Saturday, September 05, 2009

Are you an obnoxious stalker or just "determined"

Ruth says that I am unusually sensitive to stalker like behaviors (she didn't mean it in a bad way). I would never leave repeat voicemails or send multiple emails without getting a response (with one exception, which I won't go into but no one who heard the details would think it's weird). I would never read the blogs of people who don't like me (shit- i didn't even read the trash at Jill Staneck's place, apparently being trashed by Staneck gives me feminist blogger rock star cred- who knew?) or even of people I don't like. Life is too short to be worried about people who don't wish you well, and I've never really cared about other people's opinions of me. I would never troll a blog (except that one time that OD made me do it to explain privilege to a clueless white dude, but even then I felt super icky about it for days). I don't google ex-boyfriends or friends to see what they're up to. These things, to me, seem like the height of rudeness and intrusion.

Actually, I am way more likely to never call or send an email unless one has been sent to me first. This has been a bone of contention with romantic interests and friends in the past. My big response is- meh.

So when people do those things to me (and there will be more a few reading this blog post and wondering if I mean them- and I probably do mean them) I feel both icky and pissed. Seriously, what part of banning, refusing to answer emails, telling you I have no interest in further conversation by using the time honored classic "fuck off" is unclear? Why would you, stalker types, want to hang around a place where you are unwanted, or get the attention of a person who thinks that a vacation to the green zone in Iraq would be more pleasant than being your facebook friend? What is so broken in you that a relationship founded on disgust and harassment sounds swell?

I do not understand this behavior. And worse, I really don't want to understand it. I really just want the stalker types to get a clue and move on, preferably to a desert island with no internet access.

But you know, I'm sensitive that way.

Another post for OD

Cause she is still stranded.

Though if she were stranded with him?

Friday, September 04, 2009

In which we discover that our fearless leader

Is in fact a bleeding heart, pinko, commie anarchist at heart.

But that is not all my fair readers. I'm morally all pink and squishy too

So take a test or two and tell me how you fared.

h/t to JJ, who reminded of this test.


How the fuck did it get to be Friday? I think I lost an entire day somewhere, probably Thursday.

This is what a forced-birth society looks like

In Niger, where if I recall correctly the number one risk factor for HIV is being a married woman, because you can be pretty sure that your husband will be sleeping around. Niger has a complete ban on all abortions, and will not sell contraceptives to unmarried people.

In Nicaragua and El Salvador, where abortion is completely banned, even to save the life of the mother.

How about Chile- another forced birther paradise.

These are all places with complete bans on abortion. What about the "liberal" places that allow them to save a woman's life?

Afghanistan, frequently used as an example of why us western feminists should STFU because we don't have it as bad as Afghan women do.

Iraq, Iran, the UAE, Jordan, Egypt and Syria, also not places known to be good for women.

And then there is Ireland, both the Republic and Northern Ireland ban abortion except to preserve the life of the mother. This is tragic, but fortunately Ireland is part of the EU, and operates like any state in the US where where abortion is difficult to come by. The women who can afford it go to England, and unless you're a 17 year old girl in foster care, the state can't do a damn thing to stop you.

What should be noted is that in all of the above mentioned places (except Ireland) poverty is crushing, honor killings are real, so is forced marriage and child marriage. The lives of women and children are considered expendable. That is not an accident, that is the result of refusing to allow women the full status of human beings.

That is what the forced birthers in this country want for us.

And I say no.

More Ear Candy for OD

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Whatever doesn't kill you

does not in fact make you stronger.

I have been thinking, as have many many people in the blogosphere, about Melissa McEwan's amazing piece The Terrible Bargain We Have Regretfully Struck.

To say my mother was hard on me would be an understatement, but she didn't have to be that way. She wasn't hard on my brother, not in any way close to how she was on me. In those rare moments of clarity, when I could ask her why without triggering a giant fight about how I was just "overly dramatic, blah blah blah" she said it was because the world wasn't going to be nice to me, and I should learn to deal with it cause I'm a girl.

