Tag Archives: women

WAP Grammys 2021 Performance is Not Empowerment or Feminism–It’s Misogyny

16 Mar

Visibility is imperative. Pushing norms is progress. But disguising the objectification of women for the male gaze as empowered feminism is super-problematic, and that’s what is happening here. Cardi b and Meghan Thee Stallion’s Grammys 2021 performance was supposed to push boundaries, and shock. And it did! Madonna pushed boundaries of female sexuality with her cones and simulated sex scene prior to this. But I see the Miley Cyrus/Robin Thicke twirking on all the negative YouTube videos for ‘top 10 cringe moments’, ‘celebs that are problematic’, ‘people who got cancelled’, etc, etc… And let’s not forget how Janet Jackson was ENDED over a fraction of a sec of nipple pasty action at the Superbowl. Can you say, double standard?!

Anyway, I keep seeing a lot of arguments for the merits of this song/performance because it matches what men do. Men have scantily-clad women on their videos, demean women as “bitches” (and far worse) in their lyrics, talk about sexual acts in explicit detail, and are “pimps” when they rack up the number of women they conquer. So people are arguing it’s cool that now women can do that too.

Except here’s the thing:

Feminism isn’t doing whatever you want or being as disgusting as men, it is breaking away from objectification, truly empowering the individual self and collective group of women.

Joining in on objectification of women is not empowerment!

em·pow·er·ment (N)- Authority or power given to someone to do something. “individuals are given empowerment to create their own dwellings” the process of becoming stronger and more confident, especially in controlling one’s life and claiming one’s rights.

This performance isn’t about women owning their bodies, sexuality, or controlling the narrative. This is women selling their image in a package that men like in order to make money and gain fame in the small niche that female rap artists have carved out.

Women in this patriarchal society have to fit in a box–the Madonna/whore dichotomy. Women in music, already in that narrow box of patriarchy, have to fit into an even smaller box of being a role model to girls while having sexual appeal for the general public. The rap category is an even teenier box a couple of select women have to fit in to keep going. In the end, the box is so small and limited, there is no space left.

People online are praising the performance as visible female sexuality, black women owning their own bodies, and empowerment. Which, I agree might be present (though in this writing, I’ll argue it’s in diluted form). I felt the performance was harmful to women’s progress. What I don’t want to do is add the the terrible narrative that black women’s sexuality is wild/animalistic/scary/out of control that colonialism, racism, sexism, and patriarchy has painted it. I find the performance harmful because it is misogyny in feminist clothing, to borrow the sheep expression.

I know there’s a whole song, and the music video that goes with it. I don’t know much about either so my critiques are based solely on the following video of the 2021 Grammy performance:

My racap of the action:

-A stripper pole-references the men’s domain of the strip club where women take off clothes and dance suggestively for men’s entertainment.
-Cardi B backs up and puts her butt-crack on the pole. Side-note: Butt implants are for men. A women can die getting plastic surgery to enhance her body. Her clothes will fit differently. She will have to move differently, walk differently, lay down differently than she did before putting plastic in her butt. And she may have complications later. Leaking, autoimmune issues, cancer… This is not for a woman’s pleasure–women’s butts are not an erroneous zone, or secondary sex characteristic. A big butt is for men’s pleasure.
-In case the viewer couldn’t put it together, a giant, clear plastic stripper platform shoe flanks the stage. The type of shoe men like to look at, but women have trouble walking effectively in, and certainly running from danger is out of the question in such a shoe. It shows the power dynamic–females are weakened by such a shoe but men get pleasure from them wearing the shoe. Men are in power here. The women are just props for them to use to achieve sexual gratification.
-Other suggestive moves that drive home this is a performance to cater to men’s sexual desire: Splay legs, she grabs/rubs her puss, gyrating hips and doing suggestive humping dance moves. Cardi B elevates and licks her own leg. Countless squats split legged. Laying with legs far apart on the bed. Crawling on the bed. Split legged humping. Laying on her back with split legs. The two women crawl toward each other on bed. They scissor their legs together. [Pet-peeve] this is NOT a thing! I mean, it might technically exist in the way the pile-driver is a thing, but not used in real life, it’s only for porn. This scissoring maneuver is performative and it’s is ignorant/Lesbphobic. As a matter of fact, if two out, butch lesbians did the same move, I’ll bet the reaction would be totally different. Then to finish the show, more split legs.

Here’s the test to know

a) if this is two women owning their own bodies, displaying confidence and empowerment

OR

b) this is a sexually suggestive performance for the male gaze

In the above video and descriptive paragraph, trade out the women for men.

Have you seen men doing a similar performance before? Does it seem like the same type of performance? Would it garner the same reaction?

I’d say fail.

You do not/would not see two men: Dancing on a pole. Licking their own leg. Crawling toward another man on a giant bed. Or scissoring legs together with another man…

This is not women owning their sexuality. This is objectifying & commodifying women for the male gaze.

Research by Calogero has shown that the male gaze can have detrimental effects on women’s self-esteem and self-objectification, leading to increased body shame and a worsened mental state. The male gaze creates a power imbalance. It supports a patriarchal status quo, perpetuating women’s real-life sexual objectification.

So that’s why I don’t like it. I’m not even going to mention being role model for girls, b/c the conservatives always trot that out to shame women. But I will say it would be nice if society was better at recognizing misogyny. I can understand why it’s difficult because it’s ubiquitous and pervasive. But we need to educate ourselves a lot better, because things are still BAD for women. And I would love to see women being successful by truly own their own bodies and sexuality in an empowering way. I hope it happens.

