The Sexuality Of That Female Stranger You Found Online Is None Of Your Business

I was reading some other blogs and happened across one which is apparently fairly popular. I, like other readers, was startled to see that Popular Blogger gets a lot of very personal, nosy questions. Case in point: “are you bisexual?

Woah. This has anything to do with what, now?

My reaction after reading that was more “why did they feel the need to ask her that?” and much less “oh, she’s bisexual, okay,” because it is none of my business, I don’t care, and it wouldn’t have dawned on me to speculate, as she doesn’t write about that sort of topic.

Witness the dumbassery:

Wow. Can’t believe my question made it into the FAQ. I promise that I will not harass or stalk you now that I know that only 90% of my little fantasy is total fantasy (the part about ever getting to meet you) and that the 10% part about you being “at least curious” is true. Nice to trust my intuition (about you liking girls) and I hope my crush doesn’t make you uncomfortable. I’m harmless, I swear. I ALSO think that all women are a little bi, but I always thought that was just wishful thinking on my part too. I want them to be bi, I hope they are bi, maybe they really all are! You give me hope.

I’m sure she feels a lot better now. Because swearing not to harass or stalk someone implies that you’re capable of considering the idea. No, really. If I suddenly said something like “I certainly don’t consider you one of the aliens controlling my brain“, you have to assume that I’ve had this thought about other people at least once.

The poster also confesses to having a little fantasy about and crush on Popular Blogger, and that s/he had thought about meeting The Barmaid and had even gone so far as to speculate on the bi-curious status of Popular Blogger. That’s not creepy in the least, is it?

The last comment is potentially the most squicky. No, all women are not bi. I’m not. Also, you’re not the Little Engine That Could (or the Little Perv That Hoped). Just because you entertained the concept that a total stranger was bisexual, the fact that she admitted she was does not mean that she welcomed your speculation.

And bisexual women are not bisexual solely to entertain perverts. The illogic going on here seems to be that bisexual women will welcome an audience. The whole “let’s pretend we’re bisexual to get male attention” schtick is lame, and has apparently poisoned a lot of people into thinking that everyone else’s sexuality is our business. As Popular Blogger put it, bisexuality (to her) means that your gender is neither a bonus nor a detriment while she decides if she is interested in you. There was no implication that she’s interested in making her sex life a spectator sport or indulging in threesomes.

This trend (the idea that everyone’s bi, and the rash of women thinking it’s hot to grope each other to attract men rather than because they genuinely like groping other women, for whatever reason) is just as annoying as the apparently wide-spread interest in buttsex (this includes people thinking that the “shocker” hand sign is cool and that everyone would be attracted to someone who is puerile enough to make pseudo-sexual “gang signs” with their hands–usually, the answer is “no, I find that idiotic and wish people would stop broadcasting their every sex-related urge or thought in public”).

Some (straight / gay / bi / female / male) people like it.

A lot of (straight / gay / bi / female / male) people don’t like it.

My personal opinion is that area is an exit and not an entrance, I do not have a prostate so there’s no potential physical pleasure to be had for me, I don’t like risking hemorroids or anal fissures, I do not find poop or areas associated with poop sexy, and it’s not erotic (to me) in the least. If that’s someone else‘s thing, more power to them. It’s none of my business and I won’t think less of them. I’m just weary of hearing about it. Just because something is taboo, that does not mean you absolutely must get your thrills by trying it. There are a lot of taboo things out there, and most of them I have no interest in. If your sex life is so dull that you have to break a taboo to get off, you’re doing something wrong. (You may be thinking “what a prude”. My boyfriends–also far from prudish–would beg to differ.)

