Friday, August 29, 2014

Gif of the Day


Misandry 5ever.

Look At This Dog

I know I already did Kitties today but cute animals make me less sad. Also I love pugs so much.


Hehe look at him try to prance up the escalator. Pugs.

More Feminist Winning!

[TRIGGER WARNING: RAPE, SEXUAL ASSAULT]

This day is full of feminist wins! How appropriate for my last day!

Again in California, Governor Jerry Brown just signed an awesome bill into law - the one that takes military sexual assault cases out of the chain of command to prevent the obvious bias and cronyism. This is the first state to sign legislation like this. It only affects the state military, but again, a step. It was also unanimously passed.

With the extremely rampant sexual assault in an institution which, at the very least, should be protecting the soldiers it sends to war, this is a very important step in fighting rape. As grim as things seem sometimes, the idea of rape culture has been getting a lot of attention and steps to end it have been taken in multiple areas of US government. Feminism is not only winning, it's actively helping a lot of people who need the most help.


Thank You

Today is my last day blogging on here full time. For the past six weeks, I've been getting up in the morning to blog from 9-5 (or as close as I can manage) as though it's a full-time job. Only I'm the boss so I get to take time off whenever I want.

It was extremely awesome.

But I've run through half my savings since quitting my job, and it's time to look for a new one. I'll still be blogging, just not as much, as I'll have to split the time with job hunting, which will start on Monday. I'll continue to blog as much as I can manage after I get a job. I'm going to make a Patreon account to solicit donations from readers, and my goal is to someday get enough donations each month to be able to do this full time for the rest of my life, because I love it.

And a lot of the reason I've loved it so much is because of you, my family, friends, and awesome fans. I am so thankful for all of the support I've gotten - the encouragement, the compliments, the comments and discussions. I even love the trolls. You guys make me laugh and boost my SEO rankings. Thank you.

But seriously, your support has done more for me than you can know. The most emotionally taxing part of this kind of work is the worry that people I know think it's pointless or annoying or that I'm being overdramatic and that I should calm down. So many of you have taken the time to show me that this was a baseless fear. I am more enthusiastic about turning this into a career and more confident in my writing abilities than ever.

I would also like to thank Feminspire for reaching out to me to ask if they could feature my posts on their website. They have a lot of great, insightful writers, and I was beyond thrilled to catch the attention of a site like that so quickly. I was already super happy with all the traffic and comments I'd received, and this was a huge bonus.

This was one of the best experiences of my life. I've proven to myself that I can do this. I've gained a certainty that was so hard to grasp during a difficult and confusing time in my life.

I want to remind everyone that if you ever need any help, any advice, want me to write about a certain topic, or want me to feature something you've written, you have only to ask. I love you people.

I love my family, I love my friends, I love my incredibly supportive life partner, I love my readers, I love everyone who commented, I love my Tumblr followers, I love women and girls, and I love feminism. Those are all of my favorite things in life. Also ice cream.

I'm really sad to have to stop doing this full time, but I know that because of all of you, someday I will be able to do it again. Thank you so much for that.


Kitties

 

This is intense.

Today In Bigot Activism: The Sarkeesian Effect

Oh my god everybody look at this shit hahahahahahahahahahahahahahah


This is real. This is not a drill.

They've set up a Patreon account for this shit. [Do Not Link used]

The Sarkeesian Effect is an upcoming documentary film that will explore how gaming and tech culture have been hijacked by Social Justice Warriors as well as look into the background, ethics, and methodology of some the movement's most prominent voices.  The title is a reference to Anita Sarkeesian, the primary figure in this new shift in gaming culture.  Ms. Sarkeesian's controversial videos and Kickstarter campaign laid the groundwork for the current atmosphere of politically correct fear, manipulation, and intimidation.


It gets better:

This isn't just about video games, though the current state of video game journalism is the most obvious form of this corruption. This is a methodology used throughout both the media and the academic institutions to consolidate power amongst a conspiratorial few, at the expense of not only the culture at large, but even the very followers who they claim to be representing. Recent evidence suggests they have far larger powers of censorship than anyone would suspect; this is what we want to uncover.

Oh my god, they actually think this is real:


I can't possibly express how happy I am that I got that shirt while it was available.

YOU CANNOT ESCAPE OUR INFLUENCE. WE ARE EVERYWHERE. WE WILL TAKE OVER ALL YOUR VIDEO GAMES AND CRUSH ALL OPPOSITION. ALL HAIL THE SOCIAL JUSTICE MATRIARCHY ORDER. THERE WILL BE NO INDEPENDENT THOUGHT. ALL WHITE CISHET MEN WILL BE SUBJUGATED. RESISTANCE IS FUTILE. SURRENDER YOUR XBOX'S OR BE DESTROYED.



You can scroll down and find a handy list of misogynist dudebros on the left sidebar. Super convenient.

I'm honestly torn. On the one hand, it's awesome when misogynists fail. On the other, this "documentary" would invariably be a riot. I mean, just the sight of the two dudes who are making this is hilarious (oh my god the terrible mustaches). The video about the project is priceless. "Is this a trend of higher awareness and discussion about inequality in our society, or is it A CONSPIRACY? WHY IS NO ONE ASKING THESE QUESTIONS? CHECKMATE, MEDIA."

I also love how these guys believe they're part of a "silent majority." I doubly love how it wasn't okay for Anita to ask for donations for her video series but it's totally okay for them to ask for donations for their shitty "documentary."

OH AND THIS PART: "This isn't going to be a low-brow attack on anyone, we're just going to expose how Anita Sarkeesian and her cohorts lied and exploited people to get money from politically correct hipsters."

I paraphrased that, but they literally use the words "cohorts" and "politically correct hipsters." Awesome. Totally high-brow, dudes.

And just, the bald guy, who is seriously dressed up like some rich guy in a dim room in a fancy chair smoking a cigarette with a drink in his hand. He is so overdramatic and just the irony of "I am a stereotypical rich white guy and I want to give A VOICE TO THE VOICELESS." So. Priceless.

