This morning, my problem child*, Raven, horked on the carpet in the foyer and shit on the bathroom floor. He obviously got into the eggnog and partied too much last night. He’s like the teenager I never wished I had, and it’s a good thing he’s so cute because he’s a pain in the ass sometimes. I was grumbling under my breath as I cleaned both up, and of course, he’s acting as if nothing’s wrong. Merry Christmas! What a great way to start off what’s already a trying day. Before I go any further, I want to stress that I am not dissing people who really get into Christmas. I understand that it’s a thing for many people for one reason or the other, and that I’m the weird one for not caring about it. I’m used to being the weird one, but it’s alienating when it seems like the whole world around you is celebrating something you either actively hate or just don’t give a shit about.
Side note: I don’t care about holidays in general, my birthday included. I don’t see the point of putting so much effort into one day. I feel the same way about weddings,** anniversaries, and any Hallmark holidays. Don’t ask what I think about Valentine’s Day unless you want me to get completely apoplectic.
I try to keep most of my distaste to myself because I know my opinion is not popular, and I don’t want to rain on other people’s parades. I just wish that people who love Christmas would at least try to understand why some of us may not find it as merry. For me, it started fairly early. I wrote an op-ed in junior high school about the commercialization of Christmas, and that was, what, thirty years ago? More than that. Good god. Am I really that old? ::checks all the white hairs on head and concludes, yes:: Anyway, it’s only gotten worse since that. I’ve already wrote that post, so I’m going to focus more on how it feels to be an outsider. I like to joke that I’ve been raised by wolves, but it’s not far from the truth. My parents are first-generation Americans, and they didn’t know much about American culture before they moved here.*** As a result, I missed out on a lot of cultural touchstones that other people my age instinctively seem to know.
In addition, things that have mass appeal have rarely been my thing. I know a lot of people**** think I’m a contrarian because I hate tradition and because I’m an asshole. I can definitely be the latter, but I don’t hate tradition, at least not reflexively. Give me a second, and I’m sure I can think of something traditional that I like….Um….well, there’s…how about…damn. I can’t think of anything off the top of my head, but I’m sure I’ll come up with something in a few hours. Continue Reading
I used to be a sports fan, specifically of the Vikings, the Twins, and the Timberwolves*, more tangentially, the Wild!** I’d watch the games and be elated if they won and despondent if they lost. Even so, I’d get over it in a few minutes and go on with my day, so I never was as rabid as fans can be. I rarely went to a game, and I never painted my face in team colors. I didn’t do the wave or chant that we’re number one, and I usually did something else as I watched the game, as is my wont. Over the years, my enthusiasm in sports waned for a variety of reasons, a primary one being the damage that professional sports does to a human body. The news about concussions and the NFL is horrifying, and I can’t in good conscience support a sport that leaves men battered and brain-damaged by the time they retire.
Despite the intro, this post is not about sports–at least not the kind that involves throwing balls around a field.*** This post is about politics and how rooting for a party and sometimes a candidate online feels very similar to rabid fans rooting for their teams. One thing that always amused me about sports fans is how every call against them is bogus and every call for them is legit, but also about goddamn time! It’s not as amusing when it happens in politics because the latter actually matter in the real world, unlike the former. But, just as sports fans can get mired in the minutiae of the rules of their game, so can people who follow politics get hung up on inside bullshit that would leave outsiders scratching their heads.
Side note: I find this to be a problem with the internet in general. It’s too easy to cosset yourself in some niche and then become convinced that you are the norm because everyone around you agrees with you. You could firmly believe that the sun is a puppet of the great overlord, Dragoonish, a Martian with three heads, two noses, and green skin, and you’ll find at least one person who agrees with you on the internet. I’ve ranted about this before, but sometimes, the internet feels like one big echo chamber. Continue Reading
As some of you probably know, I played Dark Souls and beat it, so obviously, I’m an expert on the game. I’ve written several posts about the experience (trawl my archives), some of which are yet to be published. The game is renown for its difficulty, which is well deserved, and I am so stoked for Dark Souls 3, which comes out in April. I haven’t played Dark Souls 2 yet and should, but for some inexplicable reason, they removed the pyromancy class, which is what I rocked throughout the original Dark Souls. I’ve played an hour or two of DS 2, and it just doesn’t have the same feeling to it. I’m going to revisit it again, but not until I finish Skyrim, probably.
