Monthly Archives: June 2013

Whiny Little Bitches? Really?

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Facebook has long been filled with funny photos and jokes and someecards. Some are cute. Some are funny. Some are meant to be funny, but miss the mark a little. Some are only funny if you lean one way or another politically. In my experience, the best way to deal with that last kind is to either like and/or comment, if you agree with it, and ignore it if you don’t. It is not worth your time to start up a flame war on facebook. That said, I recently saw one of these that was beyond just being the opposite of my political views, it was downright offensive. I saw it once in the past, but recently a relative (an in-law, actually) posted it again, and another relative (in-law) “liked” it and commented “That’s funny!”

I can’t help but to be disappointed in the one who posted it, though not surprised, and even more disappointed in the one who commented, since I really expected more from him. Why am I so bothered by this, when my policy is to simply ignore this stuff, you ask? I’ll tell you – no actually, I’ll show you. Here is the offending image:

assholes

I have talked before about gun control, but to recap – I am not anti-gun. I believe in restriction, in background checks (which – if they had been in effect – could have saved countless lives over the years). And yes – I agree with the statement in this post – no one really needs an AR-15.

But you know what? This isn’t about gun control. This is about kindness – or the lack thereof. This is about the poor, poor taste of this image and the people who post it and think it’s funny. You can believe what you want about guns. You can believe that guns of all kinds are OK. You can believe that every man, woman and child should own one. You can believe that immediately upon emerging from the birth canal, that every US citizen should be issued their own AR-15. You can believe that every backyard should have a giant shed filled with WMDs for all I care. You are entitled to those beliefs. I don’t agree with them and I will use my voice and my vote to hopefully keep those things from coming true. I will not fight you – I will fight the laws surrounding this issue. You have the right to your beliefs.

But you also have a responsibility. You have a responsibility as a human being to at least attempt some compassion. This image not only fails at compassion, it’s downright unkind and ugly.  Just as you have the right to believe that AR-15s are just peachy, other people – particularly the victims of violence via AR-15 have the right to not be called “whiny little bitches” for their beliefs. Especially when their beliefs may have prevented an AR-15 from taking the lives of their loved ones.

Gun violence is not a joke, and your treating as such is insulting and small-minded. It belittles the loss of so many. So maybe before you make jokes like this again, you should put a face on the “whiny little bitches.” Here’s a good start. If you still think it’s funny after this, then I’m not mad at you anymore. I’m just sorry for you:

Charlotte Bacon, 6

bacon

Daniel Barden, 7

barden

Rachel D’Avino, 29

davino

Olivia Engel, 6

engel

Josephine Gay, 7

gay

Dylan Hockley, 6

hockley

Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung, 47

hochsprung

Madeleine F. Hsu, 6

hsu

Catherine V. Hubbard, 6

hubbard

Chase Kowalski, 7

kowalski

Nancy Lanza, 52

lanza

Jesse Lewis, 6

lewis

Ana Marquez-Greene, 6

marquez

James Mattioli, 6

mattioli

Grace McDonnell, 7

mcdonnell

Anne Marie Murphy, 52

murphy

Emilie Parker, 6

parker

Jack Pinto, 6

pinto

Noah Pozner, 6

pozner

Caroline Previdi, 6

previdi

Jessica Rekos, 6

rekos

Avielle Richman, 6

richman

Lauren Rousseau, 30

rousseau

Mary Sherlach, 56

sherlach

Victoria Soto, 27

soto

Benjamin Wheeler, 6

wheeler

Allison N. Wyatt, 6

wyatt

Photos from http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2012/12/us/sandy-hook-victims/index.html

We’re Still Blaming the Victim

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Yes – following up on yesterday’s ranty post, I’m ranting again today. Today, let’s talk (again) about victim-blaming.

I recently read a story about a woman who was fired because she had an abusive husband. She worked in a school (religion-based, of course), and her abusive husband showed up one day in the school’s parking lot. So the school fired her and kicked out her kids. Super Christian reaction, right?

Even better, I read another story about a 13 year old girl who was raped and got pregnant. (I know, right? I’m not sure why she didn’t use her magical rape-pregnancy-fighting vagina powers, either!) Anyway, she chose to keep the baby, which you would think would please the small-minded idiots, but nooooo…once again, America proves itself to be as awful as the rest of the world thinks we are, as people in her community have been harassing her, calling her a slut and a whore. Vandalizing her home. Basically making her life a living hell and turning her into a recluse, because she can’t take the abuse every time she leaves the house.

Is it any wonder that so many domestic violence incidents and rapes go unreported? I only know a teeny-tiny bit of what that girl is feeling. When a classmate tried to rape me back in high school, it was stopped because some “friends” walked in. I use those quotation marks around friends, because when they walked in and saw me struggling, him on top of me, pinning me down, and saying “You want it, you want it,” their reaction was to exclaim, “Gina!” as if I were somehow responsible for what was happening. And I was young and stupid enough to allow myself to believe it. That somehow, I was responsible. But I know now that my only crime was being a girl.  That was nearly 30 years ago, and we are still blaming the victim.

And I’ve spent nearly 30 years wishing that someone had told me I was wrong – that it was his fault and not mine. I realized it soon enough on my own, but not before I spent way too long thinking I ruined the prom picnic for my date and my friends (since I got good and drunk to self-medicate and forget after that happened). Luckily, I realized it before he tried it again a couple years later. And again to a friend a few years after that. Each time, the violence escalated from the time before, but luckily, I (and my friend) were strong enough to fight off his attempt (emotionally, of course, but also – given his early onset of pathetic alcoholism – physically). Still, I wonder now how many victims he has left in his wake.

