Sound Off: your chance to rant 12-7-11

I thought we’d try a new feature here, and see how everyone likes it. Sound Off is an open thread where you can rant about most anything that’s bothering you, and maybe you can’t talk about with other people you know. There are only a few rules: it has to be relevant to oppression (of anyone, not just women), gender dynamics, privilege, that sort of thing. This could include a lot of small incidents in your life, and it could also be about big huge political stuff.

You’re allowed to respond to other people’s rants, but you’re also encouraged to post your own. Your rants can include requests for feedback or advice, if you’re dealing with a frustrating situation.


  1. says

    My rant is that the Republicans have spent the last 30 years cutting taxes for the wealthy, which led to an economic trainwreck, and their proposed solution is to lower taxes on the wealthy, and people who aren’t wealthy and are unlikely ever to be are buying this crap. I know it sounds like politics as usual, but it bothers me especially because it’s not even self-serving for the un-wealthy whose taxes will be relatively higher. The Republicans define things like Social Security as “entitlement”, as if we don’t pay into our Social Security with every dollar we earn, and define being born to a wealthy family who can put you into the White House even with your cocaine habit (ahem) as “merit.” What is wrong with people that they don’t get how far-fetched this narrative is?

  2. Casey says

    I’m thanking you SO MUCH for this thread because seriously, I can’t fucking take it anymore.

    For all those of you not in the know, I sent Jennifer an e-mail detailing some problems I’ve been having tonight on a pro wrestling-centric imageboard I frequent. The thread was discussing alleged IRL infidelities in wrestling which led to some guy in apropos of nothing mention that when he was in Iraq, female soldiers would justify cheating on their spouses overseas with excuses like “he’s so far away it doesn’t count”, “what he doesn’t know won’t hurt him” and “I was raped!”
    Somebody RIGHTLY called him out on the last one being used as an “excuse” of any sort because nobody deserves to be raped, period. This led to someone else saying “WELL IDK, I THINK SOMETIMES SOME PEOPLE JUST DESERVE TO BE RAPED LIKE HOW SOME PEOPLE DESERVE TO BE MURDERED.” I kinda lost it and got into an argument with the guy but since I can’t think coherently when I’m angry I guess I made an ass out of myself and couldn’t prove the point of NOBODY DESERVES TO BE RAPED, NOT EVEN RAPISTS. He found my stance “interesting” and argued that someone like a pedophile or Osama bin Laden deserve to “have their shit pushed in” because of an eye-for-an-eye and all that. Basically, he’s trying to justify “revenge rape”. He also accused me of lacking basic reading comprehension and somebody else had the fucking GALL to call me a narrow-minded conservative (CONSERVATIVE!) for “refusing to accept any opinion different from his own” (this is an anonymous imageboard so everyone is assumed to be male by default *puke*) and the ultimate insult (at least to me), he said the only reason I was being so “defensive” about rape is because I AM A RAPIST.
    That’s when I started crying at the computer.
    Somebody also accused me of supporting eugenics because (when I wasn’t thinking properly) I suggested rapists get chemical castration instead of raped in prison as a punishment (which was WAY ignorant and short-sighted of me ‘cuz I know full well that a rapist will find any way to rape, whether or not they have testicles).


  3. says


    Since you wrote to me for feedback on how to deal with this:

    From the screengrab, it looks like somebody said this guy was an “unintelligent loser at life”, which is at least one positive.

    You didn’t say anything wrong, or fail to say what needed to be said. These people you get into these scuffles with are trolls – they get off on messing with you. I speak from long experience. They just want to wind you up, and they will say anything to do it, and they don’t even necessarily mean it (but even if they do, they would never agree with you because then their fun times would be over). And you know what is the one response they absolutely cannot stand? Ignoring them. Pretending they aren’t there. They are doing it to get attention, and any attention you give them *thrills* them. This is what the phrase “don’t feed the trolls” is all about. And don’t worry that you’re letting down the side by not fighting with them, because you’re not.

    Trust me. I spent a few years in debates with trolls before I realized: all they want is my attention. By denying them my attention, I am ruining their day. Often times, they even go away and never come back. It’s beautiful. :)

  4. Casey says

    Jennifer Kesler,

    Ah, yes. It’s difficult, but even though he (along with other incorrigible posters like Red Machine D and Juan Cena) are well-established trolls, the mods won’t ban them because “FREEDOM OF SPEECH” or some such nonsense. They’ll usually lock the threads and move on. Also, they’ll ban you for posting nude pics (the board became SFW a little while ago) and for making sock-puppet accounts and things like that but not for being a complete wastrel. Again, I assume it’s due to the “BAWWWWWW MY FREEDOM OF SPEECH!” thing.

  5. Casey says

    Aside from the “FREEDOM OF SPEECH!” thing there’s also the fact that this image board is a derivative of 4chan, which prides itself on it’s (anonymous) users basically being as needlessly cruel and vulgar to each other as possible, so if you voice a complaint about brusque treatment, everyone else calls you a “pussy” or a “faggot” or you need to “man the fuck up and grow a thicker skin”, etc.

  6. says

    Yeah, Casey, Jennifer is dead on– you can’t argue with a troll. Not genuinely, anyhow. By far the wisest course of action is to disengage. I admit, I sometimes take an unwise course of reversing it, & messing with them– & then I realize, crap, I’m just feeding the troll, & now I’M a troll on the thread. Oh well, thems the perils of browsing the internet while drinking! Seriously though, I think it is worthwhile to check them– “no one deserves to be raped & nothing you are saying is funny”– & then just be done. Drop the mic.

  7. I.A. Scott says

    Jennifer Kesler,
    Yes. Especially at the weird appeal of conservatives to those they’re busy screwing over.

    Gamers. I don’t call myself a gamer but since the time people I know spend going braindead in front of a TV is the time I spend going braindead in video games and the video game-defeating skill I’ve accumulated since my first days with ‘Cat’ on my father’s laptop when I was a tiny child, it’s pretty much the case that I am. Why don’t I call myself one then? The culture. ‘Gay’ and its derivatives are an insult for putting people down. ‘Rape’ and its strange partner ‘raep’ used to declare domination of a match (in pretty much every way – perhaps the most disturbing being ‘we totally raped them’). Gamer forum treatment of women is pretty awful too (as wonderfully demonstrated by those StarCraft dudes). Even the few gamer places where the moderators are strict suffer from it as the moderators go to bed or the community grows more than they can police.
    The companies don’t help either – I remember trying out the demo of Quake Wars (id) to see if it would be a good replacement for Battlefield 2142. The bots were scripted to teabag their kills. Opinions on the concept of rape culture aside, there’s most definitely one inside gaming. Blizzard seem to have a good reputation for being progressive but I can only remember the hideous news stories such as banning pro-gay clans in WoW, and I’ve never seen them carry through their ‘no defamatory language’ clause in their ToS.
    Fortunately single-player gaming is plenty engaging but this has to be the only hobby I engage in where I’d rather not interact with my fellow hobbyists. At all.

  8. Raeka says

    I.A. Scott,

    If you’d LIKE to find some non-offensive gamers to play with, you might try looking for women-centric/feminist game sites with forums –I can’t say that the people you’ll find there will be perfect, but they’re probably better than the ones you’ve encountered so far?

  9. N says

    Excuse my French, but ranting and finesse are not good friends.
    I fucking hate being in a country that fiscally favours the model of “wife stays at home” to the point that often times it makes no economical sense for the lesser-earning spouse to get a job. Since I am not a professional (which would allow me to get a well-paid job at some multinational maybe) and my command of the language is still not proficient, I can only work shitty part-time jobs (like my current one) or, should I get a less-shitty, full time job, work for the fisco.
    That said, the low unemployment rate of this country is a fucking lie.

    You may amuse me with your thoughts of whoch country do I live in

  10. sbg says

    Frankly, I’m sick to death of people who demand immediate answers and action from YOU, but disappear into a giant void the second you need something from THEM.

    Also, migraines. Hate ’em.

  11. littlem says

    Racists. Sexists. Classists. Bigots. People who shake their heads and go “That sort of thing just doesn’t happen anymore.”

    In a country with people like the Penn State apologists, Michelle Bachmann, Herman Cainwreck (and the people asking whether his wife “did the right thing” o.O) and the people who’ve voted to make Newt Gingrich the GOP front-runner.

    I’d move to Spain, but it appears their economy is collapsing (except for, say, the personal incomes of the Davis Cup team) and they’ve voted the conservatives back into office. (Also, the best-perpetuated lie there is that “racism doesn’t exist”, even though one of said national heroes yelled when he was getting his ass beat in a Nice tournament with a Frenchman that the French fans were behaving like a “bunch of Africans”. And everyone thinks I should have “gotten over that already”, you know, since it happened last year. Not that any men of color should think I should be insulted by that, since after all they’re the only ones who are affected when people make racist insults.)

    And what is this new thing – people “aging out of” entry-level positions, after you’ve done what people whom you’ve *paid for their advice* have always said to do, which is “take any job you can in this economy” — so that your resume ends up looking like a chessboard?

    *deep breath*

    Okay, then.

  12. Casey says

    Thanks for the advice, y’all. I guess I’m still stinging from somebody calling me a rapist because I’m so passionate about stopping rape. I’ve come to the conclusion that their troll-logic operates on the Anthony Weiner logic of “I put up a facade of caring about women’s rights so I can score brownie points and harass them on the internet” or some such nonsense. I ended up caving in and explaining that yes, my argument WAS flawed and illogical but I only got so heated about it because I have friends who have been raped and I volunteer at Community Works (which IS true but I’ve been mindful of rape for way longer then that).
    The guy who called me a rapist just said “Oh, so you ADMIT your argument was stupid and wrong. Gee, I wonder who raped your “friends”. Psycho.”
    I feel like I cried the rapist’s equivalent of White Woman’s Tears, ie, IT’S SO MUCH MORE HORRIBLE TO BE ACCUSED OF RAPE THEN TO HAVE BEEN RAPED~! Which is bullshit and I fell into that trap.

    Some GENIUS just replied to the thread with this gem: “You ALL deserve a kick in the nads, all he was saying is that SOME rape victims are at fault for putting themselves in a bad situation and you just got offended because he worded it poorly! Just get over it!”


    Oh yeah, my second sound off is in regards to Anthony Bourdain, I like his shows a lot but I found out he’s one of those Privilege-Denying Dudes who replied to a young woman pastry chefs’ question about the glass ceiling in haute cuisine with OILY CONDESCENSION, saying something along the lines of “I can’t believe in this day and age people still ASK this question! The glass ceiling TOTES DOES NOT EXIST~! Women just DON’T WANT to be stars in the kitchen~!”

    I wonder if he’ll change his tune once his daughter grows up and wants to become a chef. Oh wait, she’ll probably end up benefiting from her daddy’s sweet nepotism. Barf.

  13. Shaun says


    I actually think Anthony Weiner DOES care about women’s rights, he just fails to act in accordance with those beliefs all the time, but I think he knows better. That’s actually something that frustrates me–when you have someone that really seems to be on our side (especially for many different measures of “our”) and then goes and fucks it up. With respect to what Jennifer said in 1, we need every vote we can get because of the current climate on all sorts of issues, and it’s amazingly frustrating when someone I think I can count on shows me I can’t.

