Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Uh Oh

It's that time again.


Pretty sure I caught something from someone who has been sick all week and having a fever and shit so uhhhh fuck.

I don't feel terrible yet but it's my policy to rest as much as possible as soon as I feel it coming on in the hopes that it will help my body fight it off faster. If only our government and every company had the same policy, we all probably wouldn't get sick as often as we do.

See you folks some time in the future.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Gif of the Day



Fozzie said "fuck homophobia."

Pennsylvania Fights For The 'Most Ridiculous Abortion Bill' Crown

The war to out anti-choice each other continues between U.S. states. Here's the latest bullshit dreamed up by a Republican only interested in scoring points with the religious right:

A Pennsylvania bill would require death certificates for fertilized eggs that never implant in the uterus

Failure to produce a death certificate for an expelled fertilized egg could result in a $50 to $300 fine or up to 30 days in prison.

50% of fertilized eggs do not implant. Half. For every pregnancy that happens, there's a zygote that, for whatever reason, failed to implant and was expelled via menstruation. And for every time that happens, Pennsylvania Republicans want to waste money and paper on a death certificate for reasons that include ??????? and misogyny.

But that's only half of why this bill is absolutely absurd. The other half is that fertilized eggs that don't implant dissolve in the uterus into something indistinguishable from the rest of the menstrual material. So if you thought that the bill would require menstruating people to sift through the blood and mucus and tissue for a teeny tiny zygote, typically about 0.1 mm in diameter, you were wrong, because the egg won't even be there.


This is the second time in as many weeks that Republicans have tried to pass anti-abortion bills which require something that is actually impossible. First, Ohio requiring doctors to re-implant ectopic pregnancies, which is impossible, and now Pennsylvania requiring people who make eggs to get death certificates for their expelled fertilized eggs, which are impossible to detect.

This is why I can't take a single thing that anti-choicers say seriously. You know, other than the general "we're going to get abortions banned." I take that seriously. But nothing else.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Gif of the Day


I could watch this all day.

Recommended Reading

I've been busy trying to get a new phone set up today and almost forgot to blog so here's just something I read over the long weekend. It's a pretty long article but worth the time.

Be warned that the headline does not adequately capture the piece.

The Collapse of Civilization May Have Already Begun

That's clickbait. What the article really goes over is the views of a number of different climate scientists on how bad the climate situation is and whether it will cause society to collapse. The real answer to that last part is that climate scientists can't predict societal collapse because that requires expertise they don't have. Societal collapse involves economics, politics, and sociology. In fact, there's a whole field of study on how societies collapse completely separate from climate change.

The piece also makes the interesting point that on a small scale, there have been collapses related to or even caused by climate change. Syria, for example, has pretty much collapsed into ongoing civil war that resulted in a refugee crisis, and the tipping point for that whole mess was a famine caused by a crop failure caused by climate change.

And finally, it explores what societal collapse actually means. Something that is considered to be a "collapse" doesn't necessarily mean Mad Max. Don't get me wrong, it'll be bad for a lot of people. But it might just end up being a rapid transition period that could launch humanity into something better. Kind of like how wildfires allow for new growth. The difference is that in this situation, some humans will definitely die and already have. Sometimes from wildfires. You know what I mean.

I went into it thinking it would validate my feelings of hopelessness and instead it got me thinking about the entire idea of collapse differently. It's weird because on a distant, macro level I wonder if this is all a good thing that could even spell the death of capitalism and allow us to finally have something better. On a micro level, though, I don't want anybody to suffer or die before their time.

Also, there is still some possibility that climate change will wipe out the entire human species, and I definitely don't want that. We definitely still need to change course like right now. Please?

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Gif of the Day


Muppets are really good at being reaction gifs.

Afternoon Announcements

I'm really feeling that bottomless pit of exhaustion in the pit of my soul for some reason right now so I think I'm just going to take the rest of the week off from blogging. Tomorrow I will be getting together with family and eating a lot but as you probably already knew or assumed, I am not a fan of Thanksgiving.

However, I hope you have the next two days off and that you spend tomorrow with people you really love who are supportive and lovely and that you get to enjoy yourselves, rest, eat, and have fun. We all deserve to enjoy life, and if it weren't for the rich, we would all get to do it a lot more.

Happy Living!


Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Gif of the Day


You thought you were going to get a simple gif and instead you got a whole story and a couple possible copyright infringements.

Can Capitalism Be Fixed?

Last week, a friend of mine whom I love so so so much omg asked me a question that I realized is likely to become a question asked by many, especially if the more progressive side of the Democrats continues with its current momentum. Basically she asked me this:

"Could Elizabeth Warren fix capitalism?"

Essentially, the question is whether a progressive candidate/president implement reforms that would make capitalism work in a way that I or others would find acceptable. It's a really interesting question, and to get into it, we need to break down some of the assumptions and concepts that go into it.

The first step, I think, is to ask ourselves: "Is capitalism broken?"

Any economic system is going to have problems. No system is immune to corruption. But here's why I'm an anti-capitalist. To me, capitalism isn't broken. It is the very nature of capitalism to create the exact kinds of situations we have right now. Capitalism is about growth. Eternal growth. If capitalism stops growing, it comes under threat. It could die, like that weird myth about how sharks will die if they start swimming.

Think of it on a smaller scale. What is every company concerned with under capitalism? Growth. Profits. Making more, building more, acquiring more, more, more. It's not normal for a company under capitalism to be okay with breaking even. They need to be doing better than that, because that's what capitalism is about. Capital. Capital is good, more capital is better. It's only by human choice that a company would stop growing and just sustain itself, and everyone would find that weird, right?

This is why we have monopolies, and manufactured shortages, and climate change, and layoffs, and mass human suffering. And when capitalism hit a wall with actual physical money, the only way it could survive was to create a system of imaginary money. We call that the stock market. Now, companies must join the stock market to continue growing, but that makes the problem worse. A company that isn't growing in the stock market isn't making money for shareholders, and so said shareholders will ditch the company, sell off the shares, and the company dies. If a company doesn't grow, then without substantial human intervention, that company will die.

We have tried to fight against the constant pull of capitalism to grow, but we've failed miserably. We can try to pull back on the reins again but as long as capitalism exists, the powerful will continue to try and amass more money and power by rolling back regulations and putting us in literal doomsday scenarios like the one we're in right now.

Can you fix that? Is it broken? It's kind of like when a rich white person "adopts" a cougar cup (yes this happens) and then it grows up and mauls them to death randomly one day. Is that cougar broken, or is that just its natural instincts kicking in when its dinner was a little late one day? How is a cougar acting as a wild apex predator broken?

I don't think it's a good idea to have to struggle against the nature of capitalism forever, especially when we haven't done a good job of it so far and we're already facing down a possible apocalypse. At least the intended nature of socialism is about society, as in people. Yes, it can be corrupted and become shitty, but at least you could actually call that system broken and try to fix it.

