Gender Politics

Break You
Lonely Men

I no longer have sympathy for lonely men. Too much of how they express their ennui reeks of this feeling like the world owes them a partner. They say things like "I'm so nice, why am I alone?" Um, because "nice" isn't sexy? No one (who isn't a nutbag) is attracted to "nice" alone. People are attracted to humor, beauty, skill, confidence, strength, intelligence, mystery, and all sorts of things. Being nice is the bare minimum that is expected of us as decent humans. If someone finds that attractive on its own, they are lugging some heavy emotional baggage. Good luck with that.


Serial Killers

There's a guy who killed a bunch of women because he felt like they owed him sex, and no one had given him any. This is appalling. Equally appalling to me is the terrible number of men saying things like, "If only some chick had banged him, maybe he wouldn't have gone psycho." Oh, I didn't realize his mentality was our responsibility. Imagine saying this to a guy. "Yeah, that chick is crazy, but if you bang her she probably won't kill you." Imagine saying it about an ugly girl. Imagine how appalled he would be. He doesn't have to have sex with her. Right. And we don't have to have sex with anyone either, genius.


Bandwagoners

This is the part that might get people mad at me, but try to follow my logic. I understand not being happy with the gender that matches your biological sex organs. In society, we tend to say that if you have a penis you are a boy and if you have a vagina you are a girl. Some people are not okay with that. Fine. I really don't care what gender you want to be. I'm not going to have sex with you. That's the only time I care what parts you have under the proverbial hood.

What I am not okay with is people who say things like, "I have decided that I am a woman now. Therefore, I have always been a woman, and I completely understand everything that women have to deal with. I am one of you sisters. We are all the same." No, you don't. You don't know what it's like to have a period. You don't know what it's like to live that particular nightmare. It's not a beautiful, natural part of life. It's disgusting. It's painful. It's our own private horror movie, and we're expected to carry on like life is totally normal while it's happening. You want to turn your external sex organs into internal sex organs? Go for it. I think health insurance companies should cover the surgery. It's really expensive. But if you tell me you wish you could have a period, I will hit you.

Because of the aforementioned serial killer, there is a hashtag going around that's #YesAllWomen. The people using it are making some good points, but I take offense at generalizations, in general. And I really take offense at the bandwagon-ness of some of it. I appreciate wanting to be a woman through and through. You don't get to say you totally understand what it is like to have always been a woman when this is a fairly new thing for you. When it comes across as your cause célèbre, or the bandwagon upon which you have just jumped, you end up saying a shit ton of things that piss off your "cis" female friends. The ones who were discouraged from pursuing math, science, and engineering in school simply because we were girls. The ones who were told we could never play Major League Baseball. The ones who no one listened to after that date went wrong, because girls so often lie.

Growing up female is hard. Growing up male... I'm sure has its challenges. Growing up feeling different is alienating and terrible. Let's just acknowledge that everyone has different struggles and we're not all the same, and that's okay. You know how mad you get when people say they know exactly how you feel, but they can't? Yeah, so stop saying that.

Sure Is Quiet Here

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A Rose By Any Other Name

Drama Queen
I'm getting back into larping. I might be crazy. It's been nearly four years, I think. I quit for a number of reasons. I think enough time has passed that I can go back now. I didn't know if I ever would. It's scary, and exciting, and weird.

Now I have to write her background and I don't even know where to start. I suppose I should start at the beginning. I am born. I grow up. That's kind of the point. I have grown up, a lot. This character started as an idea, and turned into something else. She was going to be based off of Rose Tyler from Doctor Who. She is still British, and still named Scarlett Carson, a Rose by any other name. But she has her own ideas of what she wants to be. She is all the things I have been through in all the games I have played. This is my greatest hits album. She's a Pooka, because I play them so well. She will be my fourth. I've been a cat, a raccoon, and a fox. Scarlett is a wolf. She is kinfolk. I designed her for a Werewolf game before I knew they already had other Fae.

I'm trying to decide which things to use, and exactly how. One thing I know is that she has seen a lot of death. She's not the wide-eyed child she used to be. Neither am I. This is going to be interesting.

Pee and See? Loo With a View?

