I remember what it felt like to trust someone.

Damon Young has this to say about the confirmation of Louis CK being a serial sexual abuser, and I encourage you to read it all, but I want to highlight this part:

It’s not even how his work—which has frequently, delicately, painfully and hilariously delved into the politics of sex, sexual acts and sexual deviance, and his own sexual anxieties, proclivities and angsts—has to be seen as either him attempting to grapple with his own real-life demons or a performatively progressive cover allowing him a space to conceal his real-life misdeeds (or some combination of both).

See, this is what the truth about Louis CK means to me: it means I can’t enjoy his comedy anymore. It means I have to question what it meant to enjoy his comedy in the past. It means I can’t enjoy another apparently-progressive male comic doing similar material.

It’s not just that I can’t tell who the bad ones are. The situation now is more that I can’t tell who the good ones are. I can’t trust anyone.

It won’t happen, but IF it does…

I would like Steve King to understand that even if the US Gov manages to force me to have babies (which is bloody unlikely), they will probably be mixed-race babies. Not saying that to spite anyone, not saying the existence of biracial people negates racism. Just saying, I live in a very diverse area and it’s too late to stuff that genie back in the bottle.

You guys really want more of me running around?

To all the conservative dudes always harping on about how we crazed feminazis want you to pay for our birth control…

…well, actually, unless you’re paying our insurance premiums for us, you ain’t payin’ for shit around here, but even if we wanted you to shell out for our contraceptives, here’s the thing:

I know the overall goal is for more unplanned babies in general, but think about this: if more of us are giving birth, the overwhelming majority of us are keeping the babies. And do you really want us raising the next generation? Do you really look at my foul-mouthed, wine-chugging, queer, casual-sex-having, atheist, tattooed, fat ass and say, “I want to see more people like that in the world”? I guarantee you the moment we get medical marijuana in Maryland, I’m gettin’ me a prescription. I’d do shrooms if I had a reliable source. I use profanity around toddlers. Do you really want me to be someone’s mommy? 

Face it, birth control without co-pay is good for all of us.

Tired of this basic-ass shit

Just spotted this putz on Twitter:

mattgarzadeleteyouraccount

Yeah, first of all, if you’re going to tag your Tweet as “just saying,” try spelling “just” correctly. Not the sort of thing that requires an advanced degree.

I am so far past DONE debating reproductive rights at this level. Abstinence is not a contraceptive strategy, it is a condition defined by absence. Being in a situation in which you don’t need contraception, is in itself NOT a contraceptive method. You’re not having sex? That’s fine! It’s not a position from which to determine health coverage policy.

Most of all, I am not the least bit interested in playing this game where some lying fuckhead says “well if you don’t want a baby then don’t have sex” and I respond as if this person actually expects us to stop having sex. I no longer accept that premise. They don’t realistically expect us to swear off sexual activity, and they would not be happy if we did so.

The difference between the alleged sexual profligacy of “this generation” and the supposed restraint of previous generations is that we no longer see a virtue in systemically punishing fertile young women for doing what everyone does when they get the chance. We are not interested in going back to the era of pregnant women hiding out in homes for unwed mothers, and their offspring growing up in orphanages. We don’t want to produce even more hungry mouths to grow up to become cheap labor and cannon fodder, and we don’t think that makes us less virtuous than our ancestors who had no better options.

In which I am indistinguishable from one of those crunchy health-purist types

Well, you guise, it seems this is the month when I spend a lot of time at medical appointments. I will count the dentist as a medical professional. I had what was the first of at least 3 medical-professional visits today.

Barring any ominous phone calls 7-10 days from now, I’ve got a good explanation for this weird GYN crap that’s been bothering me since the last visit from Aunt Flow, two prescriptions to clear it up, and that should be sufficient for the time being.

And this is the part where you’ll be glad I put this under a cut.
Continue reading

The terrorists can fuck themselves.

In case you’re wondering whether we can call the Orlando shooting a terrorist attack: yes, it most assuredly was a terrorist attack. It was terrorism in the same way the attempt on LA Pride would have been terrorism: they were doing terrorism on us queer and gender-non-conforming folks. They want us to be ashamed of our existence. Too bad, sorry-ass fuckers: we still exist. Dudes will kiss dudes and girls will keep on licking pussy as long as humanity stands. Get on board or get off the planet.

Don’t like that we exist? Frozen pineapples. They also still exist. Find a frozen pineapple and fuck yourself sideways with it. I’ll be over here, licking pussy along with other bossy fat bitches.

I still exist.

What you all need to understand is that we had family biz this weekend, what with my brother getting married. We could not have asked for a better addition than my new sister-in-law Sarah, and we had a most marvelous celebration of their union on Saturday.

The practical upshot is that I was occupied this weekend along with my fam in New Jersey, which is a mild shlep from our home in Maryland, so I was not in position to blog about events revealed in the past 24 hours.

I saw the news of the Orlando shooting early morning on Sunday, and after so many years of living with Americans shooting each other, my reaction was, “Ah, geez, again?” That says something. Cynicism aside, this is the biggest mass murder in American history since before the beginning of the 20th century, and that’s nothing to sneeze at. Pulse was a gay club, and the shooter (I know his name and am uninterested in spreading it around) did not like that queer people exist and live their lives, and he had weapons and made sure to use them. He’s on the wrong side of history. I’m a queer woman and I still exist. I encourage straight allies to amplify the voices of their LGBT (emphasis on the T, in particular) peeps and ignore the hatemongering from vicious bigots who don’t care about LGBT folk nearly as much as they hate people with foreign names. I repeat: I exist as a queer woman. That bothers some people. Find our voices and spread them around.

 

The best defense we have is knowledge.