Could Elizabeth Warren fix capitalism? I would say no, because capitalism isn't broken. It's just being capitalism. Can she maybe drag the beast back a little, beat it down, chain it up, and try to contain it? Sure, but capitalism is a bigger force than a cougar. It would be better compared to a dragon, and have you ever heard of even a fictional situation in which chaining up a dragon worked out well for humans? Me neither.

And that's why all the candidates are wrong and why my mental health is so fragile! Happy Tuesday!


Monday, November 25, 2019

Gif of the Day


*music intensifies*

CBP Denied Flu Vaccine To Migrants, Three Kids Have Died, Few Reporting On It Anymore

Kids kept in our migrant concentration camps are still dying, but I guess we're at the stage where we've accepted that to the point that few mainstream news outlets bother to report on it anymore. They're dying right now of the flu because even though the CDC recommended it to them and even though it would have been free, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol declined to provide the flu shot to detainees and predictably.

At least, I'm pretty sure three kids have died since they were denied flu shots, but I can't get to the actual Washington Post article to confirm because it's behind a FUCKING paywall.


But according to an ABC article, the offer and denial for the free flu vaccine happened in August.

“To us in the medical community the situation is alarming. When the CBP stated in August that they weren’t planning on vaccinating we saw this as egregious to deny basic health care access to people forced to stay in their care," said Dr. Bonnie Arzuaga, a Boston-based pediatrician and one of the founders of Doctors for Camp Closure.
The organization is a volunteer group of 2,000 U.S. based physicians who support the closing of the Customs and Border camps because of public health concerns. The organization volunteered to provide free influenza vaccines to those detained but the government never responded. 
“We got no response, not even an acknowledgement of the letter," said Arzuaga.

That's probably because the cruelty is the point.

The CBP tried to claim that it would be tOo HaRd to give all the migrants they're holding the flu shot when they're only supposed to hold people for up to 72 hours, but we all know that many migrants get held for longer, sometimes for weeks or months without even seeing a judge. Also, I could go to either QFC or Safeway right now and get a flu shot on demand after signing a couple of easy forms. I've done it before and it took like 10 minutes.

Maybe you could divert some of that money you put into catching and imprisoning the migrants that you don't even have enough room for into more medical staff who could easily go around to these people who spend most of their day sitting in cells doing nothing.

The ABC article doesn't mention any kids dying but this is how most people die in overcrowded concentration camps that don't provide anything close to adequate medical care for human beings. Anne Frank died of typhoid. Latine kids from Central America die of the flu.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Gif of the Day


Old footage of Bill Gates taking a pie right to the face. Amazing.

Boundaries Are Good, Actually

So there's a Twitter thread going around right now that is creating quite a hubbub. It was penned by Melissa A. Fabello, PhD in Human Sexuality Studies and was about how wonderful it is when her friends ask if she has space for discussing an emotional/potentially triggering topic before simply unloading on her and ended with a possible template for saying "no" in a way that is still supportive. It's some of the most emotionally and socially healthy shit I've ever seen come out of Twitter.

And man, a lot of people HATE it.

It's been a while since I've written about how a lot of people hate when others put up healthy boundaries, but they sure still do.

Here are the parts people seem to object to the most:



As you may know, I have some experience with therapy and some knowledge of human psychology, and when I saw this I was like "fuuuuuuuck yes girl spread that healthy shit." In fact, I had shared something kind of similar on Facebook several months ago suggesting that people ask their loved ones if they have the time and emotional energy to talk about heavy stuff before just doing it, and some of my friends and family have used this with me to great effect.

I have an issue where I want to fix everything and will sacrifice my own well-being to try and take care of others. This can result in my becoming emotionally overwhelmed, depressed, and if it happens enough, even resentful of the individual or everyone in my life who ever seems to want anything from me at all, resulting in self-isolation and even lashing out at people.

This is, of course, my issue, and it's my responsibility to work on it and set the necessary boundaries. That is why I was so stoked to see this Twitter thread and I may even use a version of that template in the future. Plus, people asking me before talking to me about heavy topics or personal problems makes it so much easier for me to say no, and I've even been able to do so recently when I feel I need to. This has worked out so well, though I have only really done so with people who I know understand the importance of boundaries and would be supportive with me taking care of myself like this.

And that's what this is. THIS is that fabled self-care people talk about so much. It's recognizing that you have limits, being able to recognize when you've hit that limit, and declining to push yourself beyond it. At the same time, it's still supportive and puts effort into making sure the other person gets what they need. It's pretty much ideal.

I saw a lot of people balking at the rather formal language in the "template" provided by Dr. Fabello, which is not necessarily surprising. Yeah, it does sound a bit like a form letter or an office email, but nowhere is it written that you have to use the EXACT language in the "template" she provided. You can obviously be less formal if you want. But people have gone so far to call this "sociopathic," which, no.

Others have described the language as "transactional" which I don't understand at all. There's no transaction happening here. It's simply recognizing one's limits and practicing self-care. It's being aware that nobody has an unlimited capacity for emotional stressors and no one is always available to talk. And it can be hard for some people (like me) to say no, and this is a way to do so while ensuring that the other person will still be okay without your immediate support.

Then there was one guy on Twitter who, when I expressed that I don't get why people have a problem with this, said the following:

"There is absolutely a way that this kind of language is used to lead towards more isolation, less freedom to express feelings, and enforce hierarchies of control by those with more power in the relationship."

And when I asked him to explain which language and how, I got silence. I feel like this is a case of a dude using super academic language, the understanding of which comes from the privilege necessary to get a really good education, and declining to explain when someone without that privilege doesn't understand.

So, ahem, hierarchies and power.

And I really don't get it, because this kind of honesty, self-care practice, and boundary-setting has already allowed me to avoid isolation and given me more freedom to express feelings. The only thing I can figure (and can't figure much else if someone doesn't explain) is that he means "I will be sad if you don't sacrifice yourself to listen to me vent whenever I want."

That's not a friend. That's a user.

This is important to me because I was raised in an environment where it was expected that I would sacrifice myself on command to provide emotional support, and saying "no" at all in any way would be selfish. This only led to mental illness, resentment, and a hell of a time learning how to practice real self-care and set boundaries way later in life than I should have. It only caused problems and pain.

Boundaries are good for everyone. You don't have to set them with formal, PhD language, but set them and let others set them. They will improve your relationships and make everyone happier and more secure. I promise. Try it for yourself.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Gif of the Day


Apparently there are treats in there. This is such a good idea, especially for kitties who like to dig.

Ohio Sets Record For Most Ridiculous Abortion Ban Yet

At this point, it's difficult for Republican-controlled states to outdo one another on abortion ban bills. Total bans with no exceptions, charging the pregnant people and doctors with first-degree murder punishable by the death penalty if they get/perform an abortion, all of these have been proposed by Republicans trying to get the so-called "pro-life" vote. How could it possibly get any worse?

Ohio Republicans found a way.

