This is your trigger warning.

Scroll fast if you need to because I'm not cutting this.

Before this case came about, I'd heard of Steubenville from a lovely older couple (the Enditches from Steubenville, which is how I remember) on a bus tour I took roughly twenty-two years ago.

I didn't know about the football program there or how it was basically the only thing that held the town together.  However, when I heard it, it didn't surprise me because of how utterly beyond the pale OSU fans are.  They riot sometimes when they WIN, :/.

For those of you who are either not in the U.S. or who have been living under a large boulder for the last few months, a young woman of sixteen got drunk at a party last August and was dragged, semi-conscious and unconscious to several locations, where she was sexually assaulted multiple times.  She didn't know she'd been attacked until the next day, when she discovered multiple text posts, pictures, and videos about/of the assaults had been posted online.

Sunday, two football players, Trent Mays and Ma'lik Richmond, were convicted of "digitally penetrating" her. There were at least two dozen other witnesses/possible assailants, but these two were (in my opinion) the sacrificial lambs.  I wonder how good they were on the team?  I wonder how many more players/bystanders actually assaulted this young woman?  These two young men were convicted in juvenile court despite their ages (seventeen and sixteen, which in a lot of cases would have them tried as adults), which means that once they're over twenty-one, their records could be swept clean.  Yes, they have to register as "juvenile sex offenders" and yes, their pictures have been plastered all over the media, (we'll be talking more about the media in a moment), which will hopefully help to save future victims, but they still won't have ADULT criminal records.  This still won't necessarily ruin their lives forever in the same way it's affected the life of their victim, who has been shamed in court and received death threats from two other young women via social media sites.  Ohio's Attorney General is charging those who made the latest threats, but where are the charges against all of those who watched this young women be raped?  Not only that, but made videos in which they were laughing about her being raped.

To be clear, I think that this young woman can overcome this, but she might not.  She might not be able to come back from what they did to her.  Her life might spiral out of control because of the control that was stolen from her that night.  She's a survivor either way, but whether this rules her life forever or she's able to put it behind her, the fault still lies with those who, according to the prosecution, "treated her like a toy."

Where is the outrage?  Oh, that's right.  It's being directed towards the RAPISTS, in that media outlets like CNN think it's a shame that their lives were ruined by all of this. (Here's a petition you can sign to tell them what you think of their coverage of this issue.)  And the fucking Onion predicted all of this two years ago.

So what am I taking away from all of this?  I'm not a person once I get drunk.  Hell, I'm not a person if I'm out after dark alone or forget to lock my door or to set my alarm or am not careful enough with my surroundings or wear pants that are "too tight," a skirt that is "too short," or a burqa that shows "too much ankle."  You see where I'm going with this, right?

We teach men that women are "asking for it."  We teach them that they aren't responsible for their actions and that their "innocent lives" could be ruined by "giving in" to a girl who was too drunk to say no.  We shame rape victims so much that someone made a video called, "Shit Everyone Says To Rape Victims," and I'd heard them all before.

Our society doesn't teach men not to rape. Look at what happened to the woman who dared to suggest that we do so on Fox News - she was vilified and got both rape and death threats. Bullying is a part of it - men are bullied by their peers into going along with behavior that makes them seem "manly" to said peers. Even now, we're telling them to "man up," as though being a man is automatically strong and capable.

However, young men are also bullied by their fathers who bullied them, "Don't be a [misogynistic slur]" if they dare to express their emotions. They are bullied by a society that tells them that they aren't "real men" unless they attract as many women as possible, by any means possible. This is not peer-on-peer bullying. This is bullying at every level, from every angle, every day from the moment these young men are born.

If this is not 100% clear - I'm not excusing their actions, but until the rape culture stops telling women how they can avoid rape instead of telling men not to rape, cases like this will continue to happen.  People are starting to think this way (in Vancouver, an ad campaign entitled "Don't Be That Guy" has helped to reduce sexual assaults there by 10%), but the process is entirely too slow.   Also, the myth of the stranger attack needs to go away. Most women are raped by men they know. The Steubenville survivor even testified that she "thought she could trust" one of her rapists and didn't realize that she couldn't until she saw all of the social media about her attack the next day.

Can you imagine that?  Finding out you were raped (and that multiple bystanders, many of whom were your classmates, stood around ENJOYING your rape as though it was entertainment) via fucking Facebook and Twitter?  Can you imagine having two supposed friends of yours call you a liar and end your friendship because they wanted you to leave the party and you didn't do so, ergo what happened to you was your fault?

