textualdeviance: (Whole Lotta WTF)
There are a ton of thoughts swirling around in my brain right now about how powerlessness/passivity has become acceptable shorthand for female sexuality, and indeed womanhood itself. But I'd probably piss people off if I tried to write it all out right now while I'm tired.

Short version, though (frank talk ahoy--shy folks look away now):

A) Merely posessing a vagina does not mean your entire sexuality revolves around finding something to put in it. Conversely, merely posessing a penis doesn't mean your entire sexuality revolves around finding a hole to stick it in.

B) Merely enjoying being on the receiving end of penetrative sex does not constitute being sexually or socially passive. (And the converse.)

C) Merely identifying as female doesn't mean your sexuality revolves around penetration or passivity. (And the converse.)

D) Merely enjoying being sexually passive doesn't mean you want to be passive in the rest of your life.

E) Merely enjoying being sexually passive with certain people doesn't mean you want to be put on display for strangers like some prize heifer.

F) Therefore, any assumption that any given female-identified and/or vagina-posessing person should be open to sexual advances from strangers is inherently sexist. And bullshit.

There are, of course, millions of women who do harbor the fantasy of being taken by a dashing, muscle-bound rogue. Some even enjoy being actually submissive, when they're with a partner/in an environment they trust. But none of that means that a given woman should be assumed to want that, and approached thusly. Fantasy, or the exercise thereof in controlled environments, has fuckall to do with how people want to interact with strangers in the real world.

Also--this is the controversial part--women who do enjoy being sexually or socially passive shouldn't imply (or outright state; I've seen this) that the way they like to do sex and socialization is somehow the most authentic expression of female sexuality, or indeed of femaleness in itself. Just because we code sexual passivity or penetration-receptiveness as feminine doesn't mean that's what those things actually are.

In short: You are not your genitals, neither am I, and neither of us should be defining our sexuality, much less our gender identity or the rest of who we are, by how we like to put those bits to use.
textualdeviance: (Default)
This piece about unflattering photos feels especially relevant to me today, as I'm sorting through vacay pix to find some I feel comfortable posting.

As is the case with most of our travel pics, I'm behind the camera, and 90% of the photos are of landscapes, buildings, etc., with M in a few of them. The majority of our travel photosets don't have me in them at all. It's almost like I wasn't even there, since there's no telling who was wielding the camera. There are plenty of pics of me on Flickr, but most are carefully edited and chosen shots I did myself. No candids. No photos of me actually doing something or being somewhere. And almost none of them are fully public--friends/family only. I avoid being photographed so much it's like I'm attempting to erase myself from my own life.

When I bought photo shoot tickets for Collectormania, I did so because I wasn't sure whether there would be a proper chance for an autograph or any other one-on-one contact with the folks in question, not because I actually wanted a photo of myself with them. They're so beautiful that it seemed like putting me in the pic with them would be somehow blasphemous. I got the photo anyway, largely because I promised someone I'd do a photo shout-out for her. The pic of me is decent, as that goes, but I still don't want to scan it in, because the contrast of how gorgeous they are with ... well ... me ... is just so stark.

As the person in the link above noted, though: I look like that. Flattering or no, and allowances for the odd physics of 2D stills considered, those images of me are more or less what people see when they see me in person. I've not yet become a complete hermit (though I seem to be aiming that way) so other people do see my physical existence regularly. But that's not really by choice. Who I am as a person is so detached from my concept of what I physically look like that they're entirely incongruous to me. Given the choice, I'd rather present myself in a way that reflects who I am, rather than what I look like.

But, some might argue, aren't those the same thing? Isn't what I look like part of who I am? Well, insomuch as it's influenced how I've developed as a person, yes. But that's not necessarily a good thing. My physical self has earned me so much horrific abuse that all I've built from it is a crapload of internal scar tissue. My desire, therefore, to ignore it as much as possible should be understandable. And when I tell people who try to encourage me to live in my own skin, and be more present physically to fuck the hell off, they need to understand why I say that. Only people who are chronically clueless or have been blessed enough by the genetic fairy that they don't get abused by strangers for how they look would think there's merit in that. You may as well tell someone with terrible allergies that they should get out and smell the flowers in spring.

