Let’s get this out of the way: if you are going, I think that’s awesome. I think it’s very important to demonstrate in a multitude of ways what you want from your government, and protests are a completely valid way to do so (not that you needed me to validate you!) However, I’m choosing to sit this one out.
Category Archives: humanist
It was a very busy weekend for me. I had lots of event invitations and 2 derby bouts and a practice all scheduled. I didn’t get to do all the stuff I wanted to do. I did a lot of sleeping though! Basically all I did was the bouts and sleeping. because OH MY GOD SO TIRED. Luckily that should be a bit of a smaller problem now….
There’s a tumblr post I see periodically that says something to the effect of “misogyny kills. misandry hurts feelings.” I posted a screencap of another tumblr post that showed bits of news articles about misogyny and violence/treats of violence and captioned it with corresponding comments I’ve read/heard/been told. (I’ll put it under the cut in a sec with my added commentary) and a friend of mine (who, despite the fact that I was being honest when I told him I felt sick to my stomach and incredibly anxious whenever I post about feminism because of the dread I feel about his* comments, he is someone who I like and enjoy being friends with in general) commented with what could (and I’m sure, is, by him and others) be seen as a totally reasonable response. I’m gonna go into this all behind the cut. Before I do, though, I want to thank said friend for respecting me when I asked him to stop commenting. I very strongly appreciate it.
*he is not the only person who evokes this visceral reaction in me with facebook comments, I should also point out, though this reaction is almost exclusively evoked by male friends commenting on feminism/feminism-adjacent posts.
An excerpt from my friend Jane’s blog. Please go read the rest!
Well, it is incredibly dehumanising. It’s invalidating. It’s othering. It means that whatever efforts this person has gone to and if you know anything about gender transition you are aware that it is a process that is so difficult it often – too often – results in a person killing themselves; it is indescribably arduous and painful, whatever their presentation, whatever their wishes, that it’s not “good enough” to be judged female. That furthermore, the person has proactively chosen to refer to them by a word or name that this person does not wish for themselves.That’s pretty disgusting. That this person has gone through this process that is acknowledged to be so difficult as to literally kill people, and is coming to you from what is acknowledged to be a position of deep vulnerability, and the response is to choose to invalidate all that, to choose to, to their face, explain that you don’t think they deserve to be treated with the dignity of any other woman.It is exactly equivalent to using an epithet to refer to someone’s ethnic background. You know they don’t want to be called that, but in your head, they are that, and you are referring to them as that despite their wishing to be treated like a human. The way you want to be treated.
I’m working on creating a website listing tolerance/civil/human rights resources (currently focused on race but to be expanded to QUILTBAG, feminism, children’s rights, and physical and mental illness support organizations) in multiple levels: local, state/province, national, and international. People want to help, but they don’t know how. People need help, but don’t know where to get it. I want to make a site that will make it easy for them to find what they need. But, particularly for local organizations, I need your help! Comment here, email me, reblog, retweet, share on facebook, email this post to your friends and family. Let me know about organizations I should check out for this project. There’s a list of the ones I’ve already found/been told about here.
I woke up with a migraine today, which sucked a lot. As a result, I spent most of my awake time in supine position, reading. Catching up on facebook, a friend mentioned that one of his friends from high school was dealing with a very public tragedy. Her stepson was dead and her husband seriously injured, and the news was all over it, because he was a state senator. Yes, I’m talking about the (fortunately not fatal) stabbing of Virginia Senator Creigh Deeds and his family.
I don’t know if it’s a big news item nationally, but it’s a big deal in the region. Deeds’ district isn’t close to DC but it is in VA and he ran for governor a few years back, so his name is a bit more well known in the area than the average state senator. (Even among the politically-minded people of DC, few people I know pay much attention to lower levels of politics. Unless you’re mayor of a city that is fairly major, or a governor active on the national level, your name probably isn’t known to non-constituents.) Regardless of whether your local newscast publicized the story, everyone should be aware, and everyone in Virginia should be writing to their representatives in local and state government, as well as the governor, about it. If you haven’t clicked the link to the Richmond Times Dispatch story, please go and read the article now.