Ohio's proposed abortion ban would require doctors to reimplant ectopic pregnancies, but that's not possible


It was bad enough when one Republican suggested that transplanting ectopic pregnancies was a possible thing, because it's extremely not. Somehow, other Republicans have glommed onto this impossible idea to the point that they're now trying to require it by law.

The new proposal would also require doctors to attempt to reimplant ectopic pregnancies in the uterus, where it's supposed to grow. Ectopic pregnancies occur when a fertilized egg attaches itself outside the uterus, where it can't develop. 
But the Ohio proposal ignores the fact that reimplanting an ectopic pregnancy is "physiologically impossible," said Dr. Chris Zahn, the vice president of practice activities at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. In fact, attempting that is extremely dangerous, and the technology needed to do it doesn't even exist.

You might as well pass a bill requiring doctors to supply patients with unicorn blood. If there was a way to reimplant zygotes that have implanted outside of the uterus, then they would already be doing that. But it's not like reattaching a cut-off finger. When a zygote implants in the uterus, it kicks off a process within the organ that involves the creation of the placenta and the production of necessary pregnancy hormones.

If it implants outside of the uterus, this process doesn't begin, and attempting to do it artificially is not going to cut it. The zygote has already begun growing. You can't sew it into the side of the interior of the uterus, which sounds really hard and invasive and dangerous to begin with, and expect the uterus or the zygote to act like it's still just a multiplying zygote that naturally implanted.

This is why I laugh at people who try to claim that you can't speak out against gun violence or be in favor of common sense gun control unless you know everything about guns.

Hopefully this bill won't pass, and if it does I would think it would be challenged and definitely lose in court. Because you can't order doctors to do the impossible. But the fact that this is an officially drafted and proposed bill at all is just embarrassing to the entire human species.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Gif of the Day


By the way there are new episodes of "Too Cute" on Hulu and it's the best thing ever.

Feels Update

Haven't done one of these in a bit, and I figure I should let people know who might want to, I'm doing really well. I have had a couple days where depression crept up, and I still get anxious when I at all think about the whole "having anxiety over doing anything non-productive" thing, but I'm dealing with it well. I've been able to play video games without getting anxious or depressed again and I've been enjoying them. I got back into Fallout 4 after playing the Outer Worlds.

I still feel like an ant in the face of all the suffering and injustice in the world. I'm still worried about what the future will bring. I still feel guilty about not doing more and still dread the social awkwardness that comes with any form of public activism.

I think I'm still unsure of my place in the world. I still find myself questioning why I exist and why anything exists. Maybe that's normal for a politically active person of my age who doesn't have or want kids? What's normal isn't important, though.

Video games may not be "productive" or help much in my personal development, but they distract me from the constant yammering of my brain over these questions and from the horrors of the modern world, and I need that. Hopefully over time I can gain more confidence, work on my anxiety issues, and spend more time volunteering and getting involved in real-world activism. But for now I've learned the hard way that guilting myself for not doing more only leads to disaster.

I'm not a superhero. Neither are you. I see a lot of people expecting so much of themselves, forgetting that we're all only human. And I know some people really are out there doing so much, but we're all different. We all have to go at our own pace. And we all need to be taking the kind of advice we're giving out on our blogs and social media pages LINDSEY.

Be kind to yourselves. Now I need to go play that NukaWorld DLC I bought and never played.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Gif of the Day


The person in the snail costume backing up traffick for miles is weird enough but why is this gif in rewind?

2020 Challenger Lineup: Deval Patrick

[TRIGGER WARNING: RAPE]

Yep. Thought I was done with this, but it's back, because some centrists are so threatened by the real progressives running that they've switched from their "anybody but Trump, get that guy out of the office no matter what" stance to "crowd the playing field even more."

Patrick is definitely a centrist Democrat, having extensive ties to Mitt Romney and leaning heavily into the reform message rather than system overhaul. He also has quite an extensive "Controversies" section on his Wikipedia page and oop this paragraph:

On September 17, 2014, Patrick fired the Massachusetts Sex Offender Registry Board chair Saundra Edwards and placed director Jeanne Holmes on paid administrative leave because they pressured the board to force Patrick's brother-in-law to register as a sex offender, based on his conviction for raping his wife, Patrick’s sister.


F-, 0/10, two thumbs running the hell away from this rapist-loving asshole, bye.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Gif of the Day


This is amazing but I also really want to help that poor cowering cat.

What's Happening In Bolivia

Okay so, you might have heard that some shit is going down in Bolivia. Now, the headline might be a bit misleading. I can't claim to know what's happening as I don't live there, nor was I paying attention before the recent election went haywire.

This is what I know. Protests broke out during the recent Bolivian presidential election because some claimed that the early results pointed to fraud. After things got violence, some people said that sitting President Evo Morales voluntarily resigned and others said he was forced out due to a coup. Either way, he's out.

A lot of leftists from the global North are calling this a coup. I've seen some claiming to be from Bolivia saying that this is a lie and that nobody in Bolivia liked Morales and that he was abusing his power to eliminate term limits.

As a U.S.-based white person, I don't want to speak over actual Bolivians and declare what is true. But there is something that we need to pay attention to. The Bolivia salt flats contain a huge amount of lithium, which is an essential ingredient in electric car batteries, smartphones, and laptops. I've seen people warn before that there will be a battle for resources essential to renewable energy sources as the effects of climate change accelerate.

It does not seem like a coincidence that Morales had very recently nationalized the nation's lithium industry. Also, we can't ignore the fact that there are a large number of brand new Twitter accounts claiming to be made by Bolivians churning out identical anti-Morales messages in what is clearly a bot swarm.
Whether this was a coup or not, I have little doubt that the U.S. and the CIA had some hand in what went down. At the very least, I would bet the entirety of my sweet ass that the U.S. and other wealthy nations will turn their sights onto Bolivia and try to take advantage of the chaos to seize their natural resources. This will absolutely be at the expense of the Bolivian people.

The demand for the materials necessary to make laptop and smartphone batteries has already created child slavery in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and we were largely ignorant/silent about it. It doesn't have to be like that this time around. At the very least, we need to demand that the natural resources of Bolivia stay in Bolivian hands and condemn attempts by wealthy nations to steal it. Don't let your country create child slavery in Bolivia, too.

We need to confront the capitalistic imperialism that devastates vulnerable nations full of people of color. It's not worth saving the species from climate change if the result is enslaved children.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Gif of the Day


For some reason I took many days to post this, but a friend of mine took the original gif and made it one of a little girl princess-blasting Ronald Reagan's grave. Art.

What The Outer Worlds Gets Wrong About Anarchy

As you might have guessed, I seem to be getting past my weird anxiety around playing video games, helped in part by an exciting new game my partner and I bought called The Outer Worlds. As it turns out, I found the game to be only okay, worth playing maybe only for the chance to shoot murderous capitalist overlords in the face. 

