Monday, October 31, 2016

Gif of the Day


Happy Halloween!



More Standing Rock/DAPL Fuckery

Okaaaay, what kind of fuckery has been going on at the Standing Rock Reservation over the past few days? If you haven't been following the developments, I'm listing a lot of them here for maximum smad.

First of all, it came out that the DAPL was originally going to run through Bismark, but it was diverted because the white people living there didn't want it to poison their water.


White privilege strikes again!

And then there's the fact that arrested protesters are apparently being marked with numbers written on their arm and shoved into dog kennels where they have to sit and sleep on cold concrete in large groups. The police then basically admitted that this was true, saying:

Temporary holding cells (chain link fences) have been installed into the Morton County Correctional Center and are used for ‘mass arrest’ situations only. They are temporary until the Correctional Center can get them processed into our facility or transferred to another facility in North Dakota. The temporary housing units have been inspected and approved by the ND Department of Corrections.

Oh well if it's been approved by the Department of Corrections then it MUST be fine.

That was sarcasm.

Nearly 200 people have been arrested at this point as police continuously ramp up their efforts to stop the protesters. Construction of the pipeline is also accelerating and is almost complete. Sioux leaders are preparing for a last stand to try and prevent the pipeline from entering the river.

Meanwhile, my fellow white people continue to be incredibly racist and disrespectful but not only dressing up as Native Americans for Halloween, but dressing up specifically at Sioux water protectors.

Click to Enlarge

CAN YOU FUCKIN' NOT.

The odd spelling in the photo of the right I guess is supposed to be imitating an accent, maybe? Which is even more disgusting and I hope these people are identified and fired for being horrible fucking people who don't deserve the land they live on.

Though I don't think that Hillary Clinton has said anything herself on this issue, one of her spokespeople made the following statement:

“Now, all of the parties involved — including the federal government, the pipeline company and contractors, the state of North Dakota, and the tribes — need to find a path forward that serves the broadest public interest,” Hinojosa added.

The pipeline company, contractors, and the state and federal government's goons need to get the fuck off of Native land. That's what needs to happen. The interest of the Native Americans who own that land is all that matters. This pipeline is illegal. Fuck you, Hillary.

If you want to help but can't actually go there (I really wish I could), protest leaders are asking people to "check in" on Facebook at the Standing Rock Reservation because police have been monitoring these check-ins and using them to target and arrest specific protesters. Assholes. Here are step-by-step instructions to make this more effective.

Good news: Standing Rock protesters have raised over a million dollars through crowdfunding as more and more people step up to help them in their efforts to resist this new genocide effort. You don't need to share this part too much, though. Those people can't get enough money. Send them more money if you can. They need to feed, clothe, and shelter around 670 people, plus they need medical supplies because lol cops. Oh, and legal fees.

The U.N. is now formally asking that construction of this pipeline be stopped and Amnesty International has send "human rights observers" to the protest site to monitor the situation. Anonymous has also joined in, addressing a warning video to the government of North Carolina.

There's way more but I that sad mad is turning into intense despair so I'm gonna stop.

I just completely and utterly hate that I belong to a country that does this. Our government is participating in a long, slow genocide of the native peoples. We want them dead and gone. It sickens me to my very core. They suffer more violence, mental illness, and poverty than any others in the U.S., and we continue to take from them. And we'll keep going until we've taken everything. That is the USA.

I wish I could be there to stand with them.

Some Scary Shit

[TRIGGER WARNING: BODY HORROR, BLOOD]

More like scary AWESOME. But also pretty scary in general.

For your Halloween pleasure, here are some incredible makeup effects by the blog The Makeup Bag.

For example:



Just keep in mind that most of the recent ones are much scarier/more disturbing than this. But if you're into that, this blog is perfect. And it's a further demonstration of the fact that makeup is an art form.

Freedom of Speech is for White People

[TRIGGER WARNING: ANTI-BLACK RACISM, LYNCHING]

The anti-blackness in this country is just so stark, it's ridiculous.

First, the singer of the U.S. National Anthem for a recent 76er's game, a black woman, was turned away because she was wearing a jersey that said "We Matter." Not even "Black Lives Matter." Just "we."



She refused to change so they didn't let her sing. Because she dared to say that she and people like her matter.

Meanwhile.

Students Dress Up as Obama in a Noose at College Football Game, Allowed to Stay

According to video posted to social media, the pair of students were originally asked to leave the stadium, though school officials allowed them to stay, saying the costume was defensible as a form of free speech. Tweets from both the University of Wisconsin’s official account and from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Police Department said as much while denouncing the costume.

Oh sure. Free speech. A costume encouraging violence against the President and the woman who is soon to be President, one of which is a black man in a country with a history of lynching black men. That's protected speech. A piece of clothing saying "We Matter"? Nope.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Gif of the Day

[WARNING: SCARY!]




I didn't know how to warn for this, but this gif scared the crap our of me until I realized it was a fucking cat with a blanket. I was like "what is it what is that WHAT IS THAT WHAT IS THAT oh awwwwww kitty."

This is Two of My Least Favorite Things Combined

[TRIGGER WARNING: CHILD MOLESTATION, SEXUAL ASSAULT, ANTI-BLACK RACISM, POLICE BRUTALITY]

Black Man is Arrested After Defending Girl Who Was Molested on a Bus

The link only contains a video. A video of a black man, Moise Morancy, pinning down a white man who had been touching a 15-year-old girl. Morancy is yelling at this guy, giving him hell for being a pedophile child molester piece of shit. "DO. NO. TOUCH. HER. AGAIN."

He is my fucking hero.

And then the cops come and arrest him. Put him in handcuffs. The white guy's yelling that Morancy tried to kill him, looks like he's resisting arrest (at least a lot more than any black person whom police have claimed were resisting arrest), but gets treated just fine. Even though he was the one who attacked Morancy after he spoke up, and everyone saw it.

There are so many stories - so many fucking goddamn stories - of women and girls being bothered and harassed and sexually assaulted on the bus by men, and people do nothing. The people on the bus or on the train do nothing. They let it happen. They let grown men molest little girls and do nothing. This man does something and gets handcuffed for it. They never would have done that to a white man in the same position.

Thankfully, it seems to have ended well. Morancy himself thanked the "good officers of the NYPD" (if you can believe in such a thing) over a photo of him posing with officers posted on him Facebook page. He's clearly been released and the victim gave him a rose. And he's releasing a mix next month!

Anyway, I'm really angry that a girl had to endure that and that Morancy was detained like that. But I am also extremely happy that someone out there is willing to protect teen girls from child molesters, even knowing as well as he clearly does what could have happened to him. He is my hero. His actions have given me hope for this world.

Thank you, Moise Morancy. You are everything.

