Monday, February 29, 2016

Gif of the Day

RIP to one of the more amusing celebrity jokes around.

U.S. Cops Just Love the KKK


There was apparently a fight in Anaheim yesterday between KKK members at a planned KKK rally and counter protesters. At least part of the fighting was caught on video, and there were multiple stabbings involved. Blood can be seen on the sidewalk and what appears to be an exposed knife wound near the end of the video I saw. It's clear that the fighting was mutual, and one of the counter protesters claimed that the KKK started it, stabbing the anti-KKK people right out.

The video shows people from both sides being arrested, but apparently, the only people actually being charged for assault and similar crimes are the counter-protesters. One KKK member was arrested and given a bail amount of $25,000, but has since been released without charges.

Look who got charged (and who didn’t) after the KKK brawl in Anaheim

It's also weird that there was no police presence in the first place at this planned KKK rally. Normally, the police attend and set up a barrier between the white supremacists and counter protesters. Maybe they figured if they were there, it would have made it harder to only charge counter protesters with crimes and let the KKK members off the hook.

Fuck the KKK-loving, white supremacist police.

Oscars 2016

I'm not personally interested in award shows beyond their failure to recognize people of color, but apparently this year's Oscars was quite the show.

I've heard, er, mixed reviews about Chris Rock's comments during his hosting of the show, but what I didn't hear about until today was the fact that Lady Gaga's performance was dedicated to supporting survivors of sexual assault and promoting awareness of the issue and a program dedicated to changing the conversation around sexual assault.

Lady Gaga's emotional performance of "Till It Happens To You" at the Oscars hit a high note near the end, when a group of 50 sexual assault survivors walked on stage and stood defiantly as the cameras zoomed in to show they had messages written on their arms, including "Not Your Fault" and "It Happened To Me."

I've heard mixed reviews of Lady Gaga herself in terms of racism, but the fact that this was an approved part of the Oscars surprised me. I feel like I really needed to see something like this to affirm that what I and so many other feminist do is having an impact and that things might actually be getting better.

And apparently Joe Biden was there?

Vice President Joe Biden appeared on stage Sunday to introduce Lady Gaga and ask people to take the "It's On Us" pledge to end sexual assault and intervene in potentially dangerous situations. 
"I'm asking you to join millions of Americans, including me, President Obama, the thousands of students I've met on college campuses, and the artists I've met here tonight to take the pledge," Biden said, "A pledge that says, 'I will intervene in situations when consent has not or cannot be given.' Let's change the culture. We must change the culture, so that no abused women or man, like the survivors you will see tonight, ever feel they have to ask themselves, 'What did I do?' They did nothing wrong."

Well said, Joe. This is exactly what's needed. Direct bystander intervention is one of the keys to dismantling rape culture.

And the group of sexual assault survivors brought onto the stage was apparently quite diverse, with women, men, and non-binary persons from a variety of different races and cultures. Huffington Post has a list of each participant with a little background on each.

Black History Month

For the last and extra day of Black History Month, I have an extra awesome person to share with all of you.

Black, queer, feminist, erased from history: Meet the most important legal scholar you’ve likely never heard of

Dr. Pauli Murray. The article (written by the wonderful Brittney Cooper) refers to Dr. Murray as a woman and "she," however, it seems clear that Murray was gender non-comforming and very likely a trans man without the language to define that identity.

But it is not just racism and sexism that shaped her experiences as an attorney, activist and civil rights leader in the early to mid-20th century. Pauli Murray was a gender nonconforming person, who favored a masculine-of-center gender performance during her 20s and 30s. She struggled both with her sense of gender identity and with her sexual attraction to women. She asked doctors to administer male hormones to her in the 1930s, and tried to convince one doctor to perform exploratory surgery to see if she had “secreted male genitals.”

Out of caution, I'm going to refer to Dr. Murray as the gender neutral "they."

Black, assigned female at birth, attracted to women, and trans, Dr. Murray graduated from Harvard Law as valedictorian in 1944 in spite of all the massive discrimination and obstacles they must have faced while being black, perceived as a woman, and not cishet.

Dr. Murray was the person who coined the term "Jane Crow" to describe their experiences as a target of both racial and gender discrimination. They were possibly the first to argue that the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the constitution should be extended to cases of gender discrimination as well as racial.

Murray’s argument constituted what legal historian Serena Mayeri termed “reasoning from race,” in which race analogies were used to make clear the subordinate status of women. Though today we speak of these matters in the language of intersections, a term gleaned from legal scholar KimberlĂ© Crenshaw, it is Pauli Murray’s initial invocation of the race-sex analogy for black women’s positionality within the law that is the most direct precursor to Crenshaw’s theory of intersectionality.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg also recently gave Dr. Murray a lot of credit for the first Supreme Court case in which the 14th Amendment was interpreted to include gender discrimination, resulting in a ruling in favor of a woman in spite of an old, misogynistic Idaho law that blatantly stated, "males must be preferred to females." Ginsberg voted in favor of the woman and credited Dr. Murray as a co-author of her brief.

Dr. Murray had many more accomplishments under their belt, according to Cooper, yet is oddly not well known except in specific academic circles. Gee, I wonder why-

Thanks, Keenan. You're right.

And thank you, Dr. Murray, for being amazing.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Gif of the Day

Omg it tries to eat the fish.

Black History Month

Did you know that in 1936 Berlin, also known as Nazi Germany, there were 18 black athletes on the U.S. Olympic group at the games that were hold there that year? Do you have any idea how badass you'd have to be to do that?

People often remember the 1936 Olympics in Berlin for track and field legend Jesse Owens taking home four gold medals, essentially triumphing over Adolf Hitler's hateful ideologies in his own backyard. At the time, Americans considered Owens to be representative of how the mighty U.S.A. was superior to Hitler and Germany. 
But Owens was just one of 18 black athletes on the U.S. Olympic team brave enough to attend the games in Nazi Germany. This summer marks the 80th anniversary of those games, and the athletes' accomplishments are perhaps even more significant all these years later.

This article has descriptions on the other 17 athletes who kicked ass in the face of extremely racist and xenophobic Nazi crap, not to mention U.S. Jim Crow laws. It's an awesome list.

Jesse Owens Was Brave. So Were These 17 Other Black Olympians.

Also, there's apparently going to be a documentary on this awesomeness out later this year. Both about these men's accomplishments and shit like the fact that Roosevelt still wouldn't invite Owens to the White House.

Response to Yelp Employee Letter is a Study in Privilege

You've probably heard about the Yelp/Eat24 employee who wrote an open letter to the company CEO about her struggle to survive on her paltry wage in the San Francisco Bay area and got fired for it hours later. You've probably already seen a lot of speculation on the implications of her letter and the subsequent firing. Is she just an entitled millennial or is Yelp a corporate monster that feeds off of the souls of low-level employees to keep its shitty review company going?

I for one have seen a lot of eye rolling and pontificating about millennial entitlement. This is nothing new. Older generations need no excuse to call my generation a bunch of entitled brats who need to shut up and start buying cars and houses, or whatever. I wasn't really interested in reading more of these out-of-touch musings of mostly upper-middle class white men. But then I came across another open letter from someone only two years my senior, this one to "Millennials like Talia..."

