1.29.2010

Verdict: Guilty

Scott Roeder, who murdered abortion provider Dr. George Tiller in Kansas last year, was found guilty of first-degree murder this morning after only 37 minutes of deliberation.

Good. Fucking. Riddance. May he rot in prison for the rest of his miserable life, and may his spirit find justice in the afterlife, in whatever form that may take. If there's a hell, may he burn in it.

Pro-LIFE, my womanly ass.

1.27.2010

NIMBY

Or: Shit I Never Though I'd See In California. What the hell is happening to my beloved home state? First Prop 8, now this...

Act 1: A Personhood Amendment

[This will] ...amend the California Constitution to ensure that human rights for everyone begin at conception. A child not yet born will thus have the same rights and full protection under law as those of us who have a few years on us.


A personhood amendment? Are you fucking kidding me? In Cali-fucking-fornia? You, sirs and madams, have been taking entirely too much advantage of our fine homegrown cannabis industry if you think a personhood amendment has even the most microscopic chance of success here. In 2008, the first personhood amendment was resoundingly spanked 75-25 in Colorado, which has voted Republican in every presidential election since 1964, until 2008. What in the airborne copulation makes you people think bluer-than-blue California will go for that utter shite?

Lest anyone think this is a good idea, might I remind you of the ginormous clusterfucktastrophe this kind of bill could produce:
  • Since a fertilized egg is undetectable unless and until it attaches to the uterine walls, any woman not actively on her period could use the carpool lane at any time, on the basis that she *might* be pregnant. There's no way to know for sure she's not, after all, and >50% of fertilized eggs never implant anyway, so it's relatively likely she is.
  • Fertilized eggs must somehow be counted in the census. How, exactly, would that work, given that they're undetectable?
  • Women may claim their undetectable fertilized eggs as dependents for tax purposes.
  • Every woman's period is a potential crime scene, what with the fact that there might have been a fertilized egg that didn't implant being bled out along with the rest of it. Should we all be collecting our menstrual blood to send to the labs for autopsy?
  • Same goes for a miscarriage. Potential crime scene! The fetus must be autopsied for evidence of foul play.
  • Women's behavior during pregnancy could be regulated by the state, just like traffic laws constrain individual behavior for the safety of others around you, pregnant women's behavior could be constrained for the safety of their fetuses. Who's going to regulate this? How much Starbucks is too much? If a pregnant woman has sushi, will she be arrested for endangering her fetus? (Of course, this already happens. See: the Florida woman who was confined to hospital bed rest during a high-risk pregnancy because she sought a second opinion when her doctor ordered bed rest, and she told him she couldn't because she had two other children to take care of.)
  • Not only would abortion be outlawed, but the kinds of birth control which may have as one of their effects the prevention of implantation. Such as the Pill, the Ring, the IUD, and the Patch.
  • IVF treatments could be outlawed, because usually there are more fertilized eggs created than used.
And yet here they are, pushing a personhood bill in fucking California. Words do not exist that could explain the depth of my contempt.

Act 2: A California School District Bans...THE DICTIONARY.

I wish I were making this up. But no, the Menifee School District pulled copies of the Merriam-Webster dictionary from shelves because it included definitions for words such as "oral sex". Are we truly that terrified of knowledge, then, that the MOTHERFUCKING DICTIONARY poses some kind of terrible threat to our fragile little children's minds? Schools are supposed to be places of LEARNING. Learning includes knowledge, factual knowledge about the world around us. Oral sex is, like it or not, a Real Thing In The World. It exists. Do people really think a dictionary definition of oral sex is something too salacious for a child? Listen, people, if the kid is looking up "oral sex" in a dictionary, clearly ve ALREADY knows something's up. For the record, here is the terrifying entry for which the ENTIRE GODDAMN DICTIONARY was taken from the shelves:
Main Entry: oral sex
Function: noun
Date: 1973

: oral stimulation of the genitals : cunnilingus, fellatio

Wow. That's really dirty, innit? Gods forbid a child could look up for veself a clinical, passionless description of oral-genital contact. We wouldn't want them actually learning things, now would we?

