Friday, May 29, 2015

#GiveYourMoneyToWomen

This hashtag is the greatest thing to happen on Twitter since #INeedMasculismBecause and it's happening right now, go go go!


Here is the link to my Patreon account.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Gif of the Day


Oh for the love of shit.

Psych Geek-Out Time

Okay so I mentioned I was going to talk about EMDR therapy. EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. It's something I've done in the past with another therapist and am starting again to process more stuff.

The "eye movement" part comes from the most common and often most powerful form of the therapy in which the patient watches lights moved back and forth across a long bar, following the light with their eyes. The point is to force the right brain and the left brain to communicate with each other. The patient focuses on an image of a traumatic or disturbing memory plus an associated basic negative belief. By "basic" I mean fundamental, something like "I'm not good enough" or "I'm not safe." Then you follow the lights with your eyes while focusing on these things.

The result tends to be an almost immediate surfacing of emotions and emotionally-charged thoughts. The therapist stops the lights after maybe 30 seconds and asks the patient what came up during that time. The patient is then asked to focus on key thoughts and/or emotions that came up and the lights start again.

It's an incredibly effective therapy for processing trauma in a safe environment. The brain is forced to "reprocess" the memory and the thoughts and emotions the trauma brought up, making the memory much less disturbing and allowing the patient to replace the negative belief created by the trauma with a positive one.

I'm not ready to share publicly what I'm doing EMDR about, but I'm very excited to see where it takes me. I mean, I'm excited now, but I'm terrified the day I have to do it. Intense emotions are scary, especially in front of people.

I wish everyone could have access to good therapists. Unfortunately, in this country, it's a rare privilege.

"What Rape Culture?"

*Gestures casually to the entire Duggar Family sharknado of fuckery*

And if you keep talking I'm just going to keep throwing facts from the case and quotes from the family into your face until you're curled up on the floor weeping over the death of humanity.

That's all I have to say on that matter, likely forever.

Headline of the Month

[TRIGGER WARNING: POLICE BRUTALITY, GUN VIOLENCE]

Cleveland police agree to stop pistol-whipping people.

Um. Thanks.

The new rules as outlined in the agreement prohibit pistol whipping, firing warning shots and using force as punishment for talking back or running away.

Wow. So that shit was allowed the whole time.

Fucking hell, Cleveland.

It's not gonna stop cops from killing people, though.

Delays in Reporting Are Normal

[TRIGGER WARNING: CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE, RAPE, RAPE CULTURE]

This is clearly something that we really need to work into people's heads because so many people just don't fucking get it.

Not reporting rape right away is normal. Going into denial about what happened is normal. Not wanting to report because you're aware of all the awful shit you'll be put through and fearing the possibility of total social rejection and harassment is normal.

These past few days, I've read so many stories from survivors who stayed in contact with their rapists, who stayed friendly with them, who stayed in relationships with them because rape culture narratives and social pressure caused them to fail to recognize rape as rape and/or go into denial about what happened.

Then I read this story, which is more horrific than all the others:

I lost my whole family for reporting my rapist.

Why didn't this girl report for 10 years? Oh wait, she did. She told her parents, her teacher, and her pastor. They all did nothing. Why would she think that the police, who are complete strangers, would do anything if her fucking parents wouldn't help her?

You'd think people could produce some fucking empathy for rape survivors. Has anyone not had a time when something bad happened to them and they responded in a way that was totally timid and inadequate or just strangely, and you think back on it and wonder "why did I do that? Why didn't I respond better?"

It's easy to think that, if you were raped, you would recognize it right away and go straight to the police to report it without a second thought. The reality is not so easy. Especially because the vast majority of the time, the rapist is going to be someone you know. That, among other reasons, is why delays in reporting of rape by survivors is NORMAL.

The moral of the story is that, seriously, if you have not been raped, then shut the fuck up about the experiences of survivors. Do not speculate on how you THINK a survivor should have acted. You don't know shit about it. Do not run your fucking mouth about it.



Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Gif of the Day


"What a nice fellow."

Afternoon Announcements

My therapist has prescribed me a nap after our first session of EMDR, which I will talk about later because it's fascinating. Good night.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Gif of the Day



Please do.

The Face of Meninism

[TRIGGER WARNING: ANTI-BLACK RACISM, MISOGYNISTIC SLURS]

I've been told that "meninism" is supposed to be a joke or a mockery of feminism or something, but the Meninism Twitter account, which seems to be the main or only face of meninism anymore, just seems to be full of anti-black racism while constantly appropriating AAVE, plus sexist slurs.

Like this:


Um okay so you're just putting it out there for all the world to see that meninism or anti-feminism or whatever is totally into racism and racist/misogynistic jokes? Cool, I guess.

To make things even better, the man in the photos, Adam Harris, responded beautifully.


But instead of learning from this experience, the Meninism person decided to just keep on making racist jokes perpetuating the stereotype that all black men cheat:


Also they have a meninist website where they sell overpriced shirts with #Meninist on it. So losers can fund a racist Twitter account.

I don't even have to try to make anti-feminists look bad.

Recommended Reading

[TRIGGER WARNING: RAPE, RAPE CULTURE, HOSTILITY TO SURVIVORS]

Melissa McEwan of Shakesville has been a powerful influence on me in terms of my feminism. Her writing is incredibly passionate and unapologetic, which I obviously love. She has an ability to take what were once only vague feelings in myself, or feelings that I didn't think could be justified, and articulate them in a way that makes so much sense and that validates everything I felt about the subject.

One of those things is believing survivors. So many people will automatically doubt survivor stories. Any time there's one tiny thing that's inconsistent with the strict perfect survivor narrative that our society seems to say is the only valid one, people turn on the victim. Seeing this happen in the past would awaken a visceral horror in me that I couldn't really understand and definitely couldn't put words to. On the one hand, it seemed so looooooogical (TM) to question survivors, to be a "skeptic" (ugh), to want to doubt and examine every bit of evidence and then inevitably come to the conclusion that there's just not enough evidence because it's a "he said she said" situation and surely we can't really believe the survivor unless we have five different videos from five different angles of the entire interaction starting with the very first contact between them and lasting through the entire assault and probably a couple days after, too.

