salon: Ronald Reagan pretty much ruined everything for millennials. #education #school #student loans #politics #ronald reagan #oh the shit that got talked about this man in my social work classes #he was the shittiest #yeah bush sucked massively but reagan… the gop compares the man to jesus #he’s basically a total what would jesus NOT do #because he gave no fucks about the poor or the sick or anyone who breathes #which is every-fucking-one btw #this was a shitty man #and he doesn’t deserve praise #he deserves scorn and hatred and full-on rage #because he sucked #a lot via Tumblr

“one of my friends who’s been involved in OW as a BYU student was just threatened with the “resign or else” ultimatum by her old stake president (who will personally reside over the process in a far away city). Her, and others like her, will likely face excommunication quietly in the eclipse of more notorious individuals like JD and KK. Normally I’d include some sort of quip here, but this speaks volumes by itself.” – June purge extending to byu students : exmormon via Tumblr

What can you say about Elliot Rodger? It’s a more difficult question than you would think. Was he a misogynist? Obviously. Was he mentally unstable? Probably. Does his mental state play a bigger role in this than the misogynistic beliefs that he held? That’s where things get sketchy. Before the shooting, his family probably actually knew he was in dire need of some kind of mental health intervention because his behavior was seriously messed up. It doesn’t matter whether you watch his video on retribution or just the one where he’s on a tirade because a couple sat down on a bench at the beach and kissed. There is something unnerving about his thoughts and beliefs. That could be attributed to being mentally ill, but mental illness does not generally cause a person to become violent. It certainly does not cause them to exact revenge on their “enemies” for perceived wrongs. I am a major believer in the idea that many people who have been arrested have some level of mental illness or mental instability.1 That doesn’t mean that I excuse them of what they’ve done. It just means that I want their issues to be recognized and treated in the way that can make them a more stable and more secure member of society. The problem in this case is that Rodger was a narcissist. Let’s be honest. He wasn’t just a sociopath. He didn’t just lack remorse for the bad things that were going to happen. He wanted to hurt people; he wanted to respond with anger and violence toward other human beings because he believed they were responsible for his suffering. These are things commonly associated with narcissism. And the only way to fix a narcissist’s thought patterns is for them to realize that they are the ones who are actually at fault. He wasn’t there. He probably wasn’t going to get there. His case is an extreme example of someone who was probably never going to get better. And that isn’t unusual with personality disorders. There is a reason that they are defined as being maladaptive. One has to be willing to work very hard to overcome them. His way of overcoming them was to plan and partly2 carry out the mass murder of other individuals–strangers and people who he knew quite well. That’s not exactly a sign that better therapy and drugs would help him, so bringing up the idea of mental health care as a way to dismiss other root causes for his violence does more harm than good. One of those very important things was the hatred that he had for women. This was not some annoyance or some mild distaste. This was full-on hatred. Women owed him respect. Women owed him dates. Women owed him adoration. Women owed him sex. Anyone who disagreed was wrong. Anyone who disagreed deserved to be taught a lesson. Anyone who disagreed deserved to die. This is the logic that you see in hate crimes. And this event was exactly that: a hate crime. He felt fully justified in going around and killing as many people as possible because he was ashamed to be a virgin at 22. And some people have attempted to justify his actions, telling women that this is why they should say yes. That it is okay for a person to want to kill them because they reject them. It’s kind of like how some of these same people try to justify when a woman is raped. And if you call them out on this shittiness, then they try to turn to a different topic: men being raped3 / men not getting custody4 / how women are too powerful in the world. Really? How fucking powerful do they really think that women are in this world if rape or murder is the response to telling a man no? If a person is okay with harming a woman because she does the horrible thing of saying no to them, then the cool-with-rape-person obviously doesn’t view that woman as being very important or powerful or worthy of any level of respect. Dear people who think this way: You are not owed respect, dates, adoration, or sex because of your gender or because of the other person’s gender. You’re actually not owed anything. Women do not have to fuck you just because you have a dick. They do not have to fuck you because you happen to be horny. They do not have to fuck you because you feel shitty about yourself. They do not have to fuck you simply because you exist or because you wish they didn’t. How do people end up thinking this way? It isn’t just wackadoodles on pick-up artist websites and mass murderers who frequent those sites. It’s something women encounter on a day to day basis. Thus the whole #YesAllWomen hashtag5 that has trended on Twitter. When it takes less than a day to have hundreds of thousands of tweets across the world talk about living in fear or being sexually violated or being beaten by someone they should have been able to feel safe with, there is a problem. No, not all guys are like that, and most women will point out that they know this. The problem is that no woman can tell just by looking at a guy or just by spending time with him that she will be safe. Dating, sex, and even friendship with guys are things that are potential threats to a woman’s life. And when bad shit happens, it is usually not just a case of a woman being victimized by one person. Women regularly encounter individuals in law enforcement, people they go to school or church with, people they work with, family members, and other friends who are dismissive of what has occurred. Somehow a message has gotten out that on some level any woman who encounters misogyny is actually to blame for encountering it. Something she did caused it. If she […]