  14. JT says


    Amen! That’s been the majority of my friendships and I’ve had to take a huge step back from people and think, WHY am I always the one more eager to listen and drop everything to hang out?

    I.A. Scott,

    Yup, me too. I’m even loath to call myself a “geek”, because the word is just so assumed MALE. Every commercial for geek stuff I like is brimming with dudes. Almost every geeky character on TV is male and the rare times they are female she is usually designed to be the fantasy of male geeks, NOT just a geek in her own right.

    My own rant for today: I hate that once a woman has a child, people try to fit her into this Mommy Box and almost deny she’s still the same person she used to be. Like, “oh, you can’t do THAT, you’re a MOTHER!”

    I’ve had to help a friend deal with the debilitating guilt she gets from her family/other friends when she dares to enjoy pursuits not in accordance with Acceptable Mommy Pursuits. I get some of this, too, being a geek. MOMS are not supposed to love video games and draw comics, dammit! And why isn’t your house SPOTLESS?!

    Le sigh.

  15. says

    sbg: Also, migraines. Hate ‘em.

    I hear that. I don’t get them remotely as bad as you do, but it’s still such a huge case of Lifeus Interruptus every time they happen.


    People are SOOOO stuck in the 50s when it comes to motherhood. It’s like they understand many other things have changed, and they can somehow keep those in mind, but the instant they become aware someone’s a mother, they revert to looking for June Cleaver.

  16. Casey says

    NEXT SOUND OFF: People who say shit like this:

    “You already admitted to having a bias that will never let you see the situation from a neutral point of view or one that truly allows you to understand others point of views. You’re always going to look at it personally and not objectively, so you really can’t debate it.”

    It’s that guy after I explained my stance that a rape victim is never at fault for their rape and that I’ll never change my stance on that.

  17. Pumpkin says

    Oh, oh, oh! All this talk of “ideal mother” stereotypes so totally reminds me of this awesome site I found a while back:

    I’m entering my late twenties and, upon hearing that my latest failed crush looks forward to having kids one day, I started doing some real soul-searching on my whole “don’t want kids” stance. The vast majority of people want kids some day, and it’s entirely likely that I may eventually find myself in a committed relationship with someone who ends up wanting kids, so I figured I’d try to re-evaluate my thoughts on the matter.

    Long story short, I came away with no solid answers, but a much clearer and calmer perspective on the whole issue. For the time being, I’ll stick with “no” as my default position, but I’d now feel a lot more comfortable and confident in having such a discussion with a future partner, which is when I’d decide for sure, now that I’m more open to the idea.

    Basically, sites like Hipster Mom really helped me see the appeal of parenting and opened me up to the idea a lot more. It’s still probably not for me, but reading about people like this helped dispel a lot of the grim stereotypes of parenthood that society’s tried to foist on me (which made parenthood pretty unthinkable before). I never liked that whole “fundamentally changes who you are, becomes the totality of your being” view of parenthood. The idea of parenthood being some sort of Zen state of mind that elevates you above your petty, inconsequential former life always sounded pretty phony (not to mention creepy).

    To me, this Hipster Mom philosophy that parenthood doesn’t make you a different person, that you’re still as individual and mentally free as you always have been, seems like a far healthier mindset to have. And so appealing, too! Which makes me wonder why society has instead popularised a much more negative and damaging view of parenthood. An attempt at gallows humour by those struggling to get to grips with their responsibilities? A desire to be seen as selfless martyrs? I don’t get it. What I do know, is that if I ever become a parent, I’ll be a positive, life-affirming one like this Hipster Mom writer.

    On a related note, it really is depressing how lowly child-rearing is seen by our society. I may not exactly want kids, but I still have a great amount of respect for parents, and sympathy with the trials they face. I’ve seen it said here that being a stay-at-home mother is and should be treated as a “proper job”, and also that it’s a dangerous one. And I agree completely. It’s just typical that such “woman’s work” doesn’t get the recognition it deserves in a patriarchy.

    And then you’ve got the massively unfair imbalance between maternity and paternity leave in the vast majority of countries. This is unfair on both mothers who don’t want to put their careers on the back-burner and on fathers who want to be primary caregivers, not to mention the fact that this inequality basically gives official, legal credence to the notion that “women nurture, men work”. Then you add to that the fact that the types of careers usually favoured by women are the ones that get hit hardest by government cuts in a recession (for the same reason that the poor get hit hardest – politicians look after their own cliques first) and you end up with most couples being financially forced to tow the state line on the “ideal” family set-up even if they’d rather not.

    I once heard some anecdotal info about one of those more socially “enlightened” northern European countries and how they actually saw an increase in their economy or GDP or whatever after equalising maternity and paternity leave. The rationale for this increase was that by allowing those who wanted to return to work quickly and those who wanted to be primary caregivers the opportunity to do just that, regardless of their gender, workplaces were staffed entirely by people who genuinely wanted to be focusing on their careers and no career-focused women were unintentionally forced to play catch-up.

    I mean, even if this anecdotal info is either unverifiable or just plain untrue, it does at least make a world of sense, right? Basically, I’d say that socially conservative policing of society does infinitely more harm than it does good. Only, I don’t think I can, mathematically, because social conservativeness does NO good, and multiplying by zero doesn’t work very well. …You know what I mean. :p

    tl;dr – Would have been half the length without the slightly off-topic personal babbling, but it’s just not a rant without a good bit of self-indulgence. 😉

  18. Jan says

    sbg wrote:
    >Frankly, I’m sick to death of people who demand immediate answers and >action from YOU, but disappear into a giant void the second you need >something from THEM.

    Would one be wrong in presuming that this refers to teenagers as well as corporate flunkies in managerial positions? :)

  19. Shaun says

    People who try to explain your own oppression to you. I guess this is too broad a topic for a rant, but recently I went to a PFLAG meeting to find out more about it. The topic of my autism activism came up, and a straight able man started helpfully explaining to me why heterosexism is worse and all the things that can happen if a parent finds out their kid is queer, AS IF I DON’T KNOW. Thank you, super-privileged dude in none of my oppression categories, for giving me the scores in Oppression Olympics for my own groups.

  20. Shaun says

    I.A. Scott,

    This has been bothering me for a while. I went to a gay gaming group a couple of months back. I obviously completely understand the need for gay men to have a safe space to be gamers, since the wider gaming community makes this impossible.

    What was unusual is that I counted only 4 women (all or mostly lesbian) vs dozens of men. I commented on this and was told there’s no reason lesbians shouldn’t be here, they’re welcome and all, they just “don’t show up” and “lesbians aren’t serious gamers.” Gee, you don’t think it has something to do with that attitude? At least part of the reason I’ve never gone back is my friend told others that I was bisexual and a couple of guys KEPT COMMENTING on it disparagingly. What the hell, we’re playing Guitar Hero, why do you care? And why do you have to let me know you care? It was only a couple of guys, but when I complained to my friend-acquaintances I got treated to “you’re over-reacting” and “bisexuality IS a stage of coming out for most people.”

    It would be nice if we could have gaming safe spaces for people of all genders and orientations and not just the highest strata of the LGBT community.

  21. says


    Have you heard the phrase “you can’t get blood from a turnip?” You also can’t get rational arguments out of someone who lacks the capacity for logic and thinks that not taking anything seriously is, like, really cool. The fact that he engaged with you that long and didn’t let it go proves that he has no life. I mean, seriously, how much time has he put into this? People who say “Rape is okay” to get a rise out of folks worry me much less than peoplee who sincerely think sometimes rape is acceptable and are doing something more to promote that view than just trolling a forum.

    Believe me, you can’t imagine right now how much better you’ll feel when you rise above jokers like that and just get on with things.

  22. Casey says

    Jennifer Kesler,

    Yeah…it’s actually gotten to the point where a whole lot of people on the image board want him banned for shit-posting but for whatever reason the mods won’t do it (despite having to lock 3+ threads in one day where he de-railed it with asshole arguments). I also found out he lives in Northridge, California. So now I know for sure where there’s a rape apologist who just might do some mental gymnastics to justify raping somebody.

    *sigh* Sometimes I wish I had a Death Note (and the ability to trace his IP).

  23. Pumpkin says


    Oh-ho! Been there, bought the t-shirt! Not IRL, but I’ve definitely seen it on LGBT sites I frequent. “Bisexuality is a stage of coming out for most people, so it is entirely appropriate for me to treat every bi person that way, whether or not they are definitely actually bi.” I treat those people like the jackasses they are.

    Hey, and that reminds me of another thing I wanted to rant about… Something personal to me, and perhaps a slightly contrary view to what I’ve heard from a lot of other LGBs and allies. You know that funny little phenomenon regarding ostensibly straight girls making out with each other in front of guys, presumably as a bit of a drunken laugh or to turn their boyfriends on, or whatever other reason people come up with for it? Katy Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl”, that sort of thing.

    I wish people would just shut the hell up about it. What the fuck business does anyone have trying to police anyone else’s sexuality like that? What the hell does it matter if these girls really are straight? What the hell does it matter that they’re “using” “our” sexuality for a bit of personal gain? It’s not “our” sexuality to begin with. This whole idea of having rules and regulations on what straight, gay, bi or asexual people are allowed to do, based on their sexuality, is precisely the sort of thing that gives us problems in the first place.

    I don’t give a damn if Katy Perry or some random model or whoever “uses” bisexuality for their own gain. I don’t even care if they don’t pay appropriate tribute at their local LGB charity or temple of worship, nor if they’re two-faced and don’t even like LGBs! And this isn’t some sort “I’ll tolerate it because that is the right thing to do” deal. No, no, no… I actually LIKE that people act like that. Love it, even! This is precisely what I want: for sexuality to be seen as fun, fluid, casual! Sure, us LGBs face some pretty big problems in society, but why should that stop our sexualities themselves being treated as the delightful, positive things that they are?

    Plus, people just assume that those who goof about pretending to be bi are just cynical attention-seekers. What if they’re questioning? What if they’re straight, but genuinely do just enjoy fooling around for the hell of it? Looks like some pretty healthy behaviour to me. And as for us getting stereotyped based on the actions of these playful young things, why don’t we put the blame where it belongs: on those who do the stereotyping!

    Basically, sexuality should be treated as flexible and as a source of joy, not merely as some po-faced exclusive club-house.

    Basically-basically, I will be amazed if anyone has any idea what I’m even rambling on about. I get the feeling I’m one of the only people who even gives this sort of thing much thought, let alone getting bothered by it. 😛

  24. Raeka says


    I can see where you’re coming from that sex and sexuality should be a fun, joyful thing, and two girls (or guys) making out because they get pleasure from it is fine to me, whatever their identified orientations.

    I hesitate to embrace the whole ‘straight girls making out to turn other people on’ because I have issues with women performing sexual acts for OTHER PEOPLES pleasure. If they get something from it, fine, but it feels like they’re wearing bisexuality the same way they wear painful stiletto shoes and live a lifestyle of diets and destroy their hair with straighteners/whatever. As long as they’re aware of the social forces that gently pressure them into these behaviors and are CONCIOUSLY choosing them, it’s all good. But… I have my doubts.

    I also feel (as a straight, white women, so I may be entirely wrong) that it exoticizes lesbians. Two girls kissing shouldn’t be any more remarkable than two guys kissing than a girl and a guy kissing. This whole ‘OHHH, TWO GIRLS KISSING, KINKY~’ attitude kind of creeps me out because lesbians aren’t (necesssarily) kinky, they just ARE.