She thought that she was making me stronger. I will give her that. But years of therapy, bouts of depression and agoraphobia and an inability to finish things that might actually make my life easier, like school, and I know that what she did didn't prepare me for the world. Each new cruelty, each little bit of unfairness, left a crack, a tiny fissure of pain and insecurity. I am a road map of scares and breaks and bruises.

That's what our terrible bargain does to us. It's not just "eat shit or spoil the afternoon". Those "jokes" about women drivers or pms or rape, leave a crack. Each cat call, or scary moment with a boy who may not take no for an answer, or ass grab, leaves a little fissure. Every dude who refuses to acknowledge our right to control our own bodies cause real, not theoretical, damage to real women.

It is a testament to our strength that so many of us carry on, cracks and all.

So when confronted with the daily hurt, we can choose to shut up, or we can choose to fight. But choosing one or the other doesn't actually lessen the damage. Either way we are going to get hurt. I'm a fighter by nature, but lemme tell you that after a while I feel like curling up in a ball and crying. When good guys, like one of my roommates decides to go on a screed about his (admittedly) awful ex by using every horrible sexist name in the book, it hurts me. He's not just insulting his ex- he's insulting every woman on the planet. So I ask, in nice terms, cause this is a person i like most of the time, if he can try using different insults. I explain- nicely- why. But but but he says, trying to justify why in this one instance misogyny is not just ok, but justified, required even.

Those kinds of things cause cracks. Roommate and I used to cook dinner together fairly regularly, now i don't even want to be in the kitchen. I don't want to be around someone who, when the chips are down, will hate on people like me and not see a problem with it.

And after what seems like ages of troll battling with yet another dude who thinks his (poorly reasoned) intellectual arguments and refusal to actually hear the stories of real, living breathing women are his god given mission, I am tired and hurt and still more damaged.

And any man, who claims to love women, or who claims not to hate them, should try not to hurt them, and should listen when we tell you that you are hurting us. It's not an intellectual game, it matters and it hurts.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

How come no one thinks

that feminist moms have sons?

Only daughters sometimes.

I mean- hello- feminist here. According to the trolls I'm a man hating, hairy legged, shrill feminazi.

And I am raising a boy. But not just a boy, a boy who will grow up with feminist values and ideals.

But apparently feminists can only give birth to female children or something.

I take it back- Dan Savage is WAY worse than Cary Tennis

1) Renee is dead right. Savage is more than a twee bit of a racist.

2) Savage pretty much thinks women are ewwwwwwwwwwe grody. Look, I get it, he's gay and girl parts gross him out and he thinks he is being cutesy by describing them as canned hams dropped out of windows. But his description of female anatomy is in the exact same vein as homophobes descriptions of the dirty gay sex. So in his efforts to be satirical, he just comes off using standard misogyny against a group who has no power in order to make himself feel better. Way to go- Dan.

3) The fat hatred just oozes out of him. Thank god he has a son instead of a daughter- she'd be looking at an eating disorder before she was out of diapers.

Savage is also the editor om my town's local alternative-weekly. And they have some damn fine writers on their staff. Charles Muedede, Lindy West, and Erica C. Barnett all make pretty words. But Savages hate for all things not white, attractive and male make reading the rest of the paper a chore. I can't even sift through SLOG anymore without getting bitch slapped by one of Savage's fat hating posts. It's really old, it's really tiresome, and how nice that he's getting a tv show so he can be the bitchiest gay on the tubes.

Though Savage might want to check his exceptionalism. They are only tolerating you cause you say shit they like to hear about the rest of us bad Others. Do you think he'd be as popular with straight white dudes if he wasn't so quick to hate the same things they hate?

A little ear candy

for my friend who is STILL stuck in Japan, and probably will be for another week

I think we need a little fun

While bashing troll logic certainly has it's merits, I need a fun post.

OD and I were chatting last night about how we like Rachel Ray. She's not a virtuous foodie, she appeals to the everywoman (you know- the people that actually do most of the cooking in society rather than the holier than thou males cheflebrities).

And then we got to talking about embarrassing food loves, those things you can only eat when no one is watching.

And I've got a doozy.

I love vienna sausages. I love those salty little meat phaluses. I make the Kid buy them though, cause I don't want anyone to know that the Queen of the Dinner Party likes processed meat in a can.

