Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Gif of the Day



I love crows.

Amazing Women of Color

It's becoming pretty clear that black women are better than white women at sports.

Gymnast Simone Biles Becomes First Woman To Win 4 Consecutive National Championships In 42 Years

Last summer, teen gymnast extraordinaire Simone Biles made history as the first woman in World Gymnastics Championships history to win three consecutive all around titles, as well as the first American gymnast to earn 14 World Championships medals and now she's added another historic accomplishment to her growing list of accolades.

This young woman is pretty much the best at all athletics, I'm pretty sure, because have you seen gymnastics? Holy crap, I didn't know it was possible to make human bodies do that.

Just look at her floor routine:




And I'm just here like



Dear Enlightened Millennial Men

Ahem.

Are U.S. Millennial Men Just as Sexist as Their Dads?

In February 2016 researchers at the National Institutes of Health published a study on how college biology students view their classmates’ intelligence and achievements. The researchers found that male students systematically overestimated the knowledge of the men in their classes in comparison with the women. Moreover, as the academic term progressed, the men’s faulty appraisal of their classmates’ abilities increased despite clear evidence of the women’s superior class performance. In every biology class examined, a man was considered the most renowned student — even when a woman had far better grades. In contrast, the female students surveyed did not show bias, accurately evaluating their fellow students based on performance. 


Millennial men’s views of women’s intelligence and ability even extend to women in senior leadership positions. In a 2014 survey of more than 2,000 U.S. adults, Harris Poll found that young men were less open to accepting women leaders than older men were. Only 41% of Millennial men were comfortable with women engineers, compared to 65% of men 65 or older. Likewise, only 43% of Millennial men were comfortable with women being U.S. senators, compared to 64% of Americans overall. (The numbers were 39% versus 61% for women being CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, and 35% versus 57% for president of the United States.)


Moreover, according to a 2013 Pew survey of Americans, Millennial women are significantly more likely than older women to say that the country needs to continue making changes to bring about equality in the workplace, but Millennial men are the group most likely to say that all necessary changes have been made.


“Whereas three-quarters of Millennial women anticipate that their careers will be at least as important as their partners,” they reported, “half the men in their generation expect that their own careers will take priority.” The gap was similar when it came to child care responsibilities. Fewer than half of Millennial women believed they would handle most of the child care, but two-thirds of their male peers believed their wives would do so.



I don't want to hear one more word coming out of Millennial dudes about how things are better for women in the U.S. and misogyny isn't a problem anymore. You have only made things worse. We're worse off now because you all don't even bother to challenge your sexist attitudes because you think they aren't a problem. Fuck you.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Gif of the Day


Fucking hardcore.

Victory for Trans People in Pakistan

[TRIGGER WARNING: TRANSPHOBIA, GUN VIOLENCE, MURDER, HOMOPHOBIA]

This post is dedicated to all the Islamophobes recently trying to tell me that Islam is backwards and bigoted.

Muslim clerics declare trans marriages allowed under Islamic law

This declaration is by no means even close to perfect. It still defines gender by physical characteristics and specifically denies intersex people the right to marry. And of course, same-sex marriage is still forbidden. At the same time, this fatwa does more to recognize the existence and rights of trans people than most Christian organizations or the U.S. federal government ever has. It's not just limited to marriage, either.

According to a copy of a religious edict obtained on Monday by Reuters, the fatwa also says they can be buried in Muslim ceremonies and have full rights under Islamic inheritance law. 
... 
Though the fatwa is not legally binding, it also recommended that people consider harassment of transgender people a crime under Islam. 
“Making noises at transgender people, making fun of them, teasing them, or thinking of them as inferior is against sharia law. 
“Such an act amounts to objecting to one of Allah’s creations, which is not correct,” the document added.

Sharia law don't seem so bad now.

Recommended Reading

I just finished reading the very long investigative report on a for-profit prison company by a Mother Jones reporter who spent four months working as a prison guard or "corrections officer" for the Corrections Corporation of America. It's... harrowing.

The report is divided into five chapters. It describes his training, work, and interactions with coworkers and inmates in detail. It paints a picture of a chronically understaffed, barely functioning prison that routinely denies inmates basic healthcare, training, and recreation. The reporter, Shane Bauer, describes how he begins to change under these conditions as he struggles with fear, witnesses horrific violence, and tries to find an impossible balance between maintaining his humanity and maintaining control and power over other, incarcerated human beings.

The entire thing is an argument in favor of prison abolition, and certainly the end of for-profit prisons.

Trigger warnings for rape, rape threats, sexual abuse, sexual assault, stabbings, general assault, homophobia, misogyny, racism, homophobic, misogynistic, and racial slurs, medical abuse, abuse of the mentally ill, medical neglect, description of a severe infection, and suicide. Please let me know if I missed any.

My Four Months as a Private Prison Guard

As a friend recommended to me, you might want to take it in shifts. I read nearly the entire thing in one sitting before bed. I didn't sleep very well last night.

But if you think you can handle it, it is a very important read.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Gif of the Day


Cats are liquids.

This is Scary

[TRIGGER WARNING: HATE CRIME, RACISM, XENOPHOBIA]

Reports of hate crimes and open bigotry have spiked in the U.K. after Brexit. And people are coming forward to say that it wasn't a great place for people who are or simply look like "foreigners" before Brexit, either.

The white nationalism and xenophobia is, frankly, completely terrifying. I feel like at this point people are so afraid of seeming cliche by comparing things to Nazism, so let me do it for you. This is the same kind of crap you saw in Europe leading up to the rise of the Third fuckity Reich. That is not an exaggeration.

Sexist and racist slurs plus photos of injuries including blood at the link:

Shocking Reports of Hate Crimes Across England Evoke Nightmares of 1930s Germany

The official group that financed Brexit, Vote Leave, deliberately inflamed the racial tensions between white and nonwhite British citizens during the referendum campaign, indulging in scare tactics that spun narratives of dirty immigrants ruining the country. 
The consequences of antagonizing these racial tensions seem to have exploded into a more hostile Britain — a Britain that has emboldened racists who now feel like their volcanic hatred has been validated by the country’s recent anti-immigration victory.