But this was not it.

Don’t Ever Say a Mean Thing to a Pregnant Woman (Says Patriarchal Society)

19 Nov

This whole conversation started because on Karlie’s baby bump video where she says, “Good morning baby” I commented, “nope.”  It was a (softly) negative Twitter comment in a sea of “congratulations,” “you will be a great mom,” and “you’re glowing.”    

Honestly, I take offense that all the comments were reverential.  Considering the negativity I see on EVERY SINGLE OTHER KK post, and Twitter as a whole.  It’s backward.  And here’s why:

So is it OK if I say Lady Gaga copies Madonna’s career?  Because we don’t know she’s pregnant?

How about Jared Ku$hner.  Can I say he’s corrupt?  Because he’s a man, and can’t get pregnant?

And would it have been OK to say something negative to Karlie 6 months ago?  Because she probably wasn’t pregnant then?

Socially chastising me for “being proud of saying something negative to a pregnant woman” is so predictable.  You’re making a judgement call.  And why?  Of course, socially-imposed “rules” are held up by individuals in society.  But, is this a good rule?  Why is it a thing?  

Is my comment going to cause Karlie’s baby harm?  I don’t want to put anything specific, because just-in-case.  But you get my point, that it’s probably unlikely that reading one Twitter comment is going to hurt either mom or baby.  Are women more “delicate” when they’re pregnant?  Women (for Millennia) doing agriculture and having a child right in the field then continuing on with work, prove–no.  And nutritionally, it’s a myth that pregnancy is the most challenging time.  Lactation, then the growth stage are harder on the body [Animal Science, major here!].  

Does pregnancy earn a woman more respect?  I think so, in our society (hence the social stigma), but I am a hard disagree that it should be this way.  A woman should be treated better, because she’s carrying a child?  But not at other times in her life.  Is pregnancy the most important job or function a woman ever will have?  Because a child is involved, women are more revered than normal?  To me, the fact I have to ask these questions, and the fact the answers are probably all yes, (in our culture) is wrong.

To me, that sounds more fucked up than treating a woman like a human, even if she’s carrying a child.  Don’t misinterpret my words–I am NOT suggesting people abuse pregnant women in any way, shape, or form.  But is it right to treat her like porcelain?  Nope.

Karen

5 Aug

*Disclaimer* This post is going to start out heavy, as I describe the historical context, then get humorous (to some, hopefully most). 

 

Calling white, (are they always suburban or upper-middle class?) women “Karens” came about to describe this demographic’s (micro) aggressions towards those of “lessor” (as judged by the power structure in charge) societal standing, usually POC.  And it’s rooted in the history of violence against POC in the name of protecting white women.  White men, have often beat, maimed, tortured, and killed black men especially in the name of standing up for a white woman’s honor.  For example, here’s a summary (not mine) of the Emmitt Till case:

  1. There have been any number of versions of what happened — or didn’t happen — on a hot day of Aug. 24, 1955, in a small convenience store outside Money, Miss.  At one point, Till entered the store to buy a Coke.  The clerk in the store, a 21-year-old white woman named Carolyn Bryant later alleged Till had sassed her.  Some versions said he tried to flirt with Bryan, or that he boasted of having white girl friends back in Chicago, or that he touched her, or he may have wolf-whistled at her.  Whatever happened, Bryant subsequently told her husband and his brother-in-law about the interaction – or someone did.  Four days after Till entered that store, Bryant’s husband, Roy, and J.W. Milam, in the dead of night went to the home of Till great-uncle, where Till was staying, and took him away.  They drove around with the child in Bryant’s truck and eventually dragged him into a barn where they set upon him.  They beat Till, gouged out one of his eyes, tied him to a 75-pound cotton gin fan, shot him in the head and dumped his body into the Tallahatchie River.  When he did not return home the uncle’s house, Till was reported as missing.  Bryant and Milam were interviewed by deputies and acknowledged taking Till away, although they swore when they last saw him he was alive.  Unusually for that time and that place, the two were arrested and charged with kidnapping.  Three days later, Till’s mutilated and bloated body was recovered from the river.  The body was sent home to Chicago, where Till’s mother, Mamie Till Bailey, demanded the casket be open so mourners who filed past it could see what hate had done to her child.  Jet magazine printed a photograph of the body, further arousing indignation over the killing [I didn’t put it here, but it’s easily searchable].  The crime was so heinous even the white authorities in Mississippi were moved to condemn the killing.  Bryant and Milam were charged with murder and stood trial in September, 1955.  After the end of five days of testimony – including the defense claim Till’s body was so wounded it was impossible to say with certainty it was in fact Till – the all-white jury returned a not guilty verdict after less than an hour’s deliberations.  Bryant and Milam were freed.  The next year they gave a paid interview to Look magazine in which they freely admitted murdering Till.  What followed was a long, slow decline marked by arrests for various crimes, and their eventual deaths, both from cancer, Milam in 1980 and Bryant in 1994.  Carolyn Bryant, having divorced Roy, faded from memory until 2017.  Then, a Duke University professor who had written a book on the murder, revealed that Bryant (who had re-married) in an interview for the book admitted she had lied about the interaction with Emmett Till.  “Nothing that boy did could ever justify what happened to him,” Bryant was quoted in an excerpt in Vanity Fair as saying she “felt tender sorrow” for Till’s mother, who died in 2003.  

