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Here we are, it’s Christmas Eve, and there are all the usual (but relatively modern/new) tropes about how “Nobody is allowed to say Merry Christmas anymore,” and, “People get offended if you say ‘Merry Christmas’ so let’s say Merry Christmas even more to prove a point! In yer face, infidels!” Or something like that.

So, I’ve talked about this before. I’m a practicing/seeking Hindu. My husband and one daughter are atheists. My other daughter is…hmmm…she isn’t sure yet, but she is “for sure not a Christian.” My grandparents and most of my family are Christians. Most of my friends are atheists. We’ve got a bit of a melting pot going here, really. But I’m going to tell you something. The ONLY people in my immediate scope who get all squirrelly about “Merry Christmas” vs “Happy Holidays” are…maybe you’ve guessed it…the Christians.

Now, I’m not knocking my Christian friends and family. I love them so much and respect them for many things, but for a few of them, I can’t love or respect their opinions about this. I’m just saying that they’re the only ones posting the memes about how ridiculous it is they “can’t say Merry Christmas,” or they “refuse to say Happy Holidays.” It sure seems silly, because when they say “Merry Christmas,” the rest of us just say “Merry Christmas” right back, smiling because we all understand that the intent is merely to share in the happiness of the season. But man, if someone sends a card or says “Happy Holidays” you would think they’ve turned into a serial kitten killer or something. It’s like “Happy Holidays” is some new-fangled far-left movement to kill Santa.

Here’s the thing, though. People have been saying “Happy Holidays” for a LONG time (I have antique holiday greeting cards to prove it) usually because it was meant to cover the holiday season throughout the winter. Sure, maybe it didn’t mean *gasp* all the other holidays that the non-Christians were celebrating, but the intent, people, the intent was to simply say, “Hey man, I hope your winter holidays are awesome because I think you’re pretty awesome so let’s have an awesome time, okay?” It seems to me that is something that Jesus would have wanted y’all to get behind, since I started out my life as a Lutheran and went to Sunday school every week and that’s what the pastor always talked about. Love. Inclusion. Peace on earth.

For anyone who is getting themselves all twisted up about “Happy Holidays,” well, it sure seems like a lot of wasted energy, being mad all the time about marginalized people being included in the fun. Let it go, man. Life’s too short. Smile, and if you’re feeling saucy, just tell us “Merry Christmas” in return and everyone leaves happy.

It’s as simple as that.

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Tired

I am tired, guys. In light of another mass shooting in California and a high school lockdown where I live yesterday for the threat of a shooter…

I try, I really do, to be hopeful for our future, but today I am weary of all the ugliness in this country and the powers that be who allow (and even encourage) it to exist.

When some men (including and maybe especially the POTUS) completely and intentionally miss the point and say stupid things like, “It’s politically incorrect now to call women beautiful…” I just really want to slug them. Saying your daughter is beautiful isn’t inappropriate, you giant orange spaz-monkey. But I would venture to say she would prefer other compliments be included with “beautiful” like “smart, successful, graceful, kind…” provided they’re true. For the record, though, it has  always, always been incorrect to make unsolicited, inappropriate comments to random women about your feelings regarding her body/attractiveness. We’re just starting to call you out on it these days because women. are. tired. of. your. shit.

Listen up, in case you are one of the missing links who are struggling with the concept of what is appropriate and what isn’t:

  • If you wouldn’t say it to a woman while your mother or grandmother is standing right there next to you, it’s probably inappropriate. Knowing that you don’t want your female kinfolk to witness you behaving that way says you’re already aware you’re behaving badly. But I guess if the only way for you to keep rein in your obnoxious commentary is to use Grandma as your measuring stick, well, do that.
  • If you would be egregiously offended and possibly moved to violence if some grungy scuzzbag on the street said it to your mother/sister/grandma/aunt/girlfriend/wife/nun, unprovoked, it’s probably inappropriate. And let’s be clear – a female walking into the local grocery store, on a sidewalk, or even half naked on the beach is NOT provocation. That’s a lack of impulse control on your part. Grow up.
  • If it’s something you would be embarrassed to say to your best male friend “because he’s a guy,” or because you’re pretty sure he will punch you in the head for saying it, then it’s probably inappropriate to say to a woman. “Hey Joe! I’d love to bounce a quarter off that tight ass!” is hella different than asking him where he got his cool hoodie. See what I mean?
  • If you wouldn’t want Bubba, your built-like-a-Tibetan-mastiff cellmate, to whisper it in your ear in the dark, it’s probably inappropriate to say to a woman. Knowing that you would be powerless to defend yourself against his advances, tells you how a woman might feel if you were to make similar comments to her.
  • If your “compliment” requires hand gestures, it’s probably inappropriate (enough said).
  • If you aren’t sure what a compliment is vs. what harassment is, you should probably just keep quiet in the first place. But, here is an example, “You look pretty today,” is a compliment. “Hey baby, you’re so hot, wanna do it in the back of my car,” is harassment. Here’s another one, “I like your scarf,” is a compliment. “I’d love to tie you to my bed with that scarf,” is harassment. Again, if you must, use Grandma as your measuring stick, since that seems to be the language so many understand.

