Since these tweets are all related, I thought I’d do it in one big post. A Tumblr user asked for me to include my disability diagnoses, so I added those to the descripti… — Janet Morris (@janersm) September 3, 2015 The full text of this update: A Tumblr user asked for me to include my disability diagnoses, so I added those to the description. I also want to thank those who’ve donated. I also want to thank those who’ve shared the link without donating. And I want to thank those of you who have offered your thoughts and prayers. I appreciate it all so much. Wow. In the last 24 hours, I've gotten $45 in donations on .@gofundme. A big thank you to those who've donated. It means so much. — Janet Morris (@janersm) September 3, 2015 That $45 will get me out of the red for August's bills a day early. — Janet Morris (@janersm) September 3, 2015 And it eases the anxiety I had over the first round of bills for September. — Janet Morris (@janersm) September 3, 2015 So I am very, very grateful for the help. — Janet Morris (@janersm) September 3, 2015 Follow @JanersM on Twitter.

I had to make a trip to the library and to Walmart on Saturday. I needed to return some books, DVDs, and CDs to the library, and I needed milk chocolate chocolate chips and pancake mix at Walmart. And on the drive, we talked about this bout of strep, the miscarriage she had after my parents got married, the almost miscarriages she had while pregnant with me, & about all the weird things I ended up inheriting from one or both sides of the family–including drug allergies and bad immune systems.  Since some of those things are recessive, she felt the need to apologize for passing on those genes. She also decided she needed to apologize for ending up in a relationship with someone who carried similar recessive genes. She said that if she’d known, she would have done things differently and that she realizes a lot of my issues wouldn’t have happened if they’d had children with other people.  Part of me is glad she is finally acknowledging something that’s been a sticking point in my relationships with both parents. But I also don’t like the realization because it means if they’d done things differently that I wouldn’t be here. I may wish for that sometimes, but I don’t really want it. I don’t like a lot of what I’ve experienced, but I really don’t know if I’d want to change that.  If I hadn’t been sick or hurt so much, maybe I could have participated in soccer or volleyball or skating or taken dance longer. Maybe I could have had real Christmas trees and fewer doctor appointments. If I wasn’t mentally ill, maybe I would have graduated high school and not gotten my GED, maybe I would have gone away to school, maybe I’d be married and babied. But things still could have gone badly. Or they could have altered important experiences–good & bad.   If I hadn’t been abused or bullied, I might not have gotten so involved in online stuff. I would have missed out on amazing friendships that mean so much to me, even if I don’t act like it. If I’d been able to have a “normal” love life, I might not have gotten stood up on what was supposed to be my first date. I also might not have gotten to meet A and have an unconventional, but wonderful experience of important firsts.   So, yeah, I’d love to have had a happier or healthier existence. I’d love if my parents could have had happy and healthy kids in a happy and healthy marriage–or happy and healthy marriages. But I wouldn’t be me. I might not even exist. And that is something I don’t like thinking of any more than I like being sick, easily injured, or painfully shy.  I spent so long hating my body for its flaws, my brain for its issues, and my family for bringing me into existence. I don’t want to be like that. Not anymore. So I will deal with my drug allergies and my never-ending strep as long as it means that I get to keep being me.  Thanks, mom, for wanting to spare me of suffering, but I’m good. 

While We Were Out

Anyone who likes Christina Hoff Sommers should probably leave this blog. I see people talking about her debunking of the wage gap and her “equity feminism” beliefs without mentioning that she isn’t exactly the best source of what is good/bad economics- and equality-wise. Why? Well, her current job, for one. (Her previous job of ethics professor doesn’t really mesh with it.) Christina Hoff Sommers works for The American Enterprise Institute (AEI), which is a “think tank” for rich white people who don’t like to think. On AEI’s Board of Trustees, there is the totally equal ratio of 24:1 (men to women). That sure sounds like equity has already been achieved there. AEI’s interests aren’t in actual equality, but in fighting America’s “culture war” and reforming education, affirmative action, and welfare. They have also been advancing their causes of making sure all voters have photo ID (potential poll tax), doubting the reality that is climate change, opposing regulation of the financial system, opposing increases in minimum wage, and defending big tobacco. “Scholars” of AEI have written articles in favor of government censorship of art. I can almost hear the goose stepping now. When he was in office, George W. Bush appointed over a dozen people from AEI to senior positions within his administration and they helped promote his war machine. Reportedly, they offered money to scientists who would dispute a climate change study. They’re big on the whole “anti-lobbying” thing and I’m guessing that that’s because you don’t need to lobby when you’ve already got people in positions of influence within the actual government. Once upon a time, Kenneth Lay (of Enron fame) and Dick Cheney were on the board of trustees; Dinesh D’Souza is a fellow there. And its current incarnation has ties to both ALEC and the Koch brothers. AEI’s affiliate, Charles Murray, published The Bell Curve in the 1990s; it established IQ was a determinant of socio-economic status. But that’s not the only issue.  