The AAA game is perhaps the first to explicitly bring anti-capitalist and even anarchist ideas to the forefront. I don't remember ever seeing this in-game, but according to Wikipedia, this is the backstory:

The game is set in an alternate future that diverged in 1901, when U.S. President William McKinley is not assassinated by Leon Czolgosz at the Pan-American Exposition. As a result, Theodore Roosevelt never succeeded him, allowing large business trusts to dominate society well into the future, where megacorporations have begun colonizing and terraforming alien planets, to varying results.

Leon Czolgosz was an actual anarchist, as anarchism was at the time a serious political affiliation in the U.S. with a small but not insignificant membership. That was before the entire idea of anarchy was successfully propagandized as nothing more than a bunch of criminal terrorist kids running around in black causing property damage or lawless piracy in Somalia.

In The Outer Worlds, a far-off space colony is run by a "board" of corporations that have taken capitalism to an extreme, completely dominating people's lives and making not working a crime, pretty much completely destroying any line between the capitalist wage system and slavery. Workers have no rights and there is an extreme class separation between the rich and poor with escape from poverty being nearly impossible except for by lottery. And, spoiler alert, the result of that lottery is not what it seems.

So it's probably not at all surprising that I was excited for this game. The criticism of capitalism is impossible to ignore, with some of the policies of the colony overlords bumping right up against real world policies from companies like Amazon. For example, the idea of being punished for "time theft" from the company is a real thing that the most exploited Amazon employees have been fired for.

However, the game still manages to misrepresent actual anarchism and presents it as an idea either for literal cult leaders, naive kids, or completely selfish people willing to let hundreds of other starve rather than help them. What the game really pushes is the false idea that something in the middle is the ideal. In other words, liberalism. While it criticizes capitalism and the class system, the characters who are clearly presented as being the most reasonable and logical are constantly saying shit like "we have to have some kind of structure," by which they mean a hierarchy that is exactly what anarchism is against.

It's so bad that on one of the planets, there's a conflict between a town led by a former member of the Board who believes in re-joining the board and influencing them to implement "reforms" (liberal) and the leader of a religious group called the Iconoclasts who is in all ways other than name presented as an anarchist who believes you can't compromise with capitalists. Yet when you mention anarchy to the guy, he immediately rejects the idea, saying that they're not anarchists because "there have to be laws" or something like that.

This is the essential misunderstanding of the nature of anarchism. Anarchism doesn't mean "no laws," it means nobody has power over other people. In a true anarchist system, the community would come together to make rules for said community as a true democracy, with one person having one vote and nobody put in a position of power to make rules for everyone else, as is the case of the U.S. representative democracy system. If someone broke the rules, the community would again come together to discuss what would be done.

And yes, these kinds of societies have existed and do exist today. They're rare today, because capitalists absolutely hate them, and capitalist power is massive right now.

I'm still glad The Outer Worlds exists and I would recommend getting it when it goes on sale (it's not worth full price in my opinion for various reasons), but I felt the need to put out the message that its depiction of anarchism is unfair and at times completely inaccurate. Anarchist ideas are, at the core, about freedom and fairness above all things, and in general are really interesting. Anarchists also love making their educational materials accessible to everyone, so it's real easy to become more educated on the subject.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Gif of the Day


Knead and nom.

People Are So Terrified Of Calling Anyone Prejudiced

This is what happens when you live in a neoliberal society in which bring up any kind of prejudice, let alone naming prejudice within a system or an individual, comes to somehow be considered worse than the existence of prejudice itself. You get tweets like this:




Employers aren't sexist, they just think women are worse than men at things.

It gets better/worse when you click through to the article. It's all about a paper which has a title even more Britney-face inducing than Quartz's tweet about it.

Employers favor men not because they are prejudiced against women, but because they have the perception that men perform better on average at certain tasks, according to the forthcoming research paper “Is Gender Discrimination About Gender?”

ARE WORDS WORDS???? DO THINGS MEAN THE THINGS THAT THEY MEAN????????


For the love of all that is fuck, just say it. It's sexism. Sexism exists. Employers are sexist. People are sexist. We all grew up in a sexist society and now we're all sexist, even the women, we internalize it, holy shit I promise no one will die if you just say the word SEXISM.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Gif of the Day


Why are humans like this.

Family Separation Never Stopped And 70,000 Migrant Kids Have Been Locked Up In 2019

[TRIGGER WARNING: CONCENTRATION CAMPS, CHILD ABUSE, CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE, CHILD TRAUMA]

Welp, this thing we collectively failed to stop, particularly those in power, is back in the news again as an AP report found that nearly 70,000 migrants kids have been locked up for being migrants at any time in 2019, breaking our previous record and once again putting the U.S. at the top the worst kind of list.

About 4,000 of these kids are in custody right now. Some of the nearly 70,000 have been released to family, others have been deported back to dangerous countries. The AP report details examples of child trauma endured by specific kids including some really triggering stuff, so proceed with caution.

US held record number of migrant children in custody in 2019

This month, new government data shows the little girl is one of an unprecedented 69,550 migrant children held in U.S. government custody over the past year, enough infants, toddlers, kids and teens to overflow the typical NFL stadium. That’s more children detained away from their parents than any other country, according to United Nations researchers. And it’s happening even though the U.S. government has acknowledged that being held in detention can be traumatic for children, putting them at risk of long-term physical and emotional damage.

As though the current administration gives a single fuck about the well-being of migrant children.

The government says that all of these kids arrived here "unaccompanied," but many of them were separated from their families and then labeled unaccompanied anyway in order to keep going with their evil, outlawed policy designed to punish desperate people for trying to save their families' lives. Sometimes this happens because CBP uses "exceptions" to the family separation ban, claiming their guardian is dangerous in some way to the child or that they have committed a crime or are affiliated with a gang.

Who wants to bet these exceptions are abused? With little to no oversight, border patrol and ICE can do pretty much whatever they want. Why not just take the kids and lie about them being unaccompanied?


People will say that these kids have to be locked up, but reports come out constantly about families desperately trying to get these kids out of detention and being ignored for months. We can't be sure whether this is entirely malicious or a funding issue, but a funding issue could be solved at any time if the administration felt like it. But they don't.

Let the kids go. They would be better off almost anywhere than these horrible detention centers. I will take care of one in my apartment if I have to. Let them go.

Friday, November 8, 2019

Gif of the Day


I may have posted this one already but I'm running out of gifs because gifs keep trying to be saved as WEBP files for some reason that don't work when I try to post them here. I've heard it's a Google Chrome thing and I would like to ask Google why they want their browser to be so non-functional.

Transphobes Are The Weirdest People On The Planet

I came across this little gem of a tweet yesterday containing an excerpt from an article telling a definitely real story about the dangers of naughty little boys and gender-neutral bathrooms. Buckle the fuck up.