See, the thing is, I don’t for a second believe that men aren’t fully aware of what is and is not appropriate when it comes to women. I believe that there are a whole lot of you out there who simply do not care.

“The Other”

The concept we’re seeing rear its ugly head more and more these days is the idea of some folks being “Others,” while we each think of ourselves as part of “The Whole.” It’s a dangerous way of thinking, leading to people being murdered and abused for no other reason than they are different than what murderous, vile dickweeds think they should be.

Newsflash: People who are different than you are still people. If you use the minimum amount of logic, or hey, talk to people you think are so wildly different than you are, you’ll see they want the same things you do – enough to eat, shelter, clean air to breathe, to watch their kids grow into adults they can be proud of, a little love. Hell, there are a couple of people in this world who went out of their way to MAKE me hate them, whose actions and belief systems are far beyond the pall of decency, and I still recognize their personhood. They don’t deserve to die or suffer injury just because I don’t like them – *I* am not that important, it turns out.

Do we really need a lesson in, “A person is a person first, and everything else they are or do is secondary to that,” to remember that we’re all the same in the most fundamentally human ways?  I mean, do we really to be constantly reminded that killing people is wrong?? (unless you are the dickweeds who are guilty of the murdering sprees, in which case, I would gladly tell any judge in America, “Fry ’em.”)

~

P.S. In regards to my views on “Fry ’em,” I’m so done with trying to paint sunshine and daisies on every crappy thing that happens. “There is a reason for everything. Love conquers all. Smiley face.” You can’t always fight active hate with passive love, and you can’t pretend that there is some happy reason behind every foul act – yes, there is a reason for everything, but sometimes that reason is that one guy is an asshole.

Taking Notice

We all get so amped up about what we see in the news – I admit that I’m guilty of it myself, and all too frequently lately. But what we aren’t seeing on the nightly news is what should actually scare the sh*t out of us.

Something I’ve been seeing a lot of in my town, but virtually nothing on any sort of media, is increasing homelessness. Between families doubling down into single family residences, to tent “cities,” to campers parked for weeks on end in local parking lots, to people panhandling outside grocery stores and on street corners (and I live in a “nice” neighborhood!)…well, it’s concerning, considering we’re being told how great everything is and how much money we all should have.

I dunno. I Googled it. Apparently this is across the nation – the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development reported late last year the first major increases in homelessness since 2010. They said “a booming economy” is why people are finding themselves on the streets, which seems kind of shady to me. If there are more jobs and people are earning more money (I personally haven’t felt or witnessed the more jobs/better money things)…why are there so many people seemingly thrown out like yesterday’s leftover sandwich? And mind you, the homelessness count is taken by counting heads in shelters and whoever they can catch on the street. It’s likely that the numbers are much, much higher than they’re even able to report.

You don’t need the media to tell you what is going on, and you certainly shouldn’t rely on the media to fill you in on anything/everything that is important. You only need your own eyes and perhaps the ability to notice things that weren’t there a few years ago.

I am going to go out on a limb here and say that Americans, as a whole, have lost their critical thinking edge – they read something or see it somewhere, and assume it MUST be true because they read it on a colorful meme with amusing graphics or heard it on Fox News because nobody in the media would lie (except, you know, women…ahem…).

To cite merely ONE example, a fairly innocuous, non-politically charged one, recently I’ve seen a meme repeatedly posted on social media (more than 9 times), something about how “This only happens once every thousand years, if you add your age plus the year you were born, it will equal 2018,” and something about how amazing that is.

