Dear Local Radio Personality,

I have been a steady listener of your morning program for quite some time now. I admit to looking forward to your commentary while driving forty-five minutes to work. However, I must admit that I was rather shocked and appalled by your commentary this morning regarding that twit in Michigan who dressed up as a Boston Marathon bombing victim for Halloween. Since you didn’t like her written apology, you felt the need to disparage her possible status as a rape victim since she posted nude photos on the Internet.

Congratulations! You’re part of rape culture!

Contrary to both your belief and popular belief, rape victims internalize that trauma and react to it in different ways. Some revert into themselves, as I think you believe is the “usual case,” and some do not. There is no right or wrong way to react to something like that. There is only an outsider’s perceptions, in this case yours, of what is and is not “appropriate” behavior. And frankly, your view on the matter is immaterial. Your preconceived notions are based on outdated and incorrect assumptions.

You, also, stated that since “no allegations” had been made, then you did not believe it. I hate to barrage you with statistics for unreported rapes in this country, but according to RAINN (Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network) 60% of sexual assaults are not reported to the police. Quite often, a victim won’t know she has been raped because the media has informed us what rape “is or isn’t.” Date rapes and rapes by family members don’t fall in line with the country’s beliefs of what rape is, many times, so these cases go unreported.

However, in some cases, the police officers who take the report talk the victim out of doing anything. They will use such comments as “boys will be boys” or “you dressed provocatively.” Sometimes, they will ask the victim how much they had to drink because, apparently, “no” doesn’t have the same force behind it if someone has had a drink or 10.

And of course, there’s always the possibility that her reported rape happened when both she and her assaulter were minors. The records would be sealed by 22.

I hope you enjoy the land of the high and mighty where making broad statements like this can and will impact not only this particular rape victims views on you but on your radio network as well. I do not agree with that moron’s choice in Halloween costume, but I think dragging her dirty laundry, whether true or otherwise, onto the air to explain to your listeners why she deserves death threats is, just like her costume, in poor taste.

Next time you want to defame someone based on a rumor or possibility, perhaps you should stick to the matter at hand and not your preconceived bias.

Sincerely,

A Former Listener

Tragedy Strikes And… We Make It About Us Instead of Them.

I will admit that after yesterday’s horrific events, I came home and hugged the hell out of my son. I refused to let go as tears slid down my cheeks, feeling the absolute horror for those parents who will not have a beautiful child in their life because someone ended it prematurely. I hugged him so tightly that he said, “Mommy, you’re hugging me too tight.” And then he saw the face I was making, the silent tears strolling down my cheeks as empathy for those parents welled so deeply in me that it had to come out, and he kept hugging me back.

As a parent of a child who is nearly at the age bracket of some of the victims from yesterday’s massacre makes things like this all the more real, more pervasive, and painful for me. Next year, I have no choice; I cannot keep him home any longer. He will be enrolled in a public school, possibly one just like Sandy Hook, and for hours in the day, his care will be given entirely over to the school system. I will not be there to protect him from bullies or scrapes. I will not be there to protect him from himself or from others. I have to hope and pray that the school system I enroll him in is as on-spot as Sandy Hook’s system seemed to be: teachers hiding their students in closets, another turning the lights off and locking the door while she read a story to her scared students, and yet another who refused entrance to the police until she saw a police badge produced beneath the locked door of her classroom. I have to hope that, in just such a situation, my son will come home to me.

I cannot begin to convey how deeply terrifying this entire situation is for a parent. And I cannot fathom the levels of pain and anger for those parents whose children did not survive.

What gets to me about this entire situation is the hounds running around, making it political. They want gun control; they want laws to prevent just such things. And then there are the people who keep going on about how tragedies like this wouldn’t happen if we allowed the Christian deity into the classroom. And I’ve seen people politicize Obama’s speech about the massacre to make it about the drone strikes in other countries. And I’ve seen people turn this into debates about how abortion is just some bad, bad stuff. And honestly? For almost the entirety of the bullshit now circulating the Internet because of this tragedy, I really have to fucking wonder what in the hell is the matter with people. This has nothing to do with anything except the gun control debate.

We should all be coming together and aiding those people who are suffering because of this tragedy, but everyone has an opinion. And like assholes, a lot of those damn opinions stink ten times over. The ability to turn tragedies into propaganda sickens me and it should sick anyone who reads this. High horses are all well and good, but if this were to happen to you, do you really think you’d give two shits about Obama giving a speech about it, much less how it relates to what’s going on in the Middle East? Nope. If this happened to you, do you really think you’d care how the murder of innocent children correlates with the abortion debate? Nope, I don’t think so.

So, how about instead of being fucktards and dickwheels, we offer some love and support to the people who need it and leave our agendas at home.