Despite it being grossly condescending, I read the entire thing out of a fascination over how someone could be so oblivious to their own privilege. And somehow, this 29-year-old woman's open letter to Talia was re-published in Business Insider and getting a lot of attention despite the fact that it blatantly missed so many plainly-stated points.

Allow me to demonstrate.

The first giant red flag of privilege denial came early in the telling of Stephanie Williams' story. She discusses how she was "let go" from an office job at the dawn of the Great Recession, when everything was coming crashing down. Woe was her, as on that fateful Halloween, she wandered into a bar being tended by a family friend, looking for comfort. Instead, she got an interview for a job as a hostess and landed the job after one interview.

Huh. A white woman getting a job via someone her family was connected to. Isn't there a word for having connections like that in the job world? What is it again?

The next flag was even worse. Williams talks about making little money, only being able to work two days a week, and being unsuccessful at finding any other paid work. How on Earth did she survive? Oh, here we go:

Nine months later, after living at home with my mom and commuting on the LIRR each day to stand at a hostess desk and bring patrons to their tables...

I repeat, " at home with my mom..."

Wasn't there something in Talia's open letter about her family situation?

I also desperately needed to leave where I was living — I could get into the details of why, but to sum up: I wanted to die every single day of my life and it took me several years to realize it was because of the environment I was in. So, I picked the next best place: somewhere close to my dad, since we’ve never gotten to have much of a relationship and I like the weather up here.

This was right after college. Now, I may be speculating here, but being in an environment for several years when she's only 25 makes me think that this was likely family. And wanting to die every single day of one's life certainly points to an unsustainable situation. I'm guessing if Williams read this and decided to still berate Talia for choosing not to live with her parents, she's probably never been in an abusive environment that made her suicidal. That's privilege #2.

Williams then goes on to complain about how hard it was to suffer the embarrassment of being seen as a lowly hostess and later waitress by former classmates and friends who had "good" jobs that she speculates they really hated. How she cried because of the humiliation of "cleaning the plates of people I went to high school with."

This is a weird side-topic for an article that's supposed to be addressing Talia. Because Talia didn't complain about the indignity of her job. She complained about eating nothing but rice and company snacks because she couldn't afford groceries. She complained about waking up from hunger pangs and having to take the $6 she didn't have from a CVS employee because she needed it to pay for the train ride to get to work at all.

Williams doesn't mention any experiences like that. Instead, after saying she "paid her dues" (while living with her mother and probably eating plenty well) and mocking her former classmates for being addicted to coke (wow), she doubles down on her privileged obliviousness by saying "I did what I had to do in order to survive, with the help of my family."

Yes, with the help of your family. That's the key. Talia clearly did not have family that could or wanted to help her much. Or maybe they would have, but with conditions that abusive families always hold over you when you have to crawl back to them for help. She does seem to have a father, but isn't close to him, and probably hesitant to ask for help because it's very difficult to make yourself vulnerable like that to family when the rest of your family makes you want to die every day you're around them.

I don't think Williams quite understands that.

Williams then moves on to lambasting Talia for not looking for other/better jobs (despite having just said that she herself was unable to find other jobs while working as a hostess) and not moving in with "several" (yes, several) roommates to cut costs. Yes, Talia, just break your lease. Or invite several people to room with you in a single apartment.  Nevermind the fact that she emphasized that she was "firmly stuck" in that apartment. Nevermind that apartments have limits on how many people can occupy them per bedroom. My guess is that Williams has never been faced with the prospect of having to break a lease due to financial problems and the fees and hits to credit scores that come along with it. You can't just move out of an apartment.

And the whole "just get a better job" thing - are you 29 or 59? Not only is it still difficult to get any kind of new job in many areas of the country, it's even more difficult when you're so nutrition deficient that you collapse in bed as soon as you get home. I'm guessing that Williams is unaware of the effects of chronic hunger, like fatigue, brain fog, and depression.

Not only that, I know from experience what it's like to work at a call center. I worked in one. The emotional labor is staggering. Imagine if every one of your bar patrons came in angry about some problem the bar had caused and expected you to fix it, and often blamed you if the problem couldn't be fixed immediately to their exact expectations. Also, imagine if every one of your conversations with a customer was recorded to be reviewed later by a supervisor. Yeah. There's no energy left to send out resumes that are 90% likely to go straight in the trash.

Williams suggests that Talia should have taken a job at Starbucks, or a restaurant, or a fast food joint, because these places don't totally also pay pitiful wages. Even though Williams just finished telling the story about how her starting restaurant wage and starting schedule netted her only $168 per week. But she was able to survive off of that! How was that again? Oh yeah, she lived with her mother, who was apparently not abusive enough to make her want to die.

It's amazing to me how easily Williams is able to conveniently forget just the right parts of Talia's letter to allow her to make her point. She repeatedly claims that Talia refused to look for other jobs, not because they would have been no better, and not because piling on extra work would have been impossible considering Talia's already exhausted state, not because it was futile, but because clearly this "entitled millennial" thought she was too good to lower herself to the level of a pitiful restaurant job.

You're projecting, Williams. Talia never once mentioned feeling that restaurant or fast food jobs were embarrassing. You were the one embarrassed by your job. You somehow conveniently ignored the fact that a restaurant job wouldn't have helped because there's no chance they would have paid any better. You ignored the long section of Talia's letter explaining how she ate or just somehow were unable to make the connection between food and energy and/or energy and looking for jobs. You ignored the other long section where Talia explained how her coworkers were clearly just as desperate. Hungry, homeless, writing messages on company white boards begging for help. And somehow, you forgot that you yourself couldn't find another job even though you'd just written about that fact.

And you know what else? Getting a job at a call center like that is easy. They throw bodies at those phones. I was hired directly after my interview at the Nintendo of America call center and I've never seen a crowd of misfits and weirdos quite like that training group. One guy had been essentially homeless for years, couch-surfing at friend's places and taking odd jobs. He'd been hired and let go at Nintendo several times already. There was another who got so thin I seriously considered asking him if he needed help before he disappeared.

Starbucks? I couldn't get them to call me back. You think you can just get a job at Starbucks? Or any restaurant? Even fast food places can be hard to get into still. And if you don't have a completely open schedule for them to work with? Ha! Did you ever try to get a second food service job, Williams? It's impossible. But you didn't have to, did you?

What else? Williams hits Talia for a supposed Instagram photo of an expensive bottle of Bourbon. Because having one expensive thing ever as a poor person immediately proves you're not really poor, right? There's no chance that was a gift. Nobody ever gives alcohol as a gift as far as I know.

She also assumes Talia has a nice laptop for some reason. No evidence to support this, just assuming! And there's a whole separate issue of insinuating that Talia doesn't have the right to complain because she doesn't live in "third world" poverty and isn't coping with "post Haitian earthquake style hard times" (yikesville).

But the most fascinating thing about Williams' letter is how she's able to completely miss her many privileges - having a supportive family, getting an in from a family friend, being thin and attractive enough to get hired as a hostess at all, etc. - as well as conveniently ignore half of what Talia says to twist her call for help/economic justice into a whiny product of entitlement and elitism. When in fact, Williams is the one who felt like she was too good for her restaurant job, and Talia never mentioned feeling above that kind of work.