LOL WHOOPS.

I'm not sure whether to say that people never learn or that people do learn and don't care if they spark the rise of fascism again. At the link, you can see examples of the horrible things people have been doing and saying, including a story of two men, father and son, who were brutally attacked and beaten on the street.

To make things even scarier, we've got Trump here in the U.S., stirring up racism and Islamophobia and anti-immigrant sentiment across the pond. Honestly, if you're not terrified, you're either not paying attention or have retreated into a comfortable denial. I don't know what to do about it at this point. I'm scared for the people in the U.K. who are being targeted. I guess I can say that my fellow white people need to do our best to stand up to racism and xenophobia wherever we encounter it.

Maybe stock your attics with food or build other hiding places in your homes.

"What Rape Culture?"

Nothing like hearing about rape culture in my own home.

50 Seattle rape, sex-abuse cases stalled for years on detective’s desk

Her case is one of at least 50 that languished for years on the desk of Detective Leslie Smith, a backlog that came to light only after Smith was promoted to sergeant in early 2015 and transferred out of the department’s Sexual Assault & Child Abuse Unit (SAU). 
Smith, 58, is a 17-year veteran who is now a sergeant in the department’s Office of Professional Accountability (OPA), which investigates officers accused of misconduct. She did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Why in the FUCK would you try to specialize in sexual assault and abuse if you don't even want to pursue these cases? Is it your goal in life to fuck over victims? And is there no oversight in any fucking police department?

Police have blamed systemic problems and staffing issues in the Sexual Assault Unit for the backlog. But the 28-year-old woman who says she was raped by her boss said it felt like Smith blamed her for the assault and sided with her alleged assailant. 
The woman said the investigation into her case came to a screeching halt after someone in the police department — she believes it was Smith — told her evidence from her “rape kit” had been lost. She learned earlier this year, after another detective had taken over the case, that wasn’t true.

Sounds to me like another victim of rape culture myths that perpetuate the idea of women lying about being raped. The case of the 28-year-old woman raped by her boss included three witnesses who are fucking police officers. Easiest case ever, right? Not if you're a happy part of rape culture.

This officer not only refuses to pursue 50 cases of rape, she actively suppressed evidence and interfered with justice. She should be arrested and charged. For all these years, rapists have been allowed to go free, very likely raping other women. All thanks to Leslie Smith.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Afternoon Announcements

I'm taking a break today to play more video games, because I can. I will say, however, to anyone who lives in the U.K., especially people of color, yikes, my heart goes out to you. I don't know what's going to happen now, but I hope everyone's okay. You're probably not right now. Because, yikes.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Gif of the Day



This is a very long gif about bees.

This is Some More Sexist Bullshit

Okay seriously what the actual fuck is this?

Stripping Miss Great Britain of her title for having sex on TV reveals our double standards.

You think???

Miss Great Britain Zara Holland has been stripped of her title after having sex with fellow contestant Alex Bowen on ITV2 reality show Love Island.
...
An organisation that judges women on how sexy, thin and attractive they are to men has publicly humiliated and degraded its own winner for going on a television programme all about being sexy, thin and attractive to men. When these women are passive objects, the pageant revels in and profits from their sexual attractiveness. But heaven forbid they should actually live a real life or follow through on that titillating promise. The idea of them taking ownership of their own bodies and desires is apparently unthinkable, unless it is done in secret.

Laura Bates hits the nail on the head here. "We're going to parade these women around on live television and crown the one we deem most attractive and fuckable to men. Wait, she fucked a man? On television? Unacceptable."

The Guardian also found the most appropriate photo of Ms. Holland to describe how I feel about all this.

Zara Holland on the ITV2 reality show Love Island. Photograph: ITV
The official explanation from the Miss Great Britain company or whatever is even more perfect.

“We pride ourselves on promoting the positivity of pageants in modern society and this includes the promotion of a strong, positive female role model in our winners... The feedback we have received from pageant insiders and members of the general public is such that we cannot promote Zara as a positive role model moving forward … We wholly understand that everyone makes mistakes, but Zara, as an ambassador for Miss Great Britain, simply did not uphold the responsibility expected of the title.”

Modern society. Strong, positive female role model. She decided to have sex with someone? Bad role model! Bad! You only get to be sexy in the way we want you to be!

Miss Great Britain, you are a terrible role model for anyone, please strip yourself of all existence, thanks.

Democrats Fight For Bill Profiling Muslims, Republicans Stand Firm Against It

Wait, what?

Yes, you heard right. Our government has officially become a complete farce.

At first, I was proud of the Democrats for finally taking some real action, getting some real (insert genitals here) and standing up to the Republicans and their NRA puppet masters. But let's consider at least one of the bills that Democrats are pushing for right now. It's the one that seems like Republicans could get behind, but they've become so absolutely contrarian that they wound up supporting Muslim citizens, even if they end up on the no-fly list or the "suspected terrorist" watch list. The things that liberals used to be against. But Republicans have run so far from any semblance of gun control that Democrats chasing them have ended up supporting shit that Republicans probably would have introduced ten years ago. Maybe they did, I dunno.

And why aren't Republicans supporting the no-fly, no-gun bill? Are they really just that averse to working with Democrats at all? Is the NRA that terrified of any semblance of gun control? Is the NRA that afraid of their gun cartel overlords losing a bit of money? Or is it because mass shootings boost gun sales, so yes please terrorists please shoot up our public spaces please! Do the Republicans perhaps want many of us dead, especially LGBTQAIP+ people of color?

Could be any of these reasons and more! Regardless, they've got Democrats desperately fighting for a bill that would actually increase discrimination and inequality against Muslim individuals and people who look like they might be Muslim individuals. Pardon me.


One of the first images that came up when I googled "circus gif." You get what I'm saying.

Our country is fucked.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Gif of the Day



I don't think I can handle this.