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So I've had an idea that could revolutionize going to the movies, and going while at the movies. I think we've all had the experience of needing to pee while in the middle of watching a long movie in the theater. With some movies clocking in at over three hours these days, it's getting harder and harder to sit through a whole movie without needing to take a bathroom break, especially when they sell you your soda in a bucket. But movie length isn't the only thing that's changed; so has their delivery system. Movies are digital now. Therein lies the key to the greatest idea I've ever had:

Put a single occupancy stall in the back of each auditorium, with a flat-screen TV on the wall, synced up with the movie that's on the screen.

There might be a bit of a line for this stall, but the people waiting can still watch the movie while they wait. Then you can keep watching the movie while you are in there, and you don't miss any part of it. How great would that be? I would travel farther to go to a theater that had this convenience. I might even pay more for the ticket, especially if I'm going to see a big long movie, like something Peter Jackson made with Hobbits in it.

Get on it, theater owners. The public is waiting, missing the good parts of movies, and risking bladder infections while you refuse to act.

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The C Word

Jay Silhouette
Jay went for his tests today. They found a tumor on his spinal cord. I cried my eyes out after getting the phone call. Fortunately, Shawn was here and we talked through it. By the time we went to pick Jay up, we were able to talk to the vet like adults. We're going to try to get an appointment with an oncologist and get a treatment plan. It's not a sure thing, but if there's a chance, we'll take it. Jay has done very well on steroids. It's a good indication that treatment could work. At this point, I'm willing to try anything.

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Car Talk

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I brought my car to the MINI dealer a few weeks ago because it was telling me it was due for service. They plugged the key into their computer and told me it wasn't actually due for anything for another five months or so, but the service will be on the pricey side because it will involve brakes. Then, last week, my "check engine" light came on. I brought the car in on Monday morning and they told me that it has a problem with the transmission which will cost either one or two thousand dollars to fix. I panicked a little, made an appointment for next week (when they will have the parts and a loaner car for me), and went home. After some more freaking out on my part, Shawn reminded me that I have mechanical breakdown coverage through GEICO. I called them, and it turns out they will cover this. This shouldn't cost me more than $250, my deductible.

Having that coverage is a relief, but it will only cover the car until it is 7 years old, which will be in a year. I have greatly enjoyed having such a cool car, and I have been led to believe that MINIs are reliable, long-lasting cars. I love my car. I would hate to give it up. But I'm beginning to wonder when it will be more trouble than it's worth. It's still worth a lot as a trade-in right now. I could, in theory, trade it in for a much cheaper, newer car and have fewer headaches on the (ahem) road ahead. I could imagine driving a Toyota Yaris, if I could get the 3-door hatchback, in red. It wouldn't be as cool, but I have driven Yarii before, and it's a pretty good car for my needs. With the trade-in value of my car, I should be able to get one with very low monthly payments. I guess I'll get this repair done and spend some more time thinking about it. This is really all about how much I'm going to be spending each year on my car over the next few years, and how much that's really worth.

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Politicizing the Tragedy

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Today was the day of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT. Everyone on Facebook is talking about it, and talking about whether we should or should not politicize the tragedy. I think we should. I think we should politicize the shit out of it and not stop talking about guns and gun laws until something in this country changes. Why? Because shit is fucked, and it needs to change.

Over 9,000 people are shot and killed every year in America. It averages out to about 26 people every single goddamn day. But we only sit up and take notice when it's that many people at once, especially if they're white*. This time, they were children. Will it be enough to effect change? I really do hope so, and I'm not anti-guns. I grew up around guns. My dad owns several. Going target shooting with him is one of my favorite things to do. He taught us how to be safe around them, and if everyone was taught these things, this would be a safer country in general:

The Three Laws:
1. Assume every gun is real.
2. Assume every gun is loaded.
3. Never point a gun at anything you don't intend to kill.
Many of the gun deaths that occur every year are children playing with guns they found lying around (I'll get to that in a minute) and assumed were toys. Unless you know otherwise, you should never assume a gun is just a toy, or unloaded. Children need to be taught that guns are not toys, and if they see one lying around they should leave it where it is and immediately tell an adult about it. In addition to that, no one should ever be allowed to use the defense that they were just trying to wound someone they shot. (This was in the news recently.) Guns kill. That is their whole purpose. Even a leg wound can kill a person if it hits an artery. Most people do not have the training to know how to shoot someone without killing them. I think basic gun safety should be taught in school, but most people won't ever want to hear the words "gun" and "school" in the same sentence, especially after today.

