Friday, March 27, 2009

AAAAH! Swamped!

Okay, for the small corner of the tubes that comes here to see what I have to say, I want to apologize for the absolute lack of posts lately. I got caught up in moderating a new LJ community devoted to anti-racism. There aren't enough mods, too many members, too many faux-pas to be away from it for long, too many uncomfortable realizations of my own and as a result my blogging, as well as my energy and patience levels, have suffered. I haven't even checked my blog roll in almost a week!

I will probably be back up soon, once we get some more moderators over there.

I haven't forgotten about this place, I just need time to come up with more material :D

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I am so pissed off right now

Breaking the silence: On Living Pro-Lifer's Choice for Women

I have to say, I am utterly shocked. And LIVID. What exactly are women supposed to do? We choose to go through with and give birth to an unplanned pregnancy? We are selfish, or stupid and deserve any hardship it causes unless we are white and financially well off. We choose to have an abortion? Then we are cold, heartless, baby-killing harpies. We choose to give the resulting baby up for adoption? Then we are selfish and/or heartless failures as women because we didn't want to follow our "maternal instincts" (puke) and become good little obedient child raisers, unless we are women of color, or poor, in which case, see point number one. We choose never to have children at all by being sterilized before its an issue? Then we are failures as women, except for WoC and poor women. Then we are just doing what we should to leave the population to the privileged.

I see no reason to play their fucking game. We will lose no matter what, purely by virtue of daring to exist while female and think that we are actually people with the right to live as we see fit.

Illegal People

I have been stewing about this for weeks. Its more conceptual than specific event-based, so its harder to articulate.

Have you ever thought about how we talk about people?

There are a lot of discussions in various social settings where certain words and phrases are dismissed as being "just a word" or "meaningless" when their problematic nature is discussed. This is a fight that I have had with even the most progressive of folk, many of whom will not acknowledge that words have power. Words define the world around us. What words we use, and what they mean to different people is vitally important, because even if a word means nothing to you, this doesn't mean it has no meaning ever. How we talk about people and things shapes our conceptions of those people and things. How we talk about them also shapes our discourse in regards to these things, and allows us to define people, often without their input.

Which brings me to what I want to talk about here: immigration, immigrants, the words we use when we discuss them and how that perpetuates racist stereotypes and myths about immigrants, and specifically immigrants who are also POC. As Liss pointed out the immigration dialog in this country is usually based in racism and she quotes Professor Ojito of Columbia University:
"The debate, as it is framed now, has become a strictly anti-Hispanic immigration battle cry. And nothing rallies this nation quicker and more efficiently than the presence of an alien. Particularly one who is also considered ``illegal.''"

First, there is the list of assumptions that come with the word "immigrant." For the most part, in a societal context and in political discourse, when the word "immigrant" is used, it indicates "those" people. You know what I'm talking about, the brown people who just need to "learn English 'cause this is America, dammit!" and are "taking our jobs away and draining our health care system and contributing to rising crime, and...and DESTROYING OUR PERFECTLY WHITE WAY OF LIFE GODDAMMIT!" Nevermind that pretty much all of this vitriol is a mythical brown boogieman cooked up in the fevered imaginations of paranoid white people.

The thing that gets me the most, is the term "illegal immigrant." Its a term that can be heard all over US conservative talk radio, and it seems to have joined the popular lexicon here. This creates a serious problem, by describing people as illegal instead of describing their actions which were illegal. People can't be illegal, and to position them as such is dehumanizing and leads to easy justification for violence and other atrocities.

And make no mistake, a good deal of this discourse in the US can be traced directly to white supremacist groups. (Seriously, if you click no other link in this entire post, click this one!)As much as there seems to be a habit of dismissing words as "just words" in conjunction with an apathetic handwave, words mean things, and rhetoric can have deadly consequences. I have linked to only one recent instance, but there are many more every day, encompassing crimes against humanity including rape, torture and gruesome death.

So, for discussion sake, how do you see racist rhetoric in discussions about immigration in your country? What are some of the myths surrounding immigrants?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


In honor of all those stupid fuckwits who are lobbying for abstinence-only education today.

Lobby back! Send this letter to your congresscritter and ask them to end funding for dangerous, archaic, and dishonest abstinence only programs.