White Privilege Dot JPG

[TRIGGER WARNING: POLICE BRUTALITY, MILITARIZED POLICE]

Remember the asshole white people who trashed a wildlife refuge and LIT.ER.AL.Y shat all over sacred Native American sites in Oregon? Because they were mad that the police arrested some other white people for starting illegal fires in the tinderbox that the Pacific Northwest has become in recent years?

They were all acquitted. Because they were "protesting government overreach and posed no threat."

Meanwhile.


Because people praying for water are a threat? Yeah. A threat to capitalism. A threat to the rich. A threat to white supremacy.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Gif of the Day



That feminist witchcraft is dangerous.

Recommended Reading

[TRIGGER WARNING: TRANSPHOBIA, CISSEXISM]

Speaking of writing things, this trans guy wrote a piece on something that also baffles me on a regular basis - people writing about things without even doing the most cursory research to educate themselves on something they're saying.

Cis Writers: Do Your F#cking Homework Before You Write About Trans People

It doesn't seem like a difficult concept, but time and time again people are completely fucking up on basic shit when writing about marginalized groups, particularly trans people. Sometimes privileged people will ask what they can do to learn more and make sure they don't fuck up. It's not such a hard thing. All you have to do is follow trans people on social media or regularly read their blogs, and in no time you'll come to understand how to respect them as human beings.

And it's very important to do so.

As a writer, I know that when you have access to a platform that people read, what you say on that platform has the potential to uplift people. But it just as easily has the ability to disempower people – we can fall into narratives and stereotypes that make people’s lives a whole lot harder. 
And in the case of transgender people, who are already so often victimized and brutalized in our society, when we speak about trans people in ways that are dehumanizing, we literally encourage people to view us and treat us as less than – which far too often leads to violence. 
Cis writers, you should care about how you talk about trans people. Your words are the microaggressions that make us feel like the “other.” Your words are the hostility that shatters our psyche and self-esteem. Your words are the battle cry for those waiting for an opportunity to bully us, assault us, or even end our lives.

Okay, my fellow cis writers? Know. Your. Shit.

I Wrote Another Thing for The Establishment

As in the website, not the ruling class.

What Do You Do When No Candidate Is Unproblematic?

I don't know if it was luck or the fact that I've been thinking about this for several months, but this piece pretty much all just flowed out of me in a good order that allowed me to do a tie-in at the end and wrap things up nicely. But part of me still feels like I didn't explain things perfectly. Being an anxiety-ridden perfectionist will do that to you. The comments on The Establishment's Facebook post about it don't help.

Hillary Clinton isn't just "problematic." I tried to explain that in the piece by pointing out the fact that the term "problematic" has been used to describe things that are much worse. Clinton's record in terms of imperialism, military violence, and racism is so bad. SO BAD. That even though part of me just wants to vote for her to help ensure that Donald is thoroughly crushed, I can't do it. I already have my mail in ballot, by the way. Everything is filled out but my vote for President.

One person commented "Vote for the best possible outcome based on the available options, like an adult."

BUT.


If only I could see into the future. Things would be so much easier. You know, assuming the future is good. And not horrible.

I dunno. I did my best on that piece. I'm doing my best to consider all the options and think of possible outcomes while also weighing my desire to actually live by my personal set of values. I'm going to research the socialist parties on the ballot and do some more research on the Green Party's chances of pulling five percent of the vote and hopefully make a decision this weekend so I can put this hell behind me.

I hope this election isn't making you too sad and anxious. Have a good Thursday.

Not Sure If This is More Hilarious or Horrifying

I came across one of the best and worst things I've ever seen yesterday.

If Women Wrote Men the Way Men Wrote Women

Like, it's funny, but also a stark reminder of how men write women so often. I haven't read shit like this in so long and even when I was younger I hated sexist shit like this. Just, ugh, men are so fucking gross and they hate women so much. I get called a man hater for calling men gross but look how they write us! They hate us!

Anyway, fair warning, it's funny but it's horrible. Funorrible.

Then there's Buzzfeed's If White Characters Were Described Like People of Color in Literature.

Mostly it's mortifying food analogies. I don't think I can ever read anything but anyone other than women of color ever again.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Gif of the Day



Water dog loves land dog.

Intersex Awareness Day

Today, October 26th, is Intersex Awareness Day. Intersex people are very often left in the shadows. I find myself often forgetting to consider and include them in my activism. Lumping them in with LGBT+ people (also known as the alphabet soup suffering coalition) is considered by many intersex individuals to be unhelpful and even harmful, as they deal with many unique issues.

Here is the definition of intersex according to the Intersex Society of North America:

“Intersex” is a general term used for a variety of conditions in which a person is born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t seem to fit the typical definitions of female or male. For example, a person might be born appearing to be female on the outside, but having mostly male-typical anatomy on the inside. Or a person may be born with genitals that seem to be in-between the usual male and female types—for example, a girl may be born with a noticeably large clitoris, or lacking a vaginal opening, or a boy may be born with a notably small penis, or with a scrotum that is divided so that it has formed more like labia. Or a person may be born with mosaic genetics, so that some of her cells have XX chromosomes and some of them have XY.

Intersex awareness is important due to the fact that most intersex people have medical issues. This includes issues with the medical establishment that often insists on unnecessary surgery to make them "normal" or fit into the gender binary, typically when they're infants.

This Intersex Awareness Day is especially special because it's the 20th anniversary of the first awareness day. To commemorate this, 40 organizations including 20 that focus exclusively on intersex issues published a joint statement calling for better treatment of these individuals.

More than 40 organisations, including more than 20 intersex-led organisations, have called “for intersex people to have control over their medical decisions, to be free from medically unnecessary interventions, and to have access to psychological and peer support”

Surprisingly, even the U.S. Department of State has published a statement to recognize Intersex Awareness Day.

We recognize that intersex persons face violence, discrimination, stigma, harassment, and persecution on account of their sex characteristics, which do not fit binary notions of typical male or female bodies. 
Intersex persons routinely face forced medical surgeries that are conducted at a young age without free or informed consent. These interventions jeopardize their physical integrity and ability to live free.

Yeah like you had nothing to do with that, state department. Sure. Okay.

But at least it shows that people are becoming more aware of the existence of intersex people. It's a start. It's also not nearly enough.

If you're not familiar with intersex individuals, I highly recommend looking through intersexday.org  to take advantage of the many articles by intersex people and information on the basics. Then maybe share some stuff on social media. It's not too hard.

What

I'm sorry, WHAT.

A video posted by Baby Animals (@babyanimalsco) on



Best Idea Ever

This may be the best activism opportunity yet.

