assault


Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn My rating: 2 of 5 stars This book was good, but it wasn’t. That may not be obvious since I rated it so low. Firsts tackled some tough subjects, but it didn’t really do so in a great or helpful way. I honestly wonder if it may have done more harm than good. The intention of the author, much like the intention of the main character Mercedes Ayres, was probably a good one at heart, but, as the proverb goes, “the road to hell is paved with good intentions.” Good intentions cannot fix what is truly wrong with this book. I understand the attempt to soften the approach people take to cheating and slut-shaming, but it doesn’t actually achieve that. Instead, it pushes those stereotypes even further and dismisses criminal behavior as seduction and bad parenting. Luke is portrayed as the former boyfriend, while the behavior described is clearly sexually abusive. He groomed Mercedes before forcing her to perform oral sex on him and before eventually raping her. Charlie’s actions are not really any better. Filming a person having sex without their consent is illegal. Trying to physically force someone to have sex with you is illegal. Attempting to blackmail someone over their sex life is, you guessed it, illegal. But the author chooses to say that Charlie was trying to “seduce” Mercedes. No, that’s not seduction. Those are acts of sexual violence. Kim is an emotionally abusive and emotionally & physically neglectful mother, and Mercedes’ absentee father who decided to punish Mercedes for her mom’s decisions isn’t much better. Kim is portrayed as a slut and a bimbo who only cares about spending the ill-gotten gains of her ex-husband. It’s the kind of storyline that you might get from websites run by “men’s rights activists” and MGTOW. Faye is the supposed-to-be-subtle-but-really-isn’t cautionary tale. Zach is the night-in-shining armor. Angela is the good girl, the girl with the patience of a saint and who is let back into Mercy’s life too easily. Mercedes is the fallen girl/girl gone bad who takes on the sins of all those involved & is nearly ruined in the process. She is constantly obsessing over what side she should show others, which is something that a lot of people feel, but it was never really addressed in the book. Yes, there’s the whole, her mom screwed up how she thinks about sex, beauty, weight, etc., but that’s not enough to explain why she is so hyper-critical and why she is convinced that she is unlovable. And if you’re going to spend a whole book tearing down the main character’s self-esteem, then you need to spend more than a couple of pages making her act like she’s all-better all of a sudden. Sometimes it came across as preachy. No, wait, it always came across as preachy. The sex lives of most of the characters in the book are regularly criticized. Angela, Mercy’s BFF, is super-religious and pushes her faith onto everyone. (There are even Bible verses that are quoted and referenced.) Her sex-negative attitude only pushes Mercy to hide her actions. Kim’s antics seem to push the idea that adultery leads women to even more vice-filled lives. Mercy’s internal dialogue about how many guys she’s had sex with pushed the idea that girls & women who have ‘too much’ sex might be seen as used up goods. The outcome at school for Mercedes pushes the idea that women and girls have to be punished for being sexual. When Mercedes describes how she feels about sex and intimacy, even when she sometimes thinks she’s attracted to Faye, it’s almost like reading a pamphlet on sex addiction. Honestly, I was a bit disappointed by the way that her pseudo-attraction to Faye was handled. I know that with sex addiction, a person might engage in sex with people that they aren’t really attracted to, but the whole “is she going to kiss me” thing that existed through most of their interactions was just shrugged away toward the end. I didn’t know if Mercedes was only thinking about Faye that way because she really doesn’t understand relationship boundaries or if she might not be as heterosexual as she eventually felt the need to declare she was. Sex addiction or figuring out that you’re LGBTQ might be an interesting topic to cover in a novel, but it needs to be addressed in a better way. Come to think of it: all of the issues that are described within the book need to be addressed properly. In attempting to counter the sex-negativity that people, especially women and girls, encounter in their lives, the book actually pushed an even more sex-negative outlook. The book essentially normalized sexual violence, parental neglect, and shaming young women for being interested in sex. That’s why I don’t think I could ever truly love this book. It almost seemed like a book I could like until it became clear that it was just another in a long line of anti-sex books with ambiguous attitudes toward abuse and sexual assault. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. View all my reviews

Review: Firsts


After watching Audrie & Daisy, I seriously hope that Darren White loses his bid to be reelected. I know documentaries don’t always give you the full picture, but it’s clear that he doesn’t respect rape & sexual assault victims. This is one Democratic candidate I would never vote for, and a race where I’m actually hopeful the Republican wins. His bias was clear. Daisy Coleman deserved more from his department. He failed her. He failed the people of Nodaway County, and the bullying & vandalism that took place after her rape is proof that he is also unable to keep the peace in his community. He does not deserve to be a law enforcement officer anymore. Unfortunately, I don’t believe he will lose. If the people of Nodaway County and Maryville can be so hateful toward a rape victim based upon who raped her, then they might not even care about the miscarriage of justice by Darren White. Maybe they’ll prove me wrong and elect Randy Strong. I hope they do.