 

There is nothing funny about that.  And it makes sense that it’s women who are being called out on social media for being a “Karen” because it is specific to the above described behavior.  And that white woman playing the victim card needs to cease, because it can cause real harm.  Here’s a current example:

      2. When Amy Cooper, a white woman, called 911 from an isolated patch in Central Park where she was standing with her unleashed dog on Memorial Day, she said an “African-American man”              was threatening her, emphasizing his race to the operator.  Moments before Ms. Cooper made the call, the man, Christian Cooper, an avid bird-watcher, had asked her to leash her dog, and              she had refused.

 

I am sure everyone encountered on that story on social media.  It just goes to show those that don’t study history are doomed to repeat it.  Also socialization is firmly entrenched.  This present day Karen has brought about a lot of throwing the name about.  Have a mask tantrum?  Karen.  Ask to speak to a manager?  Karen.  Write something somebody disagrees with on Twitter?  Karen.  It’s getting a overused, I’d say.  And not just to describe the specific, problematic behaviors in the above two scenarios.  It’s becoming a catch-all term for white women.  And racially, I think that is fair.  Honestly.  White women have pretty much stayed under the radar (as far as I know) when it comes to troublesome race relations.  It’s time we accept that our fair skin allows us to walk through life with a certain privilege.  That said, I don’t like the current overuse of Karen when it is more along the lines of calling out any white female for speaking out.  Even when she’s right.  Even when she has a point.  Using “Karen” to shame women into submission is not addressing the issue at hand, and it’s backward misogyny.  Because let’s face it, there are plenty of problematic privileged behaviors white men display too.  Not all the white men are actively doing the murdering atrocious crimes these days.  Some of the men are also participating in microaggressions.  All of us need to be educated on our privilege and the ways we can use it for good or evil.  And both sexes need to do better.  So I am petitioning for us to also call out those Chads and Spencers for their shitty actions also, so it doesn’t become just another misogynistic slur against women.

The historical context of “Karen” is important to know.  And now you have a superficial overview, and I encourage all my readers to delve more deeply into the race, class, privilege, and sex regarding the topic.  The rest of this post I’m going to talk about the lighter (no pun intended), more jokey side to this “Karen” phenomenon.

Have you ever noticed sometimes it’s Karen and sometimes it’s Becky?  My mate and I decided every age range has its own Karen-type name.  I think there’s a list online, but purely as a thought experiment and for funs-z-fun my mate and I brainstormed names.  And not ones to be sexist, we paired each Karen with it’s male counterpart.  Then we realized not everyone is middle-upper-class, there are also lower class white people (unkindly known as white trash or trailer trash), and they have their own sets of names.  Here’s the list we came up with:

child:         

$-Female = McKayla           

$-Male = Ayden                   

Poor-female = Candy               

Poor-Male = Ryker

teen-20s:   

$-Female = Becky                

$-Male = Dillon                     

Poor-female = Tonya               

Poor-Male = Colt

30-40s:       

$-Female = Karen               

$-Male = Spencer                 

Poor-female = Tammy             

Poor-Male = Rodney

40s-60:       

$-Female = Susan               

$-Male = Chad                     

Poor-female = Rhonda           

Poor-Male = Wyatt

 

Let us know if we got it right.

 

 

Sources:

  1. https://www.middletownpress.com/middletown/article/A-slaying-that-haunts-America-Emmett-Till-13814421.php
  2. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/06/nyregion/amy-cooper-false-report-charge.html

Discouraged

2 Mar

about politics, America, the state of feminism.

 

I feel like Elizabeth Warren was genuine about wanting to get dark money out of politics.  And I do think she intended to–and tried to run a campaign with just grassroots support.  The fact she had to take PAC money shows just how broken the system is.  If you’re not a billionaire or associated with lobbyists, it just isn’t possible to sustain a run for the highest office.  Caviot:  Unless you are a white, straight man.  Anyone outside of that demographic has to work extra hard to “compensate” for the otherness.  Evidence:  Even in the Democratic side, it was the darker-skinned people that were out first.

I hate that America hasn’t come as far as I had previously thought.  I saw sexism during Hillary’s campaign, and was horrified when people voted for someone who on tape said, “. . .Grab ’em by the pussy” over a female.  Nobody I know would think that kind of talk is appropriate.  Especially of some kind of authority figure.  And definity not appropriate for the most powerful person in the world.  I don’t think anyone would excuse that attitude from someone:  Not my parents, teachers, employers, not religious people, nobody in good conscience could stand behind that statement.  That talk would pretty much get anyone in trouble wherever they said it–yet voters thought that was still better than having a women.  It hurts.  I couldn’t believe it and it made me depressed to find out how much America still hates women.

Obviously he needs to be out of office before we lose our national parks, sacred lands, before animals go extinct, before all LGBT rights are stripped away.  Before our national security is compromised.  Before our elections become rigged and unfair.  Before all big corporations are deregulated.  Before predatory lending and speculative stocks become the norm again.  There is a lot of harm happening.  Some of it can’t be reversed and some will take a long time to correct.

But 2016 and 2020 are not that far apart and nothing fundamental has changed.  We are in a backlash.  America is polarized.  And women are still held to a different, impossible standard.  Warren is smart, well-spoken, she takes action.  Yet, that same ‘ol, ‘she lies’ narrative is starting up.  The media doesn’t cover her.  She has to work extra hard to overcome these obstacles.  More is expected out of her, then she garners less praise then the men when she is able to deliver.  It’s a no-win situation.  And people who refute the double standard are uninformed and blind.  Not all sexism is the grab-ass kind.  It’s insidious, like a rom-com.  It’s ingrained societal attitudes and expectations.  And it can be seen if you know what to look for.

