“You see what’s exciting about someone like you is you’ve got opinions—most people your age are…”

“You see what’s exciting about someone like you is you’ve got opinions—most people your age are so frightened of giving offence, they can hardly forge a sentence. I mean if you’re not offending someone each time you open your mouth, can’t really call yourself a thinker, can you?”

Jeremy, “Posh” by Laura Wade
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Social Media is So Anti-Social

Social Media is So Anti-Social:

I’m 30 years old and I have been using computers since I was a toddler. I’ve been using the internet since elementary school. I designed my first website when I was about 13 or 14. I also ran an online zine on AOL at that same time. I’ve had my own domain where I host my personal blog for 13 years now. You could call me a geek or a nerd and I would be totally okay with that. What you should never call me is a whore or a slut. You shouldn’t threaten me with rape or murder. You shouldn’t say that I deserve a lobotomy or I look like a man or that I’m fat or ugly. You shouldn’t say this sort of stuff to anyone, anywhere. Ever.

Shortly before I turned thirty, I made the mistake of responding to a snarky comment from a Twitter user. This user had responded with “BWAHAHA A Woman made the hashtag” over my friend calling out people who were making rude remarks on the hashtag #FlukeForCongressCampaignSlogans. I asked him, “Is that supposed to make the hashtag any less offensive?” He responded with, “Haha! I bet you’ve never needed BC. #HumanManatee” I’ve been made fun of for years over my weight. It’s a sore subject for me, but I didn’t want this stranger to know that. I didn’t want him to know that I cared what he or anyone else thought about how I looked, so I fired back, “You think you’re original, but you really aren’t. And I have been on birth control off and on since middle school.” I probably should have either ignored the first remark or left out the part about taking birth control in middle school, but I didn’t. I never stood up for myself as a kid when people would say cruel things about me due to my weight, so I felt good about standing up for myself with this internet bully. And I’ve never been ashamed of the fact that I had to take birth control pills when I was in middle school (or high school or college) because there’s nothing shameful about them. A little packet of pills had never defined me before, but when I used them to respond to this guy, they did. 

I was inundated with responses from him and from several of his followers who were egging him on. He accused me of trading anal sex for Big Macs. One of his friends used my then-profile picture to make some meme images that said that my face was birth control. A few of the people, including the original troll, said that I didn’t look like a woman because they couldn’t tell if I had breasts. I was called “Honey Boo Boo” in fifteen years. There were other comments that I can’t even remember right off. All I remember is that it went from this one guy insulting me to a group of five or six people insulting me dozens of times in less than fifteen minutes.

I reported every single abusive tweet to Twitter that night. I blocked each of the people. I quit engaging with people online for about two months. I also began self-injuring regularly again. I felt suicidal a few times. And I waited to find out if Twitter was actually going to do anything about it.

They didn’t.

The first response was about a month after it happened. They decided the #HumanManatee comment wasn’t worthy of being considered abusive. I’m not exactly sure how that isn’t considered abusive and I tried to get them to explain it to me, but there really was not explanation.

The next response was another month later. It was the larger decision, about the rest of the tweets and the users who made them. Twitter decided none of these users were abusive.

I was dumbfounded. How was this not abuse? How was it okay to say these things? I know that sometimes when you’re interacting with someone you disagree with that you might get snarky or downright mean, but, in all my years online, I’d never seen it get this bad, this quick, and I’d never seen a service basically say there was nothing they could do. Twitter told me that I was basically going to have to both block this guy and keep up with whether or not he made any more attempts to harass me.

He didn’t.

Instead, he picked on other people. He picked on enough people that he had his primary account permanently suspended. That occurred after he repeatedly used Islamophobic slurs. His secondary account had some temporary suspensions levied on it, but it still exists. His tertiary account also still exists. He’s had other people report him, yet these accounts still exist. I’ve had people contact me off of Twitter to tell me that this particular person has made comments to them like he made to me, yet these accounts still exist. I’ve seen people complain about reporting him or friends of his for sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, and otherwise discriminatory language, yet these abusive accounts still exist.

A few hours ago, he insulted not one, but two of my friends. He said that he would never have sex with one because he didn’t have sex with animals. He made rape threats to another. The first friend is considering not using Twitter again. The second is trying to figure out why Twitter decided to give her a temporary ban for the argument, when they aren’t doing a thing about to the account of the guy who threatened her.