I do plan on making a post about the political agendas engendered by this tragedy, but right now, I’m planning on offering prayers and energy to the people who require it at this trying time. Maybe instead of worrying about abortions and Christianity, you guys should do the very same.

The Reality of the Unemployment Situation.

I called a friend of mine up in a panic today on my way home from submitting applications and feeling true despair at the totality of my situation. She told me that I wasn’t allowed to panic. We would brain storm about things later together. And then she said to me, “Just don’t panic; you can go on Don’t Panic, but you can’t actually panic.” So, here I am.

Yesterday, I received the news that I knew was coming from the office of unemployment. I was no longer eligible for unemployment benefits and now, I have to become a “welfare bear” in the hopes that my family and I can survive the harsh reality of our situation. I cried. There’s no other words for what my reaction was. I just cried. I cried and I cried and I cried. And I can’t help but wonder how many other people are in my situation, crying their eyes out as they try to find something that allows them to survive in a country that has “no jobs” and is itching to cut the very benefits that will keep people like us alive? I can’t help but be angry at the situation – it sucks – but in reality, I feel very betrayed and disenchanted with everything this country is supposed to stand for.

We hear the politicians talk about how unemployment rates are lower than they were. All right, yes. I’m sure the rates are lower, but the only reason is because people have passed their extended benefits and are no longer eligible, whether they are employed or not. The break down isn’t discussed. You just hear this magic number (I believe it’s 7.8%) touted about and everyone pats each other on the back. “Look what we did! The unemployment rate is down!” But how many of the people who have fallen from unemployment are still looking? How many of those people are living off of state aid in an effort to stay with a roof over their heads and food on the table? I seriously doubt I’m the only person in the entire country facing this crisis.

Did you know they did away with the third tier benefit? And that’s probably the real reason why the unemployment rate is so low.

When you’re filing for unemployment or are living off of the state assistance programs, they actually make you go and take classes at your “local career center.” This is a euphemism for a dark, shadowy place of imprisonment that has absolutely no desire to help you find a job. They tell you about the classes they have and they tell you about using their computers and they update their job postings every day! These are half-truths and outright lies. For example, I have applied for the same job three times via their resource list that cut off hiring in August. In August. (I keep applying because by the time I get that low on the list, I’m drunk with typing and thinking.) Their computers need to be signed up for days in advance, but that’s no big deal. And the classes? They’re typing 101 and they’re how to write a resume 101 and all the next levels to these classes. How are they supposed to get you a job?

Why not have a class about what to wear to an interview? How about a class on proper E-mail etiquette when you’re fishing for a second interview? What about a class on how not to feel like a complete fuck up and loser while you’re going through this crisis? Why not offer counseling services for your mental and emotional well-being instead of all of these “skill set” classes? For the most part, I have to assume that they get enough students for the classes. And I have to assume that they are well received by the local and federal governments because the local career centers are still getting aid at the state and federal levels. So, obviously, this is all well and good in the eyes of politicians who don’t understand what it’s like to have to worry about where the next meal is coming from and what’s more important: gas in your car or toilet paper for your ass.

I am so angry and frustrated all the time. I hate feeling this way. I really feel very similarly to how it was just before MEH and I officially broke it off. I am angry. I am frustrated. I am hurt. I am bewildered. I am scared. And always the same advice from friends and family, “when the doors closes, a window opens.” What they forget to tell you is that you didn’t bring a flashlight, the window is probably a thousand miles down some tight corridor, and you have to find it in the pitch blackness of reality. I hate that phrase right now almost as much as I hate the phrase, “have some hope.” Have some fucking hope?

Everything is wrong and evil and stupid and I am so fucking angry. I am beyond angry. I want to hurt that company so badly. I want to stick it to them. I want their pens to dry up; their computers to be attacked by viruses; their questionable fucking practices investigated on a state level; and I want them all to suffer. I want everyone who threw me under the boss and everyone who still works there and everyone who kisses ass over there to hurt and be angry and know what it’s like to be thrown under the bus after nearly two years of committed service. I want every single one of them to know what it’s like to get interview after interview that lead to nowhere. I want every single one of those selfish twats to see me crying as I panic and worry and have anxiety attacks about how I can’t possibly raise or take care of my family.

And I hate feeling this way.

I’ve worked a very long and hard time to gain adequate control over my emotions. I’ve probably taken that control a little too far, to the point where crying actually physically hurts sometimes because I just… don’t. But I prefer to be in complete control over my emotions instead of being the insane raging beast that I used to be. I much prefer this to that, in all honesty. And the fact that I am always angry, hurt, bewildered, scared, anxious, and panicking drives me fucking insane. All of this drives me fucking insane.

The politicians who think they’re doing a good job.

The people who think they can give advice when they really don’t know the situation well enough to give me advice.