I have a love-hate relationship with Dark Souls, but I can’t deny that it’s stuck with me long past the time I finished it. Even though I was just glad to be done with it by the time I beat it, it’s still the game with which I compare every other I play. I’m enjoying the hell out of Skyrim right now, and in part because it reminds me of Dark Souls in some ways. Not in difficulty as the combat is pretty easy so far, but because I’m dual-wielding fire and a battle axe. Or, I was. Now I mix it up, but mostly stick to magick, only switching to actual weapons when I run out of magick.
Anyway, I beat Dark Souls. Let me say that again. I beat Dark Souls. That puts me in an elite class, which means I have the right to tell noobs how to play the game. Hey, I didn’t make the rules, I’m only following them, and according to the Dark Souls forums, if you’ve beaten the game, no one can tell you shit about it. Which, actually, is a perfect metaphor for when people think they’re experts in something in general. Only they know the one true way, and anyone else is full of shit. So, if you have to hate on anything, hate on the fact that this seems to be the accepted protocol that I’ve decided to fully embrace.
I’m joking, obviously, but my desire to write this post was recently reignited as I was watching a YouTuber play Bloodborne. She was cracking on shields and saying how ineffective they are in turtling in Dark Souls. Turtling is when you hold the shield up all the time, and it’s not the best strategy, but it got me through the first half of the game. In fact, it feels weird not to be holding a shield in Skyrim because I always had one in hand in Dark Souls. I eventually learned to keep it down except when I was being directly attacked, but I never gave it up completely, except to beat Super-Biggie, but that’s another post for another day. It’s really with the Biggie & Small fight (Ornstein and Smough) that I started perusing the wikis and realizing that everything I was doing was wrong. Let me count the ways. Continue Reading
For a few decades of my life, I tried my damnedest to make sure that I felt safe because I never had that in my childhood. I shrank my world little by little until I was only leaving the house to go to the grocery store. Occasionally, I would go out with friends, but for the most part, I stuck to my house, feeling much like a doll in a glass cage*. I was very fragile, and I felt as if the slightest negative experience could crush me and/or reinforce my belief that my life was worthless. I sat alone in my glass tower until I was practically ossified. It felt safe, but as my last therapist said, “You can’t shrink your world enough to feel truly safe.” I hated her for saying it at the time, but she was right for two reasons. One, unless I never left my house at all and eschewed online communities completely, I was going to run into something/someone who made me uncomfortable/unhappy/angry/etc. Even if it was just a chance encounter at the grocery store, it could happen. Two, I couldn’t get away from the voices in my head. They were with me 24/7, and they were harsher than any external critic ever could be. The goal became making myself more comfortable in my own skin rather than trying to place myself in a bubble to keep out the negative influences.
It wasn’t easy. I can’t say I’ve succeeded completely or even mostly, but I’ve at least put the bubble away. Unfortunately, the tenor of social media, mostly Twitter, has started to put me back in that bubble because everything has become problematic for one reason or the other. I see liberals yelling on the daily about how other people are not as enlightened as they are or as progressive, and it’s not the usual emo prog suspects who are doing the shouting. The sad part is that they’ve taken a good idea, “Be kind to others” and morphed it into something that is, well, ugly. Be kind to others has become, “Be the way I want you to be which is purportedly for the benefit of others or you’re an evil person.” There’s a saying based on the Bible that I’ve always had issues with. It’s, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” On the surface, it seems like a fine saying. Treat other people the way you want to be treated–what’s wrong with that? What’s wrong is that what makes you feel good isn’t necessarily what makes other people feel good. In romantic relationships, for example, people experience love in different ways. Taking a heteronormative example, a woman feels loved when she’s being listened to or given little gifts randomly. Her boyfriend shows his love by making sure the gas is always filled in her car and fixing any computer issue she has. You can see where there might be problems here.