She is a better candidate than:

Pete is only in there because he is white and male, and as long as he acts neutered donors and voters will overlook the gay “handicap.”  Privilege got him as far as he went.

Biden hasn’t really don’t anything.  He hangs on the coattails of Obama.  But he’s dropped out of 3 or 4 presidential bids.  He touches women too much.  When he led the trial between Anita Hill and Clarance Thomas, Biden allowed egregiously sexist questions to go unchallenged, and didn’t really believe what Hill was saying.

2 Direct Quotes of questions allowed to be asked to Hill:

  1.  Sen. Howell Heflin (R-Alabama): Now, in trying to determine whether you are telling falsehoods or not, I have got to determine what your motivation might be. Are you a scorned woman?
    Hill: No.
  2. Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pennsylvania): “You testified this morning that the most embarrassing question involved — this is not too bad — women’s large breasts. That is a word we use all the time. That was the most embarrassing aspect of what Judge Thomas had said to you.”

Aside from that horrible record for women, Biden is also known to team up with openly segregationist senators (race problems).  And he helped dirty money skirt regulations as an elected official of Deleware )ethics/money problems).  Problematic.

Bernie.  Seems all bluster and talk to me.  What has he actually done?  What is his platform OTHER than free healthcare for all?  And we know America has a hatred for communism, do we think middle-of-the-road voters will put their ballot in for a self-proclaimed socialist?

 

It’s obvious to me the Elizabeth Warren is the most capable of the candidates.  That she doesn’t have this horrible past or secrets.  That she’s experienced, but not in bed with dirty politics.  But I have this bad feeling that America just hates women to much to vote for her.  And I think that sucks.

Work Productivity #MeToo [Anti-Valentine’s #12]

13 Feb

I wish Valentine’s Day would always fall on a weekend, so I did not have to engage with it in any way.  When the holiday falls in the work/school week, there is no escaping it.  I will hear about what my boyfriend did or didn’t do for me, and I will see girls parading their items around to show everyone how loved, and how superior they are to other girls.

If I ignore the day, fuss about it being superficial, or say I don’t like it–someone will say/ask, “it’s because you’re single.”  Which is why I hate the day so much.  P.S. I’m not single–and *gasp I still hate the day.

Also, doing something at work to recognize the day, is at the very least a distraction.  It also gives opportunity for people to one-up each other either with the great gifts they got, or the ones they didn’t.  Aside from that, it opens a can of worms.  It makes it ok for people to give gestures or show affection.  Suddenly, susan from accounting is receiving a gift from creepy Dan in customer service.  She has to deal with this.  Unwelcome advances in the workplace are a whole big HR-ball-of-wax.  And Jennifer in the cubicle might take this once in a year opportunity to ask out James across the hall–which makes for awkward work boundary-setting.  On the other hand, if someone feels slighted by not getting the type of reaction or attention from a co-worker that they are hoping for, it can lead to larger issues. Shining a light on a blossoming romance between a manager and underling seems inappropriate as well.  And it even gives sketchy people the green light to do some grabbing, or sexual harrassing, maybe.

Some 44% of Americans say they have received unwanted sexual advances or verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature. About six-in-ten women (59%) say they have experienced this, while 27% of men say the same.

Having Valentines Day in the workplace just isn’t a good idea–it’s kind of a liability..  The workplace is not a dating agency, and shouldn’t be one.  Workplace romances can alter the dynamics between many employees, not just those involved in the romance.  These issues become bad for the individuals involved in these situations,  and in turn, bad for business.

Overall, 69% of women who say they have experienced sexual harassment say this happened in a professional or work setting

Overall, about six-in-ten men who say they have been sexually harassed (61%) say it happened in a professional or work setting

So I’d say it’s best for places of employment to let the day go by–just like Saint Patrick’s Day, which would be a drunken, sexual, brawl if sanctioned at work.  Valentines Day festivities at work create more problems then they are worth.  It could create jealously, initiate sexual harassment, and hurt work output.

Boom!  Another reason (the 14th in the series, I think) why Valentine’s Day is nonsense, and why Valentine’s Day is harmful.

 

*Green statistics taken from Pew Research Center Survey:

http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2018/04/04/sexual-harassment-at-work-in-the-era-of-metoo/

Trump Terror

11 Nov

I was actually happy when Trump got the Republican nomination.  I thought Jeb Bush, with his family-backing, and Texas oil money, and far-right support was more of a threat.  I highly doubted anyone would take Donald Trump seriously.  I mean, all he had going for him was money and trash-talk!  I felt voting for him was akin to voting for a Kardashian.  They’re in the same camp–you know their names from the stupid stuff they say and do on television, but you don’look to them for any serious leadership.

And I knew if nobody took Trump seriously (because HOW could they!!!) that whatever democrat was running would be a shoe-in.  I wasn’t sad to see it was Hillary.  I had actually voted for her over Obama in the primary that first time around when she ran.  I knew her face, thought she worked really hard as Secretary of State, and yeah–I wanted a woman in the White House.

But I thought women’s rights were farther ahead than they actually are.  I really think if Hillary were a man, things would have played out differently.  It would have been an EQUAL assessment of two candidates.  Not just a singular attack on one and blind-spot toward the other.  They would have dug into her dirty laundry–sure–that’s part of the political game these days.  And believe me, they ALL have their share of dirty laundry.  The political machine is so caught up in money now, that ALL candidates that make it to a certain lever most certainly made back room deals to get funded.  They all owe somebody.  Every politician has to water down a certain policy they care about, because a special interest group contributed to their campaign.