IDGI: Christina Hoff Sommers Fans

I mentioned in my post about blocking that I’ve started blocking abusive people; sometimes before they insult me. I left something out.1 Seeing the same sort of harassment being perpetrated against others has led me to follow other frequently harassed people. It’s kind of funny. The abuse and harassment is meant to degrade and dehumanize people; it is meant to make them feel alone in the world. For me, it provided me with new friends and acquaintances. It gave me a group of people with similar beliefs to laugh and joke with. The abuse backfired. In trying to tear down individuals, it brought them together. I won’t say that the abusive comments didn’t hurt or that they didn’t impact me in a negative way. They did. But I’m choosing to look at the positive side of the whole issue. I’m choosing to acknowledge the new friendships and the fun that came with them as being more important to me than the hateful words of some asshole online. Intentionally. ↩

Unexpected Effect

A while ago, I told a guy I had been talking to on the phone and texting/IMing (we never met in person/we met on OKC) with that I was no longer interested. In our early conversations, he told me all of the compliments I’d never heard and all of the ones I’d always wanted to hear. He made me feel like I could always depend on him to make me happy. Like he was the only way for me to feel that happiness. I think that was deliberate. He told me early on (a week after we started talking) he loved me and wanted to marry me, despite barely knowing anything about me. He’d gotten more disturbing with each discussion and each one made me more scared about if I would be safe around him. I had to tell him I felt exactly like he did (ie I loved him) or that I cared more for him than he did for me or he’d suggest I didn’t care. I also had to describe sex acts that I wasn’t interested in so he could get off. If I said I wasn’t interested in something he would tell me that I would be when we met and that we would do it then. Our last phone call, he described wanting to choke me during sex. It didn’t sound like kink related choking. It sounded a bit more threatening. I knew I needed to walk away, so I tried to. A couple of weeks after I first said I was no longer interested in talking to him, he IMed me. I had to explain (again) why I wanted to end our conversations. After I did, he told me that he still felt horny. I told him that knowledge made me uncomfortable. He asked if I would do him a favor and I said yes, even though I wanted to walk away. He wanted me to sext with him one last time. I didn’t want to, but I felt like I owed him something. And I worried that if I didn’t that he would come find me. (I still think that sometimes.) So I briefly did/said what he wanted. And I cried while I did it. I finished describing whatever fantasy he wanted me to describe and I wanted to scream and vomit. Ever since my mood has been worse, I want to avoid people more, and I just feel like some part of me broke. I’ve only told my two best friends. I can’t tell my family or the guy I’ve been casually seeing (aka having sex with). They would probably be supportive, but the idea of telling them scares me. I feel like it’s my fault and that I’m being ridiculous because what happened wasn’t something that physically violated me. I know violating emotional boundaries is still a big deal. I just can’t convince my brain because I feel like what I went through shouldn’t be doing this to me. But it is. And I don’t know what I should do. He didn’t break the law. I’ve blocked him online. I wouldn’t answer any calls and told my parents not to answer his calls if he made them. But there’s not much more I could do. via Tumblr