I think the saying should be, “Do unto others as they would have you do unto them”, which is admittedly not as snappy, but it’s better advice. On the other hand, if you know that someone doesn’t show love in the same way you do, then try to accept the love they do show. My brother and I could not be more different, but I know he loves me because if there is anything broken in my house, he’ll fix it or walk me through it. He built my desktop computer for me, and he’s my go-to for all my computer needs. In return, I listen to his problems and help him with them, which is how I show love. Recently, he’s actually voiced his concerns for me and he asks how I’m doing, which is huge for him. I’m touched that he’s making the effort and impressed that he’s growing as a person. But, I don’t think it would have happened if I harangued him about it rather than just accepting him and appreciating him as he is.
It’s almost mid-December(!), and I’ve decided to take stock of where I am writing-wise. My goal for this month was to publish a blog post a day, and so far, I’ve made that goal. The posts are not as polished as I’d like them to be, but I didn’t want to get caught in the trap of endlessly editing them and letting them languish in my draft folder. So, while the posts aren’t great, I’m pleased that I’m back in the groove of writing one post a day. It gets easier with each post, and I can feel the rust falling off my brain every time I start typing. However, I’m frustrated because one of the reasons I decided to publish a post a day* was because of the reason I stopped blogging in general. That’s a convoluted sentence, but I think you get the gist of what I’m trying to say. In explaining it further, I’m going to have to go own a side road that may take some time, so bear with me.
Twitter has been a boon for many reasons, several of which I wrote about in a prior post. It’s also been a burden, and one of the reasons is because the shoutiest voices are the ones who get the most traction. Even as I’m tying this, there’s an almost physical force in my head squeezing my brain saying, “Don’t write that. Keep it to yourself”, and I phrased it in the most neutral way possible. I used to have that defensive wall around myself all the time, keeping everything in and everyone out. I thought that I was so toxic, I didn’t want to affect everyone around me. I’ve gotten better at letting down my defenses, but Twitter has made me put them right back up again. I see so many people scolding and lecturing on a daily basis about what other people should and shouldn’t think, it’s causing me to pull away from politics** completely and to hunker down back inside myself. I don’t like the terms political correctness and thought police, but I do feel both of them have a germ of truth on liberal Twitter. There are certain trends of thoughts that if you don’t one-hundred percent agree with, you’re considered a traitor. It’s nativism at its worse, and we’re almost as susceptible to it as are conservatives.
In addition, there’s a smug morality to the scolding that doesn’t sit well with me. If someone doesn’t think the way you do, then that person is lesser and worthy of contempt. I’m not saying there isn’t any validity to that as I definitely look down on Donald Trump and his followers*** and think his ideas are contemptible, but I’m seeing it being applied to almost every idea these days, and it’s one reason I don’t use Twitter to express my political beliefs very often any longer. In addition, there’s a piling on mentality that I find distasteful. For example, a celebrity says something that the left deems loathsome. They pile on this person for hours if not days, demanding s/he apologize or get fired. Then, when they’ve dragged this person up and down Twitter, they declare it a job well done and move on to the next poutrage of the day. It’s not even a celebrity, necessarily, it can be anyone who’s hapless enough to get caught in the net. At the same time, these are the same people who decried Martin Bashir getting fired from MSNBC for expressing his views on Sarah Palin. You can’t have it both ways. If you want others to hew to what you deem is correct thought and speech, then others have that same right as well. Me, I don’t believe in getting people fired for their thoughts with some exceptions.**** I hate the recent trend of someone ranting about a barista at their Starbucks doing something questionable and then that barista getting fired because of social media pressure. It feels good in the moment, but it’s ultimately meaningless. I have an analogy I use often that fits this situation. Back when smoking was first banned from public places in Minnesota, you’d see smokers huddling outside the door, miserable in the cold, smoking as the people walking by glared at them and lectured them on the evils of smoking. This, mind you, as there were cars surrounding them belching out exhaust smoke and smokestacks streaming out their effluvia as well. My explanation is that the mass problem (environmental pollution) is so vast, the mind can’t parse how to solve it, so it’s easier to latch on to something concrete and discrete–the individual smoker. You may not be able to stop cars and factories from polluting the air, but by god, you told that smoker off!