Women in Iceland protest country’s 14 percent pay gap by leaving work 14 percent early

Even in Iceland, the country many experts consider the world’s leader in gender equity, the gender pay gap is continuing to persist. Women employees make 14 to 18 percent less than men in Iceland — a discrepancy that unions and women’s organizations said means that women effectively work for free after 2:38 pm. On Monday, in protest of the pay gap, thousands of Icelandic women decided to work the hours their pay merited — by leaving their workplaces promptly when the clock struck 2:38.

I am completely up for leaving work an hour and 50 minutes early in order to make up for the 23 percent gap between me and white men. And I absolutely encourage women of color to leave even earlier.

Unless you're not salaried and can't afford to lose the hours. Fucking capitalism. Let's just riot and take back what the rich took and continue to take from us.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Gif of the Day





This seems unnecessary.

Can This Please Be a National Outrage

[TRIGGER WARNING: SEXUAL ABUSE, SEXUAL HUMILIATION, POLICE BRUTALITY]

It's apparently not bad enough that the U.S. government is breaking treaties by allowing an oil corporation to build a pipeline on Sioux land. It's not bad enough that the company attacked peaceful protesters, water protectors, and praying people with dogs. It's not bad enough that the police are now conducting mass arrests, pepper spraying wildly, and doing everything they can to stop efforts to stop the construction of an illegal pipeline.

Now they're using sexual humiliation and abuse against Sioux women. Just like the U.S. has done to them for centuries.

Dakota Excess Pipeline? Standing Rock Protectors Strip-Searched, Jailed for Days on Minor Charges

I think that strip searching should be illegal in any case, but doing so to female protesters is completely unnecessary and clearly being done to punish them for protesting and send the message to Sioux and other women that standing up against the state will result in sexual abuse. I've never been strip searched, but the idea of it is completely terrifying to me. It sounds utterly violating and humiliating.

If that's still not bad enough, one woman is saying that she was left naked in a cell overnight. This is 100% abuse and I hope to god it's illegal.

There's a petition to demand that this shit stop, not that I think that a petition will be enough, but you can use it to spread the word. We need national attention on this immediately. If you have any notion about the history of the U.S.'s treatment of Native American women, you'll understand how fucking horrific this is. It needs to stop, the police need to leave the protesters alone, the pipeline construction needs to stop, and police and company executives need to be arrested for assault and abuse of people just trying to defend their land from bullshit.

This is why people were pleading the country not to forget about the DAPL after the government put a temporary halt on construction. It was clearly an appeasement tactic, as many of the Sioux protesters warned. Now NoDAPL isn't trending anymore because people think they've won, but nothing has changed. We have to keep fighting this until all construction is permanently halted, what's already there is removed, and we can be sure this shit won't happen again.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Gif of the Day




Recommended Reading

Chronic pain isn't talked about much outside of its own community. This is kind of baffling considering how many people have experienced it or currently experience it. I know a lot of people who have or are suffering from chronic pain, and I've seen what it can do to a person. At the same time, nothing has made me appreciate the ability of human beings to adapt and survive more than chronic pain and illness. You haven't seen strength until you've witnessed someone deal with chronic pain.

On the other hand, I can understand why it's not talked about more. People with chronic pain often stop talking about it after a short period of time, in no small part due to the inability of others to properly handle the subject. And non-chronic pain people don't want to hear about it because we can't do much about it. We can't stop the pain from hurting our loved ones, and it's hard for us to imagine both the pain and how they could possibly deal with it for such a long time. This creates anxiety, so we try to avoid it. We convince ourselves that what they're experiencing isn't that bad, that they're just dramatic or seeking attention. I've found myself somehow forgetting that loved ones are sick and in pain for periods of time in spite of how much it affects their lives.

Those human defense mechanisms.

We who are not chronically ill and not experiencing chronic pain need to do better. We need to stop letting our defense mechanisms rule us so that we can help. Here are some ways you can do better for people in chronic pain:

This is What Chronic Pain Sufferers Want You to Know

The last item talks specifically about how to offer help and little things you can do to help. This article was great educational material for me, so hopefully it will be for most of my fellow non-chronic pain folks.

Things Men Are Allowed to Grab Women By

We've all heard about and are trying to forget Donald's "grab her by the pussy" comment. Though I was surprised that there was outrage around this in particular and not any of the equally gross things he's said about women or actually DONE to women, but I was glad. Good, most people agree that this kind of thing is not only unacceptable to do, but to talk about doing. Great.

Unfortunately, it seems that even the people who agree with this sentiment don't entirely get the point. For example, the men who started the "Grab Her By the Brain" campaign.


Yeeeaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh. If you could just not grab women at all, that'd be great.

Or, if you really, REALLY need to grab women by SOMETHING, here's a nice list of things of our's that are appropriate to grab:


  • Grab her by the front of the speeding freight train
  • Grab her by the inside of the preheated oven
  • Grab her by the mouth of her pet shark
  • Grab her by the depths of the Pacific Ocean
  • Grab her by the downed power line
  • Grab her by the hand of the Grim Reaper
  • Grab her by the pile of dry ice
  • Grab her by the inside of a supermassive black hole 


You get the idea.



U.S. Anti-Native Racism Update

[TRIGGER WARNING: MURDER BY POLICE, SUICIDE, GUN VIOLENCE]

I talk a lot about anti-black racism here, but it's important to keep in mind how often racism and police brutality against Native Americans goes unnoticed - due in part to the fact that it's rarely reported on.

A Native woman in my area was killed by police last Friday after a family member called the police to help her out of fear that she was going to kill herself. Renee Davis had been struggling with depression, which is very high among the Indigenous American population. As has happened far too many times, instead of helping her, the police shot and killed her. The cops say she had a handgun on her but A) yeah right and B) not every person holding a gun around the police deserves to die. And certainly every person doesn't.

To make things even more tragic, she was five months pregnant. And her two- and three-year-old were in the house when she was murdered. Also she has another five-year-old kid who wasn't there but is now motherless. (Where are the pro-lifers on this? Oh wait she wasn't white so they don't care.)

Native Americans are actually killed by police at a higher rate than any other race. The percentage of people killed by police who are Native is more than double the rate of Native people who actually exist in the country - 1.9 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively. The low numbers may explain the lack of representation in the media and even on social justice blogs like mine, but it doesn't excuse it.

This doesn't mean we should talk less about anti-black racism or that the Black Lives Matter movement isn't as important. But we need to make sure to include other races in the conversation about police brutality and systemic white supremacy in the U.S. and abroad. Native Americans also have their own unique issues to deal with, including the fact that non-Native people can go onto reservations, commit violent crimes against Native persons, and then will be tried by a non-reservation court, The low number of convictions of these mostly white men suggests what you might suspect - these courts are not friendly to Native Americans.

Plus the whole history of genocide and broken treaty after broken treaty, continuing today up to and including the Dakota Access Pipeline debacle.