Shit Misogynists Do

Uninvited by Sophie Jordan My rating: 3 of 5 stars I finished this book last night and I’m still not 100% sure of how I felt about it. I know that, for the most part, I was not all that impressed by it. It had an interesting premise, but I feel that it was not executed properly. It had a few likable characters, but there were more unlikable ones. First of all, you have Davy who is the greatest thing since sliced bread. She’s perfect at everything, except she has a little trouble getting an A in a college level course. She’s already been accepted Julliard because of her amazingness. She’s got the greatest best friend in the world, who has jealousy issues when it comes to the other greatest person she has in her life: her boyfriend. Aside from music, he is her entire world. He is her biggest hobby. And what does her biggest hobby want to do? That’s right. He wants “the sex” from her. Davy also has an amazing family, where she is the favorite child because she’s super-special and not a free-thinking slacker like her brother. All of this changes when she becomes uninvited from her prestigious private school and picks up what is basically a probation officer because she’s got Homicidal Tendency Syndrome (or HTS), which puts her at a greater risk to kill than most people. When this is discovered, she becomes a pariah. She is forced to go to (gasp) public school and is forced into a specific class for other HTS carriers. She learns quickly that anything bad that happens to her is automatically her fault because she’s an HTS character. Get beaten up? It’s your DNA. Get raped? Your DNA. If a vigilante kills you for having the HTS gene, then they are the hero and you’re the monster. Sorry, that’s just how it is. And, while this is horribly unfair and unjust and should never happen, the way that she whines about it makes her rather hard to feel any empathy toward, but somehow I managed to do so. Her perfection, arrogance, and lack of regard for how much of a hypocrite she is was grating. The science and math issues are the next problem. Okay, if a person has a gene that puts them at risk for a behavioral problem, then it generally does just that: puts them at risk. A person can have a genetic predisposition toward being mentally ill or have a personality disorder, but actually ending up with it will still depend on a lot of factors, including the environment that they grow up in and the one they are in around the time of their diagnosis. Stress can impact it. Trauma can impact it. You can definitely bet that torturing and branding (both apply to the imprinting process) can bring it on. And putting a person in a modern-day concentration camp? Yeah, that will bring it out. So the violent acts that HTS patients partake in after diagnosis can be explained by the oppressive measures used in the society that they are in. Before each chapter, there’s a press release or transcript or chart of statistics related to HTS and their carriers. This would be cool except that, in the case of the ones that explain HTS or its prevalence, the science that is used and the statistics that are used are inconclusive. Based on what was presented, Wainwright’s conclusions about HTS patients being a threat to humanity make the claims by Andrew Wakefield and Jenny McCarthy about MMR and Autism look like actual science. It’s crack science. It compared numbers of homicides committed in general to ones committed by HTS carriers, just gives the HTS carries’ rate amongst the overall homicide rate. It doesn’t show how many HTS carriers actually commit crimes, how often it happens, what they consider to be an actual homicide, what the HTS carriers may have endured growing up, or how being dehumanized may have contributed to the later criminal behavior. It does not seem to be a study that could be reproduced or that was truly peer reviewed. There’s another problem. Though it isn’t addressed in the book, I had to assume that this was an alternate universe version of Earth. The setting was within the next 10 years. There is no way that a freshly published study published today could gain such a stronghold in society to the point that they are willing to force Holocaust-like conditions upon undesirable citizens in less than ten years time. And that’s when the study would need to be published, right now. And it would have taken years to do the research, devise the study, propose it so that you can fund the study, perform the actual study, then come up with the conclusion, and finally find a publication that would accept it. Science isn’t really a think about it and it’s so kind of field. Even when breakthroughs are made, they are often dismissed by many within the field unless there is irrefutable proof to uphold the breakthrough. For example, the Wakefield thing that I brought up, which was falsified, was dismissed by most legitimate scientists because there had already been research that showed the safety and efficacy of immunizations. Likewise, there have been multitudes of studies into why people commit crimes and what goes on within the mind of a murderer. The only explanation I could think of to even justify this kind of world that she is suggesting is that it is an alternate universe where there is some level of already published research that would back up Wainwright’s findings. It had one of my biggest literary pet peeves: gratuitous sexual assault or threats of sexual assault scenes. Not one or two. Nope, I counted at least six of them. This is a book for young adults, which generally means that it’s meant for teenagers. I don’t like when adult books go for pointless threats and acts of […]