The people who offer me the same old platitudes.

The people who aren’t around to watch me suffer.

The people who did this to me.

I am so fucking insane with rage that all I want to do is shake someone or something all the time. (I suddenly understand BFMA’s intense desire to throw shoes at a door whenever she gets upset on such a better level now.) I don’t do this. I scrub the counters. I scrub the toilet and the bathtub. I do load after load of laundry. I sit down and I fill out endless applications. I sit and I fret, but I don’t shake anyone or anything. I don’t throw shoes at a door. I end up crying instead and have panic attacks.

This is the reality of unemployment, people.

Keep that in mind, too, when you vote on November 6th.

P.S. In case it’s not clear, this isn’t some random “VOTE FOR ROMNEY” ad or anything. Romney can eat a bowl of dicks. I lived in MA when he was governor and he was next to useless. His stance on things like Planned Parenthood, abortion, and his belief that his “business savvy” make him ideal of president are laughable. What I’m saying is DON’T VOTE REPUBLICAN.

Why a Bipolar Diagnosis Helped BFMA.

This post is brought to us today by idiots on Tumblr. (FOOD FOR THOUGHT OVER THERE.)

Today, someone I follow over there was discussing about needing help to learn to live, preferably on her own, with bipolar disorder. I was talking to her prior to her outcry for assistance in finding places that would be capable of helping her. I told her that in my life, with BFMA, I was the buddy that she had to get her to live on her own successfully. (HI BFMA.) However, as the person pointed out, she doesn’t have a buddy in her area to do that, so to go her own, she’s looking into halfway houses for such a thing. A young child made a commentary on her post that was, well, young. That person’s comments were pretty hilarious and also very dangerous chatter, in my opinion. When young’ns come into something not knowing a damn thing about a mental health disorder but feel like they can just spout out whatever they can type as quickly as they can type, we have a problem. Life experiences are kind of more important to such things as mental health disorders than, say, being able to look shit up on WebMD or Wikipedia. But, really, what got to me was when someone said something along the lines of, “Who needs a diagnosis? I think everyone is a little bipolar everywhere.”

And I lost my fucking shit because I’m BFMA’S BUDDY.

I lived with her before she had a diagnosis. I got to watch her break apart every two weeks when she went into a depression cycle. I got to watch her start a shit-ton of projects that never got done when she was in a manic phase. I got to watch her try to kill herself when she was in one of her depression cycles. I got to watch her talk about how she was going to buy a fucking set of bagpipes because she would learn them when she was in a manic phase. I got to watch this tear her apart because she didn’t know what was wrong. Technically, she had a diagnosis – she was depressed and she suffered from ADHD! What a hellacious way to live your life. It was the worst fucking thing to watch her think that she was just batshit insane and no one would understand, the doctors didn’t care, and everyone kept walking away because it was “too much” or “too overwhelming” for them to deal with it.

Prior to a an official diagnosis, she went on and on about how she felt like she was crazy with no real reason. She had people tell her that she was insane – inventing things. Her own family and doctors would infer or out right tell her that she was melodramatic. I watched as people walked into her life and then right back out again. I watched as people from previous relationships warned new boyfriends and friends away from her because she was “way too melodramatic; fucking crazy.” She had the stigma of being “too overwhelming” and “too melodramatic” or “too paranoid” prior to being diagnosed. It was hell on fucking earth watching her go through that and trying to help her get through it one day at a time, one step at a time. It was fucking hell.

Never mind what the doctors did to her. Invariably, they all pretty much called her crazy or making things up without actually coming right out and saying it. Or, they would tell her that she was making things up for attention. As if having severely suicidal tendencies after a week of feeling like you’re on a constant high is something to do so that you can get attention. They never listened to her. They never thought there was something more wrong than the depression. They weren’t interested in listening to the one person who could explain all of the symptoms clearly. And it was because, on her chart, it says that she was melodramatic, overwhelming, and given to flights of fancy.

Then, she was diagnosed about six years ago and everything magically clicked.

It all began to make sense. She wasn’t over dramatic. She wasn’t overwhelming. She wasn’t really anything that people labeled her as because she just had a chemical imbalance in her brain. She had a reason for her outbursts. She had a reason for the suicide attempts, the stays in hospital, the random spending sprees, the being unable to hold down a job, the entirety of her life began to make sense. The pieces fit together instead of being jammed together with scotch tape and glue. Everything began to just get so clear and so obvious.

Do you know how sad it is when your best friend calls you up, excited and thrilled because she finally had a real diagnosis for all the shit she had been going through and putting others through? No? Well, I can tell you that it is a very bittersweet moment. On the one hand, you finally have absolute clarity for things that never really made a lot of sense. And on the other hand, it is so fucking sad and depressing that you get excited over a doctor finally listening to you, after years of fucking ignoring you when you say, “something is wrong.”