    It makes me think of the fanfiction communities that tend to gravitate towards male slash pairings, but seem to treat homosexuality as titillation (both because it’s sexual and also because it’s ‘taboo’) without much maturity or a real sense of relationships.

    I support women kissing women and men kissing men, I just want to be careful that the men and women remain HUMAN, and don’t fall into the exotic/kinky category that marks them as ‘other’.

  25. says

    My problem with the “barsexual” situation (and this is intended to agree with you, Pumpkin) is that people can’t fool around and figure out what works for them without it becoming some heavily loaded political statement. If it’s not what you like, then you were a thieving asshole. If it is what you like, you were totes in the closet all along. If you like it some times and not other times, you’re just doing it for attention.

    It reminds me of that fucked up idea where high school girls are “teases” and “lead boys on” when they send mixed messages. It couldn’t possibly be that the girls are just as confused as the boys are and also trying to figure this sex thing out, oh no. They have to be diabolical masterminds out to torment the poor horny boys.

    It’s this unfair burden wherein women are expected to magically have all the answers and all the reasons. We’re not allowed to be ignorant, and simultaneously punished for trying to learn.


    Also a gamer, although not by the community standards since I prefer RPGs and sandbox games over FPSs. Also not interested in claiming the label because of the community surrounding it. Haven’t been since my sister told me she abandoned her old character and created a new account with a male avatar so she wouldn’t be sexually harassed in game. She was twelve at the time. There is something seriously wrong with the situation when a child too young to have tits is told to show them on the internet to strangers, and this is accepted as normal.


    My rant for the day is when people think that me talking about my body is permission for them to talk about my body. Like when I casually refer to the weight gain I had when I hit puberty (as a result of the puberty hormones – I also gained six inches in height but nobody talks about that!) and the other person makes the apparently out-of-the-blue segue to health risks of obesity. Or when I’m talking about my adorable kitten that likes to curl up on top of my boobs and my classmate jokes that there’s a lot there to curl up on. Or when I tuck a pen into my cleavage and some asshole feels the need to comment on this in a loud voice. Or when I talk about how I’m wearing this pair of pants because the pockets are bigger and they say my ass looks better in my other jeans. It’s just…WTF?

    I should think it would be common sense that if I mention something personal in passing and it’s obviously not the main point of the sentence, then it’s rude to swing the conversation around to focus on it. But apparently common sense isn’t common, at least not in certain segments of the population. And it really upsets me because I don’t want to feel like I have to police myself, like I have to edit out parts of my stories because holy shit, the meatsack I live in and carry with me everywhere happened to intrude into my life for a few moments.

    I want my body to be just my body. It should be comfortable. It should be a part of me. And on one hand I’ve been blessed with a poor sense of modesty and body consciousness. It’s not my normal reaction to think of my body as vulgar or sexual or attractive – it just is, to me. But on the other hand, I am sick and fucking tired of other people making their reactions to my body, my problem.

  26. Maartje says

    Oh rant time!
    1. People that say things like: I’m not a racist/sexist/etc but…fill in racist/sexist/etc slur here. That are pissed off because them foreigners are taking our jobs AND because they’re all lazy asses on welfare, which makes total sense to them. Who want everyone to stay in their own country like a country is some stagnant, unchanging, prison and its people should be or are uniform.

    2. I like watching WNBA vids on youtube but I have to restrict myself because under every damn video is at least one comment about a kitchen, usually ‘funny looking kitchen that is’ or a comment negatively comparing the WNBA to the NBA. Yes, they are different! Most women simply cannot dunk, this is not news but it doesn’t impare my enjoyment of watching the game or their apparent enjoyment of playing the game! It’s different, not less, not worse. And basically the same thing goes for comedy vids on youtube, I like to watch clips of shows like QI, Have I got news for you, old whose lines etc. everytime there is a woman making a joke in those clips someone will comment that women just aren’t funny.

  27. says

    What if they’re questioning? What if they’re straight, but genuinely do just enjoy fooling around for the hell of it? Looks like some pretty healthy behaviour to me.

    Yeah, that’s always something that bugged me about the anti-drunk-girls-making-out thing. I can see the “pretending to a sexuality you don’t have to get attention is irksome” point of view, but…people do experiment, and fool around without serious intentions, and I think that’s fine and good. If you’re expecting someone you make out with at a party to be in love with you–or even to come home with you that night–well, more fool you, regardless of your gender or theirs.

    @Casey: Oh, fucking 4Chan. Doing more to destroy faith in humanity than anything since…well, since the Republican Party.

    Which is also the thing currently pissing me off. Specifically: I can think of about ten ways we could at least try to make life better for the 99%, but most of them probably won’t happen because ZOMG TAXING MILLIONAIRES SOCIALISM BLOO BLOO A BLOO BLOO.

    Hate. Everything.

  28. says

    We’ve discussed here before that the way the MEDIA portrays “two hot girls kissing” is nasty because it’s entirely for the hetero male gaze, so it’s objectifying women and lesbians into some fetish for an audience that already has everything else objectified for them. I do think some of that can leak through into real life, i.e., it wouldn’t surprise me if some of the girls/women who do it don’t really WANT to, but merely think it’s expected, or that pleasing guys is so essential that they must do things that don’t make them happy in order to make guys happy. So that aspect of it is not cool.

    Also, I know a lot of women who would really enjoy seeing two guys kiss in a bar, but as with so many things, they’ll just continue to have to make do without. So that aspect is gender-biased.

    But unless you know a particular woman is only doing it because she thinks she needs to do uncomfortable things to please men because maybe just maybe if she pleases enough men someday some tiny piece of happiness might just land on her, then it’s really none of your business, right? Like most things people get snoopy over? 😀

  29. Patrick McGraw says


    1. People that say things like: I’m not a racist/sexist/etc but…fill in racist/sexist/etc slur here.

    Oh, yes. And closely related is the “I’m honestly curious..” lead-in. IME, this will always be followed by bigoted opinions phrased as questions, so that when you call them on their bigotry, they can be all “Why are you such a mean meany? I was just asking questions!”

    Yesterday a friend of mine who is socially progressive was trying to insist that Rape Apologist Richard Dawkins’ “a priest once grabbed my ass and you don’t see me WHINING about it, so shut up about your years of systematic rape so I can tell you what the REAL abuse you suffered was” does not constitute rape apology. He insisted that I was “playing semantics.”

    So the Rebuplicans who go on about how taxes are Teh Debil and have signed oaths not to raise any taxes, including letting the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy expire? They are totally okay with letting payroll tax cuts expire, increasing the taxes for about 160 million Americans by $1000 a year.

  30. Patrick McGraw says

    I was recently diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome (which makes much of my childhood make a LOT more sense), and so far I’ve felt the need to keep very quiet about it, even with my friends. The amount of crap I see about “sperging out” and insistence that AS isn’t real, or is over-diagnosed, the self-diagnosed assholes who claim AS to justify being assholes… and as I’m sure the other gamers here have seen, it’s especially present in gamer culture.

  31. sbg says


    Coworkers, children, parents, friends who always, always say, “Oh, I’m so glad you called, I was just thinking about you” but never actually pick up the damned phone themselves while they’re thinking so much about you.

  32. JT says

    ooh, I have another one: the way that being pretty/thin is seen as the ultimate personality trait in a woman. Like, if I say I am fat, but also a fairly cool person, I have people rushing to say that I am NOT fat, how could you SAY THAT?!?! Like thinking you are fat or not the prettiest woman in existence is so wrong and low self-esteem blargle!

    And I don’t say it like I’m fishing for attention, either. I simply have fat cells. I am not the prettiest woman ever. AND THAT’S OKAY. I have many awesome traits to offer others. And I am, for the most part, comfortable with my body.

    When people, men and women, rush to tell me I am not fat or that I am pretty, it says to me that those are the most important things for a woman to be. Never mind how brilliant or creative she is. Like, a male senator can be ugly as sin, but have a brilliant mind, and nobody feels the need to reassure him that he is pretty first and foremost. Because a man’s looks have little to do with their worth as human beings.

    I seem to remember this phenomenon being discussed here before, and it has annoyed me my entire life. There’s another dimension to it as well: it works to keep women obsessed with their appearances and unhappy about them.

    There was a time I was *not* okay with being fat and unpretty. Back then, the same people would rush to reassure me, yadda yadda. Maybe they think they are being helpful, but the truth is no matter how much smoke they blow up my ass, I really am NOT the prettiest girl out there. This fact confronts me every day in the mirror, and then peoples’ reassurances sound hollow and unhinged from reality. Then you realize that you being pretty is VERY important to them, even if they have to obviously lie to you and themselves. So you start to wonder if they are, deep down, really disappointed in you for being ugly. Then you agonize and strive for prettiness and feel shitty about yourself and the cycle deepens.

    It took feminism to bring me to a point where I can see that judging your worth as a human by how pretty you are is so much bullshit. And I want to share this with women in my life, but I don’t necessarily want to get all “women’s studies” on them, so I try to refer to myself matter-of-factly and show them my worth as a person is not inversely proportional to the size of my ass.

    Maybe I should just keep quiet altogether.

  33. Casey says

    I just came to a realization about those assholes thinking I’m a conservative ‘cuz I think all rape is bad no matter what, which leads me into my latest sound off:

    I fucking HATE people who insist that sexual harassment (for instance, a guy yelling “SUCK MY DICK, BITCH!” and making a lewd gesture) is merely “an expression of sexuality” and if you don’t like it you’re a stuffy no-good prude who thinks sex is evil.
    (honest to God, this really happened…on the same imageboard where they called me a rapist, fancy that!)

  34. littlem says


    Oh, man – did the Bourdainful Disdainful really say that?

    I can’t believe he said that (hence my repetitive, unimaginative response).

    Does he not watch NIC? Have never heard of Alex Guarnaschelli? Liz Falkner? Anne Burrell, whom, as prolific an author as he is, has done something he hasn’t and created an accessible bestseller cookbook for the masses?

    I mean, he can really be an ass, but this really seems like taking Talking Out of the Side of One’s Neck to a new level, even for him.

  35. says

    Patrick McGraw: They are totally okay with letting payroll tax cuts expire, increasing the taxes for about 160 million Americans by $1000 a year.

    Yes! That’s why I just can’t understand how people whose taxes are going UP don’t get that all the Repubs are doing is servicing those who grease their palms best.

    JT: Like, a male senator can be ugly as sin, but have a brilliant mind, and nobody feels the need to reassure him that he is pretty first and foremost. Because a man’s looks have little to do with their worth as human beings.

    I seem to remember this phenomenon being discussed here before, and it has annoyed me my entire life.

    Yes, we’ve talked about that. People honestly seem to think they’re being supportive, but it reflects a really nasty truth: in this society, the most brilliant, talented, impressive woman is NOTHING unless she is also at least reasonably skinny and made up in a “pretty” direction. Meanwhile, like you said, a really ugly man can be a big success in lots of ways, and no one rushes to comfort him about his lack of beauty. Because we know he has so many options in life, it really doesn’t affect him that much.

  36. Casey says

    littlem: Does he not watch NIC? Have never heard of Alex Guarnaschelli? Liz Falkner? Anne Burrell, whom, as prolific an author as he is, has done something he hasn’t and created an accessible bestseller cookbook for the masses?