It's a study in both privilege and projection/mental gymnastics. Williams saw what she wanted to see in Talia's letter, wrote it down, and appealed to all the other people who wanted to see Talia's letter as "millennial entitlement."

Is Talia entitled? Yes. She's entitled to a living wage, real food, affordable shelter, and a little sympathy from those who've clearly had it easier than she has. That's all she's asking for. This has nothing to do with her work ethic (which is clearly stellar if she'd survived in a situation like that for any length of time) or her feeling "embarrassed" by other undervalued jobs. That's your issue, Williams. If you can't understand that other people have other issues, then maybe keep your mouth shut.

Summary of Last Night's GOP Debate

Click to Enlarge

Not pictured: Ben Carson feeling sad.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Gif of the Day

I'm not that much of a Star Trek fan but I enjoyed TNG and this gif is everything.

Why Can't Candidates Not Treat Black People Like Shit?


I'm having trouble understanding this constant inability of any presidential candidate, including Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, to not treat Black Lives Matter protesters like shit. It seems like every time, they're met with annoyance, condescension, or at best, avoidance. I guess I get that having your speech interrupted could be stressful, but you'd think by now they'd be prepared for it and would be able to address it without being assholes.

The latest gross response to a Black Lives Matter protester, who payed $1,000 to get herself and the camera person into a small event and have access to the candidate, was of course, Hillary.

I absolutely hate how Hillary responds to this woman. She seems like she begins to sort of respond, saying, "There's a lot of issues in this campaign. The very first speech that I gave, back in April, was about criminal justice reform..." At this point, the protester interrupts her, saying "you called black people predators."

I'm guessing that this interruption happened because the young woman could see that Hillary was just going to go into her record of talking about or supporting criminal justice reform without addressing the actual issue the black woman is talking about, which is that Hillary Clinton called black youth in the criminal justice system "super predators" and said "we have to bring them to heel" back in the 90's. Yikes.

Before Hillary starts going into some self-serving speech about how she's totally pro-non-specific reform, she once again does the "can I talk?" thing. After the young black woman asks Hillary to apologize, Hillary says, "Well, can I talk? Maybe then you'll listen to what I have to say."

Here's the thing, Hillary. You've been talking. All you do is talk. You talk and talk and talk and then you act like having to listen to this protester for 10 seconds is outrageous. And you put your hand out in that "stop talking" way. Has no one explained to you how silencing and failing to listen to black people is a huge part of your problem?

Hillary also fails to tell the people booing and hissing and jeering this black woman to stop and let her speak. Why don't politicians do that? This woman came forward to address a serious issue that people have already been talking about for weeks now and Hillary lets her followers do the same thing that she herself seems so offended by. I want to see one politician who lets a marginalized protester speak, who gives them the space to speak and protects them from assholes in the crowd. Is that hard?

And then after the young black woman interrupts Hillary in the middle of her stump speech about criminal justice reform, her reaction is so condescending. Her body language, facial expression, and words are contemptuous. Looking down on her with that condescending expression and more flippant "can I talk?" and then when the black woman keeps talking, does that fake composed "oh I'm standing here listening but clearly barely able to keep myself from yelling at you" pose.

And here's the thing. This protester can't just stand there and wait for Hillary to maybe at some point address the specific issue that she brought up. Because some white dude in a suit has already approached her to tap her shoulder and lean in and say something quietly, almost certainly trying to make her leave. 40 seconds later (literally) a Secret Service agent comes up, puts his arm around her waist and then shoulders and pretty much forces her out.

And Hillary Clinton does nothing to stop that, either.

So are we supposed to expect that if she had let you talk, Hillary, you would have gotten to a real answer or apology in less than a minute before she was forced out? She interrupted you because she knew she had precious little time before that happened and you wouldn't have to answer for anything.

It wouldn't be hard for a candidate to show that they actually care about the Black Lives Matter movement and, you know, black lives. When the interruption happens, don't act all indignant like you don't have it coming. Stop, let the individual speak, tell your booing hissing asshole white crowd nodders to shut up, then actually apologize. Would it really be that bad for you to just say, "Yeah I was wrong about that, I shouldn't have said it, it was racist and I apologize"? It's not like Hillary hasn't changed her mind on other things. That's her definition of "progressive," after all.

It was fucked up what she said back in the 90's. It was and is fucked up how she supported and contributed to the mass incarceration that has destroyed generations of black people. And it's fucked up to refuse to directly address that indisputable fact and apologize.

Bernie Sanders hasn't been great about this either, but he's been better than Hillary. I just can't respect a candidate who shows such contempt for black people who aren't there to lick her boots. And I don't understand why it's so impossible for her and so many other politicians to be decent to black people who are unapologetic about their attempts to stop local and federal governments from systematically murdering them for being black.

Black History Month

It's time for some local black history. Seattle has had a racism problem for, well, the exact amount of time the city has been in existence. In particular, gentrification and housing discrimination has been an ongoing problem that pops up every few years when one part of the city starts becoming popular.

Racial housing discrimination was legal in Seattle until 1968, four years after the passing of the Civil Rights Act. There were many protests, sit-ins, the ousting of the pro-open housing mayor, the kind of fretting about constitutional rights to racism and fear of giving up privilege we still see today, etc.

The four women/girls above participating in a sit-in to protest the fact that the city's Human Rights Commission only included two black people out of 12. I'm guessing the rest were white. The women's names are, from left to right, Delores Hall, 18; Jackie Ellis, 11; Infanta Spence, 20; and Susan Van Dong, 20. I love it. They just sat themselves in front of the commission and refused to move. We need more action like this.

You can read more about it on the Seattlish blog, which I'm beginning to love.

A Whole New Level of Cop Fuckery


Just when you think police brutality can't get anymore ridiculous:

California Cops Shoot and Kill Man and Woman Passed Out in Car

California cops shot and killed a man and woman Sunday after finding them unconscious in a car and spending 45 minutes trying to “deescalate the situation” before they “felt threatened,” according to Inglewood Mayor James Butts, a former police chief.

First of all, MAYOR BUTTS. Okay, moving on.

The cops say that the woman had a gun in her hand. Yet they identified the couple as unconscious. So these officers are so incompetent that they can't disarm an unconscious person?

The two were apparently out on a date, having left their children in the care of family members. But it appears as if they had too much to drink and ended up passing out, which drew the attention of police, who claimed the woman was holding a gun. 
That prompted them to call the SWAT team and at least one armored car, who began ordering them through a megaphone to wake up and exit the car.

Is this a fucking joke? Is Mayor Butts pulling a fast one on us? Is this another case of a joke article taken seriously by major media outlets?

Apparently not.

At least one armored car. What in the fuck is happening???? A total of seven kids are now grieving because these cops couldn't handle two passed out fuckers in a car. They had to call in the fucking SWAT team. And they wanted them to get out of the car but opened fire as soon as they moved?

This is a travesty. The entire country is a travesty.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Gif of the Day


Black History Month

I'm so tired from therapy and from having to work on edits for an article right after therapy but I found this thing on black Latinx people (gender neutral term if you're wondering) and it's really good and important so with the last of my strength I'll post a link, please go read it! It's by Hector Luis Alamo!