They've made nearly $3000 of their $15,000 goal so far. I am thrilled to see what happens next.

Gaming's Feminist Illuminati


So THAT'S where my shirt came from.




Raise the Goddamn Minimum Wage

Why don't poor people just work harder? Well because when they do, sometimes they're so exhausted they have to nap in the car in between their four jobs and they DIE FROM BREATHING IN CARBON MONOXIDE AND GAS FUMES THAT'S WHY.

A 32-year-old woman was found dead inside her SUV in a convenience store parking lot, where she was trying to get some extra sleep between shifts at her four part-time jobs, the New Jersey Star-Ledger reports. 
Police say Maria Fernandes, who worked at two New Jersey Dunkin locations, left her car running while she napped Monday morning, and died after inhaling carbon monoxide and fumes from a spilled gas can.

This Latina woman was such a responsible hard worker that she had four jobs, and kept a can of gas in her car in case she ran low on gas in between her four jobs because she didn't even have fucking time to stop at a gas station. NOW SHE'S DEAD.

She did all this just to make ends meet. If she had been paid enough to only have to work three jobs, she'd probably still be alive.

Republicans basically think poor people don't deserve to live. Also capitalism doesn't work.

Here's a petition to tell fast food companies to start paying their workers a living wage.

Ferguson Update

[TRIGGER WARNING: POLICE BRUTALITY, GUN VIOLENCE, RACISM]

Do. Not. Forget. About. Ferguson.

First off, we have St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar defending the behavior of police during these past weeks, including the use of tear gas, military-style guns and armored vehicles. And, get this, he defended all of this by saying that "the military equipment is sometimes necessary to patrol 'very urban areas.'"

Seeing as Ferguson is a suburb, I'm guessing that by "very urban" he meant "very black." Whoops.

"We have a responsibility," Belmar said, adding that his department often uses their equipment for barricade situations and while executing search warrants. "I never envisioned a day in which we would see that type of equipment used against protesters. But I also never envisioned a day in 28 years that we'd see the kind of criminal activity spin out of peaceful demonstrations."


Sure, let's just ignore the fact that more of the community was guarding storefronts from looters than actually participating in and "criminal activity," or that you see way more looting and property damage when white people's favorite sports teams lose their sports games. Seriously, these were the most peaceful "riots" I've ever seen. I did not spot one car flipped upside-down and on fire.

Vancouver, Canada, after a hockey team lost
This might be the best part of the article:

Johnson said that police had to change their tactics in order for things to calm down. 
"True change started because we in law enforcement are listening," Johnson said. 

You've got to be shitting me, Johnson.


Moving on, Hilary Clinton finally weighed in on Ferguson after 19 days of silence. Although it's late, it's being regarded as a good speech that puts the responsibility on the police and plainly addresses racial inequality and injustice in the US.

Clinton, the presumed 2016 Democratic presidential frontrunner, spoke extensively about the systematic racial inequity that factored into the outcry over Brown's killing. She had previously been criticized by some African-American leaders for not addressing the shooting. 
"We can't ignore the inequities that persist in our justice system that undermine our most deeply held values of fairness and equality," she said. "Imagine what we would feel and what we would do if white drivers were three times as likely to be searched by police during a traffic stop as black drivers instead of the other way around."

IMAGINE THAT. I'm glad Hilary finally addressed this. She's problematic in a lot of ways, but at least she's not totally racist. And I've seen way too many liberals who are refusing to acknowledge that this is about race. Maybe now they'll smarten up.


Lastly, Ferguson protesters are suing police.  GOOD.

A federal lawsuit filed Thursday against police and the governments of Ferguson and St. Louis County seeks $41.5 million on behalf of five protesters who say that they were arrested and beaten, tear-gassed or shot with rubber bullets.

I hope more come forward to add to this. Nail those cops to the wall. Let all cops know they'll be held responsible for their actions.

The article contains some pretty disturbing descriptions of police brutality, so watch out for that.

Look At This Awesome Thing: Kick Ass Violin

You'd think that putting your adorable child down for a nap would require some soft violin, but that's not what happens here.



DAMN THAT GUY IS GOOD. Also, super cute baby dance/singalong.

Way too late in life, I discovered that the violin is the coolest instrument ever. Maybe someday I'll learn it, but I doubt I'll ever be as good as this guy.

Feminism Strikes Again: Destroying Rape Culture

[TRIGGER WARNING: SEXUAL ASSAULT, RAPE, RAPE CULTURE]

California's Historic New Bill Just Changed "No Means No" to "Yes Means Yes"

Yesterday, a bill in California was unanimously approved by the Senate. Said bill requires schools across the state to define consent as an "affirmative, conscious, and voluntary agreement" rather than a lack of a "no." Any schools who fail to do this risk losing funding.

This is a very important win in the battle to make Universities actually fucking do something about the rampant sexual assault and rape on their campuses. It's also important in the fight against rape culture in general. "No means no" is ineffective and even damaging. A lack of a stated "no" should not be considered consent. Story after story shows how the human body and mind will often freeze up in dangerous situations as a survival mechanism. This is not consent. This is the brain thinking you're about to die.

The spread of enthusiastic, affirmative, continuous consent as the standard is extremely important in the fight against rape culture. The fact that the government of a large and important state in this country is a big step and hopefully the start of a trend. Washington State needs to get on this.

There will inevitably be detractors who will fret about hypothetical men who "accidentally" rape because they didn't ask for consent enough. These people are the scummiest of the rape apologist scum.

It's very simple. If you give a fuck about your sexual partner and you're not a fucking sociopath, you'll be able to read facial expressions and body language. If you're not sure, you'll ask. If you're worried that asking will "kill the mood," then you care more about your pleasure than the safety and well-being of your partner, and you're therefore a terrible person who should never be allowed to have sex again.

That's all there is to it.

Comment of the Century

This comment was flagged for moderation and I'm not approving it, but I wanted to feature part of it here because it's priceless.


(I blocked out the URL to his website)

"I have decided to boycott American women."


Very sorry to any women outside of the US (which I'm assuming is what he actually means). Look out for any men named "Levinson." Also any man ever who says he's going to "boycott" one type of woman.