I'm an odd duck: a vaguely post-modern realist. As I've argued about other things before, I recognize cultural and social constructs for what they are--malleable, changeable and in no way biologically essential--but I also acknowledge that just because a thing is built by humans rather than naturally grown doesn't mean it doesn't exist. A building is entirely a human construction, and just as it has been assembled where it is, so can it be dismantled. Yet it's still a very real thing, it still affects its environment, and it still changes, in ways both large and small, the people who encounter it.

The social constructs we have around gender and physical appearance aren't inherent and unchangeable, no matter how much quack evolutionary psychologists may like to argue otherwise. But that doesn't mean they don't exist, or that they don't have the power to do harm. Much as a well-meaning parent might try to teach a child that beauty is only skin-deep, and looks don't matter, and it's what's inside that counts, the reality of life in a gender-stratified environment in which appearance is commodified means that yes, looks DO matter, especially for girls and women. They shouldn't matter, and children should of course learn not to judge people on things over which they have no control, appearance among them, but they also should learn that other people WILL make those judgments. And that those judgments can, in some cases, do some fairly serious damage. If you want your kid to come out without too much of that damage, you help them learn how to avoid it. It's just like teaching a kid about crime. You teach them not to steal, and that stealing is a bad thing, but you also teach them to lock up their valuables, because other people steal whether they're supposed to or not. No, I don't want my kid living under a cloud of paranoia, and the onus of responsibility for abuse lies with the abuser, but I also have a responsibility to keep my kid safe as much as possible--and that includes teaching them how to avoid becoming a target for the world's awful people.

So, this is why I don't make many pics of myself public. I know my looks don't define who I am, but I also know other people will define me that way, and that most of the people who do will judge me a lesser creature, and someone worthy of torment, because of them. Anyone worth my time, energy and affection won't abuse me that way, of course, but as I can't live life surrounded entirely by only those people, I still have to make adjustments to avoid the jerks who will. I don't personally think that being fat or having an unattractive face makes me a bad person. I think I'm a very good person, in fact. But I'm not stupid. I know other people do think that, and that if they're given enough of an opportunity, they'll do anything they can to make my life miserable. It's a form of closeting, of course, but it's an essential one. Just as I wouldn't be stupid enough to out myself as queer in a rural town full of violence-prone holy rollers, neither am I going to go pasting my picture everywhere that the attack dogs of the intarweebs are going to see it. I've already been the victim of some pretty hardcore bullying, both online and off. Why on earth would I voluntarily open myself up to more of that? If other people want to martyr themselves like that, fair enough. I'm not going to be happy about pressure to do so myself.

So, no. I'm not going to post vacation pics of myself in public spaces, and when someone does post an unflattering pic of me, I'll ask them to untag it or otherwise make it less obvious who the person in the pic is. People who know me already will know my face, and know that's me. Strangers don't need to connect that face with my name, because far too many of them will use that knowledge to hurt me. I've been hurt enough already. Sue me if I'm trying to avoid suffering any more.
textualdeviance: (Babies R Us)
(Fair warning that I probably won't respond to comments--not up for a debate. Just need a rant.)

So ... that Time cover, with the breastfeeding toddler? Ugh. Ugh in itself, yes, but also ugh for the shitstorm it launched (as they knew it would--way to up circulation numbers in a declining market, folks!)

This is one of the reasons I'm dreading becoming a parent--especially an adoptive parent who won't be breastfeeding, and who will be working at least part of the time while her kid is still pretty young. The Natural Parenting!!! Brigade is downright viral at this point, and it's virtually impossible to avoid them. Breastfeeding is the most visible of their wars, but they're all over everything related to kids, from conception to birth to grandparenting. According to them, if you're not a biological mother physically attached to your kid from (at least) birth to kindergarten, you're a Bad Person.

Which, of course, is bullshit. Bigoted against fathers, adoptive parents, same-sex parents and mothers who have no choice but to work, yes, but also bullshit, too. Yes, there are some benefits to breastfeeding, baby wearing, etc. ad infinitum, but they have yet to produce any reliable, peer-reviewed studies saying kids who aren't constantly attended like this are suffering.

