Friday, July 15, 2016

Ghostbusters: Sheroes

This piece is relatively spoiler free...mild spoilers in point B below, which you can skip if you want.

Unless you've been under a rock, you're quite aware that a new Ghostbusters reboot has debuted and it stars an all female cast..

Unless you've been under a rock for a REALLY long time, you're also aware that since it's first announcement, this movie has been picked to death by what I will refer to throughout this piece as "salty fanboys." Here's the kind of person I mean by saying that:

  1. Cis men, typically white, who can't imagine anyone other than someone just like them being the lead in an action movie. 
  2. Said men who cry about their "childhoods being ruined" by a reboot with an all female cast. 
  3. Said men who are the kind of people who probably harass ("troll") women online and use the term "friendzone" and "nice guy" unironically.
  4. Said men who would down vote the YouTube trailer and claim that the movie is total garbage months before ever seeing it. 
So anyway, because salty fanboys got their salty fanboy panties in a bunch, this movie, starring Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones, and Kate McKinnon, got way more attention than it would have otherwise. And because salty fanboys indulged in so much fucking misogyny with their salty fanboy tears, I really, really needed this movie to be actually good. 

GUESS WHAT?! IT IS!!!

I saw it last night and, while it's far from perfect, it was highly enjoyable. I was laughing the whole time, particularly at Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon who were my faves by far, and I now super ship their characters. 

It was a damn delight. 

But beyond that the move did something super amazing and super important--it wove in its own strong response to these salty fanboys in the best fucking possible ways. 

A) JOKES: It had a few jokes that called out the salty fanboys specifically. More than once the characters post their videos of ghost busting online and they react indignantly to misogynistic comments they receive...serving as an all too familiar reminder to those of us in the "real world" that the movie itself received it share of similar comments; comments which seem absurd but are quite based in reality.

B) STORY: The main villain is basically a salty fanboy!!!! Reminder, this is where it gets mildly spoilery. We learn that the guy releasing all the ghosts in NY is someone who has felt really bullied and marginalized. He's clearly a "nerd" guy who was picked on and resents the world. At one point he's in a self indulgent cry baby rant about how the Ghostbusters must have always been treated as humans if they don't understand why he would be trying to get revenge. And Melissa McCarthy's character is like (paraphrasing) "Are you kidding me? People are always shitting on us." YES!!!! It's such a great call out of "geek boys" who have felt really excluded and harassed their whole lives but then turn to perpetuating the hate against women. 

I loved it. I loved it. I loved it. 

I had no idea that the creators would be so skillfully weaving in real time response to the shit they took for making this film. It was delicious. 

As delicious as salty fanboy tears when I think about how all of my friends have liked the movie so far and it has a 75% on Rotten Tomatoes as the point of me writing this. 

Delicious indeed. 


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Monday, June 27, 2016

I'm so happy right now. So happy.

Nothing can rain on my parade today. HB2 in Texas was ruled unconstitutional today in the Whole Women's Health v. Hellerstedt case.

THANK GOODNESS.

Just over three years ago, I spent countless hours at the capitol with many other people fighting against HB2. I was there when Wendy Davis led the filibuster. I've never felt more connected to a group of activists rallied behind a singular cause in my life. It was really, really special. And it was devastating to know that in a special session, Texas republicans would barrel through with those restrictive and dangerous laws anyway.

So the relief that I feel today is immense. Three years of building anxiety are lifted--and that's just from me, as a privileged person, who hasn't even been unduly burdened by this disgusting legislation.

Thank you, SCOTUS...(specifically Breyer, Kennedy, Ginsburg, Sotomayor, Kagan, and Ginsburg) THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

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Sunday, May 15, 2016

Being a "good" abuse victim

[Content note: detailed accounts of abuse]

I've been pretty scarce around these parts...I'm busy, tired, and uninspired. I mean, that would be why I issued an official notice that I don't blog much anymore forever ago. I guess I should probably stop feeling guilty about it.