To "Beefy Cock Levinson": No one will ever love you.

Morning Announcements

I'm a little hungover. But the show goes on. This is my last day.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Gif of the Day


Kicking man ass. Forever and always.

Things I Love About Anaconda


  1. Dehumanizing men by calling them "boy toys."
  2. Glorifying a body type that's not the ultra-thin white type.
  3. Imposing sexual actions upon men (flipping the narrative). "I fuck him..." "Let me play with his rifle..."
  4. The part where she's cutting up a banana (cissexist, unfortunately, but fuck cis men)
  5. The part at the end where she's expressing her sexuality but as soon as the guy tries to touch her she's like "fuck you" and slaps his hand and walks away.
  6. Her unrestrained laugh.
Fuck yes. All hail Nicki Minaj. Beyonce/Minaj 2kForever.


My Entire Life

[TRIGGER WARNING: RAPE JOKES, MISOGYNY]


Seriously this one post on Tumblr sums up the biggest aspect of my life.

This is why I love Tumblr and hate the world.

Recommended Reading

So, Anaconda. You've probably heard it and seen the video. It's a huge hit. It's the subject of much debate. Mostly shitty debate. Really just a lot of people trying to police Nicki's sexuality who should shut the fuck up.

I don't list to a lot of rap and hip hop. And YES, this is due to my own racism. I was raised on a ton of white people music and taught that rap and hip hop were "shallow" or not "real" music and so forth. That attitude and taste unfortunately lingers, but I'm trying to break myself of it.

So I've never sought out Nicki Minaj's music. If I ever heard any, it was because it just happened to be playing and I didn't recognize it. However, I have become a fan of hers. From what I've seen of her and read about her on Tumblr and in gifsets, she's amazing. She's expressive and powerful and best of all, unapologetic. She supports women and girls and has taken more steps to support trans and non-binary people than any celebrity I've ever seen. I love her.

So today I finally watched/listened to Anaconda on YouTube. And I have to say, I keep replaying it while I write this. I like it. Some of that may be due to 90's nostalgia, but she is definitely a talented rapper.

I also enjoy the way she takes control of her sexuality and is dismissive of men. And her laugh.

A lot of people look at this video and see her catering to the male gaze. A lot of these people are white feminists. Others are misogynists who think she's using her sexuality for money - an ancient male-imposed trope.

But is that what she's doing? How do you know she's not owning her sexuality, mocking you with it? How can you tell the difference? What's really going on here?

This song and video actually highlights a lot of complex issues about both gender and race. The song's title is a reference to a line in the iconic "Baby Got Back" - a song that highlighted a different body type than the white norm and touched on race issues in its own way. I mean, mostly it was a song about butts, but...

Just read this:

Nicki Minaj's Unapologetic Sexuality is Not a Crisis

This piece also outlines racial double standards:

When Lady Gaga uses her body as a form of expression, she's an “artist.” When Nicki Minaj owns her own sexuality, she's slut-shamed.   
Where was the outcry against Katy Perry's “California Gurls” when she laid about nude on a puffy pink cloud, with a small piece of fluff covering her bum? Did folks call Miley Cyrus’s “Wrecking Ball” a piece of pornography when she salaciously licked a sledgehammer and writhed around naked on an actual wrecking ball? Did Jennifer Aniston face disparaging criticism for her strip scenes in last year’s We’re The Millers? Nope, they asked her how she got in shape for the role.  

There's no denying that black women's sexuality is policed and derided in a way that white women's is not. By white feminists, especially. While the general public might have seen Miley's video as pornographic, you saw a ton of white feminist articles defending her expression of sexuality while failing to criticize her use of black bodies as props. You don't see the same defense of the incredible Nicki Minaj. You see complaining about "thin shaming."

The politics of black female sexuality are complex and fascinating, especially in the US, going back to slavery and more depressing topics. I recommend both reading the whole article and going deeper into the issue. Keep reading. Keep thinking about this stuff.


Good News!

[TRIGGER WARNING: DOMESTIC VIOLENCE]

So you remember how an NFL player assaulted a woman and got a tiny feather brush on the wrist as punishment? (Which time? Hahahahahahahahahahaahaha.) I know it seems like something I should have reported on before, but sometimes I won't when it's already being widely reported and I have nothing to add, or it's too depressing/triggering, either from severity or predictability. This was a little of both.

Anyway, there's good news on this front. I just got an email saying that NFL policy changes are going to happen. Apparently, one assault against a domestic partner will result in a six-game suspension, and the next offense results in a lifetime ban from the NFL.

I prefer a zero-tolerance policy on things of this nature, but it's a lot better than before, when "a player caught smoking pot would receive a stiffer penalty than one who beat up his wife or girlfriend."

You can see the full letter from the NFL commissioner announcing the change and apologizing for the previous crappy policy here.

Most of the activism around this appeared to be online, and I signed a few petitions about it. I'm only mentioning this so that I can say ONLINE ACTIVISM STRIKES AGAIN. It works.

Men Who Say Things

[TRIGGER WARNING: SEXUAL ASSAULT, VICTIM BLAMING, ALCOHOL USE]

You know how I often say that men should refrain from speaking on certain topics as much as possible? I know this makes a lot of you guys really mad, but it's actually good advice. I mean, I'm not saying thing (or anything) for your best interest, but a lot of times this policy really is in your best interest.

Case in point: Former president of George Washington University Stephen Joel Trachtenberg. He decided it was a good idea to talk about sexual assault problems on campus.

"Without making the victims responsible for what happens, one of the groups that have to be trained not to drink in excess are women."


"They need to be in a position to punch the guys in the nose if they misbehave."


"And so part of the problem is you have men who take advantage of women who drink too much and there are women who drink too much. And we need to educate our daughters and our children in that regard."



So we have "I don't want to victim blame, but it's the victim's fault for being drunk." And then "women need to be sober enough to commit violence that they will be punished for because of course the school won't punish men who violate a woman's boundaries." Kind of torn about that one because I mean, if you want to make it legal to punch any guy who's being pushy, cool. And then there's "getting drunk is just as much of a problem as rape. Let's teach this to children!"