I am not a big fan of Christmas, as is well known to the people nearest and dearest to me. I wrote an op-ed when I was in junior high about the crass consumerism of the holiday, and that was thirty years ago. The start to the Christmas season seems to come earlier and earlier, and in a few years, I expect it’ll be Christmas 24/7. If there’s a War on Christmas, we’re losing it, damn it. I saw my first Christmas commercial the day after Halloween, which is actually later than I’ve seen it in past years, and that started my decent into grumpiness.
Look, I was raised Christian, and we did the whole hang your stockings by the fireplace with care bullshit. We had a tree and Santa and all the secular trappings of a religious holiday* that went with it, so it’s not like I’ve been deprived in that area, thus leading me to resentment. I liked Christmas as a child, but who wouldn’t if they knew they were getting a ton of presents on one day? “Remember, kids. (Kids are eating the chocolate eggs.) Jesus died for your sins.” “Yeah, I know. It’s great!” “No, it’s bad. It’s bad!” “It’s bad! It’s very bad. It’s terrible. Whatever you want. I mean, just keep giving me these eggs.”
I love Eddie Izzard and will use any excuse to quote him. This was the perfect situation because his bit about Christmas and Easter is, well, hilarious first of all, but relevant to this discussion as well. Some rabid Christians get so upset when they’re wished a happy holiday as they’re shopping for their Christmas gifts, which is fucking weird to me. You’re doing a completely secular activity, one that Jesus probably wouldn’t have indulged in if he were still alive, and you’re pissy because someone didn’t say ‘Merry Christmas’. Someone please tell me why this is a thing because I just don’t get it.
Well, I do, actually. There are several things at play here. One is the persecution/martyr complex of some American Christians. Even though they are in the overwhelming majority in America (70.6% in 2014, which has actually dropped sharply from 78.4% in 2007, according to the Pew Research Center), they still act as if they’re not. Part of that is because no one wants to think they are part of the oppressive majority, and while it’s not fun being in the oppressed minority, it’s certainly morally preferable.
Another reason is because when your beliefs are the norm, it’s difficult to see how pervasive they are. The fact that we get time off for Christmas is a bias towards Christians. The fact that every fucking presidential speech ends with “God bless America”, also, too. Our pledge of allegiance is biased, as is our money. Christianity is everywhere, but again, it’s taken for granted. So, being forced to hear Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas seems like a big loss. It’s a loss of some sort, but given all the other ways Christianity is reinforced in our culture, it’s but a drop in the bucket. Incidentally, that’s the thing with privilege in general–you don’t often know when you have it, but you feel the loss of it keenly. You still can’t see your other privilege, though, which is why i t feels like you’re being oppressed.
Again, I can’t stress how silly it seems to me to be freaking out over vendors not saying Merry Christmas. If that’s your biggest problem in life, then you have it pretty good.
The third is that if you live in a bubble (FOX “News”, cough cough) that is persistently and aggressively telling you that you’re being oppressed, you’re going to be constantly aggrieved at every little damn thing.If all you’re hearing is how there’s a War on Christmas and everyone you talk with agrees that those damn heathens are trying to take away your Christmas trees, you’re getting your paranoid fantasies reinforced to the point where you’re picking fights over Starbucks not putting snowflakes on their goddamn coffee cups. Here’s Ellen to help out the people who are outraged that they can’t get Christmas with their overpriced Venti lattes.
Again, these people are just looking to be offended, and it’s probably best not to give them any attention, but it’s mind-boggling to me that people actually get worked up over this shit. Yes, I know I just gave several reasons why they have this mentality, but it’s still difficult for me to fathom going in a raving lather over something as asinine as Starbucks making their holiday cups plain red. In addition, everything that businesses do is with an eye towards the bottom line. So, while Starbucks talked about diversity in their statement over this ‘controversy’, I take that with a grain of salt. They must have some metrics that tell them it’s more monetarily beneficial to not have the winter scene than it is to have it. It’s the same with all those queer-friendly products now–it’s not because companies are suddenly the anti-Christ, but because they recognize that we queers are here to stay, and we have a lot of spending power.