However, on the other hand of the spectrum, there comes a whole new host of issues that you didn’t really understand. You have to work hard and do a lot of med checks to get the right dosing. Some of the side effects of those drugs are hilarious but not when they’re happening to you. (The lactation. The being unable to feed yourself because you have the shakes so bad. A serious case of death.) And then comes the fun part of explaining to people that you are the way you are because you have a chemical imbalance. And you get to watch yet more people walk right the hell out of the door because they can’t fathom what it’s like to have to deal with this in a relationship, in a friendship on a daily basis.

So on the one hand, you get to think that you’re fucking insane for no reason whatsoever without a diagnosis. And on the other hand, you get to think your fucking insane for a very serious reason that no one can understand or is willing to cope with.

Words, Appropriation, Foolishness.

Recently, I started hanging out on Tumblr. I had tried it once or twice, decided it wasn’t my cup of tea, and deleted my original blogs. I don’t remember what preempted me into going back there, but I did. Initially, I was aiming for a Tumblr-companion to my religious blog. Then, when I realized Kemetic info is sorely lacking over there, I decided that I would go with the info-giving and Tumblr-companion to my religious blog. I started following a bunch of people and then, suddenly, realized why I had given the place up initially. It’s a hot-bed for bullshit.

Now, let me level here, a lot of the people I follow are young. I mean, Internet presence for people over the age of 25 is pretty rare. It’s mostly a teenage hangout. I legitimately try not to let that phase means, though. The kids want to learn; they want to read and experience. Some of my dearest followers over there are in the kid mentality that I’m talking about. They’re sweet and kind and can make me feel better on a bad day. They post pretty pictures, interesting content, and commiserate when a day goes bad. Some of them, as young as I tend to think of them, can even see what I’m talking about or are in similar situations. That’s a boon, there. Still others are curious and not afraid to ask me for help about X, Y, and Z. That’s another boon, right there. But what gets me are the little, little kids who just don’t get it.

There are lots of “ready-made” activists over there. However, all they care to do is “educate” others and leave it at that. And almost in its entirety, they’re little activism moments regards “proper word usage.”

Now, anyone who has known me long enough knows how I feel about “proper word usage.” I’ll sum it up for anyone who isn’t sure. Anyone who is gonna go preach to me about how I use a word and its proper context can just go eat a big, fat bowl of dicks. And I’ll be gracious and classy enough to not mention that bowl full o’ dicks being disease-ridden… maybe. But I sure as hell ain’t a fan of kiddies trying to be politically correct about shit, whether they think they can be or not. If I don’t allow it from my peers, I sure as hell am not going to allow it when kids have ten years to go before they’ll be in my age range. No, sir. But let’s talk specifics instead of generalizations. I sure do hate them broad generalizations.

Now, before I get going, I’m going to mention a thing or two. In an effort to grab attention, I began following a bunch of people with a pagan slant to their stuff. One person in particular alerted me to the “misuse of words” almost from the first day I was on Tumblr. I started following her because I was intrigued by the native American-Irish-Romani chit. I’ve come to regret that intrigue. As cute as she is, she’s got the youngest perspective out of many of the children over there. She’s like a puppy that’s been kicked too much, able to go rabid at a second’s notice. I keep her ’cause she’s cute, but I’m mighty tired of her preacher persona. So, from MizzEe, as I’ll call her, I have learned that I can’t use the words “totem” or gypsy” and that I shouldn’t use aspects of other cultures in my spiritual practice because I’m stealin’.

Hoo, boy; chitlin’s young.

Now, prior to following MizzEe, I didn’t know much about the word “gypsy.” I never used it and aside from that garish television show on TLC about weddings, I had never come into [knowing] contact with any Roma/Romani people before. So, I was a little shocked and startled when I was informed (a lot of times) that it was a racial slur. I decided to look this one up myself, just in case. My first step was looking up the etymology of the word itself. Taken from Etymonline, “c.1600, alteration of gypcian, a worn-down M.E. dialectal form of egypcien “Egyptian,” from the supposed origin of these people. As an adjective, from 1620s.” All said and done, the word hasn’t been around long enough to carry too much of a negative impact, but the etymology doesn’t tell me if its derogatory or not. I had to keep looking. Now, according to this Google search, it appears that is the case.

Color me schooled, but you know, I just can’t help but think that an American kid wouldn’t be able to interview every Roma/Romani person in the world. So, I did a little bit more digging. And I honestly couldn’t find anything but opinionated essays stating that the word has a negative association. Now, I know some history. And I know that the Nazis added the Romani to their genocide during WWII. I also know that gypsy tends to be viewed in a negative light, very similar to how Jews are often portrayed: stingy, is what comes to mind. The word “gypped” stems from the word “gypsy,” which we can assume is where a lot of its negative associations come from, just like how you “get jewed” when someone rips you off or holds out on you. Interesting how monetary practicality instantly gets a negative association with the ethnic group it’s referring to, but neither here nor there. Where the fuck did this racial slur start up?