The most troubling thins about all this victim-blaming is that it is deeply rooted in sexism and misogyny. For thousands of years (and in some countries, still today), a woman who has been raped or assaulted was herself punished, rather than her rapist. She could be beaten, forced to marry her attacker, or even killed. And it was perfectly acceptable.

And while in this country, we love to show our moral superiority over stories of things like the so-called “honor killings” in the other countries, our outrage over women and girls who are beaten or mistreated because they dare to be raped, or even possess any sort of sexuality, we aren’t doing much better. We need to get off our high horses and take a good look around. Because, no – we don’t literally stone a rape victim. But what is harassing and threatening her, calling her a slut, spray-painting “whore” on her house, then a figurative stoning? We put her photo all over the internet. We talk at length about what she was wearing. We sympathize with the rapists and their “ruined lives.” The wounds may not be physical, but an emotional beating hurts no less. No – we don’t kill literally a woman or girl who has been raped. But when she takes her own life after experiencing this treatment, her blood is on our hands. We are guilty of causing her death.

We’re surrounded by sexism. Some of it minor – seemingly harmless. But those little “harmless” instances lead to bigger ones. In my last post, I talked about “gateways” and “drawing the line.” Well, this issue is where we need to worry about those.

Because if it’s OK to have “girl” books and toys that are all about being pretty and nice, while “boy” books and toys are geared towards being smart and brave, then pretty soon we’ll have people asking if we’re OK with women being primary breadwinners. When we attack women for being single mothers, while ignoring the men who have left them that way, then pretty soon, we’ll have a bunch of idiots talking about “welfare queens” and forced sterilization. All of these “little things” lead to politicians who use terms like “forcible rape” or “legitimate rape,” who believe that the 32,000 women who get pregnant through rape each year just didn’t know how to turn on their magical vaginas, who believe that pregnancy rape is a gift from God. These “little things” lead to laws which allow rapists to sue for custody of those children. These “little things” lead to lawmakers who refuse to pass laws protecting women from their batterers simply because they don’t believe that all women deserve that protection. That the color of someone’s skin or their sexual orientation somehow renders them less of a victim. These “little things” lead to women being paid far less than their male counterparts for the same work.

So pay attention to these so-called “little things.” Start thinking about them and you’ll see more and more everywhere you look. I was hanging out with my 94-year old grandma the other day and she was watching Family Feud. In the course of one hour, I heard the following questions,

“How tall is too tall for a woman?”

“How many times a day do women look in the mirror?”

“At what age do women give up on finding Mr. Right and settle for Mr. OK?”

I’m still not OK with it.

So many assholes, so little time

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It’s weird, sometimes when I neglect this blog, it’s not because I don’t have anything to talk about. In fact, usually, when I have a lot to say is when I don’t say it – particularly when I am all riled up about some assholery. I get mad and then I get all furiously tongue-tied and I end up not writing anything. This past week, so many assholes made me mad that I don’t even know where to start. I have quite a few things to rant about, and dammit, I am going to rant. So today, let’s talk about one of those things, why don’t we?

I saw an article about another celebrity (or that’s what they tell me – he’s an MMA fighter, which – to me – is like saying, he’s very famous, he makes shoelaces in the basement of a wrench factory”). Anyway, this guy was talking about gay marriage, and while he proclaimed to support gay marriage (or at least not care about who wanted to marry whom), he went on to bring u the old “where do you draw the line?” argument. He said:

I’m only asking a question. My next question is, should siblings be allowed to marry siblings? My point is, where do you draw the line? I personally don’t care who you marry but I also am smart enough to know that it opens a gateway to men/women trying to marry young kids, siblings marrying each other and people having multiple husbands and wives. You have to think all of these things are okay otherwise your stopping them from being happy as well which is hypocrisy. Equality doesn’t stop with gay marriage, it just starts with it… my question to you is, why is it okay for gays to marry and your gonna turn around and tell the guy he can’t marry the lil girl next door or the teacher she cant marry the lil boy in her class? Siblings, animals, etc.

Sadly, he’s not the first with this mentality. Jeremy Irons said pretty much the same thing in a recent interview. And you can hear lots of random idiots spewing the same “logic.” It’s the “gateway drug” argument that our parents and teachers used on us when we were growing up: “Don’t smoke pot. It’s not dangerous and it won’t hurt you, but it’s a gateway drug. Get high even once, and you’re doomed to be smoking crack & snorting Drano within weeks! REEFER MADNESS!”

OK, so maybe it’s not exactly the same, but it’s the same premise. And, it’s worse, if you ask me. The gateway drug argument does have some merit. But the “gateway sin” argument, as I’ve come to think of it, is total bullshit. “What’s next? Marrying parents & sibling?” No – that’s called incest. “What’s next? Marrying your dog?” Um…how sick are you to even think of that shit? “What’s next? Polygamy?” Maybe. Who cares? Consenting adult humans can make their own choices about marriage. If I don’t want to be polygamous, I won’t (though I could use some sister-wives – this house is a mess).

To anyone who feels uses this “gateway sin/where do you draw the line” argument to hide your bigotry: STOP IT! Just stop with all the pretending that you’re only worried about all the innocent children and dogs of the world. We can see right through you. All of you who equate homosexuality with pedophilia. Those who ask “where do you draw the line?” I’ll tell you where you draw the line: At child molestation and bestiality!

See? That wasn’t hard now, was it? Any idiot with a brain and a smidgen of compassion should be able to see it, but still you keep going straight from gay marriage to dog-fucking. CUT IT OUT!

John Stewart said it best:

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-april-3-2013/red-brand-redemption