    He probably thinks they’re icky phony-baloneys who encourage people to eat garbage the same way he hates Rachel Ray and Sandra Lee.

  37. says


    I wonder if it’s actually just the old double standard: when a man cooks, he’s a CHEF and it’s all ARTFUL. When a woman cooks, she’s just doing her job. See also: when a man tends his kids, he’s a hero. When a woman tends her kids, well, she’d fucking better, right?

    Re: autism (which was mentioned by Shaun and by Patrick, in two different contexts). I would just like to add a mini-rant, which is: I’ve had more than a few people tell me they think I must be at least “borderline autistic” because I’m a geek, I guess. I’ve mentioned this to two psychologists I saw for depression/anxiety, to see what they thought, and they were like, “What? No!” because it was that obvious to them that I am not autistic. So anyway, when I tell these armchair diagnosticians what the therapists said, they don’t question their understanding of autism: they suspect I need several more second opinions! When does it occur to people that maybe they just don’t know what the fuck they’re on about? We all sometimes think we know more than we do, but when I hear from a more informed person that I’m mistaken, I figure, hey, maybe I’m mistaken.

  38. Casey says

    Jennifer Kesler: I wonder if it’s actually just the old double standard: when a man cooks, he’s a CHEF and it’s all ARTFUL. When a woman cooks, she’s just doing her job. See also: when a man tends his kids, he’s a hero. When a woman tends her kids, well, she’d fucking better, right?

    Well, if memory serves me right, Anthony Bourdain has gone on long-winded diatribes extolling the evils of Rachel Ray because…IDK, her recipes aren’t fancy enough or something? Something about how they encourage the American populace to not give a shit about the food they eat and we’d all be better off if Julia Child was still on the air or something…his grievances with Sandra Lee I can tolerate more ‘cuz her recipes are usually REALLY iffy like her infamous “Kwanzaa cake” (it’s just an angel food cake with apple pie filling in the middle and corn nuts strewn all around it).

    Maartje: under every damn video is at least one comment about a kitchen, usually ‘funny looking kitchen that is’

    I’d like to second this rant and extend it to pretty much EVERY “HURR DURR, WHAT A STRANGE KITCHEN” or “HURR DURR MAKE A SANDWICH” comment on EVERY YouTube video featuring a woman or women in it.

  39. Firebird says

    Jennifer Kesler: Yes! That’s why I just can’t understand how people whose taxes are going UP don’t get that all the Repubs are doing is servicing those who grease their palms best.

    I heard about a scientific study that made this make a lot more sense.

    Basically, they gave study participants between $1-$5, and then gave them an extra $2 that they had to give away – to another study participant, either with $1 more than them or $1 less than them. So the person with $2 if they give the extra $2 to the person with $1, then that will make the $1 end up with $3, and the person making the decision will be the lowest amount, even though they have the same amount of money they started with. You would think it would make sense to give it to the person with the least money, but what actually happened is that often they gave it to the person with more money than them – because they didn’t want to end up with the least amount of money.

    The conclusion they drew from this and other experiments is that people will vote against their own interests because they don’t want to allow the people with less than them to get enough to become equal to them, because then they can’t tell themselves that at least someone is worse off, and because they are hoping to make it to better off someday, so they identify with those better off than themselves and don’t want to allow anything to happen to the higher classes because someday it might be them.

    Basically it is just people buying into propaganda, but it helps with when I have to listen to lower middle class people talking about the poor in their bigoted ways and since I’m in retail can’t call them on their bullshit (leaving aside whether that would actually work).

  40. Firebird says

    One of the things that keeps chafing me is the Catholic church agitating for exceptions to the rule about providing birth control coverage to employees of institutions, not churches, even though many of these institutions already provide the coverage, and even though a huge majority of observant Catholic women use or have used birth control at some point, and even though their employees are not universally Catholic.

    I can certainly feel for the idea of not wanting to pay for something that you have a religious or moral objection to – my money pays for many such things through taxes, companies I have no alternatives to, etc. – but such is life. Perhaps my outrage comes at my disapproval for the church’s position on condoms and birth control, which I see as irresponsible, untenable, and out of touch with reality. But what I keep coming back to is that no one is insisting that observant Catholic women use birth control, only that employers who are governed by various laws they may or may not agree with provide what we as a society consider a basic tenet of health care.

    It’s not even a new rule; one of the regulatory agencies decided years ago that because birth control is a prescription medication that only affects women, not covering it specifically when prescription coverage is available constitutes gender discrimination. The women working at any company that has such an exclusion can file a complaint with (EEOC I think) and force the employer to cover it (or drop prescription coverage entirely).

    I just keep arguing this one in my head over the past week or so.

  41. says


    I can see that conclusion making sense – particularly the part about identifying with those better off than they are, which is pure narcissism (needing to maintain delusions about one’s state of existence because one cannot cope with reality).

    The propaganda is also part of it, and this is why I hate the Democrats, who do nothing to highlight this problem: whenever poor/middle class people just want what they’ve earned, or the tax-funded services they’ve paid for, the Repubs call it “entitlement” or “handouts” or “welfare” and the narcissist assholes agree. But whenever the rich are all “Give us tax cuts”, which is undeniably expressing “entitlement” to a “handout” in the form of “welfare”, suddenly that’s something about keeping jobs. Like the rich haven’t just spent the last 15 years exporting a lot of good jobs out of the country.

    You know who else is a “job creator?” Anyone who buys products or uses services. If we’re so taxed that we can’t afford anything but bare necessities, fewer jobs will exist due to that shrinking corporate income. But that never gets pointed out, does it? It’s like the Democratic party is entirely filled with people too stupid to point out the flaws in the Repub argument. Oh, I know Americans are stupider than bags of hammers, and logic goes right over their tiny minds. But how hard is it to whip up an emotional rhetoric that says, “Wake up, people! Repubs and big business are collaborating to screw you over, and a vote for Republicans is basically voting for yourself to be cheated”?

  42. Shaun says


    Yeah–only a few things, among them abortion and contraceptives, are considered to be optional things that Christians shouldn’t be “forced” to fund with taxes, but no one ever talks about those of us who are forced to fund things we have a “spiritual” or even ethical problem with–2 wars, at least one of which is illicit; the death penalty; Israeli apartheid; hell, even the non-tax status of organizations like the Boy Scouts.

  43. says


    And I still have a huge problem with churches going untaxed AND trying to direct public policies that affect the general public. If you are specially exempt from taxes, then you also need to be exempt from making campaign contributions, launching campaigns against gay rights, etc. Since the Southern Baptists and the LDS have done a horrible job at disengaging from politics since at least the 70s, I figure the back corporate-rate income tax they owe the nation should just about take us out of the recession.

  44. Patrick McGraw says


    Ah, the Persecuted Hegemon of American Christianity (TM). Part of why I also tend to keep quiet about my Christianity, like how people get confused when I explain that I support marriage equality not in spite of my religious beliefs, but because of them.

  45. Casey says

    Here’s another sound off, this one in relation to my laughably toxic home environment.

    My mom’s watching Amazing Race (I think?) and there was a challenge where the teams had to pilot an airplane simulator. The Black people team did shitty whereas one of the White people teams did well, which led my mom to say (in all her infinite wisdom[/sarcasm]), “I guess that’s why there hardly any Black pilots”. ‘Cuz y’know, flying an airplane is innate to certain races or something. *pukes*

  46. Casey says

    Jennifer Kesler,

    You don’t know my mom, she’s so obstinate that she’ll just be like “YEAH, WEEEEEELLLLLLLL…[insert bullshit about how that doesn’t count or something here].”
    She’d also move the goal-posts to indicate she meant airline pilots, not fighter pilots. 😛

    I’d also like to sound off against all the lazy-ass apologists who say stuff like “[insert profession here] is a racist/sexist/homophobic/etc. business and it probably always will be [so get over it, you whiners!].”

  47. Casey says

    Got this off of Sylvia Sybils’ blog (she didn’t make it), I’d like to make a sound off to all the assholes who thought THIS was totally awesome and brilliant:

    I’d also like to make a sound-off to all the people who got up in arms over the (justified) backlash to it, like this guy:

    Why the fuck is it cool for people to over react to stuff these days!
    We got banned from a venue for drawing dicks on a door which had loads of graffiti on it, because we were “sexist” and “homophobes” get over your self you cunts!
    Hand any man a pen, he will draw a dick, it’s logic.


  48. Casey says

    Okay, so…my parents are in the front room and they were watching some reality TV show and a Black teenage boy was eating a tuna sandwich and some Cheeto Puffs. My mom asked “DO BLACK PEOPLE EAT TUNA FISH!? ‘CUZ MY BLACK GIRLFRIEND* WOULDN’T TOUCH THAT STUFF OR MAYONNAISE BUT ALL OF A SUDDEN I SEE BLACK PEOPLE DOING WHITE THINGS NOW!” to which my dad replied “If they can’t fry it, the won’t eat it.”
    (my mom also mentioned something wonky that escapes me regarding the color purple and Black folks being intrinsically more homo/bi/lesbophobic than other people or SOMETHING but by then I tuned out)

    Honestly, maybe it’s ‘cuz I’m white and I’m “new” to this whole anti-racist thing, but I sure do have a low-tolerance for bullshit. I don’t even know why I continue speaking to my parents in a civil manner when all that comes out of their mouths is dumb shit that needs not warrant civility.

    *my mom’s black friend she knew back in the ’80s that she always uses as an excuse to justify her ignorant racist bullshit*

  49. says


    Well, that is SUPER racist and sort of amazingly ignorant and twisted. I’d struggle to live with people like that, too. I’ve found it hard to restrain myself from violence just running into them in public.

  50. The Other Anne says

    I got in an argument with a friend over use of the word “should.” I said something along the lines of 16 year olds shouldn’t “have sex” with 11 year olds (we’d gotten here over discussion of the Plan B debacle going on) because 16 year olds, generally, have more life experience, power, and a typically clear advantage over an 11 yo, whereas the 11 yo typically is at a disadvantage, still developing abstract thoughts, and probably not able to understand the potential aftereffects of sex even if they are curious. Friend took issue with the word “should” because it puts a “right or wrong” tint to it. WUT. When pressed for another way to say it, or what she really thought of the situation itself, friend was not able to relay what her opinion of it was, and instead continued to focus on that word. I am often at a kind of odds with friend’s opinions, though I see her rarely, but only recently have I had the confidence to really voice my own opinions that are in opposition to others and not just go along agreeable with what others say.

    This was at a little sleepover she and another of our friends, who I’d consider probably my BESTEST Friend, We had another argument later. We’d watched MB’s Transformers the night before (because for some reason I used to love it. Now all I can focus on is how insulting it is, so I’ll just go back and watch Beast Wars instead), and she had brought up how much she likes it. I said I used to like it a lot more, but now thinking about it I realized how bad it is as a movie, narratively and script-wise. I brought up the racist jokes that are only there to be racist jokes and don’t actually further any plot or characterization, such as the Indian tele-person who picks his nose and speaks “bad” english, and the insistence of the marines at the beginning to yell at their comrade who often lapses into Spanish when he is angry or flustered or excited, or whenever. She said that just showed their camaraderie, but looking at the plot of the movie, they don’t really HAVE camaraderie and the spanish speaking guy isn’t shown again after about 30 minutes and one of the main anti-spanishers is killed 15 minutes in.