The Black History of Latinos

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Gif of the Day

This is in danger of breaking apart the cute-time continuum.

Amanda Nguyen: Hero to Survivors


UPDATE: Amanda made a petition to urge congress to support her bill! Go sign it!

Somehow I'm just now hearing of a bill introduced to congress that guarantees a number of rights directly to sexual assault victims and survivors. This is the first of its kind on a federal level and is brilliant and amazing and extremely necessary and how have we gone so long without it. But also, thank fuck for Amanda Nguyen, the 24-year-old Vietnamese American woman and brilliant individual who penned the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Rights Act.

The bill, almost certain to get bipartisan support (though you never know what those Republican shitheads will pull), includes the right of survivors to be provided with an advocate/counselor who can help them navigate the fucked legal system, and gives them the right to access information about their rape kit.

Nguyen was unfortunately assaulted in Massachusetts and submitted a rape kit. Despite it being a liberal state, the legal system forced her to scramble around every six months trying to find the thing so that she could submit the proper paperwork to avoid having it destroyed.

“The system essentially makes me live my life by date of rape,” Nguyen said.

Fuck. So every six months she had to live through the reminder of her trauma and the reminder of how much the state doesn't give a shit about it.

Nguyen then went above and beyond what any survivor should ever need to do to get decent treatment and wrote up a list of basic rights survivors she had, got community support and cosponsors for her bill, and got it to the Senate floor. She also works with RISE in her spare time. The non-profit is dedicated to helping sexual assault victims get the advocacy, support, and justice they deserve.

I am in awe of this woman who has accomplished so much and is also in training to become an ASTRONAUT by age 24. All hail Amanda Nguyen, hero and awesome amazing person.

Donald Trump's Cousin Trolls Him From Beyond the Grave

This is exactly what I would have done if I were Trump's 88-year-old cousin:

Well played, sir. Rest in peace.

Black History Month

I think I've already mentioned this month but it bears repeating that the Black Panther Party had a ton of women in and was at times dominated by women. It included incredibly black women like Angela Davis, Assata Shakur, and Kathlene Cleaver.

Newsone wrote up a list of these activists and leaders and put it into an annoying slideshow:

The Women Of The Black Panther Party

If you hate slideshows as much as I do, you can view the list on a black woman's Tumblr account instead.

It's amazing how many of these women were accused of crimes. At least, until you consider the fact that the U.S. government did everything in its power to kill the BPP and is fucking still trying to go after Assata Shakur after all these years. Assata, by the way, is my favorite and you should look up more about her.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Gif of the Day

Everyone disses on ferrets but look at this weird dork oh my god.

Black History Month

Let's get some LGBTQAIP+ black representation going.

Black LBGTQ History Icons

All information courtesy of Tumblr blog LGBTQ+ History. Featuring facts like:

  • A black trans woman started the Stonewall Riots.
  • A black lesbian threw the first punch at the Stonewall Riots.
  • A black gay man was the leading strategist behind the Civil Rights Movement.
  • A black gay man popularized modern dance.

And their names were/are Marsha P. Johnson, StormĂ© DeLarverie, Bayard Rustin, and Alvin Ailey, respectively. And there's more. Go look.

Free Kesha


On Friday, a judge denied a preliminary injunction in the case of Kesha, who was trying to break free of her contract with them on the grounds that the producer they had her working with, Dr. Luke, raped and sexually abused her over the course of several years. The injunction would have allowed her to record songs outside of her contract until the case is settled. Which would be nice for her since she says she's already spent all her money on this legal battle. The case is still ongoing.

The judge said "My instinct is to do the commercially reasonable thing." Your instinct is awful.

I'm thinking that most people are not grasping the horror of the reality of what Kesha faces. She is currently contractually obligated to make six more albums with Sony. Sony has claimed that she can do so with whatever producer she wants, but her lawyer has called this a "flimsy promise." Even if the company doesn't force Kesha to work with Dr. Luke (and I have no doubt they could if they wanted to), Sony has supported, aided and abetted Dr. Luke from day one of the accusations of rape and sexual abuse against him. It makes sense that Kesha would not want to work with them, either. Also, if she doesn't work with Dr. Luke, Sony apparently won't market her work.

Basically, Kesha is trapped in a situation wherein she is contractually obligated to work, if not with her rapist, then in the same studios and with the same company in which the abuse took place. She cannot leave and start over in an entirely new setting where she can heal away from reminders of her rapist and away from the company that supports him.

Can you see how fucked up that is?

I've seen some people trying to claim that she could leave if she wanted to or just make music without a recording agency and distribute it online, independently. No. These people don't seem to understand what a contract is. Kesha is contractually obligated to make six more albums with Sony. If she does not, she's breaching her contract, and they can sue the fuck out of her. And if you think she can handle it because she's rich, let me remind you that her riches are nothing compared to that of Sony. They could take everything from her. Could she recover from that as an independent artist while other artists are getting a ton of marketing and general help from companies like Sony? Doubtful. And even if she could, she shouldn't have to. She shouldn't have to remain in this contract.

A lot of people are ignorant as to how the recording industry actually works and how it traps artists like Kesha all the time. They seek out young, naive singers and bands and hands them thick contracts with ridiculous legal language. Then, even the most successful artists end up heavily in debt to companies like Sony thanks to all the hidden costs buried in these hell contracts.

If you haven't, watch the documentary Artifact on the subject. Unfortunately, it was directed by Jared Leto. So if you can watch it in a way that won't give that slimeball money, do that. Anyway, it includes multiple extremely famous artists talking about how their first recording agency totally fucked them. The lead singer from Linkin Park was in it. You can also read the film's Wikipedia page, which explains how Leto's band ended up millions of dollars in debt to EMI despite being hugely successful.

Kesha could still be in debt to Sony. But again, either way, she has to either fulfill the contract or get hella sued by a multi-billion dollar corporation. She's trapped.

This is rape culture. Not even a rich white woman like Kesha can escape it. Apparently, there was not enough evidence that Dr. Luke was abusing Kesha. It actually seems like there's mountains of evidence, but a powerful man like Dr. Luke with Sony behind him was never going to be taken down by something as inconsequential as "evidence." She could be legally forced to work with the man who abused and raped her for years or face utter financial ruin and the end of her entire career. I can't even imagine the horror. I can't actually fully let myself because it's too painful.

This. Is why. I need. Feminism. And for rape culture to fucking die.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Gif of the Day

This is actually much funnier in context. Where are my Buffy fans?

Morning Announcements

I've got a bunch of work to do that I didn't do yesterday and I've gotta make it to a party tonight so I have no time for you, blog! None!

Love you bye.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Gif of the Day

The post I found this on said that these two are brothers and this is them reacting to being freed from the circus. I don't know if they were kept apart or what but awwwwwwwwwwwww.

Random Funny Shit

This is from 2014 but I just stumbled upon it and it's so hilarious you all need to see it.

Journal accepts paper titled “Get me off your f*cking mailing list”

Apparently there's a problem with academic journals hounding young people to allow them to publish their time and expertise (probably without paying) but don't spend any money to actually review the submitted articles. Or like, glance at them for a second.