As a Navy brat, I don’t really have a place I refer to as my hometown, or “where I’m from.” I lived in Virginia for about a decade, which is the most I’ve lived anywhere, so it is as close as I am going to get. It makes me so angry, so disgusted, so horrified that this all could have been avoided so very easily.
The son was evaluated Monday at Bath Community Hospital, Cropper said, but was released because no psychiatric bed could be located across a wide area of western Virginia.
Last January, DCRG skater Lois Slain actually reported on this problem as it affects Northern Virginia. NoVA had 19 beds to support all inpatient needs for mental health patients, and budget cuts meant they had to rely on public Community Service Boards to fund the 13 of them they got to keep. They are shipping NoVA patients off to more rural hospitals, which means that when people in those areas are in need, they either are shipped off or, as was the case with Gus Deeds, sent home with their families, who are often ill-equipped to handle 24/7 care of mentally ill individuals. Lois wrote about this plight last April, too.
“I literally just stayed home with her,” Warren said. “I resigned from my job. That’s what I was forced to do. … Everything was put on hold.”
In the latter article, Ms. Warren made certain to point out that the care they did receive was helpful, but that it just wasn’t what was needed. This country keeps going through mental health tragedies on large and small scales and the result is not as it should be. Some people hide their heads in the sand, and those who do not, who advocate for restoring the mental health services (or creating them whole cloth, in many places) are ignored by their government representatives because there is no big mental health lobby pouring money into their pockets. In order to make a difference, the outcry must be so pervasive that it can’t be ignored.
Many people think they aren’t affected if they didn’t know the people involved in one of these tragedies, but I assure you, everyone alive is affected by this. Everyone has a brain. Everyone can experience mental health issues. Most people do, and suffer quietly. Those who suffer more loudly, who go on shooting sprees or stab their parents are treated as outliers but they’re not.
My friend shared this video yesterday, and last night I told my boyfriend about it. The Boy is lovely and occasionally not aware of his privilege and said something along the lines of “I think the best defense for that sort of thing is to start laughing hysterically.” I didn’t put on my teacher-voice, but I told him that actually, that’s a bad plan, because it has the potential to incite some serious violence. That nonchalance and a casual shrugging off of this sort of thing may result in “well fuck you, you’re not that attractive anyway” but that’s a way better response than getting attacked.
I stopped by the library to pick up some holds (new Stephen King, and a Sarah Monette book, because I really loved her short stories.) After I dropped off The Ocean at the End of the Lane (new titles get read first because no renewals! also returned first, because no renewals.) I headed to the self-service holds shelf (they used to have them behind the circ desk, but now they’re on a shelf just to the side of the desk, so you can grab them yourself and go to self checkout if you don’t need to pay fines or renew your card or anything). I passed a guy going the opposite direction, doing up his pants. The bathrooms are downstairs, so assuming that’s why his pants were not done, he walked out of the bathroom door, 6 feet or so to the stairs, and up a 2-part flight of steps with his pants unbuttoned, fly down, and belt undone. When I came around the desk and saw this I looked at his face. He was staring me down until I was passed him. I put the hold shelves between us, just in case.
PSA: Being anywhere in public with your pants undone is inappropriate. Staring strangers down while you do them up in public is crossing the line into threatening.
Now, I was in a place I consider safe, and there were a number of other people nearby (mostly men, and a woman behind the circ desk, plus two women at the info desk nearby in the next room). I could have said something to the man who was staring me down, or asked to see whichever manager was on duty and available right then, or simply said in a loud voice “that makes me uncomfortable, please stop.” These are all things that might have made a difference in the man’s future behavior. They may have made a negative difference, though, and I would have to walk from the library doors to my car alone, feeling unsafe even in broad daylight. It’s sad that I have to choose between my personal safety and the potential of someone else’s personal safety. This is something minorities and women of every stripe have to do every day.
palate cleanser: baby penguin giggles at tickles.