Speaking of, police are still attacking and arresting mass amounts of DAPL protesters, Police are saying that the protest is "unlawful," by which they mean "effective," and ignoring the fact that the construction itself is unlawful. I wholeheartedly support any violence used by Native American protesters in an attempt to stop this treaty-breaking pipeline that will inevitably leak and poison their sacred land and destroy their livelihoods. They have so little left, and they're not even allowed to fight to keep that. Fuck the police, fuck the U.S. government, fuck respectability politics, fuck oil companies, and fuck this entire country in general.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Gif of the Day



How and why.

Capitalism is Killing Us

[TRIGGER WARNING: SUICIDE, STARVATION, ABUSE, ANIMAL ABUSE]

You may have already read that Guardian piece on how neoliberalism is creating loneliness, and as neoliberalism has surged in many Western, white-dominated nations, mental illness among the young has drastically increased. It's important to note that psychology is a relatively new science and more young people may be being diagnosed rather than being left undiagnosed, but the piece really spoke to something I'd been feeling in the past couple of years.

Neoliberalism is a complex term, but to me it means a new form of liberalism that embraces capitalism and many philosophies that were once considered to be conservative. The Guardian piece in particular mentioned this intense definition of "individualism" that many people have embraced, particularly in the U.S. This is absolutely a thing that came from capitalism and the reactionary fear and hatred of socialism/communism, or anything that emphasized a collectivist ideal.

Many people have said before that we can't be completely individualistic. We can't only care about ourselves and maybe our families. If a society attempts to function that way, it will fail. People need to care about the health of the society that they live in. And it helps a lot to care about the society for reasons other than its effect on oneself.

Instead, there's been an increasing trend of hostility toward the government and isolation from one's neighbors and community. This is not an accident. Capitalism demands competition and thrives on ignoring or profiting off of other's suffering.

I agree with the author in his belief that humans are social animals and emotional isolation from one another creates suffering. You can see this not only in the rise of mental illness that's accompanies the rise of individualism, but in the fact that the happiest countries in the world are the ones that emphasize family and community. These include countries often called "socialist" (even though they're not really, but much closer than the U.S.).

The piece does a fine job of pointing out just how damaging social isolation is.

Experiments summarised in the journal Physiology & Behaviour last month suggest that, given a choice of physical pain or isolation, social mammals will choose the former. Capuchin monkeys starved of both food and contact for 22 hours will rejoin their companions before eating. Children who experience emotional neglect, according to some findings, suffer worse mental health consequences than children suffering both emotional neglect and physical abuse: hideous as it is, violence involves attention and contact. Self-harm is often used as an attempt to alleviate distress: another indication that physical pain is not as bad as emotional pain. As the prison system knows only too well, one of the most effective forms of torture is solitary confinement.

This needs to be emphasized over and over and over.

In the past few years, since graduating from college, I've struggled on and off with depression related to entering the "adult world" - obtaining and retaining steady employment, getting my own place, and becoming "independent." I've been living in a small one bedroom apartment with my boyfriend for four and a half years now, and though having my own place to live with the person I love is amazing in a lot of ways, I have found myself far less happy than I was in college. This is due to a number of reasons, not the least of which is general stress from worrying about money and having to work 30-40 hours per week. But I've noticed something else.

I feel isolated. As much of an introvert as I am, and as much as I need my alone time, it's clear that my depression is alleviated by spending time with friends and family. If I engage in a lot of socializing, I'll find myself feeling good emotionally. The problem is that being away from home drains me as well, and anxiety issues makes this much worse. I need a lot of time to recharge. But thanks to the 40-hour work week, there's not a lot of spare time to fit in both socializing, recharging, and everything else that needs to be done in adult life.

But it's got me thinking. How much happier would I be if I lived in some kind of communal environment? I of course want my own space, but I've read about these communities where everyone lives in a small area, like a neighborhood only everyone's home is closer, and all the people in the community regularly interact through the making of communal meals. They take turns making a large amount of food and serving everyone in a dining hall type thing where everyone interacts. It's like one giant family. It sounds lovely.

I wish there was a way that I could get all the people I like together and live like that. I've long wished I could have a friend in the apartment next to mine, and we'd have our own space but be able to easily pop over and just chill. But apartment and general housing prices make this nearly impossible. And the idea of sharing a house with a group of people is scary, because what if we don't get along? What if money becomes an issue?

If in the future, somehow, money is no longer an issue, I hope to find a place to live like that. Maybe some kind of duplex building that I can buy and fill with friends. I don't want to live in an unnecessarily big house with just my boyfriend, cut off from the rest of my community.

And that's all well and good for me. But we're having a serious crisis right now. And by "we" I mean people who are generally much more oppressed than I am.

Ten-year-old Aboriginal girl latest in rash of suicides in Canada

Her death follows three others in the province this month, Cameron said, adding that he did not have any further details. 
Canada's 1.4 million aboriginals, who make up about 4 percent of the country's population, have higher levels of poverty and a lower life expectancy than other Canadians and are more often victims of violent crime, addiction and incarceration.

This is horrible all by itself, but also illustrates how mental illness - and by extension, neoliberalism/capitalism - is harder on severely marginalized communities. Indigenous populations tend to get the worst of it, and the fact that little children are committing suicide should shock people into action. Apparently the Canadian government is sending three therapists once a week to the area where these suicides have occurred, and I can tell you that it's not going to be enough.

Capitalism needs to be ended. Before it kills us, or makes us all kill ourselves, starting with aboriginal girls.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Gif of the Day



Peacock: "I'm not familiar with the type of thing that is happening here."

UK Sex Education Apparently Not So Great Either

[TRIGGER WARNING: MENSTRUATION, MISOGYNY, CISSEXISM, ABLEISM]

Today in "this has to be a joke, oh god, it's not a joke":

Teenage 'meninist' sparks fury with anti-tampon rant as he tells women to 'just control their bladders'





Dear Ryan,

I am so sorry your schools' sex education programs have failed you so completely. I'm also sorry if you live in a world where you have to pay for toilet paper in public restrooms. If you have received death threats, I'm going to have to demand evidence on par with "meninist" standards for death threats received by women.

Sincerely,

Everyone

Large-Scale Trans Jobs Program Launches, Is Somehow the First

How has this only just now become a thing? In California, a company has launched a large-scale outreach program dedicated to employing trans people, who have a terribly hard time getting work due to blatant and terrible discrimination coupled with the high rates of mental illness that tend to happen when your entire society hates you. It was started by a trans women, Michaela Mendelsohn, who managed to acquire a couple restaurants before she transitioned, and then she was like, hey, maybe I'll start trying to hire trans people. Then she talked about the idea to the California Restaurant Association, and they decided to launch a state-wide initiative.