Here's my formal response to Mr. Trachtenberg:


Ferguson Update

DON'T FORGET ABOUT FERGUSON.

Protests and heavy police presence are still going on in Ferguson, though this weekend activists are planning to move the protests to St. Louis to demand substantial change from the government so that the murder of black youth by cops can maybe stop happening like every fucking day.

Some breaking news: Glide, a video texting service, has confirmed to the second the moment at which the video that caught the gunshots that killed Mike Brown was recorded. So, you know, I guess if the autopsy report of the teenager full of bullet wounds wasn't enough to convince you that there were a lot of gunshots, this can be added to the pile of evidence you can ignore.

Finally, if you haven't seen it yet somehow, Jon Stewart came back from vacation and to be hilarious about Fox News racists. If you haven't got around to watching it yet, maybe this will help:

"Did you just 'he who smelt it dealt it' racism?!" 
- Jon Stewart

Look At This Awful Thing: Girlfriend Intervention

Notice I said awful, not awesome.

A friend alerted me to this and my reaction to the headline "Lifetime Promises To Bring Out The 'Strong Black Woman' In White Women" was just "oh god."

I'm a white woman so it's not a good idea for me to write about this. Instead, I found something by a woman of color. She briefly and hilariously summarized why this is awful.

Courtesy of Jamilah King:

Because black women make great accessories for folks basking in too much white privilege, Lifetime has announced a new show called “Girlfriend Intervention.” From the looks of it, the show — featuring four stereotypically “strong” black women (Tracy Balan on beauty, Nikki Chu on “home and sanctuary,” Tiffiny Dixon on fashion and  reality star Tanisha Thomas) — will bring out the “girlfriend” in timid white women.

You should go read the rest because it includes a clip from a hilarious review of the first episode.

Look At This Awesome Thing: Fucking Tourists

I feel like this photo project is in kind of the same spirit as how I'm feeling right now so.

Nicolas Demeersman aka Pretty Punk (b. 1978, Seclin) Worldwide ongoing Fucking Tourist series 2009-2014 Captures The Resentment Of Locals With A Simple Gesture.

It's a bunch of people of color giving the finger to the camera. Because they're sick of white tourists. Awesome.

Look at this amazing woman:


You tell us, lady.

Yet More Death Threats Against a Woman in Gaming

[TRIGGER WARNING: THREATS, EXTREME MISOGYNY, HARASSMENT]

I spent a lot of time last week arguing with men who are convinced that the various accusations that Zoe Quinn "slept her way to the top" (which is a very old and misogynistic trope) and ranting about how somebody said she single-handedly destroyed some Internet thing or other, somehow, etc. These things are all very much more important to these men than the fact that Zoe Quinn had to deal with a violation of her privacy that sparked a new wave of vicious harassment and threats against her.

When I see shit like that happening in the gaming community - a community which I usually consider myself a part of when I'm not praying to god to cleanse it with fire - I get very upset. I don't want anything like that going on within something I identify with. These misogynistic gamer boys, however, aren't concerned with the quality of the community, I guess. With them it's always "well harassing Zoe is bad but here let me perpetuate unsupported rumors that contribute to the harassment of Zoe" and "well nobody should be sending threats but here's some conspiracy theories we've come up with to justify it."

But really, these are the good ones. The conspiracy theory gamer boys that will actually acknowledge that Zoe's been harassed and that it's bad are few and far between, and they're preferable. To the more common type, that demands "proof" of this harassment despite the fact that they're in the process of perpetuating it or insist that it's not as bad as she's saying. That's always how it is. She must be lying, she must be exaggerating, she must deserve it.

And as they're finally winding down about Zoe, I get news of this:

"Death threats drive Anita Sarkeesian from her home"

Of course, since Anita released another video in her Tropes vs. Women in Video Games series, the harassment machine has refocused on her. In a big way.

Also, now, she's apparently spent the night with friends after contacting law enforcement about "some very scary threats" against her and her family. She's published a page of extremely violent sexual threats from the person who apparently drove her to call the police; in it, the user mentions the location of her apartment and threatens to kill her parents, who the user names and claims to be able to find.

I read those tweets. I don't recommend doing so unless you feel you can withstand some severely triggering content. They're not just death threats.

So there you go, another bit of "proof" that these women get harassed to add to the mountain. But I guarantee you this will be brushed off by the misogynists who hate her as an example of a single guy who they will claim is mentally ill, because people with mental illnesses always get thrown under the bus when this happens. But this has happened over and over to so many women online, within our community and in others.

As though the less severe harassment and threats she gets constantly don't enable and encourage this kind of threat. As though alternated perpetuating and excusing the harassment this woman receives doesn't tell every guy who's watching and reading that he will get support if he decides to threaten her. His actions will be excused or even get lost in the tidal wave of other threats and vile harassment, because there's so much of it. As though seeing others throw violent language at her constantly doesn't increase hatred and hostility in those who already hate women and want to harm them.

The fact is that any time you call Anita Sarkeesian or Zoe Quinn a gendered slur and send hateful tweets and other visible messages and make misogynistic comments on their videos or articles about them, or perpetuate misogynistic tropes and unsupported rumors about them, there's a good chance that a man who truly hates women enough to possibly physically harm them will see it and be assured that he is in the right. That his desire to hurt them is supported, that he is not alone, that everyone feels the same way he does, and he will be defended and hailed as a hero by many others if he threatens or hurts them or their loved ones.

So congratulations, gamer boys who posted vile hate about Anita all over the Internet. This shit is on you. If someone does get hurt or killed, it's on you. Fuck you for that.

Morning Announcements

I slept in. It happens.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Gif of the Day


If you can't see it, the text in the back says "MILITANT GAY AGENDA."

I love this gif so much.