Ummmmm…

That’s called math, folks. So, let’s pick this apart:

  • Unless someone reorders time and starts us over at some random year, like, 1 A.D., this will only happen once, ever, because it will never again be 2018.
  • This only works if you are using your oldest age (in years) during the entire year of 2018. So, basically, what age you’ll be on December 31, 2018. Otherwise, your age plus your birth year *could* equal 2017 (for those of us born later in the year, we can’t use the age we are in May, for instance).
  • This math works EVERY SINGLE YEAR, so next year it will be your oldest age in 2019 plus your birth year will equal 2019, and so on. THIS IS HOW THEY DETERMINE IF YOU’RE OLD ENOUGH TO BUY ALCOHOL, guys. They take this year, subtract your birth year, and they get your age. It isn’t rocket science and it’s hardly amazing (unless you really, really like basic math).
  • Try THIS for amaaaaaaaaazing – take your age now, and add 5. THAT is how old you’ll be 5 years from today! See? I can do it, too!

It’s kinda astounding, how many people simply do not think about what it is they’ve read before they re-share interesting “facts” with the world. When that occurs, one of two things happen, depending on the audience:  the sharer looks like an idiot OR they manage to perpetuate ideas, planting seeds of misinformation with the rest of the non-critical thinkers, and it spreads like wildfire. Next thing you know, we’ll all be watering our crops with Mountain Dew and wondering why there aren’t any fresh vegetables anymore, all the while watching pro wrestling on tv and eating canned nacho cheese for dinner…

The point I’m trying to make here is this – if it’s this easy to fool people about something so utterly meaningless, maybe some folks should ask themselves what else they’re being fooled about…

 

 

 

Cry me a river.

So, a word to all the folks bashing the #MeToo movement, whining about how no man is safe and how every man is in danger of false accusations from all these lying women who are out wrecking men’s lives for sport: I really couldn’t care less about the ridiculous, nonsensical, hysterical masses who care more about protecting the violently unbalanced status quo than they care about saving actual women’s lives.

What I DO care about is the insidious, pervasive rhetoric I’m hearing spewing from the collective maw of conservativism, basically confirming that they think women are not to be believed when they accuse men of sexual harassment and assault. What I care about is how apparent it’s become that we have not, in fact, moved far from the 1950s when a woman who was raped had her reputation ruined and didn’t name her accuser because even her parents didn’t want her to negatively impact her attacker’s future. What I care about is this widely televised and social media-ed point of view has made it obvious that women should just accept assault as “the norm” and keep their mouth shut because they, too, will be disbelieved and/or dragged through the mud, all in the interest of protecting certain males of our species from having their tender feelings hurt when they hear the word, “No.”

The assumption that survivors are, overall, a pack of liars is disgusting. That a respected, well-mannered, educated woman would be so violently maligned and/or outright mocked by members of Congress, by parts of the media, and by sweeping portions of the public at large doesn’t bode well for plain old, average women like me. Considering how hard it is for women and girls to be believed in light of a REAL sexual assaults and how inconsequential the punishments tend to be for the perpetrators when they’re proven guilty, imagine, if you will, the unlikelihood the miniscule number of false rape allegations are to impact the falsely accused in any lasting way? And no, I’m not making an argument in favor of false accusations – what I’m saying is you need to do some soul-searching if you think that this happens with any degree of frequency. So, SHUT UP already about how worried you are about the unlikely event your male friend or family member is falsely accused and TRY to feel a little concern and compassion for the COUNTLESS women and girls who are REALLY assaulted by men every. single. day. And hey, if you’re a woman and if you have female friends or family members, maybe spend a moment being legitimately concerned for your own (or their) safety, because nearly EVERY woman will be the victim of unwanted, intimidating physical attention by a man before she dies. Too often women and girls die BECAUSE of that unwanted, intimidating physical attention.

Your presumptive aspersions have told your daughters and mothers and sisters and friends is that if they are attacked, THEY CANNOT TRUST YOU. You’ve let them know that YOU ARE NOT A SAFE PLACE TO GO. You’ve told them that YOU WILL NOT BELIEVE THEM, and probably no one else will either. But yes, we should definitely try harder to make sure that “nice guys” feel safe.