That makes them all lairs.  They all manipulate.  Every politician is shady.  I expect it.

But they would have used the bad stuff to equal disadvantage, apples-to-apples.  They didn’t.  When people called Hillary a liar, I was like–yeah.  Of course.  But what I didn’t expect was to people to hold that against Hillary in a militant way, when they didn’t hold the male politician to the same standard.  I would challenge that every accusation, every piece of dirty laundry found on Hillary was used against her in a more drastic way then it is used against any man that has run or held office.  People were a LOT harsher on Clinton then they’ve been on most males in politics.

The patriarchal double-standard reared it’s ugly head.

Even so, I didn’t think the country would go for Donald Trump.  How could they?  He is a caricature.  He’s all fluff and propaganda, and realty TV!  He has no political experience, no solid policy ideas, only hateful sound-bites.  His business dealings were murky.  The guy claimed bankruptcy and didn’t pay taxes.  He wavered on issues, and lost all three debates.  His supporters were the trashiest, most backward, belligerents in the country.  He got caught candidly admitting his penchant for sexual abuse.  Americans would not get behind any of that.  We might like to see the train wreck on TV, but we expect more decorum and have higher standards for our president.

The leader of our country–the leader of the world.

I was in absolute shock when we didn’t.

This week was difficult.  I felt suddenly scared and alone.  I knew every person from my small town voted republican.  I felt since Trump is against many of the minority groups I belong to (women-in social standing, impoverished, gays) that my Utah work managers were also.  My hometown was also.  My Facebook friends were also.  My parents were also.  I was suddenly marginalized.  Cowering at the fringes.

And my groups are actually dominant groups OF the marginalized groups.  The illegals, people of color, transsexuals, Muslims–all have it way worse.  If I felt scared and alone, how must THEY feel???

I saw many Trump supporters come across my Facebook feed.  And they shut-down dissent by telling anyone liberal or sorry about the win to “get over it.”  They discounted their opinions, silencing their views.  I try not to make waves on Facebook.  Or at work.  I know I am more progressive then my small-town peers.  I understand I have lived in more states, have more education, watch documentaries and learn about issues.  I’m a moderate, but a progressive one.  That sets me apart from most loud political views.  I get that people that just don’t know, don’t necessarily hate, but they are ignorant.  I can let some things go.  And I am usually quiet.  I scroll past the politics that are opposite to my views, the hate-memes, and ignorance.  Because these people are family.  Or they are my past.  I grew up and went through every year of schooling from kindergarten to senior year with some of these people–it’s just not worth it.

But when people started hassling Cool on her Facebook page, I stopped to think.  She was upset and posted why.  People wrote long diatribes, personally attacking her.  People told her to shut up about it.  People said to “move on.”  And in a society that just accepted what Trump stands for, and voted him in the highest office–I decided we could no longer afford apathy.

A lot of the reason he got voted in was because people didn’t like either candidate so they didn’t vote.  A whole, big section of youth, and moderates, and democrats just didn’t vote.  Which left privileged people to make our decisions.  People whose lives look nothing like mine.  People who don’t have the same problems and worries as me (or other marginalized groups).  It made me think a lot of that Holocaust quote, which I will not directly quote (because I’m too lazy to go search for it, and I already have more tabs open then I like) so I will sum the sentiment up:  They took the criminals, and I was not a criminal so I didn’t say anything.  They took the gypsies, and I was not a gypsy so I didn’t say anything.  They took the Jews and I was not a Jew so I didn’t say anything.  So when they came for me–there was nobody to speak for me.

We always have to remember how the Holocaust started so nothing even remotely similar can repeat itself.  It’s not just about some tyrant stealing power–it’s the apathy and silence from the real majority that allows that to happen.

And Cool and I spent a very large part of the year watching WWII (and everything around the periphery of that) shows, interviews, and documentaries.  I know what apathy can lead to, I know how things got started in Germany back then.  So I felt motivated to stand up where I could in my own life.  I made a new policy that I would not be silenced by the privileged few.  I would not stand down as a woman.  I will not hide as a gay.  I will not let my poverty minimize my power.  And I wouldn’t stand by and say nothing when others were hassled–not anymore.  I will act with integrity and stand for what I believe in.  Even if it causes confrontation.  I will deliberately show my ethics and speak my morals.  I have to counter the negativity and hate that was just sanctioned by a vocal majority by stopping the silence and apathy.  First in my own life, then maybe even on a larger scale.

Here’s what I wrote to Cool (and her frenemies on Facebook):

hypocracy

 

And I wrote to her (and those frenemies of hers):

“Words of wisdom: I will not be shut-down or silenced. I will continue to voice my ethics and let my values guide my actions. Hate has no place here. Don’t let societal pressures make you falter. Speak your mind. Speak your truth.”

Because right now it’s super-important for all those just marginalized by the ignorants and the haters to have a voice.  Remind people we’re here and we’re just as valid.  And we have dreams, hopes, and rights.  We deserve an equal chance.  We deserve respect.  That dissent is not unpatriotic.  To speak out for injustice is as American as you can get.  It’s what this country was built on.

I also got brave and wrote from my heart on my own Facebook page.  Knowing I was outnumbered by right-wingers.  Knowing there was hate for my groups just under the surface.

