Friday, January 30, 2015

Gif of the Day

Animated gif of Chandler in a full pink bunny costume grimacing with the caption "Chandler's sex face"

I CAN'T STOP.

Fuck Your Childhood

That's right, I said it.

Feminists have known for a long time that they were making a new Ghostbusters movie that has an all-women Ghostbusters team, but misogynists are just now freaking out about it. It's super hilarious. They're all "mweh mweh you're ruining my childhood and everything in the universe is about meeeee wahhhhhhhh."



"Stop making it about representation in media and how that affects children's self-esteem and the way people treat one another in general! Make it about me! Me me me me! Stop making it about you! Because me! This is about me! Everything is always about me, don't you know that! MEEEEEE."

So yeah, it's been a fun few days, what with all the opportunity to mock and torture these dudes. Make sure to remind them that Billy Murray helped to pick out the all-female cast and that Dan Aykroyd said that he's "delighted" by the very idea.

Or just send them this:


You know what ruined my childhood?

Misogyny.

Featured Blog: Chandler Dances on Things

I post about some messed up and depressing things on here, and that's mostly because that's what I read about all day. And I've found that when I'm feeling down or like perhaps this world can only be cleansed with fire, nothing cheers me up like Chandler dancing on things.
















Yeah, I've been watching a lot of Friends since they put all 10 seasons on Netflix.

Anyway, there's plenty more Chandler dancing on things on the Tumblr blog Chandler Dances on Things. You're welcome.

WHAT THE SHIT

[TRIGGER WARNING: POLICE BRUTALITY]

Okay, I had to trace this back to CBS to make sure it was legit and it is. I mean, not that it was initially that surprising, because it's the NYPD, but still, which direction is New York going on this thing? I don't even know. But anyway.

The not so shocking part:

Commissioner Bratton Unveils Plans For New High-Tech Anti-Terror Police Unit

So in spite of people everywhere being like "can we not have a police force that looks and acts like the military," the NYPD is going to have a specially trained force of 350 cops who will walk around in extra thick body armor carrying long rifles and machine guns. Makes you think that the next logical step is an army of heavily armed robots and police dogs every barking at you from behind chain link fences, but it's not super surprising.

But the quotes from the police commissioner made me lose it a little.

The unit of 350 cops will be specially trained in high-tech weaponry to deal with protests, “lone wolf” attacks and evolving threats posed by terrorists, CBS2’s Marcia Kramer reported.

To deal with prOTESTS??

The Strategic Response Group, Bratton said, will be dedicated to “disorder control and counterterrorism protection capabilities.” 

DISORDER CONTROL?


Image of JD from Scrubs with barely contained terror on his face and the caption "[screams internally]"


So to the NYPD commissioner, protests are the same as terrorism. Though we haven't had an actual terrorist attack in New York that the police actually care about since 9/11. Maybe we've had domestic terrorist attacks on mosques or abortion clinics, but who cares about Muslims and people who need abortions, right?

And just, "disorder control." How many dystopian novels featuring a big scary oppressive-as-shit government use that phrase? Because I think it's a lot.

BUT IT'S NOT OVER.

“It is designed for dealing with events like our recent protests, or incidents like Mumbai or what just happened in Paris,” the commissioner said.

Animated gif of Chandler Bing backing away while mouthing "WOW"


WHAT IN THE HELL HAPPENED AT ANY PROTESTS THAT HAVE WARRANTED A RESPONSE LIKE THE ONES NECESSARY IN MUMBAI OR PARIS??

Nobody died in those protests! The only people hurt were those beaten to shit by police! The guy that killed those two NYDP cops wasn't a part of any protest, he was just mad at cops! 

Bratton said Mayor de Blasio was on board, and he expected the City Council to be as well. He also said he thinks this will help improve relationships between cops and local residents.

Oh yeah, nothing makes people warm up to the police than having them carry larger and more deadly weapons while decked out in some serious body armor. How about we make them wear gas masks all the time? Friendly happy gas masks!

And the mayor is on board?

I don't even know anymore.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Gif of the Day


Pickup Artists.

On Equality

You'd be surprised, unless you're a vocal feminist as well, at the amount of people who accuse me of wanting to replace the current patriarchy with a matriarchy - of wanting to switch things so that women have all the power and privilege and men are the oppressed ones, instead of desiring "equality."

And I don't want "equality." I don't want women to have everything that men currently have, because men have power and privileges that they shouldn't have. I don't want a toxic urge to cling to shitty, harmful gender roles. I don't want to feel like my worth is only equal to the amount of money and power I can acquire. I don't want to feel like I need to commit violence or conquer by violence to prove that I'm worthy of existing. Fuck that noise.

And considering the current state of things, equality is basically impossible. Even if we took away power from men and somehow found a way to distribute it evenly among all genders, it's still not equal. Because we humans have a long history of gender-based oppression across many different cultures, and that history informs the way we think of gender and the way we make judgments about people and the way we view power and what makes one worthwhile and everything everything everything the way we view everything, is all informed by our history and the social norms that are passed on along generations.

