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Not Your Momma’s Fairy Tale

July 26, 2014

First off I would like to welcome my new readers. HI NEW READERS! Please stay. Also, tell your friends.

Further, thank you to the person who linked the hell out of my post on correctly identifying Rosie the Riveter in several places. You drove the hell out of my site traffic. much love to you.

I promise to get back to tell the truth about people to their digital faces later but today I am going to tell you a story.

Ahem…

Once upon a time there were two lovely ladies who were in love.

They looked like this:

Is & A

You’re welcome for the eye candy. We are pretty bitches!

Sadly, like many other ladies who are in love they were not ready to admit it to themselves or other people. So, in the place of the pain of honesty they decided to try a poly relationship with someone they thought was a prince.

Poly can work and many people live happily ever after within it but not these ladies. And that’s mostly because the third leg of their triad was not so much a prince as a clinical narcissist who was incapable of being in a loving, healthy relationship.

So that was an issue.

For real. I’ve got stories but they all involve him so none of them are interesting. Also, this is not about him.

Instead this is about the two lovely ladies.

So the prince thing wasn’t working out.

Also, one of the ladies is gay. Which is also an issue.

But these ladies did love each other and they fought hard to be together. Even though there were times that they didn’t have anything to talk about or any real desire to interact, they kept loving and that brought them back to talking.

After much pain and trials and fights and tears, they got out.

After twelve years of emotional abuse against her and six against me, we, um, I mean the ladies, got out. In fact, three years ago yesterday, the lad…fuck it, we got out.

People often ask us how we knew it was time to go and the answer is, we started asking that question.

If you’ve started imagining how much better your life will be once you are no longer in your relationship, it’s probably time to no longer be in that relationship.

Don’t get it twisted, we had a lot of advantages. We had each other. So when he would gaslight us or rage or generally act like himself, we could each give the other a sanity check.

And yes, we were actually in a place where we sometimes had to look at each other and ask “Did that happen the way I remember or the way he said it happened?”

No really. Gaslighting is a fucking trip.

We also had family who helped us get to where we are now. We had friends who were smart enough to know that we weren’t ready to hear “You are being emotionally and mentally abused,” so they instead simply loved and supported us. We got extremely lucky.

So what is the point of this little anecdote? Why am I spending my very early morning typing about this and not ranting about some social injustice?

Because statistically someone reading this has never heard of gaslighting but is suffering from it right now.

Hey there hypothetical person. You are not crazy. This is an actual thing. This kind of abuse is hard to identify. People who do this do not change. They just get better at abusing you. This is not a situation that you can work through or overcome. They are made of poison and you don’t have to eat that anymore.

LEAVE!

Yes, it can be extremely difficult on a number of levels. I understand.

Leave anyway. Make a plan. Execute it and get the fuck out. No matter how hard it is or will be, just go.

Why?

Because you deserve better. If you take nothing else from this post take that.

You deserve better than that kind of life.

Trust.

You deserve better

 

 

What Happens When People Write About Race or Gender or the Intersextionality of Those Things?

July 23, 2014

If you thought, “It leads to a reasoned discussion of those subjects and everyone learns and grows,” can I please have some of whatever it is you are having? Pretty please? Because it is obviously some extremely good shit.

When #NotAllMen blew up and women replied with #YesAllWomen, one of the main issues the women talking about what pervasive misogyny does to us had to deal with was the vitriolic backlash by men. In order to get tot the factual issue, that being a female in the world is dangerous and that we must be constantly aware of that danger, we had to wade through a river of whining about how much pointing out those simple facts hurt men.

When a Woman of Color pointed out that watching white, gay, males use a stereotypically black voice to entertain themselves and their friends was hurtful and, you know, blatant cultural appropriation, she had to wade through another river of claims that her pointing out simple facts was somehow divisive. I wrote about it yesterday.

And today, a Person of Color wrote a pretty simple list of things PoC have to deal with as a result of being in the Western world. The first thing on the list?