This is Some Sexist Bullshit

The first girl even to win an Ohio state masonry competition (apparently this is a thing) has conveniently been barred from competing in the national competition because the judges made some soft of oops that the organization won't explain.

Ohio girl wins statewide masonry contest — but third-place boy will take her place in national event

The superintendent for Scioto County Career Technical Center, where Clifford just completed her junior year, asked officials with SkillsUSA for an explanation but was given only a vague response. 
“The scores were inappropriately put in,” an official told the superintendent. 
The 17-year-old Clifford won the masonry competition in late April by 72 points — a substantial difference — and her instructor said Clifford’s column was outstanding.



Sounds suspicious as fuck to me.

One commenter says that in similar academic competitions, if there's a mistake made by the judges like that, they send both of the kids to the nationals. Another says that kids who make it to nationals get "fantastic job offers." So they're screwing the first girl even to overcome sexism and get first prize in masonry not only out of her title, but out of a better future.

Regardless, I have a hard time believing that there was a math oops if Clifford was so far ahead, especially when nobody is bother to explain how it happened. I have a feeling third place boy's daddy had something to do with this.

Recommended Reading

I know I've said this before at least a couple times, and I'm not a fan of HuffPo, but it needs to be said, over and over, because this is literally the thing that needs to happen to fight rape culture.

The Conversation You Must Have With Your Sons

It's not just this, of course, but until rape culture is dead, this needs to happen. Unfortunately we can't count on schools to do this shit, but the good news is that at least there's something concrete you can do if you have a son. Hell if my friends start having kids, I'll be happy to volunteer to have these conversations with them, starting at very young ages.

Your son is coming of age in that culture with those messages swirling around him. You might have raised him in a home that perpetuated that culture without ever intending to or perhaps you raised him in a home that taught values in complete contrast to that culture. The more important question is: did you ever directly tell him to never buy into that culture? Did you ever tell him that culture is unacceptable and WRONG? Did you ever have any of the aforementioned conversations?

You gotta. Because:

But sexual assault is pervasive despite the conversations many parents have had with their daughters. It seems that the “don’t get raped” angle is not a successful strategy for curbing this pandemic. In fact, it is counter-productive as it perpetuates a culture where men don’t feel the need to take responsibility.

If you don't like the idea of telling your teenage son not to rape or think he won't take you seriously, then feel free to teach him at a young age the essential concepts of consent, respect, and bodily autonomy. Teach him that he is not to touch anyone without their consent and that being told "no" or "stop" means he must stop immediately. Teach by example, too.

You don't want to be the parent of another rapist, do you?

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Gif of the Day



I could tell you the context of this gif but it's funnier for me to leave you to WTF about it.

Alert for Attendees of the University of North Carolina: Christopher J. Halkides

A professor of the University of North Carolina Wilmington, Christopher J. Halkides, has been spending a lot of his time going around to various article and blog posts about campus assaults to argue against consequences for rapists and generally defending men accused of sexual assault and rape, including Brock fucking Turner.

He showed up on my post, "Rape Culture At Its Finest," about people fretting that warning other colleges that a student was kicked out for sexual assault would be like a "scarlet letter" (barf) that would hurt their poor futures :( :( :(. Not only did he use really bad math, trying to bullshit something about because a university "tribunal" on sexual assault cases only needs 51% certainty to find a student guilty, that somehow means that 25% of those accused will be innocent. This is, of course, complete bullshit because we have actual statistics on false accusations for crimes, and in the case of sexual assault and rape, false accusations are no higher than they are for any other crime. So the real math is that 2-8 percent of those accused will be innocent, and not all of them will be found guilty. Not all of the guilty parties will be found guilty either, but Chris isn't concerned about that.

So there are two reasons to avoid this professor at all costs:

  1. He's a rape apologist, increasing the chance that he himself is a rapist trying to ensure that if his victims come forward, he won't face any consequences.
  2. He's a chemistry professor who doesn't understand statistics and probability.

He also has no understanding of the realities of the U.S. criminal justice system. Or he has a great understanding and will do anything to keep it as it is - completely non-function for sexual assault victims.

In case he deletes his comments, I got screenshots!




Click them to enlarge.

And it's not just on my blog. Halkide's Disqus comment feed is full of him doing nothing but upholding rape culture and complaining about how mean Title IX is. In fact, it looks like he copy-pastes the same arguments over and over, using the same pseudo-intellectual language to try and cover up the basic argument of "colleges are too willing to find students guilty of sexual assault." If you've been paying attention at all to actual cases of campus assault, you know that's the opposite of the truth.

Bottom line: Christopher J. Halkides spends an awful lot of time trying to drag us backward into the depths of rape culture and allow rapists to get away with their crimes. He should be avoided at all costs. Do not trust this man. Do not even be alone with him.

Police Kill 8 in Attempt to Crush Peaceful Teacher Protests in Mexico

This is a thing that has been going on. The Orlando shooting has, naturally, taken up most of our attention, but this is also important. Thousands of teachers in Oaxaca, a state in southern Mexico, are striking to protest reforms that they say are excuses for massive layoffs. The teachers were blocking a major highway and police attempted to "evict" them, resulting in a violent clash. As many as 12 have been killed already, but the confirmed death toll is eight. At least 21 have been arrested.

You can see videos of the police attacks here.

On top of that, many protesters have been injured, but the police have actually taken over the nearby hospital and are refusing to let anyone be treated except police officers. That is a whole new level of a fucked up abuse of power.

Protesters have also said that the tests required by these new reforms that are supposed to measure teaching skill "[do] not effectively measure teaching skills, like the special knowledge and demeanor needed to teach in rural areas and Indigenous communities."

As usual, fuck the Indigenous population, right?

The Mexican people are strong, however, and this violence is only making the strike grow.

