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.
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 also used to smoke pot to get high.  I don't do either anymore for reasons that are none of your business.  But then, it's not really your business that I did either in the first place.

What's my point here?  I'm just sick and tired of seeing posts floating around that say, "What about all of those women who have horrible periods?  Or bad acne?  Or ovarian cysts?  Are they whores and sluts too?"  Or with marijuana it's, "What about cancer patients?  Or people with glaucoma?"

Who gives a fuck WHY someone is taking medication?  Why does it need to be justified at all?

I took birth control because wanted to fuck and I didn't want to have an unplanned pregnancy.  I used it in addition to other methods because I REALLY didn't want an unplanned pregnancy.  

And again, I smoked weed because I liked the feeling more than I enjoyed the feeling of alcohol.  

But my feelings on these subjects don't count.  Never mind that it's MY body and I wasn't hurting anyone, my reasons for using these drugs aren't as socially acceptable, so I get to be shamed by even those who are ostensibly on "my side" for doing things that are no one's business but mine.  And yes, I do see it as shaming when someone says, "Well, what about those people with legitimate medical conditions who use these drugs?" because it's still playing into the culture that says that doing what one wants with one's own body is not okay unless there's a reason other than pleasure for doing it.

Well, fuck all of you who use this justification.  I liked fucking and being high.  I still like fucking, but I chose to stop using hormonal birth control. 

Because it's my fucking body.  Not yours.  And you don't get to have an opinion about what I do with my body so long as I'm not causing direct harm to you PERSONALLY. 

Oh, and before anyone says something about the Pill being legal and marijuana not being so, in states where the "personhood" bills are being passed, the type of hormonal birth control I was on would become illegal, so there you are.  The only drug that should be illegal is meth because it can endanger a neighborhood simply by making it.  Everything else should be legal and regulated.  Period.
I'm really disappointed with my Facebook f-list today.  Every single person who made a pro-Paterno (or RIP) sort of comment got a comment from me reminding them that he covered for a pedophile. 


Cut for length and triggers.  )

I don't believe in Hell (despite what I said above), so I can only take comfort in the fact that lung cancer is painful and hope that he suffered as he died.  I hope he died knowing that his legacy was forever tainted.  I hope that in the end, he knew that nothing he had done for the game or Penn State could ever make up for what those children suffered.

I hope he was in physical and spiritual agony as he died. 


And I hope that we don't conveniently forget his "scandal" now that he's gone.  For myself, I refuse to allow anyone to forget what he did.  And those who are saddened by his passing because of his great "legacy" to football without considering the horror to which he turned a blind eye are forever tainted in my eyes. 
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. 
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. 
As a follow-up to this post, I thought I would share the form response their "Consumer Relations" department sent.  I know that it's a form response, because someone else on my f-list got the exact same e-mail.

October 26, 2011
Thank you for writing to us about Dr Pepper TEN and allowing us to respond to your concerns.  I am a woman who loves the full flavor of Dr Pepper TEN and the fact that it’s only 10 calories. When I first saw the tongue-in-cheek advertising campaign and the tagline, my reaction was, “I’ll be the judge of that.”  In other words, no one is going to tell me what I can eat or drink. 

We hope you, too, will come to see our advertising campaign for what it is, a humorous take on the many men who are worried about their waistlines but are too “manly” to drink a diet soda.

Sincerely,

Consumer Relations


011243818A


Screw them telling me how I should be feeling and explaining to me (in very small words) exactly what their ad campaign intended to convey.  Guess what, douchekayaks at Dr. Pepper?  I understood exactly what your ad campaign was conveying and it wasn't what you thought it was. 

I hope your company goes bankrupt. 

Well, Shit

Oct. 26th, 2011 12:03 am
For those who can't see the video below, it's an ad for Dr. Pepper that parodies an action movie and says, "This movie isn't for you and neither is Dr. Pepper 10."

I usually don't see commercials because I DVR everything and fast-forward, but this one popped up on [livejournal.com profile] sf_drama and pissed me off enough for me to make a separate post about it for one reason and one reason only.

I love Dr. Pepper.  It's literally my favorite soda.  It's in my pantry and if it's on the menu, it's what I always order at a restaurant.  And now I can never drink it again because drinking it would literally leave a bad taste in my mouth.  I'm tasting bile right now because of it.  And yes, I do have more important things to be thinking about, which is, in part, why this is pissing me off so much.  I should be worrying about how my abortion rights are being curtailed.  I should be worrying about a GOP candidate who's so stupid that he thinks that the President signs Constitutional Amendments

Instead, I'm thinking about Dr. Pepper and about how a lot of women are BUYING it "in protest", basically giving in to the reverse psychology of this ad telling them they can't drink it.  Which is depressing, because the only way for a company to not do this shit is for people to NOT buy the product.  As I am doing.  Someone just told me to, "Have fun making absolutely no impact on Dr. Pepper's marketing strategies," which is a fair comment.  Dr. Pepper doesn't give a shit about whether or not I buy it - they just proved it with this ad.  So the only impact I'm going to try to make here is on my wallet.  Every time I see Dr. Pepper on a menu, I'm going to not order it and have water only instead.  I'm going to make a note of what it would have cost and stick that money in a jar somewhere.  When I would have bought it at the grocery store (along with Mt. Dew, because those are the two sodas I buy when Coke and Sprite aren't on sale), I'm going to save that money too. 