As a note for those of you who just stumble here and have no idea what my principles are: there is nothing wrong with abstinence as a choice, especially when it is presented as the best option to prevent unintended pregnancies and STDs. There is a problem with programs that turn sex into something evil and shameful, that lie to children about how their bodies work, and lie to them about the dangers of unprotected sex.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Quick thought

Why is it when a feminist, womanist, or gender equality advocate criticizes an aspect of our culture in North America, there is suddenly a swarm of self-righteous assholes who get all pissed off because they insist we are insulting men? Arrogant much? Especially when the closest anyone came to mentioning men is pointing out that males don't get the same social sanctions as females for the same behavior. I mean seriously, how fucking full of yourself do you have to be to think that a discussion of how girls are persecuted by their peers and society at large for their sexual behaviors while boys' sexual behaviors are largely ignored or encouraged is even about you in the first place? Privilege check, aisle 3!

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Trans-inclusive advertisment

This ad actually got me kind of teary-eyed.

There is the acknowledgment that this woman is different and that her community sees her this way. There is also an apology from someone who realized they had mistreated her. Yes, its using progressive ideals to push capitalist services. And its a breath of fresh fucking air.

Damn Straight

Down with "Bipartisan Politics at any cost"!

Friday, March 06, 2009

The reason I am losing my mind

So, I had to fire someone for the first time a few weeks ago. The cycle is complete. I have finally done everything that a manager has to do. The good part is that I don't have to deal with this person and his bullshit anymore. The bad part is that this puts me in a position of ridiculously understaffed. Until I get another regular employee, I am facing down 70 hour work weeks. Due to being salaried, I only get paid for the first 40 of those hours. I will be working til I drop and its all because of some entitled, solipsistic asshole who is convinced that the world cares enough about him to be out to get him.

This is the same special employee that thought that an appropriate reaction to a mouse problem was to scream at me. At 7am. Because that would totally make the mouse go away. Trufax.

Apparently, Mr. Speshul Snowflake got in some kind of beef with the restaurant across the concourse from us. Someone said something that he interpreted as rude to him, and he flipped about how he saw her blow her nose while she was behind the counter and insisted he was gonna get her fired. He started calling the Health Department, calling the security company that runs things here, and flipping her off. This same someone would regularly give him free food and sodas, and be overly nice to him until this point.

Anyway, the restaurant's response was to ban him from their premises, as is their right. They contacted me to let me know what was happening, and so that I could warn him. I called to warn him, and apparently this means that I was one of the "OMG EBIL PEPUL OUT TO GET MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE" in his mind and he freaked at me, screaming, cursing and going on long rants about how the security company was going to cover up the issue and the Health Department was gonna get paid to look the other way, and generally making little sense beyond paranoid delusions. When I asked him to stop screaming at me and do what the security company said or I would probably be forced to fire him, he told me to fuck off and hung up on me. (This is condensed btw)

I called back to ask him if this was his final notice. He picked up once, told me not to call there, and on each subsequent call, would pick up just to hang up so I couldn't even leave a message. I sent him a text letting him know that I could have the termination papers drawn up the next day if that's what he wanted. He proceeded to threaten me and ramble on about the restaurant and legal action. When I told him, again via text, that the restaurant issue was his business, that I was not involved and did not care, but that I needed him to do his job and apologize for his egregious behavior towards me, he replied with this precious little gem(which I saved just in case he tries to pursue anything against me or the company as well):
"No apologies for anyone. I'm not friends with anyone anymore. I'm sick of this shit. I'm taking the fight back against everyone and will enjoy it. Payback time."

I was so done at that point that I called my boss, told him the situation and we agreed to terminate him.

Seriously? "Payback time"? Payback for what? for not taking your side? for not licking your anus? for acting within our rights to not let you do whatever the fuck you want regardless of how it effects us?

This is a classic entitlement mentality. This is the kind of guy who believes that because he isn't a rapist who kicks kittens, that the world owes him something. Females owe him respect and admiration, and people should be throwing things his way because hes just so darn "nice"! No one besides him knows anything, and hes smarter than everyone, but nobody appreciates his snow-flakey brilliance. When someone doesn't do EXACTLY what he wants, the way he wants it, and when he wants it, then they clearly have no other goal in mind but to "get" him and he is now owed "payback".


The best part is that he still expected to have a job with me after all this!

