Saturday, October 11, 2008

It's National Coming Out Day

When kid was just a wee boy of 8 we had this little conversation:

Kid: Ok Mom, I think I got something figured out.

Me: All right, what is it?

Kid: Well, if you're a boy and you love another boy, you're gay.

Me: Uhuh

Kid: And if you're a boy and you love a girl, then you're straight

Me: Also if you're a girl who loves girls you're gay, and if you love boys you're straight.

Kid: Okay, well when I grow up I think I am going to be straight and marry a girl

Me: Ok. But there are also people who love both boys and girls, they are called bi

(At this point this was too much information for his 8 year old brain and he ran off to read a book)

If the kid had said that he was going to grow up to love other boys, that would have been ok. I would have been worried about how the world would treat such a tenderhearted monkey, but I wouldn't have tried to make him be anything other than what he is.

The Kid is absolutely his own person. There are bits of me and bits of his dad in there, but he is a person in his own right. He is not the physical incarnation of my hopes and dreams of the future, and therefore who he loves is not a reflection on my skills as a parent.

So I take the news that he is straight the same way I take the news that green is his favorite color. It has nothing to do with me. And if he had said he was gay, it has nothing to do with me. I just want him to grow up and find a place in the world for himself of his own creation.

I know that for many children the news that they are not what their parents had imagined leaves them open to abuse, depression, homelessness and suicide. I know that my first gay boyfriend, when he came out to his parents at the tender age of 15, was gang raped by a bunch of his dad's friends to "teach him a lesson". It broke my heart to hear that.

I can only hope that someday in the very near future all parents will take their children's sexual orientation as something that is as neutral a statement as "I like green". It shouldn't be a big deal. It shouldn't cause pain. It just is.

Friday, October 10, 2008

How bloggers waste time

Me: We could have something that rymes with wodka

ouyang: i love something that rhymes w/ wodka!

me: pear collins rhymes with wodka

ouyang: O...M...G

me: Becky look at her but

ouyang: did you see the vid on shakes about the woman who is all upset that they didn't retouch a photo of Gov Palin!

me: I didn;t watch but i read it
stupid burns

ouyang: "i want to open an orphanage for unwaned facial hair"

me: I loved that

ouyang: i know
for fuck's sake...if it is disgraceful to not retouch someone as conventionally beautiful as Sarah Palin, then most of the rest of the public should just stick our heads in the oven now

me: Oh I'm just waiting for the gas to be reconnected so i can stick my head in the oven. What;s your excuse for continuing to live while not looking like a magazine cover

ouyang: electric oven
me: Ah
I see

ouyang: and i just made myself cry right thre
laughing too hare to type

me: Can't you drop a toaster in the bathtub or something

ouyang: i'll try...but my toaster is actually part of my microwave, which is too big to go carrying around
lemme see...OOOH! We have an iron!
if i'm not back in five minutes I have done justice for Sarah Palin!

me: dear gawd- what kind of freakish contraption has a toaster microwave combo

ouyang: you should blog this

me: I tottally am
typos and all

ouyang: I got it at the Naval exchange in monterey

me: you were trading belly buttons?

ouyang: yes, as a matter of fact i was
i am the proud new owner of an inny and a toaster microwave combo

me: how many belly buttons did that contraption cost ya

ouyang: i am too embarrassed to say, in this economy

me: You were spending belly buttons like an AIG executive, weren;t ya?

ouyang: shamefully it's true
i did enter a twelve step program, but then we got that belly button relief fund from the government...
so no worries

me: kewl

ouyang: and no, you can not borrow fifty belly buttons from me.

me: I hate to think of you walking around without a belly button to your namew

ouyang: i totally love you

me: I love you too


Anyone whose been a feminist for oooohhh say five minutes or longer has at some point gotten the "you're looking for sexism everywhere!" speech. I got that one the other day, along with the whole "don't be a victim" line.

I wish that I was making up the sexism. I wish that this was some form of paranoid delusion that the world is out to get me (and every other woman on the planet). Oh if only I was a hypochondriac . Then there would be a cure. I could fix this whole problem by myself, or at least with the help of a good doctor.

But sexism is everywhere, in everything. It starts as soon as we know what the sex of a child is going to be when we pick their names and the colors of their clothes. And it never stops.