ANYWAY...I'm here because a post that came across my dash on Tumblr caught my eye. (If you haven't already picked up on it...I'm way active over at Tumblr and that's a much better way to interact w/ me if you want. If anyone is reading this and isn't already on it :))

The post was about abuse. Written by noctis-nova. It said:
When you say you’re the victim of abuse you are supposed to, by the common understanding, be able to bring up very specific episodes of that abuse in order to “prove its really abuse”.
But a lot of abuse just doesn’t work that way. Sometimes they just wore you down constantly. Sometimes you couldn’t put your finger on it, but felt all of effects none-the-less. Sometimes its so plain awful that you’ve repressed it. Sometimes it was so damn insidious that you normalized it until one day years later you mention it and someone gives you a look of shock and you realize it wasn’t normal. All of you. Any of you. 
You are all just as valid as someone who wrote a whole damn memoir on the thing.
If you've read much of my content here, it shouldn't be surprising that this spoke to me. I've already written about the ideas of "good fatties" and "good rape victims." This quote is definitely talking about what I would call "good abuse victims" and speaking up for people who don't fit that mold.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Help make abortion accessible!

Hey everyone!

Once again I am participating in the National Abortion Access Bowl-a-Thon. You may remember this from last year..the gist is that I’m raising money to help keep abortion accessible for low income people.

As most of you know, I live in one of the worst states in the US to try to seek an abortion: Texas. The restrictive laws that are now in effect (which Wendy Davis tried to block in 2013 and I fought along side thousands of other Texans for weeks against) are in front of the supreme court for how unconstitutional they are.

It’s imperative that I do my part to try to help people who are seeking abortions in the middle of these abhorrent restrictions.

PLEASE HELP! I’m just looking to raise $100 (although more would be great :) If even just a small part of readers would give $5, we could help SO MANY people! 

And yes, my team is Prince themed, so there’s a bonus.

image


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Tuesday, March 1, 2016

A microaggression

[Content note: rape "joke", rape culture.]

Originally shared on my Tumblr. 

Little story for y’all.

I work for a wonderful feminist nonprofit. It often creates a bubble for me; one that when I wander out of it, can be a little jarring. But it’s so lovely when I’m in it.

I wandered out of that bubble today, by accident.

Our organization offices in a large office building with lots of male dominated companies (we appear to be one of the few tenants with a majority of female employees.) Today when I was heading out for an afternoon meeting the elevator stopped on the floor below ours…the floor known for almost all dude employees. 3 such dudes were waiting for the elevator…the kind of dudes who are “grown up” (loosely used here) fraternity bros. The kind of white dudes who reek of privilege and entitlement. But I digress.

Apparently one of the 3, when the elevator doors opened, was hamming it up for the other 2, facing them, not the elevator doors. So when the elevator dings and the doors open, he continued telling his story to them, walking in the elevator backward, almost right into me. So move back as far as I can and then I held my hand out to stop him from fully plowing me over in the elevator. He realized, apologized, and his fellow bros give him a hard time about not paying attention, seeming like a creep, etc.

In his apologies and their mocking him, the two who didn’t run into me somehow got into a “”””JOKE”””” of:

“You’ll have to excuse him, he’s the kind of guy who beckons to kids from a white panel van with candy.”

“Yeah, he’s the kind of guy you have to watch your drink around.”

WHAT?

Luckily, it was a quick elevator ride so I was able to get the fuck out of there. But liiiiiiike what kind of douche do you have to be to make a “’’’’joke’’’’’ like that to some random woman who is ALONE with 3 weirdo dudes in an elevator who has already been cramped into the corner by them…?

I can’t.

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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

A quick note on Kesha and rape culture

[Content note: rape, abuse]

I don't have the wherewithal or knowledge to write about this in detail, and lord knows that many, many people are doing the topic far more justice than I could...but let me not go without saying my support of Kesha in her legal battle against Dr. Luke and Sony.

I've read a ton on the case, but mostly from opinion pieces, so I can't say I have a full picture of it all. However, when a Facebook friend posted a status yesterday asking how we can be sure that the allegations against Dr. Luke are correct, I couldn't help but pipe up.