Gaming Companies to Support

[TRIGGER WARNING: MISOGYNY, HOMOPHOBIC LANGUAGE]


I know the text is all small so let me transcribe it for you in case it's too hard to see:

[Author note: SJW = social justice warrior(s)]

EA: Aside from buying and destroying franchises, EA likes to hide behind the LGBT movement and call anyone that disagrees with the "homophobes." 
BioWare: SJW pandering by including badly written LBGT characters in pretty much every situation. Also hiding behind the LGBT crowd. [Author note: How dare you insult Steve Cortez.] 
thomas was alone (Mike Bithell Games): Openly supports Zoe Quinn, said that people who are against her shouldn't play his games. 
Double Fine: Tim Schafer personally supports Anita Sarkeesian. 
Polytron/Phil Fish: Buttbuddies with the whole SJW/Indie clique, defends Zoe Quinn.
RedThread Games: Actively support Anita Sarkeesian. 
Fullbright: SJW panderers, inside the SJW/Indie clique, supporters of Zoe. 
Vlambeer Games: Open supports of Zoe Quinn and the whole SJW group. 
Love Conquers All Games: SJW supporter, got articles on Kotaku by Patricia Hernandez.
Anna Anthropy: Very active in the SJW circlejerk, got Patricia Hernandez to namedrop her several times in Kotaku articles. 
Robin Arnott: Confirmed one of Zoe's Five Guys, part of the SJW clique, pushed Zoe's Depression Quest ahead of games like Paper's, Please! and Crypt of the NecroDancer on IndieCade because he was a judge. [Author note: This is a new one] 
David S Gallant: SJW supporter, friend of Zoe, helped spread misinformation about TFYC [Author note: TFYC = The Fine Young Capitalists], harassed JonTron after what he said on Twitter. [Author note: JonTron is a dick]

So yeah, if you want to piss off misogynist gamer bros, support all of these companies. Except maybe EA because they are dicks for other reasons, but that's pretty hard because they publish EVERYTHING.

Feel free to use the transcription and remove my author notes if you want to post about this yourself wherever. I'm nice like that.

Let's Talk About SlutWalk

[TRIGGER WARNING: RACISM, SEXUALIZATION, RAPE, SEXUAL ASSAULT, VICTIM BLAMING]

The SlutWalk march in Seattle is in a week and a half and happens to fall on my birthday this year. I've never been to one, mainly because of anxiety issues involving crowds of people or just somehow missing it. I really want to go this year and even invite friends to come as a birthday celebration, but first it's important that I acknowledge the problematic nature of SlutWalk.

If you didn't already know, SlutWalk began as a protest in Toronto after a police officer told women that they should "avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized." Women marched, many in revealing outfits, to proclaim that no one deserves to be raped and no one should ever be blamed for it, regardless of their clothing or anything else.

This is all fantastic. But there are problems.

Many feminists object to the name of the annual march as well as to the term "slut shaming" (which is why I use "sex shaming") due to the fact that the use of the word "slut" has different effects on a woman depending on her race, class, and other factors - being able to call oneself a slut is a function of white privilege. Black women in particular feel unable to "reclaim" the word due to the fact that they're hypersexualized in our society to the point of being considered "unrapeable," because they always want it. There's also a lot of history specific to the US that makes this an issue for black women. SlutWalk has also been criticized for failing to give space to women of color.

Feminist Frequency has a nice roundup of the critiques of SlutWalk. A few of my favorites:

Here is an open letter posted on Facebook from black women that explains this better than I ever could.

Here is a post by a South Asian woman who struggles with the decision of whether or not to be a part of SlutWalk and ultimately decides to walk despite the white privilege issues.

Here is a really hard hitting and unapologetic (therefore highly recommended) piece that also talks about how SlutWalk fails trans women, undocumented women, and sex workers.

It's clear that SlutWalk has a white privilege problem, and I don't think much has changed since it began, except that it's become a global movement. The Seattle SlutWalk FAQ does address kyriarchy and some of the unique issues that people of color face in different cultures, but it's not enough. They also unfortunately link to a piece that's basically a white feminist saying "stop talking about race and being mean to white women." It is however encouraging that the Director of SlutWalk Seattle is a black woman.

I think that SlutWalk should change its name, at least in the US. I think leadership in all chapters of SlutWalk should be examined. I think we need to devote time each year to talk about race issues, as well as those faced by trans women, poor women and sex workers. White, cis, middle class feminists like myself need to be working to address these issues all the time, particularly by making sure we give plenty of space to these women within the movement. Then listen.

I still want to go to SlutWalk and see what it's like, but I won't be giving them money or any other support unless I am convinced that they're addressing these issues. I'll blog about my experience here, and hopefully there will be good news.

People Screwing With Richard Dawkins

[TRIGGER WARNING: EUGENICS, GROSS ABLEISM]


Seriously, he is an awful person and someone needs to take Twitter away from him.

Feminist Music

The next song I want to feature in this series is Fefe Dobson, who is also from Canada! She's an amazing woman of color whose mother is "of English, Aboriginal, and French ancestry and her father is of Jamaican heritage."

Fefe is a songwriter and recording artists who does a lot of pop/rock with a distinctly punk voice, especially in "If I Was a Guy." This song, from the unreleased album "Sunday Love," mocks the male ego and sense of entitlement and talks about how dudebros objectify women. It's pretty straightforward with the "fuck you gross assholes" and that's why I love it.



Right now she's working on a new album, her fourth, called Firebird.

Recommended Reading

This article explains exactly why, when some news surfaces about abuse of women in Middle Eastern countries or countries where Islam is dominant, I often won't report on it. Because everyone else will, and I'd rather focus on misogyny in my own country and others that are Western and white-controlled. 

This space is not for Islamophobes. My blog will not be contributing to the idea that Islam is a horrible religion for women and that Muslims are the worst oppressors of women. Having been raised Christian and studied the Bible, and from what I've been told by Muslim women about the Qur'an, this is blatantly untrue.

My blog is not here for you to come in and use your Islamophobia to pretend you're on my side.

And if you come here to say that head coverings are oppressive, you'll be kicked out of here faster than you can say "white savior complex."

Anyway.

