Originally posted on Crommunist:
white people are far less likely (some would say it is definitionally impossible) to experience racism than are PoC. It seems preposterous to assume that you, a person with no experience in the topic under discussion, would be in a position to lecture someone about that topic.
I want to take a careful look at the above quoted claim, and then attempt to respond to the criticisms in a satisfactory matter.
The easiest way for me to weasel out of the problem is to point out that I specifically use the words “some would say”, passing the burden of a response off to those “some”. I’m sure my critics wouldn’t find such a response particularly satisfactory, and neither do I. However…
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The email-hacking situation is still open. Haven’t had another incident since Sunday, but that’s not really an achievement, now is it?
Anyway, a thought occurred to me on the way home tonight.
I am the anti-matter opposite of Susan Patton. (If the name is unfamiliar: here you go.)
It’s not exactly Big News that I disagree with her on some things—we’re hearing about her because a lot of people take serious issue with her!—but if Mrs. Patton could see my life, she’d probably use me as an example of That Woman You Don’t Want to Be.
I was posting on my Facebook author page the other night about what I’m up against as a novelist with a full-time job, and basically the only thing that’s better for me now than it was this time last year is that now I’m single.
Recap: I’m in my 30s, childless, and not even trying to find a husband. I’m prioritizing my writing career over finding a smart man to marry before my fertility disappears in a puff of dust.
So the idea struck me this evening on the way home: not only am I living my life in exactly the way Mrs. Patton thinks is a disaster for any self-respecting woman, I think she’s full of shit in every way that counts and the world would be better off with fewer people who think the way she does.
I think women receive quite enough advice and guidance on finding a partner, and keeping him, already. The last thing we need is yet another book exhorting us to place potential husbands at the center of our existence. OTOH, I think the world’s men could use some guidance on interacting with women and maintaining relationships, beyond what they currently get. (If you asked for my thoughts on the conclusion of my last relationship, for example, “I didn’t try hard enough” would NOT be among my regrets.)
I think it’s okay if a woman prioritizes her professional life over husband-catching and baby-making. If she wants to pursue a demanding career, she might not have any options except to delay family life until she’s brought her professional life over a certain hump. It sure would be nice if we could have kids young without being penalized for it in the job market, but we are penalized, so we have to choose our battles and figure out which option sucks the least. If some women don’t get a chance to have the children they want because they’re too busy kicking ass and making things happen, that’s not the end of the world.
I think it’s okay if some women just don’t get married. To anyone. Ever. Even if we leave non-heterosexual women out of the picture, and assume that everyone really wants the nuclear family lifestyle in the single-family home with the two-car garage, it’s okay if some of us don’t do that. There are some men out there who don’t treat women well, no matter how hard those women try to make those men happy. There are some men who are irresponsible, immature, overly entitled or even abusive, and it’s not their potential wives’ responsibility to turn them into better people. If there aren’t enough “good men” for all the women who are available, then some women will be single. And we can be awesome that way.
Don’t even get me started on Princeton Mom’s shooting off her mouth about rape victims. I’m not too ladylike to make a scene that’ll haunt your dreams.
I don’t think teenage girls should resolve their body-image problems with cosmetic surgery. I think society needs to stop teaching women to hate themselves starting in defenseless girlhood, and I think surgery at a too-young age will only further complicate most women’s body image.
I think more students, of both genders, should spend their college years studying hard and learning as best they can. If we must spend so much money on higher education, that time should be devoted to getting educated, not to getting married.
I think that having no partner at all is better than having an unsupportive partner. (If I had to sum up Why I’m Still Single in a few words, it would be those.) I think it’s okay for women to expect certain things in terms of how their male partners treat them, and if the men aren’t interested in meeting those expectations, those women haven’t failed at life when they tell those men to fuck off. I think it’s okay for women to have interests and ambitions that don’t center around their husbands, and they have the right to seek partners who respect those interests and support those ambitions. If no such partners are available, then it’s okay to be single. Really, it’s okay. I think that’s the central difference between someone like Princeton Mom and someone like me. Given the choice between having a shitty relationship with a selfish, inadequate partner, and having no relationship at all, I think that being single is not only acceptable, it is cause for celebration.
My email account got hijacked last night. Again. This makes 4 times in just over 5 weeks. It didn’t create a post here, as I disabled email posting after the second incident.
I was sick for much of last week, so I didn’t get much accomplished. I was hoping to resume exercise last night, but that went out the window when I found out about the latest email hijacking. Instead, I spent all evening and stayed up well past my bedtime in getting all my online memberships transferred over to different email accounts. It seems that basically NOTHING I do can keep the hackers out. Trust me, I’ve done plenty already. They’re still coming back, and they’re still sending garbage to long lists of people with messages in my inbox, many of which messages are several years old. It’s rather embarrassing to log into Yahoo and find Out of Office replies from literary agents you queried back in 2009 and haven’t contacted since. The only thing that appears to be changing is the group of people who get the spam. They all have in common that they’ve had some email communication with me at some point.