One half of the population is taught from the beginning to fear the other half. Not all of them. But we are taught that our behavior can drive males into a violent fury. We check ourselves. How we dress, how we act, where we go, what we do. None of this ever actually prevents us from being raped or hurt, but if we behave in a completely virtuous manner, then perhaps if/when we are raped or hurt we will not be blamed for it.

We are taught to fear strange men in dark bushes. But we aren't told that it's more likely someone we know, even someone we love, will be the person who hurts us.

And then there are all the little papercut like wounds the world inflicts on women. The daily street harassment. The parents and teachers and bosses who treat as as less than and force us into roles we wouldn't normally accept. The media that is always telling us that we are not good enough as we are. We must be thinner, whiter, prettier, meeker. A lady in the streets and a freak in the sheets. But not too freaky. Cause then you're a slut.

And when things go bad, they go bad for us first and stay bad for us longer. The economy crashes and women's jobs are the first to get cut. We never made as much as men anyways. When people are struggling economically, violence increases. And violence begins at home.

When I left the Kid's dad, after he had tried to strangle me in a parking lot, I went to a domestic violence support group for a while. There is a phrase that they used, "Once you see it, you can't unsee it". They were talking about the abusive patterns and behaviors.

But it applies to sexism too. I could try to pretend it doesn't exist, but my being ignorant of it, because I am female, doesn't mean it won't affect me. I can pretend that cat callers are really just complimenting me, or that my only real skills are filing and typing and mommying and cooking. Or that the real reason my life sucks is cause I haven't found the "right man" to come sweep me off my feet.

Actually, I did try to prentend not so long ago. I was tired of the constant struggle. Along came a very handsome, very wealthy, very charming guy. Who wanted a trophy wife. I tried to pretend that it wouldn't bother me to be someone's well kept pet, that giving up power over my own life would be a good thing since I've so obviously screwed up while trying to wield that power myself. We got snowed in together one weekend. I spent the weekend cooking and fucking. And I saw what daily life with him would be. Cooking, fucking, cleaning, babies. Over and over. No partnership. No give and take. I was going to be smothered. I would never have to worry about money again, but I would also never be treated as anything more than a servant. Maid, cook, whore, incubator. I wouldn't even get the fake power brides get in having my dream wedding (to elope in Rome or Venice with no one around but us). He said it would HAVE to be a big traditional wedding with all his gazillions of relatives. I cringed at the thought of being the center of all that patriarchal madness, dressed up like a giant cotton ball of virginal whiteness and marched down an aisle to indentured servitude.

Once you've seen it, you can't unsee it.

Needless to say, that ended. I couldn't pretend it didn't exist.

I see sexism everywhere because sexism is everywhere. I don't need to go looking for it. I'm a girl, it finds me whether I want it too or not.

And I am not a constant victim. I am fighter. A warrior queen in the battle against the patriarchy. My weapons are words and facts and thoughts.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Hey, the economy sucks worse if you're a girl!

Hard, like a fist to the face.

It's not just your .75 cents on the dollar, now it's no cents at all for you ladies.

Mass layoff events hit a record high in August. On Sept. 23, the Bureau of Labor Statistics recorded 1,777 firms laying off 50 or more workers. The three job categories most seriously affected were temporary service workers, school and employee bus drivers, and professional association workers. These three occupations employ far more women than they do men. Unfortunately for women, the usual policy response to rising unemployment won’t help them much because this spending does not create jobs in the sectors where women work.

But don't tell Dana Perino that. She thinks we all just need to stop sucking on the government teat that is Unemployment insurance and GET A JOB!

How Now Brown Cow?

Did the bailout work yet?

How about now?


Still waiting to find out what good that $700 billion dollars is gonna do.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Your Democrats In Action

Seems like someone who was whipping up the fury in the house to get the bailout package passed was threatening some congress critters with marshal law if they said no.

In more hopeful news, a film by my second favorite Italian Marxist, Piere Paolo Pasolini, is now out on a big shiny 2 disc set. Pasolini is not for the faint of heart or stomach. He shows brutality for what it is.