You can't just take a bullhorn and scream "THINK OF ALL GENDERS AS BEING EQUAL" and expect that people will do it. Even if everybody tries, the brain just doesn't work that way.




So what will we need to achieve "equality" then? Should we even out history? Maybe a couple thousand years of oppression for men and power for women so that everyone knows how the other feels? How many thousands of years do non-binary genders get in power? I mean, if we're talking about equality, then we need to even the playing field. It's only fair, right?

Sounds to me like the people droning on about "equality" want a matriarchy.

Equality isn't simple. It's not something that can be achieved with public service announcements and good vibes. I don't want equality, and I don't want to switch places with men. I want radical change in how we think of gender. I want people to question what is masculine and what is feminine, and I want the world to actually be aware of and accept the fact that you can be both, neither, or something else entirely, or switch from one to another. I want people to question the very idea of power and why one type of person should ever have it, whether any one person should ever have power over another, and what that means. I want people to deconstruct every social norm they've taken for granted and come to realize that there's no real reason for them to exist.

I want people to consider the gender they were assigned at birth and whether it really works for them. Whether they only went along with it because they didn't realize there's another way.

I want to watch the patriarchy collapse like a bad idea under this mass scrutiny. Then, and only then, can we even think about equality.

What is equality? What does that look like? I've never seen it before.

And that's just for gender. We have to do the same for race, sexual orientation, ability, weight, etc. It's going to take a very long time. Which is one reason I don't really even use the word. I don't expect to see anything close to it in my lifetime. I'm just trying to lay the groundwork.

So to sum up, don't even talk to me about "equality" unless you've done your own work and put careful consideration into everything I've mentioned. And I'll be able to tell if you haven't.

You Throw Like an MRA

You know how the worst insult you can use on a dude is to call him a woman/girl? You know how that's fucking terrible and is a clear demonstration of ingrained cultural and systemic misogyny? It's time to put an end to that. If you want to insult a guy, don't say he does something like a girl. Compare him to a type of person who really deserves to be used as an insult.




You throw like an MRA. You fight like an MRA. All terrible insults. Let's all start using this as often as possible until it spreads.

Meanwhile doing anything like a girl is now a wonderful compliment. Russell Wilson throws like a girl! Shakespeare wrote like a girl! Neil deGrasse Tyson thinks like a girl!

Girls are good, MRAs are bad. Spread the word.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Gif of the Day

Animated gif of Neil deGrasse Tyson rocking back and forth with an outer space explosion in the background, pushing forward the word "science"

You need this gif.

Meninism

Vine user TheThirdPew created the perfect six-second summary of all meninist/MRA discussions. Behold.


Thank you so much for this, TheThirdPew.

Magic the Gathering Releases Trans Woman Character

Magic the Gathering, a popular card game among the super geeky (not using that as an insult, I love me some geeks) that includes hundreds of unique characters, each with their own background connected to the general lore, has just released a new card with a new character whose story makes it clear that she is, undeniably, a trans woman.

FUCK YES.

Image of the Magic the Gathering card "Alesha, Who Smiles at Death" (Legendary Creature - Human Warrior)

This came not long after a writer/designer for MtG answered a question about whether there would be any trans women characters in the near future, to which he simply said "yes."

He wasn't lying.

The backstory for Alesha, Who Smiles at Death and is also a huge badass is, well, it's all badass.

I'm stealing a big chunk from the lore page on Alesha because who cares, they make tons of money, but also there's a lot more if you want to read it.

It had been a day like this, a battle very much like this, when Alesha won the right to name herself. With blood running down her back where the dragon's claws had raked her flesh, she pulled a spear from a dead man's back and plunged it into the beast's mouth, up into its brain. The spear shaft splintered, but the dragon died in an instant. She didn't remember if she had been afraid as the monstrous head lunged at her. 
What she remembered was the panic that came after. Earning her war name had been her only goal. When the fight was over, she stood silently among the other young ones who were boasting of their accomplishments and the bold, grisly names they would choose. Headsmasher. Skullcleaver. Wingbreaker—Gedruk had been among them. Some of them, mostly orcs, boasted of their ancestors' deeds and spoke of their pride in adopting those ancestors' names. She had been so different—only sixteen, a boy in everyone's eyes but her own, about to choose and declare her name before the khan and all the Mardu. 
The khan had walked among the warriors, hearing the tales of their glorious deeds. One by one, they declared their new war names, and each time, the khan shouted the names for all to hear. Each time, the horde shouted the name as one, shaking the earth.
Then the khan came to Alesha. She stood before him, snakes coiling in the pit of her stomach, and told how she had slain her first dragon. The khan nodded and asked her name. 
"Alesha," she said, as loudly as she could. Just Alesha, her grandmother's name. 
"Alesha!" the khan shouted, without a moment's pause. 
And the whole gathered horde shouted "Alesha!" in reply. The warriors of the Mardu shouted her name. 
In that moment, if anyone had told her that in three years' time she would be khan, she just might have dared to believe it.