But let's never forget, words are dangerous. Shades of 1984...

1.21.2010

The Day the Music Democracy Died

There's a joke out there, that says that Congresspersons ought to wear the logos of the corporations they "answer" to on their jackets, like Nascar drivers.

It's not funny anymore.

There's another joke, a bumper sticker which reads "We don't have a democracy. We have an auction!"

It's not funny anymore, either.

SCOTUS has removed restrictions on corporations donating to candidates and causes in federal elections. This means from now on, big businesses can donate all they like to the candidates and causes they support. Corporate personhood (a phrase and a concept which is utterly ludicrous to anyone with a functioning brain) has taken another huge step forward. While those who support this erosion of democracy are quick to point out that the new deregulation of campaign spending also affects nonprofits and unions, let's be real here. Who has all the money, again? Nonprofits quite often struggle simply to keep their doors open. How could they possibly come up with the funds to compete against huge corporations in the purchase of friendly, and indebted, Congresspeople?

Quick, someone remind me why it's the liberal "activist" judges we should be worried about...

In case this doesn't terrify you yet...in case it hasn't sunk in quite yet that what this could mean is the complete disenfranchisement of the common voter (who, after all, has only ves vote to offer, and not millions of dollars of campaign financing) in favor of corporations handpicking the Congress they want, that the kind of grassroots campaign that brought Obama to the White House could easily become a dream of a distant past...read this, and tell me you still aren't scared fuckless by it. From Laurence Britt's 14 Principles of Facism, a cross-cultural analysis of fascism which identified 14 common threads between seven different fascist regimes:

9. Power of corporations protected. Although the personal life of ordinary citizens was under strict control, the ability of large corporations to operate in relative freedom was not compromised. The ruling elite saw the corporate structure as a way to not only ensure military production (in developed states), but also as an additional means of social control. Members of the economic elite were often pampered by the political elite to ensure a continued mutuality of interests, especially in the repression of “have-not” citizens.


Sound familiar?

The good ol' American one-man-one-vote power-of-the-people democracy we learn about in grade school never truly existed as the purist principle we were taught...but today, we took another giant step away from that ideal.

Tonight, I mourn for the democracy I so fervently believed in.

Tomorrow, I start planning my probable, eventual emigration to Canada. Just in case.

1.19.2010

My Consent Means Nothing

(For my family who stops by, a TMI warning. I talk frankly about my sexual exploits in this post. If you don't want to know, don't read it.)

Here is some Grade-AAA, pure uncut slut-shaming: A woman meets a man she's talked to online, and with whom she had intended to have sex. At his house are four friends of his. She alleges that they proceeded to gang-rape her. At the trial, the lawers FOR THE PROSECUTION - not the defense, not the ones trying to defend a group of gang-raping rapists, the lawyers who are supposed to be on HER side, convincing the judge and jury that the men did in fact rape her - HER LAWYERS brought forth "evidence" in the form of a transcript from an MSN chat in which the woman mentioned having fantasized about group sex.

The judge's response? He ordered the jury to return a not-guilty verdict with no further evidence or trial, saying her "credibility was shot to hell". Yes, that is a direct quote. No, I am not making this shit up. I couldn't if I tried.

So be warned, women of the world: If you have ever in your life fantasized about a sex act, you have automatically consented to it forever and for always, with any and all partners. ESPECIALLY if it was a dirty, naughty, good-girls-don't kind of sex act. Because if it really was ANY sex act, we'd see this kind of defense all the time in rape cases, right alongside the usual short-skirt-means-she-wanted-it, she-let-me-kiss-her, why-was-she-drinking-then? bullshit. We'd see defense lawyers (or, hell, prosecution ones apparently) entering rape victims' porn collections or erotic novels or old AIM sex chats with ex-boyfriends as "evidence" that what happened couldn't have been rape. So why don't we? And why did it count in this case?