::steps up to podium, tests mike, clears throat::


::steps away from podium::

When he found out he had been suspended until further notice, he called me (when I explicitly stated that all communication be kept in email) and left a three minute message detailing his "case" against the restaurant and threatening to go to the media with it "once *Company name redacted* covers it up." He then proceeded to try and guilt trip me: "Well, I guess I don't have a job there anymore even though my other job is folding, and we aren't friends anymore too." Because apparently I owe him a job and friendship regardless of his total lack of respect for me because he neeeds it.

Shoulda thought of that before flying off the handle, Sparky! You can't even handle one basic instruction regarding communication, and I'm supposed to feel sorry for you? Especially when I have the sneaking suspicion that you ignored my request purely so you could control the conversation with your apparent God-given right to treat everyone exactly how you please while ignoring their right to do the exact same thing to you.

The list of shit with this guy just goes on and on. I will only be calm when I have his badge, and I can fade into the long list of people who "screwed" him in his mind.

Anyway, reason for telling this story?

This is why posting is exceptionally light lately and why I have little ability to think clearly.

Good times.

To ease my troubled mind

Feeling kinda yucky. Tummy trouble, plus cranky. So, have a pretty song, and you may need tissues. This one makes me blub.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

In other news

The hearing for Prop 8 has started today in CA.

The state Supreme Court will be hearing arguments that can be summed up thusly:

Anti-8: Taking away the rights of a protected class of people by majority vote constitutes a revision of the CA constitution and therefore would have to be passed by legislature.

Pro-8: Those 18,000 marriages that were performed before the passing of Prop 8 are illegal after the fact and must be declared invalid.

After arguments are done, the court has 90 days to render a decision.

I feel like I'm on a roller coaster that wont stop.

Honestly, I know that marriage is by no means the be all and end all of rights struggles, and that the focus on marriage is dictated by rights leaders who actively ignore some members of their group in order to keep everything focused that direction. I also know that if marriage for all is finally declared legal on a federal level, I don't have to worry about losing my marriage to a technicality enforced by a sexist, homophobic, heteronormative state.

"Conscience": Its Like "caring" but ...not.

Obama administration is working to repeal DHHS regulation that prevents health care organizations that receive federal funds from firing or refusing to hire health care workers who refuse to dispense medical care for "moral" reasons. Still wishy-washy on actual "conscience" clauses which allow health care workers to refuse medical care in the first place. Important distinction: what is being repealed is the idea that a clinic that provides family planning services could fire someone who refuses to dispense birth control for their refusal. What is not being repealed is their supposed right to refuse care. This concept of conscience clauses and right to refuse care can and does apply to much more than reproductive health. Doctors could refuse to see or touch gay or trans patients, pharmacists could refuse to dispense medications to people who are transitioning, EMTs could withhold lifesaving measures from someone they found "repulsive" and claim conscience.

What I want to know is: what kind of conscience can rationalize refusing medical care, which in some cases is life saving and in almost all cases is necessary to some degree, on the basis of personally not wanting to encourage "immoral" behavior? What kind of conscience thinks that another person's health and LIFE is worth less than their ability to say they are "moral"? When did your right to a "clean" conscience trump the right of someone else to live? You have to think that this person in front of you has less of a right to live than you have to sleep at night. Its fucking psychotic. How dare you call yourself moral when you are willing to let people die for your conscience? When does your right to feel good about yourself become more important than someones life!? How the bleeding burny fuck CAN you feel good about yourself knowing that you harmed someone and/or actively contributed to their death?!

The only answer I can come up with to explain it is hate.

You hate anyone who lives a life you don't agree with. You hate them to the point that possibly letting them die is a-okay for you because they aren't really people anyway. Women who want to make their own decisions about their reproduction? Not people. Queer folk who live openly? Not people. Transpeople who just want the chance to be themselves? DEFINITELY not people. Multiply these sentiments by several hundred if the aforementioned women/queers/transpeople are not white, or are poor, or live in a "developing" country, or don't fucking speak English, or don't try REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY hard to be as "normal" as possible or any number of things that add to your smug feeling of superiority that masks insecurity, fear and hate.

This is the difference between you and me, you so-called "moralists." I want everyone to have the right to live their lives as they see fit provided they don't prevent others from doing the same. You? You only want people like you to have that chance. In my perfect world, you would be allowed to have your life, and your opinions still. The only difference is that you would not be able to dictate the life of anyone besides yourself.

In your perfect world, I wouldn't even exist.

I refuse to lay down and die so you and yours can live in your perfect world.