Possibly one of the most amusing things I've seen in some time. And it gets better.

Just the effort put into all of this. Beautiful.

Fuck That: Local Transphobia Alert


After the bill to repeal public facility equality in Washington State failed in the Senate, it looks like the fight is not over. People still can't seem to handle the idea of just fucking leaving people alone about their genitals.

Group Launches Website to Put Anti-Trans Discrimination to a Statewide Vote

Like in other states, these transphobes are relying on the baseless fear that people will use laws meant to protect trans people from discrimination that threatens both their physical health and emotional well-being to peep on women in the bathroom. Their website is called "Just Want Privacy" (dot org), and completely ignores the fact that trans people just want privacy too. In fact, they want it a whole lot more because we don't give them the right to it. Trans people constantly have to deal with people inquiring about their genitals and wonder which public restroom will carry the smallest possibility of being harassed and/or assaulted. But sure, we cis people are the ones who need privacy.

They're working on filing a ballot initiative so the public can vote on it, because Washington is one of those states.

To make things worse, some guy recently pulled a stunt in Seattle in which he changed in a woman's locker room at a pool, saying that the law allows him to do that now when women complained. All he said was "the law has changed and I have a right to be here."

It sounds like a clear case of a cis dude trying to stage some bullshit "protest" to the law. I say that because no actual trans woman would act like that. An actual trans woman would have been aware of the potential threat to her health and safety because she doesn't have cis male privilege protecting her.

This is really infuriating because this guy's stunt validates the unsubstantiated fears of all the people saying that men are going to use this law to harass women and girls. However, the point still stands that no one has used the law to do this since clearly he was using the law to make a point, however gross it may have been. It also stands that any person who harasses people in the bathroom can still be kicked out/arrested at any time. And as always, it stands that trans people are not the problem - cis men are the problem, and their fucking awfulness is ruining everything once again, and trans people shouldn't have to be punished for that.

My fellow Washintonians need to look out for this ballot initiative and work to fight against transphobic bullshit. I will not see our progress be thrown in the trash because of gross cis men. Again.

Black History Month

Ohhhhh shit so remember when I said you should check out "The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution" for more information on the BPP? Well, apparently, the former head of the BPP has panned the thing for being inaccurate bullshit

That said, as a former leader of the Party, I assert authority to state that Stanley Nelson ultimately debases the Party, which history will substantiate was, to this very day, the greatest effort for freedom ever made by Africans lost in America. Nelson does this by excising from his film the Party’s ideological foundation and political strategies, despite the wealth of published materials articulating the Party’s goals and ideals, reducing our activities to sensationalist engagements, as snatched from establishment media headlines.

It basically sounds like the creator of this documentary was trying to make it another propaganda piece against the BPP as it focused way too much on one guy who was actually trying to take the Black Panthers down and ignored so much of what the BPP was actually about.

Minimizing the role of Huey Newton, founder of the Party, along with Bobby Seale, Nelson elevates the role in the Party of Eldridge Cleaver—who individually did more to try to destroy the Party than the U.S. government. This elevation of Cleaver is a clue to the point of Nelson’s “documentary”—to produce a piece of provocative propaganda worthy of the FBI itself. Though Cleaver was but a fleeting darling of the establishment press who was in the Party for no more than a year or so before being expelled, footage of Cleaver and “Cleaverites” overwhelms almost half of Nelson’s two-hour film.


So disregard what I said before. If you want to learn more about the Black Panther Party, read this article by Elaine Brown, former head of the Black Panthers, about how much that documentary fucked up. I learned a few things just from reading that.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Gif of the Day

Please explain.

Recommended Reading

An article posted today on The Establishment has effectively outlined something I've struggled with in my young career as a freelance writer and something that might be called a journalist, as well as a feminist and social justice activist. Writing is one of the things I'm best at, and I try to use it for good. But, like with anything else, writing is a tool that can inadvertently cause harm if not wielded carefully.

Arthur Chu is another witness to and something of a causality of the rise of "GamerGate." He's been there as long as I've watched it progress, through every new surge of attention it gets because of a new controversy that came along or was manufactured by its ranks. He's also a writer.

Today he posted an article about how the media, especially online written media, has compounded the harm done to women like Zoe Quinn who have been targets of GamerGate and similar harassment groups. In the pursuit of a good story and the desire to capitalize on what people are interested in, writers and journalists have brought far more attention to GamerGate than they ever deserved. Many of them think they're helping, but are they?

“Raising awareness” is an important long-term goal in keeping people from being abused overall, yes—but individual victims of abuse mostly want awareness decreased, they want the hypervisibility they live under to stop. Raising money, raising votes, building organizations—these are all valuable goals, but they come at the very real cost of the ability of people who actually live within these “newsworthy” controversies to live in peace.

I myself have written about GamerGate numerous times on this blog, and I even mentioned it in a Yes! Magazine article. On my Tumblr account, I've keyboard screamed at many a GamerGater, trying to argue them into seeing how their movement is built on slander, abuse, and harassment - and inevitably failing each time. And after each failed attempt to change the mind of a person who was never, ever going to change their mind, wondering if any of that was worth it. And even wondering, am I just making things worse?

Am I fueling their fire, making them more determined to harass other women? Do they take the anger built up from arguing with me (because I'm a damn fine arguer when I'm writing it out) and attack women like Zoe with it? I'd tell myself that maybe I'm drawing their ire away from women who are constantly bombarded with it, but was that true, or was I kidding myself?

Am I just giving undeserved recognition and legitimacy to this non-movement, this hate mob, every time I write that ridiculous word on my blog? Was I, with every other writer doing thinkpieces on the issue of online harassment, just making them stronger? Then again, is anything better for women like Zoe now that the mainstream media isn't paying attention to them anymore? Apparently Zoe's ex is simply denying that the case is over, just like he's denied that she withdrew her restraining order against him, and is continuing to rile up the ranks of his hate mob on a regular basis.

I've thought about this as well when trying to tackle TERFs. Every now and again I'll push back against their bullshit posts, trying to call out their lies and twisty turny logic, but that again never seems to do any good. TERFs have budged exactly as many times as GamerGaters have (zero) during my arguments with them, and I just seem to get them fired up. Not only that, arguing on Tumblr involves reblogging the original posts to your own blog with your reply, and then they reblog your response with the original post, and on and on until you have a long thread.

So once again I feel like I'm amplifying TERF voices, and worse, exposing trans people to their hateful rhetoric. I've had trans people say that they've had to unfollow me, not because they disagree with what I'm saying or don't appreciate it, but because it's triggering to see that. I don't blame them at all. It feels like all I'm doing is tainting what is supposed to be a safe space with entirely unsafe bullshit. How am I at all helping?

It's a frustrating situation to be sure. As Arthur Chu says, we writers have a responsibility to think about this and do the best we can to minimize any harm. That's the shitty thing, too. GamerGate and Zoe's ex go on and on about the importance of "free speech," but I want to restrict my own speech for fear of inciting a mob against others. And of course, we all somewhat live in apprehension of the day the mob comes for us.

Because, actually, it is about ethics in journalism.