California Restaurants Launch Nation's First Transgender Jobs Program

It's called the California Transgender Workplace Project. The organization goes to food service expos and hosts seminars called Trans 101 to educate employers on what transgender means and the issues that trans people face. They also alleviate concerns about transphobic customers. Mendelsohn herself has said that there has been overwhelming support in California for her trans employees from customers, but she also promotes actively supporting employees by putting a much-needed stipulation on the "the customer is always right" mantra.

That concern initially worried Mendelsohn, too. But she was surprised — in the years she's had restaurants staffed with trans people, customers have been overwhelmingly supportive. 
And when they aren't, she says bosses should be prepared to stand up for their employees. 
"You know, you always hear the thing, 'The customer's always right'," she sayss. "In my restaurants, the customer's always right unless they attack you personally."

Mendelsohn owns six El Pollo Loco franchises in Southern California, so if you're in the area, you can support them by buying some tasty chicken. Or if you're trans and need a job, drop off a resume. If I lived in Southern California, I'd be eating there all the time. For now, I think Washington State needs a push to get a trans employment program going. I'm gonna look up how to contact the local restaurant association and maybe we can get a petition or letter writing campaign going.

Because seriously, this should already exist everywhere.

"What Rape Culture?"

[TRIGGER WARNING: CHILD RAPE, INCEST]

We have another one.

I'm just... I thought. That everyone agreed. On the idea. That raping a child. Particularly raping YOUR child. Is the worst. Thing. You could ever. EVER. Do. At least in terms of like individual crimes committed upon single people. Like killing a child, pretty fucking terrible, but at least that can happen in a moment of passion, and as terrible as you would have to be to not only have that much anger in you and also target a child with that anger, at least it can happen in a second. Like one second. As opposed to rape, which takes several seconds at least. And raping your own daughter multiple times takes a lot of thought and deliberate action, manipulation and cover up. Like. You have to be okay with what you're doing the entire time.

That's beyond terrible. There is no word for how bad that is.

I thought we pretty much all agreed on that. People will certainly say that they do. Even anti-feminists and MRAs and general rape culture defenders will be claim that society hates rape and rapists, that it's considered to be the worst thing you can do, and rapists' lives are RUINED and everyone hates them forever no matter what, no sympathy, no second chances, nothing.

Um.

Man gets 60 days for repeatedly raping young girl—judge's reason is staggering (Trigger Warning)

A 40-year-old Glasgow, Montana man named Martin Blake was charged with three counts of rape and incest, admitted it, was convicted for one rape, pleaded out of a 100 year-sentence to receive 30 years, which are all suspended, and got 60 days in a jail (less 17 days already served). The Glasgow Courier reports that after two hours of testimony and arguments, Judge John C. McKeon felt the hardship of 60 days in a county jail and having to register as a sex offender was enough for a man who raped a mere child multiple times. 

Let me spell out the details for you. This man didn't just rape a child. He raped his daughter on at least three occasions. On the last time, his wife walked in on it. He then admitted to the crime. This would seem like a case of three counts of rape and three counts of incest, right? He was only convicted on one count of incest, despite admitting to all six of these counts, and despite the fact that committing incest upon an underage child is at the very least sexual assault.

I understand plea deals happen. He was originally looking at 100 years in prison, which sounds good enough, because, you know, average human lifespan. The plea deal got him down to 30 years. Seems pretty fucking short but at least is a lot more than most rapists get.

Then his sentence got suspended and actual jail time reduced to 60 minus 17 days.




Yeah.

And that happened because the judge thought that having to go to jail for a little while and being put on the sex offender registry, which he referred to as being "supervised" for the rest of his life (HA), was punishment enough. And the poor child rapists already lost his job and his family (except for his mother, who STANDS BY THE CHILD RAPIST) for raping his daughter.

How terrible of his family, who is also the family of the victim, to disown the guy who RAPED HIS LITTLE DAUGHTER THREE TIMES AND ADMITTED IT.

Over and over, rapists, including child rapists, including men who rape their own daughters, get sympathy not only from family members, not only from the public, but from the very people who hold the power to decide the extent of these rapists' punishment. They get sympathy and reduced sentences and "oh poor man, you've suffered enough, haven't you?" All without mentioning the suffering of the victim. Of the little girls who have to deal with the trauma of "my own father raped me multiple times when I was far too young to consent in any form."

All while non-violent drug offenders are given life in prison without a thought for their futures, for their suffering, for their potential, and for the value of their lives.

Rape. Culture.

I know I advocate for prison abolition and for reform and rehabilitation over imprisonment and exploitation, but I don't think we should START with the CHILD RAPISTS. Especially since it's been found that rehabilitating drug users is not that hard, but rehabilitating sex offenders, particularly child rapists, is extremely difficult. Maybe impossible. They haven't really been able to do it yet. So.

Lock them the fuck up for fuck's sake.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Gif of the Day



Same.

Rare Footage of Me




Me reacting to my looming responsibilities.

White Dudes Arrested for Terrorist Plot, Get Called a Militia

3 men charged in Garden City bomb plot

Three men charged for plotting to blow up an apartment complex and mosque in Garden City and inhabited by refugees, appeared in federal court Monday morning. 
Patrick Stein, Curtis Allen and Gavin Wright appeared before a judge in street clothing. All were in hand and leg cuffs. 
All three are charged with conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction. A charge that carries the penalty of life imprisonment.

The article also says that these three men, all white, who were planning to murder innocent Muslim individuals and refugees fleeing this kind of fucking violence, are part of a "militia group." That's an odd was to spell "terrorist organization."

This is literally terrorism but you'll never see mainstream media outlets calling it that. But if a brown person trips over a white person's extended legs, they get called a terrorist.

Also, can we please all be freaking out more that we have domestic terrorist organizations openly operating in this country, targeting completely innocent people who just want to not be bombed? Thanks.

Things Donald Trump Jr. Couldn't Handle

[TRIGGER WARNING: SEXUAL HARASSMENT]

Apparently Donald Trump Jr. has thoughts.

Trump Jr.: Women who won't tolerate sexual harassment "don't belong in the workforce"

“I’m of that mindset — and I’ll get into trouble, I’m sure I’ll get myself in trouble one of these days,” Trump began. “If you can’t handle some of the basic stuff that’s become a problem in the workforce today, then you don’t belong in the workforce. Like, you should go maybe teach kindergarten. I think it’s a respectable position.

Is that right, Donnie? Well I think that the following are a few things that you couldn't, for a single second, handle.