Now, while digging around, I couldn’t find anything concrete about organizations referring to themselves as gypsies, aside from this piece from the Smithsonian. I’m going to have to assume they have some form of concrete information here, but they say, “Several groups, all known to outsiders as ‘Gypsies,’ live today in the United States. In their native languages, each of the groups refers to itself by a specific name, but all translate their self-designations as ‘Gypsy’ when speaking English.” And that’s kind of the general feel I get about this. I’ve heard here and there (and I’m not lookin’ because I don’t want to) that there are organizations in various countries that utilize the term “gypsy” in a positive light. And the Smithsonian as all but said that quite a few of these groups refer to themselves in that way, as well. I think that the negative association here is more from an outsiders’ perspective and the general tonality of outsiders employing this term…

…but that doesn’t mean that the people themselves object to it. It could be like black men and women using the n-word to refer to one another. They’re taking it back kind of like Justin Timberlake and sexy. Oh wait. He was bringing it back not taking it back. But whatever. The correlation works here. While on a personal basis I can see that someone may become upset by this term, but as a generalization, we have to tread carefully. Until MizzEe or her compatriots have interviewed every person who self-identifies with the various ethnic and cultural backgrounds that would be deemed as “gypsy” and their personal thoughts and feelings regarding the term “gypsy” we cannot just assume that it is only a racial slur and that is should never be used, ever. (And I saw MizzEe schooled in this by someone who self-identified with one of these groups of people who referred to themselves as a “gypsy” and telling her, in effect, to fuck herself because it was none of her business. But this ready-made soap box instructional was “correct” and the person who was claiming gypsy decent was wrong.)

Now, let’s talk the word “totem.”

I started off with the Merriam-Webster definition of this word, which is, “1a : an object (as an animal or plant) serving as the emblem of a family or clan and often as a reminder of its ancestry; also : a usually carved or painted representation of such an object; b : a family or clan identified by a common totemic object; 2: one that serves as an emblem or revered symbol.” Then I went and did a search on the etymology of the word, “animal or natural object considered as the emblem of a family or clan, 1760, from Algonquian (probably Ojibwa) odoodeman “his sibling kin, his group or family,” hence, “his family mark;” also attested in French c.1600 in form aoutem among the Micmacs or other Indians of Nova Scotia. Totem pole is 1808, in reference to west coast Canadian Indians.” INTERESTING STUFF HERE.

So, the word itself is a direct take from a native language. All right, but the belief behind the work is not native American in origin. While Wiki is a shitty source a lot of the time, just looking at the page for “totem” gives you a bunch of different areas of the world that have similar belief systems. As taken from Wiki, “Similar totem-like beliefs have been historically present in societies throughout much of the world, including Africa, Arabia, Asia, Australia, Eastern Europe, Western Europe, and the Arctic polar region.” So the word, itself, has become part and parcel to the English language when conveying a particular spiritual concept. There’s your appropriation: some anthropologists went around naming things in a frame of reference that other anthropologists could understand. But, the use of it in regular culture now is… well, in a pagan context, it’s pretty damn extensive. One would think that the use of a word of a tribe would be exciting because every time it’s used, in a way, we are paying homage to the Ojibwe tribe.

But, apparently, no, this is wrong.

I’ll be honest, I don’t use the word. I prefer to refer to whatever the hell animals may be in my life as a sort of “animal spirit,” which is in similar context although not the same as the word totem. But getting all bent out of shape because we’re using a word that was originally made manifest by a specific tribe, to me, seems like an awful waste of energy. The soap box educator is burning out all of her circuits before she hits 25! Why not get angry over something else?

But, okay, I’m white. So, what do I know?

What I do know is that wasting your time in trying to school the Internet on something is about as useful as holding your breath for ten minutes. You’ll pass out long before anything is achieved.

As for the use of other cultures’ religious beliefs in my practice, I’ve done talked about that where it belongs. But, I’ll reiterate something I said on my religious blog about it: You tell the lwa I work with that I’m appropriating their fucking culture and tell me how that works out for you. And in case I’m not clear on where I stand with this whole appropriation thing, it’s a bunch of fooey. It’s a bunch of childish rhetoric trying to maintain a personal identity in a world where we’re rapidly becoming more and more conscious of ourselves on a land or nation level than on a personal level. So often I see these children going on about how we shouldn’t look to ourselves on an individual basis via countries, but that we all share the same thing: we’re all human. But when it comes to making this a reality, they get all bent out of shape about losing their culture.