1) #YesAllBlackPeople contend with whites dictating to us how we should talk about racism, instead of taking our lead in the conversation. (Yes, that includes Tim Wise.)

And what are the comments full of? Guess. Or if you’re really brave go read the comments. I dare you.

If you don’t read them, I don’t’ blame you.

If you didn’t read them and you guessed “white people dictating how a PoC should talk about racism and complaints about how the article made them feel bad and accusations that pointing out simple facts like code switching and the inherent danger of blackness, was somehow an act of racism, give yourself a gold star.

You know what?

I’m done with this shit. I’m done. I cannot with these people anymore.

So here is a message to them.

1. Racism? It’s a systemic thing that harms the minority while benefiting the majority. Members of the minority cannot, be definition, be racist. That’s how words work.

2. Pointing out that racism is a thing and that it negatively impacts People of Color? Is simply stating facts. You don’t have to like it, but saying true things isn’t racist. It’s just true. Also, see point one.

3.Members of the majority NEVER get to tell members of the harmed minority what is or is not harmful. Nope. Not ever. Never Ever. If a member of a minority says what you did or said was harmful, however unintentionally, then what you did was probably harmful. Why? Because part of majority privilege is the ability to ignore the harm you cause.

4. If you are commenting on an article wherein the author points out numerous times that one of the primary examples of racism is the vitriolic and irrational response that white people have when People of Color talk about racism and your comment is irrational and full of vitriol? You’re really just proving him right.

The bottom line is this, anyone who can’t listen to someone who is trying to express their pain then you should have your keyboard privileges revoked.

Forever.

It’s not about you. It’s not about how basic facts of life and other people’s hardships make you feel. If the most you can muster, when someone is talking about the life long systemic trauma to which they have been subjected, is concern about your own emotional reaction you are a horrible person.

Care about other people’s pain enough to shut up, listen and learn or you fail basic humanity forever.

End of file.

 

Racism-deal-with-it

 

On Race And The Gay Community Part I

July 21, 2014

So this is a thing that is happening. A Woman of Color wrote an article pointing out that a not small number of gay men put on a fake voice and imitate a very specific speech pattern in an effort to be funny.

Here’s a really good example of the behavior being talked about:

 

(Let me pause here to state that I’m not saying that Laganja Estranga is the most egregious example. She’s just the one most people are aware of and, you know, she’s a really good example.)

And, predictably, the series of tubes exploded and a number of other opinions were expressed. Some of them were more rational than others.

This isn’t the first time the issue has been talked about but generally the people doing the talking are white and male they are talking about the “bond they have with black women,” and not in any way acknowledging or apparently thinking about the fact that mimicry isn’t really all that fucking flattering. Also, cultural appropriation isn’t a bond. It’s just appropriation.

Here’s the thing, the points being made by Ms. are actually pretty accurate. The “queen” speech pattern/voice (and the articles I’ve read are often specifically referencing drag queens, although they do make the point that the “kiki” voice is growing more common beyond drag culture) really is an obvious imitation of black voice/speech patterns, specifically black female voice/speech patterns, specifically black, southern, speech patterns popularized by white people at black people’s expense.

Yes here’s another Laganja clip. Like I said, she’s a really fucking good example. What you’re seeing above is called code switching. Laganja does it as a part of her character. Black people do it as a survival technique.

And when it’s used as a character, an attempt to get attention or in L.E.’s case, as part of performance, it comes of as something like verbal blackface. “It’s OK to laugh at me! I’m doing my funny voice! Let’s all ignore the origin of that voice and just laugh. P.S. Give me money!”

It kind of makes sense given that the only exposure a lot of young drag queens have had to older queens comes from Paris is Burning, which features largely black and Hispanic queens. And you can easily track Laganja’s voice as coming directly from her drag mother Alyssa Edwards. I get that. I do. I also get that, in many cases, it’s meant to be inclusive. When one white person calls another “guuuurrrllll,” it’s meant to include them in both conversation and culture. I get that. But that still doesn’t make it OK. Because it’s not your fucking culture and it’s not something that we are all included in. Gay culture and black culture are not same thing. Yes, both cultures have been and are being oppressed but in different ways and for different reasons.