“I try to keep politics off my page. Nobody really wants to hear it–you’re not changing anyone’s mind. And I don’t identify with either party. I think with all the money, and lobbyists, and Super-PACS all candidates that make it that far have to be corrupt just to be in the game. But I am in shock and dismay.

For me, this 2016 election result is not about red or blue, winning or losing, it’s about standing for my values, and modeling my ethics. I will not be shut-down and I will not falter in defending my morals for fear of antagonism. It’s not about, “move on, get over it.” Trump’s values do not align with mine. And friends/family I hope I know you well enough that Trump’s quotes/feelings are not in your heart either.
This is a country of immigrants, mentally ill, minorities, women, gays, impoverished, of “other.” Big-Money shouldn’t have the largest and last say in all matters. As a proud American I recognize how fortunate I am to be born here and at the status that I hold. But that’s all it was–luck, completely out of my control. I will raise my voice to defend the little people– outsiders like myself–because that’s the kind of person I am.
If you can’t respect that, if you are ignorant to the sentiment of this message–mostly I feel sorry for you. And a little afraid. For myself, for the others like me, for this great country, and for you. God bless, and may the universe be kind to you and yours.”
I was disappointed I only got 3 likes and one comment–none of those from family.  So the fears and isolation are real.  Those people on my Facebook WOULD turn against me.  I have to watch my mouth and watch my back.
But I will not be silenced.  I will not go down without a fight.
I took my new personal-policy of not being silenced to my job yesterday.  Crissy bought us ice cream.  She got 4 different flavors of candy bars.  Derick the Douche loves Reese’s PB cups best, so she specifically got ice cream in that flavor for him.  He claimed it before he saw it.  The rest of us decided which flavors we wanted.  Derick then saw the ice cream, and saw his flavor was smaller then the rest.  He said he wanted oreo instead (it was the biggest).  But an Indian gal had already picked that one out.  White, male, privileged, dominant Derick the Douche wanted it, and pushed for it.  She conceded.  I spoke up–“No Siama already chose that one.”  And I like PB, and didn’t particularly care which ice cream flavor I ate (I love ALL ice cream!) so I told him to take the Twix one I had picked.  He pouted and tried to take hers anyway.  I put my foot down.  Which, I never would have done before.  He’s always that way.  It was none of my business.  But under my new policy, I was not going to stand by and let him bully a minority and take the (perceived) better ice cream away from her.
I used my policy a second time in the same night.  A chronically slow, co-worker, who is always late, always lagging on his buckets, and actually disallowed to do basic tasks because he messes up, ruffled my feathers.  I always do the document imaging at work.  My co-workers don’t like to.  Everyone is supposed to do it.  We even have it assigned to a certain color.  But I do the lions share-no matter what color I am assigned.  Night after night.  Because I am a hard worker.  I’m motivated.  And it needs to be done.  I’ll do the scanning–ALL of the scanning.  Night after night, month after month, year after year-I do the majority of the scanning.  To the point, they don’t even know HOW, some of them, including the boy in this story.
For once, Crissy (who is just a sub and usually doesn’t work) was helping with the scanning.  She got stuck and didn’t know what had gone wrong, and this kid (Josh) was near so went over to help her.  But since he never scans, didn’t know how.  And they all just KNOW that I’m the scanning bitch at work.  In an accusatory tone, he called my name–like ‘YOU fucked this up, now come over and fix your mistake so Crissy can finish our work.’  That’s what his tone and body language said.  And he’s used that tone on me before.  Usually I let it go to keep the peace.  Even though it’s a totally inappropriate tone for work, and completely condescending.  I usually let it go.  Even though it makes me mad and makes me feel ‘less than’ I let it go.
But last night I called him out on it.  I said, “Are you asking for my help or accusing me of something?”  And he still looked agitated and a little hostile toward me so I continued, “You don’t need to use that accusatory tone on anyone at work–especially when you’re asking for their help.”  Turns out, I had not messed anything up.  But even if I had–so what?  And um–scanning is not MY job.  They are supposed to be doing their share and they never do–so don’t come accusing me of anything regarding scanning!  Anyway, Crissy had pressed something wrong, and it was no big deal, I simply showed her how to fix it, and we went on with work.  But my defense had made the kid mad.  He was storming around, slamming his stuff, and had a shitty demeanor for the rest of our shift.
But I wasn’t silenced.
And that felt good.  In a week where shock and horror ruled.  So I will continue on, living ethically, not hiding behind fear or apathy.  I will act with morality, defend those without a voice, and stand up for my beliefs–because they’re just as valid as Trumps, and those who voted for him.

Valentine’s: No More! [Anti-Valentine’s #9]

13 Feb

I have written about how I loathe V-Day many, many years in a row now.  And honestly, if I haven’t convinced you the contrived holiday is a terrible thing by now, I’m just not going to.  I have approached the problem from every angle I can think of.  And with all sincerity, I tried to find a fresh one this year.  Which is why I only started writing this post on the 11th.  I just can’t think of new reasons not to participate.  So I’ll just reiterate points I’ve probably made before.  With an emphasis on non-participation.

 

YOU CAN’T ESCAPE IT.  As you know, my dear readers, I am not a fan of Valentine’s day—to say the least.  But it’s not the kind of “holiday” that can go ignored.  It’s thrown in your face.  Advertsements for chocolate, chocolate-covered strawberries, and jewlry are suddenly inescapable.  And I don’t even have television stations or listen to radio.  Still-pervasive.  Going into the stores—forget about it!  Pink and red are poking my eyes out.  Facebook—the zoos?? Have already started contests for couples.  And the resturants are gearing up for a big income night.  Even at work, they decorated the building with hearts—one with my name on it.  And you can’t say—don’t do that without looking like a total douche-bag.  I wish I could rip my heart off the door though!  Ugh, and the talk.  Everybody will talk about the big day.  The showing off about plans already starts.  Or the sad-sacks (because that’s the camp everyone else gets lumped into) whine about not having plans.

