Friday, July 1, 2016

Gif of the Day

That is one contented ham.

So Many Great Things Are Happening for Trans People!

Gonna leave you with a positive for the weekend. It's just been win after win for trans rights lately, which is the opposite of what it usually is!

First, NYC is being actively cool about bathrooms, using a trans woman of color for their ad campaign:

These New NYC Subway Ads Will Promote Transgender People’s Right To Use Restrooms

A trans-positive bathroom bill passed in the Massachusetts House that the Republican governor says he'll sign.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker Says He Would Sign Transgender-friendly Bathroom Bill

Conservative rabbis have officially affirmed that trans people are to be included in the Jewish community.

A Group of Conservative Rabbis Just Passed a Resolution Backing Transgender Rights

And finally, two trans women have won their primaries in major U.S. elections. The women, oddly both named Misty, are running for federal congressional seats - Misty K. Snow for the Senate and Misty Plowright for the House of Representatives.

For the First Time in American Political History, Two Transgender Women Win Major-Party Primaries

More! More! More trans women in congress! More pro-trans bathroom bills! More religious support of trans people! I demand more!

Consider Not Lighting Off Fireworks


This is your yearly reminder that combat veterans and other people with PTSD exist and live in the world, including on the 4th of July. I know we U.S. Americans love exploding things and bright lights, but consider that the air pollution, litter, fire hazards, and triggering of people traumatized by our military industrial complex may not be worth it.

And if you can't manage to garner up some sympathy for mentally ill human beings, dogs are scared by the loud noises, too.

If you have to do something, sparklers and throwing pop-its at your friends are the best parts, anyway. Or you could just get really, really drunk!

But seriously, it's messed up that yet again our so-called "American values" once again fuck over veterans. The people that we're supposed to be so grateful to because probably they thought they were protecting the country by invading other countries. We can't take care of them emotionally or financially and we celebrate our Independence Day by giving them flashbacks of when they were pretty sure they were gonna die.

You could at least just go and watch one of those city-sponsored fireworks shows that veterans can avoid. There are plenty of options for not triggering veterans. Consider celebrating the 4th that way. Thanks.


As it turns out, Jack Daniels, the official whiskey for white assholes, was basically created by a slave. Apparently the minister that Jack Daniel learned his distilling techniques from learned all those distilling techniques from his slave, Dearis Green.

Green’s crucial role in the Jack Daniel’s whiskey-making process was referenced in the 1967 biography, “Jack Daniel’s Legacy,” by Ben A. Green. In the book, Call reportedly tells his slave (Green) to teach Daniel everything he knows. 
“Uncle Nearest is the best whiskey maker that I know of,” the book quotes Call saying. 
The art of whiskey making has long been deemed a “lily-white affair,” but the South’s dark history of slavery and whiskey are totally intertwined. Enslaved men made up the bulk of the distilling work force and often had crucial skilled roles in the whiskey-making process, The New York Times reports.

White people have for the most part taken credit for this and all other whiskey and pretty much everything else for 150 years. Because that's what we white people do.

Furthering the awkwardness is the fact that Jack Daniels is still made in a town that's still called Lynchburg.

But after 150 years of mediocre whiskey making, they finally want to "set the record straight" in the fucking year 2016.

A year after slavery ended with the ratification of the 13th Amendment, Daniel opened his own distillery and employed two of Green’s sons, The New York Times reports. However, as corporate history-keeping was an uncommon practice at the time, the crucial roles and contributions of Green and his sons eventually slipped into the background. 
“I don’t think it was ever a conscious decision” to leave the Greens out of the company’s story, said Phil Epps, the global brand director for Jack Daniel’s at Brown-Forman.

Yeah, sure, not a conscious decision. We white people don't even need to think about it before we take credit for black people's ideas, knowledge, skills, trends, and culture.

Jack Daniel’s is taking things slow for now, remaining aware that the story of an enslaved American making whiskey might not be a huge selling point for its customers.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Gif of the Day

I love crows.

Amazing Women of Color

It's becoming pretty clear that black women are better than white women at sports.

Gymnast Simone Biles Becomes First Woman To Win 4 Consecutive National Championships In 42 Years

Last summer, teen gymnast extraordinaire Simone Biles made history as the first woman in World Gymnastics Championships history to win three consecutive all around titles, as well as the first American gymnast to earn 14 World Championships medals and now she's added another historic accomplishment to her growing list of accolades.