BAD. ASS.

Well done, Wizards of the Coast. Representation matters, and you've taken a crucial step in demonstrating that you understand this. May all my fellow geeks accept all trans women the way the Mardu accepted Alesha.

Jessie Hernandez

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

Another victim of police brutality, another unnecessary killing, another person of color dead for no reason.

Jessie Hernandez was a 16-or-17-year-old Latina girl who is being reported as a lesbian individual, though I don't know if this has been confirmed. This is important, as LGBTQAIP+ individuals face higher rates of violence from police. And of course, so do Latinx persons.

Police say the car was reported stolen. Police say she drove the car at them when they tried to question her. Police say that an officer was struck in the leg. Police opened fire on the car (though clearly it was at Jessie because most of the bullets hit her). Police told her family she was shot once when she was really shot several times, to death. Police dragged her lifeless body out of the car and handcuffed her on the ground instead of calling for an ambulance.

The police were there in the first place "on a call of suspicious activity." I assume this means that someone saw Jessie and other kids in the car and called the police, even though they were just sitting there.

Police say they aren't sure whether she intentionally hit the officer with the car. Police killed her anyway. Police say they were following protocol. Which I guess is "shoot to kill the second something doesn't go exactly as you want it to." Or "shoot to kill the second you're given an excuse to."

Soon after came the character assassination and victim blaming. She smoked pot. She drank while underage. She was every other teenager on the fucking planet who has access to these things.

Same story every time.

RIP Jessie Hernandez. You did not deserve to die.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Gif of the Day


Cute octopus! So twirly and calming.

Here You Go: Harassment of Anita Sarkeesian

[TRIGGER WARNING: ENCOURAGING SELF-HARM, THREATS, GENDERED SLURS, EXTREME MISOGYNY]

It's simply amazing how many fucking assholes who hate women will jump to claim that Anita Sarkeesian "fake" the threats against her or that she "threatens herself." Pretty much any time I so much as mention Anita, this is bound to happen.

It makes you wonder if they accuse anyone who says they were threatened of the same. Certainly I've never seen them snap into research mode any time a misogynist says that a feminist threatened him.

But either way, it's fucking ridiculous, even considering the high tolerance I've built up for ridiculousness during my time arguing with misogynists online. These shitbags don't limit it to Anita, either. Any time any woman says that she's been threatened online, they demand evidence. At which point I invite them to do a quick Google search which allows them to view countless screenshots of threats leveled against feminists and any vocal women.

Literally, any time some asshole tries to claim that Anita Sarkeesian isn't harassed, or that her harassment is limited to a few trolls sending her messages, or that she's lying or faking it, I have to wonder if it hurts to force your brain to ignore mountains of evidence.

Apparently Anita herself got tired of wondering this, because she's created a convenient list of tweets that she received in a single week that were either threatening or just horrible. It's a huge list. From one week. And I doubt this is all of them. I'm sure it doesn't include the hundreds of tweets she gets saying shit like "If video games objectify women, then why was that one male character shirtless than one time? CHECKMATE."

If you want to see them, or just bookmark the post so that you can send it to any one of the dozens of previously mentioned assholes, they're on the Feminist Frequency Tumblr account. Massive trigger warning for the most heinous shit, including rape and death threats, encouraging suicide, and general gross misogyny and all the slurs you could think of. Almost all of them appear to be from different individual accounts.

What's your excuse now, misogynists? I'd be interested to hear.

Haha that's not true. I know what happens now. This is the point where they say that she deserves it because, I don't know, she didn't put out the videos they hate fast enough? I've heard it all.

Morning Announcements

I've been working real hard lately and I still have a bunch of stuff today to prepare for the new new job (washing dogs 40 hours a week did not work out) plus freelancing work, so I told myself I would put up an announcement saying I wouldn't post anything today but I might anyway, because I just love blogging so much.

But yeah, after a basically mutual decision that dog washing wasn't for me, I took a job doing evening pizza delivery part time. That means that I'll be able to blog in real time every weekday! Hooray for the blog! Hooray for pizza!


There's a lot of weird pizza gifs out there.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Gif of the Day

Animated gif of a man attempting to carry two buckets full of water, a hose, and other car-washing stuff over to his car, then tripping and dropping everything

Thank god for infomercials.

Meninism

Remember Masculism? That short-lived hashtag on Twitter that, hoax or not, ended up being the funniest thing this side of the Twitterverse?

Well, they've come up with a new one, and it sounds even funnier! It's meninism!

Like masculism, only it appears to be a serious thing, and also it's like, the shittiest word ever. At least "masculism" doesn't tie up your tongue. Linguistics majors are crying right now.

Anyway, there's this amazing fake meninist Twitter account that's been spewing out pure gold for days now. Here's some highlights:


There is some good in this world.

Fun With the Republican Congress

Photo of a full congress during the SOTU, with only women standing and clapping, with the caption "Look at all the men standing and clapping for equal pay for women!"

That's got to be the Republican section because I see three or four women still sitting as well. 