Black History Month

Did you know about the musical prodigy Hazel Scott? She got a private tutoring scholarship from the Juilliard School of Music at the age of eight because she was a musical prodigy. She later became the first woman of color to have her own TV show. She also appeared in the film The Heat's On in which she played two pianos at once.


On top of that, she was one of the first entertainers to refuse to play for segregated audiences and demanded equal pay with that of her white actor counterparts.

White female actors today have trouble accomplishing that.

Headline of the Month

Ted Cruz Pledges Not to Provide Gluten-Free Meals to the Military

Wait what.

“That’s why the last thing any commander should need to worry about is the grades he is getting from some plush-bottomed Pentagon bureaucrat for political correctness or social experiments—or providing gluten-free MREs,” Cruz said, using the shorthand term for Meal, Ready-to-Eat, CNN reported.

You heard it here, folks. Ted Cruz supports our troops. Unless they have celiac disease or some other SJW bullshit, then fuck 'em.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Gif of the Day

Smooth as fuck.

Feminists Give Richard Dawkins a Stroke

That's right. It's true. We did it. We didn't get him disinvited from a skeptics conference because he shared a video equating feminism with radical Islam (in a depiction both grossly misogynistic and completely Islamophobic). It's because we knew it would give him a stroke.

If you're confused, Richard Dawkins did indeed have a stroke, poor guy (but not that poor since the UK has universal healthcare). And he recently released an audio message to his fans explaining what happened, how it's not as serious as it could have been, and how his doctors asked him if he'd been experiencing extra stress lately.

His response was that, yes, unfortunately, he'd been rather upset of late because he was disinvited from some conference in New York for "skeptics." This was reportedly due to the fact that he fucked up on Twitter again. I haven't watched this video and I'm not going to, but I'm no stranger to the accusation that feminism is a religion or shares many characteristics with radical religious groups.

Personally, I think we have more in common with radical Quakers, but whatever.

Anyway, this is what Dawkins had to say about his terrible stress:

I told them I had been distressed, that on the 28th of January, I was disinvited from conference to which I had previously been asked, this upset me very much. I’m used to getting hate from religionists, from creationists, but when I get hate from my own people, from left, liberal feminists and so on, that actually hurt me.

Awwwwwwww poor baby atheist. Did that hurt? Does it hurt to see liberals and leftists and people who seem like they should be on your side turn around and treat you like shit? Does it hurt to see entire groups of people condemn you for something that seemed like not at all a big deal?

Poor hurt, betrayed Dawkins. If he gets a stroke from that, the treatment that women like Rebecca Watson receive would stop his heart cold. He'd die twice.

Black History Month

More black women! More!

Today's history-maker is Lorraine Vivian Hansberry, both the youngest American playwright and the first black American to win a New York Critics' Circle Award for the Broadway hit "A Raisin in the Sun." It's a story of a black family trying to make it in a Chicago suburb, similar to Lorraine's family's experiences with trying to live in a white neighborhood.

She started off as a progressive feminist writer (my hero) and anti-homophobia writer. She was also a strong civil rights activist, meeting with then-Attorney General Robert Kennedy to discuss racism.

Unfortunately, this amazing and passionate woman died far too young at age 34 from pancreatic cancer.

You can learn more about her and other black innovators and artists on the Black in History Tumblr page.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Gif of the Day

This gif was described as being a metaphor for graduating college and being hit with student loan debt.

'There's No REAL Sexism Anymore'


Anti-feminists, MRAs, meninists, or what have you, love to challenge feminists with the statistic showing that more men kill themselves than women. This is remarkably easy to deflect with the fact that more women attempt to kill themselves and men are just more successful at it. But I've seen some impressively long essays from men like this that are written in an attempt to use the former statistic to prove that men must be more oppressed, because they're clearly incredibly miserable if they'd resort to suicide.

It's with a heavy heart that I have to shove this into their faces:

Suicide is now the biggest killer of teenage girls worldwide.

Firstly, let me point out that this is from May of 2015. This must have been pretty widely ignored for me to have missed it.

The reason suicide is now the biggest killer of teen girls is because there has been a significant reduction in deaths from teen pregnancy and childbirth. This is great, but it also revealed the "hidden" (read: ignored) epidemic of self-harm and suicide among these girls across the world. In fact, in every region of the world except Africa, it's in the top three.

The biggest reason for these suicides? What Professor Vikram Patel calls "logical despair."

“Indian media is filled with aspirational images of romance and love,” he says. “The ability to choose your life partner is an idea that’s championed by Bollywood. But that’s completely not the case in reality for most young women.” 
Young brides, says Suzanne Petroni, “are very often taken away from their peers. They're subjected to early and unwanted sex, and they’re much more likely to experience partner violence than people who marry later. All of these things put them at greater risk of suicide.” 
In India, says Prof Patel, “female suicide rates are highest in parts of the country with the best education and economy, probably because women grow up with greater aspirations only to find their social milieu limits them.”

This is not just a problem in India, but it shows how a culture that tells women they're equal to men and that they can do and be whatever/whomever they want without really meaning it drives women to deep despair and suicide.

This is the biggest problem with tell marginalized people that prejudice and bigotry are over and they totally have equal opportunity. Teens hit 17, 18, 19, and abruptly find out that this is not true. Black teens begin to get profiled and are denied even undervalued jobs. Women find out that sexism in the workplace is still alive, well, and actively keeping them out of higher positions. Most adults still great you differently if you're gay, lesbian, or bisexual. And if you're intersex, pansexual, or trans? Forget it. Employment discrimination is still rampant against disabled individuals, and adults are just as cruel to fat people as high school students.

Things have not gotten nearly better enough. And when that fact hits you in the face after all the lies and propoganda peddled by media and our education system - it hurts, bad.

For girls, there's rape culture to pile on top of that.

Rhea (not her real name) is 17 and has attempted suicide twice. “Porn was everywhere in my school,” she says. Her boyfriend Andy became “obsessed with it”. 
She’d “made it clear,” she says, that she “wasn’t ready to have sex,” but one evening he sexually assaulted her in a park. The assaults became routine. Rhea did nothing. 
“The constant talk about porn had made me feel like what was happening was normal,” she says. She uses that word repeatedly to describe her attitude towards Andy’s assaults: normal. 
“I felt trapped, like everyone thought it was normal and I had to go along with it if I wanted to be accepted.” The pressure to conform to these perceived expectations was so great that, eventually, Rhea says, “I felt like there was no way out.” She tried to kill herself.

Rhea lives in the UK.

Considering how underreported both sexual assaults and suicide attempts are, and considering how many stories I've heard that sound a lot like Rhea's, I'd can easily imagine that this kind of thing is far more routine than anyone wants to admit. How many girls are exactly like Rhea? Being driven to depression, despair, and even self-harm because their boyfriends are actually regularly assaulting them and they don't even realize that's what's happening? Because we normalize it?

I've been suicidal before, in different periods of my life. When I was younger, I didn't realize that what I was doing was self-harm and I didn't even realize I was suicidal because we don't talk about it in our society. Nobody explained to me that self-harm goes beyond cutting, and that wanting to die so badly that you're a little more reckless on the road than you ever should be, even if you don't have an actual plan, is still a state of being suicidal.

