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. 
Schrödinger’s Rapist  (Or a guy's guide to approaching strange women without being maced.) ~Phaedra Starling

This is a blog post that I've been hearing about for years, but only recently found a link to.  If you are male and have to interact with unknown women at any time for any reason, this applies to you to one degree or another.  Yes, it even applies to you if you're gay, because no woman knows that if you are a stranger, :). 

Obviously, if you're gay, it applies less because you aren't looking for the "relationship" aspect of this interaction, but I think it's important for everyone with male privilege to keep this stuff in mind, regardless of their actual intentions towards women - this is about what sort of image you present to a woman to whom you are a stranger and who isn't aware of your desires, orientation, or anything about you at all other than the fact you're male. 

In truth, I wish I'd had this to link to when I did my "Don't Talk To Strangers" post, because it pretty much exactly mirrors what I was trying to convey, but didn't have the words to express.   

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? 
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.

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.
Right now, I allow everyone to comment on my journal, though thanks to a long-ago troll, I screen every comment from non-friends.  As I've mentioned several times before, if I feel that your comment is civil, I'll unscreen it even if it disagrees with me. 

However. 
From this point forward, if you're going to disagree with me, I must insist that you do it from your main journal if you want me to engage with you. )

tl;dr: If you comment here and you're not on my friends list, I will unscreen your comment at my own discretion and there may not be a visible pattern as to which ones get through.  I would like to allow serious discussion here, especially discussion that forces me to broaden my worldview, but if I don't feel that you are respecting me as a person I'll leave the comment screened and/or lock the post faster than you can say 'censorship'.  

Wyatt Cenac finds an historic black town in Mississippi where birds are revered more than people.



This story will make you rage and throw things.  Seriously.
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.  
I didn't think it was possible for me to respect Sarah Palin less.  I was wrong

Palin defends use of "blood libel" phrase.

“Blood libel obviously means being falsely accused of having blood on your hands and in this case,” Ms. Palin said, “that’s exactly what was going on.”

Are you fucking kidding me?  Seriously?  On SNL last Saturday, Seth Myers said that he'd be incredibly offended if he thought Mrs. Palin actually knew what it meant.  Well, now it's time to be offended. 

Stupid, anti-Semitic, douchebag, asshat, jackass, asshole, look-in-her-eyes-and-see-the-back-of-her-skull, half-Governor, thank FSM she's not Vice President so she's nowhere near The Button, nasty, hope she loses her figurative voice forever, lousy excuse for a human being.  

If I left any out, please let me know.  

Oh, and in case you're wondering, I'm not letting this one go. 

Ever.

And here's Jon Stewart to play us out...


Sarah Palin is a moron who doesn't study history and never considers her words before speaking.  She needs to sit the fuck down, shut the fuck up and go the fuck back to Alaska where she can cause as little damage as possible.  She makes me embarrassed to be a human being and I hope this puts the final nail in her political coffin.  Oh, anyone who even thinks of telling me that I'm somehow anti-feminist because I'm telling a woman to 'sit the fuck down and shut the fuck up', fuck you too.  I'm not telling her to STFU because she's female - I'm telling her to STFU because she's a dangerously stupid tool of the GOP who never needs to be heard from again.

You know, after what Jon Stewart said on Monday, I was ready to leave Mrs. Palin alone.  Now, not so much, sigh.

In her most recent video, she decided that 'blood libel' would be an appropriate way to describe the media's vilification of her after the AZ shootings.  Jewish leaders are understandably upset, which has caused Mrs. Palin to apologize and take down the video. 

Too little, too late.

She used a term without understanding what it meant and is apologizing after the fact.  Fuck her.  Fuck her apology.  Fuck her for not knowing the history.  Fuck her for now trying to find a "less offensive alternative."

To be 100% fair, I'd never heard the term 'blood libel' before Mrs. Palin used it today.  However, regardless of whether she knew the historical implications or not, using a term with the word 'blood' in it after a tragedy like this is the definition of missing the fucking point. 