The aggrieved Christians say ‘War on Christmas’; I say welcome to the 21st century. As I noted above, thirty percent of Americans are not Christians, so it’s nice for us to be included during the holiday season. Personally, I don’t care if someone wishes me a Merry Christmas, but that’s because I’m inured to it, I think. But, I’m also fine with Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Solstice, or the more generic Happy Holidays. To me, if it’s a sincere greeting, I don’t much care about the actual words. Maybe it’s because I’m a filthy nonbeliever, but it’s all pretty much the same to me. Besides (and this is getting me back to the main point of this post), everything else during this holiday season is centered around Christmas, so why not be gracious on this small point?
The thing I dislike the most about this season, well, there are two, but they are related. The first is the plethora of Christmas commercials exhorting us to buy our friends’ and families’ love. Sure, it’s disguised as, “Doesn’t the person you love deserve the very best?”, but what it comes down to is, “If you want this person to love you, you better buy him/her this car/house/diamond ring.” I remember one car commercial that has a man giving his excited wife a new car, and then someone drives by in a nicer new car with a bow on it and a smug grin on her face, and the original recipient is upset with her new car. Needless to say, the commercial is for the second car, but think about the message it’s sending. It’s not enough to get your loved one a brand new fucking car–it has to be this more expensive car or you’re a piece of shit.
The commercials I hate the most, however, are Christmas-related jewelry commercials. Every time I see one, I want to throw something at my TV. It reinforces every heteronormative stereotype out there. Women are gold-diggers who are only interested in the rocks they can get from men. If you want to get the nookie, you better be ready to put a ring on it. Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but only the expensive ones. The ones that children in South Africa died to obtain. Yeah, those. Every Kiss Begins with Kay? Kay’s a fucking ho! That’s where my mind goes when I see these infuriating commercials. Yes, they’re just commercials, but the message is constant–you have to buy my love with rocks, and the bigger, the better.
Hm. I feel I can understand the ‘War on Christmas’ folks a little better. I get incensed over things other people would find trivial as well, and it’s because of what I think is behind said triviality. So, while I may think their outrage at the ‘War on Christmas’ is stupid (and it is), they also think that they have sound reasons for it. The difference is that I’m right and they’re wrong, of course.
It’s the steady diet of the commercials, too, I only watch TV once a week–on Sundays. Gotta get my weekly intake of football, even though I’m less and less comfortable watching it.** Every other commercial is extolling the virtues of family and friends while pushing you to buy, buy, buy.*** Yes, I know that’s the purpose of commercials, but somehow, it’s more grating when what they are selling is love. There is enough pressure on us to have the perfect holiday without commercials adding the insult of implying that unless we purchase their products, we’re bad children/parents/friends/other relatives.
The general emphasis on doing kind things for your fellow human beings is irritating, too. i think we should treat each other with respect and kindness all-year round. Why cram it into a month at the end of the year? It’s a set-up for failure as well as letting you off the hook for the rest of the year. I know the flip side of the argument is that it doesn’t hurt to urge people to be nicer to each other, even if it’s season-specific, I can understand that, but I just chafe at the artificiality of it, and, it also makes the pressure to have a perfect holiday even worse. Many people have an unrealistic expectation as to how their holiday is going to go. Part of that is based on memories, either idealized ones of their childhood Christmases, making them wanting to replicate said experiences, or terrible ones that makes them want to have the perfect Christmas to erase the negative memories. People tie themselves up in knots thinking that if only they can get everything right for Christmas, life will be wonderful. It’s magical thinking at its most pathetic, and it’s one reason that so many people snap during the holiday season.****
Now. despite all my griping about Christmas and how much I hate the consumerism and false positive messages that are being propagated during the season, I am not dreading the day itself this year. In the past, i hated Christmas almost as much as I hated my birthday. I didn’t have terrible memories of Christmas from my childhood, but somewhere down the line, it started symbolizing everything I hate about our culture. I have listed several of those reasons, and I’ve had a few life experiences that only added to my dislike. A boyfriend broke up with me on a Christmas past, and I made matters worse by watching an Alan Rickman***** ‘comedy’ that in true British fashion, was as much tragedy as it was comedy. It’s called Truly, Deeply, Madly, and I loved it, but it made me sob my face off. On a more recent Christmas, I was in Taiwan on a family vacation that I very much didn’t want to take for several reasons I’m not going to get into right now. I remember standing on the edge of the Taroko Gorge and fighting the urge to jump off. I didn’t, obviously, but it was one more Christmas season memory to add to the negative pile.