Looking back, I can say that every period of suicidal ideation came from feeling trapped. It came when I felt I couldn't escape an abusive situation. It came when I got home from college and found an economy still in tatters. It came when I felt I would never be able to escape the constant, severe anxiety and self-doubt that kept me from even trying to find a better job.

Luckily, I've never had Rhea's experience. But the point is, we set up girls to become trapped in relationships like that. And we set them up to have high hopes, only to fall flat on their faces from all the obstacles that are actually still in our way. That's why we want to die.

It's going to take a lot more than donations, condoms, and clean sheets to fix this problem.

Black History Month

Ok, so, Biddy Bridget Mason is without a doubt one of the coolest people I've ever heard of.

She was born a slave in Mississippi to a Mormon couple who decided to march their cattle over to Utah (because Mormons) , and of course they took slaves to help, including Mason. Later, they took the group of slaves to California to look for gold. At some point, Mason found out that slavery was illegal in the state of California at the time, so she fucking took her slave masters to court and got all of their slaves taken to the state freed.

That in itself is amazing and awesome considering the fact that slaves were not given access to shit like laws and the education to read and understand laws. But it doesn't end there. She proceeded to amass a fortune and shape the landscape of what is now downtown LA. Then she gave back to the poor, founded a church, visited prisoners, and continued to be fucking awesome until she died.

You can read more about her legacy here. God damn, she was awesome.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Gif of the Day

I think they killed that cat's spirit.

Privilege Guilt: Also Known As 'Your Problem'

My fellow white people made the news once again by complaining that people of color are being really mean to us and making us feel bad.

It's over a video of a great visual metaphor for privilege and all the many things that get in the way of marginalized groups in the race of life. It's called The Unequal Opportunity Race.

Pretty good, right? Well, a high school teacher in Virginia showed it to students, and my fellow white people got all upset and started calling it a "white guilt" video. Because it made them feel guilty, I guess?

There's nothing untrue about this video. I mean, it's a big ol' metaphor, but supported by historical fact and general reality. The thing is, if that reality makes privileged people feel guilty about their privilege, that's a personal problem. Attacking this video because it made your feels hurt is ridiculous. It's an incredibly immature response to expect people who have been hurt to stop talking about their pain and their struggles that are the result of an unfair system because it makes you feel guilty to hear about it. And in fact, that's a common abuser tactic.

The worst part is that my fellow white people who are complaining about this likely don't feel guilty at all and didn't feel guilty when viewing it. They're calling it a "white guilt" video because they see it as something that's intended to invoke guilt and they think the high school kids, who are probably less dead inside and stubbornly racist, will feel guilty about their privilege when viewing it.

It's downright insulting to look at this video and only think that it was made to make the viewer guilty. This is not a Sarah McLachlan animal adoption video. This is a concise explanation of a complex and pervasive issue that really hurts a lot of people. If it makes the viewer feel guilty, that's a personal problem. An adult should be able to deal with that emotion responsibly. The right way is generally to work to correct whatever wrong is causing the feeling. The wrong way is to go "wwahhhhhh you meanie you're making me feel bad wahhhhhhhhh!"

It's a bummer that I have to explain this because this is the kind of shit that you should learn in preschool.

Unfortunately, to some people, any discussion of race and white privilege is "divisive" because instead of dealing with emotions like adults, they have to react to any bad feels by getting super defensive or straight up going on the attack, because they view the emergence of the feeling as the result of an attack on them. But it's your feeling. Your problem. No one is responsible for your white guilt but you. And trying to keep this kind of very necessary education out of schools is just going to keep all of the problems listed in the video going.

That might be what you want so that you can keep your moving walkway, but fuck you. If you forgot how to actually run the race, that's your problem.

Black History Month

Did you know about Frances Mary Albrier? It wasn't just white men who were responsible for unions, weekends, and not having to send your children to coal mines.

I stumbled upon an article on the Self-Rescuing Princess Society about this amazing black woman. She was a huge force in getting more and better work for black people as both a union activist and civil rights activist. She was the one who came up with the "Don't Shop Where You Can't Work" protest. Black people boycotted stores that wouldn't hire them, and before long, those stores were changing their tune.

Her work and accomplishments go on and on. She was a riveter in WWII and when she was denied work because there was no union set up for black women, she threatened to sue until the standard union agreed to accept her. Prior to that, after being denied entry to the Red Cross, she formed the Black Cross and taught other black women how to be nurses.

Read the whole article here. It's long and fantastic.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Gif of the Day

This makes me wish some doucebag would tell me to smile.

Thank You, Zoe Quinn


I am bummed out and frustrated and sad and angry and outraged and depressed by the announcement by Zoe Quinn that she's dropping the harassment charges against her abusive ex-boyfriend and man responsible for GamerGate, Erroneous Groin-Pull or whatever his name is.

She's doing this in spite of the fact that she knows she's right and the Attorney General knows she's right and believes she definitely has enough evidence to land him in prison for years. But because of our fucked up "justice" system that protects privileged harassers and demands that victims play this perfect role while the case drags on for years, she's run out of energy.

All the while, it’s hard to explain the indignity of having to sit through this and try to be a “good victim”. To sit in the same room as the man who did this to you and so many others and not appear too emotional or shaken, because the last time you said “uh” too much it became “proof” that you were lying instead of reliving trauma on command. To hide your anger and your outrage and your hurt so you don’t look like you’re seeking revenge, but to also not hold back TOO much because then you look robotic and unaffected like you haven’t been in fear of this man or in fear for your life for almost two years. To have to sit silently while everyone messes up basic facts of the case because they can’t tell the difference between usernames. To leave little bloody half moons in the palms of your hands from squeezing your fists tightly to try to look like you aren’t shaking from being in the same room with him.

I can't even imagine.

Zoe goes into some detail explaining how her abuser and his hate movement were fed by every court proceeding. Not only did she have to go through the ordeals described above, each time, the abuser would go back to his GamerGate buddies and stir up more shit from her. He made money while she got death and rape threats and had to see the ridiculous conspiracy charts pop up painting her as the one extorting the process for money.

And she's sick of having to keep quiet about all the fuckery he's pulled while people spread falsehoods about what's happened. I can't blame her. No way I'd be able to sit by and let that happen. But if she speaks up, it hurts her case because then his lawyer's can claim she's the one harassing him.

Now that she's dropped the case, she can come forward with shit like this:

This cycle was so vicious that I even vacated the order myself once he appealed, hoping to make it end. I gave him the legal relief that he’d asked for. It might sound weak but I’m not made of stone, I’m a scared person trying to escape her abuser in spite of the fact that he’s created a self-perpetuating faction within my own industry to continue to punish me for walking away. It wasn’t about him fighting a powerful evil woman, or gaining his oh-so-crucial right to sic a mob on me, it’s always been about punishing me. It was about using it as a way to hurt me further, so when I gave him what he ostensibly wanted he actually *showed up to object to my motion to vacate the order and hand him a win*. The court dismissed him, and the order has been dead for months, and yet he’s back on Kotaku In Action chumming the waters about the oral arguments they’re hearing on a nonexistent order next month.

Wowwwwwww. He objected to her vacating the restraining order she filed against him. Wow. Could you possibly want attention and to play the victim any more? I'd love to see the details on that day in court. Can you imagine being that judge? And now her abuser is lying and stirring up shit about court hearings that don't even exist anymore.

