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.
I generally don't do book reviews - the "book review" tag was created for this entry - but in this case I'm making an exception.  Also, you'll notice that this is not so much a review as a comment on the reflections on society that this book has provoked within me. 


Trigger warnings for references to things that happen to women every moment of every day.  )

If you consider yourself a feminist, whether you are male or female, I highly recommend "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo."  Not only is it a wonderful murder mystery, but it may provoke deep thoughts as it has for me, :).
So Keith Olbermann and I definitely don't agree on everything.  I've actually written him e-mails in the past chastising him for equating a female political figure to a prostitute and for contributing to the rape culture.

Tonight, though, may be where Keith and I part ways.  In his "Worst Persons" segment for December 13, 2011, Keith has the "Runner Up" as Joe Amendola, Jerry Sandusky's lawyer, who invited people to dial 1-800-REALITY if they believed the witness statements.

Yeah, someone (deadspin.com) called 1-800-REALITY and it's a gay men's sex hotline. 

Cut for homosexuality & references to pedophilia in the same sentence, :(. )

I feel utterly sick about this.  Yeah, I already knew that Keith Olbermann wasn't perfect, but -  And the "but" is what's killing me.  I've let a lot of his behavior slide because most of the time, what he has to say is worth hearing.  However, to be absolutely fair, I usually watch his show on fast-forward, just watching headlines and skipping most of the pundits, so I may have missed a lot more fail in the past.  It's going to take him owning up to this egregious error for him to regain my respect after this.  I'll also be interested to see if anyone else comments about his homophobic choice of words.

What makes this even more horrible is that I used to think that his Special Comment on Prop 8 was one of the best things I'd ever heard a straight ally say. 
[livejournal.com profile] sparkindarkness just posted an entry regarding the fetishization of gay men, especially that of a few well-known actors who've come out recently.  He also made me aware of this disgusting "You Know You're Addicted To Slash" meme, upon which I will now comment:

Cut for length and homophobia. )

Some of you might think I'm being hypocritical here because I both read and write slash (and I'll admit, the majority of what I read online is slash). 

However.

When I write it, I try to treat the characters with respect, not as poseable fuck dolls.  And when I'm reading it, I stay away from authors who write nothing but stereotypes.  It's a fine line, perhaps, which is why I'm trying to stay on the correct side of it and not forget that I'm reading about people.  Fictional people, yes, but still - characterization is important.  Treating the subject matter with respect is important.  More than important - respect for what one is reading and writing is just basic human decency.

One final word on fetishization.  I'm a bisexual woman.  Men are very "accepting" of me and my sexuality.  Because they think it's "hot".  They could care less about me or any woman I might have sex with as people - all they care about is being allowed to watch.  

If you care about the rights of BGLTQP people even when they aren't providing you with entertainment, you're someone I'd like to know and be around.  However, if you only think of us in terms of the entertainment we can provide to you - fuck off.   

On The ERA

Oct. 1st, 2011 06:12 pm
I've been hearing about the Equal Rights Amendment for most of my life.  My dad was (and I assume, is, though the subject hasn't come up recently) very anti-ERA (big shock to all of you, I know).  From the semi-coherent ramblings he gave me on the subject, I assumed it was a plot to turn women into men (or something equally stupid).  I'd never actually read the text of it until last week and I have to say, it utterly stunned me:

bulletSection 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.
bulletSection 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.
bulletSection 3. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.
That's it.

Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex. 

It's mind-boggling, stunning, sickening - I really can't put into words how horrified I am that this has been impossible to pass.  

Cut for length and possible triggers for everything associated with anti-feminist thought. )

Why is all of this so difficult?

Why can't I just be a person? 

If you can watch this and still think that the Republican agenda for the US is a good one, get the fuck away from me.  Don't comment, just GTFO. 


These kids are going HUNGRY while the richest 2% of the population gets to use the mortgage deduction on VACATION HOMES.  Does anyone else feel like they're living in late 18th-century France?





If you watch nothing else today, please watch this.  The statistics listed are staggering. 

Ganked from [livejournal.com profile] cyranothe2nd.  [livejournal.com profile] cyranothe2nd
 

Srsly?