It’s not just Twitter and it’s not just this guy. Threats and abuse are levied at people every single day online. Some sites will do something about it, but social media sites, in my experience, just say, “Well, don’t pay attention to them and they’ll go away.” Sometimes they do go away, but usually, they’re only going away because they’ve found fresh meat. They only go away so that they can torment someone else. And when social media websites do absolutely nothing or next-to-nothing, it makes the sites complicit in the abuse. Banning one account or temporarily suspending one account for harassment or abuse doesn’t do anything. It doesn’t send any kind of message, except for the message that it is okay to abuse other people.

No one should have to avoid their mentions for fear of being told they’re ugly or deserve to be raped or stupid or an abomination or any of the other horrifying things that greet people when they’re checking their accounts. If a website like Twitter has an abuse policy, then it should be willing to enforce it. And it shouldn’t take months to do so. Months isn’t good enough. Weeks isn’t good enough. The way things are being done isn’t good enough. We all deserve so much better.

This also happened today. My Feministing post got posted. *happy dance*

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10 Myths Anti-Feminists Have About Feminists

Previously published on Thought Catalog

 

Before Janet Bloomfield even launched into the meat of her diatribe on the lies feminists tell, she decided to tear down all feminists. If a woman is a feminist, she is an “unattractive, angry woman who blames all her problems on men. She is single, bitter and spends most of her time showering other women with contempt for not making the ‘correct’ feminist choices, whatever those happen to be. She is loud, screechy and deeply unhappy.” While she acknowledges that this is a stereotype, she seems to have no issue with promoting it. She even justifies it, which makes sense. People who promote intolerance often justify that intolerance in some way. And she uses this intolerant view to promote five lies that she thinks feminists tell. And when she says this, she makes sure to use hyperbolic language to promote her own feelings of intolerance. The problem with this is that she is using her own feelings of anti-feminism to promote ignorance and not promote actual facts. Let’s take a look at what she and many like her get wrong.

 

MYTH: Trigger warnings are a feminist thing that turns women into children. They are illogical and only exist for women.

FACT: Though many feminists talk about trigger warnings, the warnings exist outside of feminism. Triggers are words or actions that lead to a trauma victim having flashbacks. These flashbacks happen not only to women, but to men and to transgendered persons. They don’t just happen with victims of rape and domestic violence, but to people who have gone to war, been in car accidents, women who had a difficult delivery, or been in any other traumatic situation.

Though they have only recently become a part of everyday language, flashbacks, trauma triggers, and PTSD have been discussed throughout history. By the end of the first World War, the British army had dealt with 80,000 cases of a condition that is now best-known as ‘shell shock’. These men would have unrelenting anxiety, tics, and nightmares. Despite the fact that it was the cause of 1/7th of the disability discharges in the British Army. Though these men had killed other men, while fighting for their country, they were labeled as cowards or weak. (If they deserted, like some did, they could face execution.) When people like Janet Bloomfield suggest that feminists who support trigger warnings want to turn grown women into children, she is doing the same thing to them that people did to men returning from war almost a hundred years ago. Having PTSD is not something that makes a person childish or weak or a coward. It is not something that people should be mocked for having. In fact, it’s sometimes summarized as a “normal reaction to abnormal events”. Asking for people to respect your limits is not a childish thing. It is an establishment of a boundary, something that is very difficult for persons with PTSD.

 

MYTH: Simply stating that there is something triggering could trigger.

FACT: For some, yes. For some, no. Some people do get triggered by the warnings themselves. Some don’t. Some are triggered by graphic descriptions. Some are triggered by seeing a simulation of the trauma they endured. Each person’s triggers are different, but that doesn’t mean that we have to stop respecting them by doing away with the warnings.

 

MYTH: Feminists view people who can’t deal with being triggered are “pathetic simpletons” who are “incapable of controlling their emotional reactions or confronting the slightest bit of adversity or conflict”. They see women as being emotionally fragile.