This is why I have zero sympathy for this piece of shit anymore. Yeah, Zoe wasn't the perfect victim in their falling out. But if he's this terrible, no wonder she went to other men for comfort.

What's really heartbreaking is the end of her post, where she talks about it being "too early," because our justice system is still too much of a fucking joke and she's not capable of being the perfect victim due to both ableism and whorephobia in our society. It's tragic. It breaks my heart. But I also so so so appreciate her for trying. She's gone through incredible wave of shit, just massive fuck tornadoes and ass tsunamis all because she supposedly cheated on some guy who ended up being the fucking worst ever and refused to go into hiding in the face of the tidal wave of misogynistic backlash that was just waiting for an excuse. And a target.

More than anything, Zoe was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. But she stood up and fought anyway, and she's still fighting. She used the opportunity to create Crash Override to help other people who have become targets of online hate mobs. She went to the UN to speak about online harassment, despite the fact that there was no way that wouldn't end up in the news and worsen the harassment against her. And she's going to continue her fight so that the next victim might be able to be the one who lands their harasser in jail.

It's hard. It's a hard decision to swallow. And I'm sure it was an incredibly difficult decision to make. My heart sank upon seeing the headline to her post. I knew that her abuser and all of GamerGate would declare victory and call this evidence that they're right and she's horrible. And I'm angry. I'm so angry that she doesn't get justice. I'm so angry at all the spin and lies and distortions and gloating that I know is going to come from them, because the same comes every time they have something they think is a victory.

But it doesn't matter. They declare victory every day, no matter what happens. Everything is "proof" that they're right and we're wrong. GamerGate is a hate group. There's no room there for anything but hate and lies and twisting every detail into somehow supporting their hate and lies. She's right - putting her abuser in jail would make him a martyr. And further put her safety at risk. What they don't understand is that there is no victory to be had for anyone in any of this. Only a false sense of superiority by a bunch of pathetic assholes who have to hurt others to feel good about themselves.

They will keep doing what they've been doing. All the rest of us can do is keep working to set up support networks, call out bullshit, and keep the legal progress going. Our victory is in helping others rather than tearing them down. In telling the truth rather than concocting nonsensical conspiracy charts in Microsoft Paint.

Thank you, Zoe Quinn, for all you've done. For all you've sacrificed. I sincerely hope you can find some peace in the coming years. I'm so sorry that the justice system has failed you. I will do everything I can to tear it down and build something useful in its place.

Black History Month


Let's learn about the Black Panthers!

As I mentioned, my fellow white people got really freaked out about the Black Panther imagery during Beyonce's half time show performance. And they continue to freak out. It's pretty funny. But also not great because it's a reminder of how we've all been taught that the Black Panther Party were violent terrorists when actually they existed to fight the KKK and keep racist, violent cops from constantly beating and murdering black people.

We could really use them around again.

Unfortunately, the FBI launched an operation to systematically destroy and dismantle the Black Panther Party. Under COINTELPRO (counter intelligence program), they targeted leaders of the BPP and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with methods that were often illegal.

Also, black women had a heavy presence in the BPP, with anywhere from 40 to 70 percent of the members being women by 1970.

Comparing the BPP to the KKK, as many white people have been doing lately, is incredibly offensive for many reasons. The BPP didn't lynch anybody or burn any churches to the ground, and the KKK didn't make a habit of organizing meal programs for their community.

If you want to learn more about the reality of the BPP, not the bullshit our white-centric public school textbooks tell us, there's a documentary coming out on the 16th called The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution. Can't wait.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Gif of the Day

Omg ferrets. That cat's like "ugh fuckin' tube rodent."

Liberal Sexism: Misogyny in the Race for the Democratic Nomination

It's been a while since I've mentioned this, but I don't actually label myself as "liberal," and I certainly don't identify as a Democrat. I prefer "leftist" because liberals, at least in the U.S., are not nearly liberal enough for me. And also, liberals in this country are still really fucking sexist. Their sexism is just more subtle and insidious.

It's easy to call out Republican misogyny. It's right there out in the open for everyone to see. It's shameless. I might as well point to a pile of actual shit and say "that's dirty!"

The real work to be done is in the Democrat party and among the young liberals that I often find myself surrounded by in the Seattle area.

Let's talk about the current race for the Democratic presidential nomination. We've got "BernieBros" on one side and Hillary Clinton's fans saying that women who don't support Hillary Clinton are terrible or, at best, trying to impress the boys.

I've seen articles claiming that BernieBros don't exist. Honestly, I don't buy that. Is their prevalence exaggerated by the Hillary camp? Likely. But don't try to tell me there aren't liberal men out there harassing women online for whatever reason they can find that they think justifies their actions.

And don't try to tell me that Bernie fans and even Bernie himself don't treat Hillary and her fans differently because Hillary's a woman. Yes, Bernie has insinuated that Hillary is too loud and her yelling is so bad. Yes, that is always going to be rooted in sexism. Bernie needs to be honest about this to himself, keep an eye out for it, address it frankly and publicly, and apologize when it happens. Unfortunately, I don't think Bernie will be doing all or any of that, but he's got a better chance of doing it than Hillary does of examining her racism.

Yes, I see Bernie fans directing an intense amount of hatred and vitriol toward Hillary. I have no doubt that this would not be the same if the other candidate were Joe Biden or some other gentile white guy.

Yet another reminder that Bernie is Jewish.

This all exists and pro-Bernie men need to do just as much self-examination in terms of their inevitable and at least subconscious misogyny. They'd do better to keep their mouths shut about Hillary except to defend and uplift the voices of women of color in terms of Hillary's racist policies.

Okay? Okay.

Then we have the misogyny on the other side. Another kind of subtle misogyny, the kind that tells young women that if they're not supporting Hillary, they must be pathetic, naive, internalized-misogyny suckers who just want to be popular with the boys. Or there's the incredibly manipulative and fucked up use of the quote: "There's a special place in Hell for women who don't help/support other women."

There's actually a gif for that.

I don't remember what show this is from but fuck yes thank you.

Anyway, I guess a lot of us are going to Hell.

The implication of the things said by Gloria Steinem (infamous and virulent transmisogynist) (still) and Madeleine Albright are incredibly condescending and reminiscent of the ways women are treated by men when we try to speak out. We're told that we didn't form our opinions based on research and information into, for example, all the ways in which the policies supported by Hillary Clinton have harmed poor women and women of color and disabled women and LGBTQAIP+ women. No, surely, we don't know what we're talking about and are just basing our positions on our emotions. Silly girls :).

And then, yes, we're told we're going to Hell when we stick to our guns.

The point I'm trying to make is that there's no fucking escape from misogyny and sexism. We get it from all sides, from all candidates. There's literally nowhere that's not tainted by the stink of hatred for women, even from other women! So yeah. That sucks.

I still support Bernie, and I appreciate that he condemned the BernieBros. But now's a great chance for liberal men including Bernie to really examine the misogyny behind their attacks on Hillary and consider how they can make their camp safe for women, especially in light of how the white feminist Hillary camp just shat all over us. Thanks.