  • Harassment in the workplace
  • Harassment in any place
  • Basic stuff that's become a problem in the workforce
  • Being in the workforce
  • Teaching kindergarten
  • Learning that kindergarten teachers are part of the workforce
  • Reading this blog post without crying

Fun ally opportunity: Men should start subjecting Trump Jr. to some of the harassment women put up with on a regular basis and see how long it takes him to completely crumble in spite of his massive privilege.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Gif of the Day



After that long rant about the terrible things happening to this country, I need this gif.

The Horrific Downward Spiral of Normalized Bigotry

A lot of people out there are wondering how we got to Trump. How did we manage to end up as a country where 40% of our citizens are willing and even eager to vote for this awful man who is in every category woefully unqualified to be President yet is able to carry on his candidacy based purely on hateful rhetoric? Everyone knows he's a liar. Everyone knows he's said and done terrible things. But a large chuck of the population doesn't care, thinks he's right in his beliefs, and even likes him more for his bigotry, lying, and blowhardedness.

The other day I read an article in which the author interviewed a Trump supporter, and he said that in Russia, protesters are hit with tear gas right away, before things ever have a chance to get violent. The police attack them for protesting. This man said that things should be done this way in the U.S. When the author reminded him that this is against the U.S. Constitution, the Trump supporter replied with "so?"




How did we get to a country where not only do many people not see that we're hurtling toward fascism, but some of us actually want it? Trump supporters are practically begging for fascism - for the imprisonment of Trump's enemies, state-sanctioned violence against protesters, and the oppression of journalists. They actively support all of these things, which are clear hallmarks of fascism. I bet if confronted with this, many of them would outright say that fascism isn't so bad!

At the same time, people are already starting to lament the clear damage that Trump has done to this nation and beyond. Whether or not he's elected president, and even though he almost certainly won't be at this point, the damage of his campaign has already been done and can be seen throughout our society. How can this be?

There are a lot of answers to these questions, and a lot of people theorizing on this. You can look back through history for clues. But the thing I want to point to is the undeniable effect of words. Of rhetoric. I've talked about this before, and as the years have gone by, it's only become more apparent. Words matter. Words harm. Words can in fact do far more harm than any fist ever could. I think people generally know this and will readily acknowledge it under the right circumstances, but criticize their own words or that of someone they identify with and they go right back to "it's just words!"




It's not just words. Words form speeches, propaganda campaigns, books, education programs, legislation, media. Politicians pay experts on words a crap ton of money to choose just the right language to manipulate audiences. Calling welfare programs "entitlements" was not an accident, but a deliberate and careful strategy to demonize both welfare and those who need it. A well-chosen derogatory nickname for one's political opponent can stick and have a huge impact on the outcome of the election. This has happened in multiple Presidential elections. Maybe all.

Words are everything.

But it's not just words that are responsible for the downward shit spiral that led to and is being actively perpetuated by Donald Trump and his hell campaign. It's the idea that words are both incapable of causing harm and also somehow sacred at the same time. This has led to a widespread, mainly liberal tolerance of all speech, no matter how horrid.

Freedom of speech, of course, does not mean the freedom to say anything you want without being criticized for it by others. Freedom of speech means that you can't be arrested by the police or other government forces and thrown in jail for it. Yet the definition of freedom of speech has been twisted and perverted (with words) so that anyone who suggests that certain speech shouldn't be tolerated is basically called a fascist - even if it's fascist speech that person is refusing to tolerate.




We as a people, as a society, don't have to tolerate anything. We're allowed to use our own speech to shout down people saying bigoted, harmful things. We're allowed to punish these people through various social means, including ostracization, withdrawal of support, refusing to buy what they're selling, and notifying mothers and employers of their behavior.

The odd thing is, everyone seems to be willing to acknowledge the harm that speech can do when it targets bigots and gets them in trouble. A few people collectively yell at a bigot on Twitter and that's "bullying." Informing a company that you will no longer be buying their crap due to a racist ad is "abusive." And if you use words to direct an employer to horribly offensive content posted by an employee willingly on a public social media account? Well, you're a horrible person trying to ruin someone's life over nothing but words.

Are words capable of harm or not, people?

At some point in this country, due at least in part to toxic masculinity, it became a fun pastime to intentionally be as much of an asshole as possible. Assholes became immortalized on TV and in movies. Shock jocks became a thing - there are men (and only men) who are paid quite a lot to do nothing but be horrible assholes on the radio. Denis Leary wrote a song about how he's an asshole and proud of it. South Park happened.

And anyone who didn't like it got immediately shoved into the category of killjoy. You're uncool and no fun and you're trying to take away everyone else's cool fun. Plus you're attacking free speech somehow.




It's fucking ridiculous, but the real joke is that we've all put up with it. Average, decent people everywhere are so afraid of being labeled mean, uncool freedom haters that we've put up with increasingly harmful and hateful rhetoric and "jokes." Plus, we've allowed this to go on so long that recent counter-movements to the Being an Asshole is Cool and Funny Brigade have been viciously attacked. Not only are trolls are serious problem, they're rabid and extremely destructive in their attempts to "defend" what we've let them gain.

And so the spiral continues. Assholes say harmful things and declare themselves so very cool and funny for doing so, attack people who are like "um can you not" as being killjoys, then young impressionable people who have observed this not only emulate this asshole behavior but try to outdo each other by being the biggest asshole and creating the biggest shock. It's a lot like the spiral of deepening porn addiction, wherein people need to view more fucked up porn in order to orgasm. And though people may not orgasm from it, social approval and praise is a significant reward for behavior.

There are a lot of other factors going into this, including the brutal length to which we fail our children in both parenting and caretaking through our shit school system that actually does nothing to stop bullying at all. But part of it is very much the fault of well-meaning liberals who don't want to be labeled with that very scary and harmful word - "uncool." Or they want to uphold utterly twisted definitions of free speech and equality, to the point that Democrats are donating to rebuild the North Carolina GOP headquarters that was burned down by people who are actually refusing to tolerate the damage that Republicans are doing to this country.




There are so many better things to donate to than Keep Trans Women Out of the Bathroom Headquarters.

U.S. politics is not a sport. This is not a friendly rivalry or a minor disagreement. Republican rhetoric and policy kills. It fucking kills people. It's violent. The party is rocketing toward fascism and you're donating to that? That rocket needs to be destabilized as much as possible so that it explodes on impact, not given money for repairs.

People on the left, whether they call themselves liberal or whatever, need to fight back. We need to refuse to tolerate the waves of brutal violence launched upon us that land primarily on the marginalized, disenfranchised, and oppressed. You can't stop someone who prides themself in being an asshole by being nice to them. That will not impress them at all. That doesn't mean physical violence has to happen (though it can't be ruled out entirely). Social ostracization, or the threat of it, is an incredibly powerful motivator.

No tolerance for bigotry. No tolerance for harmful words. No tolerance for verbal violence. Fight back.