We'll see how much adds up in a year. 
Cut for video of the ad. )
[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? 
A PSA for every man I encounter on a daily basis:


When I'm in the grocery store, waiting in line at the bank, going into the bookstore at the same time you are, walking across the parking lot...  Basically, if I'm in public, minding my own business and we've never met before, leave me the fuck alone.


I don't care that you like pink (the color of the shorts I was wearing at the store today) or my hair or my dress or my shoes.


I don't care that you want to know what time it is (a common distraction technique for criminals).


I don't care that we're both waiting in the same line boring and you find me attractive so you want to make small talk on the off chance I'll jump on your dick after knowing you for ten seconds.


Don't fucking talk to me.


I don't know you.  If we don't have friends in common or I'm not at work (where I can make money off of you*), I don't even WANT to know you.


Your speaking to me makes me uncomfortable and also makes me wonder if I need to worry about you doing more than speaking. 


I'm a woman alone.  Respect that my paranoia level is up and if you are truly a good, decent and nice human being, YOU WON'T FUCKING ADD TO MY STRESS by being "friendly" with me, a TOTAL STRANGER.


Just... Leave me the fuck alone.


Thank you for your time and attention.


*To everyone who says, "Well, you make money off of men all the time, why don't you like the attention outside of work?" I say, go step on the sharpest Lego you can find.  When I'm alone, not at a social gathering and we have no friends in common, YOU SHOULD NOT BE SPEAKING TO ME UNLESS IT'S TO TELL ME THAT MY HAIR IS ON FIRE (or other equivalent emergency)!


This is the only trigger warning you're getting, because I absolutely REFUSE to cut this.  Scroll fast if you need to.  

Today is the two-year anniversary of his murder and I had no plans to blog about it beyond re-posting this tribute on Facebook.

All of that changed when I went to Hometown Buffet today and saw what shall furthermore be referred to as an "Abortion Bus."  It could have been a converted camper (it had one of those 'over-the-cab' camper-like attachments, but it was painted blood red and so covered in anti-abortion propaganda and PICTURES OF DEAD FETUSES that it was hard to tell for sure).

I went in and complained to the manager of the restaurant, that since it was on private property they shouldn't allow it there.  The manager tried to say it was a "First Amendment" thing and that he didn't want to get involved.  I only wish I hadn't already paid for our food, but we made the decision there and then - we'll never eat there if we see that bus in their parking lot.  I also wrote to Old Country Buffet, telling them exactly how I feel about their managers dismissal of allowing such horrific images to be displayed RIGHT IN FRONT OF A RESTAURANT where people are trying to eat.  I'm also seriously considering NEVER stepping foot in there again, given that their attitude and considering we've been eating there VERY often lately and have probably eaten there an average of once per month for the last fifteen years, that's pretty significant.

It's very, VERY lucky that I didn't know to whom the bus belonged, that I had no clue who they were in the restaurant, because I likely would have confronted them for being pro-slavery assholes.  And yes, I just said fucking SLAVERY.  Forcing a woman to have a baby she doesn't want sounds a lot like turning her into a broodmare and to me, that goes beyond a basic violation of human rights and says 'slavery' to me. 

I have to say, seeing that made me more Pro-Choice than ever, made me even flippantly remark that I'd like to go out and get an abortion just for spite.  Keep in mind, I WANT to have a baby, but with asshats like this trying to FORCE me into it, it makes me less than thrilled about the prospect of ever being pregnant, especially being high-risk and older, which leads to a greater chance that I would need the services of someone like Dr. Tiller.  

If you're reading this and are anti-choice in any way, shape, or form, go fuck yourself.  You can be pro-woman, in the sense that you are in favor of helping pregnant women have more options than just abortion, but if you are in ANY WAY in favor of overturning Roe Vs Wade or restricting a woman's freedom to choose what she may do with HER BODY, stay the fuck away from me and my spaces.   

You are not welcome here. 
So now women should "prepare" to be raped?  According to Kansas State Representative Pete Degraaf: Being impregnated during rape is just like getting a flat tire, i.e., something they should be prepared for. 

I have no words here.  Only rage.  Also, the link I just provided has his office number, home number and e-mail address.  I'm too angry to call, but I'm e-mailing. 

Just...  What the ever-loving fuck?
There will be no earthquake at 6PM on Saturday (is that Eastern or Pacific?), nor will there be a Rapture that leaves the survivors to suffer until October 21, 2011.  

It'll also still be here January 1, 2013. 

This has been a public service announcement from DUH! 

Thank you for your attention.

Over at [livejournal.com profile] atheism, there's a cool bingo card for all of we rational people to fill out starting on May 22. 

If I sound pissed off, it's because I am.  I actually had to DEBATE this today (with someone actually telling me I needed to 'get right' - I'm a good and moral person; that's as fucking 'right' as I need to get, thank you very much) and there's a fucking countdown billboard above my JOB, telling me that the end is near, which is EXACTLY what I want to see right before I have to go and deal with the public.

I feel genuinely sorry for anyone who believes this total bullshit.  (To be clear, you are entitled to believe whatever you wish, but if you truly believe that the world is ending on May 21, 2011 (or sometime in 2012) we should probably part ways right now.)

I'd also like to give a big, hearty and utterly sincere FUCK YOU to those who are propagating this fear-mongering, disgusting bag of fail.
Stop fucking changing my theme.  Seriously, fucking STOP IT.  Also, I think I blew my test today, so thanks for adding to my general stress.

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.

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.

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