*Deep breath*

Fuck all of that shit. I believe survivors. I believe them as quickly and unconditionally as so many other people doubt them. For all the reasons listed in this piece:

The Costs of Disbelief

I mean the cost of communicating to other survivors, when we publicly disbelieve one person, that they will be disbelieved. That there is no point to reporting the crimes done to them, because they will not find justice. And may instead find in its place an aggressive avalanche of hostility and suspicion and contempt. 
I mean the cost of empowering predators, who are grateful indeed to everyone who participates in the systemic disbelief of survivors. Even if their victims report the abuse they perpetuate, their chances of being charged and convicted are vanishingly small, because of our cultural investment in disbelief. 
I mean the cost of failing to stop predators, a majority of whom attack again and again. I mean the cost of creating more victims.

Please read the whole thing.

You know who doesn't believe survivors? You know who these skeptics are? Mostly men and white women who are not survivors and who have never been through an intense trauma, and therefore cannot have any idea what it's like to have your brain throwing out defense mechanisms and twisting your perception of what happened to the point of altering memory, up to and including repressing it altogether, in a desperate attempt to keep you from losing it. These "skeptics" worship "logic" without knowing that there is no logic after being raped. None.

You know who believes survivors? Other survivors. Because they get it. They get how the trauma causes you to do and say things that don't make sense to others, and they get how awful it feels when people don't believe you, when they comb over the worst thing that's ever happened to you and examine it like an autopsy, dissecting it like it's a dead animal, only to inevitably conclude that there's not enough evidence to stop the person who raped you from going out and assaulting more people.

You know why I believe survivors? Because I know them. Because I listen to them. Because I've read so many stories and they're all unique but they're all the same. There's such a clear pattern to these assaults that when I read that a person accusing another of rape acted strangely or their story is inconsistent, it only reinforces my belief. And I'm not going to think that all of these survivors are lying, because if you really wanted the majority of people to believe you, your story would be consistent with that perfect expected narrative. You'd go right to the police, crying and completely distraught, then to the hospital, then you'd spend weeks in your room utterly despondent and unable to function or be near other people. Your story would be perfectly intact and there would be no inconsistencies because it's easy to keep rehearsed lies consistent when you're actually totally fine.

But I haven't seen a single survivor story like that. Not one. Because it doesn't work that way.

And even if I did see one that fit the expected narrative, I still wouldn't express doubt because even if she is lying, the costs of disbelieving a real survivor are too great. And the idea that being accused of rape ruins men's lives is a myth. And stop comparing having a hard time getting a job or having to move to another town with being raped.

Call me illogical or unfair all you want, I don't give a fuck. I'm not a Vulcan and I'm not a human embodiment of a court of law. I'm a person who knows and listens to survivors. Why aren't you?

Afternoon Announcements and Cuteness

So I've been pretty stressed out lately, with too many hours at my day job and increasing encouragement from Yes! Magazine to do more pieces for them (which is GREAT but also oh my god) while also trying to do sufficient work for ForceChange and, you know, spend time with the people in my life.

This all results in anxiety which results in disrupted and poor-quality sleep which results in me sleeping in too late which results in less time in the day and also not posting on my beloved blog until the afternoon, which makes me a bit sad and triggers my intense guilt issues. But I know you readers love me and understand.

Lately I'm also dealing with a lot of assholes through my Tumblr account over the Emma Sulkowicz thing, which is emotionally draining because I either have to explain the same thing over and over or deal with the fact that so many of them are going to go off thinking that they're right because I didn't respond, which pisses me the fuck off. I need to discover the root of that trigger and work on it.

I am, however, highly encouraged by what I'm seeing on the Blogger traffic analytics thing. Usually when I see a spike in traffic I can expect to see sources that include Tumblr in Action and some other asshole anti-social justice page. But today, I saw a source from Reddit and was like "oh great TiA again" but it turned out to be from the feminism Reddit page! And another was from a black feminist Tumblr blog! This is a wonderful turn of events. Traffic from anti-feminists and trolls is helpful and appreciated, but getting traffic from other feminist sources could suggest a switch in the pattern of recognition.

Also I need to explore this "Amptoons" blog because they've been giving me traffic for a while.

Anyway, I want to end by posting the CUTEST VIDEO I'VE EVER SEEN IN MY ENTIRE LIFE. This made my heart feel like it was going to fucking explode.



GOD HELP ME I CAN'T HANDLE IT.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Gif of the Day



Look at this little baby go! You get that thing you're chewing on!

Penile Circumcision: Why

[TRIGGER WARNING: COERCION, HETERONORMATIVITY, CISSEXISM, ASEXUAL ERASURE]

Have you heard of this case yet? A mother has been battling against her son's father for years over the boy's circumcision, and she finally had to cave when she was told that she would be held in jail until she signed papers giving her consent for the entirely unnecessary procedure that the kid apparently doesn't want.

Penile circumcision (called male circumcision by people who equate genitals with gender) is common in our society, largely only because parents worry that in the future, their sons (whether they are actually boys are not) will be unable to get laid. There are entire organizations dedicated to being extremely upset about this and comparing it to clitoral mutilation all the time which is why I don't like them.

But I am against any mutilation of a child's body when it's not medically necessary. Risk of infection of an uncircumcised penis is still low. There's no good reason to do it other than to conform to pointless physical aesthetic standards. And threatening to keep a woman in jail until she agrees to unnecessary surgery on her child? Is that legal? Is that a thing we do? And why are all these probably male judges siding with the father? It's not medically necessary. The kid doesn't want it. And at this age, it's going to hurt a lot.

This is all bullshit. The poor woman was completely coerced into giving her consent, knowing that the father would get full power over the kid and/or take him out of state to get the surgery done while she was sitting in jail anyway. All for a kid's future sexual needs that may not even manifest. There's so many layers of awful to this case and I feel like I probably haven't even thought of them all. Hostility to consent. Asexual erasure. Heteronormativity and cissexism. Mutilating the bodies of babies for no reason.

Can we please get rid of this pointless cultural norm? The moment it becomes normal for people with penises to be uncircumcised, there will be no reason for the majority of parents to have their infants mutilated.