My reply was this counter question: How can someone EVER gather "concrete proof" that they were raped/abuse/controlled over a number of years by someone very close to them? I think about my own past of abuse and I have literally no way to prove or show it. My memories and the internal scars I carry are all there is.

As was recently suggested to me over on Tumblr, "rape culture thrives on the premise that absence of evidence is evidence of absence."

It's so true.

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Friday, January 22, 2016

On Political Compromise and the 2016 Election

This topic has been bouncing around my head for a few days. First, I began to think about this deeply based on a discussion with some lovely friends over dinner the other day. We wandered down the path of the Democratic primary election, and I mentioned my fondness for Bernie Sanders. My friends both are leaning Hillary Clinton's direction and one of the reasons they cited is that she seems more likely, in their view, to be able to reach across the aisle and actually make bipartisan progress on issues with Republicans.

I'm not entirely sure I buy that take on Hillary, but that's not what I'm focusing on at the moment. It just made me more interested in the the mere idea of political compromise as a virtue.

I couldn't help but feel that if the three of us had been Republicans discussing those primary choices (gag), we wouldn't have been evaluating candidates on ability to compromise. I think I can say that most people are familiar with the recent trend for the Republican party to be the "party of no." Through the Obama presidency, their main objective, sometimes explicitly stated, has been to block legislation and progress.


Thinking about this after my dinner discussion with friends made me wonder, why do more left leaning folks in the US seem to feel that we bear the responsibility of compromise? Is this a real thing or is it just my perception?


Saturday, January 2, 2016

The January Body Positive Blues

[Content note: fatphobic/weight/food stuff.]

I talk about this nearly every year. January is the season to truly hate our bodies. We come out of the holidays with all of those INDULGE messages and then suddenly in January, we're supposed to set a resolution to work out, eat "better," lose weight--and generally feel shameful about our flabby, doughy, *DISGUSTING* bodies while torturing ourselves into thinness just in time for "bathing suit season."

It's enough to make even the most body positive bitch, like yours truly, get a case of the January blues.

One of the things that bugs me the most about this time of year is that it is NEVER a quiet, internal "I want to get back in shape" process that individuals embark upon on their own. Nope--it's VERY driven by the billion dollar weight loss industry, EVERYONE gets in on it, and it's continuously in your face.

Take advertisements this time of year. You don't even have to listen carefully to hear it, because it will be smashed upside your head. Every gym is running a special. Restaurants roll out their "light" menus (which are all buried by March.) Department stores like Kohls and Old Navy move their active wear to the front of the store and begin running special promotions. Special K is. every. where.

Bleh.

What bothers me most, above all, is how the messages reach the youngest ears, especially from the adults around them. Adult women (mothers, aunts, etc.) who have internalized this pressure have enormous impact on the body image formation of girls, and perpetuate it with them. In my line of work, I do frequent research on this topic for grants...and needless to say, the situation grows more grim all the time. According to a 2013 CDC study, only 4% of high school aged girls were not actively trying to lose weight (compared to 67% of boys.) A study of girls ages 3-6 in the Southern US showed that nearly 50% of them were already worried about their weight. (British Journal of Psychology, 2010.)

Ages 3-6!

I think about a mom at an event I was at recently. She couldn't stop talking about how terrible the holidays are for your weight and how she wasn't going to eat anything and get "fatter" this year. All while 20 or so 13-17 year olds were nearby. This woman was intending no ill will toward the girls (including her daughter). She only spoke of her own dissatisfaction with her own body. But it doesn't really work that way, does it? Talking shit about ourselves in front of kids isn't just about us. It's inherently teaching them how to view themselves too. "If she thinks she's fat, what does she think about me?" "If she's disgusting, maybe I'm disgusting."

This mentality sets off a domino effect. It is inextricably linked to never feeling good enough, undue emphasis placed on physical attributes, and complicated, toxic, unhealthy relationships with food and eating.

It's got to stop some place, right? Why not with us?

Listen, I can't avoid the January body positive blues all together. I can't stop the endlessly fatphobic messages of the media. It's going to be there as long as profit motives rule.

