Thursday, October 27, 2016

Gif of the Day

That feminist witchcraft is dangerous.

Recommended Reading


Speaking of writing things, this trans guy wrote a piece on something that also baffles me on a regular basis - people writing about things without even doing the most cursory research to educate themselves on something they're saying.

Cis Writers: Do Your F#cking Homework Before You Write About Trans People

It doesn't seem like a difficult concept, but time and time again people are completely fucking up on basic shit when writing about marginalized groups, particularly trans people. Sometimes privileged people will ask what they can do to learn more and make sure they don't fuck up. It's not such a hard thing. All you have to do is follow trans people on social media or regularly read their blogs, and in no time you'll come to understand how to respect them as human beings.

And it's very important to do so.

As a writer, I know that when you have access to a platform that people read, what you say on that platform has the potential to uplift people. But it just as easily has the ability to disempower people – we can fall into narratives and stereotypes that make people’s lives a whole lot harder. 
And in the case of transgender people, who are already so often victimized and brutalized in our society, when we speak about trans people in ways that are dehumanizing, we literally encourage people to view us and treat us as less than – which far too often leads to violence. 
Cis writers, you should care about how you talk about trans people. Your words are the microaggressions that make us feel like the “other.” Your words are the hostility that shatters our psyche and self-esteem. Your words are the battle cry for those waiting for an opportunity to bully us, assault us, or even end our lives.

Okay, my fellow cis writers? Know. Your. Shit.

I Wrote Another Thing for The Establishment

As in the website, not the ruling class.

What Do You Do When No Candidate Is Unproblematic?

I don't know if it was luck or the fact that I've been thinking about this for several months, but this piece pretty much all just flowed out of me in a good order that allowed me to do a tie-in at the end and wrap things up nicely. But part of me still feels like I didn't explain things perfectly. Being an anxiety-ridden perfectionist will do that to you. The comments on The Establishment's Facebook post about it don't help.

Hillary Clinton isn't just "problematic." I tried to explain that in the piece by pointing out the fact that the term "problematic" has been used to describe things that are much worse. Clinton's record in terms of imperialism, military violence, and racism is so bad. SO BAD. That even though part of me just wants to vote for her to help ensure that Donald is thoroughly crushed, I can't do it. I already have my mail in ballot, by the way. Everything is filled out but my vote for President.

One person commented "Vote for the best possible outcome based on the available options, like an adult."


If only I could see into the future. Things would be so much easier. You know, assuming the future is good. And not horrible.

I dunno. I did my best on that piece. I'm doing my best to consider all the options and think of possible outcomes while also weighing my desire to actually live by my personal set of values. I'm going to research the socialist parties on the ballot and do some more research on the Green Party's chances of pulling five percent of the vote and hopefully make a decision this weekend so I can put this hell behind me.

I hope this election isn't making you too sad and anxious. Have a good Thursday.

Not Sure If This is More Hilarious or Horrifying

I came across one of the best and worst things I've ever seen yesterday.

If Women Wrote Men the Way Men Wrote Women

Like, it's funny, but also a stark reminder of how men write women so often. I haven't read shit like this in so long and even when I was younger I hated sexist shit like this. Just, ugh, men are so fucking gross and they hate women so much. I get called a man hater for calling men gross but look how they write us! They hate us!

Anyway, fair warning, it's funny but it's horrible. Funorrible.

Then there's Buzzfeed's If White Characters Were Described Like People of Color in Literature.

Mostly it's mortifying food analogies. I don't think I can ever read anything but anyone other than women of color ever again.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Gif of the Day

Water dog loves land dog.

Intersex Awareness Day

Today, October 26th, is Intersex Awareness Day. Intersex people are very often left in the shadows. I find myself often forgetting to consider and include them in my activism. Lumping them in with LGBT+ people (also known as the alphabet soup suffering coalition) is considered by many intersex individuals to be unhelpful and even harmful, as they deal with many unique issues.

Here is the definition of intersex according to the Intersex Society of North America:

“Intersex” is a general term used for a variety of conditions in which a person is born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t seem to fit the typical definitions of female or male. For example, a person might be born appearing to be female on the outside, but having mostly male-typical anatomy on the inside. Or a person may be born with genitals that seem to be in-between the usual male and female types—for example, a girl may be born with a noticeably large clitoris, or lacking a vaginal opening, or a boy may be born with a notably small penis, or with a scrotum that is divided so that it has formed more like labia. Or a person may be born with mosaic genetics, so that some of her cells have XX chromosomes and some of them have XY.

Intersex awareness is important due to the fact that most intersex people have medical issues. This includes issues with the medical establishment that often insists on unnecessary surgery to make them "normal" or fit into the gender binary, typically when they're infants.

This Intersex Awareness Day is especially special because it's the 20th anniversary of the first awareness day. To commemorate this, 40 organizations including 20 that focus exclusively on intersex issues published a joint statement calling for better treatment of these individuals.