So, unless someone can give me some better advice, and so far no suggestion I’ve heard has been useful at all, my email account is getting shut down as soon as I can get everything transferred elsewhere. This is not entirely straightforward, as there are some memberships that cannot be assigned a new email address without help from their end. I don’t really care to make my Smashwords account inaccessible, for example.
Until I cut off these parasites’ blood supply, my first priority will be devoted to closing my email account to further business. I expect to be crankier than usual even after this shit is over and done with.
See the previous post? Still wondering what exactly the problem is, and when I’ll take that stick out of my ass and stop punishing someone for being friendly? There’s also this shit here:
White privilege is when you don’t get ask by your teacher if you are in ESL and need a translator even though he has heard me speak fluent English and then proceeds to ask if I speak Chinese
This kind of prejudice can interfere with a kid’s pursuit of an education. When you play “Guess the ethnicity!” via use of foreign languages, and expect us to act like it’s no big deal because you’re “just” “trying” to be “friendly”? You’re contributing to a larger problem. Knock it off.
I just found this little tale of “Guess the ethnicity!” on Microaggressions:
While in a hotel restroom at a teacher conference, a middle aged lady came up to me and said “HI” in Mandarin, Japanese, and Korean, then asked, “Did I get any of those right? Are you one of those?”
When I responded that there are many other Asian countries out there with different languages, she proceeded to gush that “It’s so nice to see one of you people not working in a nail salon and speak good English.” I told her I spoke English well, and it’s a damn shame the future generation has to learn from people like her.
Teacher-lady knows how to say “Hi” in three different Asian languages, but doesn’t know well enough not to be an asshole to a random stranger in the ladies’ room.
Look, folks, just…don’t do that. You don’t need to guess a total stranger’s ethnicity. You don’t need to be clever whenever you see a person who might be from somewhere else. Heck, how do you know I’m not from somewhere else? If you haven’t heard me speak yet, how do you know I’m not German or Swedish? Some people of Asian ethnicity are native-born U.S. citizens, and of those, many don’t even speak any languages outside of English. But it’s only people of color who are assumed, sight unseen, to be newcomers to this country, and who are treated like rare exotic animals for having a solid command of the English language. No one (in this country) comes up to someone who looks like me and says “Hi” in three different Northern European languages, followed by the question of “Are you one of those?” White people can rest assured that our place in American society won’t be challenged.
I see there’s at least one reblogger on Tumblr who calls the original poster a “bitch” and insists that the teacher is “just trying to be friendly.”
How does anyone get the idea in her head that the way to be “friendly” to a total stranger whose path she crosses in the restroom is to spray a bunch of foreign languages at her and then demand to know if she’s “one of those”? How does anyone think this is welcome behavior? Based on her comments about “you people” and “working in a nail salon,” I assume teacher-lady isn’t well-acquainted with any Asian people, but if this is her idea of friendliness, she’s not going to make many new friends outside of her racial group.
Intent is not magic, and even if teacher-lady thought she was “just” being “friendly” to the random Asian woman in the restroom, that doesn’t mean her approach was acceptable. It doesn’t mean the original poster on Microaggressions is obligated to act like this doesn’t bother her. The message behind this type of communication is to tell the possibly-foreign person: “You are a stranger in this land. You don’t belong here. Don’t forget.” I’ve been on that side of the foreign/native line myself. During my Peace Corps assignment, the games of “Guess the Ethnicity!” and “HOLY SHIT I SEE A FOREIGNER” dominated my life basically every time I left the house. I know what it’s like to be treated as the “exotic” one, and let me tell you: it sucks so incredibly hard. It is obnoxious and exhausting as fuck. I, at least, had the advantage of actually being a foreigner, and knowing I was only there for 27 months before I would go home and be treated like a normal human again. This kind of attention in Western countries is regularly directed at people who’ve lived here all their lives, or close enough to it, and have no plans of moving anywhere else. The OP is not a “bitch” for trying to enforce her boundaries. She does not need to “take the stick out of her ass.” She’s not in the wrong.
If you must be friendly to a total stranger in the ladies’ room (and I don’t see what’s so difficult about peeing, washing your hands and getting out of the way), why not just say: “Hi. Are you here with the conference? Where/what do you teach? Oh, what a cute purse!”?
LOOK AT THIS: “to old-school PUA cliches like “I don’t buy girls drinks but you can buy me one” and “what else do you have going for you besides your looks?” both of which come straight from peacocking PUA pioneer Mystery,”
“What else do you have going for you besides your looks?”
Oh, dear, that is basically punching yourself. My online dating profile includes a clause that specifically repels exactly this type of user, for exactly this reason. I can tell which guys haven’t actually read my profile based on how they respond to (or totally ignore) my “I don’t want to hear about my looks” line. It DOES help to filter out the doucherockets.
Originally posted on man boobz:
So our dear friend Heartiste, the white-supremacist woman-botherer, has assembled a little “Chateau Heartiste Crib Sheet of Game,” a compilation of some of his best pickup advice, boiled down to a few handy tips and clever one-liners that wannabe alpha males can use on the ladies during conversation in order to get their ginas tingling. (Sorry, that’s the way these guys talk.)