The basic facts are that gay people are in more danger in the world than straight people AND People of Color are in more danger than white people. And you know what, PoC who are also Gender and Sexual Minorities are in even more danger than that.

PoC? More likely to die of curable disease. More likely to be stopped by and met with violence by authority figures or, just dudes with guns who think they are authority figures.

WoC? Significantly more likely to be met with sexual violence.

So while yes, being gay is hard, being female is hard, and being a PoC is hard being all three of those things is really fucking hard. It’s harder than being one of those things.

If you’re a white, gay male, you’re dealing with different levels of systematic oppression than someone who is a WoC or a GSM who is a WoC. So when you use that voice you’re not making me feel included. you’re doing the opposite. You can throw off that voice. You can walk away from the culture you’re playing. You can take on only the fun, sassy, vibrant, loud parts of the culture and ignore all the shit. I can’t.

Stop it.

Here’s the other thing.

Why do all of the authors of the pieces I’ve linked seem to think that WoC and gay men are two cultures at odds?

Hi! Hey there, What’s up? How are you?

I’M A WoC AND A PART OF FUCKING GAY CULTURE. And you know what? I am not down with some white dude or white chick using their LaWanda voice.

So while you personally gay, white man, (or woman, honestly) might not have any interest in appropriating black culture, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t happening and it doesn’t mean that through drag culture, it isn’t spreading to the larger gay community, which I will remind you contains black women, (one of whom is me) AND that doesn’t mean it isn’t damaging and really divisive.

And that’s fine. If you want to keep using that voice, do it. But do it while acknowledging that it is causing people pain. Do it and accept the consequences, that you will piss people off, that you will hurt their feelings.

And acknowledge their pain as a thing that is happening. Do not tell people that your hurtful behavior isn’t hurtful. You don’t get to decide that. We do.

So to paraphrase RuPaul, if you can’t love yourself, do your best not to harm other people as a part of your learning process.

Can I get an amen up in here?

 

 

Who The Fuck Is Jessi J?

April 9, 2014

Is the question I’ve been asking myself since my social media feed blew up about her yesterday.

Because I guess I’m old and not a fan of exploitative music…so yeah. I had no idea.

But I do now.

As an aside, my long dark night of the seasonally affect depression is possibly sort of over. Or not. fun with brain chemistry!

Anyway, in case you are like me and had never heard of her go read this. For those of you who don’t want to do that, here are the basics.

Jessi J is a singer who ha spent a good deal of her public life both talking about the fact that she strives to be a “positive role model for young people.” And that’s, you know, nice, I guess. Apparently one of her other favorite quotes is “I always say that I’m half-artist, half-therapist.” And she’s bi, which will become important in a minute.

Wen she was first starting out and was singing songs like “Do It Like a Dude,” (no seriously that’s what it’s called. Don’t look at me, I didn’t name it.) She used the fact that she was an out bisexual. Basically, she did things that a male singer would do, showing off other scantily clad females in her videos. And he talked about her sexuality all the time. Now, in part that happened because when you talk about something like that one time it becomes a part of your headline. I’m a writer who is an out bisexual so everything I do is as a bisexual writer. She’s a singer who talked about being bi so of course, in the press she was a bi singer. That’s not her fault but it’s something that she knew about going in. Everyone who lives in the world knows how this works. Vanilla Ice was a white rapper and this chick is a bi singer.

Except she isn’t anymore, apparently.

And that announcement just so happens to coincide with the release of some new music.

Gee, I wonder if those two things are in any way connected.

A lot of people are angry about this but I think they’re angry for the wrong reasons.

The issue isn’t that Jessi J said she was bi and has now decided that she isn’t. The issue is that Jessi J is clearly someone who is willing to trade on her sexuality for attention in a way that rips the role models away from her fans a not small portion of whom are Gender and secual Minorities.