The article is real. I googled it and clicked on it only so I could make sure everyone has access to the following horrifying text:

I was out for lunch at a Manhattan restaurant with my friend’s daughter, an exceptionally classy seven-year-old. 
“Please, may I go to the bathroom by myself?” she asked. “Yes, but no dilly-dallying!” I replied. And off she went. Striding briskly, blonde curls a-bouncing — straight into an “all-gender” restroom. 
Oh dear. 
As she entered this unlocked (lockable) room, three little boys were — now in full view — urinating round one toilet. Perturbed, if not alarmed, my young friend immediately burst back out, gave me a big wave, as if to say “oops” and “don’t worry!” She turned on her heel, disappearing around the corner. A moment passed. One by one, the heads of three naughty little boys popped out. Scheming and snickering, with catlike tread, they traced my wee pal’s route. 
Terrifying and immediate was my arrival on the scene, scattering the would-be tormentors. 
“Those boys were trying to peek on me!” she said. “I only peeked on them by accident!” 
Little boys are little savages, I told her gently, adding that very few improve with age. More importantly, I explained that gender-neutral bathrooms were only recently invented. And, evidently, by some very careless and wasteful people who don’t mind sacrificing the privacy, hygiene, and camaraderie of the female toilet experience.

The article goes on for several more paragraphs, during which I assume National Review William F. Buckley Fellow in Political Journalism Madeleine Kearns explains that all of the above, including the savagery of little boys and the men they grow into, is the fault of the bathrooms that don't specify a gender.

I always wonder what these people gripped in the iron clutches of bathroom hysteria think keeps people of various genders from entering bathrooms specified for different ones. There's no scanner. There's no gender-detecting forcefield. If packs of little boys are running loose in Manhattan restaurants, a sign with a simple human-like figure with a triangular body isn't going to stop them from crowding into a single-stall bathroom and peeing on the floor.

What about the restaurants with just one single-person bathroom? What horrors are wrought within those four walls?

Look. I'm not going to tell you that I've never been in a gender-neutral public or establishment restroom that absolutely reeked of piss in the way women-only restrooms never seem to. I've also been in gender-neutral restrooms that smelled fine. I've also used single-stall men's restrooms when the women's was occupied and again, the chance of strong pee smell is about 50/50. Regardless, the smell of pee is really the only downside to gender-neutral restrooms and that's a small price to pay for trans and non-binary people being able to pee in public and not getting bladder infections and wanting to kill themselves so much.

Also, now that I think about it, I have a memory from preschool in which I totally intentionally peeped on a boy who I knew was using the bathroom. Sorry, guy.

And yet transphobes have to weave tales of bands of peeing little boys stalking their friends' young daughters who they for some reason go to restaurants with in order to try and convince people that the kinds of bathrooms that already exist everywhere are going to lead directly to the downfall of civilized society. And it's impossible to simply teach boys to pee in the toilet and to not run around restaurants unsupervised stalking and peeping on girls in the bathroom. Also, boys apparently only ever do that when little girls accidentally walk in on them in the middle of their pee parties when it's in a gender-neutral bathroom. Thank fuck for those gender-detecting forcefields!

Reading the rest of the article, because I am in love with suffering, I find a series of equally absurd arguments. Kearns says that gender-neutral bathrooms, which have already existed all over the place, are "pointless" and that "most Americans care most about bread and peace," according to polls. I'm assuming she dug up this poll from the year 1279. It's also incredible to write an entire article on a topic and declare in the middle of it that it's pointless. How much did she get paid for that one?

She also laments that they're terribly wasteful right before admitting that many schools have spent only around $500 to convert some of the gendered restrooms into non-gendered restrooms. She then wails that Target spent $2 million to convert their restrooms to gender-neutrality. Does she think that Target is a taxpayer-subsidized institution? We may never know.

Her last point on this conservative website is that gender-neutral restrooms are SEXIST, and I'm assuming managed to avoid getting a thousand conservative dudes screaming at her about having a victim complex and being a misandrist. But they're sexist because "women are cleaner than men" which is apparently trans and non-binary folks' fault somehow. Also, because women take longer in the bathroom than men. I don't know how mixing genders in the bathroom rather than segregating women into one single bathroom with the same number of stalls where they're all sitting down and washing their hands is supposed to make that worse for women rather than better. She doesn't explain. Like, at all.

Her third reason that gender-neutral bathrooms are sexist are because women often like to go to the bathroom in groups for safety or for "tradition," though I don't think I've ever gone to the bathroom with a friend out of a feeling of obligation to tradition, but okay. She then fails to explain at all how groups of women would be unable to enter a gender-neutral bathroom together. Just. Nothing.


She then gives an example a London theater that converted its bathrooms to be gender-neutral, adding toilets and urinals, resulting in "44 where there were once 22." The author of another bathroom hysteria article that used the phrase "gauntlet of penis" then complains that there are now "26 toilets and 18 urinals," concluding that this means 44 toilets for men and only 26 toilets for women.

I'm just. Okay. Getting past the fact that these authors have entirely missed the point of gender neutrality, it sounds like there was previously 11 toilets for women in the old system and now there are 26. So that's quite a bit more. But also, people with penises can use both urinals and regular toilets. So the only way to make things even in their minds, which are unable to grasp the idea of women with penises and men with vaginas and non-binary people entirely, is to have no urinals at all. Which I think would be fine, urinals seem awkward to me anyway and I don't know why men have put up with them for so long, but I have a feeling if people were like "let's just stop making urinals then," the National Review would have an article up in about five minutes decrying the war on men and their precious urinals under attack by the viciousness of feminism.

Any-fuckin-way, the responses to the tweeted excerpt of this terrible article are incredible.










Thank god for these responses, honestly. I need a normal human being pallet cleanser after that article.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Gif of the Day


Remember when Bethesda problems were limited to this kind of thing?

Where Is The False Rape Accusation Brigade On Rodney Reed?

Going back to what I posted about on Tuesday, which you should really check out because a man's life is on the line, I can't help but notice that I haven't heard a word about the many supposed advocates for men who have been falsely accused of rape. Rodney Reed was accused of rape and murder and, in a rare case, there is a lot of evidence to suggest that their sexual relationship was actually consensual and the accused is generally innocent.

What could be going on here? Well, there are a few details that are different from the usual cases that so-called "Men's Rights Advocates" and others jump on.


  1. The accusation didn't come from the victim herself, because dead people can't make accusations. The accusation came from the police and from the state.
  2. The accused man is Black.
  3. The man who probably actually committed both crimes is a white cop, abuser, and white supremacist.

Isn't it interesting how when a woman accuses a man, especially a white man, of rape, there's automatically a thousand people breaking out their magnifying glasses and white gloves to pour over every detail for any excuse to call her a liar, but when the state and police accuse a black man of rape, it's crickets from here to Miami.


Anyway Rodney Reed has already spent like 22 years in prison and somehow hasn't been released after all kinds of new evidence arose strongly suggesting he didn't do it and is scheduled to be murdered by the state of Texas on November 20. Check out Tuesday's post for all kinds of ways you can contact people to tell them that you don't think a likely innocent man should be killed without even considering all the new fucking evidence. Let's save this guy's life.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Gif of the Day


Groovy.