This isn't 'feminism'. It's Islamophobia

Excerpt:

Structural sexism does take place every day in our universities, as it does in our offices, shops and homes – and we should oppose it everywhere. But demanding that feminists of every race and faith drop all our campaigns and stand against "radical Islam" sounds more and more like white patriarchy trying to make excuses for itself: "If you think we're bad, just look at these guys." 
It's the dishonesty that angers me most. It's the hypocrisy of men claiming to stand for women's rights while appropriating our language of liberation to serve their own small-minded agenda. Far-right groups like the English Defence League and the British National party rush to condemn crimes against women committed by Muslim men, while fielding candidates who make claims like "women are like gongs – they need to be struck regularly".

This Needs to Stop

[TRIGGER WARNING: POLICE BRUTALITY, TORTURE, DEATH, RACISM]

"Georgia cops fired Taser 13 times ‘as a cattle prod’ to make tired man walk before he died"

This is another level of disgusting. Literally treating this man as an animal until they killed him. He's a black man, of course. This sounds like fucking torture. They didn't give one fuck about his health. You can kill someone with a taser by hitting them with it just once, which is why it's supposed to be used only to take someone down who is actually being aggressive. This guy was just sitting there.

“They used their Tasers as a cattle prod on Mr. Towns.” 
Stewart said that he pieced together what led up to Towns’ April 11 death using official city records and eyewitness accounts. 
“He wasn’t cursing. He wasn’t being abusive. He was saying, ‘I’m tired,’” the attorney pointed out.

The autopsy results say that the taser killed him and ruled his death a homicide. The "Police Benevolent Association" lawyer says it didn't. I bet I know who the courts will believe.

Even if it wasn't the taser that killed him, you don't fucking do that to a human being. Will we ever stop seeing headlines like this? Will anything ever change?

The Gender Wage Gap: It's Still Misogyny, Folks

People who say the gender wage gap is a myth show a remarkable inability to ask basic questions.

"Women choose jobs that pay less!"

Why? Why don’t those jobs pay more? Why is women’s work undervalued?

"Women work fewer hours than men to take care of their kids!"

Why? Why can’t men take equal responsibility for their children?

"Companies pay women less because they might have to take maternity leave!"

Why are companies assuming all women want kids? Why don’t most companies allow for paternity leave? Why don’t men demand it? Why can’t companies figure out that some women can’t give birth and some men can?

Literally anything used to “debunk” the gender wage gap can be linked to misogyny and sexism if you apply just a little bit of thought. Plus, the racial wage gap is always ignored. Disparities in the gaps between industries and managerial levels are ignored.

Representation Matters

LOOK LOOK A DREAMWORKS FILM WITH A BLACK GIRL PROTAGONIST. It looks adorable and amazing and I know there are plenty of reasons to hate Big Bang Theory but the alien dude is clearly voiced by the guy who plays Sheldon and I think that's perfect.

LOOK.



Who wants to see this movie with me. Everyone see it! Give them your money so that everyone will see that movies starring black girls are profitable and human beings are actual able to relate to people who don't look exactly like them!

Hell, they can relate to fucking aliens and fish and shit, I think they can relate to a black girl.

New Report Says Trans People Are People

Haha. Ha. Ha. Wow.

Three retired U.S. generals added their names Tuesday to growing calls for the U.S. military to repeal its ban on transgender service members, arguing that doing so would not harm the armed forces’ readiness or require major changes to administrative or medical policies.

Hey, great! More important people in the US publicly stating that bigotry is shitty. I mean, I have a ton of problems with the US military in and of itself but allowing trans people to be included is a big step in ending the rank discrimination and violence against them.

The comments accompanied the release of a report by the generals for the Palm Center, a think tank at San Francisco State University’s political science department, that looked at the policies of the 18 countries that do allow transgender military service as well as U.S. studies including the Pentagon’s own guidance on lifting “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell."

...

Seriously.

You needed a study to figure that out.

It speaks to the true nature of bigots that this same argument has to be addressed over and over and over every time we want to let another marginalized group into the military. They're not interested in "unit cohesion" or whatever, they don't actually care about the safety of any soldiers. They're just bigots. We've gone over this time and time again, and it's always the same.

"We can't let people of color in! It will hurt unit cohesion!"

"We can't let women in! It will hurt unit cohesion!"

"We can't let gay people in! It will hurt unit cohesion!"

"We can't let gay people talk about being gay while they're in the military! It will hurt unit cohesion!"

"We can't let trans people in! It will-"


This has happened so many times that they've preemptively put together a report that says that there are already a shit ton of trans people in the military and everything's fine, and also other countries have openly trans people in their militaries and everything's fine, so pre-shut up.

Yes, bigots and transphobes. Trans people are just regular people. The only difference between them and you is that people like you make their lives fucking terrible!

Such a policy could mean that Chelsea Manning, the U.S. soldier convicted of leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks, and who was confirmed by military doctors to have gender dysphoria disorder, would be given hormone therapy while serving her 35-year prison sentence. Manning’s attorney and the ACLU said Friday that she was not receiving hormone treatment in jail as previously approved by Hagel.

That is fantastic news. She deserves every bit of health care coming to her, and hormone therapy for those who want it is health care.

[Aaron Belkin, founder and director of the Palm Center] added that while detractors have said they don’t know how troops in transition would handle “austere environments” if deployed, “those concerns are really unfounded," he said. "It’s not rocket science to have a diverse military.”


Zero-Tolerance Drug Policies Are Terrible, Get Rid of Them

That's what schools in LA are doing. Thank fuck.

Under previous policies, students would face arrest or citations for nonviolent violations including possessing alcohol or marijuana on campus. Now, such students will be sent to the principle’s office or be given mandatory counseling.

Talking to kids about their behavior instead of arresting them! What a concept!

This is fantastic. I want this to become a trend and I want it to explode. Treating kids like they're adults is never a good idea. That doesn't mean you treat them like they're inferior, just remember that when your brain is still developing, it's a hell of a lot harder to get over traumatic experiences like JAIL. FFS.

But also there should be no zero-tolerance three-strike throw-you-in-jail-for-way-longer-than-rapists drug policies for adults, either. Drug experimentation and occasional use is normal and hurts no one. Addiction is a disease, not a crime.