I've spoken about this before, but seeing what this sixteen-year-old woman is having to go through, with 18,000 townspeople she's known all her life and thousands more strangers online all acting as though this situation came about because she was drunk and not because those young men are fucking rapists, is making me sick on a level I can't begin to express.

She deserves better.  She deserves to be believed, to be supported, to be cared for, and, above all, to be told it was NOT HER FAULT!  But we don't do that in this country, or apparently any other, if Steig Larson and recent reports out of India are accurate, which I'm certain they are.  And those are only two examples - if anyone knows of a country/culture where rape is considered SOLELY the fault of the rapist, I would certainly love to hear about it, as I could use some good news on this front today.

The worst part - everything I've linked here is the barest tip of an iceberg so huge it could sink a million Titanics.  I could find dozens more links, all telling me that in the eyes of the world, my bodily autonomy is subject to the whims of others.

Society doesn't see me as a person.  I'm going to fight to change that.

ETA: Henry Rollins' commentary is rather similar to mine.
I was going to cut this, but couldn't decide where, so scroll if you don't want a rant with mentions of misogyny, homophobia, and racism.

You'll notice that I used AND instead of VERSUS in my subject line because unlike what seems like most of the rest of the Sherlock Holmes-loving world, I like them both.

Shocking, I know.  Blasphemy!  I, a woman of thirty-six years and reasonable intelligence, can actually like two shows about the same character who have completely different approaches AT THE SAME TIME!

My sarcasm, it is showing.  Mostly because I'm more than a little irritated that someone actually blocked me on Facebook over this shit (a while ago, actually, this rant has been building for that time - I figured I should get it out before it boiled over).  For that, I think they are an asshat.  They were also an LJ friend and guess what?  I blocked them from this journal.  Because I can be online petty too.

For the record, it took me a few episodes to get into the groove of "Elementary."  I wasn't sure about having Joan instead of John (for probably a lot of the same misogynistic reasons as those who absolutely refuse to watch it, even if I didn't want to admit it) and was even less sure about Jonny Lee Miller's ability to play Sherlock.  Guess what?  He pulls it off.  He is not Benedict Cumberbatch, but he's not TRYING to be.  Miller is is own version of the character.

I started to compare them, but there is no comparison - they might as well be playing completely different roles.  Well, what do you know?  They ARE playing two different roles, neither one doing a "better" job at it than the other.  They each capture Sherlock Holmes in the modern world, they simply approach it very differently.  And I like them both.

Did you hear that?  I.  Like.  Them.  BOTH!

It bears repeating, because I don't feel like I should be forced to choose here.  There is no "side," no "right" or "wrong."  They're both good in their own way.  They each have strengths and weaknesses, neither of which do I wish to discuss at length, mostly because I've seen "Elementary" more recently and so right now I like it more.  When "Sherlock" comes back, I'll probably like it more for while I have it.  It's a matter of changing gears, not fucking RELIGIONS.

Also for the record, I don't give a flying fuck about CBS "not being true to the character" by moving him to New York and giving him an amazing woman partner.  Nor do I give a flying fuck about those who say that CBS "just wanted to cash in on the popularity of BBC's "Sherlock."  Um, yeah - that's what TV networks do.  And sorry boys and girls (I would say men and woman, but the people in this "debate" have shown themselves to be little more than silly children), but neither concept is anymore "true" to Conan Doyle's work than Robert Downey Jr.'s version is.

Fact: John and Sherlock may be your slash OTP, but in the original, Victorian-era canon, they were friends and Watson was married.  To a woman. 

Fact: in the BBC's "Sherlock," both John AND Sherlock have shown attraction to women.  That's not to say that they can't also love each other romantically (hello, bisexual poly woman here), but they are not shown as sexual towards each other.  If anything, Sherlock is shown as being more asexual, with the exception of Irene Adler.  There have been a lot of jokes about John and Watson getting or being together in "Sherlock" canon, but as others have pointed out far more eloquently than I, "bromances" and "winks to the camera" do not equal gay inclusion. 

So sorry slashers, it's not homophobia to turn Watson into a woman for a new TV show.  For "Sherlock" fan fiction, I can see the argument because writers are changing the canon gender of a character because they don't like the idea of two cis-men together. 