And in fact, looking at the college-age kids who were raised like this 20 years ago, a lot of them ARE suffering. They're so used to having mom (and occasionally dad) holding their hand 24/7 that they don't know how to do anything on their own. They don't know how to find information on their own, they don't know how to get a job or do their own schoolwork or pay their own bills or do their own taxes. They sometimes don't even know how to travel around their own city. When I did my recent college thing, I was absolutely astonished at the number of kids there who didn't even know how to do basic research, and whose attitude toward education was that it was just a piece of paper so they could get a job outside of the service industry. They're so pampered that they're actually offended by the idea that they should expend any of their own effort to get something they want: they're plagiarists, pirates, etc., and actually get upset when told that no, you have to work for that, and don't get to crib off of someone else's work. (And don't get me started on the ones who think that people who worked hard to get an education don't deserve more respect--including more respect for their opinions. Yes, kiddo, that dude with the geology doctorate DOES know more than you or your high-school dropout Aunt Sadie about carbon dating. STFU.)

I shudder to think that these kids might someday be running the country (or, as is more likely, that my own generation and the one before it are going to be stuck wiping their asses when we should be retired, because they're incapable of taking on the responsibility.)

The entire goal of parenting is to produce a healthy, sane, self-sufficient adult. Yes, that means being there for your infant when she needs you, but it also means teaching your little bird how to fly on her own. If you're not letting her fall sometimes, and learn how to pick herself up and start over again, you're not doing your job. Absolutely, you need to protect her from serious harm, and if you're too busy fucking off on your own whims to notice when your kid really does need you, you're not doing your duty. Parents who ignore their kids or let them come to major harm under the idea that they're "toughening them up" make me want to scream. But if you're playing human hamster ball for your kid, trying to ensure that she never even skins a knee, you're doing her a grave disservice. Your job as a parent is to teach your kid to fish, not just hand her a rod and expect her to know how, and not just give her fish so she never needs to learn.

Some of the problem here, of course, comes down to essentialist feminism. It's one of the few areas in which hardcore religion and hardcore hippies come together: the idea that a woman's natural purpose is birthing and raising children. Women raised to believe this also come to believe that being a mother is the core of their identity, and when they start sensing that their kid doesn't need them as much anymore, they panic, and start getting clingy. Some of them react by having another kid--making sure they have a dependent babe in arms as soon as the older one is walking and talking. Some of them react by trying to keep their kids as dependent as possible for as long as possible.

And no, this is not good for the kids, no matter how they try to spin it. More than anything else, kids need stable, adult role models in their lives. They need to see examples of people who are self-sufficient, fully formed people. If your entire life and identity is centered around them, and you have nothing else, then they're not learning that. (Not to mention that you're also setting yourself up for a serious crisis should you ever lose your source of financial support. If the only thing you know how to do is raise babies, you're completely screwed if your meal ticket goes away.)

One of the other things that irritates me about their justification for this is their citation of the practices of "traditional cultures." OK, 1. Cultural appropriation sucks, and 2. You don't live in that culture. You're not training your kid to hunt and gather. You're supposed to be training your kid to do the modern, urban equivalent of that. Kids in traditional cultures virtually never go far from their families/tribes of origin because they don't need to. Kids in the modern first world aren't going to have their families within reach every time they need something. If you want your kid to eventually have her own job and apartment and to pay her own bills, then she needs to start by learning how to walk and talk and feed herself on her own.

As we've been preparing for the adoption, I've run across some pressure to adopt special needs kids or ones who have other challenges. I've been told that if I'm not willing to raise a kid who needs constant attention for years on end, then I shouldn't be a parent at all. I've even been told that because I eventually want to kick my kid out of the nest in 20 years, that I'm probably not suited to be a parent. And that's just ... mind-boggling. Martyrdom through parenthood is NOT a noble, morally superior thing, and wanting to be a separate person in addition to being a parent doesn't mean there's something wrong with you. On the contrary: it means you're mentally healthy. Living your entire life through your kid? Yeah ... not so much.

Right now, I'm watching my mother-in-law slowly dying because she sacrificed her own health for the sake of getting pregnant 10 times, and raising a bunch of kids. I've watched that family suffer because she had no job skills and didn't work and therefore can't get social security and had no health insurance of her own. I've watched HER suffer because she bought in to her religion's insistence that she submit to her husband's decisions, and therefore didn't know how to cope when he turned into a raging tyrant. I'll be damned if I'd even consider ruining my life--and my KID'S life--by doing that shit.