Well, which one is it? Do we all get together, hold hand, sing a few happy songs, and revel in the fact that we are all human or do we retain our cultural and ethnic identities to the point where no one is allowed to learn anything about anyone else?

I’ll mention this. I don’t think that deep mysteries should be taught to anyone who asks. I know that there are numerous mysteries in native practices that we should never, ever be able to convey or should be able to learn. Case in point is voodoo: how the big stuff is done is specific to each individual society (in a native American context, in each individual tribe, I guess) so how I may learn it in a society is not how someone else will learn it in another society. And that’s their prerogative. Just as that’s those tribes’ prerogative to keep that to themselves and I commend them for it. You shouldn’t give such high knowledge to anybody who wants to learn. But, when it comes to more general and face-value like terms and dream catchers, well on that score, I think we should stop gettin’ up on those soap boxes and just let what has come and gone be.

And as I said before… damn those kids are so very young.

But, I’ll be honest here. The thing that bothers me the most about all of this soap boxin’ is more to do with the fact that all they ever do is bitch about it on the Internet. All they ever do is sit around and bitch about how shit is just wrong and people should be educated. So, my thoughts on that is that maybe you should go off and educate. Start a class. Make a petition. Rosa Parks sat at the front of the bus; MLK, Jr, well, he had a dream; and W.E.B. Du Bois wrote prolific works, started the Niagara Movement, and founded NAACP. None of those people sat around (with the notable exception of Rosa, that being the point and all) and hoped changes would be made while they sat around watching shit just turn bad. They got up. They took a stand. And they made shit happen.

If it’s that important to you, then maybe, you should make shit happen instead of preaching to a bunch of twits on the Internet.

With statements like this, as mentioned within in the article in question, we have to wonder how it is that woman cannot consider the sexual revolution “our war.” The basis that the sexual revolution was either an invention or something propagated by the male of the species, to me, seems ridiculous. Just on the basis of the ins and outs of sex, it wasn’t the male who was repressed prior to the Sexy 60s. It was the female, with her long skirts and the expectations of getting married, being respectable, and raising a family.

I have to say that while the statement could go either way, I find it false. Women gained more out of the Sexual Revolution than men ever did. We were able to have sex without fear. We were able to gain better access to birth control. And we had the landmark case of Roe V. Wade, which would have never happened at the Sexual Revolution not come around. And none of those items, as far as I can tell, have anything to do with men. (Aside from the sex stuff but you know, our orgasms are more important than their orgasms now and we have to assume that this attitude may, indeed, have come about because of the revolution in question.)

In other words, read this article and follow this blog. Modern Feminism isn’t what it claims to be and we shouldn’t all be so blind as to assume that raging Feminists are the wave of the Feminist Future.

Breaking Away From Modern Feminism

I was watching the History Channel special called Sex In ’69: Sexual Revolution In America (Thankfully, no one suggested that aliens had anything to do with it).

Because I am me, and I tend to be very open with my sexuality (in comparison to a lot of people in our society) I found this exceptionally interesting. I wanted to know exactly what it was that turned things from Victorian-like repression to being able to be so open about sexuality.

Kudo’s to the History Channel for doing it tastefully, yet still informative.

A lot of famous people were interviewed for this special, including some feminist icons like Gloria Steinem. She said something that has stuck in my head and confuses the hell out of me. If someone said I could ask her one question, it would be to clarify this statement: “The Sexual Revolution wasn’t our war”. She went on to…

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Yet Another Reason to Support Abortion.

Alternate Title: Or, Why You Should Register to Vote With Your Uterus This Election!

So, today, I saw a HuffPost article that I knew was going to anger me. More often than not, I stay away from the news as elections get closer because I’m tired of the conservative GOP ruining everything our foremothers fought so hard for. Also, I’m tired of the constant rhetoric, preaching quality of news articles but, mostly, I know I’m just going to get pissed the fuck off and want to strangle some conservative whore-son with my bare hands. And I wasn’t wrong about the reaction to the article.

For those too lazy to click that link, I’ll summarize the article.

A fourteen-year-old in Florida became pregnant. She told no one about the pregnancy, hiding the pregnancy throughout the entire nine months. After the baby was born in the bathroom of her family home, she killed the baby by strangling it and promptly hid the body in a shoe box. The mother of the fourteen-year-old reported the dead body to the police when she discovered an odd smell coming from her daughter’s room. The police have not decided whether they will charge her as an adult or a child. They are also speculating that they may charge (as accessories, I suppose) any adults who may have been aware of the child’s pregnancy.

I can’t possibly begin to convey how fucked up this whole situation is, but I’m going to try.