Because she fantasized about the wrong thing. She didn't fantasize about nice, missionary, one-man-one-woman-one-penis-one-vagina sex. She fantasized about something forbidden, something terribly dirty and slutty. She dared to have desires that defy our cultural standard of appropriate female sexuality. And for that sin, she has no credibility left, no ability to not consent. Her mind is dirtied, therefore her body is dirtied with it. She is unrapeable, because she is no longer one of the Good Girls. She is one of Those Girls, the ones you can fuck but not marry, the ones it's ok to never call again. The sluts. And everyone knows sluts can't be raped.

And here's where it gets personal, for me. If she has lost her credibility and her right to withhold consent, by merely having a fantasy...then my consent means even less. I've had polyamorous relationships. Those have, multiple times over the past year or two of my life, involved more-than-two-player situations. I have not only fantasized about group sex. I've actually had it. Does my having had a threesome now mean that, if I am ever raped by two men at once, I will be told that my consent or lack thereof meant nothing, because my credibility is shot to hell for the sin of having not only fantasized about, but actually had the Wrong Kind Of Sex?

Fantasy is not consent. Not even the Wrong Kind Of Fantasy. End of story.

1.18.2010

Tranny-Alert.com, Redux

It is, apparently, the site that will not die. Remember Tranny-Alert.com, the horrifying and offensive site that advised readers, if they saw a suspected "tranny", to "snap your fingers, snap a pic, and email those photos to: mayday@tranny-alert.com!", and then posted the reader-submitted pics of women, be they transwomen, drag queens, or not-feminine-enough ciswomen, to the blog? The one we rallied against, last summer, until it shut down?

It's back.

An anonymous commenter on the original post tipped me off to the zombification of this trans-hating monstrosity, and I went to check it out. It is, for a mercy, reborn without the outing-transwomen aspect that I originally objected to in such strong terms. Now, it seems to be content with posting news and fashion items that relate in any way to transwomen or crossdressing. Which is at least an improvement.

BUT. You knew there had to be a but to this, didn't you? BUT. They are still throwing the word "tranny" around like it's going out of style (had a Freudian slip of the fingers there and wrote "stale"...) and sensationalizing transwomen as some kind of sideshow to chronicle and stare at. This new version is not so much better, as it is just less worse.

While the new T-A.com doesn't directly endanger the lives of individual transwomen with pictures and outing anymore, it still contributes to an atmosphere and a culture in which transwomen are freaks, a joke, blogged about not for any purpose of actually advancing the acceptance and de-Othering of transpeople into society, but for the amusement and shock value. They are no longer saying "Here's a transwoman! Get her!" But they are still saying "Transwomen are something to be looked out for, and laughed at." Which indirectly supports the kind of culture in which shit like the original T-A.com was possible, in which transwomen face a murder rate some six times the average and the constant dangers of trans-bashing, in which transwomen cannot just go about living their lives and not constantly being noticed, pointed out, marginalized, and Othered.

Sadly, since they've left off the most directly threatening part of their mission, it'll be harder to get it closed down again through official complaints, if it's possible at all. But my teaspoon will be in evidence nonetheless, this time taking the form of a direct email to the trans-haters in question. Maybe we can't get it taken down, but we can certainly make them feel the force of our displeasure! Who's with me?

1.13.2010

Wednesday WTF/Words Mean Things: Rape, again

Or, rape: it does not mean what you think it means.

I’m sure we’re all unfortunately well-conversant with the habit entirely too many (male) people have of using “rape” as a metaphor for any unpleasant experience. “I got totally raped by that test!” “Wow, [insert team here] really raped [insert other team here]!” “Shit, the zombie horde totally just raped you.” But “humor” columnist Matt Labash takes abuse of the word rape to a whole new breathtaking level of WTF in his inaugural column “Ask Matt" for just-launched site The Daily Caller. Observe the asshattery (via):

(when asked what three government programs he’d stop if he could)
Legalized rape. What’s that you say? Rape isn’t sanctioned in this country? Then you must not live in a city with red-light or speed cameras, where it happens every day. Forget for a second that in one-fourth of all automated ticket cases, the ticketed car owner wasn’t the one actually driving the vehicle at the time of the infraction (what other crime-fighting technology do we consider reliable that nabs the wrong person 25 percent of the time?) Just as heinous is that every year, more and more municipal governments pretend that they plant these all-seeing menaces in the interest of “safety.” Yet every year, their revenues tend to increase from the very same technology. Meaning that the only deterrent effect the technology has is deterring your government from being honest about raping its own citizenry. If you’re going to slide me a roofie, Government, at least take me to dinner and a movie first.