Review: Uninvited

There are a lot of ignorant people who end up being politicians. Most of them are ones that you may never even know their names because they don’t represent you or because they don’t speak their very ignorant positions on subjects. Unfortunately, in the State of Alabama, those politicians don’t like to sit around and keep their mouths shut. No, they speak up. And they speak loudly. What they say ends up being so horrifyingly stupid that you wish that they would just duct tape their mouths shut. Today, when I got home from getting my thumb checked out, I had an email from Raw Story with today’s big stories. One of those stories had the headline: AL Republican outraged at teaching of ‘The Crucible’ because ‘McCarthy was right’. Obviously, being the geek that I am, I had to check this out. I wondered which one it could possibly be, if it was a politician or a wannabe politician. I guess it was a little of both. Scott Beason told The Anniston Star that it was inappropriate to “compar[e] the McCarthy investigations of the 1950s, in which he turned out to be right, with the Salem witch hunts.” Apparently, a textbook was under the mistaken impression that people being wrongly accused of witchcraft and losing their livelihoods (and sometimes their lives) went through similar struggles that the people who were wrongly accused of being communists endured. Well, I guess that they are a little different different. On the one hand you have 20 people who were executed (most by hanging, one by being pressed-to-death) for being witches–something that we now know was total crap; on the other, you have a Senator leading trials accusing thousands of Americans of disloyalty, subversion, and treason or sympathizing with communists. Aside from the Rosenbergs, no one else was executed for this sort of crime during the rest of the Cold War. In terms of deaths, they are different, but if you look at them as examples of injustice brought on by irrational fears, well, then you realize that they are so similar that it is scary. Actually scary. A lot of innocent people were victimized by the House Un-American Activities Committee and Joseph McCarthy. And they weren’t simply put on trial. They were imprisoned. They lost their jobs. Being subpoenaed by McCarthy’s committee was considered a valid reason to be fired. They could be targeted not just for possible political leanings but for things like being gay. Homosexuality was considered a psychiatric disorder during that time, but it was also considered to be a subversive behavior and indicative of perverts. So you could be called on trial because someone thought you might be gay and that could lead to you losing your job or going to prison. That sounds like a modernized version of the persecution that went on during the witch trial era. And if State Senator Beason actually studied both eras and the play The Crucible, then he might get why they are linked in that textbook. Maybe he wouldn’t, though. He also complained about Hiroshima by John Hersey as undermining American values and The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien, which he felt portrayed Americans as “the bad guys” and goes against his belief that we were the good guys in the Vietnam War. John Hersey wrote Hiroshima from the Japanese view. He went to Hiroshima and interviewed the six “characters” of the book. Each one explained what they witnessed to him within a year after the bomb was dropped. Tim O’Brien’s book had a story about a soldier feeling guilty for killing a North Vietnamese soldier. Guess what? Tim O’Brien was a soldier. He fought in Vietnam. The story may be something he personally felt. I guess that Beason thinks that all soldiers like to kill & never feel bad about their actions. Well, many don’t enjoy war. And if they feel absolutely no remorse or regret, then I would feel worried. Personally, I don’t want the military full of sociopaths. Maybe State Senator Beason does, but that’s not the kind of people I want out there fighting. Either Mr. Beason isn’t well versed on history or he’s hopelessly xenophobic. Whatever the reason is for his ignorance, it is disgusting that this is the man who is wanting to reform the education system in the state. He wants the State Superintendent to be an elected position instead of appointed, which would mean politicians and not educators would be in charge of decisions–people who could be bought very easily by PACs and who may have absolutely no knowledge of how to teach young people. He wants the state to opt out of using the Common Core curriculum. And his reasoning is that he wants everyone to be taught conservative American values, but the reality is that he’s afraid of the initiative because he links it with Obama. What he doesn’t seem to realize is that the standards for Common Core were created by state-based agencies, not by the federal government. He likes to talk about parents who have complained about the program, but he misconstrues the realities of the program. And, of course, people believe him. I wish that he would quit spreading his foolishness. There are already a lot of people who are uninformed or misinformed. His interviews and speeches that spread this kind of ignorance only makes things worse. People think that he must be informed because he’s a politician and he’s read the law, but when he says this kind of stuff, it becomes pretty evident that he’s lacking when it comes to reading comprehension.