    Literally the ONLY reason that is in there is to make a racist point. They dont bring the spanish guy back in, and mis-communication isn’t really a major theme, if one could actually say that the movie has themes besides “BBRRRAAAUUUUSSSSSHHHHH, SMAAAAASSSHHH, POTTY HUMOR!”

    Friend said, defending the character’s anti spanish thing, that communication is necessary in all situations and if they couldn’t understand him they should tell him so. I countered by saying that this isn’t even a real life scenario, it’s a fabricated one, and even if it was reality there is actually no harm in a person breaking out in spanish when they talk to non-spanish speakers.

    BESTEST Friend was arguing from the same position as me, but she is MUCH better at being a bridge between arguing people and calmly trying to get others to see where we’re coming from, but friend-who-I-disagreed with went and did dishes because she wanted to stop talking because she felt she couldn’t communicate at the moment.

    It was very confusing. I am having a difficult time not taking other people’s opinions on various issues personally, like one of my old-best-friends-now-step-sister, who says she’s “apathetic” about politics and doesn’t actually pay attention to them (she’s working on her PhD in neuroscience, so it’s understandable that she’d not have the time to pay attention), but then she’l rant on facebook about things, usually from a republican POV, and it makes me feel like I can’t talk to her about anything personal to me because she’s very judgmental, slut-shaming, and so on.

    Does anyone here know how to keep friends like that, and not let it effect the relationship? Especially for someone who is like me, who considers a lot of things to be personal, but isn’t all that confident about disagreeing with others and not taking it all personally? I am lucky because I have a handful of very good friends who I love, but I often feel like I’m hiding a lot of myself.

    It doesn’t help that I am living in what feels like enemy territory a lot. Colorado Springs. People like to come up to my counter to order a drink (barista!) and hold up the starbucks holiday coffee and ask, “is this for Jews?” or say “this is for people who hate christmas” or ask me if I know what my name means (Grace of God, unfortunatey), and ask me if I think I’ll go to heaven if I died on my way home from work. (That last one felt like such a threat I was kind of scared, way too specific a time and place to die.)

    I feel like i can’t talk about being an atheist when others are talking about religion, and most people assume I’m a christian. I also feel like I can’t talk feminism, though a coworker is SUCH A DOLL. We talk about Pixar and women in gaming (characters), and he agrees with pretty much everything I say. He mentioned, when I was complaining about things, that I must like chivalry, and i said I actually think it’s incredibly stupid and patronizing, and another of our coworkers tried to make me stop thinking that by coming up with a scenario in which I am kidnapped by a dragon or something, presumably saying that I would love chivalry when some knight comes to rescue me or something. Instead I said that I’d hopefully have a weapon of my own, like my machete, and dragons are awesome anyways so if it wants to eat me then, well, at least I’d die know dragons are real.

    /end rant….heh, long, sorry.

    Love this idea.

  51. Raeka says

    What drives me absolutely nuts is when people take the stance of ‘if you won’t fight/argue for your beliefs TO THE DEATH, at ANY time, then you don’t really care’.

    Makes me want to effin’ smack people. Even if I WANTED to spend all night abusing myself emotionally by engaging with such people, I have a life –I simply can’t afford to do such a thing, timewise OR emotionally.

  52. says

    The Other Anne: Does anyone here know how to keep friends like that, and not let it effect the relationship? Especially for someone who is like me, who considers a lot of things to be personal, but isn’t all that confident about disagreeing with others and not taking it all personally? I am lucky because I have a handful of very good friends who I love, but I often feel like I’m hiding a lot of myself.

    With *friends*, I’ve found the best solution is to stop hiding myself. Seriously, you sound very much like I used to be – letting them voice their opinions and not bringing up my own because experience suggests it won’t go over well. When I finally started just saying, “You know, I disagree, because X”, I was somewhat surprised at how many of my friends were fine with friendly, respectful disagreement. Those who weren’t, I haven’t missed. But I was prepared to lose ALL my friends, and that was far from the case.

    With *strangers*, I’m not sure what to suggest. I speak up when people offend me, and I have lived in a place that sounds like Colorado Springs (L.A., for all its faults, has an unwritten rule that we must all try to avoid offending each other, which is nice). In the place that sounds like CS, I did not make any friends by telling people stuff. But it made me feel better to speak up. (Example: one time some ol’ white guy in a store was telling the clerk how the Jews, and N—–s and the somebody elses were ganging up on the white man and trying to oust him from his natural God-given position of leadership. I was behind him in line. I cracked up. He turned to me, and I said, “Those groups have your group so outnumbered – if they ever conspired against you that way, you wouldn’t have time to be standing here talking about it.” I half-expected him to tell me off, but instead he mumbled, “Oh… well, I suppose that’s true.” I don’t think I converted him, LOL, but I think getting dissenting opinions out there is important all the same – especially if anyone else is overhearing.)

  53. Casey says

    Raeka: What drives me absolutely nuts is when people take the stance of ‘if you won’t fight/argue for your beliefs TO THE DEATH, at ANY time, then you don’t really care’.

    Makes me want to effin’ smack people. Even if I WANTED to spend all night abusing myself emotionally by engaging with such people, I have a life –I simply can’t afford to do such a thing, time-wise OR emotionally.

    I’d also like to add “If you start crying in a heated debate/argument/etc., then that means you don’t REALLY believe in what you’re saying/you know you’re wrong”. Which is something my mom said to me in a misbegotten attempt to make me stop crying whenever I had to deal with confrontation.
    Instead, it gave me an even bigger complex.

  54. Casey says

    Okay, so on a forum I frequent, somebody made a thread talking about how Lilian Garcia has a horse-face and how people on WWE television make fun of her for it, (pic for reference even though it shouldn’t matter: a chunk of the thread consists of posters rightly saying that calling Lilian horse-faced is fucked up and wrong, the other chunk is making “YAY OR NEIGH~!” puns, one chunk is pointing out how frustrating it is that women in pro-wresting (and indeed, EVERY FACET OF LIFE) are more often than not solely scrutinized for their looks and that people should just knock it off. Some other people replied by saying “BUT MENZ FACE SCRUTINY FOR THEIR LOOKS TOO~!”
    This exchange then happened:

    Person 1: Right or wrong, women are held to a different standard than men in all walks of American society. Not just pro wrestling.

    Person 2: Translation: “I know it happens to men too, but it’s worse when it happens to women!”

    Side-note: Person 2 is a guy who gets REALLY ANTSY about women gaining ANY sort of “privileges” over men (and by “privileges” I mean things like basic human decency and the right to not be treated as a second-class citizen) and thinks that women are held up on a pedestal in society and basically need to be knocked down a few pegs (MAYBE conventionally attractive straight cis white women are held on a pedestal, but…). He wanks about the EVILS of N.O.W. whenever he gets the chance and hates the fact that they practice women-centric affirmative action policies and try to give women a leg up in society “by any means necessary”.

  55. Quib says

    The Other Anne:
    (because for some reason I used to love it. Now all I can focus on is how insulting it is, so I’ll just go back and watch Beast Wars instead),

    Beast Wars was pretty awesome. The ’90’s was a friggin’ great time for children’s entertainment. It is so past time for hollywood, and mass media at large to stop trying to reanimate the corpses of the 80’s. Can we at least move nostalgia on to the next decade?

    I fucking HATE people who insist that sexual harassment (for instance, a guy yelling “SUCK MY DICK, BITCH!” and making a lewd gesture) is merely “an expression of sexuality” and if you don’t like it you’re a stuffy no-good prude who thinks sex is evil.

    See also: twits who want to argue that if you have a problem with female characters being sexual props and mouthpieces for their creator’s personal fantasies, Then you Hate all Sex Forever!
    We have got some problems about how a lot of people understand sexual attraction.

    I can certainly feel for the idea of not wanting to pay for something that you have a religious or moral objection to – my money pays for many such things through taxes, companies I have no alternatives to, etc. – but such is life. Perhaps my outrage comes at my disapproval for the church’s position on condoms and birth control, which I see as irresponsible, untenable, and out of touch with reality. But what I keep coming back to is that no one is insisting that observant Catholic women use birth control, only that employers who are governed by various laws they may or may not agree with provide what we as a society consider a basic tenet of health care.

    I actually heard a debate on NPR where a woman arguing against abortion coverage said that with the current and proposed bans on government funded insurance covering abortion “not a single American tax dollar will go towards ending a life”. Wars don’t count I guess?
    This was a while ago, on the Diane Rhem show. Which frequently hosts obstinate, hard right, and conservative speakers.
    I am so tired of how NPR gets this rep as the uber leftist, librul agenda counter part to the repuglican rage mongers.
    Would it not be so very nice if the mainstream Left could stop spending all their damn time apologizing?

  56. SunlessNick says

    Jennifer Kesler,

    So anyway, when I tell these armchair diagnosticians what the therapists said, they don’t question their understanding of autism: they suspect I need several more second opinions! When does it occur to people that maybe they just don’t know what the fuck they’re on about?

    Oh, but everyone’s an expert on mental illness or atypical neurology.

  57. says


    That beats science any day of the week!

    Srsly, tho, I think I need to write an article either here or at WP about how people need to stop looking to mental health conditions as explanations for behavior.

  58. Patrick McGraw says


    When I did tell some of my friends about my recent Asperger’s diagnosis, one was insistent that I couldn’t really have Asperger’s, because I’m capable of social interaction, and it’s totally overdiagnosed these days anyway. Nevermind that I’m a) 32 years old, so the “slowed social development” aspect of Asperger’s doesn’t mean that I’m oblivious to social cues, just bad at noticing them, and b) my entire childhood makes much, much, much more sense in the light of this diagnosis, and c) symptoms also include things like compulsive behaviors such as humming or repetitive hand motions (called “stimming”) which I have engaged in all my life.

    No clearly he knew better than my doctors because at 32, I’m only socially awkward instead of a stereotype of being completely socially inept.

  59. Patrick McGraw says


    I actually heard a debate on NPR where a woman arguing against abortion coverage said that with the current and proposed bans on government funded insurance covering abortion “not a single American tax dollar will go towards ending a life”. Wars don’t count I guess?

    I can’t find a link, but I’ve seen several studies showing that Americans who identify themselves as “pro-life” support capital punishment in much higher proportions than those who do not identify as such.

  60. Raeka says

    Jennifer Kesler,

    A sample size of two is hard to draw any real conclusions from, but I find it interesting that you, the woman, must have a disorder, but Patrick, the man, must be more-or-less ‘normal’. Plays right along with the whole ‘women are insane/hormonal/irrational/OTHER but men are just fine as they are’…

  61. Megan says

    Patrick McGraw,

    I am in the process of getting a diagnosis for Asperger’s right now. I’ve lost count of how many people have said to me, “You’re not autistic, you’re just _____!” Including my thesis adviser. It makes. me. crazy. I feel like I have to prove it to people with all my evidence before I can move on to what I actually want to talk about it. I wish people would trust me and trust that I know my own mind.

    On a related note – it makes me crazy that I have no one to talk to about my diagnosis who doesn’t think that it’s either a cry for attention or an expression of my low self-esteem. My esteem has actually IMPROVED now that I know the problem isn’t ME, it’s my brain. You know?