For an entirely new show, no, though I do see where you're arguing from.  Your argument is flawed, but I see it.

Fact: the backlash of misogyny and racism against Lucy Liu since "Elementary" came out has been disgusting in the extreme, especially since she is made of total awesome in the role.  Martin Freeman can kiss her beautiful ass, as well.  Don't fucking tell me he was joking.  It was unfunny, m'kay?

To be honest, all of this bullshit (along with the mods of horror at the most popular "Sherlock" LJ site) have kind of turned me off "Sherlock."  I'm not saying I won't watch it (though it's now rather in the category of "liking a problematic thing"), but I'm avoiding the fandom even more ardently since I got blocked on Facebook for telling someone I felt they were missing out* to summarily dismiss "Elementary," because they were "completely opposed to Watson being a woman."

Why?  There is no answer to that question that I've seen so far that isn't rooted in misogyny.  Somewhere.  Yes, Watson was canonically male.  But canonically, both Holmes and Watson lived over 100 years ago, so canon is pretty much out the window the moment writers take a modern take on it.

Vaginas are icky, I guess.  And heaven forbid a vagina come anywhere near beloved characters that have been redone and remade so many times I think that only "The Three Musketeers" have them beat for variety of productions.

Finally, to be perfectly clear, I'm not saying that anyone has to watch or like either show.  However, I am saying that it's possible to enjoy both without it being some epic battle over who is more awesome.  And I also think it's wrong to judge something without having watched a single fucking episode.  Now, there are those who say that one can judge something by its previews ("Battleship," anyone?), but when most of the negative press has more to do with casting decisions than actual acting critiques, I start to smell a misogynistic, racist rat.

*The person argued that I wasn't respecting their judgment by saying they were missing out.  They're right.  I wasn't.  And I'm not apologizing for it, especially since they blocked me on Facebook over it because they didn't like my telling them (fairly nicely, I thought) that they were full of shit. 
Sadly, I can't link to it here because it has the person's real name attached, but there's a viral image on Facebook that is a screencap of the following status:

I caught my son walking home with the gay kid from across the street.  My hand and his butt are going to be sore for the rest of the night.

A friend re-posted the image with the following caption:

Complete parenting fail.  The best way to teach your children hate and bigotry is to violently abuse them.

As her name was on it (she has an uncommon name and the pictures matched), I sent her the following message with the picture attached:

I wanted you to know that your incredibly awful parenting has gone viral. Congratulations on teaching your son hate, bigotry, and fear through abuse. You are disgusting and should be ashamed of yourself.

She'll probably be able to get the image pulled if she reports it to Facebook, but for now I'm happy to see her publicly shamed for being an intolerant child abuser.  There's also a fan page that's been set up to bash her with the tag line, "Proud homophobe and child abuser."

If there's anyone out there thinking that I (or anyone else) shouldn't sink to her level by shaming her, bothering her with messages, or any other such rot, allow me to remind you that she's the one who hit her child because he walked home with a child who may or may not be gay.  If you're on her side in any way, shape, or form, your comments aren't welcome here.
So about 18 months ago, I defended someone who was using a "Grammar Nazi" icon.  It was a shitty thing to do, I was rightly called out for it and since then I've become more aware of the word and have started calling people out when I see them using it to mean anything other than "people who support or supported Hitler". 

So now, 18 months later, someone's passing around a spelling meme on Facebook and captioned it, "For all you Grammar Nazis Out There".  I said something to the originator of the meme.  Was argued with.  Twice.  And so posted the following as my status:

Things that are Nazis: People who support or supported Hitler and his ideology.
Things that are not Nazis: Everyone else.
Please do not confuse one with the other. Thank you.
The following conversation ensued:

Cut for length and epic stupidity. )ETA: Random Commenter #2 )Cut for length and epic stupidity. )

ETA 2: The Jackass' response and more conversation. )
ETA 3: Yet another response from the jackass and my response. )ETA 4: Deep. Hurting. Yep, he responded again and derailed the conversation so far off the original point that I have no clue how to get it back on track. I tried, though. )
ETA 5: Jackass: I understand that you're offended by me using the term "IT Nazi". Well, I am not going to change it. )


Here's the thing, 18 months ago, I was that jackass.

Cut for length.  )
Warning: Possible triggers for slurs in both the comments and the post.  Also, general asshattery. 
Right now, there are 20 of you who have me on their feeds whom I have not friended back.  For various reasons, I've been f-locking a lot of stuff lately, so if you'd like to read something other than my fiction, please leave a comment telling me you're over 18.  I don't need your actual age, just that you're old enough to read the silliness I post. 