Who are the primary consumers of pop music? Teens. And GSM teens who lack role models in their lives often look for them in entertainment. That’s true of all teens, no matter their sexuality. Ripping away a kid’s role models? Not good. Especially not good for the group of teens overwhelmingly likely to already be facing a lack of role models and positive messages about themselves and their sexuality.

You know, I think that people should be honest about who they are. I do. So if this is what is true for Jessi J right now, then fine. Do that and be happy. it’s just distasteful to me that she would use this aspect of her life as a publicity stunt.

If she wants to keep her sexuality private then I respect her right to do so. but talking about it in the media, no matter what her sexuality is, is the opposite of keeping it private. It’s trading on it to gain press and ultimately to make money.

That’s just tacky.

Jessie-J-jessie-j-32296469-1920-1080

 

 

This Is Another Kind Of Valentine

February 14, 2014

In which I am stupid and A- is extremely understanding.

I kind of hate Valentine’s Day but in what has somewhat become a blog tradition, I take the opportunity to tell the whole world why I love my girl.

Hey do you guys know what flirting is?

Because I do not.

flirting-1-1

Does this appear to be flirting to you?

To me it looks like two people talking.

woman-flirting-with-man

This also appears to be a picture of two people talking.

Seriously, I do not even recognize flirting when it happens to me. Apparently it does happen to me with some level of frequency, at least A- says so.

According to her, it happened last week and I didn’t notice.

We went to an event here in town. It was fun and cold and there were a lot of people there and also a great deal of booze. We had fun. We chatted. We shivered. We drank vodka infused hot cocoa to quell the shivering and then this guy came up and started talking to us. And talking. He was super friendly and extremely excited to meet us, like weirdly excited for a Minnesotan.

For those of you who have never been to this state, these people don’t get really excited over anything that doesn’t have the capacity to end in a Super Bowl ring. Given the Viking’s record, that means they don’t get excited over anything.

This guy was excited. it kind of went without saying that he isn’t from around here but he said it. He also made a point of saying that he was staying in a near-by hotel, and that he was generally very physically warm, and that he would be in the bar.

A- says that all of these things were signals. Apparently, we were supposed to pick up those signals as an invitation to come up to his room? I don’t know.

All of this was obvious to A-. I, on the other hand, thought were having a nice, albeit somewhat strange, conversation. Luckily, I didn’t flirt back.

Because I do that sometimes. Because I don’t know when I’m being flirted with. Because in this aspect of life, I am extremely stupid.

I just think I’m having an interesting conversation with a new person while the whole time I am giving the totally wrong message to the interesting person. Because in this aspect of life, I am extremely stupid.

As a result of this massive blind spot in my understanding of, you know, human people, we have had to make some rules.

When A- says someone is flirting, she is right. End of file. If I can’t recognize it happening, I don’t have any basis for an argument against the idea that it was happening.

When A- says my friendly conversation is being read as flirting back, she is right. End of file. The reason is the same.

At those times, as with last week, she patiently explains to me when the hell is going on and  all the things I missed. She doesn’t get jealous. She doesn’t assume that I’m doing on purpose.

She does laugh quite often because I’ll admit it’s hilarious. I am, frankly, a brilliant woman who not only fails at one of the most common aspects of social interaction, she doesn’t even know that it’s happening.

Like I said, she is extremely understanding. Love you A-. Happy Contrived Romance Day. I love you all the other days of the year just as much.

 

 

 

When The Crime Is Who You Are Part V: The Right To Say No

February 6, 2014

The State of Florida v. Michael Dunn started today.

What’s that you say? You didn’t know that or maybe you haven’t even heard of the case?

This boy is dead.

jordandavisselfie

This is the person who killed him.

michael_dunn_new_jax

Oh and it happened here,

jacksonville_florida_map

which should not be a surprise to anyone who has read this blog or seen the news in the past couple of years. For real people, there is a reason I voluntarily moved to a state where a good deal of winter is spend in negative degrees.

Global Grind has a great breakdown of the timeline so I’ll just expect you to follow the link rather than going over it in detail again.