There are just buckets and buckets of WTF to be parsed here. Leaving aside the question of whether or not speed/red light cameras are an invasion of privacy or a revenue-gathering tool entirely, the man just likened getting caught running a red light to being drugged and raped.

You know the really sad part? I thought, for a brief, sparkling nanosecond, when I read those first couple of sentences (quoted out of the context of the article), that there might be a discussion of rape culture and the ways in which rape is subtly condoned about to begin. Legalized is a bit strong a term for it, I thought, but hey…wait. What? The government is forcibly violating peoples’ bodily autonomy and sexual agency by…posting red-light cams? Really? Oh, and it’s no big to be drugged and raped while you’re unconscious, so long as your rapist gets you dinner and a movie first. Cause we all know that’s how the evening ends, amirite? You buy her dinner and go to a movie and then you fuck! And if she doesn’t wanna, you drug her and fuck her anyway!

Memo to all you conservative douchefucks out there who keep. on. fucking. doing this. RAPE IS NOT A METAPHOR FOR YOUR UNFORTUNATE EXPERIENCES!! I get that you don’t like red-light cams, and that you feel your privacy has been violated by them. But your poor widdle fee-fees being hurt does NOT compare in ANY fucking way to the actual experience of being raped. Was your body used without your consent and against your will for the sexual gratification of another who, for whatever reason, felt entitled to use you in such a way? No? Then shut the FUCK up and quit. calling. it. rape.

Before anyone feels the need to start in on me for being a Humorless Feminist™, I get the “joke”. Haha, he’s calling it rape because rape is a Serious Thing so that juxtaposition, something relatively harmless being talked about like it’s something Serious, isn’t that high-larious? Except no. Some things are just Not Funny. Ever. Minimizing rape by making it a punchline to a bad joke is not funny, and it never will be.

So remember, conservadouches: if the unpleasant experience you’re all testerical about did not actually involve forcible sexual use of your body against your will, YOU. WERE. NOT. RAPED. End of story. Find some other way to express the tantrum you want to throw over it.

[Author's note: originally the last sentence read "...express how butthurt you are over it." It was brought to my attention in comments that, although I didn't intend it that way, such an expression might be seen as itself euphemistic for rape, so I've changed it for now and will be considering whether or not to continue using the phrase in the future. My apologies to anyone who saw it and was upset by it.]

1.11.2010

A Quick Thought...

Today the federal trial of Prop H8's constitutionality began. I've been obsessively following Twitter feeds and reading liveblogging of the morning's arguments, since the bigots managed to get their collective undies in a big enough twist to have the recording/internet posting of the trial postponed until Wednesday, when SCOTUS will make a ruling on whether or not it will be allowed at all. This is, mind you, after nearly 140,000 people wrote in declaring they wanted the trial televised, and only 32 wrote in and said don't do it. For every pro-H8 supporter who wanted the cameras out, there were 4,375 advocates for transparency. And yet they still got SCOTUS to stall it. Sigh. And they say they're the oppressed ones.

But something that keeps coming up in the pro-H8's arguments this morning, is the idea of "protecting the children" by denying LGBs marriage equality. Remember the "Protect our children. Restore Marriage." ads during the campaign? The idea that children will somehow be harmed by same-sex marriage and need protecting from it? It's been brought up again and again by the pro-H8 side. And this time, I just want to ask...

What about the gay children? Many gay and lesbian and bisexual people have known their orientation from an early age. If they're protecting children by denying us rights, what about those children to whom they are ALSO denying rights? They're "protecting" gay children from being equal citizens under the law. They're "protecting" these children from the dreams of growing up and getting married that so many kids have. Personally? Realizing one's dreams of future happiness is a pretty shitty thing to "protect" someone against. Gay children are children too. And they deserve the protection of equality.