But I'm not entirely powerless either. I can stop my own perpetuation of these messages. I can refuse to talk like that mom. I can refuse to purchase products which pander to this mentality. I can start discussions about this with others. I can point out toxic message when I hear them. I can encourage critical media consumption. I can (try) to practice radical self-love and acceptance (which, really, is a huge middle finger to the whole system when you think about it.)



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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

No more Christmas pictures like this...NO MORE

Sometimes something is just so messed up, I MUST write about it. Immediately.

Today is one of those days.

Let me start by saying this, if I were to start a comprehensive list of all the bullshit that we DON'T need more of in our society, I'd probably have a hand cramp in about 20 minutes and would have only just begun what would be a life long endeavor. So for now, I'll just suggest ONE item for the list: a new, misogynistic brand of Christmas pictures that has popped up this holiday season. 

The first I heard of this, a coworker showed me one from her Facebook feed because she knew I'd share her disgust. Not but a week later, another similar image was submitted to FacebookSexism.

Here are the pictures in question





Yes, that's right. These "cutesy" holiday family photos depict the husband/sons saying a variation of "finally peace on earth" and the mothers/daughters with DUCT TAPED MOUTHS AND BOUND BY CHRISTMAS LIGHTS. This is some kind of trend apparently...?

I feel like it should be totally unnecessary for me to explain why this is fucked up, and how invoking violent, misogynistic imagery isn't ok, but just in case, to add to the list of bullshit we DON'T need anymore there's also:

  1. Messages for girls that they shouldn't speak up. 
  2. Messages which "joke" that kidnapping, abuse, and even rape can be alluded to in a cutesy/playful way.
  3. Messages for girls that their thoughts/opinions/voices, etc. are "annoying" or otherwise not peaceful. 
  4. Messages that boys/men are in charge. 
  5. Messages that boys/men are the only ones worth hearing from. 
  6. Messages which send implicit normalization of abuse of women/girls. 
  7. Messages which send implicit normalization of control of women/girls.
That's just what I can think off the top of my head! If you're in the crowd that thinks this garbage is "cute" I'd love for you to explain WHY in a way which doesn't directly invoke and play into one of these 7 messages that I've listed. 

Please, try. 

I'm waiting. 


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Saturday, November 21, 2015

Just eat the whole damn thing

[Content note: food and weight stuff.]

With Thanksgiving less than a week away, my brain as been fine tuned to the up-tick in food shaming that is all around us....(and of course the ever present doubly confusing "indulge! indulge!" of November/December followed by the "change yourself, you disgusting fat fuck!" of January.)

One of my favorite things to write about this time of year is how we can step away from fat shaming during the holidays and take care of ourselves through what is often a stressful time of year.

This year, I'd like to add this message to the mix: Just eat the whole damn thing, ladies.

[Image text: Gif of Liz Lemon saying, "I can't have it all!" while eating a doughnut and her mouth is full.]
 A couple of recent experiences have made me think about this:

1) I volunteered at an event recently with a pregnant woman who was obviously usually very thin. The event had a DELICIOUS dessert that we were all eating and she was talking about how the best thing about being pregnant is eating dessert and not feeling guilty because you can just say that the baby wants to eat it....Sigh. Ya know, because you wanting to eat it isn't enough.

2) I realized that one of my biggest pet peeves is when people split up pieces of food in a shared space (ie, taking half of a doughnut and leaving the other half in box in the break room.) It's a pet peeve because I don't want fondled half foods but also because I've realized this is one of those "things women do." I posted about it on Facebook and it spawned dozens of comments, ALL of whom were women many admitting they do this themselves; often because, I quote, "I'm trying to trick myself into thinking I'm not going to come back and just eat the other half."

So let me drive my point home.

Just eat. Eat the whole damn thing. Eat what you want.

EAT.

When you're around your Thanksgiving table next week or when you're at a holiday party or whatever over the next 6 weeks (and forever!) if you want to eat something, please, for the love of god, EAT IT. 

And if you don't want to eat it, then don't. That's fine.

But in either case, don't contribute to judgey, guilt-ridden, value-laden toxic relationships with food that permeate our society.