Also, I see you, Paul Ryan. Don't try to hide.

Anyway. I literally hate my country.

Waiting for Free Speech Advocates

Wikipedia Declares War On Women, Gives Anti-Feminist Males Control Over Gender And Sexuality Entries

Waiting.

This week, Wikipedia’s male-dominated Arbitration Committee voted to ban five female editors from contributing to any entry on the site that has to do with women. That’s right, Wikipedia has declared war on women and feminism in favor of sexist a**holes. One editor even refers to these women as the Five Horsemen of the apocalypse. How very “neutral” of them, right?

I'm sure they'll be here any minute now.

Yesterday, ArbCom announced its preliminary decision. A panel of fourteen arbitrators – at least 11 of whom are men – decided to give GamerGate everything they’d wished for. All of the Five Horsemen are sanctioned; most will be excluded not only from “Gamergate broadly construed” but from anything in Wikipedia touching on “gender or sexuality, broadly construed.”

They must be right around the corner, ready to tear into Wikipedia for censoring people! Actually removing the rights of people to have an influence on information that millions rely on to shape their worldview! Surely they will arrive any second, all up in arms over this breach of basic freedom!

...

Animated gif of a single tumbleweed rolling along


Oh wait, I've found them! They're all in the comments section, complaining about bias in the way Addicting Info wrote about it. LOL.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Gif of the Day


Not sure if that ostrich is dancing or just like "OMG GIVE ME MY EGG BACK."

Actual Slight Progress for Trans Women!

Yay!

No but really, this is an important and awesome step.

PA Gov appoints Transgender Woman as Physician General. We Applaud.

Those of us who support the LGBQT community here in PA have an excellent ally in our new Governor Tom Wolf, who made a huge stride in American History by naming Dr. Rachel Levine as America's first transgender State appointed Physician General.

I mean it's LGBTQ traditionally, let's not put trans people anymore into the back than they already are. But yeah, wow, I'm pleasantly surprised to see a trans woman in any serious government position.

I'm also going to take this post to remind everyone that trans women, especially trans women of color, face a massive amount of violence. Cops abuse and murder them all the time, but there's not much in the way of outrage.

Protect, uplift, and celebrate black trans women at all costs.

Featured Blog: The Indian American Feminist

An awesome woman I know through Facebook created her own feminist blog specifically talking about her experiences as an Indian American, sexism from both Indian and white American men, and the intersection of anti-Indian racism and misogyny and how Indian women are fetishized.

Check out The Indian American Feminist.

If you're white, like I am, this a great resource to learn more about the specific bullshit that Indian women have to deal with.

The author of the blog, Rucha Shukla, even conducted a straight up, full on experiment, complete with a hypothesis and conclusion and graphs and shit. So if you enjoy some serious academic stuff that shows a lot of effort instead of a lot of ranting, her blog is for you.

The best part about that post is the examples she includes of the messages she received and the commentary on each. It's not like the white boys on OkCupid. She got at least one message from the man's mother, saying that she and her son liked her profile.

The entire blog is great. Give it a read.

Racists Have Short Memories

Remember when Seattle protesters tried to shut down I-5 after Darren Wilson got off without so much as a trial? Remember how my fellow white Seattleites got all pissy and racist about it because they were inconvenienced for a second? Remember? Got that in your head? Okay, now here's this:

Seahawks send-off to close I-5 ramps in SeaTac Sunday

What do you think the chances are that white people are going to complain about this the way they complained about something that, you know, actually mattered?

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

Post-racial indeed.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Gif of the Day

Animated gif of a cat reaching up with its paws to pull a girl's face down far enough so it can rub against her nose

"Give me your face."

Headline of the Month

This 109-Year-Old Woman Says The Key To Living A Super-Long Life Is To Avoid Men Completely

Awesome.


My idol.

Anti-Choice Legislation Literally Kills

And I mean literally. This is "pro-life" for you. Save the embryos and fetuses! Oh, the people carrying them are dying? Eh, they deserved it for creating the embryos and fetuses.

Animated gif of Aquaman spreading his hands apart to reveal the words "FUCK YOU"

It should be common knowledge that pregnancy is risky and there are plenty of people who can and do die from it. Now it's come out that, surprise surprise, lack of access to affordable reproductive health services like PLANNED PARENTHOOD are causing more deaths!

Globally, only a few countries have seen a rise in the rate of maternal deaths in recent years. Those include Afghanistan, El Salvador, South Sudan and the United States of America. While at one the US had all but eliminated deaths associated with childbirth, things have changed in recent years, with maternal death rates climbing from 14.5 per 100,000 to 17.8 per 100,000 between 2007 and 2011. As of 2014, the number of women who die during pregnancy and childbirth in the US has risen to 28 deaths per 100,000.

USA. USA. USA.

The entire article [trigger warning for cissexism] is horrific. How the FUCK can pro-lifers and opportunistic conservatives pretend that this is about life when the state of Mississippi tops the pregnancy-related death rates of countries stricken with extreme poverty. How the FUCK can these vile assholes try to say that abortion is a form of genocide against black people when black people are much more likely to die in childbirth than white people?????