I also love cup of noodles.

And industrial ranch dressing, the watery kind that you used to get with school lunches.

How do you slut shame if there is no sex involved?

It's easier than you think.

Ouyang Dan sent me this lovely (and by lovely I mean nausea inducing) post about the difference between "Octomom" and Michelle Duggar.

First, the author, a bright shining beacon of illiteracy and class privilege, can't manage to use Nadya Suleman's name, not even once, in the entire piece. She can't, for even half a second, imagine Nadya Suleman as a human being and instead turns her into some kind of sad cartoon monster.

Then there the whole class privilege shit. The author would be fine is Suleman had money and her kids weren't going to require assistance to grow up.

But here's a little secret that Mom's Logic Julie may not know- most children in this world are born to poor parents. If we followed Julie's logic, most of us would never have been born. Only rich people are virtuous enough to have sex and risk childbirth.

Oh course Julie thinks that the Duggars are a perfect example of unfettered breeding, no debt, blah blah blah. But the Duggars have used their magic ability to reproduce in order to finance their lifestyle. Diapers are donated (and with 19 kids- that's no small cost) houses, vehicles, and they get money for being on tv. These things didn't happen before they decided to have endless numbers of children- but after.

But Nadya Suleman isn't married. She has a not quite American sounding name. She has, from most reports, a horrible mother. She has a couple of kids with disabilities. She has, by all accounts, a difficult life.

So she did what she thought would make her lovable. She did what we've all been told. She embraced motherhood. Not just embraced it, but clung to it long after she should have. Perhaps she was looking for that ultimate meaning that motherhood is supposed to give you, that boundless joy or whatever it is the fetus fetishists think all women have for tiny babies. She was following the rules that society set up- be a mother, be fulfilled. And she kept trying to find that, through each pregnancy.

She doesn't get the donations that the Duggars do. As a poor, unmarried mother, she is not virtuous enough to shill the products. She doesn't get a tv series, but a trashy expose'. She doesn't get the loving letters and beaming press pics, she gets death threats and judgment.

I would not trade places with her for a million dollars and she's made choices I never would have, but that doesn't mean I don't have some mercy for her. I also wouldn't trade places with Michelle Duggar, but there are enough people willing to offer her kindness.

Seriously- stop with kid hating already


And this is not the first time it has happened.

But I live across the street from a park. And Kids are part of society. They exist,yes they do. And just like beer bellied rednecks in wife beaters, the fact that I don't like them much (except for my own kid and the kids of my friends) doesn't mean that they can or should be shut away until sometime when they are less annoying.

So I refrain from screaming obscenities at the screaming child's parent, because screaming children are fun for no one and I'm sure the parent is already having a lousy morning. Much the same way that I refrain from screaming obscenities when the local university's football fans take over the public transport system.

But kids don't vote, or pay taxes. They are needy little bastards, each and every one. So many people who find tiny, gooey, filth covered hands and snot covered faces distasteful feel the need to bitch at already harried mothers for LEAVING THE HOUSE WITH CHILDREN IN TOW.

Children should be kept under lock and key until they are full of the appropriate amount of teenage angst and eyerolling. (At least according to the child-haters)

So when an idiot politician makes a crappy remark to a single mom with her kid who is asking about health insurance, surely the real matter is "How dare that woman bring her child into a public space"

and not "How dare that politician be such an retching ass nuggett"


Tuesday, September 01, 2009

You don't just tell them to wait!

Telling kids to wait to have sex, without explaining they whys or hows, is like telling a kid not to cross a street. Sure, we grown ups know that you have to look both ways for cars, etc. But kids don't.

So I am immensely pissed about Obama's abstinence commercials. You don't have to tell me about the icky parts- just tell me to wait.

Nope. Not going to work. Abstinence is a pipe dream. It doesn't work and the myth of perpetual virginity until marriage has never existed. Not a 100 years ago, not in the glorious Leave it to Beaver 50s, and not now.

So I am super grateful when I get to read this bit of awesomeness from Ouyang Dan about sex ed and kids.

(and for your juicy piece of gossip for the day- I am in her piece somewhere. Bonus points to anyone who can guess what line is about me)

Excuse me, but your white privilege is showing

So I'm trying to figure where in Japan a friend of mine is stuck.