If you friended me for fiction, um...  I'm sorry?  I haven't been writing a lot of fiction lately because of school.  The ideas are percolating and once in a while something will find its way out, but for the most part, I'm just blogging, :).

In any case, if you'd like for us to be "mutual friends" (which also includes a link to my Facebook, where I post even MORE about politics), please just drop me a line and I'll add you back, :).

Thanks, :).
9-year-old shooting victim was an aspiring politician.  Her name is the only one I want to remember out of all of this. 

Meanwhile, Sarah Palin's handlers have been frantically scrubbing her Facebook page of any comments that show the half-Governor in a bad light.

Except this one[ profile] box_in_the_box says it all far better than I ever could, :(.

There's a lot of shame to go around here, :(.
A friend of mine who is a breastfeeding mom tagged me in this note today because "The Leaky Boob's" Facebook page was deleted for 'violation of terms of service' whatever the heck that means, :(. 

Please show your support for the rights of breastfeeding women everywhere and "like" Bring Back The Leaky Boob on Facebook.

For the record, anyone who tries to stop a woman from breastfeeding is an asshat and anyone who thinks that pictures of a woman breastfeeding are somehow 'adult' is a sick, sad individual, :(.
With today's failure of the Senate to repeal DADT, with my right to choose constantly under attack, with people saying that the Pope should have been treated with more respect during his visit to the UK, with morons equating the building of Park 51 to a KKK rally (a thread I saw recently on a friend's journal that I'm not going to link to without her permission) - I'm weary. 

I feel as though I'm screaming into the wind.  I feel as though individual rights have never and will never be a priority of humanity as a whole.  For every one thing you see me screaming about here, there are ten times as many things that I repost on facebook because it's a LOT easier to do so there and the overall reach seems to be wider when people share the things I've reposted.
tl;dr )

Those on the other side are so very loud, though.  They're screaming with the wind and their screams carry so much further, to the point where it seems impossible to scream over them. 

That's okay though.  They have a right to scream.  And I have a right to tilt at my windmills and scream right back at them.

I'm to the point now where if I cause even one person to think critically about an issue and stand up for the freedoms of everyone, regardless of which invisible man they pray to or who they love or what they want to do with their bodies, I've done all I can do.  

So I'm going to keep screaming into the wind, regardless of how sore my throat gets, and I encourage all of you to do the same.


Sep. 4th, 2010 05:11 pm
I have an account over there.  Someone gave me an invite code a while ago and I thought it'd be good to have if I wanted to log in and comment on something.  The name there is the same as the name here and if you friend me over there, I'll friend you back.

That said, I'm pretty much never on Dreamwidth unless I'm linked there by someone else.  I had to struggle to remember my username over there the other day when someone friended me.

I also have no plans whatsoever to migrate for the simple reason that I've only recently gotten the hang of LJ, FFS (after ten years, thank you very much) and I really don't have the time to futz around with another platform right now.

Plus, I think that Dreamwidth is ugly.  The color scheme is hard on the eyes and I don't like looking at it.  While I know that I could probably customize it to make it less so, again, I don't have the time to futz around with it right now.

Finally, and this is just me being a total bitch -  )

Moral of this whine?  I'll migrate to Dreamwidth when the pain in the ass of doing so is less than the pain in the ass that is LJ. 
First off, I'm going to say upfront that if you've recently posted asking that nothing you post be reposted, I've added a note to your name in my LJ.  I've also used this code, thoughtfully provided by [ profile] 51stcenturyfox, which makes it impossible for anyone to share my posts accidentally, so if you're worried about it happening in your journal, this will help to prevent that, :).


If you're auto-sharing everything as a matter of course (and who the FUCK does that?), it won't stop you, but this will keep anyone from accidentally linking to my journal.

Again, if you want to link to something public in my journal, please feel free to do so - just don't link to anything friends-locked and if you're the sort who's cross-posting everything you do, just stop commenting on my friends-locked posts, kthanx? 

For those of you who hate this change, here's LJ's official response and a link to a poll that everyone who cares about this should participate in.