Animated gif of a woman screaming in intense rage.

I'm fine with anyone who wouldn't want to get an abortion if they themselves got pregnant. It's an entirely personal choice. But when you try to take that choice away from others when that lack of choice literally kills, and when you're FUCKING RACIST EXPLOITATIVE SHITS ABOUT IT, then, well, see above gif.

I may just go around throwing this into the face of every anti-choice asshole I can find to make myself feel better. Ok bye.

The Radical Brownies

Oh my god. This is a thing.

Not all girl scouts are concerned with peddling shortbread cookies. There’s one troop of young girls in Oakland that discusses matters of racial inequality and wear brown berets in homage of radical civil rights groups. 
The girls, ages 8-12, are part of the “Radical Brownies,” an edgier, younger version of the Girl Scouts where girls earn badges for completing workshops on social protests, and a beauty workshop that celebrate racial diversity.

Dear lord I am so jealous right now. I only had regular girl scouts with their shitty gender roles and fucking crafts.

The Radical Brownies have their own badge system, including one for “Radical Beauty” and an “LGBT ally” badge. The girls also earned a “Black Lives Matter” badge after learning about police accountability and attending a civil rights march in Oakland. 
“I think it’s never too early to have these conversations with young people,” Martinez told Fusion. 
“Children are more aware than we think; it’s important to not shelter children from real issues that we’re living,” she said. “It’s especially important for young girls of color to feel empowered.”

It's beautiful. It's so beautiful. When and how can I donate money to this thing? And how long do I have to wait before Republicans freak out over this? I mean, they think the regular Girl Scouts turn girls into little lesbian communists so I imagine there will be a number of actual heart attacks over this.

It's things like this that remind me that the world is worth saving.

Animated gif of a man openly weeping with the caption "THANK YOU SO MUH-HUH-HUCH"

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Gif of the Day

Animated gif of a pixelated scene where Scully is being abducted by a flying saucer and Mulder is below reaching up to her yelling "SCULLAYYYY"


Did I already use this one? Or did I just think about using this one?

Straight Boys Texting

I don't think I've mentioned this particular meme on this blog yet, but it's pretty much the most hilarious thing in the universe. Just women making fun of how straight boys text. Oh my god.

Image of of fake Goosebumps book.
Click to Enlarge
[Image text - On phone:

Boy: hey girl haven't talked to you in a while. What're u up to tonight.

Girl: Eating chicken nuggets

Boy: Haha damn sounds fun. So u horny or what.

Book text: All she wanted was to eat her chicken nuggets in peace...

Title: THE STRAIGHT BOY TEXTS AT MIDNIGHT]


Straight boys: Are they unable to get the hint or do they just refuse to? The mystery of the age...

The Politics of Choice in the Gender Wage Gap

Animated gif of a woman giving a confused and mildly disgusted look to a guy who's talking off screen.
In those hilarious moments where men try to argue with me about the gender wage gap (hilarious because I'm so experienced in this particular debate that they never stand a chance), one thing that always manages to come out of their misogynistic mouths is the idea that women "choose" lower paying work.

It reveals just how basic and shallow their thinking is. They haven't even bothered to consider what comes into making any kind of choice. They haven't thought about the fact that every choice is a sum of experiences, socialization, various influences that start at infancy, plus all the real and perceived consequences of either choice, which are also influenced by the previously mentioned factored plus the values of the society one lives in. There are countless factors to be considered.

For example, women tend to "choose" jobs like teaching and social work over construction work and jobs in STEM fields. Misogynists will be quick to point this out. But why? Unless you're misogynistic and shitty enough to believe that women are just born without and interest in math and science or a capacity for construction jobs, this is a question that warrants a lot of thought.

Hardcore misogynists, of which I've met plenty, will say that women just want the easy work. They choose the easy jobs because they're lazy and/or spoiled and are now demanding more money for it. Clearly, none of these assholes has worked a single day as a school teacher, who often work 80 hours per week yet are paid for only 40, so that they can effectively grade work and create a lesson plan that might actually benefit the kids. Anyway.

So if you're not a total misogynist piece of shit, you have to look deeper. Why don't women pursue jobs in construction more often? Well, let me use myself as an example. I'm an average-sized woman who does not appear to be especially strong, and generally possesses facial and body traits that are traditionally considered "feminine" by our gender-obsessed, cissexist society. I have been in situations in which I must look for any decent paying work available. I was in this situation just a few weeks ago. Surfing Craigslist, I came upon ads for construction jobs and similar work traditionally considered to be for men. And yes, I dismissed the possibility of applying, often with a sigh.

Why? Because I'm lazy? Because I want easy work?

Imaged of a female construction working giving a skeptical look to the camera with the caption "are you serious?"