Mar. 1st, 2011 02:05 am
Unborn Child To 'Testify' On Ohio Abortion Bill

An aide to committee Chairman Lynn Wachtmann said a pregnant woman will be brought before the committee and an ultrasound image of her uterus will be projected onto a screen. The heartbeat of the fetus will be visible in color.

This is the dumbest thing I've seen in the last three days, and as most of you know, I've seen some incredibly stupid shit in the last three days.

Fuck you, Ohio.  And fuck the stupid asshats in the Committee for letting this shit go forward. 

Neigh.

God Vs. $20 

When I first saw the post about this in [livejournal.com profile] antitheism, I couldn't bring myself to watch the video past the first minute, but then  [livejournal.com profile] rpeate made this comment and I had to watch it to see if I could find evidence to call bullshit on this sentence in particular:

No, if they had scribbled out the word "God", Mike would likely have said, "Their faith is secure," and not posted the video.

I figured that since I was going to have to watch it, I'd also transcribe it.  This was partly so that I could have ammunition to pick it apart and partly so that I could distance myself from what I was seeing.  Even so, there were times when I literally broke down crying while watching this. 

However, my tears were rewarded as sure enough, as I was transcribing, I found the proof that [livejournal.com profile] rpeate claim that Mike wouldn't have posted the video was complete and utter bullshit.

Towards the end, Mike says, "And don’t let it be said that I’m unreasonable.  We finally came to an agreement, but in hindsight it just looks ridiculous and childish.  I mean, they’re still selling out. They’re still taking the thirty pieces of silver."

So yeah, I'm calling bullshit over there. 

For those who are interested, here's the transcript. Never having done one before, I hope you find it legible.  )
ETA: I went back through the video and cleaned up a few parts.  It's still not word-for-word, but it's a lot closer than it was.  I also added a couple of additional sporks.

ETA 2: Mike came over to the original post in [livejournal.com profile] antitheism to play.  Here's his comment thread.

ETA 3: This got linked on unfunnybusiness on journalfen for anyone who wants to see more discussion.

*weeping*

Feb. 23rd, 2011 07:32 pm
Missing Trans Woman Found Dead

There are several issues here, so I'm going to try and address them one at a time and be as coherent as I can despite my surprisingly overwhelming sense of grief for someone I didn't even know.

A quote from the article: She worked with people with disabilities but also had a police record for prostitution.

It saddens me beyond all measure that they felt the need to mention her police record for prostitution in the same breath as her work with those with disabilities.  As if one negated the other.

But I forgot.  Sex workers are inherently tainted, aren't they? 

As far as her status as a trans woman and the bearing it has here, given past cases, I have to wonder if it wasn't the cause of her death.  If the person who killed her (assuming it was murder - the police report says she died of asphyxiation, but not if it was due to an outside person) did so because they found out she'd been born with male genitalia.  And it makes me think of all the people out there who think that transgender persons are under ANY obligation to disclose their status, when the leading cause of death among transgender persons is MURDER because of ignorant bigots finding out their status.

To be clear: if you think that a trans person should tell anyone that they are trans for ANY reason whatsoever, you're an asshole.  It's their business and only theirs.  Not yours.  Not mine.  Only.  THEIRS.  Period. 

I've had this argument before and I'm going to make something else clear - I'm done arguing.  If you have an opinion that differs, keep it to yourself.  While I'm normally okay with having discussions here... not about this, not today and maybe not ever again.  Not when I keep seeing stories like this because of the sort of hatred that still exists in this world that will allow a bigot to justify ending an innocent life simply because of how that person is living it.   

Again, I don't know that this woman was murdered, but given past history, it's the most likely cause of her death. 

Cross-posted to Abolish Slavery - Legalize Prostitution.

87%

Feb. 22nd, 2011 02:25 am
87% of the counties in the United Fucking States of America lack an abortion provider.

87%

I just...

I give up.

Obviously, the religious extremists in this country have won and I should just accept my fate as a broodmare.

Neigh.

Oh, and I happen to live in one of the 13% of counties that actually has an abortion provider.  That doesn't make me feel anything but numb.

87%

Fuck me sideways.