Memorial Day

[TRIGGER WARNING: RAPE, WARFARE, BOMBING, DEATH]


Being pretty much entirely anti-war, especially the way my country conducts it, I don't typically talk about or generally acknowledge Memorial Day. But as Ijeoma Oluo reminds us, there are people who should be remembered today.

Not the people who chose to become soldiers because of some sense of honor or duty or whatever word they use to cover up wanting to go to other countries to kill people. But the people they kill, the people they rape and abuse and destroy and leave with nothing - they can be honored. Remember all the Iraqis who have had their homes destroyed by drones for no reason. And their schools, and their neighbors and families as well. Never forget that most if not all of the "terrorists" there exist because the US created them.

And remember all the people who became soldiers because they had little other choice. Whether they were abducted as children and forced into it under threat of death, or had no other means to support themselves and their families.

And if you can bear to think of it, remember the women and girls who are raped to demoralize their communities. Remember why these wars happen in the first place. And check out Ijeoma Oluo's Twitter today, because she's remembering them well, and taking down the people who want her to stop reminding people.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Gif of the Day



You need this reaction gif.

Wow

[TRIGGER WARNING: CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE, CHILD PORNOGRAPHY, SEXUAL ASSAULT, RAPE CULTURE, RAPE APOLOGIA]

Possible other titles for this post include "Oh My God" and "I Can't Even."

As though I needed more confirmation of rape culture. The awfulness of what follows could be extremely triggering.

The Duggars Respond to Reports That Josh Duggar Was Accused of Child Molestation

The short version of the response is "yeah he totally did," and the long version of the story is horrifying beyond belief. I don't want to go through the whole thing. Melissa McEwen does a fine job of that.

The summary is that Josh Duggar of 19 Kids and Counting was accused of molesting no less than five girls when he was younger. Now, the family has explained that they knew about this, and sent him to "counseling," only it wasn't counseling. They actually sent him to hang out with some dude who was remodeling a house, which they called a "training center," but it was just some dude remodeling a house. I don't know.

Then when Josh predictably assaulted another girl, they sent him to police officer for some kind of stern talking to. This police officer is now IN PRISON FOR CHILD PORNOGRAPHY CHARGES.

Also everyone knew about this, his family and church covered it up, and TLC probably knew as well but decided to air the show anyway. And the family is calling the assaults "mistakes" and say that they went through one of the most difficult times of their lives, wah wah wah wah those girls are scarred for life now but pooooooor family had to learn that Josh was assaulting little girls.

This. Is. Rape. Culture.

Look At This Dog

I.... think? This is a dog? Maybe?




It's a fluff ball of some kind. That's all that matters.

Paul Nungesser is a Sexual Predator

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

Thanks to a very brave piece written by another woman from Columbia University (Do Not Link used as the piece was published on Jezebel), I either learned or was reminded of the fact that Paul Nungesser has been accused by multiple women of sexual assault, and found guilty by the university at least once.

I phrase it that way because I feel like I must have at some point read somewhere that Paul Nungesser had multiple victims, but in the wake of Emma's graduation, which stirred up the whole controversy once again, I was tackling denialists and rape apologists without this knowledge in my mind.

When Emma's story came out, I couldn't really even read about it. I knew the basics, but because I never felt I had the strength to delve into it, I may very well have missed the fact that he'd been accused and found guilty of sexual assault before Emma, and was accused two more times, once by an ex-girlfriend.

Whether I'd missed it or simply forgot, it's clear that my brain was trying to protect me. What many people don't realize, because they know nothing about the human mind, is that the brain's #1 directive is survival. People know about fight or flight, but there's much more to it than that. Because the human brain has evolved to produce intense and complex emotions, it must also be able to protect us from those. Psychological pain is just as real and dangerous as physical pain, and in the same way that our brains tell us to run from bears and angry people with guns, it tells us to run away from potential psychological pain and trauma.

That's why I avoided reading about Emma's case. That's why I find myself frequently forgetting about key disturbing facts about cases like Emma's. My brain is just as invested as anyone else's in denying rape culture. It's too painful.

Honestly? I've doubted Emma. There have been plenty of moments where I thought "maybe people are right, maybe she did lie." Or "what if she is lying, that would hurt my position and credibility." Selfish, yeah, but the brain is that. I've even gone so far as to think that maybe the anti-feminists and so-called "egalitarians" are right, that I am too invested in believing victims, and that all my motivation to believe and defend Emma comes from a desire to be a victim myself, or to further reinforce feminist ideas because I don't want to ever challenge them.

Thank fuck for the feminist community, which works to spread the facts that inevitably tear me away from such comforting doubt. Paul Nungesser was not only accused by three other unrelated people (two women and one man) of sexual assault or rape, but was found guilty at least once. He only won the appeal because the victim who wrote the Jezebel piece was too exhausted to go on, so she withdrew from the case. She didn't withdraw her complaint. She just declined to testify against him when she'd already spent so much energy doing so and won before. Therefore, in the eyes of the campus "court," none of her evidence was permissible to the case and they had to find him not guilty.

It's easy to doubt one woman, to think that she was only doing this for "attention" (never mind that a huge amount of this attention has been negative and her name has been totally dragged through the mud), but four people? With one remaining anonymous to avoid what happened to Emma?

I'm a human being. I'd love to believe that rape culture doesn't exist, that the "one in four" statistic is wrong, that Emma wasn't assaulted, or the three other people. It would certainly be easier on me to believe all the women in my life who have told me about their assaults were liars rather than victims. Caring about people and knowing something so horrible has happened to them is hard. Caring about young girls and knowing that in all likelihood, something so horrible will happen to one in four of them is devastating.

My brain wants me to run, too. I fight against that instinct every day. It's only by believing and listening to victims that I keep myself honest and open to the truth. I believe Emma. I believe anonymous. I believe Paul Nungesser's other two victims. They need people to believe in them because the natural instinct is to not want to believe them, which is why so many people look for reasons not to. They focus on the text messages from Emma that seem to "prove" that she wanted it while leaving out the fact that he's been accused by three other women. One who clearly does not want any "attention."

The only way to end rape culture and protect countless other women, non-binary people and men from sexual assault is to face the truth in spite of the pain. We need to be strong because the victims have already suffered enough. Anonymous shouldn't have to be giving interviews and writing another piece for Jezebel when she's already been assaulted. We need to find the strength to fight for her, Emma, and all the other victims. Or if you can't fight, at least don't give in to the protective denial and spread rape culture narratives that leave out essential facts.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Gif of the Day


The guy's face, though.