Actually, I was deliberately looking for work that would keep me active and give me plenty of physical exercise, because I think it would spur my creativity at home. And, you know, exercise is good for you, but I hate doing it in my free time when I could be writing or re-playing Dragon Age games. But I passed up construction work. Why? Because I don't think they would ever consider me. I think it would be a waste of time to even fill out an application or write a cover letter when it's signed with my clearly traditionally feminine name. Even if I did get an interview, do you think there's any chance that they would consider hiring me once they laid eyes upon my average-for-a-cis-woman frame? It's hard to imagine they would, when even in liberal Western Washington it's rare to see a woman in a construction hat.

And let's say that by some miracle they did give me a chance. Maybe I could prove my strength to them by lifting 100 lbs. in one go, even though with all the construction equipment, it probably wouldn't be necessary for me to be able to do so. What do I have to look forward to then? I 100% expect to have to deal with sexual harassment, or at the very least, have to endure sexist jokes and other gross bullshit. And I'm not assuming this out of nowhere. I know someone through my boyfriend who is a construction worker, and the stories I've heard about him, the things he says and the jokes he makes, confirm this stereotype of construction workers.

Again, this is in the liberal Seattle area. A guy in my own liberal, progressive circle.

Animated gif of a woman rubbing her temples in clear exasperation

Am I really supposed to expect that I would be welcome in this environment? That I would be comfortable? That I would feel emotionally safe? I don't care about the physical danger involved. I'm not afraid of heights and, hell, I've been a delivery driver more than once. And according to a study by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, that's a whole four places higher on the list of most dangerous jobs than a construction worker.

I don't avoid construction work because of the danger involved, nor because I'm lazy. If you want to talk grueling work, by the way, let's talk about waitresses who have to carry huge food trays of food all day 8 hours a day or more for less than minimum wage. My grandmother was a waitress for many years and was strong as shit because of it. She didn't get to stand around looking at holes in the ground or sit in earth movers. She was constantly running around, trying to please the endless line of greedy and needy assholes so that she could earn enough tips to raise my mother by herself.

Seriously, guys, try doing that shit for even a day.

I make my choice because I understand our society, I'm aware of the rampant sexism in the construction industry, I don't see my gender represented at all in the industry, and because of this I can expect to be either immediately rejected for my gender or harassed if I somehow do get hired.

Why should I bother? Who would choose that?

Yeah, I would rather make less money as an office assistant than have to feel unwelcome every day at work and be constantly sexually harassed and have to deal with misogynistic, homophobic, transphobic and racist jokes on a daily basis, knowing that things will only get much worse for me if I try to make that shit stop.

Animated gif of a confused-looking guy who appears to be thinking very hard while looking around the room.
Here's a trick, guys. Try empathy! Imagine that you have to look forward to almost certain rejection and harassment if you apply for a certain job. Would you do it?

Some women still do, and I have nothing but the deepest admiration for them.

The point is that it's absolutely insufficient to say that women "choose" lower paying work. It's not like we're choosing between a harmless block of wood and a second, identical harmless block of wood. It's like we're choosing between a boring, low-value block of wood and a hunk of especially spiky cactus that is completely covered in spikes so that no matter how you pick it up, it's going to hurt like hell. It's like choosing between the longer, safe path and the dark, rat-infested tunnel from which you're pretty sure you can hear a deep growl and also everyone in town says that a massive hungry troll lives in it.

And maybe it's hard for men to understand because they get to go through the dark tunnel equipped with a high powered-flashlight and a flamethrower and everyone knows the troll doesn't eat men. But for us women, it's a different story.

So until you've used your flamethrower to clear out the troll and let us have a turn with the flashlight, maybe shut the fuck up about "choice."

Look At This Awesome Thing: The Cotton Project

So this is one of the most beautiful and empowering things I've seen in a while.

It comes from an artist named Grace and her blog The Cotton Project. She made this awesome comic thing that describes just how I feel as a woman when I'm at peak strength and passion. I'd like to get is tattooed on my back.

Here's the first section, one of several:


[Image text: Let me make one thing clear: I don't owe you shit. I can't believe I ever felt bad for being female. I can't believe I let people like you take that power from me.]

I won't post the whole thing here because I want you to go check it out on Grace's blog. Go on. Click away.

My favorite line: "At night I walk home with violence in my chest." YES. This is exactly how I feel. How I have to feel, because walking alone at night is dangerous if you're a woman. I have to be alert, be ready, and be ready to commit violence in self defense. 

Grace should seriously make posters out of this because I would buy those so fast.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Gif of the Day


Betty White for Queen of the Universe.

Women Can't Win: Rejection Edition

As a woman, I can say that there are few moments in life that are more uncomfortable than when a guy comes on to me, and the advance is unwelcome. It's pretty much the most stressful thing that can happen to a woman short of actual assault, and that's due to the threat of assault.

Some basic psychology: Put a rat in a maze and electrocute any path the rat can take. As soon as the rat realizes that there is no path it can take without horrible pain, it will freeze. The stress and fear is so great that it will go into flight, fight, or freeze mode. There's nowhere to run and nothing to fight, so it freezes.

Being a woman who is subject to an unwelcome advance from a man is like being in that hell maze.