FACT: No. Having a mental health issue does not make a person weak or fragile. Trigger warnings for people PTSD are like allergy warnings for people with food allergies. If you don’t call a person who is allergic to peanuts “weak” because a chocolate company puts a warning that a product that doesn’t have peanuts was manufactured in the same factory as food that does have peanuts in it, then you shouldn’t call a PTSD patient’s trigger warnings a weakness. They are just a warning that there is the possibility that if you look or listen to a particular thing that there is a possibility that your illness will be triggered.

If you look at people who openly discuss their triggers as being fragile or being weak, then that really says more about you and your intolerance than it does about the person being triggered.

 

MYTH: Feminists who talk about “victim-blaming” don’t view women as smart, rational or aware.

FACT: Feminists do view women as smart, rational, and aware. They also know that the blame for a rape lies on the rapist.

A rape victim can be dressed provocatively or like a slob. A rape victim can be drunk or sober. A rape victim can be pretty or ugly. A rape victim can be drugged or they can be asleep or they can be awake. A rape victim can be raped by a stranger or by someone that they know. A rape victim can be a baby or a small child or an older child or a teenager or a young adult or middle aged or elderly.  A rape victim could be armed and still be raped. A rape victim could know self-defense and still be raped.

A rape victim could drink water from a bottle they’ve brought from home that has never been opened. This bottle might never leave their sight. They could still be raped.

The only thing that is true for all rapes is that they were committed by a rapist.

And the reason that victim-blaming is often brought up is that there are people who continue to blame any and every rape victim for their rape. For example, when Austin Clem received a suspended sentence for his conviction of the rape of his neighbor from the time she was thirteen until she was eighteen, someone commented that it was an affair, saying, “At what point does one take responsibility to report her rapist?”

In another local rape case, where a teacher at Vina High School was accused of raping a student, there were comments like this on the local news’ Facebook page:

“yes she is young but she knew what she was doin I am sure tgat [sic] wasn’t her first fling just saying”

Meaning: She might be 17, but she’s probably had sex before and that makes this okay.

“It was definitely wrong on his part, but I hope the girl is punished in some form, because at 17, she consented and now the man’s career is probably over, and it’s not right for her to walk away from it free and clear and with no consequences.”

Meaning: He did the wrong thing by having sex with her. She did the wrong thing by allowing him to have sex with her. She’s not only responsible for her actions, but for his as well, and she should be punished for poor decision-making by man who was twice her age.

“It seems unfair that she can ruin him for life while she carries on with hers as if she didn’t have anything at all to do with it.”

Meaning: Whether this is rape or sex, she doesn’t have to live with what happened at all. It’s not like research has shown that boys and girls who have been raped or been “in relationships” with their teachers have long-lasting psychological problems.

“these days 17 looks alot [sic] older and more filled out must be the water”

Meaning: She has boobs, so it’s totally okay to rape her.

There were two other teachers (one male and one female) accused of rape at that school. As far as I know, only one of the three has been convicted of rape. Guess which one that was.

MYTH: “Women are so easily intimidated by the most soft-spoken and accommodating of men that even when they say yes and consent to sexual activity, it is up to the man to read the depths of her mind to make sure she is not in fact being coerced into activities she doesn’t want.”

FACT: Some are easily intimidated. Some are not. This can go back to things an individual experiences in their life. Rapes can be perpetrated by a person who is soft-spoken or who seems accommodating. Coercion can happen if a victim thinks that the rapist holds any power over her. The rapist could be the boss of the victim. The rapist could be the owner of the place the victim lives. The rapist could be a teacher. These are cases where if there is an implied position of power, the choice of the victim can be called into question. If a rape victim (regardless of gender) feels that a rapist (regardless of gender) could harm the victim’s life in anyway by resisting, then sex with the victim would be considered a case of coercive sex or dubious consent.

 

MYTH: Feminists hate when women choose to marry, have a family, and stay home with that family.

FACT: Feminists believe that if a woman chooses to marry, have a family, and stay home with that family, then she can do that. We believe that men and women should have the ability to choose whether or not they want to do things like go to college, get a job, get married, have kids, etc. As long as it is that person’s choice, then it’s okay. The thing that feminists don’t like is when that the choice can be taken away from a person by their biological family or by their partner.