Save Rodney Reed From Execution

[TRIGGER WARNING: RAPE MENTION, ABUSE, POLICE BRUTALITY, RACISM]

Here's something you might not have heard about yet that you could actually help with. Rodney Reed, a black man, was charged with rape and murder and sentenced to death. According to a growing campaign to stop his execution, evidence that the real perpetrator was actually the victim's abusive fiance, a cop, was withheld from an all-white jury.

The website makes a compelling case, but if you have any hesitation, remember that capital punishment is inherently immoral, has killed innocent people in the past, and disproportionately targets black men. And it's just wrong for the state to kill people. Even if he is guilty, Reed should not be executed. But I don't think he is guilty.

You can go to the website for full instructions on how you can help. There's an easy online petition to sign, plus a long list of public figures you can contact. This includes calls as well as sending letters, which is a great option for those of us with phone anxiety. You can also send faxes for free to members of Congress and governors with faxZero.

Help save a man's life, feel good about yourself!

Here's a full list of people you could possibly contact in case you can't access the Free Rodney Reed website for some reason:

Governor's Office

Luis Saenz, Governor’s Chief of Staff:
(512) 463-1762
luis.saenz@gov.texas.gov

Kim Snyder, Governor’s Scheduler
(512) 463-7210
invite@gov.texas.gov

Jordan Hale, Administration Director
(512) 463-2000
jordan.hale@gov.texas.gov

Peggy Venable, Appointments Director
(512) 463-1828
peggy.venable@gov.texas.gov

Walter Fisher, Legislative Director
(512) 463-1830
walter.fisher@gov.texas.gov

Matt Hirsch, Communications Director
(512) 463-1826
Matt.hirsch@gov.texas.gov

John Colyandro, Sr Advisor and Policy Director
(512) 463-1762
John.Colyandro@gov.texas.gov

Sarah Hicks, Senior Advisor
(512) 463-1778
Sarah.Hicks@gov.texas.gov

Greg Davidson, Constituent Communications
(512) 463-1800
Greg.Davidson@gov.texas.gov

Jeff Oldham, General Counsel
(512) 463-1788


District Attorney Brian Goertz
(512) 581-7125 ( ask to withdraw petition to execute )


Members of the Board of Pardons and Paroles

David Gutiérrez - Chair
254-865-8870 (Chairman's Office: 254-404-2701)

D'Wayne Jernigan
936-291-2161

Carmella Jones
979-849-3031

James LaFavers
806-359-7656

Brian Long
903-723-1068

Ed Robertson
512-671-2532

Fred Solis
210-564-3721


Staff at the Board of Pardons and Paroles

General email: bpp_pio@tdcj.texas.gov

Jessica Dillard - Board Administrator
(512) 406-5452/5453

Bettie Wells - General Counsel
(512) 406-5353 / (512) 463-1702

Rachel Alderete - Director of Hearing Operations
(512) 406-5452/5453

Raymond Estrada - Director of Public Information
(512) 406-5452/5453

Barry Bertocki - Clemency Director
(512) 406-5852

Veronica Muraira- Director of Administrative Support
(512) 406-5452/5453

Libby Hamilton - Victim Liaison
(512) 406-5833


Texas House Corrections Committee

Rep. James White - Chair
(409) 283-3700
James.White@house.texas.gov

Rep Alma Allen - Vice Chair
(713) 776-0505
Alma.Allen@house.texas.gov

Rep. Ernest Bailes
(936) 628-6687
ernest.bailes@house.texas.gov

Rep. Rhetta Bowers
(972) 272-6237
rhetta.bowers@house.texas.gov

Rep. Jay Dean
903-238-8452
jay.dean@house.texas.gov

Rep. Christina Morales
(512) 463-0732
christina.morales@house.texas.gov

Rep. Victoria Neave
(972) 288-9438
victoria.neave@house.texas.gov

Rep. Clark Sherman Sr.
(972) 227-1064
clark.sherman@house.texas.gov

Rep. Phil Stephenson
(281)232-7900
phil.stephenson@house.texas.gov

Monday, November 4, 2019

Gif of the Day


Lookit these little dudes.

I'm Still Mad About The Katie Hill Thing

I already wrote about this but every time I hear about it again I get re-angry about it. The entire debacle is just a perfect representation of patriarchy and rape culture doing their never-ending dance upon the backs of women everywhere.

You folks know how hypocrisy drives me up the fucking wall, yeah? Well, Republicans. You've seen them trying to push the idea that impeachment is an attempt to overturn the 2016 election, probably. This argument is absurd for multiple reasons, including the fact that impeachment doesn't mean removal from office (and historically never has) and the fact that even if the Republican-controlled Senate did remove him from office, Trump would be replaced by Mike Pence, not Hillary Clinton.

Meanwhile, here they are pushing a woman out of office via revenge porn after she fought so hard in a hotly contested district to beat her Republican opponent, the incumbent. Yeah, they were involved.


Hey, California Republicans and Steve Knight in particular:


The worst part about this is that revenge porn is so intensely gendered. I'm sure there are cases out there of women using revenge porn against men, particularly if the man was queer. But imagine if Katie Hill had tried to do this to Steve Knight. Nobody would have cared because men are supposed to be hypersexual, right? Men in power having relationships with the women they have power over is routine. Not to mention the fact that Republican men already have absolutely no shame. We can't even get Steve King out of office for being an open white supremacist.

And while the President is an admitted serial sexual predator with over 100 accusations against him and also is clearly just a blatant criminal barely even trying to hide his various crime, Hill had to suffer what is supposed to be a crime against her and that crime basically forced her to resign. Revenge porn is a crime, is it not? So has her abusive ex been arrested yet? No? Figures.

And what about the Daily Mail? Did they not aid and abet this crime by spreading the private photos around? But hey only 3% of rapists spend even a day in jail so I guess it's too much to expect for any man to be arrested for openly committing a sexual crime.

And I still have people trying to tell me that rape culture isn't real and men are the ones who are really oppressed in this society.

Friday, November 1, 2019

Gif of the Day


Surprise one more Halloween gif because I said so yay!

This is Solidarity

These days, it's not easy to restore my faith in humanity to any extent. However, this video that's been going around of soccer players surrounding a hijabi player from the opposing team because her hijab slipped off during play and shielding her from view so that she could fix it makes my shriveled heart swell.


Even ESPN saw this and was like "some things are more important than sports."

What I love about this is that so many people take sports SO SERIOUSLY and Islamophobia is so prevalent that it's really surprising to me that not only did the women on the opposing team do this for her, they IMMEDIATELY stopped everything even though the ball might have been in play and leapt into action. They recognized the problem, dropped everything, and quickly mobilized to help the hijabi player rather than take advantage of the situation to get the upper hand in the game.

