Explain *This*

Me flipping off many, many people

One of the favored lines of the self-appointed Conservative Christian Morality Police when it comes to censoring public behavior they disapprove of is "I don't want to have to explain this to my child."  They don't want same-sex partners showing affection in public - even a chaste kiss or holding hands, like any hetero couple could do without eliciting so much as a frown - because "I don't want to have to explain to my child why two men are kissing."  They don't want women breastfeeding in public, because "I don't want to have to explain to my child what that woman is doing with her baby."  The general public is not allowed to engage in any behavior the CCMP does not approve of, because the right of the CCMP to not have to explain the ways of other people to hir child is paramount, taking precedence over the right of other adults to conduct their affairs in any place other than their own home.

Anti-abortion billboard, with a cartoon of a scared-looking pregnant girl. Her thought bubble reads "My mom's going to kill me."  The thought-bubble coming from her uterus reads "My mom REALLY is going to KILL ME."
And yet they're quite happy to post this billboard.  In very public view, near a local school, with the deliberate intent of having as many people view it as possible.  And when someone OTHER than the CCMP says they don't think it's appropriate because they don't want to have to explain it to their child, the asshole who put it up is totally understanding of that, right?


Some have expressed concern about explaining the billboard to children. LifeCore's president says if a child is old enough to understand reproduction, the child is also old enough to understand the issue.

They think breastfeeding mothers ought to hide in the bathroom or never leave the house, and that same-gender couples should pretend to just be friends anytime they walk out their door, to avoid offending the CCMP's sensibilities by forcing them to explain these mundane activities to their kids.  But a billboard with a cartoon fetus saying its mother is "REALLY going to KILL ME"?  Tough shit, everyone else.  Have fun explaining the nuances of the abortion debate to your young child.  

Fucking hypocrites.


National Coming Out Day: Because I Can

I have a hard time believing that someone could be reading this blog and not have yet noticed that I am Very Queer (And Talk About It A Lot).  But for those who haven't heard the formal announcement yet:

I am queer.  I am bisexual (mostly), although I've mostly dated men and mostly prefer women, which is kind of a weird combination.  I am polyamorous; although I am in a monogamous relationship right now, I still hope that someday we might find a third to join our relationship.  And I am very, very out about it.


Because I can be.  Because I live in a state that offers robust employment protections for LGBTs - I can't be fired for being openly queer, and if I suffer retaliations at work because of my outness, I have legal recourse.  Because I am the kind of person who is willing and able to handle intrusive questions and the curiosity of strangers, in service of normalizing non-hetero-monogamous sexuality to the wider public.  Because I believe that only with openness and talking about it will the wider culture ever come to be truly accepting of non-hetero-monogamous sexuality, to the point where we won't assume a married woman has a husband and not a wife, to the point where we ask people if they have a significant other, not a boyfriend (for women) or a girlfriend (for men).  I want nobody to bat an eyelash when a woman talks about her female ex, or when a man says he and his husband and their girlfriend are going away this weekend.  I have the kinds of privilege (stable employment in a state with good protections, supportive family to back me up, etc) that make it possible for me to be visible like that, and I'm damn well going to put that to good use.

So at work, I talk very matter-of-factly about my exes, male and female, as if there's nothing strange about that (because there isn't, and there shouldn't be).  So in my very personally-sharing psychology class last spring, I fielded questions from curious classmates about the difference between dating men and women, and how does that poly thing you talk about work, and where do you go to pick up women?  (It's hard to explain, it's *really* hard to explain briefly but here are some links, and I don't, respectively.)

This is something I can do for the community.  I can't donate much, and social anxiety makes it difficult to be part of meetings and organizations and direct actions...but I can be one more queer on the ground, so to speak, making a statement simply by openly and honestly being myself to other people.  

So I am out.  Because I can.


A Public Service Announcement

Service workers are still people.

And the world would be a much nicer, happier, friendlier place if everyone remembered that.  

Corporations are soulless, blood-sucking, evil entities worthy of every ounce of scorn, contempt, and outright hatred you choose to heap upon them.  This is undeniable fact.  However, the minimum-wage-earning drudge you are screaming at is not the corporation.  Zie is a person, who is working a job zie probably doesn't much care for, who has to put up with your bullshit or lose hir job.  Zie is a person who will go home at the end of hir shift, probably tired (because my gods, not even full-day rugby tourneys compare to regular 8-hr retail shifts), and go about hir life.  Zie may be a person of delicate emotional temperament, or with mental illnesses that result in emotional instability.  Your temper tantrum at the register, because you find the corporation who employs that individual's policies not to your liking, may result in the clerk needing to take a "mental health moment" and quietly freak out in the bathroom.  It may send hir plummeting into a downward mood spiral, affecting hir job performance the rest of the shift, and earning hir a reprimand, because despite hir best efforts, zie could barely muster the energy to cope with people after expending all hir mental/emotional spoons dealing with you.