Better to Remain Silent and Be Thought a Fool Than ...

98% of the students at Johnson are minorities, while Grissom has 18%. Johnson is unranked in the state & nation, but Grissom is 7th in the state and ranks at 890 nationally. Proficiency in English and Math are at 60% for Johnson, but Grissom has about 95% for both. The district average is under 80%. And this isn’t a one year thing. This is an every year thing. Johnson always tests below district average and Grissom always ranks above average. Johnson always has an almost exclusively minority population and Grissom is always predominantly white.1 I went to Huntsville and Grissom, which are both mainly white–mainly due to white flight, which if you aren’t aware of is a racist decision a lot of white folks made to keep their precious babies away from children of color. I digress. Grissom is a nationally ranked high school and pretty much always has been. Huntsville has around 90% proficiency in reading and math. What about the predominately minority schools like Johnson and Butler? Well, they have lower rankings in reading and math. They end up in local and state news for things like failing standardized tests. Not only that, the minority students at majority schools end up being treated like they aren’t good enough–not just by students, but by teachers. It doesn’t matter if that child is at the school because they are bused in or if they are there because their parents live in the zone for that school, the kid is always treated as less than. And when it comes to peer groups or for certain types of activities (i.e. cheerleading)? It isn’t always popular for the groups to be integrated. There were four or five cheerleading squads at Grissom when I went there, about 10 girls on each squad, and one minority student. One of my middle school’s best cheerleaders was unable to make any squad despite being captain, being on an all-star team, being a damn good dancer and doing having kickass tumbling skills. There were white girls who made the squads who didn’t have that experience, who didn’t look like they were as good as her, and it bugged me because I always felt like she was disregarded for a position that she totally deserved. Before I transferred with a medical transfer, I was told that I could actually get into Huntsville easier by doing percentage of race because Huntsville “needed” more white kids. (It was less than 20% minority even then.) I still went with the medical transfer and I got it approved. When I got there, it seemed like all social groups were divided on race lines. Maybe not intentionally, but it seemed that the black kids were regularly treated worse. And when I chose to sit with three black girls over a table full of white girls, it seemed to make some of the white girls uncomfortable. I felt like I fit in with those 3 girls more than that table. And I didn’t want to not sit with them because someone else was uncomfortable. If it made the 3 uncomfortable, I would have left, but they didn’t complain.2 With the tendency of people in this area to continue with the us vs. them mentality and the racial slurs and everything, I’m assuming that things have not improved in the schools. I’m assuming that things are actually worse. And knowing that the school system will not give the proper funding to the minority schools and that the white kids will never sit with non-white kids unless they have to, I think the best way is force every school to be balanced. That 20 minute bus ride that some people don’t want their kids to go through is a lot better than raising a kid who thinks that he or she is worth more or less than people of a different racial background. That is what the system is teaching kids. The schools don’t have to give minority kids the best education because they are somehow less deserving and if they aren’t deserving of that great education, then the kids end up believing they’re also not worthy of being their friends. Those kids grow up and continue to perpetuate a cycle of inequality and bigotry, which does no good for our society. Maybe it wouldn’t fix things, but it would be better than pretending like nothing needs to be done or like things are so much better now than they could be. When you are under-educating children on purpose, you don’t get to complain about how much worse it could be. If you think a twenty-minute ride could ruin your kid’s day, then think of what not having people take that ride could mean. And think about about how that ride is already taken by some kids to get the best education possible. Why is it okay for those kids, but not yours? US News and World Report ↩They ended up being the first group to tell me that I wasn’t actually white, but clear black. ↩