Amazing Women of Color

I'm tired so just look at this post about an amazing group of black women protesting in San Francisco (NSFW):

Act Justly

Good News!

Montana students will no longer be able to register for classes until they take a 40-minute online course about sexual assault. Cue the downpour of outraged tears from MRAs.

New this fall, Montana students will not be able to register for classes until they complete a sexual assault program. 
The "Haven" sexual assault program is a 40-minute long online course, much like the alcohol courses students already take.

Not sure that 40 minutes can really sufficiently cover the topics of consent and rape culture, especially considering that almost all students probably didn't get any education about those topics at all in their sex education classes. But it's a start. A depressing start, but a start.

I'd really like to know what the content of this course is. I hope someone posts it.

"What Rape Culture?"

[TRIGGER WARNING: RAPE, RAPE CULTURE]

After posting about Emma Sulkowicz on Tumblr (I'm on Tumblr a lot), I got a ton of people in my virtual face about how she texted him beforehand asking for sex, including saying "fuck me in the butt."

I especially enjoy the people spreading this blatant rape culture narrative while telling me that rape culture doesn't exist.

But really, it's incredibly fucked up that so many people don't understand the simple concept that consent can be revoked at any time. I don't care how many times she asked for sex. If she didn't want it at the moment the sexual contact occurred, it was rape. This is not a difficult concept.

And the even more insidious part is how people are claiming that, because she "seemed fine" and talked to him and asked for more sex from him after the assault. This is what's so fucking terrible about rape culture. People don't get how traumatizing rape is, and they certainly don't understand how trauma affects the human brain and behavior. Can't you take a second out of your desperation to pretend that rape doesn't happen to imagine the possibility that if something so awful happened to you, you might want to pretend that it didn't?

Or that, maybe, in a culture that says consent can't be revoked once given, you might think that you hadn't been raped? Or that no one would believe you if you said you were? Or a combination of all three?

This is why Emma is so important. Her situation is a perfect example of how rape culture operates. You have to be the perfect victim, because the second something comes out that gives people a reason not to believe you, they'll jump on it. Because people don't want to believe that something so terrible as rape culture exists. It's easier to believe that women lie about it.

This is the uphill battle we face. But if you actually do some research on how trauma works, and try to have a teeny bit of empathy, then you'll see that how Emma reacted makes a lot of sense. And if you're not a horrible person, you'll get it through your head that consent can be revoked.

Then maybe we can end rape culture.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Gif of the Day



I really want to see how this ends.

Dear Men

[TRIGGER WARNING: RAPE]




Immediately cease creating rape scenes in all forms of fiction wherein the victim is female. You have demonstrated yourselves to be massive failures when it comes to possessing the understanding and sensitivity to do it right.

Yes, I am talking about the recent Game of Thrones episode. No, I didn't see it. I can't watch shows like Game of Thrones, and THIS IS WHY.

I might even go so far as to say that all people who are not rape survivors should stop making rape scenes period. If you don't know how it feels to be a survivor in a world where rape is constantly thrown around as a fucking plot device, making practically all non-Disney channel television unsafe and reminding you that the rest of the world can look at rape as a handy way to develop the character of a dude who isn't even the victim or tell the audience "look, this guy is evil," then for the love of all that is and ever will be, DON'T. DO NOT. YOU WILL DO IT WRONG.



Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Gif of the Day

[TRIGGER WARNING: ALCOHOL]




Damn, that is a pretty good loop.

Emma Sulkowicz Graduates With Mattress

[TRIGGER WARNING: RAPE, RAPE CULTURE]

So Emma Sulkowicz, the incredible woman who started a movement after deciding to carry her mattress with her everywhere around campus after the University authorities dismissed her case against her rapist and forced her to either attend college with said rapist or drop out, just attended graduation. She carried her mattress up on stage with her and refused to shake hands with the University president.

I don't think I've written about Emma on here before, but that doesn't mean I haven't been aware of her. Sometimes I decline to write about certain topics because they're too upsetting to me. As inspiring as Emma is, I hate that she had to do any of this.

One thing I have to point out about all this is that her perpetually cry-whining rapist Paul Nungesser, in his suit claiming that her carrying her mattress around after he raped her is HARASSMENT (no seriously), said that he was afraid he and his parents wouldn't be able to attend graduation because she'd promised to bring the mattress. Pause for male tears gif.




Guess what? He attended graduation. But he probably didn't get as much applause as he wanted. Poor persecuted rapist :'(.

I hope he can't ever get a job.

Medical Misogyny

There's this thread going on Tumblr that has me completely horrified. It's a series of stories from women about how doctors ignored their serious medical problems because they were teens or younger at the time and said doctors assumed they were exaggerating. They all suffered unnecessarily, and many of them ended up becoming permanently disabled because of this neglect.

Many of these stories also start out with parents refusing to take their children seriously when they say they're in horrible pain. Assuming women and girls exaggerate or make up pain is a scientifically documented phenomenon, but when doctors do it, horrible things happen. From the doctor who translated the horrible pain of what turned out to be a constantly dislocating knee as "a twinge" to the parents who wouldn't take their 14-year-old to the doctor until she cried uncontrollable for two days straight with a 104 degree fever to the girl who almost died from kidney disease because the doctor dismissed her as "just being a teenager."

Then I made my own post about how horrified I am over these stories and people replied with more stories about the same kind of thing, one from an autistic person who was ignored because the high pitched voice, which was actually a symptom, combined with the autism made people think they were just whiny.

This is on top of all the doctors who have refused to treat fat people until they lose weight or just assume all problems are due to their weight, no matter how healthy they actually are.

It makes me wonder if the reason doctors had such a hard time diagnosing my own (thankfully temporary) serious medical issue is because they weren't listening to me, since I was a teen at the time. This is what happens in a culture where teen girls are constantly mocked and assumed to be lying and exaggerating and whining about everything. There are so many dangerous stereotypes about teen girls that are so harmful - they all seem to come down to not listening to and disbelieving them about their own lived experiences. Not only is this completely dehumanizing, doctors are apparently fucking a buttload of teen girls up because of this arrogant bullshit.