And I'm googling maps, cause I'm a modern girl.

And the first map of Japan that I click on is in Japanese.

Which I cant' read.

And for half a second I'm a wee bit irritated. Except that it's a map of Japan, in Japanese. Of course most maps of Japan would be in Japanese.

Even those of us who strive towards goodness and understanding are sometimes dumb as a sack of hair.

It's a contest- Update

Godless whores: 13 donations and $664.78

"Good" Christians: 1 donation and $20

I think we have a winner folks. Though I am more than happy (and still desperate enough) to keep this going if the Christians think that time will change things.

Darwin for the win!

Go read this

I think this choice quote

the capacity of women across cultures to dissolve relationships that aren’t working has been much underestimated

perfectly illustrates my point in this post.

I think the nuclear family is a very recent concept, a couple hundred years, give or take. And it's not working out so well. People are rational creatures at heart, and divorce exists and is as popular as it is because it is helpful. That more women are choosing motherhood without marriage is because it is in their best interest to do so.

I could get all anthropological and start babbling about how all recent human evolution is lamarkian in nature and that the greatest of human leaps have been ones of cooperation like language and menopause rather than ones of competition like war, but everytime I get all philosophical it gets quiet around here.

So I'll just leave you with this. People are rational creatures. They will act in their own best interest, even when society at large says their actions are wrong. Women will seek to control their own fertility despite frothing mouthed protesters, gays and lesbians will push to be treated as equals despite frothing mouthed protesters, immigrants will cross dangerous borders looking for work despite frothing mouthed minutemen. Eventually, society will change it's view because those who act in their own best interest are the ones that carry society into the future.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Add another nail

into the "I think abortion adoption (shit I've been typing the word abortion so much lately with the troll infestation that I goofed. Fuckles)is a necessary evil" category

Forcing a woman into adoption is just as evil as forcing a woman into motherhood or forcing a woman into having an abortion.

It's not really a choice when you're not given another option, is it?

A quick and easy guide

to the party lines in the healthcare debate:

Republicans: Let them eat cake if they are healthy and can afford cake in the private market.

Democrats: We were going to have cake, but now it looks like bread and water for everyone. Well not everyone, some people will still have cake. But those who never had cake will be required to buy bread and water at cake prices.


Single payer advocate: Screw cake AND bread and water- we can't live on that. We want our meat and veggies!

Don't they know they got the shit end of the stick?

Go read this post on anthropomorphizing and gender.

Are you back yet?

So I've been thinking long and hard about why it is that dude-bros need to turn sex and reproduction into a battle where they win by sticking it in. What could have sparked the original idea, what was making early dude-bros feel so rotten that they turned sex into a contest between the sexes? And why are those same dude-bros sooooo upset now that modern science has given women greater ability to control reproduction.

An ex of mine used to say that he was 100 percent positive that the people who are screamingly anti-abortion are that way because if abortion had been an option for their mothers, they never would have been born. I think he was close-ish. But once you've been born you no longer have to worry about how you got here, it's impractical. I think it's more that they can't stand the idea someone else, someone female, is in charge of deciding if their dna gets passed on. And honestly, if someone said "God says you should submit to me, cook my dinners, wash my socks, give me blow jobs and have my babies" what reasonable woman with any kind of other option would agree? Sure, maybe a woman might have a much regretted one-night stand, or even a brief fling. Even I dated a Republican once. But you don't go having babies with those people if you can avoid it.

And I think it's really telling that those same manly-men forced birthers never go after the men who get women pregnant. I have never, in the thousand and thousands of hours that I have argued this point, seen one single forced birther say that anything should be done about the male half of the pregnancy equation. Not one single suggestion (outside of the occasional "he should marry her and claim his shiny pussy prize!" which is just MORE punishment for the woman with a life of domestic slavery).

And that's because they think the dudes who get women knocked up against their will are the winners. They have a problem hating on dudes who do the thing they want to do.

Of course, this is not all dudes. Even the Kid's deadbeat, domestically violent, crazy stalker of a dad was pro-choice and *seemed* decent enough in the beginning that I had his kid, though one of the first things I asked myself when the stick turned blue is "can you do this parenting thing by yourself, cause you're probably going to?".