Continuing from last post: the main problem as I see it with people like Dan Linford is how many people they hurt, and how long they get away with it before people start talking about their behavior in public settings.

To the extent that women and those-seen-as-women are able to protect themselves from men who don’t respect consent, it’s usually because they were warned beforehand about which men can’t be trusted. This communication tends to take place in back channels.

It may not be realistic to bring the back channels into the sunlight just yet, but we can make the back channels more extensive and comprehensive.

This is where our feminist-sympathizing dudes, who understand the value of consent and women’s autonomy and want to be part of the solution, can help.

If you’re communicating in a private setting with another dude, and he confesses to some violent, predatory, or even just unethical behavior with women, those-seen-as-women, and people whom he sees as potential sex partners? Take screenshots and start passing them around.

Depending on the seriousness of the behavior in question, how long ago it happened, how much remorse he feels about it, and how he’s conducting himself now, it doesn’t necessarily need to make him a pariah. But if we’re interacting with an admitted rapist, we’d like to be aware of that so we can protect ourselves accordingly.

When the communication around the admitted rapist reaches the public discussion level, you can help by signal-boosting women writers when they talk about who has hurt them and their friends. It should not be the case that people tend to hold men as so much more credible than women, but the reality for now is that they do, so you can be part of the solution by reblogging and sharing women’s accounts of who has hurt them and their friends. Speak with us, not over us. Retweet, reblog, link and quote. Believe us, and show up.

Can I trust anyone anymore?

What do we say to the God of Real Life?

“Yeah, let’s have a moment today.”

I haven’t been posting on social justice much outside of occasionally working it into my Game of Thrones analysis. There are reasons for that, mostly having to do with the fact that I am a tall stack of anxieties and neuroses held together by carbs, alcohol and Twitter interactions. Making a long story short, I have to face up to the fact that I am too sensitive to be the activist I once thought I could be.

Which is not to say I’m giving up on being a good intersectional feminist writer. I still care about social justice in the real world. I also need to take care of myself, however, because if I rely on anyone else to take care of me, my needs will go unmet and my mental health will suffer accordingly, and I’m a much better contributor to society when I’m healthy. I’m gradually figuring out how to take care of myself while doing activism for the real world. I’m not there yet.

One of the hazards of Real Life is that people whom I thought were good eggs keep turning out to be awful. This is a hazard of social life from any angle, but when the social circle is built around progressive activism, it’s especially upsetting when a supposedly decent guy turns out to be a predator.

I would like you to take the time to read Heina’s post on the reality of Dan Linford, who was among my Facebook friends up until he deactivated his account.

He has behaved inappropriately in a deliberate way that lent itself to plausible deniability (a classic manipulation tactic), up to and including his confessions of sexual assault, along with the stock-standard patriarchal use of women and people perceived as women for emotional labor.

He uses autism and mental illness to excuse his behavior, but that’s not a reasonable excuse or explanation especially when many of the people caught up in this latest round are autistic and/or mentally ill themselves. Indeed, in my own case, I feel my autism made me more vulnerable to his tactics. Furthermore, his pattern of predatory behavior speaks to a level of manipulation and sophistication rather than to random social blunders or awkwardness. The dots connect into a clear picture. As of this writing, a conservative estimate places about two dozen people as having put forth personal accounts of his predatory behavior, many with eerie similarities.

That’s the beginning. Please follow the link and read the rest.

I am not among the people who were affected by Dan’s predatory behavior; I suppose I never got close enough for him to pull his fuckery on me. It probably helps that other Real Life upheavals have largely driven me away from Facebook in favor of Twitter. Anyway, Dan never did anything inappropriate to me, but he hurt others, and he got away with it for much too long.

What is possibly the most offensive aspect to his story is the part about him using autism and mental illness as distraction tactics. I’ve seen this before in the atheist/skeptical community and I’m sure I’ll see it again and again. Dan may (or may not) have mental illness, but that does not give him the right to disregard boundaries. Dan may (or may not) be autistic, and I’ve seen the “but what if he’s autistic?” derailment used to scold women away from pointing out men’s predatory behavior enough times to suspect Dan saw it as a matter of his own self-interest to be seen as autistic in this context.

Short version: I don’t know whether Dan is actually autistic, but he should NOT be able to use that as an excuse.

On that note, please read this Facebook post by Radical Neurodivergence, in which she details how “but what if he’s autistic?” is used to prevent women, especially including autistic women, from defending themselves against male violence.

STOP saying “well he’s autistic; he doesn’t know better” to excuse autistic or possibly autistic men for creepy, predatory behavior.

He does know better or he needs a behavioral aide and SOMEONE is failure. Autism and creep are not the same thing. There’s loads of effortlessly non predatory autistic men.

Also, a WHOLE LOT of these men who you are defending with this ableist crap? They are targeting autistic & otherwise neurodivergent women.

You know what happens to us?

We’re told we have to be nice and gentle because he’s autistic and doesn’t understand and don’t be mean to the poor autistic man.

We’re told that we have to send the ‘right’ signals.

Nobody ever looks at a woman who’s complaining about a man who didn’t respect her boundaries, and comes to her aid with, “Well, what if SHE’S autistic?” There’s no allowance made for women to struggle with reading nonverbal cues, or for women to have sub-par social skills, or generally to have been less than perfect in interacting with other people.

I have chronic anxiety and intermittent depression, and I’m expected to regulate myself well enough to avoid lashing out at other people, even when I’m sick. My mental illness isn’t an excuse to hurt people.

I have some neurological quirks that may be familiar to many autists, and I was rather delayed in learning social skills, but I’m still held responsible when my behavior makes other people uncomfortable.

You’re either responsible for your actions or you’re not. If not, why should anyone trust you?