Now, however, I don’t have the same struggles I’ve had with my family in the past. I also know myself well enough to have declined another trip to Taiwan this Christmas because I didn’t want a repeat of the last trip. I’m not jumping for joy that Christmas is coming, but I’m not cringing in anticipation, either. I am not celebrating it by choice as I haven’t for years, but for the first time, it doesn’t feel like a lesser position. I am not going to decorate my house or sing Christmas carols****** or give gifts to many people, and I don’t feel defensive about it. I’m not resentful of people who are celebrating, and I sincerely hope that everyone who does has a wonderful time. Me, I’m going to be doing what I do most days–sitting on my ass with my boys (my cats, Raven and Shadow) by my side, writing, surfing, maybe watching some sports, and not getting caught up in the frenzy. I know it doesn’t seem glitzy or glamorous, but it sure sounds good to me.
*Which was grafted over a pagan holiday, but why get into that?
**It reminds me too much of the gladiators with the football players brutalizing each other for our amusement. The concussion issue alone is enough to make me pause, but not quite enough to make me stop watching, unfortunately.
***The other commercials are so pro-NFL, it’s ridiculous. Pro-tip to the NFL: We’re already watching the damn game. You don’t need to give us the hard sell.
****I wrote holiday system first, which fits as well.
*****Because Alan Rickman makes everything better.
******I hate them. They are mostly treacly, gooey messes. There is one exception, and I’ve written a post about it many times over the past several years. I’ll probably do another post on it this year, so I’m not going to tell you what it is right now.
On Black Friday, I watched on Twitter as a shooting at a Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs unfolded real-time, and while I had to leave to go to my taiji class, I knew several things immediately. I knew that the shooter was overwhelmingly likely a man, most likely a white man, that he had mental issues, that he was probably Christian, and that he was rabidly anti-abortion. I also guessed that he probably watched Fox ‘News’ on a daily basis. It’s not because I’m a brilliant profiler, but because this is who commits the majority of mass shootings in America, neatly cross-sectioned with those who are most ardently anti-abortion. In other words, it’s not fucking rocket science. I also predicted that the shooter would be called a loner and that media would not call it terrorism. I tweeted my thoughts on the subject, and then I had to go to taiji–which I sorely needed. The last thing I saw before I left was that the shooter was shouting something about ‘baby parts’ as he shot–which I’ll get into later.
After I returned home from taiji, I checked the news again, and I was right. The shooter was white, male, supposedly Christian, and rabidly anti-abortion. Later, the NYT wrote that acquaintances described him as “a gentle loner who occasionally unleashed violent acts toward neighbors and women he knew.” There was an outcry on social media at the inherent awfulness of that wording, and they quickly took out the word ‘gentle’ from the sentence. From that same Salon link, the NYT later changed the sentence to read that he was an “itinerant loner who left behind a trail of disputes and occasionally violent acts toward neighbors and women he knew”, but the bias to describe white shooters as loners (and in this absurd case, gentle loners who are prone to violence!) in the mainstream media (MSM) is so strong, I was able to call it before it even happened.
My disgust with the refusal to call it terrorism grew as I continued to read reports on the shooting. Let me back up a step. All through the first day, the media and public officials were cautioning people not to jump to conclusions as to the motive of the shooter. What the fuck? It’s clear what the motive was–the man shouted it as he was shooting. “Baby parts” for those fortunate enough not to be in the know, was a key phrase used in conjunction to heavily-edited videos that an anti-abortion group illicitly shot at Planned Parenthood. In it, they appear to be discussing the bartering of fetal tissue with a PP doctor, which somehow morphed into the selling of baby parts in the mind of rabid anti-abortionists. These videos have been debunked, but it matters not in the mind of anti-abortionists. They are not going to let facts change their minds, damn it. Continue Reading
I want to continue with my thoughts from yesterday’s post about my eating disorders, but take this post in a slightly different direction. Several years ago, I became aware of the fat acceptance movement, and I was intrigued. As an aside, I didn’t know that it started back in 1967, and I would agree that a lack of continuity in a movement happens when the current participants are unaware of the history of said movement. If you were to ask me to define the movement, I would say that one of the main tenets is changing society’s bias against fat people while simultaneously becoming internally comfortable with the messages of the movement because it’s just as hard to change one’s own mind, especially when you’re bombarded with messages to the contrary on a daily basis. I would add that less formally, it’s being a cheerleader for fat people. In fact, I thought the name of the movement was the fat positive movement, which is very different than the actual name, which is the basis of this post.