200,000 Doctors to Join Teachers in Mexico National Strike

The group #YoSoyMedico17, which is comprised of doctors, pediatricians, surgeons, anesthesiologists and nurses, has been joined by more than 200,000 physicians from 32 states in opposing the so-called Universal Health System reform by Peña Nieto. The medical professionals say the measure is a "disguised way of privatizing health in Mexico," and said doctors were not consulted on the reform, according to Animal Politico.

Try to keep protesters from being treated now.

I support the strikers in everything they're doing. Fuck neoliberalism.

Happy Summer!

There's a new version of mocking the "bikini body" bullshit out this year, and it's amazing.



The best part is the black woman with one leg. That is some real body representation!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Gif of the Day



The face plant is the best part.

Islamophobia

[TRIGGER WARNING: MASS SHOOTING, HOMOPHOBIA, RACISM, U.S. IMPERIALISM]

The first thing I posted on any social media/blog after learning about the Orlando shooting was how angry and sad it made me that the first thing I heard about the shooting was about it being a "terrorist attack," my first thought being "what besides the Arab-sounding name makes the media think that" and I had to read into an article to find out that the attack was in an LGBTQAIP+ club. It took much longer to find out it was Latinx night.

After finding out about the 911 call in which the shooter pledged allegiance to a variety of extremist organizations, which we now know are all fighting against each other, I was scared about the inevitable. That people would attack innocent Muslim people over it, that bullshit about "stopping the terrorists" would be used to overshadow and ignore the fact that LGBTQAIP+ Latinx and black people were targeted. And that's exactly what happened.

Muslim prayer on Massachusetts railway platform prompts police alert, heavily armed response

Man arrested for threats against Seattle mosque

A Muslim Man Was Beaten Outside a Mosque in NYC — Here's Why It Matters

There have also been multiple threats against Pride events and a man caught with assault weapons and explosives on his way to a pride event.

In my support of both LGBTQAIP+ people and Muslim people on Tumblr, I've gotten many Islamophobic messages telling me that I'm part of the problem because Islam is homophobic, and that I'm a bad feminist because Islam is misogynistic.

That is bullshit that I will not tolerate. Is there misogynistic and homophobic stuff in the Quran? Yeah, same as there is in just about every other religious text from any other religion. But it's Islam that gets targeted. That's Islamophobia. And the only reason that countries dominated by Muslim people and leaders are more overtly homophobic and misogynistic than others is that the U.S. and it's white dominated allies have spent the last fuckload of years fucking with, invading, and destabilizing these regions.

The U.S. just recently got same-sex marriage and is losing ground on abortion rights. If we were being constantly fucked with and bombed to shit by some superpower, we would even be this far. You can bet the Christian extremists would have seized power and implemented Biblical law.

I have long maintained that religion is an idea, and an idea can be used as a tool for good or evil, but religion itself cannot be good or evil. People can use it as inspiration to be good or as a tool to do evil, but homophobia and misogyny come from people, not religion. All major religions can be interpreted many different ways, and people have a remarkable ability to interpret things to support shit they already believe. Blaming an entire religion for the shit some people have done under it is called prejudice, and if it’s done to a religious people that has been both locally and globally oppressed, it’s called bigotry.

Gamer Dudes Even Attack Female Toys for Being Game Developers

[TRIGGER WARNING: FAT HATRED, MISOGYNY]

Gamer boys are the worst, I swear to Gob.

Sexist Trolls Are Attacking Barbie for Her New Career as a Game Developer


You've got to be shitting me.

But you're not. Look at some of this shit:


What does this even mean? What is gamer hair> What the fuck is a strategic butt covering? Who is triggered? Have gamer douchebros so run out of real things to say that they're just spewing out bizarre abstract art? Are aliens going to come across this hundreds of years from now when we humans have killed off our entire species and spend hundreds more trying to interpret its meaning?

The rest of the responses are just losers being like "lol she should be fat and ugly" because of course.

Please tell me more about how the gaming community is inclusive and totally not misogynistic as fuck.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Gif of the Day



Why is this so funny.

To the Dude Complaining That I'm Censoring Him













This is How You Ally

Can everyone please follow the fine example of this white man?

Meanwhile, in Canada: a Cabinet minister just resigned to give his job to a woman

On Monday, Ontario Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Ted McMeekin announced he was stepping down from his post to do his part in achieving "gender parity in [Wynne's] next Cabinet." Rumors of a cabinet shake-up began a few weeks ago, when a source told the Globe and Mail that the premier wanted to have her staffers be less "old, tired and grey." 
In a Facebook post announcing his resignation, McMeekin attributed his decision to Trudeau's plan for a gender-equal government. "Like our Prime Minister, I’ve never been afraid to call myself a feminist. In fact, I’ve always been proud of being an honourary member of the Women’s Caucus, and working for equality," he wrote. "But sometimes the best way for a man to advance the equality of women may be to step back and make room at the table."

This is the best news of the month, hands down. Not that there's much competition in terms of good news.

Please please please more of this. Actually, if we really want equality, all men in politics should step down and stay out of government for a couple hundred years. This is what egalitarians should be fighting for.

Let's go. I want to see all men out of government by the end of the month. Chop chop.