Little Talks

I’m pro-choice. I have been for twenty years now. I will be until my death. There is nothing that can be said or done that will change this. This leads to a lot of bad shit. People say a lot of shitty stuff when they find out that you’re pro-choice.1 Today I posted a link from NARAL on my Facebook profile that promoted an editorial in the LA Times. I had a friend respond with this–beware, it’s a bit gross:2 Have you ever had an abortion? How about an abortion where the EXPERTS were wrong on the age(12 weeks when it was actually 16) of the fetus? How about hearing the heart beat of a fetus at 12 weeks? No, I highly doubt you have. Having to go through an abortion that when the EXPERTS finally realized the actually age of the fetus with a strong heart beat and could actually determine the gender and yet still performed the abortion? To be awake to hear them auctioning out a fetus of 16 weeks, a heart beat, a gender if female and in doing so you hear them say oops as they puncture your uterus resulting in bleeding out? No I highly doubt you have? While waiting in the waiting room and hearing some stupid girl who brag on how it was her THIRD ABORTION and how she found it a great choice in birth control. This country and the people of this generation have lost ALL RESPECT of morals and how to be responsible for their actions. We have become a disposable world, even of life. The following is my response to this friend. There is also a quote included that is even more grotesque than the one above. I have not had an abortion, nor would I ever plan on having one. I do believe in individual choice. I have morals and I am very responsible. I just believe that it is not my right to make a decision on another woman’s health. And, before you ask, I have heard the argument that the decision to have an abortion ends up affecting the life of the fetus. The problem with that argument is that the fetus involved is depending on the life of the mother to survive. If a woman chooses not to carry a child to term, she should have safe, legal alternatives. Abortion is not a new concept. It existed before the decision in Roe v. Wade. All that that decision really did was give women access to safe, legal abortions. Abortions that were a lot less likely to end in the death of both the mother and child. Abortions that were a lot less likely to take away the fertility of the woman because of some infection. And every time that politicians and lobbyists try to take away the availability to those abortions, they endanger the lives of women. This is a quote from Jessica Valenti’s book The Purity Myth: “A woman in South Dakota who wants to get an abortion, for example, is subject to so many hurdles—geographic, financial, and legal—that getting an abortion is near impossible. Sarah Stoesz, president of Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, says that in her region, the obstacles make don’t women so desperate that they take matters info their own hands. “Stoesz tells me the story of an eighteen-year-old living in western South Dakota who had an unplanned pregnancy. Because of financial constraints that prevented her from traveling across the state to the Planned Parenthood clinic in eastern South Dakota, this young woman inserted a toothpick into her cervix in desperation, hoping it would induce an abortion. After several days, she became afraid and called a local doctor to help her. The doctor informed her that removing the toothpick from her cervix might cause an abortion, so he refused to see her.” After all sorts of obstacles were put in this woman’s way, she endangered her life by this desperate act because she didn’t want a child. When people argue against abortions, this is the alternative. It’s either the life of the potentially aborted fetus or the life of both the fetus and the mother. If people really wanted the abortion rate to go down, then we would have things like stronger (more informative) sex education classes. We would provide easier access to birth control, rather than have court cases like with Hobby Lobby, to prevent access. In places where abortion and adequate sex education classes are in place, the rate of unwanted pregnancies and abortion is lower. If you want to stop the abortions and have younger people be “more responsible”, then fight for that, instead of against abortions. Because when you really look at what causes the abortion rate to go down, it’s birth control and sex ed–not attempting to slut-shame, not accusing people of being irresponsible, not victim-blaming. No, if you want people to “be more responsible”, you make it so that being responsible doesn’t cost them their job or get them kicked out by their parents or isn’t so expensive that they can’t afford it. You teach them their options and ban education techniques that only promote abstinence or that give faulty information. You let them know the actual failure rates. You react with honesty and compassion. If they decide to have an abortion, you continue to have compassion for them. You believe that they know what is best for their lives. I know that’s what I’d want if it were me. I am the only person who gets to make a decision about my health. A doctor can make recommendations. My family can make their objections known. I’m the one who has the say because I’m a person and I know what is best for me. I don’t know what’s best for my friends or my family or for total strangers and they don’t know what’s best for me. It’s called bodily autonomy and respecting it means that you respect another person. And […]