What you see on screen in "Salò" is certainly bad enough, as the four aristocrats, unable to find any genuine pleasure in their depravity, urge each other to commit ever-worse atrocities upon a group of abducted children. But aficionados of films like "Hostel" and the far edges of Japanese horror have definitely seen worse. Pasolini always maintained that he abhorred the film's scenes of violence, but that they were necessary as the logical fulfillment of the social system he was excoriating -- that is, both the system of the literal fascist era and that of the homogenized, consumerist state he saw emerging in mid-'70s Italy, which for him were two sides of the same coin. It might be more accurate to say that Pasolini saw fascism and consumerism as two aspects of the powerful and evil urge to dominate inherent in human nature; as Marxist atheist homosexuals go, he was always an ardent Roman Catholic.

Unlike our current Hollywood schmucks, Pasolini had no problem sticking a mirror to the upper classes and showing us what they look like. I kinda wish I could do the same to our entire government and every bankster in the country right now.

This one, THAT one, wev

Big news! McCain is a doochebag.

Okay, not big news. Not even news. We all knew that.

What is news to me is how Obama has suddenly seen the light (or heard some of the phone calls begging congresscritters not to pass the bailout) and NOW he's all for regulation.

Now, seriously, just like in the last week he's decided that Republicans have got that whole deregulation thing ass backwards. Was a time not so long ago when Obama was pretty cozy with deregulation and Republican trickle down theory.

And I really don't know how to take this. Has someone with a giant economic brain smacked Obama in the head and said "stop endorsing criminal thievery you moron!" Did he really need to wait for the collapse of the world wide economic system (Sorry Iceland!) to see that Republicans don't know shit about economics except how to steal money and influence the Treasury. Cause you all know we are Democrats, right? We've always had the better economic ideas (see Clinton- 1992 to 2000 if you need proof, though praise for Bill Clinton's economic mastery will NEVER pass through the lips of the Precious)

There is NOTHING we can do about the upcoming election. Either way an asshole is going to be in the White House come January. But I am really tired of the Hopey Changey types thinking that Obama is gonna smooth over the nasty economy with one signature from his rainbow colored glitter pen.

My only consolation is that I feel a mighty bout of schadenfreude coming up. Mighty.

I'm running away

Kid and I went sailing around Lake Union tonight on a wee little sailboat. It was beautiful and the most fun I've had in a long time.

And now I think I want to steal a sail boat and live on that instead of in a real house. I already promised to come visit Ouyangdan in Hawaii and later in Korea. She thinks I should claim some island that Korea and japan have been fighting over for years and become a real monarch.

But I totally get why people become all obsessive about boats now. Totally.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Hey look

Free market reforms broke Iceland.

Sorry Bjork.

This is what a casino economy does folks. It breaks countries.

Can we be done with it now?

Made my fucking day

This story did.

This picture has nothing to do with the linked story. I just liked the lady boxers.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Sometimes Google

gets it right with the Gmail ad stuff.

Today I got this quote:

The trouble with being poor is that it takes up all of your time.
Willem de Kooning

News from the home(less) front

I spent most of the weekend curled up in a ball praying for death or at least a hatchet to my face. I have an abscessed tooth. I came back to Ruth's last night after spending the weekend housesitting for Ms. J. I was clutching the right side of my face in pain.

"What's wrong" asked Ruth

"Abscessed tooth. I think my cheekbone is going to break"

"I'll take you to the emergency room"

"Don't bother till I'm near death. They won't do anything if I'm just in excruciating pain. I have to be nearly dead."

"What about those low income dental clinics?"

"Oh they can get me in in like 6 months or so. Long after I'm actually dead. But if you've got an exacto knife, I'm up for some AT-Home dentistry!"

Ruth did not have an exacto knife. Instead I've spent a lot of time holding scalding salt water in my mouth and then spitting it out again. This seems to be working to draw the infection out some.

Now when we take over the world, dental is definitely going to be in the universal health care package.

Whaddya Mean

Giving $700 billion to a bunch of blackmailing banksters didn't shore up the economy? You mean Wall Street is still falling?

Go figure.

I bet we would have had better luck dumping $700 billion into a giant pile and starting a bonfire to whichever gods and goddesses control prosperity.

I should start taking bets on how much the blackmail payout is going to be next time. I'm gonna aim high and say $2 trillion.

A Rainbow called Obama

I too feel like stabbing my ears with glass.

Go read