and change it.
  • It is utterly hilarious in a very bad way to have a dude talk about how he’s really new to this whole “privilege” thing and then demand that someone help him explore what his privilege is. Congratulations, you know a buzz word. You also fail utterly to comprehend anything about it, and are proving your inability to read or think critically.
  • Guess what: including praise about a woman’s body with praise about her mind isn’t really praise. “Joan has a great ass! And she’s pretty smart, too.” is insulting. “Joan is so smart! And has a bangin’ heiny” is also insulting. Congratulations! You approve of her body type! Who gives a shit? Why do you feel compelled to mention that? Why are you unable to separate your physical attraction to her body from her actual accomplishments and skills?
  • “The Patriarchy” exists. “Rape Culture” exists. They permeate all aspects of the world. Ridiculing women for taking to task book authors, writers for television, web comics, etc because they’re not focusing on “real issues” does nothing except prove how little you get it, how little you actually value and respect women, and how little you are aware of the work that feminists are doing around the world. Ignorance: you’re soaking in it.

If I have the time, I’ll work up an article about vaccines and morons next. It will have to go through many revisions as I remove insulting language and cusses and sheer ranting.

posted under feminism, feminism friday, social responsibility, women | Comments Off on Feminism: all about the men

It’s what we did instead of camp.

August3

I had some other posts brewing, including a review and comparison of Warren Ellis’ “Crooked Little Vein” and discussion about Rock Band especially the singing part of it, and talk about horses and how much they enjoy eating human flesh.

However, I’m not going to talk about that now. I know, I know. You are very disappointed. I understand.

Like a lot of libraries, the Hyconeechee Library is tired of their librarians being de facto babysitters, and now require children under twelve to be accompanied by a parent, or “the appropriate authorities” will be called. And I totally get that it is not a librarian’s job to mind someone else’s kid. And I totally get that libraries aren’t the safe places they should be, that pedophiles lurk among the stacks (literally) and that people have sexual assignations in the library because OOOOOH the THRILL of GETTING CAUGHT.

But the thing is, when I was ten, I would ride my bike four miles into town, alone, and hang out at the (air conditioned) library for literally hours. I’d leave to get lunch and/or ice cream, and then head back to the library. Or my parents would drop my brothers and me off at the larger, nicer, library a few towns over while they ran errands or, I don’t know, talked to each other or something. Whatever it is parents do when their kids aren’t around. And it was great! We were well-behaved kids, we loved books, we loved to read, and we loved the HELL out of that air conditioning in the summer. We couldn’t afford summer camp and we lived in the middle of nowhere. There were no park programs (other than: go to the park. play on the swings. now go to the sandbox.) and there really wasn’t anything to do.

So my initial reaction to this ban is “wtf.” Why punish all kids and all parents with a visit from the cops/DCFS because some parents suck ass? If a kid is rowdy, ban that kid. If a kid’s well behaved and doesn’t require intervention, don’t call “the appropriate authorities,” leave the kid alone.

But in retrospect, my parents weren’t “dumping” us at the library. The library was a treat and a privilege that we were VERY aware could be taken away from us. We wanted to be there, and we were also very aware that if we fucked up our parents would descend upon us like the wrath of God, only more tangible. We weren’t bored kids running around like assholes because we had nothing else to do. We were reading.

And my plans for my kid involved being able to send him off to the library on his own from the age of ten or so (assuming he’s mentally and emotionally ready to do so). In theory we are moving soon, to a place with a library branch less than half a mile away. That’s easy walking distance. I figured my kid would be able to leave the house and go to the park, go to the bakery, go to the library, be on his own and have fun. And now I’m wondering if Chicago is going to start banning kids who are alone as well.

I can see why they do it, I can. But it seems very… stifling. Very restrictive.

I read a bunch of “Highlights for Children” from the 60s once. One of the Goofus and Gallants featured Goofus durring it up and talking about how he never knows when his dentist appointments are versus Gallant who sets up his own appointments and travels on his own to get his dental work done. I’m not any kind of expert in child psychology or anything, but I don’t think it’s a coincidence that as children are more and more restricted and given fewer responsibilities “Helicopter Parenting” and adults who don’t know how to do laundry are on the rise. I’m not saying that Things Were Better In The Past, because there never was an ideal time of glorious sweetness and light when everything was an awesome golden age. But I do think that kids aren’t given as many opportunities to practice being responsible, to practice being adult, as they used to. And that’s harmful.

My disgusting vagina money is no good!

June20

I just want to say this to people who claim that there’s no call for feminism any more because men and women have equality:

Hah!

Also, fuck you!

Because Ketel One? Does not want my filthy, disgusting vagina money! No! Ketel One is for men only!

There was a time when substance was style.
When men were unmoved by the constant current of the crowd.
When they didn’t drink their vodka from delicately painted perfume bottles.
There was a time when men were men.
It was last night.

Ketel One! It is vodka for men! AND ONLY MEN. Manly Men. Not like those other pansy girly vodkas in their delicate (girly!) painted (unmanly!) perfume bottles (probably only bitches and faggots drink that shit, am i rite?)!

As I lack a penis, Ketel One is obviously not for me. It is men only! They have a sign that says “no gurlz alloud.” And it’s really sad, because I loved their print ads, which were classy and interesting and understated.

And then there is Bacardi!

Bacardi wants you to know that I am very, very ugly.







I am fat! I have “lumpy rolls!” I have breasts that don’t look like softballs! I have a hairy mole! I have acne and I wear glasses and I have teeth that don’t look like a picket fence (ie perfectly straight). I have freckles and cellulite! I am a human being with flaws, and apparently Bacardi doesn’t want to be associated with me. If only I were a super hot woman or a man of any appearance, Bacardi would welcome my dollars with open arms. But they do not!

Alas, I will no longer spend my hard earned money on Ketel One and Bacardi. My screwdrivers and cranberry screwdrivers will be made with Grey Goose or Finlandia or some other brand. My strawberry Daiquiris and Rum and Cokes will be made with Captain Morgan’s (and Coke). I am certain they will be glad to receive my appalling vagina-tainted money without casting aspersions upon me, as a non-penis having, apparently non-penis pleasing person.

posted under body issues, CONSUME, crass materialism, fat, feminism, social responsibility, wtf | Comments Off on My disgusting vagina money is no good!
« Older EntriesNewer Entries »