Also, straight women occasionally grab each other’s boobies if they want to. At least I know some straight women who do that when they are feeling frisky. I don’t, but I’ve been on the receiving end of a surprise boob-honk. It’s actually not sexual. I admit it must be confusing for innocent bystanders, but so what? The bystanders can think what they want, it’s when they decide that their unsolicited commentary is required or desired–or when they attempt to hit on these gals SOLELY BECAUSE they witnessed some boobie-grabbing, or when they otherwise decide to think with their genitalia rather than their brains and act like jerks–that I have a little problem with it. Were they talking to you? Do they know you? Are you a creepy lesbian-obsessed immature straight guy dumbass who likes to stare and leer at strangers? Then you need to fuck right off. I’m just saying. The world does not revolve around your genitalia, sexual fantasies, wants, needs or desires and the world as a whole is not only not interested, the world as a whole is probably grossed out by you. So shut up.

Anyway, back to the Human Sexuality Experts and Creepy Posters. It gets better. This brain trust confidently states:

EVERYBODY’s bixexual.
No exceptions.

Somewhere, sometime, everyone has had at least a fantasy, thought, dream, or experience with someone of the same sex. Not everyone identifies themselves as bi, not everyone chooses to act on it, but on some level, I think that everyone’s a little bi.

Wrong. Everybody is not bi. And no, not everyone has had a fantasy, thought, dream or experience with someone of the same sex. Sorry to disappoint you.

This does not mean that I have a problem with anyone who is gay or bi. It’s just none of my business until they make it my business.

Ever hear of the Kinsey scale? The opposite ends of the spectrum are not “Straight but secretly a tiny bit into the same sex” and “Gay but secretly a tiny bit into the opposite sex”, they are “100% heterosexual” and “100% homosexual”.

Also, even if someone’s subconscious produced a dream about a same sex attraction or experience, this has no relevance on reality. That’s like saying that because you flew, died, talked to hookah-smoking caterpillars, showed up in public naked or walked through walls that you, in real life, can secretly fly, or you’re secretly dead, or that you think you’re likely to see a real hookah-smoking caterpillar, or that you’re secretly a nudist, or that the laws of physics secretly do not apply to you where walls are concerned.

Yay, more reader skeeviness:

That is, like, really not fair. Here I was, trying to be one of your nice non-perverted readers, who enjoys your stories and writing style and worldview, without sending you emails that say, for instance, “Hey hot momma come sit on my face.” (That was for example, I don’t believe I have ever said those string of words all together.)

However, all that went out the window when you cavalierly stated your sexual preference as ‘bisexual.’ Sorry, but that is like one of the hottest things ever. So, you’ve lost a fan, but gained (yet another) crush. Before you know it, you’ll have 2,200 slobbering readers searching [for Popular Blogger] in this city [thanks to] the clues you’ve given out. (And I KNOW someone will figure it out eventually…)

We have the same issue that came up in the first quoted section. The poster thought that the phrase “hey hot momma, come sit on my face” (sic) were worthy of sharing with Popular Blogger and with the general public which might stumble upon her blog. The quick disclaimer that s/he would never actually put “those string of words all together” (sic) is negated because, um, s/he just did.

There’s yet another “bisexuality is so hot” comment (it’s none of your business, and why would bisexuality be “hotter” than homosexuality or hetereosexuality anyway?) and another creepy “I have a crush on you now” comment AND another reference to potential stalkings (by “2,200 slobbering readers”, no less). Cap that off with the mildly threatening “someone WILL figure your identity and workplace out eventually” comment, and, if I were The Barmaid, I’d be buying some Mace and pepper spray.

Popular Blogger attempts to deflate her readership’s prurient fantasies thusly:

Well, see, I think maybe you’ve been watching too much porn. The fact that I’m bisexual means that if you’re a man, I might be attracted to you, and if you’re a woman, I might be attracted to you. It doesn’t mean that if you’re a man, I will seduce you and invite several hot nurses to join us.

Exactly. Thank you.

Does it work? Of course not.

Nice try [her real name], but no dice :-).

Augh, he used her name. Whether or not it’s an assumed name, that’s creepy. It assumes familiarity that is just not there. You: reader. She: blog writer. You are not close friends.

