Adventures in Holiday Shopping

All I wanted to do was pick up some cheap holiday lights in peace, but no, Sexism and Racism weren't going to let me alone for that long, especially not in a retail environment.

Exhibit A: White-as-Default, Yet Again

So white people holding a baby is just a "holiday ornament". But a black angel holding a black baby is a "cultural accent"? This is like "I have a black friend" for your holiday decorations; pick up an ornament with PoC on it to accent your collection! >.<

Exhibit B: Boys Will Be Boys and Girls Will Be Girls AND THEY WILL NEVER OVERLAP.

Because gods forbid a boy and a girl might actually like the same toys. Oh noes! If boys and girls play with the same toys, gender roles will not be sufficiently enforced upon their delicate little child-minds, and society as we know it will collapse! Quelle horreur! What do you do if you know a girl-child who likes playing with matchbox cars and toy soldiers (probably what are in this grab bag), or a boy-child who prefers dolls and ponies? Do you get them the bag that matches their gender, or the bag that matches their interest and field objections of "but this says it's for a boy/girl!"? Enforcement of arbitrary gender roles FTL.

(And to think at the advent of camera phones, I scorned them. "What could people ever need that for?" I used to ask. Lol.)


NY Marriage Equality Voted Down; Repubs Blame Dems???

(I know this happened yesterday, but I was having a Why Fucking Bother? day by that time; my teaspooning arm was too tired to move.)

So New York State had an opportunity to legalize same-sex marriage yesterday. Democrats in the state Senate had been fighting to bring the bill to an up-or-down vote, and for awhile it looked like it wasn't going to happen. But then yesterday, it finally came to the floor, and...lost. 24-38. The fun part? All 30 Republicans in the Senate voted against it. So, apparently, did 8 Democrats, who had previously said they would vote for it. Lying fucks.

But the best part comes in a press release from Log Cabin Republicans (via):
"Today we share in the frustration and disappointment that the Senate did not pass the marriage equality bill. We are deeply saddened that the Democratic Conference failed to secure the votes they promised, undermining the possibility of a credible bipartisan vote of conscience on the merits of marriage equality.

Winning marriage equality in New York requires the Democrats to keep their promises, and Log Cabin will continue to work to ensure that Republicans vote their conscience when that finally happens."

Wait...what? The party of NO, who could muster NOT ONE SINGLE VOTE for marriage equality, is going to blame the party that brought the bill to vote (over Republican opposition, mind you) and who got all 24 yes votes? Even if the Dems had "secured the votes they promised", that still leaves NOT ONE SINGLE REPUBLICAN voting yes. So who the fuck are the LCRs to lecture on this? "You get every one of your people behind it, and then we might, maybe, stick one or two votes out on this. Maybe. If you're good."

Oh, and for the record? Those Republicans who voted against marriage equality? They WERE voting their consciences. The Republican party is as anti-gay as the pope is Catholic. What makes you think that's going to change?


Nativity or Nothing

It's that time of year again. The air is cold, the carols are incessant, the lights displays are extravagant, and anything that isn't specifically Jesus-oriented is going to be decried by the ever-persecuted Religious Wrong as part of the "War on Christmas". Stores that use "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas" go on the Naughty List for daring to acknowledge the existence of more than one winter holiday. Towns that have Holiday Parades or Holiday Trees (the shite at that last link deserves a post of its own, frankly) face protests from the vocal minority that demands that THEIR holiday be THE ONLY holiday. And the battles rev up again over where one can place nativity scenes visible to the public.

On the surface, that would seem to be a simple enough issue. Private property is fine, so long as it doesn't violate local size-of-display laws. Public or government-owned property can go one of two ways. The easier way is to not allow religious holiday displays of any kind, so as not to favor any one religion over another in violation of the Establishment Clause. However, if a town wants to display a creche on public land, they can, so long as they also allow displays from other religions so as not to show favoritism. It's an all-or-nothing situation. And honestly, I can respect either choice.

Except in a situation like this one. The city of Chambersburg, PA, recently changed their policy to restrict all holiday displays. Fine, right? Except they only did so when, after 14 years of happily displaying a nativity on their memorial square, a local atheists group asked permission to put up a sign of their own about celebrating Solstice. Immediately the Borough Council unanimously voted to remove and ban all signs from the square in question. So the city in essence admitted, through their abrupt policy change spurred by the terrifying specter of enforced non/religious plurality, that the previous "inclusive" policy was really only intended to allow for Christian displays.

Council member Elaine Swartz argued before the vote that her concern, shared by her fellow members, lay more in the anticipation that groups of all viewpoints would suddenly bombard the square with their own signs and messages if council were to allow an atheist sign.

Oh noes! Quelle horreur! Groups of all viewpoints might want to put up signs if you let the atheists do it! Give a mouse a cookie and Christianity will no longer dominate the landscape, and we can't have that.

The atheist group in question intends to pursue legal action against Chambersburg for their sudden and discriminatory change of policy. I wish them luck. And a great big fuck-you to Christian hegemony as personified in incidents like this; the faster it falls the happier I'll be.

Let the Victim-Blaming Begin!

[trigger warning]

The six defendants in the absolutely horrific gang-rape case in Richmond (where as many as ten men raped a 15-yr-old girl for around two hours at the homecoming dance while as many as 20 people looked on and quietly passed the word around to their friends to come watch too) have entered not guilty pleas today.

The linked story is, for a mercy and a wonder, quite free of the usual shit reporting about rape. The assault is called what it is, not "forced sex" or any of that crap. But they include a quote from one Shyan Mason, a friend of one of the defendants, that literally made me cry.

"As far as with the girl, I'm not saying she is a bad person, but I feel that there had to be something that attracted them if they did it"

I'm sorry. WHAT? What. The. Fuck??? "Something that attracted them"? So you're not saying she's a bad person, of course, just that she brought it on herself somehow and so it's totez her fault that she was brutally gang raped for hours. She attracted them, that temptress; they couldn't help their poor widdle selves. Right.

How about we try something new for a change? BLAME THE FUCKING RAPISTS. Instead of blaming the victim of a crime, let's just go ahead and blame the perpetrator instead. Novel concept, I know.

And you know what? Even if there was "something that attracted them," that does not give them a green light to rape her! Her attractiveness is not her consent. You are not entitled to her body just because she attracts you. How is this a difficult idea to grasp?

Excuse me; I need to go watch videos of adorable kittehs to restore my faith in the world now.


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