Looking at Heartiste’s list of “lines” I was struck by how generic and, well, frankly unoriginal most of them were, from standard issue negs like “nice shoes. Those are really popular now” and “is she always like this?” to old-school PUA cliches like “I don’t buy girls drinks but you can buy me one” and “what else do you have going for you besides your looks?” both of which come straight from peacocking PUA pioneer Mystery, the guy…
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Or, rather, they chucked him out some months ago.
The news has just broken that Fred Phelps, founder of the Westboro Baptist Church, has died in hospice care at age 84.
Out of consideration for his son Nathan Phelps, and other estranged family members, I am not bouncing in glee. I don’t fault those who are bouncing in glee, but for the sons and daughters whom he terrorized and abused, the matter is not so simple.
Besides, it sure would be nice to say the world just became a better place, but really, there’s plenty more hate and bigotry where he came from. WBC is still around. They kicked him out last August, but they didn’t fall apart.
If you’re involved in the secular community, you may have noticed recently that some people have said/done some things regarding the debate over abortion rights that some of us uterus-bearers think the secular community could do without. I’m on Greta’s side in this one: fuck that shit. Go look at #UpForDebate to see how we feel about calmly and rationally debating our rights in keeping a handle on our lives. (Note: if that hashtag discussion seems grotesque and barbaric, that’s the point. That’s how it looks to us secular uterus-having feminists when we’re asked to debate abortion rights like we don’t have a knife held to our throat.) Anyway, I just want to examine the “secular pro-life” argument which PZ held up for our vegetable-throwing, as amplified without criticism by Hemant Mehta. This is what Ms. Kruszelnicki, the Pro-Life Humanist (*ahem* womb-controller who doesn’t believe in God**), says to defend her position:
If the fetus is not a human being with his/her own bodily rights, it’s true that infringing on a woman’s body by placing restrictions on her medical options is always a gross injustice and a violation. On the other hand, if we are talking about two human beings who should each be entitled to their own bodily rights, in the unique situation that is pregnancy, we aren’t justified in following the route of might-makes-right simply because we can.
What happens when both a woman and her developing fetus are regarded as human beings entitled to personhood and bodily rights? Any way you cut it, their rights are always going to conflict (at least until womb transfers become a reality). So what’s the reasonable response? It could start by treating both parties at conflict as if they were equal human beings.
The nature of pregnancy means that there can be no equal rights between gestational parent* and fetus. Everything the pregnant person eats, drinks or breathes goes to the fetus, and there’s nothing the fetus can do about that. If the pregnant person doesn’t get enough sleep, or exercises the wrong way, it can put the fetus at risk. If the pregnant person does drugs, especially the totally legal alcohol, that can permanently and adversely affect the fetus’s well-being. The fetus is completely helpless and dependent on its gestational parent. Basically, the fetus has no way to assert its bodily rights. The fetus doesn’t make decisions. It consumes, grows, develops, eliminates, and after a certain point it also moves around. But it doesn’t get a choice in what it consumes, and it doesn’t have the neural equipment to communicate its preferences even if it had any.
I am even so bold as to say that the concept of “bodily rights” is meaningless when we’re talking about a fetus. The fetus’s rights can only be decided externally, and they can only be enforced by a third party having control over a pregnant person’s life for the duration of the pregnancy. Unless the gestational parent is under lock and key, the fetus is at the mercy of their whims.
Which means that if the gestational parent doesn’t want to be pregnant, upholding equal rights between parent and fetus is a very sticky situation, at best. Which is why we get these cases of pregnancy losses*** being handled as criminal cases.
If there’s a conflict between the bodily rights of the pregnant person and the rights of the fetus, then one side must be held as superior over the other. If the pregnant person is barred from having a safe abortion, then the fetus clearly has more rights. If the pregnant person must fit some narrowly defined criteria before they can access abortion care (as Ms. Kruszelnicki would have it) then the fetus’s rights are undeniably held as superior.
The “pro-life” position is really that the fetus gets all the protections and the pregnant person bears all the restrictions and responsibilities. This isn’t a state of equality. The fetus is in a position of desperate dependency on the ability and willingness of its gestational parent to take care of demself*. They’d be a lot more honest if they dropped the pretense of equality and simply admitted straight out that they want us uterus-bearers to bend our lives around our pregnancy outcomes because babies deserve that level of dedication. Really, that’s what they’re talking about. They want us to sacrifice our bodily autonomy in the interests of making more babies. A situation of “equal rights” never seems to conclude on the side of the person who’s pregnant and doesn’t want to be.
*Not all uterus-bearers have female gender identities. Trans men and non-binary assigned-female-at-birth people can also make babies. This is why I use terms like uterus-bearer, gestational parent and pregnant person rather than pregnant woman. Let’s not deny the existence of non-cisgender people who might give birth.
**I do not accept the term “pro-life” to describe the anti-abortion position, and this will not change in the foreseeable future. I’d rather work with a pro-choice person of faith than an atheist who thinks I can be compelled to give birth.
***Seriously, look at this shit. Look at where the concern for “fetal rights” leads in the lives of vulnerable and troubled people.