 

I didn’t know this before, but even the boys will take desperation dates in order to take advantage of lonely, stigmatized women.  They want the easy sex-opportunity:  Information courtesy of the boys at work. . .  And you can’t just say you don’t believe in the day, or try to ignore it, because you are then lumped into the bitter at being a sad-sack group.  Which isn’t right and it isn’t accurate.

 

It’s also awkward at work, because people suddenly ask you candidly about your relationship status.  For private people, people with complicated situations, or prople trying to have discretion (read—gays in Utah) this topic is frought with danger.  It’s rude not to answer.  It’s sketchy to be vaugue.  But sharing could yield judgment or consequences.  So there’s that. . .

 

Now let me try to find some sort of statistics of people that believe in or participate in Valentine’s day to see what everyone else feels.

Valentines Day Statistics

Statistic Verification
Source: Retail Advertising and Marketing Associatio, Valentine’s Day Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey
Research Date: January 24th, 2016
Valentine’s Day Statistics Data
Average annual Valentine’s Day spending $13,290,000,000
Number of Valentine’s Day cards exchanged annually 180 Million
Average number of roses produced for Valentine’s Day 198,000,000
Percent of Valentine’s Day cards bought by women 85 %
Percent of all flowers purchased by men 73 %
Percent of women who send themselves flowers on Valentine’s Day 14 %
Amount the average consumer spends on Valentine’s Day $116.21
Percent of consumers who celebrate Valentine’s Day 61.8 %
Percent of women who would end their relationship if they didn’t get something for Valentines day. 53 %
Average number of children conceived on Valentine’s day 11,000
Gifts Most Often Given on Valentines Day (Allowing for multiple gifts given) Data
Candy 47.5 %
Flowers 34.3 %
Cards 52.1 %
Jewelry 17.3 %
Dining / Eating Out 34.6 %
Clothing 14.4 %
Gift Cards 12.6 %
Other Gifts 11.2 %
Valentine Related Business Statistics
Number of locations producing chocolate and cocoa products 1,233
Number of people employed by the these establishments 38,794
Revenue of domestically cut flowers $403 Million
Number of florists nationwide 24,600
Number of people employed by florists 123,600
Number of jewelry stores in the U.S. 27,484
Annual revenue from jewelry stores $2.2 Billion
Relationship Statistics
Ratio of single men in their 20’s to single women in their 20’s 1.2 to 1
Ratio of sinlgle men 65 or older to single women 65 or older 0.33 to 1
Number of dating service establishments nationwide 904
Average number of marriages annually 2.16 million

“Crazy-Love” = RomCom

12 Jun

http://www.metafilter.com/62571/I-dont-want-no-more-of-this-Crazy-Love

-What’s missing from this unusual love story is love. Not once did I believe that Burt cared for Linda, the actual woman and not his idealized pin-up version. Linda was a victim of both a man and the times. Born in 1937, she came of age when women were expected to marry young and produce children. The police laughed at her when she was repeatedly harassed, and when Burt destroyed her pretty face, her marriage prospects dwindled to zero. The reconciliation with the man who maimed her was an act of survival.
-It seems unacceptable that someone should only receive 14 years for blinding and permanently disfiguring someone on purpose. Anyone who can convince themselves to do that is never going to be safe to have in society.
-If this strategy doesn’t work (as it shouldn’t) why perpetuate the myth that male violence towards women is merely misunderstood affection (and that the correct response to stalking/harassment is to embrace the stalker/harasser)?
-The day before the attack, in the face of several threats on the eve of her engagement to another man, Linda Riss called the police and begged for protection. Their failure to act resulted in Riss v. City of New York, a staple in Tort Law classes around the country. She lost and the case stands for the proposition that you can’t sue the police for failing to protect you unless they took some action or made some assurance that caused you to rely on their protection.
posted by Partial Law at 3:09 PM on July 2, 2007

-Partial Law – That of course, was addressed in VAWA, which created a private right of action when police departments failed to uphold their own orders of protection. This was then gutted by Castle Rock v. Gonzales, one of the many shameful decisions of the Rehnquist court and one of the most heartbreaking cases in a long-line of them.
-What a disgustingly misogynistic movie. This isn’t about a krrrazzzy kourtship, this is about a sociopath exploiting a woman in a scary manner. This isn’t “crazy love”, it’s about a subhuman asshole and the regrettable inequalities that facilitate his exploitations. This story isn’t unique or unfathomable, it’s going on everyday around the world. There is a woman in the US right now looking the other way while her live-in boyfriend molests her children. There is a woman in the Middle East right now marrying the man who raped her because her “purity” is gone. A woman in Indonesia is staunchly defending her drunken husband who beats her weekly. And on and on.
-In my opinion, he is Narcissistic Personality Disordered (NPD) with some BPD stalker traits. And she is Histrionic Personality Disordered (HPD).

“The essential feature of the histrionic personality disorder is a pervasive and excessive pattern of emotionality and attention-seeking behavior. These individuals are lively, dramatic, enthusiastic, and flirtatious. They may be inappropriately sexually provocative, express strong emotions with an impressionistic style, and be easily influenced by others.