But as time and evolution marches on, and women gain ground in financial independence and body autonomy and science means that not every sex act equals child birth and not every child birth means a serious risk of death, and parenting alone no longer means social pariah status, those old school dude bros have fewer and fewer options for procreating. They either have to change their ways to bemore competetive, or fight tooth and nail to keep women desperate enough to choose them.

They have to look at sex as a war. Sad thing is though, no one wants to have a baby with their enemy. So their whole game plan for passing on their dna actually works to their own disadvantage.

But evolution marches on, and dudes with dna that makes them more adaptable, changeable, affable to women's needs will be more likely to have their genes passed on. And dudes without that ability will find their lines dying out.

That is your hopeful thought of the day.

I'm Peggy Olson and I want to smoke some marijuana

Best. Line. Ever. In. A. TV. Show!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Words mean things- some definitions

It seems that we (ok not we- but troll d'jour) need(s) a 101 post on hate.

Like I said about misogyny before- if it was just your simple, garden variety of hate, like some people have for brussel sprouts or like I have for walking barefoot on grass, then it would be easy to deal with.

But misogyny, racism, homophobia, ableism, etc. are not simple forms of hate. With simple hate- you avoid the things you hate. I wear flip flops in the park, for example. But with whatever flavor of bigotry (and isn't it interesting how people generally aren't just one flavor of bigot) it's not just a matter of avoiding things that that they hate. Troll d'jour, for example, keeps coming to this blog and commenting. Bigotry is hatred coupled with a need to control or demean, or prejudice plus power- which is the sociologists' definition. (People who use dictionary definitions of different flavors of bigotry are almost always using that very narrow, inaccurate definition to somehow prove that they aren't whatever definition they are using).

I hate walking barefoot in the grass. But I don't hate grass. I don't feel the need to rip up all the grass in the world or limit the ability of grass to grow unrestricted. I don't hate all grass for making me feel uncomfortable or icky. I don't make jokes at the expense of grass, talking about how it lazily it lies there waiting for someone to come water it. It's not slutty grass cause it will let just anybody walk all over it, it wasn't asking to be mowed by letting itself get all tall. I don't hate people who like walking barefoot in the grass. I don't tell grass to go back where it came from.

If I did any of those things, I'd be looked at pretty funny. But bigots do those things all the time, and they think their hatred isn't even hatred. It's common sense or just how things are or even a command from god. They don't understand that doing things like trying to control women's bodies by outlawing medical procedures or forcing them to change their names upon marriage is just as ridiculous as if I went and said that grass can only be grown in 2 foot square patches (so that I can always step over the patch) away from the public view. If i said it was unnatural for two different kinds of grass to cross breed I'd be as bigoted as people who say it's unnatural for two people of the same sex to marry.

But bigotry is hate plus a need to control or demean.

If you think there is ever any situation where a woman forfeits control of her own body, whether it's during pregnancy, or because she wore her skirt too short or had a drink at a bar and was raped, or if she marries and has to get a new name, then you are a misogynist. If you've ever seriously used the word feminazi- you're a misogynist.

If you have ever used the words "lame" or "retarded" as an insult or whined about ADA requirements, (or any number of other things, my abelist repertoire is sadly lacking)you're an abelist.

If you think that gays shouldn't be allowed to marry, or raise children or if you've ever called a transgendered person a "he/she" or an "it" or if you think that gay sex is a sin, you're a homophobe.

If you use the term "illegal immigrant" and honestly think that a person's mere existence on one side of a border is a crime, you're a racist. If you think that racial stereotypes exist for a reason, you're a racist. If you think there is such a thing as reverse racism, you're a racist.

If you want to control or demean people based on an intrinsic trait that they cannot control, then you are a bigot. It doesn't matter if you THINK that your intentions are not to control or demean or to hate. Bigotry does not require intention.

And truthfully, I couldn't care less if you hate me. I do get seriously pissed off when you try to control me or insult me because of that hate. If all the haters did was cut themselves off from the things they hate, then bigotry would be like walking barefoot in grass.