Why I Support Desegregating Huntsville Schools…Again

We’re extremely excited to bring you the cover for ALL LINED UP, the first book in Cora Carmack’s highly anticipated Rusk University Series! ALL LINED UP is a New Adult Contemporary Romance novel published by William Morrow (an imprint of HarperCollins). It is due to be released on May 13, 2014!! ABOUT ALL LINED UP: In Texas, two things are cherished above all else—football and gossip. My life has always been ruled by both. Dallas Cole loathes football. That’s what happens when you spend your whole childhood coming in second to a sport. College is her time to step out of the bleachers, and put the playing field (and the players) in her past. But life doesn’t always go as planned. As if going to the same college as her football star ex wasn’t bad enough, her father, a Texas high school coaching phenom, has decided to make the jump to college ball… as the new head coach at Rusk University. Dallas finds herself in the shadows of her father and football all over again. Carson McClain is determined to go from second-string quarterback to the starting line-up. He needs the scholarship and the future that football provides. But when a beautiful redhead literally falls into his life, his focus is more than tested. It’s obliterated. Dallas doesn’t know Carson is on the team. Carson doesn’t know that Dallas is his new coach’s daughter. And neither of them knows how to walk away from the attraction they feel. “Laughter + heartache + hot sexual tension = the perfect Cora Carmack book.” — Monica Murphy Pre-Order Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes About Cora Carmack: Cora Carmack is a twenty-something writer who likes to write about twenty-something characters. She’s done a multitude of things in her life– boring jobs (like working retail), Fun jobs (like working in a theatre), stressful jobs (like teaching), and dream jobs (like writing). She enjoys placing her characters in the most awkward situations possible, and then trying to help them get a boyfriend out of it. Awkward people need love, too. Her first book, LOSING IT, was a New York Times and USA Today bestseller. Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Author Goodreads | ALL LINED UP Goodreads

COVER REVEAL: All Lined Up by Cora Carmack

Right wing nut jobs are apparently on a misogynistic kick targeted at Sandra Fluke. They’re apparently so afraid of women being on birth control that they’ve got to make some dumbass comments because they think that she might run for Henry Waxman’s seat in Congress. And the best way to mock a woman? Call her a whore or a slut or anything else that makes her look “immoral” to constituents. Americans can’t possibly want to elect a morally suspect woman into office, even though we elect morally suspect men all the time. According to shit-for-brains Rush Limbaugh, Sandra Fluke is a slut. He made this comment back when she testified before Congress. Apparently, when Fluke testified that 40% of women at Georgetown reported struggling financially because of the health plan’s coverage, or lack thereof, of birth control, she was giving a clue to her sex life. She testified that it could cost $3000 for birth control over the course of law school.  She testified that the problem existed for working women. She testified of a friend who needed The Pill for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome to prevent her from going into early menopause, which would increase the friend’s risk of cancer and other health conditions, and would keep her from ever giving birth to her own child. (The friend was a lesbian, so she wasn’t in need of it for birth control.) She testified about insurance companies interrogating 65% women and their prescribers about their reasons for taking the medicine; the insurance companies still wouldn’t pay for 20% of those cases, including in her friend’s case. She testified about another friend, one with endometriosis not getting coverage because the only way the insurance company could be sure that she had endometriosis was to have her undergo surgery. She testified that these women, for the most part, were Catholics. She testified that 94% of the campus wanted better coverage. Never in her testimony did she say that she was looking for the coverage for herself. Never did she say that she was an escort or prostitute. Never did she say that she even took the medicine. Never did she say that she suffered from some uncontrollable sexual urges. Nothing about her own sex life was in her statement. But she was labelled a slut and called a “sex-crazed coed” by a man who has been married four times and was once arrested in Palm Beach for having Viagra that wasn’t in his name in his luggage after returning from the Dominican Republic. He did this back in March of 2012. Almost two years later, she is still being called names by many of Rush’s followers. She is still a whore because he called her sex-crazed and a prostitute. He said the words were meant to be humorous. Yeah, being called a slut is always such a funny thing. I always love being made fun of for my sex life, don’t you? Um, no. No one enjoys being humiliated over being a slut or being a prude. Even guys don’t enjoy being the butt of a joke for two years about their perceived sexuality, but most of the time, men are lucky because society doesn’t hold men as accountable for their sex lives as they do women. Anthony Weiner is a great example. He was doing so well in the race to become New York’s mayor until people found out that he was still lying about his sexual proclivities. And it wasn’t that he was still sending women pictures of his penis that kept him from that office. It was that he was lying. Every person knew that Bill Clinton was a horndog when he was elected the first time in 1992. They knew more about his sex life in 1996 when he was re-elected. He is still touted as a great politician and a rather moral individual. And during his sex scandals, he wasn’t the one who was picked apart as viciously as Monica or Paula or even Hillary. Hillary is still ridiculed by some for “standing by her man” or for “turning a blind eye” to his affairs and sexual harassment. Her choices in those scandals were brought up during her presidential campaign in 2008, but Bill was still respected. What I’m getting at is that this label so callously thrown at her will follow Sandra for years and it really shouldn’t. Even if it were true, she wouldn’t deserve this treatment.

IDGI: Anti-Sandra Fluke