More than 40 organisations, including more than 20 intersex-led organisations, have called “for intersex people to have control over their medical decisions, to be free from medically unnecessary interventions, and to have access to psychological and peer support”

Surprisingly, even the U.S. Department of State has published a statement to recognize Intersex Awareness Day.

We recognize that intersex persons face violence, discrimination, stigma, harassment, and persecution on account of their sex characteristics, which do not fit binary notions of typical male or female bodies. 
Intersex persons routinely face forced medical surgeries that are conducted at a young age without free or informed consent. These interventions jeopardize their physical integrity and ability to live free.

Yeah like you had nothing to do with that, state department. Sure. Okay.

But at least it shows that people are becoming more aware of the existence of intersex people. It's a start. It's also not nearly enough.

If you're not familiar with intersex individuals, I highly recommend looking through  to take advantage of the many articles by intersex people and information on the basics. Then maybe share some stuff on social media. It's not too hard.


I'm sorry, WHAT.

A video posted by Baby Animals (@babyanimalsco) on

Best Idea Ever

This may be the best activism opportunity yet.

Women in Iceland protest country’s 14 percent pay gap by leaving work 14 percent early

Even in Iceland, the country many experts consider the world’s leader in gender equity, the gender pay gap is continuing to persist. Women employees make 14 to 18 percent less than men in Iceland — a discrepancy that unions and women’s organizations said means that women effectively work for free after 2:38 pm. On Monday, in protest of the pay gap, thousands of Icelandic women decided to work the hours their pay merited — by leaving their workplaces promptly when the clock struck 2:38.

I am completely up for leaving work an hour and 50 minutes early in order to make up for the 23 percent gap between me and white men. And I absolutely encourage women of color to leave even earlier.

Unless you're not salaried and can't afford to lose the hours. Fucking capitalism. Let's just riot and take back what the rich took and continue to take from us.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Gif of the Day

This seems unnecessary.

Can This Please Be a National Outrage


It's apparently not bad enough that the U.S. government is breaking treaties by allowing an oil corporation to build a pipeline on Sioux land. It's not bad enough that the company attacked peaceful protesters, water protectors, and praying people with dogs. It's not bad enough that the police are now conducting mass arrests, pepper spraying wildly, and doing everything they can to stop efforts to stop the construction of an illegal pipeline.

Now they're using sexual humiliation and abuse against Sioux women. Just like the U.S. has done to them for centuries.

Dakota Excess Pipeline? Standing Rock Protectors Strip-Searched, Jailed for Days on Minor Charges

I think that strip searching should be illegal in any case, but doing so to female protesters is completely unnecessary and clearly being done to punish them for protesting and send the message to Sioux and other women that standing up against the state will result in sexual abuse. I've never been strip searched, but the idea of it is completely terrifying to me. It sounds utterly violating and humiliating.

If that's still not bad enough, one woman is saying that she was left naked in a cell overnight. This is 100% abuse and I hope to god it's illegal.

There's a petition to demand that this shit stop, not that I think that a petition will be enough, but you can use it to spread the word. We need national attention on this immediately. If you have any notion about the history of the U.S.'s treatment of Native American women, you'll understand how fucking horrific this is. It needs to stop, the police need to leave the protesters alone, the pipeline construction needs to stop, and police and company executives need to be arrested for assault and abuse of people just trying to defend their land from bullshit.

This is why people were pleading the country not to forget about the DAPL after the government put a temporary halt on construction. It was clearly an appeasement tactic, as many of the Sioux protesters warned. Now NoDAPL isn't trending anymore because people think they've won, but nothing has changed. We have to keep fighting this until all construction is permanently halted, what's already there is removed, and we can be sure this shit won't happen again.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Gif of the Day

Recommended Reading

Chronic pain isn't talked about much outside of its own community. This is kind of baffling considering how many people have experienced it or currently experience it. I know a lot of people who have or are suffering from chronic pain, and I've seen what it can do to a person. At the same time, nothing has made me appreciate the ability of human beings to adapt and survive more than chronic pain and illness. You haven't seen strength until you've witnessed someone deal with chronic pain.

On the other hand, I can understand why it's not talked about more. People with chronic pain often stop talking about it after a short period of time, in no small part due to the inability of others to properly handle the subject. And non-chronic pain people don't want to hear about it because we can't do much about it. We can't stop the pain from hurting our loved ones, and it's hard for us to imagine both the pain and how they could possibly deal with it for such a long time. This creates anxiety, so we try to avoid it. We convince ourselves that what they're experiencing isn't that bad, that they're just dramatic or seeking attention. I've found myself somehow forgetting that loved ones are sick and in pain for periods of time in spite of how much it affects their lives.

Those human defense mechanisms.

We who are not chronically ill and not experiencing chronic pain need to do better. We need to stop letting our defense mechanisms rule us so that we can help. Here are some ways you can do better for people in chronic pain:

This is What Chronic Pain Sufferers Want You to Know

The last item talks specifically about how to offer help and little things you can do to help. This article was great educational material for me, so hopefully it will be for most of my fellow non-chronic pain folks.