This young woman is pretty much the best at all athletics, I'm pretty sure, because have you seen gymnastics? Holy crap, I didn't know it was possible to make human bodies do that.

Just look at her floor routine:

And I'm just here like

Dear Enlightened Millennial Men


Are U.S. Millennial Men Just as Sexist as Their Dads?

In February 2016 researchers at the National Institutes of Health published a study on how college biology students view their classmates’ intelligence and achievements. The researchers found that male students systematically overestimated the knowledge of the men in their classes in comparison with the women. Moreover, as the academic term progressed, the men’s faulty appraisal of their classmates’ abilities increased despite clear evidence of the women’s superior class performance. In every biology class examined, a man was considered the most renowned student — even when a woman had far better grades. In contrast, the female students surveyed did not show bias, accurately evaluating their fellow students based on performance. 

Millennial men’s views of women’s intelligence and ability even extend to women in senior leadership positions. In a 2014 survey of more than 2,000 U.S. adults, Harris Poll found that young men were less open to accepting women leaders than older men were. Only 41% of Millennial men were comfortable with women engineers, compared to 65% of men 65 or older. Likewise, only 43% of Millennial men were comfortable with women being U.S. senators, compared to 64% of Americans overall. (The numbers were 39% versus 61% for women being CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, and 35% versus 57% for president of the United States.)

Moreover, according to a 2013 Pew survey of Americans, Millennial women are significantly more likely than older women to say that the country needs to continue making changes to bring about equality in the workplace, but Millennial men are the group most likely to say that all necessary changes have been made.

“Whereas three-quarters of Millennial women anticipate that their careers will be at least as important as their partners,” they reported, “half the men in their generation expect that their own careers will take priority.” The gap was similar when it came to child care responsibilities. Fewer than half of Millennial women believed they would handle most of the child care, but two-thirds of their male peers believed their wives would do so.

I don't want to hear one more word coming out of Millennial dudes about how things are better for women in the U.S. and misogyny isn't a problem anymore. You have only made things worse. We're worse off now because you all don't even bother to challenge your sexist attitudes because you think they aren't a problem. Fuck you.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Gif of the Day

Fucking hardcore.

Victory for Trans People in Pakistan


This post is dedicated to all the Islamophobes recently trying to tell me that Islam is backwards and bigoted.

Muslim clerics declare trans marriages allowed under Islamic law

This declaration is by no means even close to perfect. It still defines gender by physical characteristics and specifically denies intersex people the right to marry. And of course, same-sex marriage is still forbidden. At the same time, this fatwa does more to recognize the existence and rights of trans people than most Christian organizations or the U.S. federal government ever has. It's not just limited to marriage, either.

According to a copy of a religious edict obtained on Monday by Reuters, the fatwa also says they can be buried in Muslim ceremonies and have full rights under Islamic inheritance law. 
Though the fatwa is not legally binding, it also recommended that people consider harassment of transgender people a crime under Islam. 
“Making noises at transgender people, making fun of them, teasing them, or thinking of them as inferior is against sharia law. 
“Such an act amounts to objecting to one of Allah’s creations, which is not correct,” the document added.

Sharia law don't seem so bad now.

Recommended Reading

I just finished reading the very long investigative report on a for-profit prison company by a Mother Jones reporter who spent four months working as a prison guard or "corrections officer" for the Corrections Corporation of America. It's... harrowing.

The report is divided into five chapters. It describes his training, work, and interactions with coworkers and inmates in detail. It paints a picture of a chronically understaffed, barely functioning prison that routinely denies inmates basic healthcare, training, and recreation. The reporter, Shane Bauer, describes how he begins to change under these conditions as he struggles with fear, witnesses horrific violence, and tries to find an impossible balance between maintaining his humanity and maintaining control and power over other, incarcerated human beings.

The entire thing is an argument in favor of prison abolition, and certainly the end of for-profit prisons.

Trigger warnings for rape, rape threats, sexual abuse, sexual assault, stabbings, general assault, homophobia, misogyny, racism, homophobic, misogynistic, and racial slurs, medical abuse, abuse of the mentally ill, medical neglect, description of a severe infection, and suicide. Please let me know if I missed any.

My Four Months as a Private Prison Guard

As a friend recommended to me, you might want to take it in shifts. I read nearly the entire thing in one sitting before bed. I didn't sleep very well last night.

But if you think you can handle it, it is a very important read.