These are things I have personally experienced, including the consequences I mentioned.*  Listen, people.  I am genuinely sorry that the company which is currently paying me to serve as their representative to the public has a policy that will not allow you to do what you want.  I wish I could shit rainbows and make your world a better place.  But no, getting angry at me will not do anything to change the return policy.  It will, however, make me feel like shit, start my mental chains that end with me thinking that I'm a horrible person not fit to live, and force me to use all my emotional energy to stop the horrible depression spiral, leaving me feeling like I just want to curl up in a corner of the stockroom and cry until my shift is over, but I can't.  So I drag together every last emotional spoon I have, plaster a fake smile on my face, go do the bare minimum of interacting with customers because that's all I can handle without completely breaking down, get a talking-to from my fellow managers for not being 100% "on" and being perky and bubbly with customers, and end up so demoralized and emotionally exhausted that I go home and spend my evening crying and hiding from everyone, with my very patient fiance making sure I also eat and go to bed at a reasonable hour.  

TL;DR version: The temper tantrum you feel entitled to throw in the face of a service employee because you're not happy with their employer, may very well be the pebble that starts the avalanche that buries their entire day in a haze of misery and trashed mental health.  You wouldn't feel entitled to abuse your average person on the street that way (and if you would/do, I suggest you seek psychiatric help and stay in your house until that changes).  You are not relieved of your good-manners obligation to treat your fellow human beings with respect and dignity and fairness, just because we're on the clock at the time.  We may be corporate employees, but we are first and foremost PEOPLE.  Please remember that and act accordingly.

This public service announcement brought to you by some first-class assholes at work, and also this post

*For new readers: I have depression and social anxiety.  This means that my mental and emotional coping resources are often severely limited, and become taxed much easier and more rapidly than a person without my mental illnesses would experience.  Yes, one nasty customer *can* throw me into a very bad spiral that ends with "Oh god I'm just going to run my car into an overpass on the drive home tonight, I can't take this anymore."  This is a result of my malfunctioning brain.  No, not all service employees struggle with my particular issues.  But you can't tell I have these problems just by looking at me, so it's not safe to assume they don't, either.


Halloween, or Teaching Girls Their True Value To Society Day

As an adult, I've become painfully aware that Halloween is not "dress up as something cool" day anymore.  It's "dress up as a pornified version of something cool to titillate your male friends" day.  Sexy cop, nurse, pirate, those are standard.  This year, I've seen some incredibly fucking weird "sexy ___" costumes.  Sexy NemoSexy crayon.  I'm not even fucking kidding.  Sexy Big Bird.  Also not kidding, dear gods I wish I was (and does it look to you like a tiny Big Bird is eating her brain? Or is that just me?).  This lead to an afternoon of my Twiends and I tossing around random "sexy ___" suggestions.  We had "sexy fluorescent bulb" and "sexy coffee cup" and "sexy stapler". 
This morning, though, I saw a whole new twist on the usual "sexy ___" costume thing.  Here: 

A simple enough "sexy cop" costume, right?  (I'm not even going to start on the disrespect a costume like this shows for ACTUAL female police officers, who DO exist and do NOT dress like that.)  But.  It's on a child.  And the costume is a "child size medium 8-10".  It's carried on the fucking Toys R Us website.  The "recommended age" is 7-9.  Let that sink in for a moment.  Let the horror and rage percolate through your system for a minute or two.  Now consider:

They are recommending that you dress your 7-year-old daughter up in a "sexy cop" costume.  Oh, it's not called that.  On the Toys R Us website, it's just billed as "Cop Halloween Costume".  Which almost makes it worse.  The adult version at least acknowledges, hey, this is a perversion of something that actually exists, it's only make-believe, this is a "special" version.  You're dressing up as a "sexy cop" not a "cop".  But this is presented as just a "cop costume".  As if this is how female cops dress.  As if this is normal, not something special.  You want to be a police officer when you grow up, honey?  That's wonderful!  Let's dress you in this minidress and heels, because that's how you pretend to be a cop!  (Also, who the hell dresses a 7-yr-old girl in 3-inch heels like those?  Aside from pageant moms.  That's got to be detrimental to her physical development.) 

Maybe I'm just old, and I've reached the point of mourning for Teh Childrenz already at the ripe old age of 25.  But I do NOT remember it being this bad when I was a kid.  When I went as Princess Leia for Halloween one year, it was in the long white dress from Empire Strikes Back, not the gold bikini from Return of the Jedi.  If it's just that my parents were exceptionally good at sheltering me, then Mom, thank you.  But I am absolutely sickened to see evidence that at a mere 7 years old, we're supposed to be teaching her that while the boys her age can dress up as police officers, her only option is "sexy cop". 


Related Posts with Thumbnails