I bring this up because I found this gifset on Tumblr from some shit video made by some asshole who decided he wanted to yell at some random woman who lied to him about having a boyfriend.

The gifset shows a different man going over to the target woman to tell her that he found something of her boyfriend's. She replies that she doesn't have a boyfriend. After that, this piece of shit dudebro goes up to her and comes on in the grossest manner, calling her "sweetheart" right off the bat, saying that he had to come over to her because she's so cute, and after a very brief conversation, suggests that they study alone together. And he emphasizes the word "alone" in a way that would set off warning bells in any woman's head.


Gif of a woman pretending to gag


So she tells him she has a boyfriend. This is a very common rejection tactic for single women, because men are much more likely to respect an imaginary boyfriend's boundaries than the boundaries of the woman herself. If this woman had said "no thanks, I'm not interested," I can guarantee that the result would have been the guy starting a negotiation, demanding reasons why she didn't want to study alone with his creepy ass, and insisting that she was required to give him a chance. That's how it goes.

Because men are taught that they should be "persistent" with women to "wear her down" and never take "no" for an answer, rejecting a guy in an honest fashion is very difficult. They'll negotiate with you for as long as it takes, expecting that you'll eventually say yes just to get them off your fucking back. And if this doesn't work, if we continually refuse, there's a very good chance the guy will become angry. The best we can hope for in most cases is to be shouted at and called any number of slurs.

So we lie, for our safety and our mental well-being. We make up excuses and boyfriends, we give fake numbers, we do whatever we can to soothe to male ego because if we don't, if we're simply honest about our disinterest, we're bitches. Frigid cunts who didn't give the random asswipe a chance he for some reason deserves by existing.

But it seems even lying doesn't work anymore. In the end of this video, the guy reveals that he knows she doesn't have a boyfriend because of the earlier incident. He then says the following:

"I'm sick and tired of this shit. You know, all you girls saying you have a boyfriend but you really don't. You'll never have a boyfriend. You're on camera 2. Fuck outta here."

Animated gif of a girl putting her hand on a window, then slowly switching to giving the finger


This is what we get for trying to let guys down easy, for trying to protect their egos. The brilliance of the fake boyfriend rejection is that it's not really a rejection. We might go out with you if only we didn't have this prior commitment! But that's not good enough for men, who demand that we, as women, do exactly what they want, when they want, without protest or hesitation. What we want doesn't matter. It doesn't matter if we immediately dislike you because you're a creepy pissbucket. We should agree to whatever you want, no matter what.

And if we try to lie and say we have a boyfriend, we get yelled at and insulted, and in this case, because this poor woman was filmed against her will, she's threatened with the spread of the video. Which would of course, in this world, compromise her physical safety.

There is absolutely no winning. And this is why the situation is so terrible. I myself have honestly rejected men by saying I have a boyfriend, and received responses like "well he can come, too" and "don't worry, we'll be discreet." Seriously, no joke. How fucking disgusting can you get?

So what are we supposed to do, huh? Let me ask the men of the world. How the fuck are we supposed to reject you? What is the right way to do so? I would really like to know, so that I don't have to feel like a rat in a hell maze every time it happens, my mind racing back to every news item and every story I've ever heard of women being assaulted, wounded, and killed for daring to reject a man. That would be super great. If I didn't have to worry about that. Thanks.

More Women Equals Better

It's not just me who says this. It's science.

Finally, teams with more women outperformed teams with more men. Indeed, it appeared that it was not "diversity" (having equal numbers of men and women) that mattered for the team's intelligence, but simply having more women. This last effect, however, was partially explained by the fact that women, on average, were better at "mindreading" than men.

This explains why it seems that the larger the group of men, the shittier they are.

Meanwhile groups of women actually accomplish good things. I think the reasonable conclusion is that we should leave men out of all group decisions. Male members of congress can go ahead and resign immediately, for the good of the nation.

Animated gif of a woman drinking from a coffee cup with the caption "I can wait"

US Anti-Black Racism Update: MLK Day Edition

There were a number of protests held across the US on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day over the horrendous treatment and frequent murder of black people by police. The protests were a part of a new online movement called #ReclaimMLK, which came about as a response to my fellow white people who are constantly misquoting and appropriating Dr. King's words in an attempt to shame black people who are conducting disruptive protests.


There's a great piece on why Dr. King needs to be reclaimed on the Racism Review.

Protesters in Seattle shut down highway 99 with their awesomeness. I'm sure there were plenty of white Seattleites complaining about it and saying that MLK had a dream that he could get home from work in time to watch The Voice.

Meanwhile, in New York, Eric Garner's memorial caught on fire. At least, the police say that it caught on fire, and are somehow of the opinion that this happened by magic and there was no criminal intent, even though the same thing happened in Ferguson to Mike Brown's memorial. You know, after cops let their dogs pee on it, and before a driver intentionally demolished it with his car.

Surely there was no criminal intent. There are no racists in New York! It totally wasn't arson.