Guest Post: Why I'm So Sick of People Thinking They Control Women's Bodies

Just because we’re living in the 21st century doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of people who think they can tell women what to do with their own bodies. Anti-abortion laws, honor killings and rape apologists still pop up in the headlines way too often these days, and even women who try and take control of their bodies in completely innocuous ways can be subject to discrimination.
Progress has been made in the fight against sexism, of course. Women in many countries have the right to vote and more of them are entering the job market, while there is increasing discussion of the staggering economic inequalities between the sexes as well. However, when it comes to a woman’s right to do what she wants with her own body, there’s still a lot of work to be done.
The Stanford Rape Case Shows That Rape Culture Is Alive and Well
If this case doesn’t make your blood boil even a tiny bit, I don’t know what’s wrong with you. Let’s go over the facts of the case: In 2015, an unconscious woman was found behind a dumpster and was being assaulted by a drunken freshman from Stanford University, according to the two men who tackled and detained him. That was about as clear-cut as you can get.
Yet despite rape carrying a sentence of 14 years in prison, the freshman, Brock Allen Turner, was given only six months in county jail because it would impact his “well-being,” while he was only convicted of sexual assault rather than rape.
But did anyone consider the well-being of the innocent woman Brock assaulted before this story made the headlines? Even more sickening than the sentence was Brock’s lousy excuse: blaming everything on alcohol and peer pressure rather than his own fault. Meanwhile, Brock’s father lamented that his son’s life had been ruined for “20 minutes of action”  and that he didn’t even enjoy steak anymore. Well boo-hoo for you.
Honor Killings’ Victims Are Almost Always Women
Although Romeo & Juliet is a classic, in the real world, it usually seems like only women are the ones dying for having forbidden loves. Enter the grisly world of “honor killings,” in which women are murdered for dishonoring their families by having a relationship with or marrying the wrong guy.
The tragic story of Zeenat Rafiq, an 18-year-old in Pakistan, is only one of these cases that made headlines recently. Because she married someone outside her ethnic group, Zeenat’s family was deeply ashamed. Her mother tied her to her bed, doused her in kerosene, and burned her alive. The worst thing about this case and other honor killings is that the finger of blame almost always points to women. Men rarely suffer such horrid consequences for extramarital relationships or other behavior.
Hospitals Restrict Women’s Rights to Their Own Bodies
Because we still live in a male-dominated society, all kinds of laws and customs not only favor men, but they also discriminate against women — and that isn’t confined to rape trials or the horrid tradition of honor killings. Some people want to control women’s bodies even in the most minute and harmless of cases.
Just take Missouri woman Jordan Thiering, who is pregnant. She wanted to engage in the historic tradition of placenta consumption upon the birth of her child, a custom which some studies suggest decreases postpartum depression but whose overall effectiveness hasn’t been scientifically concluded.
Still, the practice of placenta encapsulation (grinding a placenta into a powder and consuming via pills) is common, having increased in popularity since the 1970s, and completely harmless if conducted by a qualified professional. Yet Thiering was told by the hospital that she needed a court order to keep her own placenta. She followed through and eventually got it, but how ridiculous was it for her to have to use the court system to have the right to her own body part?
It’s Time to Treat Women Equally — and Let Them Be
In the end, there’s no way to solve these problems without doing two things. Number one, let women do what they please with their own bodies. Number two, read number one over and over again if you insist on explaining to women that the “law is the law” or that tradition sometimes overrules an individual’s rights.

Women have already been lesser citizens compared to men for hundreds, if not thousands, of years and thanks to the efforts of good people of all genders, that is finally starting to change. We must fight to keep it up.   



Holly Whitman is a feminist writer and journalist living in Washington DC. You can find more of her writing at Only Slightly Biased or on Twitter at @hollykwhitman.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Gif of the Day



Dog thinks the gate is still there. Silly colorblind dog.

Let's Talk About Domestic Terrorism

[TRIGGER WARNING: ANTI-CHOICE VIOLENCE, MASS SHOOTING MENTION, ISLAMOPHOBIA]

I've been getting batches of messages on Tumblr clearly from one single Islamophobic asshole trying to say that it's okay to be Islamophobic and I shouldn't be speaking out against Islamophobia because they apparently think Islam has a monopoly on bigoted violence. It's been suggested that by caring about Muslims in the wake of the Orlando shooting, I don't care about LGBTQAIP+ people or women.

You want to talk about terrorist attacks in the U.S. by misogynistic groups? Okay.

Anti-abortion terrorists have as of 1977 committed the following:

  • 11 murders
  • 17 attempted murders
  • 153 incidents of assault/battery
  • 383 death threats
  • 655 anthrax threats
  • 619 bomb threats
  • 41 bombings
  • 3 kidnappings
  • 173 arsons
  • 91 attempted bombings/arsons
  • 1264 incidents of vandalism

And this is just against clinics that provide abortion services. This also doesn’t include the daily intimidation campaigns against these clinics and anyone who even comes near them.

And if you're really upset about the Muslim extremist terrorists, I suggest you look into how they actually came into being. Hint: It's because of the U.S. "bomb the brown people" policy.

Recommended Reading

Subtle and Not So Subtle Ways Men Exert Sexual Power Over a Woman

This is one of those things I've always had a hard time putting words to. But it's astonishing how so many men are so skilled at putting women into impossible situations in which we have no power and no way out. Really, I guess it's not that difficult, because our society gives men a butt load of easy outs in these situations. The narrative is pretty much the same every time. Men can put us in these situations and no matter what we do or say, we end up being the bad ones.

The author, Sarah Ratliff, starts by describing an incredibly common type of situation. An old friend who is married with kids sends her a gross, sexual message. Being married herself, she is not into it. What does one do in a situation like that? Any woman can tell you that it doesn't matter. There is no way to get out of that with your dignity intact without being called a bitch.

Politely tell the guy you're not interested? Oh, it was just a joke. Now you're humorless and an embarrassment.

Tell the guy you don't appreciate sexual jokes from a married guy when you're also married? Now you're a humorless bitch who gets offended over nothing.

Ignore it? You're a bitch, and leaving the door open for further and escalating harassment.

Try to gently change the subject? Now you're leading him on and leaving the door open for more harassment.

Block him? Humorless bitch who punished him over nothing.

Hell, you could flirt back and eventually sleep with the guy, doing everything he wants, and you still end up taking all the blame for the infidelity and called a whore.

There is no out for us. The second a dude decides to send a message like that or make an offhand comment to us in person, we're fucked. And they know it. And we know it. That's why we get so stressed out and pissed about these situations, because there is no way out that doesn't end in us being called a bitch. Men know they can throw us into these powerless situations at any time, and no matter how we respond, they can duck any consequences by calling it a joke and making us the villain. And that's why they do it. To have power over us. In this way, women are constantly reminded of our disempowered place in this society, where men are never responsible for their actions and women are responsible for everyone's actions.