So, no: I would never have done natural childbirth, because it would've put my health and safety at risk. I won't be breastfeeding (even though it can be induced), because I'd have to go off critical meds to do it. I won't be co-sleeping, because there's a high risk of smothering my kid, and because I want to actually have sex with my husband in that bed. I won't be baby-wearing all the time because my kid needs to have some time on her own to do her own thing--and so do I. I may at some point use the services of a nanny or au pair because I have somewhat limited energy, and it's not fair to my kid to be cared for by a zombie, plus there will likely be times I'm working from home, and need someone to mind her so I can focus. I will be--gasp!--leaving my kid with a sitter sometimes so we can go out to nice restaurants and R-rated movies and other places where squalling little ones don't belong.

Of COURSE I'll be feeding her and loving her and being there for her when she's scared or confused or just needs to cuddle. So will M--hi, she'll have another parent! He counts, too! I'll even be staying at home for the first 6-12 months, when she needs that kind of constant attention. But I won't be living my entire life as if my kid is the only thing in it. I want my kid to eventually have her own life that doesn't center around being a baby machine. I'll be damned if she's going to see her mom do that.
textualdeviance: (WTF Tasty Bite)
So, I wrote this thing about fanworks over on my quasi-pro blog, and got a response from someone who's apparently a big Fanfic is Legit!!! crusader.

Oh, dear.

Her attitude, going by the LJ post she linked to, is emblematic of a huge problem I see among some fanworks creators (primarily fic writers, but I've seen it in other media): the notion that they're somehow on a creative par with people who create original works largely from scratch.

Ehm. No.

(Good) fanfic takes effort, of course (hi, may I show you all ~200,000 words of fic I've written?) but it's simply not the same thing as creating original characters and worlds from scratch, and it's also not even the same thing as creating a truly derivative work (as I explained in my comment, one that strips down a story to its component parts, and reassembles it into something largely new.)

There is, of course, virtually nothing out there that's wholly original. Most plots are variations on the hero's journey or boy-meets-girl, and most settings and characters can be boiled down to a handful of archetypes. Yet, there's still quite a lot of work that goes into world- and character-building when creating a new piece, even if you're using an existing template. If you're skipping over that step, and using worlds and characters someone else made as-is, you're simply not putting in the same amount of effort as someone who has--and you do NOT deserve the same amount of credit, creative respect or--FSM forbid--pay.

People, not plots )

Now, of course I'm not saying there's something wrong with fanfic or the people who write it. The vast majority of fic writers and readers are perfectly awesome people, and I'd have to hate myself if that were not the case. I'm also not saying that people who write fic are inherently bad writers. On the contrary, some are incredibly good at what they do, and many have also gone on to create some great original works. But fic itself simply doesn't take the same amount of skill and effort as creating a work with original characters and worlds, and therefore those works simply don't deserve the same amount of creative respect as ones that do. Yes, a 50,000-word fic takes effort, but it's just not the same as creating a 50,000-word novel from scratch, so don't expect the same kudos, yeah?

Fanworks serve a wonderful purpose in helping fans to immerse themselves further in a world they love. It's audience participation in its purest form. But it's important for us to remember that that's what our role is: audience. We are there to experience something that someone else made, and we create and consume fanworks as a way of experiencing that on a closer, more intimate level. We make what we do as tribute to the people whose work we love, not as a way to get attention or to make ourselves seem important to other fans. Those who spend much of their fanworks time worrying about feedback or arguing that they're making Art! are missing the point.
textualdeviance: (Default)
I really wish I could get rid of the Mean Girls who live inside my head. Problem is, there are just enough of them out there in the real world, and they are just rotten enough, that it takes a few dozen nice people to bandage every wound they've ever left me with, and that's left me incredibly gunshy of doing anything that might put me in their sights.

There are a lot of reasons why I often stop just short of true success in one area or another: getting bored, distracted with other stuff, not wanting to commit myself 100% to just one thing, etc. But probably the biggest one is that I'm desperately terrified of tall poppy syndrome. The higher I rise up a given ladder of success, the more salient I am. And the more salient I am, the more of a juicy target I make for people who consider any successful woman fair game for abuse.