Gun Safes Make Guns Safe
As I mentioned, my dad has several guns. He also has a couple different gun safes. They have combination locks, and only he knows the combinations. Even if my mom or brother snapped and wanted to shoot up a mall, neither of them could get at his arsenal to do so. Everyone who has guns should keep them locked up at all times. You don't need a giant, super-expensive safe. There are safes at Walmart that will do. It just needs to be lockable so other people can't get your guns and commit crimes with them. Hell, I think that if you own a gun and someone else commits a crime with it, you should be on the hook for that crime (along with whoever did it), because you didn't keep it locked up safely enough.

Without Proper Training, Guns Are Crap for Personal Safety
My dad could use a gun to protect himself. My dad also has police training, and years on the job. I remember going places with him having a small gun strapped to his ankle "in case of bad guys". I have no idea what would have happened if something happened. Fortunately, I never found out. The average person does not have police or military training. The average person should not, therefore, consider a gun for personal protection. Bullets travel pretty damn far if they miss. They could hit anybody. You could try to defend your home with a gun, but how can you be sure the bullets won't go through the walls and hit members of your own family?

One of the biggest problems in this country is that we've all been raised by Hollywood to believe that guns are great, and accurate, and you don't even have to look down the sights to aim them. You just point and shoot, and it's just like a video game. They don't miss unless you're a bad guy, and they only kill if you want them to. Reality is far, far different. Reality hurts. In reality, children die. Children die every single day, often from preventable accidents because people don't follow basic gun safety protocol. We need better laws, and we definitely need better education.


*You see, a lot of these deaths are black people, mostly male. One black guy gets shot in Detroit, and it isn't even news anymore. Twenty-six white people get shot all in the same place, now that's news.

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You Don't Get To Say That

Well there's your problem
There's one thing I hope no one says in front of me, which I am almost certain to hear some time soon. That thing is, "He's not my president." I might hear it at Christmas. In case I do, I'm trying to prepare a response. This is what I have so far:

"Not your president? No. No, you don't get to say that. We live in a democracy. We voted. He won. That's how that works. You don't get to say that he's not your president because you didn't vote for him. If you're a citizen of this country, he's your president. I didn't vote for George Bush, but for eight years he was my president. I was never so ignorant as to say otherwise."

I might add that unlike his most recent opponent he actually cares about 100% of the country, rather than just 53% of it. I guess it depends on what response I get to that first part.

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I haz a dumb

Photographer
Smart: Changing my Facebook password to something secure and hard to hack.
Smart: Saving said password in a spreadsheet on my computer.
Smart: Making sure to log in with new password on both tablet and phone before evacuating for hurricane.
DUMB: Not writing new password on a piece of paper in case both tablet and phone forget it after a day.

I can't get onto Facebook until I can get back home. Arg...

In the "Friendzone", Not Her Friend

Break You
I hate the term "friendzone". It implies that the only reason for a man and a woman to be friends is because one of them eventually wants sex from the other. Yes, it is sad when someone with whom you are genuinely in love only sees you as a friend. The term "friendzone" is almost never used for those instances. It is almost always used by guys who think that if they put in the time being kind to a girl, she will then owe him sex.

We do not owe you sex.

I am sick and fucking tired of guys mistaking kindness for flirting. Most of us aren't flirting with you. I know I'm not. I guess most of us are mistaking your flirting for kindness, or not realizing that you're just putting in your time.

I understand. You've been conditioned by society to believe that one day you will get your dream girl. It happens in every movie. Even dorky guys get the girl. You believe it so hard, you're even willing to force yourself on her.

This needs to stop. "Friendzone", male privilege, rape culture... It's all misogyny with different names. We're all people. We should be able to be friends as people, without seeing each other as objects, and without thinking about our interconnecting parts. Sex should be an extension of love that comes from your heart, not a way to use another person as a masturbatory aide. If you can't have a conversation with someone without imagining boning them, you have a problem and you need help. Even if it's normal, it isn't right.

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oh_faerie_nuff
Aperaham Lincoln
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