And as System of the Down would say, "All research and successful drug policy shows that treatment should be increased, and law enforcement decreased while abolishing MANDATORY MINIMUM SENTENCES."

“There are enough studies that show bringing them into the justice system is really more of a slippery slope that leads to negative outcomes and poor futures,” Michael Nash, presiding judge of the Los Angeles Juvenile Courts, told the New York Times.

More counseling. More mental health treatment. Abolish the school-to-prison pipeline. Stop setting kids up to go straight to jail by arresting them for bullshit. Stop.

How To Deal With Male Insecurity


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Gif of the Day


Cecilia Payne - One of the Best Scientists Ever

Image courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution

Ever wondered who discovered what the sun is made of? And what all stars are made of? And what the entire universe is mainly composed of?

It was a woman, and her name is Cecilia Payne.

Cecilia Payne. Cecilia Payne. Cecilia Payne. Use the repetition to commit it to memory, because they don't teach this shit in schools.

Cecilia Payne figured out the fucking universe.

She was also the first person ever to earn a Ph.D. in astronomy from Radcliffe College. When Cambridge wouldn't give her a degree because she was a woman, she moved to the US to go to Harvard. She was the first woman to become a full Harvard professor. Then she was the first woman to head a department at Harvard.

Learn about and remember women scientists.

Anxiety and Overreaction

As I've communicated several times in this blog already, I do not take kindly to people who try to tell me how to feel - especially if they're telling me that I'm overreacting. I've explained the various reasons why it's a shit thing to do, but there's yet another one, and it involves anxiety disorders.

The fact is that I do overreact. Not about sexism or racism or other forms of bigotry and injustice. I will continue to push the idea that most people underreact to that stuff. I overreact to things that really are no big deal.

Last night, I was kept up with an anxiety attack over the fact that after this week, I'm going to have to start looking for a job. I'm giving myself two months to look. I have enough money to survive comfortably for two months, paying all the bills and so forth. I've always been able to find a job within a month, and even if I'm having trouble, I can always jump on those jobs that will take just about anyone. And even if that doesn't work out somehow, I have family I can stay with if I somehow lose the apartment.

Yet I still had an anxiety attack over the knowledge that I have to find a job in two months.


That's what an anxiety disorder is. It's not being nervous over little things, it's having a physiological overreaction to little things that includes a pounding heart, racing thoughts, increased breathing rate, paresthsia, and a serious inability to sleep when this shit happens. And that's just an anxiety attack. Other people have panic attacks regularly which are so intense it makes them feel like they're about to die. Our bodies literally react to small concerns as though we're in danger of dying. We can't help it. It's out of our control. It's an illness - a dysfunction of the brain.

So when you shame people for "overreacting," you're being an ableist asshole who makes it a lot harder to exist in the world with an anxiety disorder. I really don't need to feel pathetic in addition to feeling intense anxiety. I don't need to feel like a loser while I'm lying awake all night wondering if I'll ever sleep again. That is the least helpful thing ever.

There's so much shame attached to the idea of "overreacting." People are constantly using that word to put others down in an attempt to save face. There are a lot of assholes who go around acting like "overreacting" to something is the worst thing you can do. Some of them (all men) make a living trying to provoke people into a response and then laugh at them for any negative reaction, calling them "too sensitive."

And that really sucks, because shame aggravates anxiety like nothing else. Shame is such a powerful and destructive force. It tears people down. Really. It's not to be used lightly.

Please don't make my anxiety worse by telling me I shouldn't have it when I can't control it. That's messed up. That's the kind of behavior people should be ashamed of.

Thanks.


Important Note On Women's Equality Day

Today is Women's Equality Day, a day set aside to celebrate the creation of the 19th amendment. A lot of people will say and are saying that this gave women the right to vote. This is not the whole truth.

It gave white women the right to vote. White women. Only the white ones.

Women of color had to wait a lot longer for that right.

Because so many people forget this and because feminism has such a problem with ignoring women of color and generally being white-centered, I don't personally celebrate this day. Except to remind people that only white women got the right to vote on it. You can celebrate by reminding people you know!

There are a lot of great days to celebrate women, but today is not one of them. Because it was White Women's Equality Day, and that's not nearly equal enough.

Carry on.

Recommended Reading

Teach your daughters the value of saying no. Teach all girls the value of saying no. Teach yourself the value of saying no.

"I’ll never punish my daughter for saying no."

The first time it comes out of her mouth, I’ll smile gleefully. As she repeats “No! No! No!” I’ll laugh, overjoyed. At a young age, she’ll have mastered a wonderful skill. A skill I’m still trying to learn. I know I’ll have to teach her that she has to eat her vegetables, and she has to take a nap. But “No” is not wrong. It is not disobedience.

There's more to the piece, please follow the link to read the whole thing. Courtesy of Tumblr blog Poetry Inspired By You.

Headline of the Month

Pro-Life Group Asks Progressive Politician To Help Stop Abortions; He Sends Back Condoms

BAM.


Kitties

WHAT.

NO.




















WHAT ARE YOU DOING.

STOP.


OH GOD.






















NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Online Activism: #AskHerMore

So last night there was some kind of awards show. I don't watch award shows because I find them to be boring, and not just because every reporter asks every woman walking down the red carpet the world's most uninteresting and sexist questions. But also that.

Thankfully, everyone else is starting to notice this and they're done putting up with it.

During said awards show, people took to Twitter, as they do, with the hashtag "#AskHerMore." Many included helpful suggestions directed to reporters about what they could ask the celebrity women. You know, something about their work that doesn't involve how they lost weight for a role.


You can see plenty more here.

I love that people are calling this out now. Not just people on Twitter but celebrity women themselves.


The answer is no.

Allow me to take this opportunity to shove this into some faces. Yeah. Feminism is spreading. Celebrities are getting into it and all their fans are going to get into it and there's nothing you can do to stop it. FEMINISM EVERYWHERE HAHAHAHAHAHA.

USA. USA. USA.


