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 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. 
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. 


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.
Not too long ago, someone commented in my journal with an icon that was a picture of Hitler with the caption, "My mommy chose life."  I banned the icon (it was the first time I'd ever deleted a comment, which caused a bit of angst for me because I'm just like that) and eventually the person who used it when they came back to be shitty because I'd made a public post supposedly 'shaming' them when all I was doing was essentially making a post for future reference - "Hey everyone, no Hitler or Nazi imagery of any type allowed here."    

That's not what you've all had happen, heh.

No, what happened was I later realized that the icon was not just offensive, it was also WRONG.  Hitler's mommy didn't CHOOSE life.  Hitler's mommy had no choice in the matter whatsoever.  When Hitler was born in 1889, his mommy had basically no rights as a person.  She couldn't vote, let alone go and get abortion, and was generally defined by her role as 'Hitler's mommy' or 'Hitler's daddy's wife'.  She wasn't a person - she was a broodmare and broodmares don't get to choose whether or not they stay pregnant. 

Using that icon as a dig at the Pro-Life crowd may get some surface attention, but it ignores the essential truth that Hilter's mommy was a woman and women don't get to make decisions about whether or not they have children.  Oh, we say they do now, but as I pointed out yesterday, with 87% of the counties in the US not having access to abortion providers, we really don't mean it.  At least not in the US or in other parts of the world where women are still chattel, which I believe comprises a greater percentage of the world's population than not. 

I didn't get to tell the owner of that icon any of this because I didn't realize it until WAY after the fact and wow, does it suck thinking of the perfect comeback a month later (or however long it's been), but hey, at least I get to share it with all of you, :).

ETA: Hilter's mommy's name was Klara.  Thanks, [livejournal.com profile] darth_eldritch.
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. 

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'.  
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. 


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.  
If there is ever a time when you've made a comment here and would prefer that it no longer be seen, please just PM me and I'll screen it with no questions asked and no explanations needed.  Please do not delete any comments you make here (unless it's to immediately re-post them with edits) as it really hurts my brain to see 'deleted comment' in a thread or in my in-box. 

This has not been an issue as of yet, but I like to be proactive about such things when I think of them.  :)

Also, if you're not friended to me, you're still welcome to comment even (especially) if you don't agree with me.  I only screen from non-friends because of a trolling incident, but I always unscreen polite comments as soon as I see them, :).

Thanks so much!  :)
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...)

I knew that when I put up this post, there would be a reaction.  I want you all to know that I've read every comment, but I'm making the unilateral decision not to respond to any of them.  You all have your opinions - I have mine, and in some cases, never the twain shall meet.

I had more to say, but it would simply be rehashing what I've already said and my opinion isn't going to change, period.

To those who were respectful in your disagreement, I thank you and appreciate your point of view even though we don't agree. 

Because I'm a benevolent dictator, but still, at heart, a dictator, I've started screening all comments from those who aren't on my friends list so that what happened today will never happen again. 

This is my blog.  Up until now I've been very open and lenient about who may comment here because I felt like I'd give everyone a chance to be grown ups.  As is usual in cases like this, one person (or perhaps two, at most) has decided to spoil it for everyone else.  

I'll say right now, if your comment is civil, even if it disagrees with me, I'll unscreen it as soon as I see it.  You're allowed to disagree with me - no one knows more than I do that I'm not always right.  However, if you're unnecessarily rude and/or obviously baiting others, you're not welcome here.  Unnecessarily rude shall be defined as the sort of fuckery that happened earlier today, included but not limited to posting gifs of male genitalia (that comment never saw the light of day because it was anonymous and I've been screening anonymous comments for a while now, :)) and posting things that are deliberately hurtful to others for no reason other than it amused you to do so. 

If you do something trollish, I'll leave your comment screened forever and ban you from ever commenting here again. 

And before anyone says ANYTHING about censorship, I would like to remind you that I am not a government agency and it's only censorship if the government is doing it, :).

ETA:  If I've banned you and you reply anonymously to get around the ban, I'm going to ignore you and NEVER unscreen any comment that you make, no matter how nice or civil it is, because again, I'm the dictator here.  Troll me once and we're done forever, :).  



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