Monday, October 17, 2016

Gif of the Day



Halloween is in two weeks!

Morning Announcements

Oh my goodness gracious, I got sick! Day three into the new job in an office full of people and I start feeling sick. I guess that's what happens when you work from home and your immune system gets to slack off for a year.

I spent the whole weekend either in bed or on the couch, watching Food Network Halloween specials or playing Spyro: Year of the Dragon (hell yeah). Last night I did not have the energy to blog and since I'm still in training, I don't feel comfortable missing work. I'm using some awkward in-between finishing an assignment and waiting for my team lead to have time to look it over with me to let you know about all this.

I'm still feeling like poop, so you may not get content tomorrow. But I am (mostly) alive.

At least I had power all weekend thanks to the storm that wasn't.



Friday, October 14, 2016

Gif of the Day



Slam dunk life in the face just like this otter.

Next Up on the "Donald Trump is Horrible" Docket

[TRIGGER WARNING: ANTISEMITIC LANGUAGE, NAZIS]

Moving on from the whole "grab them by the pussy" incident, since I guess we still have to exist after a U.S. presidential candidate fucking said that. Donald is now going full fascist in his speeches, I guess because he knows his campaign is circling the drain so fuck it? Not only is it clearly fascist in its language, if you know anything about antisemitism, you can clearly pick out the dog whistles and coded language that has and continues to be used by Nazis, the alt right, and similar antisemites.

Trump just gave an anti-Semitic speech ‘dripping with hatred’ — and the Internet is horrified

This is frightening as all hell, by the way, and we should all be terrified.

He accused Clinton of being “the vessel (of) a corrupt global establishment that’s raiding our country and surrendering the sovereignty of our nation.” 
Trump portrayed the Nov. 8 election as an apocalyptic choice. 
“This is not simply another four-year election,” he said. “This is a crossroads in the history of our civilization that will determine whether or not we, the people, reclaim control over our government. The political establishment that is trying to stop us is the same group responsible for our disastrous trade deals, massive illegal immigration, and economic and foreign policies that have bled our country dry.” 
“This election will determine whether we remain a free country in the truest sense of the word or we become a corrupt banana republic controlled by large donors and foreign governments,” Trump said. “The election of Hillary Clinton would lead to the destruction of our country.”

If not for Jewish individuals speaking out, I may not have recognized this language myself. But I did at least recognize calls to imprison Clinton by Donald and threats to use the attorney general as his personal police as being the behavior of a fascist dictator. Which Donald was always going to be if he could get off his lazy ass and do anything as President.

I highly recommend (to other gentiles and myself) to follow a couple Twitter or whatever social media accounts run by people who are outspoken about their Jewish heritage and dedicated to fighting antisemitism. I think this is a form of bigotry that people often overlook. I know about myself that I used to think antisemitism was a relic of the past, but it's still very much active in our society, and particularly in alt right communities.

Be wary. I do think that Donald is very likely to lose the election at this point, but we can't afford to relax. We need to make sure he's crushed into the fucking ground. Fascism must not be tolerated, antisemitism must not be tolerated.

Taste That Bitter, Bitter Medicine, You Transphobe Fucks

I just came across this on Tumblr:


Click to Enlarge

I don't have access to my vast library of gifs of people laughing hysterically, but trust me when I say that this fills me with complete and utter delight.

GEE PEOPLE ARE TREATING YOU BADLY? FRIENDS FOUND OUT SOMETHING ABOUT YOU AND NOW THEY'RE TURNING THEIR BACKS ON YOU. LOL MUST BE ROUGH, CAPTAIN OF THE BATHROOM GUARD.

Here is a gif of Laverne Cox shunning you:



Thursday, October 13, 2016

Gif of the Day



This is necessary today.

Tips to Avoid Whitewashing Halloween

Halloween Halloween Halloween HALLOWEEN Halloween.

Someone named Frog Opera, a gay artist (her words), drew up a nice guide to not whitewashing your undead! This is yet another thing that I as a white person have never considered before, but it does indeed seem to be that the vast majority of zombies and other undead creatures tend to be white. Now, you might argue that paleness and death tend to be closely associated. But did you know that a dead black person actually remains black? Shocking!

Here is just a part of the comic:




There's much more! Please click through to Frog Opera's blog where you can see more awesome comics featuring frogs.

And remember, a diverse Halloween is a Happy Halloween!

I Thought This Was a Joke

I saw a screenshot of a headline about this on Tumblr on my phone, but I was certain it was another satire piece that people had once again mistaken as real. Not that I blame people for mixing up satire and reality in this Twilight Zone, circus music, bizarre alternate universe of a year.

But I was SURE that THIS was a god damn fucking joke.

Trump supporters tweet #repealthe19th after polls show he’d win if only men voted

You may have heard about this particular poll that shows the drastic split in the male and female vote. Non-binary people not counted, of course.


I don't want to hear anymore whining about how I'm too mean to men or that "not all men." There are enough terrible men out there to elect Donald Trump President. That is way too many.

Not only that, but these hilarious jokesters are actually tweeting the hashtag #repealthe19th. Because I'm sure it's just a joke the second anyone calls them out for it.

There are plenty of reasons not to vote for Hillary Clinton. But a lot of men are refusing to vote for her because she's "shrill" or they don't like her face or because somehow Bill cheating on her by raping an intern is Hillary's fault, or any of a number of other petty and highly misogynistic reasons. Women refusing to vote for Donald do so because he's an actual rapist and his modeling company is involved in human trafficking and all of the misogynistic and rape culture-inspiring things he's said.

How about instead, we make things equal by taking away white men's right to vote for 150 years or so. And then we can watch things get a lot better real fast. Can you imagine how much shit women would get if that started trending on Twitter?

Anyway, burn the world.



Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Gif of the Day



Oh my god the EYES.

Morning Announcements

It's actually last night and I'm too tired from the not sleeping well to write because new job anxiety. You know, the anxiety that comes after interview anxiety. It should only last a few weeks. Aaaaahahahahahahaha.

Anyway, I'll try blogging again tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Gif of the Day



Halloween is coming.

National Coming Out Day

I'm hoping everyone knows the rules of National Coming Out Day because I'm blogging from work on my phone right now and can't link to them. Mostly don't out someone else and don't "come out" as straight.

In the spirit of the day, I guess I'll announce here that I recently figured out that I'm not straight. I clearly have attraction to multiple genders. I've decided that the best fit for me is pansexual.

It took a bit for me to get here because, like many queer women who have grown up in a heteronormative society, I've only dated men. Pansexual also comes with the stereotype of having a higher sex drive and sleeping with a lot of different people. It tends to get confused with polyamorous. I am in a monogamous relationship and am a very monogamous person.

But that doesn't make me any less pansexual.