I don’t actually remember learning at a young age that earning money would give me satisfaction or self-fulfillment. I was raised by two parents who identify as feminists, but I was also raised within a highly conservative religious movement (LDS) in a highly conservative state (Alabama). The culture I grew up in taught me that women are not as smart or capable as men.

As for how people actually feel on opting out or in, in a 2010 survey said that 75% Americans believe “a working mother can establish just as warm and secure a relationship as a mother who does not work” and that 40% of mothers are their family’s sole breadwinner. There’s research that shows that the number of men becoming the primary caregiver and stay-at-home-parent is going up. Of the women interviewed for the book Opting Out? Why Women Really Quit Careers and Head Home, 60% of the women that Pamela Stone interviewed who had quit their jobs had gone back to work. In a survey by economist Sylvia Ann Hewlett, 89% of the women who opted out of working decided that they wanted to go back to work, but only 73% succeeded in getting any job and only 40% got full-time work.

 

MYTH: Feminists want you to have lots of sex, which is bad because it won’t actually liberate or empower you.

FACT: Feminists believe in having sex if the parties involved are consenting. If you only have sex with one person in your life, that’s cool. If you have sex with hundreds of people, that’s cool. If you have no sex ever, that’s cool, too. The big thing is that the sex is consensual and that you don’t judge people for their sex lives.

 

MYTH: Lack of intimacy in sex denies people the opportunity to pair bond.

FACT: Pair bonding is not solely a sexual activity. Pair bonding can be achieved in other social relationships. Social pair bonds exist with relatives and friends. While sexual pair bonds are natural and important, they are not the only way that a person can pair bond. A cultural concept based upon the idea that we need sexual pair bonds is just that: cultural. The main purpose for the intimate and monogamous relationships that JB talked about is to legitimize reproduction.

((The myth for this part seems to have disappeared. Her claim was that disappointing sex was the reason that women falsely report rape.)) If disappointing or unfulfilling sex were the real driving force behind rape complaints by women, then the rate would be higher. When 13,000 women were interviewed for a study published in American Sociological Review in 2012, 69% of the women reported having at least one “hookup” by their senior year of college and, in that same timespan, 74% had been in at least one relationship that last six months or longer. Only 39% of the hookups involved vaginal intercourse and only 11% of first-time hookups involved an orgasm for the woman. That got as high as 16% in second- or third-time hookups with that person. In relationships, the rate of orgasm is higher, at 67%. Now, the lack of an orgasm while hooking up with someone could be seen as disappointing or unfulfilling sex, which means that 89% of the first-time hookups might be considered rape. My math may be off, but that means that of the 8,970 women who had a hookup in college, 61% could (by your definition of rape on college campuses) report that a sexual assault had happened. The rate that feminists use is between 20% and 25%. That definition would make the rate 3 times higher than any feminist has argued it is. The 1-in-4 or 1-in-5 claim that feminists have takes into account the 48.8% of women who don’t consider their assaults to be rape and 60% of rapes that go unreported.

 

MYTH: Feminism Hates Men, Masculinity, etc. Feminism causes gender role issues.

FACT: Feminism doesn’t hate men. Feminism does challenge the patriarchy, which holds both men and women back. Hatred of the patriarchy is hatred of system that gives power to people who have always had the power and continues to deny it to people who have never had it. It is the same system that leads to impoverished people remaining impoverished all their lives. It is the same system that imprisons and harshly punishes minorities while giving whites lesser punishments. It is why the rate of minorities being executed is higher than that of whites. It is the status quo. It is a system that needs to be changed.

Feminists also don’t hate masculinity. Feminists hate the idea of rigid gender roles. Boys who want to play with dolls should be able to and girls who want to play with toy cars should be given that opportunity. It will not harm society to allow kids to grow up feeling comfortable with the things that they like rather than being shamed for an unwillingness to conform. Feminists want people to be able to be themselves and achieve at the things that they can do and want to do, not the things that they are expected to do.

 

MYTH: Feminism is responsible for ADD diagnosis and over-medicating of kids.

FACT: There are three different types of ADD and ADHD. The type that most are diagnosed with is the combined hyperactive-impulsive and inattentive type. The type that goes undiagnosed most is the predominantly inattentive type. The other type is the predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type.