South Dakota Moves To Legalize Killing Abortion Providers

When I first saw this story, I thought it had to be a case of bad reporting, but no - there's more than one source:

Source 2

Source 3

Source 4  South Dakota legislators have tried repeatedly  to outlaw abortion, but those bans were rejected by voters. So they've passed several laws to chip away at abortion rights, Sheppard reports. Women seeking an abortion have to listen to a lecture that they're terminating "the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being," then wait 24 hours to get the medical procedure. And for 16 years, the state has had no abortion providers--Planned Parenthood flies in a doctor once a week to Sioux Falls.

I'm actually numb with shock right now and can't think of anything coherent to say other than the title to this entry. There's no clever icon I can use, no words to express how horrified, disgusted and actually violated I feel that this could be even be considered, let alone get this far.

If I think about this long enough, I'm going to start to cry, so this will be something that just gets pushed into the RAGE BOX until I can begin to actually process it and think about what could be done to stop it.

Just...

Shit like this is why there are only 836 doctors even willing to perform abortions in the US and that number probably just went down today.  I can't blame them, but I can hope that every pro-life woman out there finds herself needing an abortion.  A horrible thing to feel, let alone say?  Yes, but it's truly how I feel in this moment.  If you're willing to kill for this and allow other women to die for it, you should be willing to die for it yourself. 

Period.
That's what this bill is telling me.  It's telling me that because I have a uterus, my rights don't matter.  It's telling me that if there's something inside of me that could potentially become a human being someday, I'm not a person myself.

I've never been more aware of my status as a second-class citizen simply because of my gender than I am right now.  Right now, someone could break into my house and rape me.  Right now, my husband and I could have sex, but have no way to support a child because of the shitty economy.  Right now, I'm taking medication that is counter-indicated if one is pregnant and could wind up getting pregnant with a child with severe birth defects.  Right now, I could go off of my meds, our financial situation could improve and we could try and succeed in getting pregnant, but then I could have complications that endanger my life.

Right now, I could get pregnant and once I did, I would cease to be a person in the eyes of many.  I would become an incubator, an animal, a broodmare, a vessel for the survival of our species.  I would become something, rather than someone.  

It almost makes me wish that the doctor had had to perform a hysterectomy when I had my myomectomy nearly three years ago.  It makes me wish that I never get pregnant because I will cease to be a real human being once I am and will instead be considered an incubator.  If I get pregnant, I will have to worry about my doctor considering the potential life inside of me instead of mine.  I will have to decide if I'm willing to sacrifice my life to bring another one into this world, because my life won't be considered as important as the potential one inside of me.

It's telling me I'm not a person. 

If you can't tell, I'm heartsick over this.  I want to cry and rage and scream, but it feels like screaming into the wind.  It also makes me realize that it doesn't matter how many glass ceilings are broken or how many positions of power we hold, women will never be anything but second-class citizens so long as abortion can be debated like this, so long as our bodies don't belong to us when they are capable of bearing young.

It tells me that we are not an advanced species; we are only animals, with procreation our only goal.  The problem I have with that is that survival of the human species is not at issue right now.  Or if it is, it's because of overpopulation, not under.  

But those in power don't care about reality.  They only care about keeping the power they have and the best way to have power over someone is to control their ability to breed.

Look at the Catholic Church's stance on birth control.  It's only about power and control.

And that's all the abortion "debate" is.  One side wants to control what people do with their lives and bodies.  The other wants everyone to have the individual freedom to choose what's best for them.

And the side that wants control is always going to win because people like telling other people what to do.  They like being able to say that their way is the only way.  They like forcing people into roles with which they aren't and will never be happy because they aren't happy themselves or it makes them happy to see others miserable.

I'm so very tired of other people getting to decide who and what I am as a person without consulting me in it whatsoever.  I'm tired of other people presuming that they know better than I do what is best for me and my life. 

I'm tired of other people.

Ohio “Heartbeat” bill could ban abortion just 18 days after conception

Quick show of hands, all you moms out there:

How many of you knew you were pregnant EIGHTEEN FUCKING DAYS after conception?