“Women with HPD are described as self-centered, self-indulgent, and intensely dependent on others. They are emotionally labile and cling to others in the context of immature relationships. Females with HPD over identify with others; they project their own unrealistic, fantasied intentions onto people with whom they are involved. They are emotionally shallow and have difficulty understanding others or themselves in any depth. Selection of marital or sexual partners is often highly inappropriate. Pathology increases with the level of intimacy in relationships.”
-As I said above, stalking and harassment is not “courting” behavior. These are tools of control and compulsion and future validation does not mean that they were ever acceptible. Were I to kidnap someone and hold her in my basement for years until she agreed to marry me, would that mean that my act of kidnapping was just extended courtship?

How Does One Person Promote the WNBA?

8 Mar

I’ve had just about enough of WordPress “Myspacing” my writing.  I just wrote a huge paragraph and when I pressed “save draft” it glitched out and erased my work-gah!

Storm-2010 WNBA champions

In honer of International Women’s Day I want to take action.  And I believe in the importance of the WNBA.  And the entertainment factor.  I want more merch availability, more money for advertising, more promotion in general, support from fans, and more teams–way more teams.

But what do I do?  Do I write to someone–who?  After reading a lot of internet articles, I felt more helpless then ever.  How do I–one fan with no money or connections–help a franchise?  The thought is there, but I ended up feeling like a failure, because I left my research with more questions then answers.

Even Chuck

As it is, I have been reading about some notable women in history.  I’ll share the articles with you, so I can at least do something today. . .

http://primajanetcollins.com/

https://www.nwhm.org/education-resources/biography/biographies/deborah-sampson/

http://lucyparsons.org/biography-iww.php

http://www.nytimes.com/2000/12/23/us/flo-kennedy-feminist-civil-rights-advocate-and-flamboyant-gadfly-is-dead-at-84.html

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/world/peopleevents/pande01.html

http://leanin.org/

https://www.facebook.com/hashtag/womenyoushouldhaveheardof

“Criminal Minds” is a Sausage-Fest

28 Oct

The show is centered around all the males, for sure.  They get the most time, have the best story lines, the most fleshed-out background stories.  They’re the ones most physically capable, leading the chase, and that are most clever.  It’s not right.  And I can see maybe adding some realism–because a lot of those jobs are a boys’ club, but c’mon this is ridiculous.

Elle never had a chance.  She barely got lines, let alone any central role.  Her character didn’t get a personality/backstory until they were in the process of writing her out of the show.  After Elle left, the writers made an “effort” to play up JJ and Garcia’s characters.  Which meant show JJ being a head-case over small town stuff, be a high-maintenance girlfriend, and of course, start a family.  Cause that’s what women are good for.

Garcia has fared somewhat better, at least getting to DO something important and crucial on the show.  Though the writers have taken pains to show she’s always on the sidelines, out of the main action, and too sensitive to handle the tough stuff.  Also, they make her quirky so much that it takes away any seriousness from what she does.  And they make sure to have her act unprofessional just to drive home that she doesn’t really belong.

Prentice got on the show, and got to chase the bad guys, but her character was never fleshed out either.  We never knew her story, never saw her personal life, and we never really got a feeling for who she was.  Until they began writing her out of the show.

They thought they could find a random blonde to fill in for JJ and Prentice when they tried to axe them both at the same time.  PS the audience doesn’t want a random piece of eye candy–we want balance.  And they never bothered to explain why she was staying with the team.  Externship?  Scholarship?  She was only there to help with 1 case.  Then she came on for a 2nd b/c they had written her sucking so much on the 1st.  But why did she keep coming back?  We never did find out.  And in real life it would probably be against the rules and a liability–not to mention impractical with a full course load and field training.  But whatever–she was blonde, right?  And to make it totally disgusting she was always making eyes at Rossi, at least 20 years her senior–which would be a major ethical dilemma for him.  So I’m glad that storyline never came to fruition. . .  And they made her bad-ass the first 4 seconds we met her–then never showed anything like that again.  They made her a crummy agent despite the power-house 1st scene.  The blonde never added anything–except bad acting to the show.  And just as suddenly as she was brought in to the show, she was removed, with barely an explanation.

And after the audience complained loudly, they brought back JJ and Prentice for season 7.  But at the end of season 7, suddenly Prentice was all–I don’t want to buy this house, and being with you guys never felt right from the beginning.  The producers apparently think we have severe memory loss.  Prentice worked her way into the BAU through her personal connections, she was almost killed multiple times and each time she said it’s still where she belonged.  When they tried to kill her off the first time, then she came back–the group was surprised.  But she said she came back because she belonged with BAU.  So this–it never felt right business is NOT going to fly with me!

What’s really happening is the show is still trying to save money, and of course they see the women as most expendable.  Rossi actually came on last, and the audience still doesn’t connect with him, but you don’t see HIS job constantly in perile.  The producers think that because they gave Hodge a GF suddenly, that it will be enough females.  Except they are wrong.  A fringe character, dependant on the role of the central male isn’t good enough.  The audience wants to see women in central roles, just as tough, smart, and integral to the show as all the men.  And a recurring (part-time) girlfriend with hardly any lines, let alone plot lines isn’t enough.

So despite enjoying the show, I hate the way the women are portrayed and I hate even more that the producers find them expendable.  Give us an equal amount of women that challenge and even exceed (sometimes) when the men on the show are capable of.  And stop making them whiny, head-cases with fringe parts, and are first-chopped.