Monday, May 30, 2011

"Reverse discrimination"

It's an act of privilege that assumes anything less than total dominance is "being oppressed." 

Thursday, May 26, 2011


[Totally borrowed that expression from one of my favorite blogs, Shakesville.]

Saw that little gem in my Twitter feed. At first I thought maybe they're being smart, but after reading the article, I don't really see it.
Plus, Time has a bad habit of publishing some really ridiculous things with some incredibly ridiculous undertones (especially around sex and gender).
So I can see this.

Oh, and to answer the question, "How are kids supposed to talk to each other?" By actually talking. Yes, I know it's alarming to actually have to interact with other human beings, but the little shits need to learn actual social skills at some point. Plus, aren't they at school to, y'know, LEARN?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I'm legit.

This is something I wrote a while ago (maybe 8 months ago?) and I wanted to share it here, too.

I have a bone to pick, so let me say up front that this is a rant.
I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who feels this way, which is why I feel it's appropriate to share.

I identify as bisexual. I've known since I was in 7th grade, although my first sexual encounter with as woman wasn't until 3 or 4 years after that. It's who I am and how I was made, and I never struggled with it internally. [Side note: I'm aware of "pansexual" as an identity but it is a political choice to make to identify as such, and one that I do not feel is true to me personally.]

What I have struggled with is the ignorance of others, regardless of their sexuality. I don't know what it is that everyone and their mother thinks they're a freaking expert on sexuality, especially bisexuality, but it needs to stop.

The next person who tells me "bisexuals" are: slutty, greedy, indecisive, in denial, attention whores, regular whores, straight girls who want male attention, "straight when it's convenient", "full of shit", "not really bisexual", "making it up", "just drunk", think they can date someone of both genders at the same time, "not real" [yes, I've really heard that], only in it for the sex, only interested in threesomes, or any other ignorant, offensive thing you can think of, is gonna get slapped. And the next queer/gay/lesbian person I hear say that or tell me they have a "no bi rule" or they "don't date bi people" is gonna get slapped twice.

If you're going to be an ignorant asshole, fine. Be an ignorant asshole. But don't tell me who or what I am, or imply that you know me better than I know myself. And don't make assumptions about me based on your stupidity. That's equivalent to me saying, "Oh, you're Black? You must like fried chicken and watermelon. No, you do, you're just in denial." Offensive as hell, right?

"Bisexual" is a legitimate sexual orientation that is separate from polyamory, drunk college sluts, regular sluts, whatever. Sometimes these things overlap, but that's not an innate attribute. (Disclaimer: Not that I have anything against any of those things, they're just not applicable to me personally.)

The straight (male) community treats me like a sex object and/or a freak. (These are broad generalizations and obviously aren't true of everyone.) I've actually been on a date with a woman and had men come up to us, ask if we were on a date, and then offer us $20 to make out. Perfect strangers! Yeah assholes, that's why we're here. We're live porno, just for you!

And the gay community, especially lesbians, won't accept us either. (Again, broad generalizations.) If you want to see proof, just browse Craigslist's "women for women" section. You'll be shocked by how many say "NO MEN NO BI". Obviously, that's an individual's prerogative, and I respect that. But in my mind, it's one thing to say "I prefer butch/femme/andro etc" and it's another thing completely to say "no bisexuals." It's not a matter of taste or preference, it's discrimination. To me, it's equivalent to saying "no one of mixed race" or "no one of x race". Again, I understand that it's an individual's personal right. Fine. It's my personal right to point out that they're being an asshole.

I endure enough shit for not being straight and fitting that norm. And normally, I'm the person who has the attitude that what others think isn't important. They can say and think whatever they want about me (doesn't make it true). But my patience is wearing incredibly thin at having to constantly defend the legitimacy of my orientation. I've endured vandalism, threats against myself and my family, physical violence, ostracism, every horrible name in the book, discrimination, and every form of hate and prejudice you can think of. I've spoken out publicly against Prop 8 and I worked against it. I've been an outspoken advocate for equal rights and respect. I've even encouraged all of my friends not to say "that's so gay" (and most of them don't say it anymore). I've suffered all the same shit as a "real lesbian" for my orientation, and I've been an active part of the queer community regardless of who I'm dating (or not dating).