This is it.  I'm done.  From now on my stance on abortion is as follows:

My body, my choice.  Your body, your choice.  I don't care what you do with your body so long as you don't infringe on my body while you're doing it.  Every woman should have access to an abortion at any point during her pregnancy for any reason she chooses to have it.  PERIOD.  What is growing inside of her isn't alive until it takes a breath outside her body.  Until then, it is a fucking parasite and has ZERO rights that infringe upon the woman who is carrying it.   

No more fucking arguments about when a life becomes a life, because it leads to shit like this.  A life becomes a life when the woman carrying it CHOOSES to bring it into the world and not one moment before.  PERIOD. 

It only becomes a life when it is breathing outside of the woman.  NOT when it could theoretically take a breath.  When it is actually fucking BREATHING

If you don't like my definition of life, fuck off.  Seriously.  Fuck off.  Either I have the right to say what is done with my body AND WHEN or I don't.  If I do, I'm a human being.  If I don't, I'm a broodmare whose only purpose is propagation of the species.  If I don't, I should never be heard from and stay in my house, pumping out child after child with no other thought or reason to exist. 

The moment someone says, "Abortion should ONLY be allowed IF," it turns every woman into a beggar for basic human dignity and respect.  It makes female rights contingent upon what someone else feels is moral.  It takes my body and turns it into a vessel for someone else to fill with whatever they fuck they feel like putting in there.  

Either I'm a person or I'm an incubator.

Try and make me into an incubator.  I fucking dare you. 

Try. 
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] ladyqkat at Dear GOP - the collective you are an Idiot
(Post originally seen in this post by [livejournal.com profile] ramblin_phyl. I have been notified that it was originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] suricattus in her journal post. The story and words are hers, but I do believe that it needs to go viral and that as many people as possible need to get their stories out there. Only by making a noise about this can we make a change in our society.)  Re-posted from [livejournal.com profile] kadymae.

There is a move afoot in the nation -driven by the GOP - to repeal the new health care laws, to protect corporate interests, to defend against fear-mongering (and stupid) cries of "socialism!", and to ensure that people are forced to choose between keeping a roof over their heads or getting necessary health care.

This movement is killing people.

Think I'm overstating the fact?

Ask the friends and family of writer/reviewer Melissa Mia Hall, who died of a heart attack last week because she was so terrified of medical bills, she didn't go see a doctor who could have saved her life.

From another writer friend: One person. Not the only one. That could have been me. Yeah, I have access to insurance -- I live in New York City, which is freelancer-friendly, and have access to freelancer advocacy groups. Through them, I can pay over $400/month ($5,760/year) as a single, healthy woman, so that if I go to the hospital I'm not driven to bankruptcy. But a doctor's appointment - a routine physical - can still cost me several hundred dollars each visit. So unless something's terribly wrong? I won't go.

My husband worked for the government for 30 years. We have government employee (retired) insurance. It is the only thing of value he took away from that job. His pension is pitiful. He still works part time. My writing income has diminished drastically. Our combined income is now less than what it was before T retired fifteen years ago. Inflation has diminished it further. In the last 30 days I have racked up over $8000 in medical bills for tests and the beginning of treatment. Our co-pay is 20% after the deductible. And there is more to come. Our savings are already gone. I have the gold standard of insurance and I still can't pay all the medical bills.

Another friend lost her insurance when her husband lost his job. She couldn't afford medication and ended up bed ridden for three months at the end of over a year of no job and therefore no insurance until he found work again.

It's our responsibility. All of us, together. As a nation.

EtA: Nobody is trying to put insurance companies out of business. They will always be able to offer a better plan for a premium. We simply want to ensure that every citizen - from infant to senior citizen - doesn't have to choose between medical care, and keeping a roof over their heads, or having enough to eat.

We're trying to get this to go viral. Pass it along.




I'm going to post my story as the first comment to this post if anyone would like to read it. If anyone wants to tell their story, please tell it on your own journal and post a link in the comments. Maybe, just maybe, TPTB will listen to the slaves peons who clean their toilets before they have to clean their own.
Inspired by more than one comment on the post that this post links to, I'm finally going to weigh in on the whole anti-PC, thought-police, this-word-has-another-meaning-and-no-one-can-own-a-word, I-don't have-to-change-simply-because-you're-offended school of thought.