I'm guessing that the hijabi player cried out and that's why they stopped, but I just love how they immediately all turn to her to see what was wrong, like the one player turns away from the ball right away even though she probably could have stopped it from going out of bounds. The humanity of her fellow player, opponent or not, is so much more important to her than the game. This is how it should be. None of this bullshit trying to police what other women wear under the guise of feminism. Just "oh this fellow human needs help let's go," and they helped in the way they should have.

I imagine this also takes some forethought. I feel like in that situation I would have frozen up, as I tend to do, but if I had taken the time to think beforehand that if I ever saw a hijabi player get her hijab partially torn off during a game, I should block her from view, then I might be able to act quickly.

This is how we should act in all aspects of our lives. Helping each other in culturally sensitive ways and putting each other's humanity before anything else. Well done, ladies.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Gif of the Day


HAPPY FUCKING HALLOWEEN.

Happy Halloween!

I'm feeling better today but it's also a high holiday so no way you're getting a full blog post today. But you can have an extra Halloween-themed gif.


You're welcome. Have some fun tonight!

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Gif of the Day


This just has incredible reaction gif potential.

Burn, Reagan, Burn

I'm kinda depressed today so I was just scrolling through Twitter hoping to find a good tweet I could post here without much effort and I found it.


Nice.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Gif of the Day



IT'S ALMOST HALLOWEEN.

Feels Update

I had some more important revelations over the weekend and the picture of what's been going on with me is becoming clear. I think my indecision and anxiety over what to do with my spare time is a reflection of not knowing what to do about all the worst parts of the society I live in.

I know what needs to be done about climate change, but how the fuck do I go about convincing the people in charge to shut down all the big corporations and the U.S. military? I absolutely know we need to shut down the concentration camps and eventually all prisons, but we got multiple Democrats to tour the migrant concentration camps and everyone freaked out about it for a while and then what? Nothing happened.

The best I could probably do is to join local organizations that work to stop all or some of this evil shit, but I tried that and my social anxiety and general mental illness made that so difficult and I kept failing to go to meetings and sending myself into shame spirals over it. Then the one organization I was really close to joining shut down because the leader of the whole thing turned out to be a fucking sexual predator and the leadership was generally racist.

I have a terrifying sense of urgency butting up against a massive sense of despair. Even if I did manage to join some organization and do some thing, it feels like it won't be enough to stop mass suffering and death. Inaction on climate change continues. Fascism continues to grow. I get that sense of urgency and start trying to think of ways to fight back but anything I can come up with feels useless. The only actions that would be effective have to happen on a mass scale, but trying to get your average U.S. resident to get over the idea that rioting is as bad as murder and the only acceptable way to protest is to stand on a sidewalk with some clever signs feels im-poss-i-ble.

And that mindfuck has leaked into my everyday life. What is the thing I want to do the most? What is the best way to spend my limited time? What if I choose wrong and I'm wasting my time? AHHHHHHHHHH.

This added to the guilt around my inaction creates a breeding ground for anxiety and depression, which makes doing anything hard.

Should I use mass amounts of energy getting over all the anxiety hurdles to go to a meeting of my local Extinction Rebellion chapter when they're too pathetically small to do much of anything here and have also dedicated themselves to being toothless anyway? Even if I did find something good to join, would my awkward, silent presence be of any help at all?

It doesn't help that any decent activist organizations are all located in Seattle, where I can't afford to live.

There are things I could do from home to help but any commitment to that kind of shit sounds like it would become overwhelming in a minute, especially since I have such a hard time saying no and setting boundaries, and then I'm right back to feeling like shit for not doing enough.

I want my spare time to actually be relaxing and restful so that I can have the energy to do something, but it's not because even when I have nothing I need to do and no commitments, I feel anxious and guilty. I am mentally and emotionally exhausted.

All of this also explains my sudden fascination with medieval-type history and fiction. I'm desperate for something simple. Part of me longs for my world to be small and straightforward. And I definitely, like everyone else, love stories like Lord of the Rings because the problem is obvious and the solution is clear. If I could take a really long walk to drop some jewelry into some lava to save the world, I would totally sign up for that.

But it's not even close to that simple. I still don't know if Donald Trump is pure evil on his own or more of an ignorant puppet. There is no fellowship of odd warriors I can travel with to bring down the concentration camps, and even if I tried, I would be painted as evil for trying to hurt the innocent concentration camp guards and thrown into a horrific prison where I would probably die.

It sucks. It sucks being a small, largely powerless individual living a huge and hugely unjust world in which the powerful have made any effective act of resistance illegal or just impossible. I didn't ask for these anxiety disorders either, but our society gave them to me anyway.

So. My goal is to continue as I have been, focusing on improving my mental health as well as I can, and eventually start volunteering with Food Not Bombs to help feed my neighbors. I feel like that's the best I can do until things really start to go to shit and the mass protests begin where I am, which they will unless things magically reverse course, which seems very unlikely. I'm going to try to let go of the hero fantasies and realize that I'm just a normal human being with average limitations. Maybe someday I can do even better, but I only know who I am now.

Patience.

Monday, October 28, 2019

Gif of the Day


It's crab time.

Katie Hill And Double Standards

[TRIGGER WARNING: MENTION OF RAPE/SEXUAL ASSAULT, REVENGE PORN]

You might have heard of Representative Katie Hill, one of the first openly bisexual members of Congress who has now resigned, and the allegations of relationships with staffers and others she probably should have had relationships with due to power imbalances. These allegations came to light in the worse way possible, via revenge porn sent to the fucking Daily Mail by her abusive ex-husband. The Daily Mail, being the trash rag it is, published the photos and made a big deal about her being naked and having sex sometimes and smoking weed from a bong, possibly on 9/11.

Congress members and others with large amounts of political power having sexual relationships with staffers is a problem. It is something that should be forbidden and punished when it happens. Katie Hill's decision to resign is the right one - or it would be in a just world.

Instead, we're living in a world in which literally hundreds of women have accused the sitting President of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and/or rape. We're living in a world where we still don't have laws punishing revenge porn or "news" outlets that facilitate revenge porn under the guise of journalism. We're living in a world in which a straight man can be photographed sexual assaulting a woman and resign and everyone freaks out about it to the point of tanking a good candidate's run for President and there's a massive debate over whether Democrats should be held to higher standards than Republicans when it comes to sexual assault.


But a woman? Who's BISEXUAL? No debate, no freaking out, she's gone, nobody even cares, bye.

Maybe it's because she didn't have a comedy career before getting into politics? But I doubt it.

Meanwhile, survivors have to put up with all of this shit.

Katie Hill did something wrong. She also apparently has an iron cross tattoo which is concerning but not automatically a hate/nazi symbol and likely just an ignorant mistake but still gross and she should get rid of it. She did the right thing by resigning.

But the double standards here are massive and loud and pissing me the fuck off. The public seems really happy to kick a bisexual woman out of office while I still occasionally see liberals defending Al Franken and while a serial sexual predator is still fucking President. And all of this happened because of an abuser engaging in revenge porn and people give a fuck that anyone smoked from a bong on 9/11.