In the article that I have linked, Sheriff Grady Judd is quoted as saying, “Let’s remember she is a child… Where was her support system?” In that, I am wholly and completely in agreement, however I think we may figure that the actual support system we are both thinking of are entirely different. He may be thinking about her friends and her family members – her immediate support system. It is a sad testament to the inability for parents of teenagers to be open and honest about sex that this girl did not feel comfortable in telling her mother that she was pregnant and in fact lied about being pregnant on two separate occasions (in which she produced, an obviously false, negative pregnancy test in both occasions). However, when I’m thinking support system, I’m not just lamenting the fact that the girl felt she had no one to turn to (as the article implicitly implies that she told no one about this tragedy) but the politicians who are being voted into place to enact laws that would save her life and prevent such futures tragedies from occurring again.

While Florida may be considered a swing state, as shown by recent research that I conducted, they tend to be overwhelmingly “southern” in their laws and thought processes. While other southern states are restricting access to birth control, emergency contraception, and birth control, they are also overwhelmingly in favor of abstinence-only (or abstinence mostly – I point to Tennessee’s new law about this) sexual education techniques. Just based on what I’ve been gathering this morning about Florida, I can pretty much assure you that it is the state’s fault (and it’s lack of clear fore-planning while enacting these types of laws) that is at fault for this calamity.

Starting in the presidency of Reagan, we began to see a recurring trend in government funding for abstinence only sexual education. “Beginning in 1981 under the Reagan administration, the federal government increasingly put its support and money behind abstinence-only-until-marriage programs. Today, there are three separate funding streams supporting these programs…” (Sex Ed in the “Sunshine State”, page 2, report collated by Sexuality and Information Council of the United States.) “Along with these funding streams, the federal government developed an eight-point definition of ‘abstinence education’.” (Same report, same page.) The full eight point definition of the government’s abstinence education are as follows:

  1. has as its exclusive purpose teaching the social, psychological, and health gains to be realized by abstaining from sexual activity;
  2. teaches abstinence from sexual activity outside marriage as the expected standard for all school-age children;
  3. teaches that abstinence from sexual activity is the only certain way to avoid out-of wedlock pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and other associated health problems;
  4. teaches that a mutually faithful monogamous relationship in the context of marriage is the expected standard of sexual activity;
  5. teaches that sexual activity outside of the context of marriage is likely to harmful psychological and physical effects;
  6. teaches that bearing children out-of-wedlock is likely to have harmful consequences for the child, the child’s parents, and society;
  7. teaches young people how to reject sexual advances and how alcohol and drug use increase vulnerability to sexual advances; and
  8. teaches the importance of attaining self-sufficiency before engaging in sexual activity.

On the face of it, these values don’t seem so awful. We would like our children to be aware of what sort of negative effects they could expect if they got pregnant as a teenager. And we would also like them to be aware of that abstinence is pretty damn effective at keeping our kids from having kids. However, these programs just don’t work. Just as a parent, I can tell you why it’s not going to work. Whenever I tell my son not to do something, he’s more likely to do it. As a child, I had this same contrary gene (and still do) whenever I was told not to try something or not to do something. So, by making sex into some by mystery to teenagers who are rampant with emotions and hormones that they don’t understand, we’re just asking for trouble. And I’m not making this shit up, either.

A direct quote from the report I’ve been taking information from, “Several studies have evaluated the effectiveness of abstinence-only-until-marriage programs. In April 2007, a congressionally commissioned evaluation of Title V-funded abstinence-only-until-marriage programs showed that they were ineffective in changing the sexual behavior of teens. The report… found no evidence that abstinence-only-until-marriage programs increased rates of sexual abstinence. Students in the abstinence-only programs had a similar number of sexual partners and a similar age of first sex as their peers not in the programs. Out of 700 programs, the four programs studied weren’t selected randomly—they were hand-picked because they were thought to be the most promising and, yet, they still failed.”

However, even though we are rapidly moving away from the abstinence-only-until-marriage viewpoint for sexual education in this country, there are still states that are mandating it. (Again, I point vociferously toward Tennessee’s new mandate about these types of programs.) Florida, our darling and delightful Sunshine State, is no different in this point-of-view. Another direct quote from this beautiful report about Florida’s sexual education, “the state of Florida continues to participate in the Title V abstinence-only-until-marriage program. Even more troubling is that the state’s contribution to keeping these failed programs in operation has exceeded what the federal government itself requires as a condition for participating in the program. In fact, the state has squandered over $15 million of taxpayer money since Fiscal Year 2003.”