Last but not least, I came upon this gem of a job ad on Craigslist:


Screenshot of a craigslist ad titled "Do You Have A DREAM?" with a picture of MLK below, and below that the word "We are the Online Marketing Company"
Click to Enlarge

That is by far the most inappropriate job ad I've ever seen. Not surprised that it was made by a marketing company. The name of the company wasn't included in the ad, but I'm tempted to respond just so I can find out and tell the #ReclaimMLK people. Dr. King is not your fucking mascot for your shitty online marketing company.

Fuck Tone Policing

Tweet by @ThisTechGirl

[Tweet text - Respectability politics: Disallowing anger as a form of expression. The oldest trick in the book to neutralize protest against oppression.]


Interesting fact: What I often refer to as "tone policing" is quite similar to what is called "respectability politics" in the black activist community. Respectability politics is the idea that black people have to conduct themselves in ways that white people will "respect" in order to be taken seriously, no matter how serious and truthful the issue they're speaking about is.

This extends to the way black people dress, walk, stand, wear their hair, use grammar, etc. etc. to infinity. Basically, it means that black people have to act just like white people, or everything they say and do is dismissed. But at the same time, they can't do certain things that white people do all the time, like get angry, yell, interrupt people, or show any kind of passion. The ideal condition for black people who want to talk about oppression is to be doing so scrunched up in a corner, whispering while doing everything they can not to be noticed.

It's oppression at its finest. And you'll find very similar rules for every oppressed group. Going back through the decades, you will find that it is a incredibly old oppressive tactic.

And that is why I say again and forever: Fuck tone policing.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Gif of the Day


WTF Ian McKellen.

Amazing Women of Color

[TRIGGER WARNING: GUN VIOLENCE, WAR]

And another example of women being better than men.

Another Boko Haram Attack Repelled By Armed Women

Several Nigerian media outlets have been reporting on local women in the villages of Attagara and Kawuri in Borno State who recently disarmed nearly a dozen Boko Haram terrorists. The notorious pseudo-Islamic terror groups tried to attack the Attagara and Kawuri communities over the weekend but the insurgents were instantly repelled by a group of armed women.

Instead of sending fucked up, abusive, imperialist troops into Nigeria to fight Boko Haram, can the US just send these women better weapons and some body armor? They'll have the problem sorted out in a week or two.

Photo of a group of Nigerian women holding assault rifles.

Look At This Awesome Thing: Flipped Iceberg

So this is random but LOOK HOW PRETTY.

Click to Enlarge
Apparently, someone was lucky enough to come across and photograph a rare flipped iceberg in Antarctica. I'm guessing that when an iceberg has just slipped over, before it gets all melty/snowy, it looks like this from being underwater.

Nature is cool.

Recommended Reading

This Martin Luther King Day, let us white people pledge to call out all our fellow white people who appropriate the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in order to use them against those who try to take any kind of meaningful action, particularly black people who are protesting their own systemic oppression.

Remind your fellow white people that MLK had more to say than just the few quotes that we white people like to cherry pick for their out-of-context, banal sentiment. Remember that he criticized those who chose to do nothing, that he had words for white liberals who asked people of color to wait for their rights, and that he was staunchly opposed to US imperialism. Don't ever forget that he was assassinated by the US government for speaking out despite his push for non-violent protests.

For more information, please please please read this piece by the brilliant and amazing Trudy at her blog Gradient Lair. She is brilliant on Twitter as well, so the first part of this post is a series of tweets from her on the subject, and she elaborates below. Seriously, read all of it.

What MRAs Have Accomplished

[TRIGGER WARNING: STABBING, MALE VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN]

Look, another to add to the list of MRA accomplishments!

Virgin teenager Ben Moynihan 'stabbed women in revenge'

A teenager accused of trying to kill three women because he could not lose his virginity wanted to "murder as an act of revenge", a court heard. 
Ben Moynihan, 18, admits wounding the women - who were stabbed in random attacks - but denies attempted murder. 
Winchester Crown Court was told that he wrote: "I am still a virgin, everyone is losing it before me, that's why you are my chosen target."

This is what MRAs accomplish. Have they done anything to stop the murder of men of color by cops? No. Have they gotten law enforcement to take male victims of domestic violence seriously? No. Reduced male suicide rates? Improved prison conditions? Done anything at all for trans men? Nope, nope, and nope.

They don't have time for any of that, because all they do is blame women for their problems and talk about how women deserve whatever they get. Can you guess what spreading those messages results in?

Thank god this didn't happen in the US, or the kid would have had a gun and those women would be dead.

It's funny that MRAs say that feminists spread hate, because zero feminists have actually gone on a shooting/stabbing spree because they're mad at men. Meanwhile, we've got a pretty good list going of shit like this. So, who's spreading hate, here?

"I attack women because I grew up to believe them a more weaker part of the human breed."

HMMMMMMM.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Gif of the Day


Actual footage of MRA infighting.

Not All Men




I actually am a little sorry for posting a Friends reference because the show was so fucking racist and transphobic and homophobic, but that face is so perfect and Ross was a total "Nice Guy."