If You Wanna be Pro-Life, Be Pro-Sex Education

Remember how excited I was about the date? Yeah, I shouldn’t have been. No, it wasn’t a bad date. It wasn’t an any kind of date. You see, it takes two people to have a date. One person didn’t show up. And the no-show wasn’t me. Yeah, I got stood up. On the same night I was accused by an ex-friend1 of being full of myself,23 I got stood up. I knew from friends and pop culture that it was painful, but I didn’t realize just how bad it actually felt. I was humiliated. I felt like everyone around me could tell what was happening. I felt like every bad thing I’d ever been told about myself and every bad thing that I’ve ever felt about myself was true. And I felt ridiculous for feeling that way. This wasn’t some guy that I had secretly pined after. It wasn’t someone I knew or who knew me. It was just some random guy. Sure, he is one of the few guys who has ever told me that I’m attractive, which boosted my self-esteem, but I don’t know him. So it felt silly to be sad over him not showing up. I was still sad, though. And pissed. And I felt like it was my fault that he didn’t show up. Maybe I was too forward asking him out. Maybe he decided that I wasn’t smart enough for him. Maybe he decided I wasn’t pretty enough for him. Or maybe he got to the mall and saw me and left. I kept putting all of the blame on me, but I know that it isn’t really my fault. I showed up. I had some doubts after we agreed on the date, but I showed up. I didn’t know if there was enough between us to matter, but I showed up. I didn’t know if I saw him in person if I would still feel attracted to him, but I showed up. I showed up and he didn’t, so I should blame him. On a cognitive level, I do. On an emotional one, I don’t. I didn’t binge after it happened, and I could have. I definitely could have since the meeting was to take place in the food court of the mall. The food court has a Ben & Jerry’s. I considered going to town on that. I didn’t want to mess with my lactose intolerance, though.4 But I did consider it. I also considered never eating again.5 I didn’t self-injure afterward, and I could have. I won’t say that I didn’t think about it because I did. I texted, watched some television, took a shower, laughed at things posted on Twitter and Tumblr,6 argued with the ex-friend on Twitter and Facebook,7 and cried.8 I cried until my face burned. I cried until my eyes hurt. I cried and I silently screamed for minutes. And then I went back to my life and tried to move past it. It sucks to be stood up, but I guess that’s part of dating and part of life. I would just advise people who date that calling to let someone know that you’re not coming is a lot nicer than just leaving them high and dry. I would have felt better knowing that he wasn’t interested than I did in just sitting there feeling like I was defective and ugly and would be alone forever.9 So, I know that if I ever have to bail on someone, I would definitely try to get a hold of them so that they wouldn’t go through that. But I’m trying not to let this experience keep me from going out more. Hopefully, it won’t. Maybe I should take a little advice from Yoda on this. “Do… or do not. There is no try.”1011 She wasn’t an ex-friend until she decided to out herself as homophobic. ↩Because people who have low self-esteem are always full of themselves. ↩Also, she called me a “know-it-all”. I’m not a know-it-all. I’m a pedantic and a literalist, but I’m not a know-it-all. There is a difference. Considering that I also have OCD, it makes sense that I would have those issues. ↩Don’t wake that sleeping beast unless it’s absolutely necessary. ↩I’ve started thinking about that more lately. ↩On Tumblr, there was a big discussion of Jesus participating in threesomes. This carried over to Twitter, where I mentioned that there should be a list of the most fuckable portrayals of Jesus. ↩Somehow she doesn’t seem to realize that wanting separate levels of civil rights for certain groups = being a bigot. Someone apparently hasn’t learned much about the history of civil rights and oppression, aka the history of the fucking world. ↩I cried over the being stood up, not the shitty friend or the lack of fuckable Jesuses in my life. ↩When you start pondering what breed of cat to start a crazy cat lady collection with, you know you’ve hit a pretty low spot in your self-esteem. ↩Meditate on this I will. ↩Much to learn, you still have. ↩

Better Days to Come

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 […]

10 Myths Anti-Feminists Have About Feminists

“ Men who complain about the “friendzone” don’t know what friendship is. For the record, friendship is when you care about another person’s well-being. The end. And the only thing your friend owes you is to care about your well-being in return. Friendship isn’t biding your time until your “friend” trusts you enough to accept your penis. That’s manipulation, and don’t be surprised when the woman you are trying to manipulate takes offense when she realizes that you were being nice to her not because you care about her well being, but because you wanted to bang her. This isn’t to say friendship can’t turn into sex or a relationship. When you care about someone, it’s natural to see him in the best light. You might one day find you’re attracted to your friend even though you weren’t when you met, because now you know him and you like what you’ve come to know. This happens. But it only happens for people who actually are friends. Which means opening yourself up to women as people with something to offer other than sex. Which means not using “friendship” as a tactic to get laid. ” – emfish55 via Tumblr