The basics, which are not in dispute, are that the car that Jordan Michael Davis was riding in and the car that Michael Dunn was driving met up at a gas station and by the end of that meeting a boy was dead and his killer was driving home after having unsuccessfully chased the people he just shot at.

He. Chased. Them.

The other thing that most people seem to accept is that Dunn “asked,” Jordan and his friends to turn down the music in their car because it was too loud.

I do not accept this.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe that Dunn said something that indicated his feeling that the music was too loud and he wanted it to be turned down.

Did Dunn ask them to turn it down?

No.

It wasn’t a “request.” Because, “could you please turn that down?” which would be a question, has very little likelihood of leading to shouting and cursing and shooting. Told? Demanded? Ordered? Much more likely to be the case.

Now it is possible that I am wrong. I mean, Dunn specifically stated that he politely asked that the music be turned down. I could be making this up out of whole cloth but I’m pretty smart, I used to live in Florida, and I’ve been not white all my life. So, I’m probably right.

Let me break this down for you.

White guy walks up to car full of black teens and orders them to turn down their music because he thinks it’s too loud? Extremely fucking common. It’s simple, people. It’s privilege. It’s the same privilege that led to a white guy stalking a black teen and thousands of people wondering why the teen didn’t just stop, identify himself and assure the white guy that he had the right to walk down the street while black.

It’s one of those things that many Caucasians don’t realize is an aspect of their privilege but People of Color must be aware of lest we risk our lives.

What do I mean by that? The problem that cause Dunn to shoot? It wasn’t the music.

Lucia McBath, the mother of Jordan Davis, testified in front of the U.S. Senate, telling them that Dunn said this to the boys before he shot: “You’re not going to talk to me like that.”

It wasn’t the music. It was the denial of privilege. It was a man outraged at the denial of his right to regulate the behavior of PoC.

Why didn’t those kids just turn down the music and keep it low?

Because they didn’t have to. They had the right to tell the man who was probably not being overly polite to them, that they weren’t going to comply.

PoC have the right to tell Caucasians no. We even have the right to tell them to fuck off. I’m not saying it’s a good idea or polite or kind but do we have that right. Also, we do not have to pull up our pants or straighten our hair or ever let you touch it.

In case you were wondering, women do not have to smile, trans people do not have to reveal where they are on the journey of their transition and gays and lesbians do not have to hide their love for each other. We have the right to live our lives and in some cases doing so involves playing loud music.

Except clearly not in Florida. In Florida, denying someone’s privilege? It can get you killed. Because now, the prosecutors have to prove that Dunn was not in fear for his life and clearly, based on the results of the Trayvon Martin trial the fact that Dunn chased the car as these boys fled from him and then fled the scene himself, is not enough to prove that.

So I’ll ask again

HowManyMore.pub

HOW I AM KILLING THIS DOG

February 6, 2014

isobeldebrujah:

Poor, poor canine.

Originally posted on forty face:

This is Jake. He is a small dog of indeterminate parentage, intense anxiety and iron will.

I am killing this dog… by not making room for him in the red chair in my craft room. I am knitting. I want elbow room. Jake needs to be squeezed into the seat of the chair directly beneath my right elbow. Not the left elbow – the right elbow. Not the pillow on the floor – the chair. Not the special faux sherpa dog bed on the computer chair – the almost non-existent space in the red chair. Under my right arm. That place. Right there. HE WILL DIE if he doesn’t get to lie there.

HE IS STARING NOW. HE IS STARING AT HIS RIGHTFUL PLACE IN THE CHAIR.  HE HAS BEEN STARING FOR FIFTEEN MINUTES. YES, I TIMED IT.

*******

I am killing this dog… by leaving the solitary Lego man…

View original 370 more words

Tall N Curly™

I draw comics about being a tall girl with curly hair to show girls who think they're too tall and girls who wished they had straight hair why they need to free themselves and how to love themselves just how they are :) I also speak about random women and life matters, as well as music, beauty and health. Welcome ! ;)

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