I'm sick of comments like what I mentioned in #1. Can't we all just eat, drink, and be merry? It's not eat, drink, and constantly-feel-like-shit-about-everything-you-put-in-your-body.

You're not a bad person if you eat what you want to eat. You're not a bad person if that's a whole cupcake or 6 Christmas cookies or extra butter on your potatoes (and you're not a better person if you drink kale smoothies and only eat organic quinoa salads). You're not a bad person if your weight fluctuates or if you skip a workout or if you binge watch Netflix on your couch for 2 days straight.

Nothing about your body or appetite makes you a bad person. I promise.



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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Teaching Kids to Lie...Because Santa.

This isn't really "feminist" or even "important" but in this space I get to write and process whatever I want, so deal.

Today, I read two things, back to back on my social media pages, that gave me pause. First was a post on Tumblr which read, "When a child is punished for their honesty, they begin to lie."

The next was this image on Facebook:
[Image text reads: "When you stop believing in Santa Claus, you get underwear."]
Besides the obvious illustration of the difference between my Facebook feed and my Tumblr dashboard, I thought this was interesting to see back to back.

I've long been disturbed by the, "you must believe in Santa Claus!" rule that permeates our society. Maybe it's because I don't have kids so I don't get the appeal, but I'm not sure why this is SUCH an important lie Christian families in America feel they must tell their kids.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not opposed to the mythology and fun around Santa, and signing gifts as from Santa or whatever...but the full on creation and pushing of the lie that HE ABSOLUTELY DOES EXIST AND GAVE YOU THOSE GIFTS AND THE ELF ON THE SHELF IS WATCHING AND DON'T YOU DARE QUESTION IT is beyond me.

I know numerous families, including my own, where kids aren't allowed to say stuff like, "Santa isn't real!" and if you do, then the response is, automatically, "Ok, well you don't get gifts anymore!" What kid is going to be like, "That's cool, keep your gifts and your dirty lies, Grandma, Santa is a hoax." They, instead, begin indulging in the continuation of the lie, pretending they don't know how it works, and teaching the lie to younger kids, and so on.

Of course, I know there's a difference between this lie and lies which are directly intended to hurt people--but how are parents able to mange the cognitive dissonance around punishing their kids for lying, but then saying this kind of stuff to them?

What would be so bad about a discussion of the spirit of giving at Christmas, and Santa as a symbol of that...but the gift giving is between actual, real life people? Why does it have to be "Believe in Santa!!!!"

It weirds me out.

I think there is value to the phrase that I started this all with: "When a child is punished for their honesty, they begin to lie." I hate the idea of punishing kids for speaking their truth...whether is something as small as, "Hey, I don't think that this Santa thing is what the adults are making out to be..." all they way up to bigger things that parents really need to know and listen to like, "I'm not a boy" or "I don't like it when Uncle Rob comes over."

Just a thought.

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Monday, October 5, 2015

That gross feeling when...

[Content note: rape culture]

I've written about rape culture ad nauseam, but every now and then one of its artifacts pops up and takes me by surprise.

Well, maybe not "surprise," but "disgust," at least.

Last week I had free tickets to Sicario, Emily Blunt's latest starring role. It's a rather grim film about the government's work against drug cartels on the boarder. It's also one of the more violent things I've watched recently...but that's not why I'm writing.  All I knew about Sicario going into it is that there had been some rumblings about how Blunt's character was almost rewritten to be a man. So my interest was mildly piqued. I kept looking for some interesting gender dynamic, but nothing really emerged that was of much interest to me anyway.

But then came the moment that stuck with me. It was something so "small" but is truly my take away, and it has very little to do with the actual film and a whole lot to do with the audience and our society. In one scene, Blunt's (male) partner, played by Daniel Kaluuya, was being subdued by a Navy Seal and the Seal says something along the lines of, "Just lie back and take it baby."

Then half the audience laughed.

It sent a gross chill down my spine and Ronald immediately looked at me and temporarily broke his "never, ever speak in the Alamo Drafthouse" rule to say, "That's not fucking funny..." with a concerned/confused look.