Pardon the ego for a moment, but this isn't a matter of lack of confidence in my own skill. I know I'm good at what I do. Not world-class, and I'm always trying to improve, but I know I'm a better writer and singer than a significant percentage of people who already do those things professionally. Problem is that I'm not quite good enough to make it past the initial gauntlet of bile one has to pass through in order to start getting those paychecks, and I don't have any other advantages helping me along. Someone who is utterly mindblowing at this stuff can blast right through the first layer of hate and quickly earn herself enough of a posse to fend off the dogs (see: Adele.) And someone who already has other advantages, from a trust fund, to connections, to a pretty face, to being the pride and joy of a small town, can survive the onslaught long enough to get a toehold.

Me, though? I'm basically an army of one, and if I go riding out on the battlefield, proudly waving my banner around, I'm going to be an arrow-filled pincushion in about 10 seconds. I don't have the thermonuclear device of talent to strike fear in the hearts of the orcs, and I don't have shiny armor or a well-armed cavalry surrounding me, either.

If I wasn't so emotionally invested in my passions, I'd probably take the risk anyway. Truly, there's very little even the most determined orc can do to me at this point in my life to make things genuinely awful for me. They'd have to resort to actual criminal behavior to do that. But I have such dread of the idea of my work being torn to bits, even by people utterly unqualified to do so, who are motivated only by jealousy or a fear of competition, that I'm just not yet comfortable throwing it out there for them to piss on.

Obviously, there are some things I do put out there, but the confidence that leads me to do so--quality and knowing there's already a (small) army of support within that field--is what allows that. I can post fanfic and vids, and know that most people who are interested in the subject matter to begin with are probably going to like my stuff, and that anyone who doesn't is going to be in the minority. Likewise, I can do a bit of solo singing here and there, knowing that I'm generally supported by the rest of the group and a positively-predispositioned audience.

But I have no such reassurance for the other stuff, yet. I don't know for sure that higher-level music or writing folks are going to approve of my stuff. And because I've seen how easy it is for the snark brigade to lay waste to someone's work, I'm just not yet ready to go primetime with it. Maybe soon. I hope. I can see the light at the end of that tunnel, I think.

I just wish this fear didn't get in the way of me doing the work in the first place that will get me there. Getting past the voices of the mental mean girls to just sit down and write something, or hammer on sight-singing or vocalise work is a chore, and I wish it wasn't.
Oct. 12th, 2011 05:48 pm


textualdeviance: (Whole Lotta WTF)
For the rest of the day, I, Texty, pledge to pretend that selfish, ignorant, hateful bigots don't exist, in order to prevent my head from exploding, and to keep from spamming a poor friend's FB with a righteous smackdown of a complete tool who's commenting on one of her posts.

So say we all.
textualdeviance: (Whole Lotta WTF)
I am not "threatened" by your femininity. I simply find it irritating that you not only feel you need to adhere to your culture's prescription for rigid gender roles and presentation, but that other women are required to do this, too.

No love,
That tomboy who dresses "unattractively"

Seriously? I fucking hate women who reinforce sexism, especially if they're doing it with the excuse of A) Essentialist bullshit about how this is how women "naturally" are, and by denying our "true" femininity, we're being sexist ourselves and/or B) Going off about how true feminism means not only respecting her "choice" to tart up/be a domestic doormat, but going along with her plan to require the same of every other woman (or at least create an army of femme peer pressure to encourage it.)

Just because I'm not interested in looking/acting like Barbie or June Cleaver does not mean I'm a traitor to my gender, asshat. Modern Western ideals of femininity have jack shit to do with what we actually are as human beings. Instead, they have a lot more to do with cultural conditioning to make us (and men) believe that we're naturally best suited to be mindless spooge receptacles and/or baby machines. No, of course there's nothing wrong with sex or parenthood, but presenting those things as if they're inherently feminine or somehow essential elements of the life of anyone who has a vagina? Is bullshit. Knock it the fuck off.
textualdeviance: (Matt Raptor Jesus)
The clinic finally mailed me the results from last Thursday's test. I DID have an infection, TYVFM.

So glad the ladybits doc is 1,000% better than that asshat was. If I had to face that kind of sneering condescension from someone wishing to poke around on my hoochie, I'd probably have committed a felony by now.

Speaking of said ladybits doc: They scheduled another appointment for me for tomorrow to talk to me about the results of all of yesterday's tests. I suspect that visit will also involve a repeat of the ZOMFG test, though. I will, however, be hopped up on vicodin this time. Yay for M being back home and driving me there.