    I’m graduating with my MA in the spring so I know I’m bloody brilliant, but now I’m terrified about entering the workforce and dealing with bosses and coworkers again. Do I tell them my diagnosis in the beginning, or would that lose me the job? How can I hold down a job when I hate office politics and being around a lot of people?

    On another related note, I hate getting dressed in the morning because it takes 12 outfit changes before something feels right, I hate the sensory overload I get when I’m around more than 3 people, I hate my auditory processing issues, I hate things touching me, I hate random pervasive sounds, I hate being in public, I hate people looking at me, I hate talking to people on the telephone, and I hate people who think that if I have autism I have to be curled up in a corner drooling, and if I’m not doing that then I’m not autistic.

  62. The Other Anne says

    Jennifer Kesler,

    Thanks for the help! I am going to be trying to be consciously more honest about my opinions and see how that goes. I’d like to get better at public speaking so I can argue with my stepdad and stepsister (one of my best friends for like, ever), as they’re both uberconservative it seems, but we’ll see how that goes. I’ve gotten GREAT at arguing with people who wont intimidate me, like my paternal uncles, who are liberals with some really problematic opinions that I am comfortable calling them on, but I am worse at expressing myself when i am flustered and it’s difficult to cite sources when i can’t think of them. Urgh!

    A repeat customer who preaches Jesus love to me will be getting the “I’m an atheist” comment next time she tells me to “remember Jesus this Christmas.”

  63. says

    The Other Anne, I hope it works for you. LOL @ the “Remember Jesus” customer. You could also squint your eyes, look faraway and say, “Is he that guy that was at Dave’s Memorial Day party? From El Salvador, right?” I’m just kidding, hehe. I like “I’m an atheist.”

  64. The Other Anne says

    Jennifer Kesler,

    I reacted by looking at her in confusion until she walked away. She was already on my bad side by asking me “what’s christmas-y” with no further specifications, then ordering a Peppermint Mocha and getting all weird when it wasn’t the same price as a Caramel Machiatto. I had to explain to her that different drinks cost different prices. LOL.

  65. JT says

    Another one! Oh, I’m just a-full of ’em. :)

    It was brought to mind after reading the most recent post about distinguishing research from opinion: People who are so committed to appearing “moderate” or “unbiased” that they perpetuate some really hateful shit. People who pride themselves on being “apathetic” politically, people who say “but there’s 2 sides” to allegations of rape and DV, people who shame oppressed groups for getting “too emotional” all fall into this category. They are so effing concerned with the APPEARANCE of objectivity that they can and do throw people they claim to love under the bus.

  66. Casey says

    I’d like to make another sound-off against some Rhodes scholar who argued “Calling a straight person gay will always be the ultimate insult because you’re accusing them of living a lie.”


  67. JT says

    The ULTIMATE insult? ORLY?

    So if I mistakenly think someone is married when they are not, are they then going to go apeshit at me for thinking they are living a lie too?

  68. Casey says

    Sylvia Sybil,

    (yes, somebody said this to me once)

    I’d also like to shit all over the asshole in my Sociology class who asked the trio of folks from the Queer Resources Center if the reason why they were gay is because they had “mashed-up chromosomes”.
    As many other people on this site (Jennifer included, I do believe) have stated, there are some serious flaws with the “Born this Way” movement, one glaring flaw being that bigots will just twist it into yet another justification of why LGBTQI people are “defective”.

  69. says


    Ugh, yes. I had a professor say during his lecture that one challenge of homosexuality was how to claim masculinity without being fully masculine. >(

    I think that poster of the stick figure with three labels, “gender” on the head, “orientation” on the heart, and “sex” on the crotch, should be taught in every high school. They’re not the same things, people!

  70. Casey says

    Sylvia Sybil: Ugh, yes. I had a professor say during his lecture that one challenge of homosexuality was how to claim masculinity without being fully masculine.

    JKSLJFASKLJFSALKJDFLKAJSDKLJ RAGE. Is this the same professor who told you that if a kid was being abused, the community at large would TOTES protect hir from harm? LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLDIE IN A FIRE (your prof, not you, obviously)
    I’m glad my male professors who’ve discussed homosexuality never said anything stupid like that and it was usually the ignorant, bigoted-ass old guy in the back row who would say it (the same guy who made the “mashed-up chromosomes remark”).

    ACTUALLY, I’d like to keep ranting against this asshole, not only did he ask if queer folks were genetically defective, he also called Obama a spear-chucker and said “Men die earlier than women ‘cuz they work harder”, and when my professors’ mentor (a woman), decided to drop by during class just to say hi and give him a rose as a li’l gift, the guy was all like, “DON’T YOU THINK IT’S KINDA (insert a bunch of sing-songy rhyming words for “gay=bad” here) FOR A MAN TO ACCEPT A ROSE?? I WAS RAISED BY A MAYUN SO I WAS TAUGHT TO NEVER DO SOMETHING LIKE THAT!”
    This is also the same guy who, in spite of living near a Native reservation for most of his life and appropriating their spiritual traditions (he smudges his house every morning, among other things), he thinks trans folks are “evil, sick and wrong” (he DOES realize a lot of Native tribes have two-spirits and whatnot, right?).

  71. Patrick McGraw says

    I’m quite curious as to the link between “masculinity” and male homosexuality, considering that I am straight and a good deal less “masculine” than many gay men that I know. Oh, that’s right, my lack of “masculinity” must mean that I am gay, which is of course bad. Or so I keep being told.

  72. says


    Actually, yes! It is the same professor. However did you recognize him? *eyeroll*

    Your guy sounds like a general waste of oxygen. I suppose the only thing he’s good for is playing bingo – between the racism, sexism, and heterosexism, you should be able to fill some cards up pretty quickly. 😛

    Patrick McGraw,

    That and confirmation bias, I suppose. Plus assumptions: we (general we) see a man sashay by in a fabulous scarf, we “know” he’s gay and this confirms our belief that effeminate = homosexual, all without ever getting evidence of his orientation beyond his presentation. We remember this guy, but not the gay auto mechanic who looks so “normal” that we never noticed anything about him.

  73. Maartje says

    You know what annoys me? Gender essentialism… I can’t count on two hands the times people have told me that men just don’t get hints and that women enjoy shopping for shoes. And when I point out that that would make me a man instead of the woman I always thought I was then I either get ignored or told not to take things so seriously- or and this annoys me as well, try to dive into my childhood to try and figure out why I am not confirming to gender.

    But hell, maybe it’s me. I still can’t figure out what feminine and masculine means exactly.

  74. Quib says


    That is a fun bit of incomprehensibility if ever there was one.

    I’ve been reading reactions to a story about a big toy store, in Britain*, getting rid of the signs that say “boys” and “girls”. People** are /pissed off/ about that.
    All the reasoning behind the unhappiness is just bizarrely contradictory, because, from what I can gather, it’s fascist liberal brain washing to interrupt the completely instinctual and inviolable gender expressions by slightly lessening the extent to which they are told which toys to play with.
    A toy store might just have a section for trucks instead of BOYS(trucks)? We must rage.

    It’s weird to me the degree to which folks will flip the fuck out over (institutional) gender non-conformity.
    I mean, I don’t think I even need to go look for people who were hurt by gender oppression, but are there examples of the contrary?
    It could make the existing gender policing harsher, but I can’t think of a way being allowed or encouraged to enjoy both “feminine” and “masculine” things could be damaging.

    *I was so wrapped up in the freak-out response I don’t even know if it’s a line of stores or one famous store, or if they are reorganizing the toys themselves or just changing the names of the departments.
    **enough to fill up a couple pages worth of comments. There’s probably a lot of positive reactions out there too, somewhere.

  75. says


    I’ve read that kids don’t even realize there are two genders until around the age of 4. Of course, maybe if we went around naked like nature intended, they’d notice sooner. Or maybe it’s just not something they have any *reason* to notice until that age.

    In any case, this is not the first example of people going apeshit over non-gender specific stuff targeting the 4 and under set. Remember Teletubbies? I always figured Jerry Falwell thought they were homosexual propaganda merely because he lacked the imagination to recognize that it was simply gender-free – he defaulted to Teh Gay because he knew it was somehow arguably undermining heteronormativity.

    I honestly have no idea why people are so insistent that toys and children’s programming be gender delineated for them, unless it’s yet another example of lazy parenting, and they want the stores to be responsible if their kids turn out gay or something: “I bought him boys toys! I don’t know what went wrong!”

    I’m very confident heterosexuality would survive if we dropped the extreme gender dichotomy we expose preschoolers to. I don’t think gender is hardwired (hence the need for this propaganda), but I don’t think gender has all that much to do with orientation. If gender propaganda hasn’t eliminated non-hetero sexualities, then there’s no reason to assume the lack of gender propaganda would spell the end of heterosexuality.

  76. says

    Quib: it’s fascist liberal brain washing to interrupt the completely instinctual and inviolable gender expressions by slightly lessening the extent to which they are told which toys to play with

    This is it in a nutshell.

  77. Casey says

    I’d like to sound off against the same guy who was whining about NOW and left THIS DELIGHTFUL POST telling somebody else that basically, their feminism is wrong ‘cuz feminism is about gender supremacy instead of equality.
    (I’m starting to figure out that this guy operates on gender-blind sexism and color-blind racism. If you point out something about women (or PoC) that’s different from the reality of white cis men, he’ll accuse you of employing “race/sex-based double standards” and that “you’re just trying to keep us all apart”. He’s a total douche in allies’ clothing)

    “In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.” – Yogi Berra

    Your definition is off by one key phrase: Feminism is about achieving sex equality by focusing solely by elevating the status of women. In the time when women couldn’t even vote, when they weren’t even seen as human beings, of course this twist meant virtually nothing.. but now, women have achieved so close to equality in Western culture that the “twist” starts to make a big difference.

    Of the sexist institution that still exist in Western culture, a non-trivial number of them work in women’s favor. How do you correct these by focusing solely on elevating the status of women? What pro-woman legislation, pro-woman affirmative action or pro-woman quota will ensure women get “equal time for equal crime”?

    There’s feminism, and there’s egalitarianism, and in today’s culture, the two are no longer synonymous. Maybe a century ago, maybe half a century ago. But not today, not here, not now.

  78. says

    Renewing my initial sound off in this thread:

    Is it just me who’s fighting the urge to incite violence against Republicans? I am not joking. They are becoming more of a group-entity psychopath by the day, and I’m really concerned about them having any power at all, but I know the only way to take power from them right now, before they can make things any worse for the poor and better for the rich, would be physical restraint.

  79. Casey says

    Jennifer Kesler,

    DUUUUUUDE, I’ve been wanting to incite a literal Steamroller of Socialism against the Repubs since Obama got elected. I’m sick of him trying to appease them and I just want them LITERALLY CRUSHED TO DEATH.

  80. Casey says


    This also reminds me that I’m REALLY irritated by a pair of semi-local radio jocks who run a show in Eugene, OR called “The Donkey Show” and all they do as of late is complain about how the Occupy Eugene protesters are a bunch of whiny, stupid, lazy, entitled bums who are stinking up the park in the center of town and they should all just be gassed (granted, what the protestors have been doing is incredibly stupid since they’ve been picketing in front of small regional banks like Umpqua and The Valley of the Rogue instead of CitiBank and Bank of America but needless to say, that doesn’t warrant assault!).