I’m asking that you use some logic here – countless innocent male lives and reputations are not damaged by false claims. It’s pretty safe to argue that few male lives and reputations are damaged by legitimate claims. Read a book. Watch the nightly news. Google it. Chalk it up to urban legend, but for god’s sake, don’t mistake random memes on social media or Fox News for actual research and start wondering whether your adoring husband or sweet baby boy is next on the list for some siren to wreck his life. I have read the studies, I have watched the news. I’ve also seen assault up close, I’ve held crying family members and friends, and too many times, I have felt completely helpless to defend myself, so don’t you dare tell me it isn’t real, and don’t you dare tell me that women are the problem.

Just for fun, let me ask you: would YOU lie about assault? Would your mom? Your grandma? Your sister? Your best girlfriend? If you wouldn’t and they wouldn’t, who in the H-E-DoubleHockeysticks are you to presume the rest of us would? Where ARE all these fearsome harpies who are out to git’ yo’ menfolk in trouble for no apparent reason, other than women are evil creatures who love to wreak havoc on good, decent, god-fearing men? Show me all these lying vixens, please! Show me the men in your life who have been falsely accused, their lives ruined, and who have been sent to prison for no reason. Show me all these sad, ruined men, please! (and by “ruined” I do not mean “that really hurt his feelings,” because hurt feelings only ruin other people’s lives when some spastic loser guy goes on a shooting rampage. What I mean is, “he spent time in prison because a jury of his peers sent him there without any evidence because the whole system is rigged against nice guys and now he’s out and can’t get a job because everyone falsely believes he’s rape-y.”)

Fellas – wanna know how not to get accused of assault? Don’t assault anyone. It’s really that easy. Don’t want to be accused of harassment? Don’t harass anyone. I would venture to say that most of the men I know have managed to live to this stage of their lives without being accused of either – Can you guess how they managed that? By not assaulting and not harassing. Because guess what? None of us care if you think we’re pretty. Seems like it shouldn’t be hard to manage, but hey, I’m just a woman and therefore a moron and a liar, so what do I know?

Seriously though, if that’s your opinion of women as a whole, go f*ck yourself and please, unfriend me/unfollow me so I know who you are and I can avoid you in real life, too.

He said he didn’t do it…

Maybe he didn’t, but by that standard, I mean, she said he did, so maybe he did. My gut believes her, and so does my head. My gut also says that it was all a giant circle-jerk to give the appearance of fairness, because the GOP is still going to put this crybaby monster on the Supreme Court.

Oh, for Pete’s sakes before you get all snarky about me calling him a crybaby and blaming me for exhibiting toxic masculinity – I think men SHOULD cry without judgement or mockery when they need to, but people like Mr. Kavanaugh don’t seem to believe that at all. In my humble opinion, the waterworks (and all that ugly screeching at Congress) were a manipulative tool to sway votes and the public to feel pity for him and thereby acquit him of all wrongdoing in our minds. It’s a pretty common pattern when the privileged are busted – screaming, denying, bawling, exaggerated claims about how their whole entire life is ruined… Sorry. I’m not buying it.

It IS interesting, though, that women are considered the hysterical, emotional ones…

I’ll save whatever other rhetoric and grumpiness I have for after they confirm this guy. I don’t believe for a second that it will happen any other way.

Sell-Out Conservative Women

I’m really curious about the women who are posting weird stuff like “groping isn’t that big of a deal” and “no man is safe, not your husband, not my husband, not your sons, not your grandsons…” basically saying OUT LOUD that A. women should just suffer through the unwanted advances of every man who feels so inclined and B. women are, in general, a bunch of lying-ass hoes who will say anything to ruin your man’s life.

I mean, I can see why men say it (YES, I KNOW “NOT ALL MEN”) – it suits the narrative that women are property and there for men’s convenience, yadda yadda yadda. But to sell out your own sex to help perpetuate that egregiously false narrative, well, it makes me kind of want to slug you. Wait, scratch that. I’m no liar and I don’t typically mince words, so this is better: “It totally makes me want to slug you, you stupid cows.”

Whew. That’s much better.

Here’s the thing. I have been leered at by grown men since I was 12 – boobs will do that to you. At that age, adult males made comments about my body and what they would like to do to it. Twelve. I wasn’t “asking for it,” I didn’t even know what “it” was. These men just said whatever they wanted because they could and who was going to stop them? And if they decided to act on the things they were saying, how was *I* going to stop them?