On this day, I'd encourage everyone, particularly straight people, to think about their sexuality. I believe that sexuality can change over time and that in our society, it's easy to assume you're straight because for many years you probably grew up thinking that was the only option.  Maybe that "girl crush" is more than that. Just a thought.

What I Have To Say About Trump

[TRIGGER WARNING: SEXUAL ASSAULT, RAPE, PEDOPHILIA, CHILD RAPE]

The fact that anyone was surprised by that tape in which Trump is heard to be bragging about and encouraging sexual assault is, well, very surprising to me. Have you not listened to him talk? Do you not understand how misogyny works? Have you not heard/read all the other times that he's said similarly, aggressively predatory things about women? Like?

Have you not heard about the fact that he's being sued for raping a 13-year-old girl, and that the case has a strong eyewitness? Do you not remember all the misogynistic and homophobic and fatphobic things he's said about women who have dared to criticize him, or exist in ways he doesn't approve of? Remember how he gave a girl an eating disorder? Remember how his own wife told multiple people about an incident that was 100% him raping her?

Have you not heard him talk about young girls, including his own daughter, in a completely disgusting manner? Remember how he talked like he wanted to fuck his own kid?

How is it that everyone has been able to ignore all of these things, plus all the racist and Islamophobic shit he's said, but this has even establishment Republicans condemning him and saying they're not voting for him and he should drop out of the race? He's always clearly been a gross sexual predator and rapist who views women as pieces of meat for consumption rather than as human.

My only guess is that this is all because he was talking about going after a white married women. And Republican men are all like "OH GOD HE MIGHT TRY TO FUCK MY PROPERTY I MEAN MY WIFE."

I mean I guess I'm grateful that this is causing his campaign to implode (although that was probably inevitable, hot mic or no hot mic) but it's really telling that this is what it took to get people to actually care. It is, however, satisfying to watch the spray tanned talking hemorrhoid get wrecked from all sides an collapse into a shriveled jack o' lantern that's hasn't been thrown away three weeks after Halloween.


 

Monday, October 10, 2016

Gif of the Day



Lost to the void. RIP.

Indigenous People's Day

[TRIGGER WARNING: GENOCIDE, RAPE, RACISM, RACIAL SLURS]




I'm happy to say that in my state of Washington, today is not columbus day, but Indigenous People's Day. Because finally FINALLY U.S. governments are starting to kind of sort of a little recognize how this nation was build upon the dead bodies and destroyed cultures of thousands of Indigenous American tribes, and those who are left are still constantly fucked over by state and federal governments. And not just by celebrating the man who sparked centuries of horror and death for Native Americans.

But don't take my word for it. The Establishment has published a piece by Jen Deerinwater, a member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, that covers all you need to know about why this nation's history is an utter travesty that we white people should all be deeply ashamed of. And it's required reading for any non-indigenous person today.

The ‘Birth Of The Americas’ Runs Red With The Blood Of My People

Cuomo and all white people are allowed to feel pride in their heritage, but not at the expense of the oppressed and marginalized. Continuing the legacy of columbus is to continue a false narrative of this nation’s history and to erase the slavery, genocide, mass rape, and theft of our land, language, religion, and culture to benefit them. It ignores what we continue to face, including the militarized violence we’re enduring even at this very minute at the hands of the state at Standing Rock and the U.S. government’s continual blatant disregard for treaties via the U.S. Court of Appeals Sunday ruling allowing the Dakota Access Pipeline construction to continue on sacred sites.

I actually had no idea that some of my fellow white people justify and defend columbus day based on the idea that it celebrates Italian heritage. Why would you want to celebrate that part of your heritage??? Like Deerinwater points out, I as a person with German heritage don't celebrate Hitler. I don't celebrate the day the Nazis invaded Poland or completed their first death camp. What the fuck kind of fucked up shit is that?

We white people need to stop.

Capitalism is a Bummer

Tomorrow is my first day at my contract job. I'll have to get up earlier than I'm used to, navigate the traffic hell of the Seattle area, and spend 8-9 hours in a place full of strangers, away from home. No matter how hard I work, I have to stay there.

For a serious introvert, this is hard. Today I feel a sadness, almost a grief as though my time working from home is dead, even though this is only a three to six month contract. Still, even three months feels like a long time.

I know I'll get used to it over time, but today I find myself thinking about the tragedy that is capitalism in the U.S. It's pretty terrible that we're all expected to sell our time and energy in order to live. It totally sucks that what was supposed to be an eight-hour workday to give us eight hours for ourselves and eight hours for sleep has grown to nine hours including lunch, which is unpaid, and that doesn't even account for the time it takes to get ready and get to work. 

If I end up taking the bus (which I probably will because parking is clearly inadequate at the office building), considering how much time I need to get ready (something that is very often more time consuming for women due to the beauty ideals place upon us that require that we put a certain amount of care into our appearance to even be considered "professional") in both the morning and at night, plus the time needed to make dinner unless I want to spend a ton of money on pre-made meals or eat heavily processed foods for three months, that leaves me with maybe two to three hours each weekday for myself.

Minus the mandatory overtime that I've been told will happen.

It's been speculated that all this is intentional. Leaving people with only a couple precious hours to decompress and recharge (something I desperately need as an introvert with anxiety) makes them better consumers. We'll buy anything to save ourselves a few precious minutes. I know in the past that I've been desperate to find ways to extend the amount of time I can spend at home, playing video games and pretending that I have any semblance of control over my life. I've hated a lot of jobs in my time and battled depression and general misery because I just hate having to spend so much of my life in a place I don't want to be, doing things that are either dull or make me anxious.

I know things are different now. I've done a lot of work on myself and have learned better coping mechanisms and better thought patterns. But I'm still afraid that I'll spend the next three to six months becoming increasingly miserable because maybe not enough has changed. Maybe I can't do it. But I need the money.

But mostly, what has me so sad that after I finish writing this I may need to go have a cry, is that this is necessary for me now and for so many others. There are so many people who have to work more difficult jobs that are utterly undervalued, maybe two or three different jobs, that have nothing to do with what they enjoy or are passionate about, and have nearly no time to themselves at all, especially if they have children. I honestly don't know how people do it. Maybe I am more mentally ill than I give myself credit for. Maybe I underestimate the human ability to adapt and survive, which is incredible.

The point is, I hate that this is what life has become for so many, and it's expected in this country and so many others. I hope the human species can survive and reach a socialist state that isn't attacked by capitalist imperialists. I hope someday that we can have universal basic income, and people can do what they want and still survive, even if they're not getting paid for whatever they choose to do. But I don't have much hope that I'll see that in my lifetime.

I think we should all be outraged that we're made to live like this. This is not just how the world is. Things could be different. Please remember that. Please believe that.