And that is why I say any man who does this is absolute fucking scum and deserves nothing less than a bag of flaming shit on his doorstep, because fuck it, it's not going to end well for us anyway.

Any male "friend" who does this to me can expect to get his house egged. At least. After I send a screenshot of the conversation to his wife and his mother.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Gif of the Day



I muST TOUCH IT.

How to Handle Dick Pic Senders

Some cishet dude sends you a dick pic? Send him back as many dicks as you can find!

Man sends woman an unsolicited d*ck pic, woman responds brilliantly. Man regrets it.

This woman's response and general arguments are fantastic, but the other things I love about this article are 1) it's from a website called "Student Money Saver" (????) and 2) at the end the article cautions people not to look up this guy's social media accounts to send him pictures of their own dicks. What did you think would happen, Student Money Saver dot co dot UK?

As for myself, I do encourage fans to track down Mr. James O'Leary on Facebook to send him more dicks, especially if you're a cis man. Turn his life and the lives of all other dick pic senders into avalanches of dicks. Never-ending parades of dicks. So many dicks that they begin to dream only of dicks. Until any day without seeing dicks seems strangely empty.

The Ultimate Truth




No okay, I understand that it's very easy to add sounds and music to Vines and all that, but I only believe in The Truth which is that, instead of standard cat noises, this cat makes tiny cartoon poking noises. Boop boop.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Gif of the Day



Tiny kitty or giant cup? Doesn't matter, super cute either way.

Oh Shit

I talked yesterday about how the Hillary vs. Trump election scares me because no matter who is elected, people will be hurt and killed. Trump had a predictably horrible reaction to the Orlando shooting, but Hillary people need to take into account the alarming Islamophobia of Hillary's response.

In her first speech following the shooting, Clinton doesn't waste time calling the shooter a terrorist. Now, it was a terrorist attack. Whether it was about homophobia, a planned IS attack, about anti-Lantix and/or anti-black racism, or some mix of these, mass shootings targeting a specific group are designed to evoke terror in that group of people.

However, "terrorist" evokes a very specific image in this country which is very much Islamophobic and has been intentionally riled up over terrorism related to extremist groups from the Middle East for many years. And every word in a speech from a politician like Hillary is very much intentional. She called him a terrorist for a very specific, calculated reason that is revealed by what she talked about next.

In her remarks, Clinton said “identifying and stopping lone wolves a top priority,” along with working in partnership with other countries. “The Orlando terrorist may be dead, but the virus that poisoned his mind remains very much alive,” she said.



This is revealing and frightening. Identifying "lone wolves" requires what? More surveillance of citizens like the Orlando shooter? More surveillance of people with names that sound like they could be Muslims? More arrests? Torture?

And what is the virus she's talking about? Does she mean the virus of desperate hopelessness that leads to anger and hatred for those who are destroying your entire country and killing your people and leaving your lives in a pile of smoking rubble?

This is the violent, Islamophobic warmongering that I'm worry about with Clinton. She's fueling the fire that will allow her to get away with further bombing the shit out of other countries under the guise of protecting America when all that does is create more terrorists. At the same time, she's fueling Islamophobic hate within our borders that puts every Muslim person here in danger. Plus all the people that we mistake for Muslim.

Can the Hillary people please come collect? Or is this going to be ignored?

Why Can't We Have Gun Control?

A lot of people are asking this. People in and out of the U.S. Those who aren't railing against the idea of gun control, that is.

I'm for gun control, or bullet control, as they do in Switzerland, but I also believe that guns or their availability aren't the root of the problem. Toxic masculinity, capitalism, homophobia and other forms of bigotry, white supremacy - these are the real problems.

At the same time, if someone has a problem controlling their behavior when it comes to a certain object, even if the object itself isn't the root of the problem, you take that object away until they can get their shit together. Especially if they're using that object to slaughter many hundreds of people every year.

You can't just focus on short term solutions, ignoring the long term. But when people are dying, you also need short term solutions. We do need gun control until we can figure out how to raise our children right and eliminate all that hate and violence from our culture. Because people are dying now.

So why can't we have gun control in the United States? Is it because of the 2nd Amendment?

No. It's because the arms industry owns this country. It's kind of scary, actually, how little this is talked about. There is absolutely a global arms industry that makes so many billions of dollars, it makes Microsoft look like a failing local convenience store. And it's so deeply ingrained in the U.S. that it's hard to know if it can exist apart from it.

This is why our military budget is huge to the point that we're spending money on military planes and tanks and shit we don't even need. The NRA is the local face of the arms industry, and thought that, the arms industry has bought many of our top politicians.

So what does that mean?

I think it might mean that we can have gun control in this country when we tear down the entire federal government and build back up again from scratch. But even then, no guarantees.

This is not to say that people shouldn't fight for gun control, because maybe I'm wrong, and preventing people from being randomly (or not so randomly) slaughtered is a good cause, no doubt about it. But if you want to know why it's so hard, look into the real funding sources of the NRA. And prepare for the toughest fight ever.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Gif of the Day


Thoughts On Trump vs. Clinton



I've been feeling rather conflicted on the dilemma that's now set before us. Bernie is not going to get the nomination unless something completely radical happens. I'd like that, but it's very unlikely.

I get the people saying that voting for Hillary is just participating in a rigged system designed to maintain the status quo of murderous imperialism and oppression. I also get the people saying that Trump will be worse. I see a lot of people saying that Hillary will be the same as Trump, but that's not true. Donald Trump is unlikely to veto the guaranteed attempt to repeal Obamacare should he become president. Hillary is very likely to continue to veto these attempts. Trump may well take away hard earned rights for LGBTQAIP+ people, while Hillary would not.

The fact is that I know quite a few people who could be severely negatively impacted by a Trump presidency. That scares me.

Then again, we all know about Hillary's imperialist foreign policy. Her record is terrifying. And the fact is that we can't know what Trump would do in terms of foreign policy as president because he's not a politician and nothing he says can really be trusted. It's pretty obvious that he's just saying whatever necessary to become president. Actually, any of his policies once he's in the White House are a mystery. He'll probably fucking things up and do terrible shit, but there are no guarantees. Hillary, on the other hand, has a clear track record at least when it comes to invading, disrupting, and bombing countries full of people of color.