As a woman, I don’t just go for a walk any old time, any old place I want to. Imagine, if you’re a man, you want to take a walk. I can only assume that, like the men in my life, you just go. Maybe you grab your keys and put them in your pocket. If I go for a walk, I make sure it’s daylight and/or I don’t go alone. I let people know where I’m going and how long I think it will be before I get back. And I grab my keys, but I don’t put them in my pocket – I thread them through my fingers like Wolverine so I can at least attempt to defend myself if some jerk assaults me. I make sure I have my phone with me, not so I can check my Facebook feed, but so I can call 911 if I have to, and before cell phones, I (and every girl I knew) always kept a quarter on me in case I needed to use the payphone in a hurry.

Guys, how many cans of pepper spray have you purchased for yourself in your life? Do you buy pepper spray for yourself or do you buy it so the women you love can protect themselves from other men? Let’s be honest – we aren’t carrying pepper spray to make sure we get the best deals at the local Walmart on Black Friday. We’re not worried about roving packs of ravenous wild dogs or the zombie apocalypse. We aren’t planning to get revenge on Becky Ferguson who stole our pencil in 3rd grade. We carry pepper spray to protect ourselves from men.

Fellas, if you are raped or otherwise assaulted and you take it to the police, how many people do you think will believe you? Probably all of them? And how much of the blame will be attributed to your clothing? To your sobriety? To your poor decision to be outside alone? To your past history (whether you stole a pack of gum when you were 5, or how popular you were in high school, or whether you’ve had any traffic tickets)? Because as a woman, ALL of those things come into play and it is SUPER likely you will be disbelieved by many people and at least partially blamed by most of the rest (and god help us if we manage to successfully fight off an attacker and the fool dies…then we’re a murderer and HE is somehow the victim). It isn’t propaganda; it is how this system is rigged.

When you go buy clothes, do you wonder, “Hmmmm…is this too slutty? Will this get me unwanted attention?” only to look around you and see that EVERYTHING the store is even selling is basically too revealing because that’s how American styles work – you’re either half naked OR you’re covered up like Whistler’s Mother. There really isn’t much in-between, but as a woman, it doesn’t really matter what we wear anyway. We know that no matter what we have on, some guy is going to say/do something inappropriate because women don’t get to just be.

Unlike men, women cross the street to avoid construction sites or any other place where there is a gathering of men, because we aren’t allowed to just walk by without anyone commenting on how we look. Don’t tell me I’m making that up – groups of men get super obnoxious if there is a woman in the vicinity. Tell me I’m wrong. So, we put on headphones to listen to music and to blot out the unwanted advances of strange men (ironically, we’re told by rape prevention experts that wearing headphones makes us MORE likely to be raped because we can’t properly pay attention to our surroundings – did you know that? There are rape prevention experts. Wanna know why? Because the concept of don’t rape people is simply too far-fetched).

Now, I realize that for the nice guys out there, I’m preaching to the choir – but if you’re not checking your friends/relatives/random dudes for their bad behavior, you aren’t really helping ME out at all. And for the guys out there who see no problem with any of this, put yourself in a woman’s shoes – stop for a moment and imagine: some guy in prison or in a dark alley looking at you/talking to you/acting at you in the ways you behave toward women, maybe consider that to us, YOU are the creepy guy in your imagination.

And to you sell out women out there who are so worried about protecting your rape-y/harassing/groping/creepy menfolk, shame on you. If you don’t want your precious babies accused of wrong doing, teach them not to do wrong. Because “Not All Men” still doesn’t account for “ALL WOMEN,” since every single one of us has at very least been the subject of unwanted advances and too many of us DIE because “Too Many Men” don’t view us as actual people and “Not Enough Men or Women” stick up for what is right.

Oh, and in case I am not being clear – I’m not angry. I am seething.

Rooting for the Underdogs

I keep seeing random stories about different animals (cows, piglets, chickens) who’ve somehow managed to escape from slaughterhouses or trucks transporting them to slaughter, and subsequently I keep seeing a general “Hooray!” from all the folks who happen across the stories.

My question is this: if we’re all rooting for the rare underdog who escapes slaughter, WHY are so many people still eating these critters in the first place? I mean, CLEARLY people are happiest when the animal gets to be the superhero of the story.

It seems like a fair question.

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