All I'm saying is, I shouldn't have to defend my legitimacy on top of all of the other crap. I'm fed up with all the "bi hate" and I'd appreciate a little respect. Or at least if you're going to disrespect me, do it for something else. The queer community ESPECIALLY should understand how shitty it is to be mistreated based on sexuality. It's hypocritical to turn around and mistreat anyone and everyone who identifies as bisexual.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Engagement Rings

In her piece, Let's Get Rid of Engagement Rings, Emily Yoffe argues that "to encourage more marriages, reduce materialism and further the equality of the sexes, I say let's chuck the engagement ring."

While I do take issue with a very heterosexist stance throughout the piece, she makes some excellent points.

The fancy-pants engagement ring tradition is a modern creation, one which
The diamond industry, in its infinite marketing savvy, seems to have convinced young couples that the only way to declare a lifetime commitment is for a man to ruinously spend two or three months' salary on the proper rock... Here's a secret that the folks at De Beers don't want young people to know: All you need to do to become officially engaged is tell everyone, "We're getting married!" 
Since getting a four-year degree is pretty much required now and getting an advanced degree is fairly common, and since higher education costs far more proportionally than it did 30 years ago, debt is also far more common. And when you're already trying to stretch a dollar, paying through the nose for a sparkly rock as a prerequisite for spending your life with someone seems a bit foolish.

The other problem with engagement rings? They're so damn one-sided.
 It turns young women — otherwise independent, successful strivers — into passive recipients, waiting for their prince to rescue them from their single state.
(Her next question, "In what other aspect of their lives do young women so totally turn over their future to the decisions of others?"... don't even get me started. But I was with her till that point.)
Waiting around to see what hoops your significant other will jump through in order to make some grandiose, over-the-top production about proposing (and essentially offering you a bribe) seems so... sad. There's no agency.

And finally, there's the whole issue around the actual diamond. Yoffe references women comparing rings with friends, which really highlights this whole "women are golddiggers"/"all women care about is money" bullshit. Yes, I've seen the phenomenon in all of its catfight glory. And, to be frank, (cause that's how I roll) I've observed it primarily amongst women who are settling or unhappy. And even women who don't play the comparison game can get sucked in when someone insults the ring that the person they love worked hard for and went to all the trouble of picking out.
It just shifts the focus onto things that aren't, or at least shouldn't be, important. Someone's income and ability to pick out a really nice ring are not reasons to spend your life with them. What kind of ring one has, where it's from, how many carats, how much it cost, how it's cut, blahblahblah are not crucial elements of a relationship OR indicators of how much someone loves someone else.

Really, when you think about it, engagement rings are just as offensive (or more so) than the father of the bride "giving her away" (because that used to be LITERALLY what the father of the bride did... he "gave away" his property [his daughter] to another man and she became her husband's property) or the bride wearing white (marking her as a "pure" virgin... because what a person and their vagina have or have not been doing is TOTALLY everyone business. And a necessity for marriage.).

Engagement rings are the equivalent of peeing on someone and saying, "THIS IS MINE." It's a way for men to "mark their territory" before marriage. (And you will notice that men do not wear engagement rings. Hmm.)
And really, you shouldn't need jewelry. If you love someone and you're committed to them, you two should be confident in that. If you both know it, that's all that matters. (And if you don't have the trust, you're pretty much fucked.) One would hope that if two people are engaged and one of them is hit on by a random, said person would inform said person "I'm taken." Problem solved.