Had a rather nasty day back at work. Have had two doses of the industrial-strength hormones, but they haven't kicked in, yet. So, I'm still wracked with pain and queasiness, and have a bonus headache, too. Finally started feeling a teensy bit better late this afternoon, but I'm still about to go pass out for a while.

I'll eventually post about something other than my fucked-up health. Promise.
textualdeviance: (Beardy Connor Not Amused)
Dear healthcare professional:

If a patient comes to you with symptoms of a potentially worrisome infection (fever + lethargy + pain in alarming places), being condescending about it means you're an asshole.

I didn't come in because I hoped I had the infection, but because I wanted to rule it out. Oh, and BTW? You didn't actually do that. You just blew me off because you assumed a fat chick who used actual medical terminology was probably an attention whore making shit up.

Fortunately for my health, I'm also stubborn bitch, and made you give me antibiotics anyway.

Oh, and the dig about my blood pressure? Totally uncalled for, jackhole. Yes, my blood pressure is a bit high today. I'm in fucking pain. If you'd like, I can send you 20 gigs of pics of my (basically normal) at-home readings.

Y'know, it's almost like some doctors get angry at me for being fat and yet not about to drop dead. It's like they can't deal with the cognitive dissonance, and so want me out of their offices as soon as humanly possible, rather than taking the time to fix the totally-not-fat-related problem I came in with.
Oct. 31st, 2010 02:48 pm


textualdeviance: (*headdesk*)
This? Pisses me off like you wouldn't believe.

But what's pissing me off the most is the apologists for it, especially the ones who think it's "conservative" to complain about sexualizing a child.

Uhm. No. The problem here is not the sex itself. The problem is in taking away the child's choice about when and how to develop her own sexuality--a choice her brain won't be capable of understanding until she's a lot older.

I don't care if your six year old wants to dress up like a stripper. She probably also wants to live at Disneyland, grow fairy wings and devour her entire trick-or-treat haul in one sitting. She wants those things because she doesn't understand the potential pitfalls and consequences involved, because her brain isn't developed enough to do so. Little kids think Santa exists. They're not going to be able to understand the extreme complexity involved in adult-level sexual relationships. Hell, some adults struggle with this. There's no way a little kid can figure it out well enough to keep herself physically and emotionally safe.

I really wish every last one of the parents who see nothing wrong with doing this would take a step back and ask themselves: If you don't mind your daughter dressing like that, why aren't you also dressing your son like a go-go boy? If you're horrified at the idea of dressing boys in a costume that screams "sex" then why the blithering hell would you do that to girls? (Of course, there are other sexist issues here, too.*)

Yes, of course little kids are curious about sex and even have rudimentary levels of their own sexuality, but the point is that they don't fully understand it any more than they understand the complexity of driving, or drinking booze or differences between political candidates. Which, of course, is why we restrict those things to people who are older.

Sexually objectifying your child before she's old enough to make the choice to do that to herself is pretty much asking for several years of misery and therapy down the road when she's trying to navigate adult relationships. Why anyone would want to put their kid through that is beyond me.

* )
textualdeviance: (*headdesk*)
This is one of those weird little quasi-Aspie things of mine, so I'm soliciting feedback from people with more social skills.

When faced with a stranger or casual acquaintance who is behaving badly (not necessarily overtly hurtful, just rude or w'ev) do you:

1. Confront the person publicly
2. Confront the person privately
3. Complain about it to someone else, and hope the message gets back
4. Say absolutely nothing at all

What I'm doing clearly isn't working )

And therein lies the dilemma: How do you keep brats like that from pissing all over everyone else without making things worse? Obviously in many of these cases, there's a larger problem of entitlement that random strangers can't address at all, but I also don't think it's right to just let someone be a total ass and not call them on it in some way. IMHO, that's how these brats get that way in the first place--their parents/teachers never gave them any limitations, so they learned they could do whatever they wanted.

It's hard to teach consideration for others to anyone over the age of 10, but someone's got to do it. I'm more or less brave enough to do so, but I really need to find more effective techniques, because what I'm doing now keeps backfiring.
textualdeviance: (bi slut)
This broke my heart--even just the first page of it.

It's really sad how common this stupid dance is--for everyone: Male, female, straight or no.

Most of the reason that people (women, especially) are so subtle about such propositioning is because they're either a) afraid people are going to think they're a slutty sex maniac or b) don't want to risk a painful direct rejection.