1.08.2010

And This Is Why I Will Never Run For Office...

I was having a conversation with my father at lunch yesterday, complaining about politics, and he suggested that if I have such an issue with things, I should myself run for office. I laughed and told him, in the present political climate, I'm absolutely unelectable. I'm an out bisexual pagan who has openly had multiple polyamorous relationships. He continued to encourage me - "You must be the change you wish to see in the world," as Gandhi said - and I even started to consider it.

And then I read something today that reminded me why I was right the first time about my electability potential, or rather, the lack thereof. (via)

One of the Republican primary candidates in the Alabama gubernatorial race has come under fire by his opponents for his religious beliefs...specifically, for not being a Biblical literalist. He was quoted in the Mobile Press-Register as saying he believed "there are parts of the Bible that are meant to be literally true and parts that are not." Get me to a fainting couch and fetch the smelling salts! How could a man who does not believe in the literal, word-for-word truth of the holy book of the One Twue Amurikan Religion possibly think himself fit for public office? He has since claimed that he was misquoted (they all say that, don't they?) and in a recent press conference affirmed "I believe the Bible is true. Every word of it." Wait, what was that about a religious test for public office, again? I could have sworn I remembered hearing about that back in grade school...

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.

- US Constitution; Article VI, Section 3


Now, this doesn't strictly qualify under that requirement. That refers to a religious test administered by the government, and cannot be held to be binding individual voters from determining their votes based on religion. People can vote for a candidate because they like the color of his socks, if they want, or for any other equally stupid reason as this one. I'm sure we all remember how many teabagger-type conservatives refused to vote for Obama not because he was a Democrat, or any reason of politics, but "because he's a Muslim." (Or a Muslin, depending on the spelling capabilities of the conservadouche in question.)

However, if a candidate for office must not only be a member of the most-populous religion in the country, but also of a particularly narrow subset of literalists of that religion, in order to get the votes needed to gain office...one could infer from that that there is a de facto religious test for office, imposed by the voters. And if a Christian candidate is having to defend himself from accusations that he's not Christian ENOUGH for daring to perceive parts of the Bible as metaphorical...gods know, an outspoken and open Witch is sure as fuck never going to get elected.

1.06.2010

The Bizarro-World of Anti-Gay Activists

So Prop H8 finally goes to federal trial this month. And there was the discussion of whether or not to allow the trial to be televised; federal cases usually aren't, but they've begun to allow televising of non-criminal trials recently, and since the Prop H8 case affects the lives of so many, wouldn't televising it be a good thing? Transparency of the courts and all that. Well, we got a partial ok on it; the judge has conditionally allowed proceedings to be filmed and posted online the next day, but not broadcast live.

Of course, there was no question about it not being televised, until the pro-H8 bigots spoke up and asked for cameras to be barred. Their excuse? They fear a backlash against their bigotry from same-sex marriage supporters. Apparently we were so mean to them after the election they're scared to testify if they have to do it publicly. What they really mean is, they don't want their bigotry exposed for what it really is.

But what got me was, they're afraid of us. Let me say that again. Anti-gay bigots, people who actively strive to take away the rights of hundreds of thousands of people (millions if you're counting nationally, not just here) and have us legally designated as second-class citizens in a variety of ways, people who compare gays to pedophiles and donkey-fuckers, whose rhetoric incites hate and violence against our communities here and the world over...THEY'RE afraid of US? Are you fucking kidding me? What kind of bizarro-world do they live in, where the super powerful Ebil Gays are oppressing the poor, righteous Christians for daring merely to speak their hateful beliefs? I bet it's the same world O'Reilly and the War On Christmasers live in, where black is white and up is down and Christians in America are just so, so persecuted.

If they're so convinced they're Doing The Right Thing For Society, they should damn well have pride in their work and be willing to do it in the public view. And yet they're not, instead claiming victimization by the people they're trying to oppress in a pathetic attempt to hide their bigotry from scrutiny. Somehow, that just doesn't add up, does it?

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