Personally, I'm all for Yoffe's suggestion of simple wedding bands (meaning once married) for both people. You have your conventional symbol without the bullshit.
And if some snazzy piece of bling is something that's important, that can be added later on, when it won't involve crippling debt (and when the person who has to wear it has input, so they DO love and want to wear it).
Perfect example? My parents. Neither is extravagant, but they both came up poor and they have their little indulgences. Around the time my younger sister went to college and the nest was empty, my dad bought my mom a giant ring (Titanic status). Not because my mom demanded it, or because he needed to (she wears her wedding ring every day), but because my mom really loves and appreciates jewelry and my dad really loves and appreciates my mom and wanted to spoil her a little. She wears it on her right hand and jokes that it's "the ring she gets for putting up with him." It's actually kind of cute.
And to me, that is way more special than some obligatory flashy engagement ring.

Friday, May 13, 2011

"Expecting the world to treat you fairly because you are a good person is a little like expecting a bull not to attack you because you are a vegetarian."

-Dennis Wholey
"When one's expectations are reduced to zero, one really appreciates everything one does have."
-Stephen Hawking
"Expectation is the root of all heartache."

People will always let you down.

It's a tough lesson to learn.
There's three sides to every story: there's one side, there's the other, and then there's the truth.
Usher, "Monstar" 

Monday, May 2, 2011

Help me fight breast cancer

I hate when people beg for donations or support for their cause, because a) it's annoying, b) it makes me NOT want to give, c) I'm not made of money, and d) usually their cause involves a specific agenda that isn't necessarily one I agree on.

However, I'm going to be that person.

I'm running the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5K in support of my mother, who is a breast cancer survivor. My mom is my hero. She's quite possibly the strongest person I know. And participating in this event (she does the walk) each year has really meant a lot to her. At the end of her treatment and start of remission, it gave her hope to see the other survivors and to be recognized as a survivor.

I'm doing the run (and trust, even a 5K run is a big deal for me with my bad knees) and collecting donations. Donations will go towards research for a cure (25%) and to education, screening, and patient support grants (75%) to assist those who cannot afford care. (Cancer is expensive!) I think this is a great organization and a great event and I'm happy to support both.

So this is the part, dear reader(s), where I implore you to to donate money. I understand that times are tough and people are reluctant to give away money. Donations are tax-deductible and this is a respected non-profit. Please click the link to see my page with my personal statement and, most importantly, to DONATE.

(I realize there are set amount options that start at $25. If that's too steep for you, or you just don't like the set amounts, there is also an "enter an amount" option. Just select that and specify.)

Every little bit helps.

I'm shamelessly begging for donations despite my usual aversion to it because I really understand how important research is to finding a cure and making progress in the way cancer is treated. I also understand what a cancer diagnosis can mean for the individual and for their loved ones.
Besides, being anti-cancer is something I think we can ALL get on board with. Cancer doesn't discriminate and it's not political.

Please check out my page and donate whatever you can. I really appreciate it.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Politics and LOLz

President Obama at the 2011 White House Correspondents' Dinner

So I'm late to this party, but I just saw this video and I just had to comment:
Well done sir, well done.

Regardless of political leanings (and mine are pretty much "fuck all  y'all"), you have to appreciate what he did there. Most sane folks would agree that the "birthers," well, aren't. It takes a special level of crazy to take that flying leap. It's an obnoxious distraction, much like the "defund Planned Parenthood" and "defund NPR" battles. (Except that those actually had the potential to be REAL problems [if defunded].) It's loud and constant squawking to distract from the fact that the GOP isn't doing a whole hell of a lot and what they are doing is actually not so great for most of us. (See: Bohener's attempt at government shutdown over the budget... during which shutdown he'd still get his salary. Big orange bully.) And instead of getting caught up in the political mudslinging, President Obama released the evidence to put the issue to rest and simultaneously pointed out how ridiculous it was while diffusing the tension with some laughter.

When it comes down to it, politics (and many politicians) is bullshit. It's a three-ring circus that isn't really about what it claims to be about. Now hopefully, we can all stop focusing on all this bullshit ruckus and politicians can go back to doing what we pay them to do. Y'know, education, giant debt, health... shit like that.
I'm not holding my breath.

But kudos to you, Mr. President, for handling that. And for being so darn funny in the process.
I know who I am.
I'm just tired of fighting with everyone else over who I am.