At the time when I discovered this movement, roughly six or seven years ago, I stumbled on a blog that was dedicated to it. On this blog, commenters were not allowed to talk about diets or ways to lose weight at all. The reasoning being that oftentimes, women disguise their body hatred by talking about losing weight in terms of the health benefits. In addition, it’s so culturally acceptable to be constantly dieting, they may not even be aware that their desire to be healthy masks a deeper desire to be not fat. So, even people who talk about how much healthier they feel when they, say, are eating carrots all day long, probably harbor some anti-fat feelings underneath all their healthy talk. Banning all talk about dieting and losing weight circumvents that slippery slope, and I had no problem with it. As the proprietor pointed out, there are plenty of dieting websites if someone wants to brag about how she exists on three stalks of celery a day.
I started having a problem with the emerging rigidity of the blog herd mentality, which was that you should never talk about someone’s weight or looks. Ever. Also, that there are no risks associated with being overweight, no matter how obese the person is. The sizable medical evidence to the contrary was dismissed as just perpetuating the bias. Someone having weight loss surgery was seen as a traitor as, you can probably guess this, the blog didn’t consider any reason to have the surgery as valid.Anyone who tried to argue any of these points was told that she could find other blogs which supported her point of views, which usually caused the person to leave, making the inner circle more and more homogeneous. I became uncomfortable with the ‘think like us or get us’ mentality, so I stopped reading the blog because I felt it was stifling me. Continue Reading
Ed. Note: My thoughts are still jumbled on this. It’s really hard to get past incoherent rage. So, I apologize that this is going to be disjointed. It’s the best I could do.
My reaction in reading the Hobby Lobby decision on Monday: FUCK YOU, SCOTUS, AND THE HOBBY LOBBY HORSE YOU RODE IN ON.* I was pissed off, disgusted, seething, and a whole plethora of other emotions, and I still am. But what I am the most is tired.
I’m tired of being considered a second-class citizen in this country because of my gender. Yes, I can get pregnant and give life, but that doesn’t mean that I should be forced to do so. “The fetus is a person.” Well, no. It’s potential person at best, and given that 10 – 20% of pregnancies end up in miscarriages, it’s easy to refute that truism, even if you can’t convince the person saying it. If it were true that every pregnancy should be brought to term, there would be no miscarriages. There are valid reasons for terminating a pregnancy, even if it’s not because the fetus has a genetic defect. Now, I’m going to say something heretical. Even if I were to concede that a fetus is a life (which, again, I don’t), my rejoinder would be that I am, too. I’m a living, breathing person, and I fucking matter. I matter as much as those cells hypothetically swimming around inside my body; no, I matter MORE. I wrote about this realization after Dr. Tiller’s murder. You can read my thoughts about why I matter here. And, to get even more meta about it, why it matters that I realize I matter.
Going down that road, that’s another thing that makes me tired. These religious extremists are telling me that I don’t matter as much as this potential person does. My hopes, dreams, fears, ambitions, etc., are meaningless to these assholes once I become pregnant. Then, I am nothing more than a vessel for the potential life inside of me. They are saying that anything I want for my life is moot once a sperm happens to hook up with one of my eggs, and I am having none of it. What’s ironic is that they don’t give a shit once the baby is actually born, but another post for another day.
I am tired of the anti-choice successfully dominating the narrative so that pro-choice activists have to apologize for abortion or qualify it. Yes, it’s a terrible horrible awful thing and yes the goal is zero abortions and, and, and….We’ve allowed them to define ‘good’ abortions (or rather, acceptable abortions, i.e., in the case of rape, incest, and to save the life of the mother) versus ‘bad’ abortion (unacceptable abortions, every other abortion). It’s because of this that anti-choicers can argue about the evil Slutty McSluts who are having sex all over the place and then going through the drive-thru of McDonald’s to order up their abortions for the day. Continue Reading