While this information is now nearly ten years out of date, as of 2007, the University of Florida reported that sexual education in most Florida classrooms were either so varied or merited little to no class time, meaning that children in desperate need of valuable information (or any information) are missing out entirely. According to this article as of 2009, Florida was sixth in the nation for teenage pregnancies. And that article goes on to say that money earmarked for comprehensive contraceptive and abstinence education sources was refused over a “squabble” with the federal government about whether or not the money should be used toward abstinence only sexual education programs or not. The article goes on to say that there is no uniformity in regards to how sexual education happens, from county to county. “The state policy requires schools to ‘teach abstinence from sexual activity outside of marriage as the expected standard for all school-age students.’ However, each district interprets that statute differently. For example, Manatee County has incorporated more comprehensive sex education curriculum, while Baker County has decided to adopt a very rigid abstinence-only sex education policy.”

So, just based on this information alone, we can assume that the poor fourteen-year-old’s story that began this entry had little access to proper sexual education and contraceptive resources. Just for funsies, I went back to the super fucking awesome article I was quoting about Florida being a douche about their sex education to see what the county the girl happens to reside in has to say or do about sex education. “Polk County School District includes two videos produced by The Medical Institute on its approved video list for health education. The two videos are Thought You Ought to Know and Sex Is Not a Game. The Medical Institute (formerly the Medical Institute for Sexual Health) describes itself as a ‘medical, educational, and research organization’ founded ‘to confront the global epidemics of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).’ It is a national organization that provides assistance to abstinence-only-until-marriage educators and providers.” I did a general Google search for the first video mentioned in my quote and this came up. I think my favorite part about that is this, “What I love about the video is that the message is a 180-degree turn from the ‘safe sex’ teachings that threaten to turn this country into Condom Nation.” Of course, the book I’m quoting from is called God’s Design for the Highly Healthy Teen.

I think we can assume that the girl got shit for sex ed.

So, based on that alone, we can almost clearly see that this tragedy was going to happen. If it wasn’t for that girl, then it could have been for someone else. However, even with shitty sexual education to blame, we must also look and see if the girl had any other recourse of action after discovering that she was pregnant. As much as conservative politicians don’t like the idea, we still have the ability to get the morning-after pill and obtain abortions. However, nowadays, we can clearly see a trend in restricting access to the people who need it most – teenagers and women in dire straights. Be that as it may, we should at least consider that the girl had other options available to her just in case she really is a crazed murderer.

In looking up the morning after pill in Florida, I stumbled on this gem of a resource. This talks about the Medical Conscience Clauses that have recently been put into play in various states in the United States. These clauses pretty much allow a pharmacist or doctor to refuse some form of medical advice, medication dispensation, or medical procedure based solely upon the doctor’s or the pharmacist’s moral or religious stance in regards to things. So, going back to my first link about the gem of an article I accidentally found, a direct quote about the conscience clause relating to the state of Florida, “Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Maine and Tennessee have broad refusal clauses that do not specifically mention pharmacists.” (Emphasis mine.) So, just based on this article, which was last updated in May of this year, even if the girl could find money enough to purchase some Plan B from her neighborhood pharmacy, or even go to one further from home if the circumstances lined up, there was absolutely no sure-fire way to ensure that she would get the pill in the first place since, apparently, in Florida, you can refuse to do anything you want because you have morals!

Well, we do still have the Big A as an option, right?

As of June of last year, Florida made law some shit about parental consent. As quoted from the article, “In addition to revising the definition of constructive notice required if actual notice of a parent is not possible, the bill also affects the ability of a minor to obtain a court waiver from the parental notification law.” Based on this information, we see that Florida is a parental consent law state. I’ve mentioned and read before that most teens aren’t aware that they can get a waiver. With the new bill put into law, though, I can’t quite figure out if the three-day ruling period would negatively impact the court ruling or not… (On the one hand, I would think that mandating that they give a response in three days could mean more “fuck you; tell your parent” moments but on the other hand, it also makes the court move more swiftly in case an abortion can be obtained by a waiver… and I have read instances where the courts have sat on a response until after an abortion could no longer be legally obtained, by the way.)

Be that as it may, the point in this is that at fourteen years of age, this girl could not have legally obtained an abortion easy or swiftly. And I’m sorry, but when you make a major decision like that, as soon as possible is really the safest and best option for all parties involved.

So, with my long huge rambling rant and sources, I have to tell you that the tragedy here isn’t merely that a little girl got pregnant when she decided to experiment with sex (or even just have sex for the hell of it). The real tragedy isn’t just simply that she ended up murdering her infant for fear and because she didn’t know what to do. The real motherfucking tragedy here is the fact that she had no outlets easily accessible to her.

And instead of punishing the state for failing her by enacting laws and putting procedures into play that restrict her access to sexual education, the morning after pill, and abortion, they’re going to penalize her and any other family member or friend (adult, really) who may or may not have known about the pregnancy. The point here, ladies and gentleman, isn’t the fact that they want to punish someone for a needless death, but that they don’t want to punish themselves for failing this poor child. It’s better to lay the blame at somebody else’s door, am I right?