There is no justice here.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Gif of the Day


There was just something so funny about the butt movements of the guy trapped in the guillotine, when I first saw it I thought it was the more hilarious thing ever. Was I high? Probably.

This Is Exactly Why We Need To Abolish ICE

[TRIGGER WARNING: REPEATED RAPE, SEXUAL ABUSE, PREGNANCY BY RAPE, POLICE BRUTALITY, DEATH THREATS, ANTI-MIGRANT RACISM, DEPORTATION, SEXUAL EXTORTION]

This story is absolutely devastating and triggering as fuck but I wrote about it for work today because people need to know. I'm not going to type out the details again so here I go promoting my paid work on my blog I guess whatever:

Lawsuit: ICE Agent Raped, Impregnated A Honduran Immigrant Multiple Times Over 7 Years

What I couldn't write in that article is that this shows exactly why ICE needs to fucking go. Also, all police need to go, because cops do this shit all the time. There is zero chance that the woman in the story is the only one with a story like this. Meanwhile, normal police do the same thing all the time to vulnerable populations, particularly full-service sex workers.

When you offer up a position of near ultimate power over someone's life - the power to deport them and their families, the power to jail them any time they feel like - this is what happens. This is why the institution that is the police needs to be abolished. This will always happen because predators and rapists like Rodriguez will always be attracted to the position and no psychological test will be able to keep all of them out, even if police departments really tried.

We could at least start by abolishing ICE, which has only existed since 2003 and is like the regular police only there's a special incentive for anti-immigrant racists specifically to join up and has ended up building FUCKING CONCENTRATION CAMPS.

Make this horror story stop.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Guest Post: Little-Discussed Ways Disability Impacts People

Kate Harveston is a political writer from Pennsylvania. Her favorite topics are feminist-focused, but she writes on a wide variety of social and cultural issues. If you enjoy her work, you can follow her on Twitter or visit her blog, Only Slightly Biased.



People with disabilities often hesitate to discuss the way their conditions impact their lives. They may be reticent to discuss their problems with their closest friends and relatives out of fear of burdening them. Often, they also stay quiet at work out of fear of discrimination and repercussion.

We need to break the silence surrounding the struggles of those with disabilities. If businesses want to become truly inclusive, they need to implement policies that benefit all employees, including those with invisible challenges. Meaningful political change can only occur when those muted have their voices heard and their needs respected. 
1. Lack of Financial Security
Consider this — one in 10 American women experience endometriosis at some point during her childbearing years. However, it can take years to get a diagnosis, likely because doctors take women's pain less seriously than men's. 
If it takes so long to get a determination on a common disorder, how many visits does it take to discover a rare condition, like poly-orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS)? During this time, a woman must call in sick and lose income — possibly her job — over absenteeism.
Even common disabilities lead to difficulty maintaining employment. If you suffer hearing impairment, for example, you may struggle to understand spoken directions at the office. Difficulty hearing can lead to mistakes that can result in potential termination if a lack of understanding exists. 
When you struggle to keep a job, you’ll likely burn through emergency funds like water. You end up maxing out credit cards and taking early withdrawals from retirement funds. Consider that roughly 28% of adults in the U.S. have no emergency funds. Imagine the extent to which disabled individuals struggle when it comes to employment. 
2. No Universal Health Care
The U.S. stands alone among developed nations in not guaranteeing health insurance coverage as a right — and this hurts the disabled the most. You need a job to gain coverage. If you can't find or handle full-time employment, you're out of luck. Plus, fewer and fewer employers offer quality benefits. 
Consider the fact that 81% of people with intellectual disabilities work in sheltered environments. These arrangements generally pay a fraction of the minimum wage. When they graduate from these programs, attendees often take other low-wage jobs with little to no health insurance benefits. 
If they earn little enough to qualify for Medicaid, they can access the treatments needed to retain the ability to work. If they get a raise, however, they may lose coverage and find affording needed medications and doctor visits impossible. See the inherent trickery?
3. A New Gig Economy 
Further compounding the health insurance issue is the rise of the gig economy. By their nature, independent contractors receive no benefits, including insurance or unemployment compensation. Considering that four out of five Americans live paycheck to paycheck, an unexpected loss of income due to illness or absenteeism can quickly leave disabled individuals out on the street.
4. A Place of Isolation 
Living with a disability usually means making many necessary adaptations. However, doing so often takes much of the energy the affected individual possesses. If they're working, making it to Friday happy hour could seem like rolling a boulder up Mt. Everest. 
Finding a wheelchair-accessible bus to attend a doctor's appointment can take monumental effort. People with disabilities might decline social invitations, even if they want to attend. Over time, friends may then stop calling, which creates loneliness and isolation among disabled individuals.
5. A Constant Struggle 
Colleges built before the early 90s don't need to include wheelchair ramps until they undergo major renovations. Someone who uses mobility aids can sign up for classes at an Ivy-League school. However, they may arrive to discover they can't even get inside the building.
Many customer support lines only offer help via telephone. While telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) exist, they don't aid those who struggle to speak. Unless text support is available, they have to find someone else to make the call.
6. Daily Societal Bias
Those with disabilities hear ridiculous things all the time. For example, that they “get to lie in bed all day.” People inundate them with yoga positions, herbs and supplements they can take to feel better magically. 
The truth is, many conditions aren't curable with diet and exercise. You can't reverse a traumatic brain injury with the power of positive thinking. If you love a member of the community, think twice about what you say. Your words may be innocent, but to someone with a disability, they can cut like the proverbial knife. 
7. A Full-Time Job 
How often do you visit the doctor? If you're like most non-disabled people, probably once a year or when you feel sick. 
When you're disabled, visiting your physician and maintaining a healthy regimen is a full-time job. Those who work often use paid time off running from one specialist to the next. The first goal is to secure a diagnosis, then a cure. 
Those who can no longer perform daily work functions have to arrange for transportation to and from maintenance visits. It's exhausting. These people need a vacation more than anybody, but often lack the time off or stable financial situations to take one.
Break the Silence Surrounding Disability 
People with disabilities remain silent for many reasons. They may fear repercussions at work. Others don't want to “burden” others with their worries. 
I can say from experience that living with an invisible condition is debilitating beyond what words can say. You can lose friendships, career opportunities and nights upon nights of sleep. Sometimes you’ll look around at your friends who live pain-free lives and wonder what you did wrong to deserve missing out on your own life, as you watch it pass by in the rearview mirror on your way to yet another doctor’s appointment. 
Everyone has their struggles, and this isn’t meant as a “why me?” essay. Because, really, why anyone? Life is simply unfair, and I’ve come to accept that. Rather, I want those who are healthy to make an effort to understand and sympathize with the disabled community better. If you're healthy, give someone you know who struggles with a disability a hug. Then, speak out and serve as a voice for those in need.