While studies have shown that more children are being diagnosed with ADD before and that boys are 4 times more likely to be diagnosed with it, no cause has been shown for that increase. Research has shown that by adulthood, women are as likely as men to have the disorder. This means that girls and women may be going undiagnosed because their symptoms are different. Now there are also issues of boys and girls being diagnosed with the disorder when they have a different mental health issue, with some doctors thinking a bipolar child must have the disorder because mania can closely resemble hyperactivity and impulsivity. With regard to the misdiagnosis issue, doctors and parents need to be more vigilant about making sure that these children actually have the disorder before giving them any medication. (Treating children with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia using amphetamines can cause problems later on.) Diagnosing people with this particular disorder is not the same as hating them, though. ADD medicine can actually help a child who has ADD function better. It can help them to learn.

On a personal note, I got diagnosed with ADD when I was in my first year of college because I was one of those quiet, abstract thinking kids. I excelled in school despite the fact that I spent almost every moment daydreaming. I couldn’t tell a person what had been going on in a class that I just left, but I could do the work and I could test well. It was easy for everyone to look the other way. Most of the people I knew who had ADD growing up were girls; I knew a lot because my mom used to chaperone almost every field trip and teachers liked to put the ADD kids in her group. (They even got other teachers to send their disruptive kids to my mom’s group.) There were boys in the groups and they did act up, but their actions were no more disruptive than those of the girls.

 

There are other myths that anti-feminists like JB like to focus on, like that women believe that all men are rapists. That’s not true. Feminists believe that the majority of rapes are committed by men because statistics have shown this to be true. Feminists also don’t believe that only women get raped. Feminists understand that all people can be rapists and all people can be victims, but that isn’t the same thing as believing that all people are rapists or that all people are victims. Feminists also don’t believe that men’s issues don’t exist, but we do believe that feminism is not the cause of those issues.

It’s time that people stop blaming feminists for all the world’s problems and start actually working toward ending the problems.

See, I can use hyperbolic language, too.

Guess who’s back. Back again.

Guess who’s back. Back again…

Oh. My. God. I hope this means the douchenugget will finally leave me alone. Five days & I thought I was in the clear.

In case you don’t remember, this is the lovely human being that declared me post abortive of my immaculately conceived offspring. The one who I had not spoken to since the last set of rude tweets came five days ago. The same person that kept trying to shame my friend for having had an abortion, but wouldn’t cop to being abusive. Yeah. I’m the unstable and abusive one.

Please let the dude just get the fuck away from me.

UPDATE: The following is where this person came up with the idea that I have a morbid fascination with serial killers:

My name is Janet. I was born in 1984 on the cusp of Aquarius and Pisces. I’ve had this site since 2001. I love to watch/read anything to do with vampires. I’m interested in learning about mythology, serial killers, and various other things that don’t generally interest people my age. I tend to discuss my problems in this blog, so if you don’t want to read my whining about my health, then you might want to go now.

That’s my bio on fuzzypinkslippers.com. I barely mentioned my interest. I suppose he’d call me a Nazi if he knew I also watch documentaries on WWII & the oppressive actions taken by governments at the time. I didn’t realize liking to learn things made me a threat to society. It’s good to know, though. If anyone reading this has kids: don’t let them learn things. That leads to mental instability, lesbianism, and witchcraft. No. Wait. That’s reading. But learning & reading go together, so who knows?
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Unpopular Opinion: The Piña Colada Song

Escape (The Piña Colada Song) bothers me.

Song Synopsis: The relationship of the couple in the song has become boring and they decide to put out personal ads to find something better. And they find out that they were talking to one another via the personals. They think this is so cool and find out that they didn’t know much about one another.

  1. They put these ads out while still in this relationship. There is no mention that they know that they’re seeking a new relationship or that they’re in an open relationship, so that makes them liars and wannabe cheaters.
  2. They have a lot of things that they don’t know about each other. Clearly they have communication issues. I don’t know if it’s that they just don’t tell one another stuff or that they don’t trust the other person. If they’re willing to cheat on their SO and to be cool with having the other person cheat on them, then I would think that it’s the lack of trust.

WHY. ARE. THEY. STILL. IN. THIS. RELATIONSHIP?!

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Random blog posts since 2001. Other randomness since 1984.