I'm going to begin by saying that I'm guilty of using pretty much every word that is at issue at one point or another, some as recently as last year, so I'm not saying that I'm not in a glass house here. 

However.

For those who are against changing their language to remove certain words from their vocabularies because another person is offended by it, I ask the following question:

Who does it hurt? 

Seriously, who does it hurt to make the effort not to use words that others have found offensive?  I know that it's an effort to do so, so I guess someone could argue that it's hurting them by virtue of the fact that changing one's vocabulary and deleting certain words is hella difficult...  Well, I have to say that it's more difficult in the offline world, but online?  It's as easy as being careful of what one types.  I realize that for some, who type as quickly as they think, that could be a challenge, but seriously?  Who does it hurt?  Why is it such a big deal to just not be an asshat when someone asks you to do so?

Cut for possible triggers and an incomplete list of incredibly offensive slurs that everyone should know not to use. Ever.  )And because I've been educating myself a bunch lately, here are a bunch of links that all say all of this a lot better than I just did.

101 Primer

[livejournal.com profile] sparkindarkness' entire journal.

Read all of that and then come back to discuss, if you wish, :).

ETA: Proof that not being an asshat is an ongoing battle: Weak is ableist.  Thank you to [livejournal.com profile] 51stcenturyfox  for letting me know, :).

ETA 2: My comment thread on the post that started all of this is here

ETA 3: Drama communities are probably not the best place to start, lol, but if it were not for them I never would have found most of this stuff out, which is why I mentioned them.  The best place to start is with the 101 Primer and go from there, :).

This post has now been edited because my essential message was being lost and I was doing more harm than good by defending my position on one phrase.  Most of the comments regarding that phrase have now been screened.  I'm not a PoC, so my feelings on that phrase don't matter whatsoever and continuing to argue about it only detracts from the essential point of what I was trying to say. 

I apologize for the drama.

For the record I am US-born, white, queer though I easily pass for both female and straight, and able-bodied.  I have no personal experience with physical, racial or ethnic discrimination and I apologize for speaking for those groups as if I were personally invested in those particular slurs not being used.

The areas in which I have personal experience and/or a personal investment include: feminism/sexim, sex work, body image/food, sexual freedom, BGLTQP rights/homophobia, bullying, child abuse, the US foster care system, the US health care system, PTSD, anxiety, depression and mental health.  

Back-Alley Abortions in 2011: How Anti-Choice Zealots Force Women to Go to Dangerous Clinics Like Dr. Kermit Gosnell's

I've spoken about reproductive rights before, but always with the understanding that some people out there are Pro-Life.  I haven't been respectful of that position, but I've at least tried not to judge it too hard.

To be clear, my definition of Pro-Life is NOT someone who is against abortion, but against women having the freedom to CHOOSE an abortion.

Everyone is against abortion. EVERYONE. )
This is my line in the sand, friends' list.  I don't mind if you believe that life begins at conception (even though I disagree) and work to give women other options.  I'm 100% in favor of women having the freedom to HAVE THE BABY if that's what they wish to do - reproduction should never be a financial concern, even though it always is, :(.  The issue here is about giving women the freedom to be able to choose what's right for them and what they will be able to live with. 

However, if you identify as Pro-Life (rather than Pro-Woman, which is how I identify because Pro-Choice has become synonymous with Pro-Abortion), and are someone who actively demonstrates against abortion, who supports politicians who vote against my right to choose and who believes that every pregnancy should end in a baby regardless of the wishes and/or physical and mental well-being of the woman carrying that baby, please defriend me now, as I don't want to be anywhere near you, even virtually. 

Reproductive rights must be absolute and the rights of the born must outweigh the rights of the unborn, 100% of the time.  Otherwise, women are nothing more than broodmares.

Neigh.
Sarah Palin's first appearance after the Tuscon tragedy?  A gun show.

All I can think is Charlton Heston after Columbine.  

Honestly, I was trying not to post here about her again for a while.  I've linked a couple of things on Facebook, but I was really trying not to devote a whole post on LJ to her again for a little bit longer. 

You stay classy, Mrs. Palin. 

Asshat.

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