Honestly, I know a lot of people personally who have stories about how doctors have completely failed them. I think we tend to hold doctors up in this country as these brilliant, dedicated healers. I'm sure all those medical shows don't help. But in my experience and the experience of a ton of other people, doctors fucking suck. Can we talk about how doctors fucking suck? I'm sure it doesn't help that you need so much privilege in this country to be able to become a doctor at all thanks to fucking college costs.

This needs to be fixed. It's bad enough that you have to pay to see almost any doctor unless you go to one of those horrible free clinics. But then the doctor doesn't even help you? Just dismisses you as being whiny? This is a problem, people.

Look At This Awesome Thing: Beautiful-Mysterious Correlation

Someone sent this to me on Tumblr. It's fucking brilliant.


Click to Enlarge

This is from an online comic that I'm so sad I didn't know about before called Oglaf.com. Apparently it started out as an erotic comedy strip and still does a lot of sexy stuff so NSFW warning for the whole website.

But oh my god. "Within a three percent tolerance." Brilliance. Love it. Perfect. Thank you, Oglaf.com.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Gif of the Day


What is this magical kitten-spawning tube.

Activism Opportunity

You'll see a lot of calls for boycotts on certain products sold by companies that abuse their workers. Unfortunately, a lot of these boycotts are called for by people who are not the workers being abused and without input from these workers, which is a huge problem because when a big corporation starts losing money, the first thing they do is take it out on the workers. That means lower wages, even worse working conditions, and mass layoffs of people who desperately need any income they can get.

That's another example of why it's so important to actually listen to the people being oppressed rather than assuming you know what's best for them. Boycotts can be effective, but there are almost always short-term consequences for the workers at the bottom. That's why you should only participate in a boycott if the workers who will be affected by it call for the boycott themselves.

This is one of those times.

Alleging Labor Abuses, U.S. and Mexican Workers Call for Boycott of Driscoll’s Berries

Driscoll's is a huge berry brand. This kind of sucks, actually, because I buy Driscoll's all the time because they're often the only option or the only brand on sale. But I have the luxury of being able to give up strawberries and raspberries to support workers. If you also have that luxury, consider going and getting your berries from farmer's markets instead until these workers call for the boycott to end. It's been going on for a couple months now, but as far as I can tell with Google searches, it's still going. Spread the word.

Privilege in Action

[TRIGGER WARNING: SKINHEADS, GUN VIOLENCE]

Still having trouble with the concept of white privilege? It's your lucky day. A perfect example has popped up, courtesy of a bunch of white skinhead bikers.

White privilege means that no matter how crappy your life is in other aspects, if you and a bunch of your white biker friends have a shootout with another group of bikers that leaves nine dead, you can expect to be treated with gentle dignity by the cops.


Image of a tweet by @gregGQholmes

[Tweet text: No plastic god tied suspects, no tear gas, no paddy wagons, no beatings...OH WAIT...white bad guys #TwinPeaksShooting]


Look at those white criminals, sitting comfortably and safely while they wait to be taken straight to the police station without being injured.

The cops aren't even in riot gear even though they apparently knew this shit was going to go down.

192 people arrested. Zero suspects dead. Zero children pepper sprayed.

Do you get it yet???????????????

Morning Announcements

I'm feeling much better, except for being a bit annoyed at the fact that my country doesn't require employers to provide paid sick leave. And by "a bit annoyed," I of course mean "fuck capitalism."

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Gif of the Day



WhitePrivilege.gif

TEACUP PIG

Shit going down on Tumblr is mega stressing me out so THANK GOD FOR THIS MINI PIG PLAYING WITH A DOG.



AHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

Today in "It's About Fucking Time"

A.C.L.U., Citing Bias Against Women, Wants Inquiry Into Hollywood's Hiring Practices

Looks like we can thank Shit People Say to Women Directors for this. And people say online activism accomplishes nothing. Thanks, Tumblr.




People Literally Being Legally Sold in the US Yes Hi This is Happening

[TRIGGER WARNING: SLAVERY, RANK RACISM]

Wow hello there so I got to see a recent video of white men actually selling people of color at auction holy shit this is a real thing happening oh my god stop what you're doing and freak out about this right now please.

Outrageous Prison Scheme Allows Banks and Private Companies to Make Millions Exploiting Inmates and Their Families

There's some basic information for you there, and here's what I saw:

Immigrants For Sale

This is a 33-minute documentary. At 16:38 you can view the "Bill Clayton Detention Center Auction" and witness what appears to seriously be a modern-day version of slave auctions. It is so. fucked. up.

But hey when you're constantly dehumanizing undocumented immigrants by calling them "illegals" or, as one woman at the ironically-named South Carolina Freedom Summit said, "rats and roaches," what do you expect to happen?

Apparently you can expect slave auctions to happen. I know my shock right now is the shock of white privilege. Latin@s and undocumented immigrants probably already knew or at least wouldn't be very surprised. But for my fellow white people, freak out and get angry and make this shit stop. We need to spread this and start petitions and start shaming the fuck out of these horrible companies until it becomes a huge national issue. If we can do it with GMOs we can do it with the issue of people being sold into slavery at auctions, come on.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Gif of the Day


Need cute. This is cute.

Penguin chick means business.

Privilege Explained

Do you have any idea how many times I've tried to explain privilege to people? There are so many great explanations on privilege, concise and long, and yet on every single news article or Facebook post about racism or sexism or what have you, you can find the same assholes saying the same shit about "I don't have privilege! I was picked on in eighth grade and my uncle was kind of mean to me!"

So here's yet another thing you can link people to that gently explains privilege while the author takes responsibility for her own various forms of privilege (includes some ableist slurs):

About Privilege by Ijeoma Oluo.

Storify is neato. Thanks to a friend of mine who knows who she is for sending this my way.

RIP Grace Mann

[TRIGGER WARNING: BRUTAL MURDER INVOLVING ASPHYXIATION, POSSIBLE SEXUAL ASSAULT, DEATH THREATS, ONLINE HARASSMENT, RANK MISOGYNY]

IMPORTANT NOTE: One thing I failed to mention in this post that is very important is that Grace Mann was a lesbian woman. I also just found out that she was Jewish. Either one of these could have been a motivation for the murder, and most likely it was a combination of these and other things at work. However, leaving out her sexuality when I knew of it was a big no-no on my part, huge straight privilege fuck up, and I apologize.