And the thing is, it wasn't funny. Not only because it's a disgusting reference to rape, but also because, as mentioned, this movie is GRIM. It's not one of those serious flicks with a periodic laugh to break the tension. I mean, I think there was maaaaybe one other light, slightly humorous moment where Kaluuya pokes fun at Blunt's character for her bra, but that's it.

My point is that even against the current emotional place this film puts you in, many people still chuckled at an allusion to rape. That's how strong rape culture is. That's how lightly we take it.

(And it's not lost on me that Kaluuya is the film's only prominent black character, too.)

Just to be clear--I don't even know if I'm calling out this film itself for that line, necessarily. In the context of the moment and the characters present, it's not unrealistic that one of those digesting men would have said something disturbing. Blunt and Kaluuya are outsiders in the world they're dropped in, and they're frequently unnerved by what the other characters are doing. It's not like these are "nice" people. They're actively abusing their power throughout the time. So maybe this moment was not written as a punch line.

But the audience thought it was chuckle worthy, regardless.

It still makes me kinda sick thinking about it. And like I said, this is a "small" thing. A throw away moment. Probably didn't stand out to or strike many other people. But to me, it's just another of the thousands of sad, daily examples our rape culture.


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Friday, September 11, 2015

Honoring the right to self preservation

Let's talk about honoring someone else's right to self preservation, or subtitle: why I won't be watching Nicole Arbour's "Dear Fat People" video.

A few years ago, I learned a really important lesson from Trudy of Gradient Lair: It's not cool to send someone, "have you seen ____?" messages. I think when I first heard her talking about it, it was in a series of tweets I can't locate at the moment, but the heart of her ideas about this can be found at her piece entitled, "11 Things People Need to Stop Emailing Me." She wrote: 
99% of the time I heard about the same shit you heard about. Thus, I don’t need my Tumblr Inbox filled with a bunch of links to stories that I usually read 72 hours - 1 week before you sent them. Even if I did hear about something, I am NOT required to comment on it if I do not want to. I am not a 24 hour on-demand opinion generation machine. Conversely, sometimes I purposely skip stories because they are stressful, triggering or simply not of interest to me. And for Whites especially, stop emailing me every first grade level article or term you see on race. You’re in race kindergarten.  I am Methuselah. So stop...
At the time, I was like, "Good point," filed this away in my brain, and moved on with my day...but as my own Tumblr picked up in popularity, I started to much better understand the importance of what she was saying. Of course, my white privilege has shielded me from anything near the harassment that Trudy faces on social media. But when Nicole Arbour's now infamous "Dear Fat People" video blew up, I got a taste of how much people need to remember to honor someone else's right to self preservation. And how annoying/disturbing a bulk of "have you seen ____" messages can be.

As Trudy points out, sending something like this to someone can be potentially stressful or triggering. In the case of Arbour's video, I am a fat lady who blogs frequently about fatphobia and being a fat lady and all that entails. So I popped to mind for a few people when someone with a large platform was spewing off vile fatphobic bullshit. I get that. But it seems very different to wait and see if I'm going to talk about it than to start demanding I do. Suddenly my blogging email address and my Tumblr inbox at FacebookSexism had a few dozen mentions of the video. Some were just submissions of screenshots from people talking about it on Facebook. No problem. But some were "Did you see this?" and "What do you think about Nicole Arbour's video?"

I haven't been moderating as much at FBS as I used to for a variety of reasons and the Arbour thing hit right when I was in the middle of one such NOT moderating time frame. But because my inbox had a steady trickle of content related to it, I went ahead and shared these comments, tacking onto another plus size woman's thoughts, who fielded a similar "what do you think?" question:
I have no need to watch it. I’ve heard it all my whole life which is why it’s so fucking absurd anyway (poising it as “finally someone said it” Ha!) PLUS I deserve some level of self preservation so I gotta avoid this one. 
I'm just trying to wrap my mind around the mentality which leads a thin person to send a fat person a gushingly fatphobic video. Or a white person to send flagrantly white supremacist content to a black person...do y'all not see who messed up that is?