  81. Casey says

    And I’d also like to say FUCK YOU to the guy who completely down-played getting doused with a shit-tonne of pepper-spray by calling it a “lavender spritz”…LAVENDER SPRITZ, MY ASS!

  82. says

    Jennifer Kesler,

    I honestly don’t think you’ll need to. The Tea Partier uncle I’ve mentioned? Is literally stockpiling guns for when the civil war comes.

    Sometimes he scares the fuck out of me.

    My point is, if it comes to open physical violence (because there is physical violence that is hidden or euphemized), I doubt it will be the liberals who fire the first shot.

  83. sbg says

    I could live forever without those assholes who let their dogs shit on the sidewalk and don’t clean it up. Responsible pet ownership, please!

    Gotta go rescue my cat, who’s got his head stuck in the handles of a paper grocery sack.

  84. says


    But at least he’s not shitting on the sidewalk, right? 😉

    Down here, you’re not even allowed to let your dog crap on grass. You have to pick it up in a plastic baggie (which worries me a little because it’s so not a green practice) and throw it in the garbage. And I don’t know what the deterrent is, but I rarely see dog crap on the ground anywhere. Do they get massive prison sentences or something? Very odd how well that law works.

  85. sbg says

    Jennifer Kesler,

    Oh, that’s a law here, too. And yet, poo. I don’t get it. Of course, I don’t get why dudes are constantly hawking loogies onto the sidewalk either. Do men produce more saliva than women? Is expectorating the only means of relieving some overproducing glands?

  86. Azzy says


    Needless to say, at that range, even if it WERE lavender spritz, it’d still hurt like fuck. Ever gotten perfume in your eye? That shit stings.

  87. Casey says

    I want to sound off against lost causes.

    That is to say, one time I was enmeshed in a brou-ha-ha involving (surprise, surprise) some dipfucks on the wrestling forum I frequent trying to justify/excuse/downplay homophobic jokes. I explained VERY CAREFULLY why gay jokes simply aren’t okay and I sent a link detailing a very concise 10-point breakdown of why gay jokes aren’t okay (from one of Sparky’s guest posts on Womanist Musings) and the only reply I got was:

    That did nothing to change my mind but thanks for trying.

    When I read that I wanted to toss hot coffee in his face.

  88. firebird says

    Jennifer Kesler,

    Quite possibly for most public displays, but my boyfriend does it neatly every morning (in the bathroom). I have a tentative theory that it is because he never blows his nose (seriously). I wonder if other people who do the loogie thing also don’t bow their noses? Maybe it is a trained gender difference – I know I was carefully taught that it was disgusting to sniff instead of blowing my nose.

  89. Casey says

    firebird: I know I was carefully taught that it was disgusting to sniff instead of blowing my nose.

    I remember being taught that, too! But I didn’t get around to blowing my nose consistently until a year or so ago…guess I’m just slow on the uptake. Also, I’ve always been very phlegmy and hacked up loogies a lot, so I never noticed men in particular spitting everywhere (it’s usually my sister who does that). In spite of the fact that I’ve been hacking up loogies for as long as I can recall, seeing someone else spit makes me gag…very weird.

  90. says


    I never blow my nose – because the air tries to come out my ears instead, so it just doesn’t work. Yet somehow I manage not to hawk loogies.

    Interesting sidenote, though – I was taught it was disgusting to blow one’s nose in public, and much better to sniff as politely as possible, and use tissues discreetly to wipe.

    Also, every time I’ve told a doctor I can’t blow my nose, they tell me that’s a good thing, because it really does horrible shit to your sinuses. I don’t auto-trust doctors, but at least 3 have told me that, so maybe it’s true?

  91. sbg says

    Jennifer Kesler,

    Sniffing drives me almost as bonkers as the loogie spitters. It might be a public transportation thing, though. Some mornings, dude behind me sniffs on a ten second interval, lady across the way coughs dryly once a minute and the punk in the front sniffs and coughs in between.

    And I’m all, “OMFG, serenity now, please.”

  92. says

    Well, all those sounds irritate me, too – even my own. But if you’ve got constant sinusitis – as I did for the first 27 years of my life – you can’t just stay home until it passes. You have to do *something* about it in public. It can’t be helped.

  93. The Other Anne says


    Yeah, it drives me bonkers, to the point where I can’t sit still and have to either get out or block out the sound somehow because I feel like my skin is tightening around me and all my clothes feel uncomfortable and it brings out every little irritation. i get that kind of irritated from rhythmic/consistent sniffing (but not a one-off or once every now and again), as well as seeing someone bounce their leg or foot, or with tapping of toes or fingers. I don’t know why, and no matter how much I try to not be annoyed I can’t. I understand that some people HAVE to sniff or do SOMETHING, I just wish it was more feasible for people to carry around tissues if they have to. Or that humans didn’t need snotty lubricants for our airways. :(

  94. says

    The Other Anne,

    I’m annoyed by all those sounds you mention, plus: gum chewing, eating noises, lip smacking noises, tiny bubble popping in saliva noises, etc. I’m extremely sensitive to sound. But FWIW, tissues wouldn’t have helped me either. My nose would neither run nor blow – it was just always this sort of post nasal drip that required sniffing or coughing to clear my airways so I could breathe.

    Sorry, I just know that I often annoyed people when I had sinusitis, and they annoyed me right back with noises they felt I had no right to be offended by (but they were entitled to take offense at me), and I honest to high heaven could not have avoided sniffing. I always tried to do it quietly, and if humanly possible, wait til I could be alone or at least a distance from people. But I feel like I took an awful lot of shaming for something I absolutely could not help.

  95. Casey says

    Jennifer Kesler: eating noises, lip smacking noises, tiny bubble popping in saliva noises

    I really can’t stand eating noises/lip smacky noises/etc. (it didn’t help when my friend would purposely eat obnoxiously in front of me after I told him about this then hid behind the flimsy, xenophobic excuse of “I EAT LIKE A KOREAN!” LOLWAT
    I’ve only just gotten over hating slurping noises (like slurping hot noodles). I also hate mouth-breathing noises.

    Other things I hate are people treating the Bible like it’s historical fact (by which I mean, people who treat THE MIRACLES/LOL-LOGIC of the Bible as historical fact…like my mom. (I also recall asking her once when I was little why God was such a jerk in the Old Testament and she gave me this gem of an answer; “BECAUSE THE JEWS WERE FIVE HAIRS SHORT OF BEING APES AND NEEDED GOD TO PUNISH THEM AND TEACH THEM WHAT’S WHAT”
    I’m atheist/agnostic now for a reason)

    Some other things I hate are the words “yummy” and “tummy” (makes me wanna PUNCH someone in the tummy) and I hate it when people regress to a childlike state in moments of duress and use baby-talk because of it (like my mom…again *sigh*). Although I need to get over that.

  96. The Other Anne says

    Jennifer Kesler,

    Oh, I did my best not to let on I was annoyed when I was annoyed, and I was fully aware I did stuff that probably annoyed others, including stuff I wasn’t aware of. :) I’m sorry I kind of implied all problems would be solved by some tissue–I definitely mean on the cold days when I’d get to class and it would be *sniffsniffsniffsniffsniff* all around me. Mostly I wish no one had any problems ever, but that’s pretty unfortunately unrealistic, so I’m sorry I probably just added a bit to shaming anyone who does anything I find annoying without being able to do anything about it. I don’t want to make it seem as though the onus is on others to not be annoying–I am mostly mad with myself for finding things annoying and having such reactions to them. I definitely wish I didn’t. It’s definitely my problem I get annoyed, not yours or any other sniffers.

  97. says

    The Other Anne,

    No worries – like I said, I am as easily annoyed as you, so I’ve had the fun experience of literally wanting to kill myself if I sniff one more time, LOL. It gave me an interesting perspective on tolerance, though, which is that it’s always a balancing act, with everyone giving a little in hopes no one does all the giving or taking. It’s so not the hedonistic state some traditionalists think “tolerance” implies.

  98. sbg says

    Jennifer Kesler,

    Well, it’s not like I ever do anything but stew in my mental juices. Except for when someone coughs or sneezes without covering, and projects so hard I can feel it. Then, I do glare and move seats, because, gross. Even if it’s not something contagious – G.R.O.S.S.

  99. sbg says

    People who, in the nonprofit I work for, spend their remaining budget on BS items at the very last possible moment, causing a backlog of work for me. On my birthday.

    Hint: If you didn’t spend it before the tail end of December, you didn’t need your budget. Live with it.

  100. Casey says

    Something really IRRITATING happened to me recently. I got some mail from Children’s International with the photo and stats of a young girl from the Dominican Republic so I decided (on a whim, I guess?) to become her sponsor. I mailed them the $20 “deposit” that would get her food, clean water, dental care, vaccinations and school for a month but I hadn’t heard a reply from them to send more money for at least two months afterwards THEN I got some mail from them URGING me to become her sponsor before it’s too late (implying my money didn’t get through). I got pissed so I sent them an e-mail telling them I mailed my money but the e-mail got sent back to me! I feel so bad for that kid and I don’t know what to do.

    So yeah, FUCK charity foundations that swindle us wanna-be do-gooders.

  101. Shaun says


    Impulse charity is a bad idea. Even if it’s not a scam you don’t know how efficiently they spend their money. And I mistrust any organization that tries to get donations using pity.

    If you’re concerned about people in the developing world, a better solution is supporting things that will cause institutional or structural change that will benefit communities, not just one girl. Better yet, support initiatives by people in those countries rather than things Westerners think are a good idea FOR them–Kiva is a great place to do this, I’m sure there are others.

  102. Casey says


    Yeah, I spent my whole life blowing off organizations like Children’s International (and that one with the old white guy with the beard waking around 3rd world slums) as being rip-offs and now I know for sure (then again, since I straight-up sent a $20 bill in an envelope to their HQ, d’you think maybe some awful mail-carrier just tore open the letter, took the money and tossed it?).

    I don’t really know HOW to support things that cause international/systemic change…that is to say, I sign petitions on all the time but I still feel like a slacktivist. Also, do you know if organizations where you can send impoverished people “gifts” like fruit trees, livestock, running water and stoves count as scams too?

  103. Shaun says


    I have no idea, I’d have to research the actual org. Again, Kiva Microloans ( are a great way to go because they’re all projects created by people who live in those countries and who have decided what it is they need. And, because it’s a loan, you get your money back 98.96% of the time (I have never met anyone who hasn’t) so you can re-invest it into others too.

    There are also probably grassroots orgs in your local community that do really awesome things. ALSO, use Charity Navigator ( which can at least alert you to any red flags in their business practices.

  104. Casey says

    Shaun: ALSO, use Charity Navigator ( which can at least alert you to any red flags in their business practices.

    THANKS! 😀 Now I can do some research on all the charities that send me e-mails like WHOAH.

  105. Casey says

    So, there’s this comic artist on DeviantArt named Humon and she’s Danish and one of her series is about a blonde, white European man named Neils having a three-way relationship with a Black American couple and…IDK, it’s built upon kinda problematic stuff. Well she just wrote this journal discussing some readers concerns and it doesn’t sit right with me:

    Ever since I started making the Niels comics I’ve been bombarded by Americans who told me that I, as a white person, couldn’t do this and that with black characters in my comics. It actually helped me because the comic is taking place in America, so it helped me understand how Duncan and Natalie would feel about white people, and how it would clash with Niels who loves black people but comes from Denmark so he wouldn’t be as sensitive about it as Americans would expect of a white and blond man.