Granted that very few people, except in very limited circumstances, really are going to respond favorably to a direct proposition, especially by a stranger or someone they don't know well. It is kind of rude to just walk up to someone and say, "Nice Boots. Wanna fuck?" But beyond that, it's a damned shame that so many people are so shy about this.

The problem, however, is that most people DO have a reason to be shy about it: Assholes who think that rejecting people in a cruel way is even remotely acceptable. All it takes is one or two of these harsh shutdowns and just about anyone is going to think twice the next time they want to either drop hints or pick some up.

Really, how hard is it to just say, "I'm flattered, but I don't see you that way?" (Or something to that effect.) Is it really necessary to be a total ass about it and make horribly disparaging comments about what gall someone must have to think you might want do the horizontal hula? Unless you really ARE being propositioned in a rude way in inappropriate circumstances, there's absolutely no call to be a dick about it.

Obviously, I'm speaking from personal experience, and as someone who knows very well that she's not attractive to most people and therefore doesn't bother even dropping hints unless she knows for sure they're welcome. But even people who are a hell of a lot more conventionally attractive than me have had these experiences, and therefore get insecure, and are terrified that the person they like is going to tell them that they're a horrible troll who shouldn't even be thinking about sex, much less asking other people if they're interested in having it.

So the endless dance continues. People are afraid of asking--even in a polite, non-creepy way--for what they want, so they try to be subtle about it. And then that subtlety makes the object of the request unsure of what they're being asked, and therefore afraid to pick up on it. End result: No one gets laid. Which is sad and pathetic and stupid.
textualdeviance: (Default)
Now one of them is flailing around so much that he's now claiming that breasts and vaginas are some sort of handicap or something that prevent women from being able to physically compete against men.

Uh, what?

Last I checked, men were the ones with delicate external genitals that are at grave risk of injury if not properly protected. So why shouldn't we be preventing men from competing in physically demanding sports, so as to keep them from potentially injuring their precious jewels? Why, if we don't protect the testicles, we won't be able to continue the species! We'll all die out! So we'd best lock up the menz so they don't lose a single swimmer.

Also? Most women will at some point in their lives give birth and nurse their children. They will do the physical equivalent of passing a cantaloupe through a garden hose and will willingly stick their boobs in a mouth with sharp little teeth and powerful jaws. Most also lose several ounces of blood every month for ~30 years of their lives, work many more hours per week than men (counting domestic labor) and get less sleep. And yet? We survive this. And we live longer, too.

We're not exactly made of glass. However, a single accidental elbow to a man's groin? He collapses and cries. So tell me again: Who's more qualified to play rough?

Truth be told, I think most of the resistance to women competing against men is because they KNOW women of equivalent size and strength are going to be tougher, and they're absolutely terrified of getting their asses kicked by a girl.

Also, But, but... If I'm not allowed disproportionate power, that means I'm being PERSECUTED OMG )

Poor babies. Must be so terrifying to go from having 90% of the power in the world down to 70%. Only in the twisted little heads of the entitled would a request for equal opportunity be seen as a demand to bow and scrape. They're honestly just spoiled children who think that being asked to occasionally share a favorite toy is armed robbery. It would be hilarious to watch them throw these tantrums if they weren't causing so much real harm to the people they keep insisting they should be allowed to oppress.
textualdeviance: (ASLWTF)
Y'know, I'd be far less depressed about the people who think I don't deserve health care because I'm fat if it weren't for the fact that some of those people are supposedly fellow progressives.

But ah, how quickly I forget that having a systemic endocrine disorder (among other lovely things) means I'm definitely a lazy, resource-guzzling capitalist pig whose mere existence is causing global warming and stealing food from the mouths of starving children.
textualdeviance: (Uprooting)
This saga with Chez Fou? Still not over. Now the new owner is bringing up lawyers because Home Depot's subcontractor says they don't see a problem with the work they did and blah blah blah.

Dude. You signed off on the inspection. You signed off on the house. The warranty for the repair has been transferred to you. Welcome to home ownership. We are not your landlord, and therefore it's your freaking problem. Are you going to call us again in six months when something else breaks?

I feel the most sorry for our agent, who has been a beacon of patience and sanity in all of this.
textualdeviance: (Uprooting)
Perhaps the only more group of douchebags more annoying than Mac evangelists are evangelists for modern and minimalist design.