I have a lot of feels about this one, readers. So many feels that I cannot yet express here, for multiple reasons.

I've been saying for a long time now that the harassment of feminists would lead to dead bodies. And now we're looking back upon this sequence of events:


  1. Feminists at the University of Mary Washington start complaining about gross sexism from the campus frats and the usual shit handling of sexual assault cases by said University.
  2. Members of the Feminists United Club start getting harassed online.
  3. Said feminists expose horrifically sexist and violent chant sung by the campus rugby team.
  4. University suspends the team.
  5. Harassment of feminists escalates, up to and including death threats aimed at specific women.
  6. One of the targets of said threats is murdered by a former rugby player.


Or the short version: Women speak up about sexism --> Men get mad --> University takes action --> Death threats --> Dead feminist.

There's not a whole lot of dots there, and they're real easy to connect. As someone close to me said, "This puzzle activity suitable for ages 3 and up."

I knew that women would soon start dying like this. As I've said in many arguments with anti-feminists and generally misogynists about online harassment and threats, how many women have to die before this becomes a big enough deal? They always say that oh, lots of people get threatened online, these threats aren't credible, women just have to develop a thicker skin, why are you complaining, nothing's going to happen. They quote police (LOL) saying that online threats of mass murder against people who attend a feminist speaking event aren't "credible." How exactly can you possibly know until it happens?

A threat like that is credible at the exact moment that the gun is fired. So, I ask you, how many women have to die after being threatened online before these kinds of threats will be considered "credible," will be considered something worth worrying about, something to be taken seriously, based on the dangerously high standards of these individual anti-feminists? Give me a number. How long does the list have to get before our concern over death threats is no longer irrational whining and attention-seeking? Though I'm sure the list is much longer, we can say for sure that it looks like this:

  1. Grace Mann

How much longer does it need to get, hmm? How? Much? Longer?

I don't fear for myself. I still have that nice defensive "it will never happen to me" thing going on in my brain. But I hate that little look of concern I see in the eyes of my loved ones when I tell them about things like this. When I talk about horrible cases of online harassment that drive feminists from their homes, that ruin careers and lives, and now, this murder. And I hate even more that I have to worry for them, because they could become targets simply for their association with me.

And I hate that the chorus of voices will continue - the one that tells me to grow a thicker skin when Grace Mann is dead in her's. I wish I could grow the thickest skin, so that no blade or bullet or rope or plastic bag could hurt me. I with I could be The Thing. I would be The Feminist Thing and I would track down online harassers and hold them up by their feet and read them bell hooks essays until they begged for forgiveness. But I'm not. I'm no stronger or safer than Grace Mann was.

But I will keep going. I'll be going all the harder with her name in my mind. I'll do all I can to make up for this loss, as she was a very active and outspoken feminist. And if I ever become a hashtag, I expect my friends, family, and fellow feminists to dig up this post and shove it in everyone's face.

Rest in peace, Grace Mann. I will do my best to carry on your work. You are an inspiration to me.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Gif of the Day



Is this why so many of my generation have anxiety issues?

How to Ally

[TRIGGER WARNING: EMOTIONAL ABUSE, EMOTIONAL BLACKMAIL, SUICIDAL IDEATION]

In the wake of Joss Whedon's massive ally fail, a friend of mine sent me a piece by a man called "Confessions Of A Former Misogynist." The piece is an in-depth examination of the guy's former thought processes that led him to become a "proud misogynist" and the selfishness and lack of empathy that caused him to blame women for his suffering, abuse the women he went out with, and come to generally hate women as a whole.

He then explained how he had a revelation one day when he decided to evaluate why he was so angry with a woman he'd had unprotected sex with and subsequently told her that she was not allowed to have a child if she were to become pregnant from it.

I’d write down why I thought I was angry a few days ago – lists of statements such as ‘she overreacted,’ ‘she’s being arrogant, selfish and hypocritical.’ Then I looked at each one individually and asked myself what had actually happened. What was the truth? Without the shield of irrational anger, I began to realise that half of what was on the list wasn’t even true, and the stuff that was true couldn’t in anyway justify that level of anger and hatred.

This simple step led him to continue to self-analyze and begin to listen to the people who challenged him on his views.

At that moment, this man was in the very beginning steps of acting as an ally. Acting as an ally is both simple and not, a constant process you slip in and out of, and the basis of that process is self-examination and self-awareness. You must practice constant self-awareness of your thought processes. You must be willing to catch and dissect thoughts, reactions, and emotions.

This process is hard because it necessitates coming to terms with your own flaws. It's easy to blame others for your personal misery*, it's hard to admit that your misery is a result of narcissism and lack of human empathy. It's hard to admit that you're actually the bad guy. But you have to if you ever want to act as an ally.

[*NOTE: "Personal misery" in this case is meant to refer to individual personal problems, as distinct from widespread systemic oppression. The problems faced by oppressed groups as a whole are absolutely caused by their oppressors, something which can actually be very hard to come to terms with for the oppressed.]

Part of the key to this process for "Ben" was that there were people around him who would challenge him, including his friends. He speculates in the piece how, if he'd had access to the Internet at the time and all the websites and message boards populated by MRAs, PUAs, and other virulent misogynists, he probably wouldn't have had this turning point and never would have left behind his overt hatred of women. And he's probably right.

This is a huge problem. It's a problem for women in obvious ways that I've already talked about plenty. How many more women would Ben have emotionally blackmailed and abused if he'd never started that self-examination process? But I also want to take a rare moment to address how much this hurts men. Ben, as a heterosexual man, couldn't have a meaningful, healthy relationship with a woman while he hated women. Furthermore, as a person, it was impossible for Ben to become an emotionally healthy and happy human being while lacking self-awareness and the ability to self-reflect. Being aware of and understanding your own emotions, thought processes, triggers, and limitations is essential for psychological health.

Hence why MRAs are so clearly unhappy people.