She should have apologized for putting up the fucking crosshairs, but no, she had to turn people rightly criticizing her for that into 'blood libel'.  She couldn't just say, 'Sorry, that sort of imagery was inappropriate.  I shouldn't have called them bulleyes, nor should I have kept saying, 'Don't retreat, reload'."  No, that would have been an admission of guilt and one thing no one in the GOP can ever do is admit they're wrong.  

Fuck Sarah Palin.  Fuck her and the failboat she sailed in on. 

Yeah, yeah, I know, it's kind of funny that such a rabid atheist is saying the first part, but here's the thing:

"Muslim Terrorist" on Air Malta Plane Turns Out To Be Carribean Christian

When you say that one group is somehow scarier than another just because of the god they pray to (or what they look like or how they act), mistakes like this will happen, especially if you have the racist viewpoint that anyone who looks a certain way belongs to that faith. 

Cut for length and futher discussion. )

This isn't rocket science.  It's shit that all of us have been told at one point or another and yet we keep spreading that same fear of anyone who isn't heteronormative, white and Christian.  

People suck. 
...I bring you a dose of reality via The Daily Show.   

Saying slavery was the cause of the South's secession during the Civil War isn't politically correct -- it's correct correct.



Growing up, I heard constantly that slavery wasn't the cause of the Civil War, that it was about money and strengthening the Union, but if you read the history, you discover that that argument is in fact made of bullshit.  Slaves WERE money, dumbasses and the South's right to keep and own them was about THEIR freedom and liberty to do so.  If you go on and on about the Confederates fighting for State's Rights and individual freedoms, I'm going to think you're a stupid asshat who is disregarding the fact that they weren't fighting for the rights of EVERYONE, only rich white male landowners. 

On a side note, as I've said before (though I can't find where), if you display this flag, I'm going to think that you're a racist.  You might think that you're a 'rebel' for doing so, but the fact is that displaying it can hurt people who don't know (or care to know) exactly what message you're trying to send.  The swastika used to be a sacred religious symbol, but unfortunately that meaning was perverted.  Now, when we see them displayed, we think of Nazi organizations.  Those who display the 'stars 'n bars' have the privilege to be able to say that the Civil War had nothing to do with slavery (or that slavery was just a footnote). 

Bottom line: you have a First Amendment right to display this flag (or to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the secession of the South) if you want to, but I have the same right to say that it makes me think that you're a racist for doing so.

ETA: Thanks, [livejournal.com profile] pitry  - the swastika is STILL a religious symbol and is in constant use in Hinduism and can be found everywhere in India (and in Hindu-oriented places such as temples, restaurants etc outside India).
As everyone who reads this should know, I'm pansexual.  I am attracted to personalities, not physical appearance.  I can appreciate someone whom society tells me is beautiful, but their gender enters into it only as an afterthought.  In addition to this, I don't believe in monogamy.  While I'm very committed to those whom I love, I don't allow jealousy or possessiveness.  Period.  I'm not an object - I'm a human being.  And so are those whom I love and/or have sex with.

There are those who feel that my identity as a human being is immoral, that a person should only love one person of the opposite gender (or only one person, as I am discriminated against by some gay, lesbian and bisexual persons as well for not being monogamous).  People look down on me for being free with my sexuality. 

They tell me that I'm immoral, but they never adequately explain how or why.  Why is it immoral for me to love more than one person?  Hell, so long as everyone practices safe sex (in the interests of public health), why is it immoral for me to fuck every person I feel sexually attracted to?  

Who am I hurting?  So long as I am not an unsafe sex-practicing carrier of disease and make no promises that I can't or won't keep, how does my identity as a human being hurt anyone else?  I'm honest, up-front and completely open with who I am.  

Who am I hurting?  No one.  But there are those who feel that my sex life is their business and that they have a right to control me in the name of a morality to which I don't subscribe.

To me, something is moral if it causes no direct harm to anyone else.  It is moral if everyone is adult and it is consensual.  It is moral if it is honest. 