Every last one of them is an insufferable prig who doesn't want to admit to the existence of their naked emperor, which is the fact that modern design is utterly useless for the messy and chaotic realities of day-to-day living, and is thus pointless in domestic architecture and housewares.

The only thing I can think is that the people who can have a life in these sterile, cold surroundings have no children and no pets and subsist on a diet of Pelligrino and smugness.

Fortunately, I live in the Northwest, where we generally point and laugh at people who insist on trying to educate us unsophisticated hippies about the supposed superiority of spending $3.5 million for a structure that looks more or less like the cardboard box that a real house is supposed to come in. Nothing wrong with having a nice, big house if you have the cash and want it, but if you're trying to impress people around here with your glass-and-steel "distillation of form," you're not going to get very far.

Seriously--I think the whole modernist movement is really just one colossal practical joke, set up by its progenitors to see how far they can pull the wool over the eyes of the desperately pretentious and wealthy clueless. It's like the design version of Scientology or something.

Also, someone's trying to convince me that Craftsman is going to go out of style here. AHAHAHAHAHAHAH. Yes, darling, that would be why you just NEVER see Spanish Colonial in the Southwest or Cape Cod in New England, or neo-Victorian in Northern California anymore... *koff*
textualdeviance: (ASLWTF)
And this wasn't even on IMDB or YouTube comments:

wat is the diffrence between macs and pcs? and wat about dells?

sorry i dont have the y chromosome.

Chromosomes are the least of your problems, dearie.
textualdeviance: (Bridal Illusions)
Yes, this is political, and should be on my other journal, but I wanted to weigh in on the Dr. Tiller shooting.

For the record, right off the top, I want to emphasize that I believe every case of abortion is unique, and thus the choice to have one should be entirely up to the posessor of the uterus in question. No one should be forced to use their body to sustain some other life, and that goes equally whether the other life is someone in need of a bone marrow transplant or a fetus in its host's uterus. This is most definitely not a decision that can be made by random lawmakers or judges or laypeople. The responsibilities parents have to their children after they're no longer physically attached are matters of law, yes, but bodily integrity is just not something you go messing with, and that's why the owner of a given uterus has total control over what happens to it.

That said...

What has me so pissed off about this shooting, and about the late-term abortion debate in and of itself, is that it's entirely predicated on lies and myths about what late-term abortions really are.

These are not "convenience" abortions, folks. They are not some woman just blithely deciding in her 32nd week that she doesn't want to be pregnant anymore. They are, in virtually every case, extremely traumatic decisions that must be made to deal with a pregnancy that has gone horribly wrong.

The More You Know )
Apr. 17th, 2009 03:13 pm


textualdeviance: (Flamewars)
*waves torch, watches bridge immolate*

It's actually kind of entertaining to be hated by the fauxgressive brigade. Kind of a shame that some of the good folks go down with the ship, but it's actually sort of liberating to see some of my suspicions confirmed just by poking things in the right way.

Some people just want the social cred that comes with identifying as liberal or progressive. They don't want to have to actually live it, or do anything beyond chittering away about it online and maybe voting or going to some fun rally or something. Which is why they throw little tantrums when you question whether the choices they make are making any positive difference or are just reinforcing the status quo. This is especially true of hipsters, especially the ones who just LOVE cultural appropriation and "ironic" bigotry. They go on about the latest political fad, and then you find out that their best friend is a racist homophobe ("but he's really a nice guy!") or something. Yeah, so much for walking the talk.

Funny thing is that I just stumbled into this today. I didn't wake up thinking that I'd stir up a nest of hornets and in the process see some true colors flying.

But I really do have to get back to other things. Sigh...
textualdeviance: (ASLWTF)
Because I get tired of seeing this in various places:

The eggs one buys in a supermarket are not chicken embryos. They are eggs. They are not fertilized. They are a chicken period, not a chicken miscarriage.

Eggs from free-range hens with access to a rooster may be fertilized, but commercially produced eggs are not. The hens don't have access to a rooster, and therefore it's impossible for rooster sperm to get in to fertilize the eggs.

Given that so many people don't even understand this basic fact of biology, I suppose it shouldn't surprise me that so many people don't understand the first thing about human reproduction, either.


textualdeviance: (Default)

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