You can have your freedom of speech and press. Over here, in this area we've chosen, far away from where it will be effective. You'll be arrested and threatened at gunpoint if you don't comply.

Sincerely,

The Police

Tweets That Describe Me

[TRIGGER WARNING: RAPE]


This tweet is in response to the product to come to light that women can use to hopefully stop rapists from raping them. It's a new type of nail polish that will change color if exposed to Rohypnol or GHB - common date rape drugs. The idea is that if you suspect your drink may have been tampered with, you can stir your drink with your finger and see if your nail polish changes.

I want to preface this by saying that anyone who wants this should get it. Survivors especially deserve anything they can get to help them feel safe in a world which now feels profoundly unsafe to them. I will not condemn the project itself nor impede it in any way. Unless it comes to light that it's a bunch of men profiting off of this, but I'm pretty sure it's women.

But here's the deal. I'm very tired of seeing new "products" like this pop up to have everyone go "wow, this is terrific!" You know what I wish the response was? "HOLY SHIT OH MY GOD HOW IS THIS A NECESSARY THING IN THE WORLD SOMETHING HAS GONE TERRIBLY WRONG."

Seriously. How horrible is it that rape is so prevalent - that date rape drug use is so common - someone was inspired to make a nail polish that women could use to discretely check their drinks so that they can know whether or not someone is trying to rape them.

What kind of fucked up dystopian hellscape do we live in?

Women are already required to keep both eyes on their drink at all times or risk people asking them why they let their drink get roofied. Now we have to wear some secret special nail polish? I hate nail polish.

It also irritates me that no one seems to notice the fucked up-ness of having to be "discrete." Can we talk about how men get so offended if you suggest that there's any chance they might be a rapist that we have to invent ways to secretly check for rape drugs just to cater to their fragile egos? You know what I would prefer? I want a super obvious device that has the words "date rape drug detector" painted on it that I can whip out and go "hold on" to the guy who gave me the drink so that he can stand there and watch me check to see if he's a rapist. And if he makes a fuss about the suggestion that he might be a rapists, I'll say "well so many women get raped, how am I supposed to know? You want me to risk my safety so that you don't have to feel bad about yourself?" And then I can throw the drink in his face.

What's even worse is that doing such a thing isn't even safe. Men will get violent at the tiniest slight, the tiniest ego-hurt. I've heard story after story of men getting verbally abusive and even physically violent at the most polite of rejections, no matter what the reason (including "I'm married"). I've had men cuss me out online for talking about the idea that women can't know which men are rapists and because of the victim-blaming nature of our culture and low low chance of conviction and adequate punishment, we have to suspect all of them (also known as Schrodinger's Rapist).

If this nail polish thing takes off, pretty soon we'll have men getting upset any time a woman puts her finger in her drink.

And then there's the fact that the vast majority of victims are assaulted by someone they know and trust. It doesn't matter how nice and trustworthy a guy seems. It doesn't even matter if he's a friend. Nail polish won't help. Chastity belt style underwear won't help. Yet everyone goes "yay" at these new products and I'm sitting here going "ugh."

It would be nice if everyone else was bummed about it. It would be nicer if more time and energy was spent on getting to the source of the problem. It would be nice to see money going into programs that teach little boys to respect consent. Making movies where men respect the right of women to say "no" to counter the ever-present message that a woman's "no" is a challenge or beginning to a negotiation. It would be nice if people realized that stopping a rapist from raping one woman means he's just going to go off and try to rape someone else. That the only way to actually stop him is to communicate that there will very likely be swift and severe social and legal consequences to his actions - or to stop rapists from existing in the first place.

Putting the onus on women to wear a special nail polish every time they go out only makes things worse for them.

[Note: Lauren Chief Elk is an amazing women and you should follow her. Everywhere.]

"You're Defending Her Just Because She's a Woman"

Yes. This is correct.

I defend women. I support women. That is what I do. Our culture doesn't defend women, so I do.

Yes, I automatically assume it's true when women say they are being harassed or abuse, until proven otherwise. Because it's almost always true. Because it happens to countless women every day. Because it's normalized in our society and many others.

I am not a court of law. I do not have to consider anyone innocent until proven guilty.

I defend women. I support women. I always will. And I don't care if you don't like it.

Not sorry.

EXCUSE ME

HOW DARE YOU CREATE A VIDEO THIS CUTE. HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO GET ANY WORK DONE. I CAN'T SHUT IT OFF IT'S JUST PLAYING IN A LOOP ON ANOTHER TAB SO I'M JUST HEARING TINY PRANCING OINKLES OVER AND OVER WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO NOW GOD HELP US.



Click on the sound icon in the bottom right corner for maximum cuteness to the extreme.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Gif of the Day


So awesome it needed to be posted twice. ALL HAIL QUEEN BEYONCE.

Kitties


Also dogs. Eeeeeeeeeeee!

What

[TRIGGER WARNING: RACISM, HOMICIDE, GUN VIOLENCE, POLICE BRUTALITY]

Death of Handcuffed Lousiana Man Shot in Chest Ruled Suicide



White’s hands were apparently cuffed behind his back as he was transported to jail. Once there, the 22-year-old reportedly did not want to get out of the patrol car. At some point, a gun that he was allegedly hiding in his pants appeared and he shot himself in the back, according to police reports. 
However, according to KATC, the first page of the autopsy report, released by the Iberia Parish Coroner’s Office, details how White was shot in the chest, completely contradicting earlier police reports made after the fateful night in early March. 
The bullet entered the young man’s chest and pierced his left lung and his heart before exiting around his armpit, according to the autopsy, which also called White’s death a “suicide.”



Except of course the victim was black, lol.

The cops involved originally said that the bullet entered in the back. I want to say that I don't know how they thought they could get away with such an obvious lie, but I do know. Cops have been getting away with murdering black individuals for centuries in this country. Little has changed.

Even the people who did the autopsy are in on it. They ruled it a suicide as well. Despite the fact that the most flexible person in the universe couldn't shoot themselves in the chest with their arms handcuffed behind their back.

Doesn't matter to white supremacy.