I Hope the Nodaway County Sheriff Loses



Button Up: Trump, Consent, and Culture Donald Trump’s ridiculous claim that all polls show he won second debate with Hillary Clinton False: Ted Cruz claim that Hillary Clinton backs ‘unlimited abortion’ to moment of birth From Now On, Anal Fissures Will be Known as Trumps A Few Quick Questions for OkCupid’s Moderators If you care about the environment at all, why are you voting for Jill Stein in a swing state? I’m Afraid I’m Going to Have to Cancel Men Michelle Obama delivers the most powerful indictment yet of Trump’s misogyny An Open Letter to My Mother, Who “Might” Vote for Donald Trump Trump suggests women speaking out are too ugly for him to sexually assault Trump vs the GOP Understanding How the Manosphere Views Women Why the Green Party Has Destroyed Itself with Jill Stein Yom Kippur, Donald Trump, and Apologizing Like You Really Mean It

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Another day, another detailed list of why Trump should not be President. And guess what else happens today? The Democratic National Convention starts. Yay! If you’re surprised that I’m a Democrat, you’re obviously new here. And if you’re new here, then you don’t realize that I’m posting 21 reasons every day for 99 days to show why Donald Trump should never be the President of the United States. I’m not trying to push any of the other candidates in these posts, even if I do prefer one party to all the others. Now that I’ve gotten through with the disclaimer-esque statement, let’s get on to the discussion of Trump’s failings. Let’s see, we left off with Donald Trump allowing a racist gambler to dictate how he ran his casino, so let’s go to a similar claim about Mr. Trump and his casinos for number 43. 43. When Donald and Ivana would go to the casino, the bosses would order all black employees off the floor. For a man who vehemently denies racism, he’s done a lot of racist stuff. No one knows if it was just the bosses at his Atlantic City properties who made the order or if it was an order from the boss-man himself, but Kip Brown, a former employee, told The New Yorker about the “policy” last summer. 44. Donald Trump called black people lazy and said he only wants Jewish people counting his money. In Trumped!: The Inside Story of the Real Donald Trump — His Cunning Rise and Spectacular Fall by John O’Donnell, one-time president of the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, says that Trump once told him: “Yeah, I never liked the guy. I don’t think he knows what the fuck he’s doing. My accountants up in New York are always complaining about him. He’s not responsive. And isn’t it funny, I’ve got black accountants at Trump Castle and at Trump Plaza. Black guys counting my money! I hate it. The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes every day. Those are the kind of people I want counting my money. Nobody else.” Trump continued with, “Besides that, I’ve got to tell you something else. I think that the guy is lazy. And it’s probably not his fault because laziness is a trait in blacks. It really is, I believe that. It’s not anything they can control…Don’t you agree?” When interviewed by Mark Bowden for Playboy magazine in 1997, Trump responded that the account was probably true; but in 2016, he said that it was fiction. Are you starting to get the feeling that his claims of not being racist are a little disingenuous? 45. Trump was sued for lack of diverse employees in 1996 at a riverboat casino. Trump was sued by 20 African Americans in Indiana for failing to hire mostly minority workers for a Lake Michigan riverboat casino. Trump had promised that 70% of his workforce at the floating casino would be made of members of the minority community and 52% would be women. The lawsuit also alleged that he hasn’t honored commitments to steer contracts to minority-owned businesses in Gary. 46. Donald Trump is supported by Vojislav Šešelj. Admittedly, in late May 2016, Šešelj was acquitted by the Hague of crimes against humanity and war crimes in Croatia and Bosnia in the 1990s, but that doesn’t make his January endorsement of Trump any more acceptable. His acquittal was blamed by the ICTY’s judges on the prosecution causing confusion over his role in the ethnic cleansing of Bosnia. If Trump is being openly supported by people who are linked to ethnic cleansing and is refusing to disavow their support, then what does that say about Mr. Trump? 47. Trump is also supported by the Daily Stormer, Richard Spencer, Jared Taylor, Michael Hill, and Brad Griffin. If Donald Trump was a shepherd, white supremacists would be his flock. It’s not a coincidence that white supremacists want Trump elected. He “speaks to” them, their hatred, their ignorance. The Daily Stormer’s publisher, Andrew Anglin, announced the support of Trump for his anti-Muslim plan with statements like “Heil Donald Trump — THE ULTIMATE SAVIOR” and “Make America White Again!” Anglin also appreciates that Trump has spoken negatively about Mexicans. Richard Spencer, who is “dedidcated to the heritage, identity and future of people of European descent” sees Trump as the candidate “bringing identity politics for white people into the public sphere in a way no one has.” Spencer said, “Identity is the most important question to answer. Who are we racially? Who are we historically? Who are we in terms of our experience? Who are we in terms of our community?” He appreciated that Trump “seemed to understand and echo many of his group’s ideas intuitively, and take them to a broader audience.” He also pointed out that “there’s no direct object” in Trumps’ statement relased disavowing David Duke’s endorsement. Spencer also believes that Trump will encourage more people to turn toward his beliefs. And while he used to believe that Trump might not share the beliefs himself, he now believes that “Trump thinks like” him and that that’s why people like him love and support Trump. Donald #Trump makes us feel alive. pic.twitter.com/KkGoimK52T — Richard B. Spencer (@RichardBSpencer) July 22, 2016 We The Right-Wing Now. #GOPinCLE #Trump #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/hN9wX5JE7q — Richard B. Spencer (@RichardBSpencer) July 22, 2016 Jared Taylor was featured in pro-Trump, pro-white, anti-Muslim robocalls in Iowa by a super PAC. Taylor also appreciates Trump’s anti-Mexican rhetoric and said, “Ordinary white people don’t want the neighborhood to turn Mexican.” Trump failed to distance himself from the calls made on his behalf and even suggested that his supporters had “legitimate anger” behind their actions. Taylor has never supported a presidential candidate before, but he believes in Trump and thinks “someone who wants to send home all illegal immigrants and at least temporarily ban Muslim immigration is acting in the interest of whites, whether consciously or not.” Founder of the hate group League of the […]

2016 Reasons to Oppose Trump: Reasons #43-63