For the record, I still think that anything that you post online should be something that you wouldn't mind seeing on the front page of the NY Times, but that's me, and I promise to respect the wishes of anyone who posts or comments about them.  So, if you haven't posted on this issue recently, but still never want me to link to anything you post, please leave a comment and I'll add a note.  I should also mention that I'm already in the habit of asking before I link to most things anyway (except for things that have already been linked in multiple places), because again, it's, y'know, POLITE.

I'll screen the comments on this, just in case, but will unscreen any of them with permission from the person commenting, :).

For the record, if it's public, it's linkable.  My real name isn't public on this LJ and my facebook is pretty well locked down from random people finding me.

Plus, if I'm of the opinion that if you don't want something seen by someone else, either friends-lock it or, y'know, DON'T POST IT ON THE INTERNET!

That being said, I pretty much never repost anything that I see, nor do I auto-post comments to facebook.  And I always ask before I link to someone's journal because it's, y'know, POLITE.

ETA:  I wrote this before I realized that you could linkback to friends-locked entries.  For the record, if you link back to anything of mine that is friends-locked, I'll de-friend you, ban you from everywhere I can and denounce you publicly for not respecting my privacy.  

Friends-locked means friends-only.  If you don't respect that, you're an asshat.
So, um, yeah.

I was skimming my flist for something to read when I came across this author's note: "This story is FICTION I do not wish to glorify or support the lifestyle depicted in it. It was written for pleasure and posted for entertainment purposes only."

Naturally, I just had to know what 'lifestyle' shouldn't be glorified or supported and that's when I got into trouble.  I'll let the comment I sent explain.
Cut for length. )

Never in a million years did I ever think that I would be this mean to any author in a comment, but I've found that lately I just can't let any hint of dehumanization of sex workers slide.  What I do isn't a 'lifestyle', it's a fucking job.  A job that basically gets no respect whatsoever and is doomed to be on the fringes of society.  

Maybe this labels me 'oversensitive'.  After all, it's only an author's note, right?  An author's note that I found dehumanizing and wrong.  And again, it was probably as I said in the comment - some moralist asshole gave this author shit about writing about prostitution and so they felt the need to put up a note about it.  Too bad that they posted it publicly where someone on the other side of the fence could be offended by it.  

And there's a (very) slim possibility that I'm misconstruing this completely and the lifestyle they were talking about glorifying was that of shopping for overpriced items on Rodeo Drive (that was the chapter where the note first appeared).  If that's the case, I'll apologize.  But I somehow, I doubt it, :(.

Just a reminder, my facebook group is Abolish Slavery - Legalize Prostitution and if you can see this you're welcome to join and invite your friends, :).  Remember - sex workers are people too! :)

I was going to lock this because I know that the author can be identified fairly easily if someone cares to look.  However, I'm really tired of having to hide what I do and/or spare the feelings of those who look down on me and mine for doing it. 

Sex workers have been around since humans first had the mental capacity to trade sex for another commodity.  Treating as something dirty, immoral or wrong IS wrong and I'm tired of being made to feel ashamed for standing up for those who are in my industry because it IS so on the fringes.  We're human beings who should have the right to do as we please with our bodies.  Period.
Please, just assume that everything there is public unless you've gone in and CHANGED YOUR ACCOUNT AND PRIVACY SETTINGS so that either no one can see things, or only your friends can see them.

Remember, facebook right now is a FREE SITE for most users that makes its money by using the information that you provide and by selling ads.  If you don't want your information everywhere, LOCK IT DOWN.

Or, y'know, don't use facebook.

I only mention this because I was just reading yet another "facebook is evil"- type post and realized that it's not facebook that's evil.  It's people being stupid with their information online that's wrong.  facebook is simply using every resource that YOU'VE GIVEN IT.  

Personally, I really like facebook.  It's allowed me to connect with people that I haven't seen in years and is generally great fun to play around on and I don't even play any of the games, :).  But I assume that everything that I post might be seen by anyone, anywhere because, y'know IT'S THE BLOODY INTERNET!

Sorry to scream here, I just get tired of seeing all of these big 'privacy concerns' about pretty much every site that I frequent when pretty much all of them have settings that allow you to make your stuff PRIVATE.  It's just that the defaults are set to 'public' and most people don't take the time to actually change them, which ISN'T FACEBOOK'S FAULT.

IMHO, naturally, :).  And I'm sure that there's at least one setting that's more evil than I realize and that someone will tell me about it - that's what I get for making sweeping generalizations.  I'm just tired of people blaming facebook (and many, many other sites) for their own lack of care with their personal information.



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