Am I a case of wanting to protect those close to me at the expense of people who happen to be far away? Yeah, probably. But neither can we deny the fact that we don't know if Trump will be better or worse in terms of foreign policy. I can make a reasonable assumption that Hillary will be more effective at installing dictators and orchestrating bombing campaigns or what have you.

I feel like the real choice is between an incompetent power-hungry bigot and a highly competent power-hungry imperialist. And I'm feeling more than even that our two-party system is rigged and frighteningly terrible. That having to choose between these two types of movie villains for president is ridiculous in the extreme. And I'm beginning to understand why so many people refuse to participate at all.

People will be harmed no matter who wins the Presidency if it does come down to Trump vs. Clinton. And by harmed, I mean killed. Murdered. And I really don't want to be a part of deciding who lives and who dies. That's some god-playing that I've never wanted to be involved in, ever. Lucky for me, in my very blue state, my vote doesn't really matter in the presidential election. I may decide to only vote in local elections this year. I might vote for Jill Stein.

What I will do is keep working for real change. Radical change. I'll never say that Democrats and Republicans are the same, but both parties do suck and I want them both gone or radically changed. I want more than two parties. And I want real socialism.

Honestly Jill Stein is more of a socialist than "Democratic Socialist" Sanders and everything about her platform is great. I may end up coming out in support of her, but my thoughts are clearly still forming on the matter. Anyway. Yeah. To be continued. Feel free to share thoughts in the comments. Etc.

I'm Not Celebrating the Men Who Caught the Stanford Rapist

I get that people want to get something positive out of the shit-fest that was the Stanford rape case against the rapist Brock Turner, and so I'm not surprised to see a lot of articles lauding the two young men who caught him and intervened. And they did do good. But honestly, this kind of behavior should be 100% expected. Intervening in a rape in progress is definitely baseline human decency. To fail to do so would be nearly as appalling as the rape itself.

I guess they did do a little extra credit by holding the rapist down until the police got there to arrest him. And I also understand that people may be trying to encourage intervention from others in the future by calling these guys heroes. But it's at the very least depressing to think that stopping a rape in progress is hero behavior and not something anyone should automatically do. At worst it tells people that not intervening is average behavior instead of being totally despicable.

And how many men are out there right now that have failed to intervene when rape or sexual assault was happening or clearly about to happen? Men who are considered good guys just because they haven't raped themselves?

I think it should be considered common decency to intervene in rape, sexual assault, or any situation in which men are clearly preying on highly intoxicated women and to hold them down until they can be arrested, or if they haven't technically committed a crime, all people in the area should collectively carry him to the door and literally throw him out. And banned for life from the establishment.

I want zero tolerance for rapist behavior. I demand better than what these two men who caught Brock Turner did. I expect a complete end to rape culture. Nothing less will suffice.



On the Orlando Shooting

It's honestly been a good long time since I've felt anything after hearing about a mass shooting. It happens like almost every day in this country and the human brain has a way of getting used to just about any situation. But the Orlando shooting in the Pulse nightclub left me with a thick, heavy sadness.

There are so many terrible layers to this shooting beyond the fact that it's the biggest this country has ever seen. The fact that it was an LGBTQAIP+ club. The fact that it was Latinx night at a mostly black and Latinx club. The fact that it's Pride Month. The fact that the shooter's father said he became "very angry" at the sight of two men kissing. The fact that news outlets are focusing way more on the report of the shooter pledging allegiance the head if IS than to the clear homophobia at work. The fact that yesterday, cops caught a man armed with assault weapons and explosives on his way to another pride event.

The thought that so many people who need Pride will be afraid to go to events this month.

Every one of the gross Republicans using this to further hate against the Muslim community.

The terrible pain and fear of the Muslim LGBTQAIP+ community right now.

And I'm cishet, white, and not Muslim. I can't imagine how those directly affected by homophobia, racism, and Islamophobia are feeling right now.

I lit a candle yesterday morning because I didn't know what else to do. Trying to stop gun violence and bigotry in this country feels utterly impossible, now more than ever. I will never stop speaking out, but can things really ever change?

My love to all who are in pain because of this shooting. I'm sorry things aren't better for you.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Gif of the Day



I would name this cat "Scooter."

Serena Williams is Everything

EVERYTHING.

Serena Williams Is Fed Up With Your Sexist Questions and Backhanded Compliments, Men

She made a video with Glamour in which she's just spiking tennis balls at a guy in full attack-dog-training armor saying sexist shit, and it's the best fucking thing ever. I love that Serena is a black woman who is so badass and buff and successful that she intimidates the fuck out of every dude and white person in the universe, but the more they try to tear her down, the stronger she gets. She's now the highest paid female athlete in the world, she's set so many records, and she just keeps getting better.

And now she's just literally straight up shooting tennis balls at representations of sexist dudes. It's glorious. This is a much better day for women than Hillary clinching the nomination.

And then this happens:


Life is good.

Here's the whole video:

End the Normalized Predation of Women

I want to take the time to remind everyone that a huge aspect of rape culture is the fact that our society teaches men that having sex is a matter of power and conquest. How much of sex for boys and men is about doing whatever possible to get it? How much of night life for men is about targeting women, wearing down their defenses via alcohol, drugs, lies, calculated manipulation, or whatever they have at the disposal, to get a woman into bed?

It's a predator-prey relationship to men.

You can still see it in media all the time. How I Met Your Mother, though mercifully ended, is a very recent and perfect example. Many movies popular with my generation are perfect examples. And you see that same behavior played out in college fraternities, bars, and night clubs everywhere. This behavior is so normalized as to be expected and encouraged via shit like "ladies night." By the vast majority of our society, this behavior remains unquestioned. But it's rapist behavior.