I get that these inquiries can be made in good faith...coming from an "I admire you and I want to know what your thoughts are on this" place. But because these questions are typically made to people with a very large and visible social media presence, you can just assume that they've already seen them and they don't need to be prodded to write about it. I mean, if I had it in me to watch Arbour spout off the same BS society had told me every day so I could put my reactions to it out there, I would.

I was so fed up from the whole thing that I deleted 5-6 submissions for FBS about Arbour that would have been otherwise fine content to feature there, shaming people who defended her in comment threads, etc. But I was so over it that they hit the trash bin right along side the "What do you think?"s.

Pause before you send a message like this to someone. Chances are your inquiry of this nature is unnecessary and a quick Google search would reveal 1) similar things the person you are approaching has already written or 2) other sources talking about the subject matter already that you can go read; people who are in the headspace/have the interest/time/whatever to tackle the topic. Shit, even go write about it yourself if you want. Just give someone a break before you try to introduce something into their lives which could not only unduly demand their time and attention, but also hurt them.

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Friday, August 21, 2015

I've hit the big time! And a quick note on being passive aggressive

After over 5 years of blogging here, I am pleased to announce that I have arrived. Today, I woke up to this glorious email...

Good news! On Aug 21, 2015, we sent you a payment for your Google AdSense earnings. 
I've done it. I've arrived. Hitting that sweet, sweet payment threshold is a game changer. As of today, I am $100.33 richer.

I want to thank all of you who made this possible. Everyone who has ever visited here...with a special thanks to those of you who accidentally clicked on one of my Google AdSense ads and the anti-feminists who posted my blog to many, many hate mongering subreddits giving me a boost in page views. You've all helped me earn a part of this $100.33. I couldn't have done it without.

I'll try not to change. I'll try to stay the person I've always been and remember my humble roots as I ascend to super stardom.

Ok, enough sarcasm. As much as knowing that my work here has averaged out to about 15 cents a post stings, it was a happy surprise to get that email.

On to a totally unrelated topic. Last week, I saw this post going around Tumblr, and I just want to comment on it briefly:
My boyfriend came home to our tiny apartment at 1 AM on a weeknight with 4 of his obnoxious, drunken friends in tow. He knew I had to work the next day, he knew I absolutely hated those particular friends, and he knew I hate surprise guests. So I just went in the bedroom and tried to sleep, unsuccessfully. This guy is a massively neurotic neat freak- he is physically unable to relax in a room that is not clean to his standards. So after he finally passed out, I went into the kitchen and poured maple syrup all over the floor and told him one of his idiot friends did it. He just about had a panic attack. It took him hours to get rid of the sticky. Those friends were never invited back.
I know this is supposed to be a funny post and omg how hilarious that she solved her problem this way (if it's true) but let me just add: NO.

I literally can't think of a way to more passively aggressively treat your partner. This is how manipulative, toxic relationships operate. So before you give a chuckle and shrug it off, might I suggest that you leave this behavior as (hopefully) fake LOLz on the internet and NOT actual behavior in your relationship?

Cool? Cool.

Now let me go make it rain with all my Washingtons. Happy Friday, y'all.


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Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Empty Chair and My Life

[Content note: rape, rape culture, abuse, victim blaming]

A few days ago, the latest cover of New York Magazine sparked a lot of discussion. It depicted 35 of Bill Cosby's rape victims seated, with an empty chair at the end to symbolize the 11 other known victims, but also the women all around us who are survivors of sexual assault.

#TheEmptyChair was a following discussion on Twitter, that was both chilling and unsurprising. As a woman, I am all too aware of the prevalence of rape. I mean, I can throw all kind of statistics at you, but none of that is as real to me as the stories that I know from my own friends and family. Hearing that a sexual assault happens every 107 seconds in the US or that 1 in 6 American women are survivors (a conservative figure) means very little compared to the deeply personal stories shared to me by those I love most. But these statistics are important because, still in the face of all the evidence, our rape culture continuously shames, silence, and blames survivors and victims.