MRA groups are terrible for women and terrible for humanity as a whole. They advocate for so many things that have been identified by psychologists as unhealthy. Projection, lack of empathy, external locus of control, manipulation, abuse, etc. They're basically an abscess - a dangerous sign of a bad infection. Cut it the fuck out of society.

I appreciate how Ben ends this piece, by explaining that it's not meant to elicit praise for himself (cookie-fishing) but to urge his fellow men to examine their own thought processes and "challenge themselves" rather than being swept along by their irrational anger towards women. This is an important ally action. Privileged people must speak to their fellow privileged people and push them to do better for the people whose oppression they benefit from.

Lolz

Image of a man kneeling next to a cop car with tape over the T and the leg of the R in "STATE TROOPER" so that it says "STATE POOPER"

I actually laughed by ass off at this. That is the kind of sense of humor your blog mistress is employing.

Heheheheheheh pooper.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Gif of the Day



Me, all day, every day.

Joss Whedon: King of the Bad Allies

I grew up watching Buffy and have always loved it, and loved the fact that it was girls who were the super heroes, exclusively. Only girls could be slayers. I love the character Buffy and her incredible strength and perfect snark. She will always be my favorite super hero.

And for a long time, I loved Joss Whedon for creating her. And later for calling himself a feminist.

My first raised eyebrow in his general direction was when I learned that Dawn, a character that I disliked for the fact that she was constantly portrayed as weak and frequently damseled until the end of the Evil Willow season, was created specifically because Joss thought a show needed a girl who could be damseled, and Willow was no longer weak enough to fulfill that role.


Eye roll gif


Gross.

Then there was his weird speech on feminism and his assertion that it needed to be renamed, or something. That was like a slap in the face.

I haven't watched the Marvel movies much, but I understand that there is exactly one female Avenger, Black Widow. Joss Whedon's characterization of this token woman has drawn a lot of criticism from feminists (actual feminists, meaning women). His reaction exposes the true nature of so, so, so many self-proclaimed male allies who are faced with criticism. The ally facade crumbles to expose the core of just another selfish misogynist.

Do I think that Joss Whedon is more of a misogynist than most other men? No. Just as I believe that all white people, including myself, are at least subconsciously racist, I believe all men carry underlying misogynistic attitudes. Joss is misogynistic because he is a man, but if he wants to act as an ally, he needs to actively fight against his subconscious misogyny. The only way to do that is to listen to own up to it and listen to women when they call you out. Joss did the opposite.

He literally used the phrase "militant feminists," a term that has absolutely no meaning as there are no groups of armed, militarized feminists. Saying shit like that makes him indistinguishable from all the MRAs, anti-feminists, and run-of-the-mill blatant misogynists who have used that exact phrase to conjure an image of scary straw feminists out to steal your manhood. At gunpoint, apparently.


Eye roll gif


Do I think that Joss gets more criticism because he's in the public eye? Of course he does. He's making the shows and movies that contain representations of women. And with great power comes great responsibility, right Joss? You're privileged enough to be a writer/director of huge movie franchises that are making you millions to add to your pile of millions. Use that privilege to help people that you claim to want to help and stop fucking whining.

Do I think women, particularly feminists, are hyper-sensitive about portrayals of women in media? Of-fucking-course we are, and we damn well should be. There's one woman Avenger and therefore you get one shot at making a decent female representative. If there were an Avengers team with, say, 50% women, we wouldn't be making such a big deal about Black Widow. That just makes sense. Plus, we're hyper-sensitive because we've been through movie after movie after movie with misogynistic portrayals of women who are nothing but plot devices to drive men, whether as damsels or objects of desire, who have no real lives or ambitions of their own. And we're fucking sick to death of it. So yeah, we get really pissed when someone who claimed to be different pulls the same shit as every other shit male director out there. Wouldn't you?

For fuck's sake, put yourself in our shoes for two seconds. You get so upset when men are portrayed as bumbling doofuses in cleaning product commercials, but you don't get why we're mad about Black Widow? Typical.

Joss Whedon didn't quit Twitter because of feminists being mean to him. He said that himself. But his whining about "militant feminists" and "feminists attacking other feminists" (by "other feminists," I assume he means himself) exposes him as just another whiny fake ally who refuses to listen to the people he claims to be an ally of and wilts when he's called out, trying to make himself into a victim and going "why can't we all just get along!" when he means "why can't you just never criticize me ever!" He's no ally. And if he was only acting as an ally for praise, then he never was.

So bye, Joss, don't let the mean Twitter feminists kick you in the ass on the way out.


Animated gif of a woman waving and mouthing "bye bye!"

Recommended Reading

I found this totally raw and unpolished but extremely important (much like my entire blog) piece on Tumblr about the realities of being homeless. I'm pretty sure that if you've never been homeless, you can't imagine what it's like. I know I can't. Though I try to do my best to have empathy and compassion for them, I know I still lack understanding of their situation. This Tumblr post explained some things that I never knew about how difficult it is to be homeless, and certainly blows to "just work hard/just get a job" arguments out of the water.

This is just the beginning:

the funny thing abt being homeless is that you can have an income, score temp jobs, make money and still be stuck as fuck in homelessness. its hard to rent an apartment or get consistent income (or a job with health benefits) when you have spotty, erratic work history and big gaping holes in your renter history. they can figure out churches you use for addresses, like. its not that hard to tell on an application that something’s up. 
basically, ive found, the whole “work real hard!!!” mindset is too emphasized by people who arent homeless and have no idea how things work. BEING HOMELESS IS YOUR JOB. being homeless is work, yall, i swear to you. finding resources is work and after a couple years you could sell sweatbands to a shoe salesman. its a trauma of powerlessness, you have to read people, you have to lie and you have to know who to be genuine to at the right time when you want to spit back at the world thats shitting and pissing all over you.

"Being homeless is your job." I'd never thought of it that way. This is so important.

Please read the whole thing by Oriedes.

Best Thing Ever

[TRIGGER WARNING: MISGENDERING, TRANSMISOGYNY]

I 100% support this black trans woman beating up a white cis dude who called her a man.

I can't embed the video but you can see it here on the Fierce Trans Girls Tumblr blog.

She throws that shit-eating asshole on the ground and kicks the smirk off his face. Fuck yes.