Rapists prowl bars and parties looking for the woman they think will be most vulnerable to their tricks. Rapists use alcohol and drugs to make it easier to rape their victims. Rapists think everything they do is okay because this behavior is normalized by media and everyone else. Rapists say that their victims deserved it because they dared to be in their path and do what they wanted - engaging, drinking, taking drugs, being vulnerable. Rapists say that it wasn't rape because clearly their victims wanted it for doing any of those things.

This includes convicted rapists like Brock Turner and all the many, many men who get away with rape.

Recently I shared a post on Facebook that was going around containing a story in which a woman intervened and stopped a man from raping another woman. The story described a frat dude holding a very drunk, barely conscious woman up with his knees and body to try and make out with her, then started to basically drag her upstairs to rape her. The woman telling the story stopped him and took his victim away from him, triggering an angry meltdown in the rapist frat fuck.

He was described as having shouted insults and gendered slurs at her, enraged that his prey had been taken away. This was at a party, practically in public, after his victim told her rescuer in front of him that "no," she did not want to go upstairs with him. His actions so clearly were sexual assault and would have been rape, and he responded with rage at the denial of an opportunity to rape.

Did he not realize he was about to become a rapist? Did he not care?

And this happens all the time. Probably multiple times every Friday in this fucking country. There are thousands upon thousands of stories like this. Because men don't think they're doing anything wrong.

Men need to stop treating women like prey. Our society and media needs to stop teaching men to view women as prey. It needs to stop telling men that they're predators. All of this needs to stop immediately. No more shows like HIMYM. No more normalized, excused, and endorsed rapist behavior. Never again.

*Cackles*

[TRIGGER WARNING: RAPIST]

No seriously though.

600 Witches Gathered This Week to Put A Hex On Stanford Rapist Brock Turner

An estimated 600 witches around the world gathered on Tuesday night, at 10 PM (Central Time), to place hexes on Stanford University rapist Brock Allen Turner, his scumbag father, Dan A. Turner, and Aaron Persky, the judge who presided over his unbelievably unjust trial.



Nah, that's a caricaturized stereotype of witches, of course. The gif, I mean, not the hexing of men, obviously that still happens.

You may not believe in witchcraft. Maybe you think it doesn't ever work. I don't personally care what anyone's beliefs are around things like this, I support all thoughts on the matter, buuuuuuuuuuuut

Brock Turner permanently banned by USA Swimming

That happened two days after the mass hex. So, you know, I'm just saying...



Thursday, June 9, 2016

Gif of the Day



Me while my friends fight over Bernie vs. Hillary. This cartoon had a lot less sexual harassment than Animaniacs, by the way.

Oh My God, Men

This article. How did I not see it last summer?

15 Men React To The Idea Of Taking Their Wife’s Last Name After Marriage

Oh my god these dudes. Highlights:

“I run the house—handle the cleaning, make the money, plan the vacations, arrange most meals, etc. My wife is a chill ass woman, so a lot of that is just informed by our different personality types. But since I’m the one doing all the work, I think I’ve earned the right to have her take my name.” — Oscar, 31

Arrange the meals? Who cooks them? I have a really hard time believing this fuck does all the cleaning. Also, planning the vacations isn't some kind of work or sacrifice. It sounds like this asshole is just controlling as fuck. He doesn't mention if they have kids but if they do she probably does all the childcare. This guy doesn't deserve shit.

“I’ll tell you this: I’d take my wife’s name in an instant, but only if it meant avoiding that male birth control stuff that plugs up your sperm tubes. That whole process sounds really unpleasant, not to mention untested on a 10-year time horizon.” — Titas, 23

Lmao, nevermind the fact that largely untested birth control shit is constantly pushed on women that does god knows what to our hormones, but it's all on us because god forbid men are uncomfortable or face health risks.

“There’s something so emasculating about the notion of a man washing away his name altogether. The thought makes me uncomfortable, and kind of angry.”— Edgar, 25

At least this one's honest? "Not having all the power makes my cis dude dick feel smaller." - Edgar, 25.

“No way. Rationale? It’s half a biological impulse, and half a contextual thing. Biologically, the word ‘domain’ keeps popping into my head. That sounds misogynistic, I know. But at my core, when all is said and done, I believe that the family is my domain. For instance, in any hypothetical state of emergency, I’m going be the one to sacrifice my life to save my wife and children. I should be the one whose name lives on.” — Raul, 29

No, it doesn't sound misogynistic, Raul. It IS misogynistic, and you're a total prick for suggesting that women wouldn't sacrifice themselves for the ones they love.

“My sense is that on a genetic level women want to marry up and part of marrying up is that they’re buying into a certain kind of—for lack of a better word—dynasty and that means taking a man’s name. For a man to change his name to her name would be to reverse a longstanding sociological phenomenon and I just don’t think a lot of women let alone men actually want that.” — Kyle, 27

Because "we've always done things this way" is the best reason to keep doing things. First we had "domain," now "dynasty." Men need to find a better way to find themselves some self-worth.

“Listen, I’m a feminist. But we have to draw the line somewhere. Equal rights shouldn’t come at the cost of upending all established conventions. Why get married at all if you don’t want to embrace the related traditions?” — Elijah, 27

Sure, draw the line at the straight up patriarchal tradition that destroys the names of women. Good idea.

“I have some friends out west who’ve done the combo last name thing for the baby, and that seems fair. Starting a new lineage is kind of cool. But taking her name? That’s not fair. That’s just l**e. No thanks.” — Ethan, 30

Yeah, no fair, having to give up your name for someone else's. Totally unfair. It's not like women have been doing this for centuries. Dear god men are ridiculous.

They even tracked down a straight up meninist for one of them:

“If hoards of men started taking their wives’ surnames, it would be an unfortunate and perhaps irreversible step towards a matriarchal goddess culture, which blows for guys because those cultures used to routinely kill male infants and treat males like slaves. In a world where there are already very few incentives for men to get legally shackled, this is one slippery slope I wouldn’t want to slide down.” — Ricky, 27

LMAO OKAY RICKY.

Men.