My identity is moral.  Period. 
Under the cut is an incredibly long exploration of possible reasons why our society sees certain identities as immoral, as well as the possible causes of GLBTQP identities. (WARNING: This will likely be offensive to some of you, but I do have a method to my madness. I hope. If I fail, please let me know how, because I tried really hard not to fail with this post.) There is also an examination of the differences between civilized and uncivilized human beings.  )
So when you tell me that I'm less than human because your 'morality' tells you so, I reject your morality.  I reject your primitive version of civilization.  I reject your identity as an asshat, because again, unless you are a born asshat (i.e., a psychopath), you can choose to be a decent, civilized human being instead.  

I didn't choose my sexual identity, but I did choose my identity as a decent, civilized and ultimately (despite my many, many failings) moral human being.  


ETA: I'm rather glad that I thought of something cool to post about for my 600th entry, :).
I'm ashamed of myself as I write this, because about five years ago I laughed at this joke.  I'm writing about it as a 'full disclosure' sort of thing and then I'll go on to why I'm choosing to write about it today.

Awkwardly cut for length, serious suicide triggers and slight child rape/murder triggers.  )

And that, finally, is the thrust of my argument.  We're saying these things to people over speech.  Hate speech, some of it, but still, speech.  I may loathe Clint McCance on principle, but dying in a fire for being a bigot is cruel and unusual punishment.  I'm NOT saying that we shouldn't call out the bigots or tell them that their behavior is inexcusable, please don't get me wrong here.  I'm only saying that we shouldn't sink to their level as we are doing so.  

And for the record, Harry Potter rocks!  (The books, not the movies, but that's a whole other rant...)






President Obama is an honor to the office and the embodiment of what it means to be President.  I may not always agree with him and I can't deny that he is a politician, but seriously... Can you see Bush doing this video?  Moreover, can you imagine Bush empathizing with what it means to not fit in?  

On Bullying

Oct. 1st, 2010 06:26 pm
There have been a lot of posts on my friends' lists lately about bullying and a lot of stories in the news about it, which has forced me to go back to my own childhood and actually think about sharing what I went through.  This part of my youth is separate from every other part.  It's the icing on a very large cake filled with bullshit and it's something that I think about less than most of the other pains from that time. 

I'm going to start generally, because it's the only way I can even begin to find a place to start.

Cut for EPIC!Length.  )

This entry is long, rambling, repetitive, probably incoherent and I feel as though I've strayed from my essential point.  You be the judge.  

As most of you know, I've only recently been introduced to the concept of privilege and how it affects everyday life.  How could I have lived to the ripe old age of 34 without being aware of privilege?  Well, because I'm in a privileged class, naturally. 

And that's the essence of privilege.  Being privileged means not having to care about privilege.  I don't have to worry about being sexist or ablist or racist or homophobic for the simple reason that unless I choose to care, I don't have to.  For the most part, I can choose whether or not I'm offended by something and can say, "Wow, that's really wrong, but it's funny, so I'm going to laugh at it anyway."
Cut for length. )

My privilege means that I never have to let any of the everyday injustices that most people have to deal with every moment of their lives bother me at all.  I can stay snug in my ivory tower and never bother to say that Glenn Beck was an asshat for co-opting the anniversary of MLK's "I Have A Dream" speech or for having the nerve to say that he and his ilk were 'taking back the Civil Rights movement'.

The essence of privilege is having the luxury to choose whether or not I'm going to give a shit.  And if I choose not to give a shit, I can get away with it because I'm insulated against the negative consequences of my choice.  In truth, my choosing not to care only hurts others.  It only hurts me if I choose to let it, as evidenced by the fact that I've only recently started to care and only I notice a difference.  Don't get me wrong - becoming aware of privilege isn't something that I should be proud of, only ashamed of how long it took me to to start caring about those who are different from myself.

No one is free of bias or privilege.  All we can do is look at which bias and which privilege hurts other innocent people and work to free ourselves of it.     



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