If you're going to come to me with some "violence never solves anything" bullshit, don't bother. I support this violence against a cis man who committed a horrible act of verbal and emotional violence against a trans woman. She was standing up for herself. As far as I'm concerned, this was self-defense. Fuck that guy. Support all trans women forever.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Gif of the Day


My friends are the best people.

Look At This Awesome Thing: Black-Inspired Sculpture

Tired of seeing sculptures of white people? You should be! Thank fuck for Mark Newman.


Fucking perfect.

Warning: Truth Bomb


Animated gif of a woman throwing up her hands and saying "What? BOOM!"

#HowToSpotAFeminist: What Are Anti-Feminists Even Trying to Do?

I'm starting to wonder if anti-feminist trolls have been infiltrated by a secret force of hacker feminists, because seriously, this shit always blows up in their faces.

I know that trolls on 8chan and whatever plan out these hashtags to upset feminists, and I've seen them claim that they knew feminists would reclaim the hashtags and did it because they thought it was funny to get feminists all upset, but this has happened so many times already and every time it does it only inspires us and also is awesome. Like, seeing feminists reclaim the hashtag and then having articles pop up about the gloriousness of the takeover is wonderful and empowering. And then we get all this support from people who are like "it's horrible that sexism like this still exists!" and vowing to support feminism in the face of gross anti-feminist nonsense.

Honestly, for feminists it's like five seconds of outrage and then an entire day of beautiful snark followed by support and everyone talking about how fucking awesome feminism is and how shitty and worthless anti-feminists are. Your "trolling" is like a refreshing breeze, like an oasis in a hot desert. It's invigorating, like a feminist holiday. Probably the best day out of any month, since this shit seems to happen every other month.

I seriously just don't get what anti-feminists/trolls think they're going to get out of it unless they're secretly feminists.

I mean.


Thanks for softballing that one to us, guys.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Gif of the Day


Cat principle: Do not put up with shit from ANYONE. Including bears.

Live By Cat Principles

A lot of people say that they'd love to be a cat, since you get to spend all day sleeping, getting pet and chasing bugs and you never have to worry about bills. While we can't be cats unless reincarnation is real and we're really, really good people in this life, we can still live by the Principles of the Cat.


This comic was made by Lilac Pirate Bun on their awesome Tumblr account. I don't want to repost the whole thing because you should have to visit their blog to see it, but I will post my favorite part:



Yessssss. Be like a cat. Do not tolerate unwanted touching, especially if they continue to violate your boundaries after you have made it clear that they need to stop.

Teacher Appreciation Day

It never fails to astonish me that so many people think that teachers don't have to work very hard. I don't know how or when they think that homework gets graded or lessons get planned. I don't know why they think it wouldn't be incredibly difficult to care for and direct and practically raise a classroom of 30+ kids (which is how it is in the US these days), all of whom hate school because our education system is a complete mess.

I can't imagine doing that. Can you?

Here's the reality. The vast majority of teachers work over 40 hours per week. Most of them work 50-60. Some work up to 80 hours per week, doing much of their work at home.

They don't get paid for this extra time. They are paid for 40 hours per week. No overtime for salaried teachers. And if the average salary for K-12 teachers is $40-50 thousand per year and you work 80 hours per week only getting paid for half that time, it's like they're getting $20-25 thousand per year.

Yeah.

Teachers nearly always get brought up in the gender wage gap arguments I have with the misogynists who dedicate so much of their time and energy to going around trying to convince people it doesn't exist. Teachers nearly always wind up in their list of female-dominated professions which don't require a lot of hard work and somehow aren't as important as construction workers (????).

We already know that male teachers in all grade groups get paid more than female teachers. But did you know that in post-secondary education, where the instructors are much more likely to be male, they generally work fewer hours?

Bring out the chart!

Click to Enlarge

Interesting. So college instructors work less than 50 hours per week on average with adults who know how to behave themselves, and elementary and secondary school teachers work around 60. Meaning the mostly women teachers are working significantly harder but are still paid less.

Whoops you have no legs to stand on.

We owe it to our mostly-female teachers to overhaul the education system in this country. They deserve so much better, as do the kids they're trying desperately to hand a decent education under mountains of stress, lacking resources, and increasing pressure to teach to shitty, worthless standardized tests that are so hard on kids that they're just straight up puking on the test booklets.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Gif of the Day



I love this man.

Okay Wow So Not Even Sort of Pretending Anymore

So as I've said before, I support Palestine because I'm against genocide. Then there are people who are like "it's not genocide, Israel is just protecting itself from terrorists!"

Yeah, you can't say that anymore.

Israeli soldiers ordered to kill civilians in Gaza, says Breaking the Silence

Israeli soldiers were under orders to shoot civilians dead while attacking Gaza last summer, according to testimonies published today by the group Breaking the Silence. 
The testimonies, which include several interviews with mid-ranking Israeli military figures, highlight the extreme cruelty demonstrated during the 51-day offensive. 
Some testimonies claim that Israeli soldiers were told that everything in Gaza was a “threat” and that they may use as much ammunition as they wished.  
More than 2,200 Palestinians – mostly civilians – were killed in the offensive, according to the United Nations monitoring group OCHA.

Yeah. They're not going to stop until every Palestinian is dead or displaced. This is the truth. If you're pro-Israel, you're pro-genocide. That includes you, Hilary Clinton.

US Anti-Black Racism Update

[TRIGGER WARNING: RACISM, IMAGE OF POLICE BRUTALITY]

Let's talk about some of the fuckery that's been going on in Baltimore. And by "fuckery" I mean police brutality and the criminalization of black people protesting.

Teen faces higher bail than Baltimore cops accused of murder.

This teen turned himself in at the urging of his parents for breaking some windows, and his bail is $500,000 somehow, while the bail of the cops charged with straight up murder ranges from $250,000 to $350,000.

"Justice."

They did lift the curfew in Baltimore, but not before this happened:





Not really surprised.

Meanwhile:




Just look at that smile.

There are reports today of another black man being shot by police in Baltimore, though police are denying this (as though they deserve our trust). However, actual Fox News reporters say they witnessed it, and if they're not siding with the police on this, then it must have happened. I mean.

And there's like a million other things. Follow black Twitter.