    Because us Nordic people have a history of enslaving EVERYBODY we could get our hands on. We loved French, English, and especially Irish slaves (The Irish probably being the single most abused people in our part of the world. They were like a “all you can enslave” table. Even the first slaves in America were Irish). Heck, we even enslaved our own people. So we really can’t be bothered with “old guilt”, especially because there’s a big chance that our own family were once slaves, it’s just that they were white so you can’t tell. So Nordic people tend to not feel white guilt because then we would have to feel guilty for all the people we pissed off in the past when we were vikings and there’s just far too many.
    So I try hint at that in the comics. Duncan and Natalie have learned that they can’t use the white guilt card on Niels because he is immune to it, except for in bed were it’s makes for some weird but interesting roleplay. XD

    It just sounds like slavery apologism and a re-tread of the “Arab trader” argument, only it’s changed into “THE IRISH WERE TOTES SYSTEMATICALLY ABUSED AND EXPLOITED TOOOO!” (I’m not denying they/we weren’t, I just hate that argument)
    I’m sure other people could take this apart more articulately than I can.

  106. Kel says

    Super, super NOT HAPPY with the phrase “Lock up your daughters”, as seen on a t-shirt. As much as I want to rant more and try to articulate how fucked up I think it is, I must get myself to bed. I found your website tonight via a Google search on the offending phrase, and just want to say that I’m so relieved to find that at least some other people understand its seriously messed up implications.

  107. The Other Anne says

    That phrase always makes me think of that one movie by Sophia Coppola whose title I can’t remember right now. About the sisters who all commit suicide after being locked away by their teacher father. I never really liked that movie because it seemed too odd for it to be told from the outsider, creepy stalker boy’s perspective, because the actually interesting people were this family and these sisters. I get movies all the time about boys being creepy, or just “boys being boys” (because that’s what we’d call boys who spy through girl’s windows right? Just boys being boys? URGH.), but rare is it that we get a movie from the perspective of girls. So why make it all about the boys and their fantasies?

    Anyway, it bothered me. And I always felt a strong anti-sympathy for the parents who did this to the sisters, and a strong dislike for the creepy boys, and a desire to have these sister characters be something more than just objects for the boys to fantasize about and wonder over the whole movie.

    So that’s where my mind goes from your comment, and also to “I am very glad my dad was not of this opinion, that I had to somehow be saved by him from other men/boys who want to like, steal my honor or something antiquated like that.” My dad isn’t empty of problematic notions, but luckily this isn’t one of them (not for my mom, either). The idea that boys wear that sort of shirt to, what, advertise that they’re assholes? It’s very silly for them to do so. The guys who think they’re just THAT awesome very rarely are. And by rarely I mean never in my experience.

  108. Casey says

    Oh my GAWD why do I even bother leaving semi-coherent comments on YouTube? I was watching a Rock Me Amadeus video that was covered in pro-Ron Paul propaganda and I asked why people are so up his ass when he wants to dismantle the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act and further hinder access to abortion and the rights of LGBTQ people. I said something fairly reductionist along the lines of “I think people only like him ‘cuz of his STATES RIGHTS~!! rhetoric and wanting to legalize weed”
    Some Smarmy McSmarmerson replied to me:

    You haven’t done much research, have you? I disagree with his pro-drugs stance, but there’s nothing wrong with dismantling those acts. We all already have the same inalienable rights. Those organizations and legislation just divide society and suggest that those groups shouldn’t be viewed equally. Are you saying that other races and gays can’t possibly function without the government holding their hands? And more power to him for wanting to ban legalized murder of innocent humans.

    Should I offer this person a rebuttal explaining why Ron Paul’s political goals aren’t really all that noble because he just wants to line the pockets of well-to-do white men by cutting military and drug war spending or just ignore hir?

  109. Casey says

    Sylvia Sybil,

    Yeah, that’s what I ended up doing but still, comments like “Are you saying that other races and gays can’t possibly function without the government holding their hands?” are things that fill me with boiling rage, I can’t really come up with a good argument against it that doesn’t involve sputtering and potential face-punching.

  110. SunlessNick says


    I agree with Sylvia; Youtube arguments are so not worth the stress you’ll get from them.

    In Britain, we have a series called University Challenge, a quiz tournament between teams from different universities. And there was one woman on an episode who was awesome enough that I think the rest of her team could have been transferred to the opposition and she’d still have won. Which was of course the cue for my uncles and grandparents to go on about what an unattractive quality it was to be so knowledgeable, and how wrong of her it was to show up the rest of (ie the men on) the team. Like it’s better to lose than have a woman for the star player.

  111. says

    The Other Anne,

    The Virgin Suicides. Thanks for pinning down precisely why that movie bugged the shit out of me, yet left me feeling a big potential had just been missed by an inch.


    I third what everyone’s saying about YouTube, it’s just not worth it. But Casey, you were on their home turf – a pro Ron Paul channel. This is why I refused TeamLiquid’s taunts to go to their site, with their mod rules, and their trolls, and present my points. If I had gone, they would have shouted me down with ridicule, and then when I inevitably left, they would have declared themselves victors. Instead, I told them just that – making it clear I was not stupid enough to regard their “come over here and say that!” taunt as a genuine attempt at change – and advised them to just discuss my points amongst themselves if they wanted to change anything. I’d said my piece.

    And they did end up changing their mod policies somewhat, or so I’m told.

    If you want to change minds, you really have to be in control of where you speak. Wandering into the lion’s den might sound brave, but it doesn’t work and it only burns you out faster.

    You may want to consider starting your own site or channel somewhere, too. Don’t worry about redundancy or whether you can do as good a job as other bloggers (I am totally humbled by a lot of bloggers who write on my topics) – the more writing we have on why this stuff is wrong, the more we boost the general signal.

  112. Shaun says

    Jennifer Kesler,

    That’s good advice. Someone invited me to write a guest post once. I wrote it, then was all, “omg this is trash, and 239344 people have written on it before” and deleted it all. <_< Then she was like, uh, someone has written on EVERY topic on the internet before.

  113. Casey says

    Jennifer Kesler: You may want to consider starting your own site or channel somewhere, too. Don’t worry about redundancy or whether you can do as good a job as other bloggers (I am totally humbled by a lot of bloggers who write on my topics) – the more writing we have on why this stuff is wrong, the more we boost the general signal.

    Yeah, I’ve been considering starting a Tumblr to discuss some of my interests that intersect with social justice, I guess I’ve just been kinda lazy about it (plus Tumblr is hard for me to figure out how to use). >_>V

    OH MAN I JUST REMEMBERED SOMETHING THAT PISSED ME OFF. Has anyone else seen those BP commercials promoting Gulf Coast tourism? UGH it just seems so…disgusting to me! Acting like everything is all wonderful and hunky-dory down their COURTESY OF YOUR FRIENDS BP WHO CAUSED THE BIG OIL SPILL WHAT RUINED THE LOCAL ECONOMY AND ECOSYSTEM! Yuck.

  114. says


    Heh. If you ever want to write a guest post here, just let me know! My recent post on Plan B for little girls referenced Melissa McEwan’s post, and then really didn’t add anything significant to what she’d said. I thought about not posting it, once I realized I really didn’t have anything to add (except the point that the Dept of Health really ought to be more concerned about child molestation), but then I realized you guys might. And it does boost the signal. We’re not in this to win Pulitzers for journalism. I can’t even proof my own posts, LOL. We’re in this to get a message across, and repetition can be a great tool.

    Casey, Tumblr isn’t the only platform out there. We use WordPress, and then there’s LiveJournal, Blogger… loads of stuff. And that’s just the free ones. I’m just suggesting it because you seem to have a driving passion for it, and having control over your space gives you a sense that you are empowered to say what you feel needs to be said, instead of being on the defensive all the time.

  115. says

    if you’d like to, you could consider using my blog, too (the English version: I could do the posting if you’d prefer not to find out how to use the whole thing.
    If this idea doesn’t sound too strange for you and you can agree with the comment guidelines ( just write a comment on my blog and let me know.
    (This is an offer so please do not feel pressured to even respond to this comment 😉 )

  116. Casey says

    Aww, I appreciate all of y’alls suggestions but I just remembered that I HAVE A LIVEJOURNAL ACCOUNT…I just never really write on it for whatever reason. >_>V

    I guess my New Year’s resolution will be to ACTUALLY PUT IT TO GOOD USE. 😀

  117. Casey says

    Only seven minutes past New Years and I’m already pissed off again.

    I sure do hate people on DA who have stuff like this as their signature:

    “Feminism” means equal work for equal pay, NOT women should rule and men should apologize for having penises. Now get back in the kitchen and make me a goddamn sandwich, woman!

    It’s sexist NOT to hit women.

    ‘Cuz it’s so obviously NOT a rallying cry against misconceptions of feminism but rather, what they really think it is.

    (this is also somebody who made a DA stamp that says “NIGGER CHINK SPIC HONKEY REDNECK KIKE NAZI COMMIE I DON’T GIVE A SHIT, I HATE YOU ALL <3" and giving it the title of "EQUALITY~!")

    So basically, yeah I hate bigoted trolls like this who proliferate DA but you can't say boo about it until they actually "do something".

  118. sbg says


    Not only that, but once you get suckered in, they make it difficult to get out. Check their websites. Giant buttons to sign up, ZERO information on how to stop your contributions.


  119. Casey says

    *sigh* I sure do hate people (men specifically, in this particular instance) who get all hung up on having biological children. A trans woman friend of mine on DeviantArt is going through a rough spot because even though she’s been on tons of dates and whatnot, the men she meets always say they could never be with her ‘cuz she can’t have their babbyz. Bleh.

    Also, I just remembered something that pissed me off about one guy in the sociology class I had before this last one. One time when we were discussing queer issues, the teacher drew out the Kinsey scale on the whiteboard explaining that sexual orientation is a spectrum from 0 to 6 and the guy got all antsy asking “UH, ISN’T THAT SCALE KINDA BIG?? SHOULDN’T IT BE SMALLER???” and when we all got situated into groups of 5 or more to discuss why girl-on-girl action is hot and why guy-on-guy action is not, the guy ended up going on a tangent about how he has to police what his kids watch on TV to make sure they don’t see anything “gay”. ‘Cuz it’ll corrupt their minds and wind up turning them gay or something?
    He (along with several other people) also insisted the reason there’s hardly any guy-on-guy action on mainstream TV/films/etc. is ‘cuz either there isn’t a demand for it or that it’s just “weird and gross”. I got so frustrated that with everything he was saying (I felt personally attacked/belittled ‘cuz I’m a fujoshi, LOL) that I ended up bawling. Like, screaming and crying and hiccuping with snot coming out of my nose and everything. Ugh. Granted that was maybe a year ago when I was REALLY BAD at dealing with this stuff, but still…way embarrassing for a 20-year-old.
    I also felt REALLY uncomfortable about calling him out on his heterosexism/homophobia ‘cuz he’s black and I’m white and I didn’t want to come off like some sanctimonious white lady.

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