See, it’s not the fact that you would or could invite several hot nurses to the partay (though that would be nice); it’s just that simply imagining you with one (or several) hot nurses is more than enough to put you in the (virtually) scandilously hot department. Hope that clears up our fascination with your extra-curricular activities. 🙂

Bleah! Ew! Learn to spell! And, yuck!

Note to creepy people: please refrain from sharing your fantasies in public. We don’t care. Stop being a groin-centered monkey. Put down the faux-lez porn and step away, slowly. You may watch it again when you can prove you’re not being brainwashed into being an ignorant dickhead.

Another poster makes me think I live on another planet:

“are you bisexual”? hahahaaaaaa!!! I think EVERY woman gets asked this.

They do?

Um, not.

Maybe I instinctively avoid rude people, but I haven’t had anyone I was not dating think it was okay to speculate out loud about or grill me about my bedroom frolics or partners. In fact, even the people I have dated have had enough couth to figure it all out on their own without being nosy enough to ask me so bluntly.

Another (presumably lesbian or bisexual) poster shares:

I work in an environment with mostly men, and once said, “You don’t think that we spend every night in lingerie and having pillowfights, do you?” I’m pretty sure he was serious and disappointed when he asked, “You don’t?” Men are crazyweirdsick men.

*sigh*

This woman earns a virtual cookie:

I think this claim that every woman is bisexual is pretty ridiculous; bi-curious I can accept, but going a step further and laying such a broad generalization like that sounds like wishful thinking. And I’m speaking as a bisexual woman here.

I agree! Wishful thinking indeed.

And isn’t it usually the case that those indulging in such wishful thinking are the very people you wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole? It’s like broadcasting to the world that you hold unrealistic, ill-informed and/or incorrect points of view about human sexuality. So not hot.

I think what bugs me most is the concept that someone’s bisexuality is, in some way, a legitimate topic for total strangers to comment upon, fantasize publicly about, and make ignorant comments due to.

When did we stop minding our own business so shamelessly? I mean, really.

It’s one thing when your friends (i.e., people you actually know and talk to on a regular basis and like) ask nosy questions. You can assume that someone who you have befriended is possibly not asking to satisfy some weird kink or fascination, they probably just want to know more about you. Also, if you’re really friends, you will have probably volunteered a lot of personal info already, and your friends are more than likely just asking for clarification because they want to know you better. The closer the friend, the fewer questions you can classify as “none of your business” or “nosy”, though you always have the right not to answer.

The guy at the bus stop, the old lady at the grocery store, the snotty teen boy at the gas station…these are not your friends. They are total strangers and your business is not their business. You owe them nothing but genteel courtesy and a display of good manners.

And, again, the comments that mention stalking (“I’d never do that, but thousands of other people might stalk you“) or unsolicited sexual advances (“I’d never say this, but sit on my face“) were the worst of it. Thank you, Internet! It’s easier than ever for total strangers to be annoying and overly intimate without permission or encouragement! Yay! Do you still feel safe?

The biggest gripe would be the cretins who confidently state sexual untruths as if they were law. Well done, spread that disinformation. We need more confused and ignorant people out there. Good job.

Republicans Think Unemployed Women Need Ladylike Manners and Charm School Lessons

New York State Senator Marty Golden wants unemployed women to take “Posture, Deportment and the Feminine Presence” classes. Yes, he is a Republican. This is what he is promoting, rather than “equal pay for equal work” or job-creating legislation. I am guessing that this is because he is a big misogynistic idiot, but maybe I am just not in touch enough with my Feminine Presence to understand his manly wisdom and brilliance.

 

 So. Is this the new Republican “thing”? Thinking that ladies need to know how to walk around with books on their heads more than they need equal pay for equal work, the right as adults to make their own healthcare and reproductive choices, or not to be deemed a “pre-existing medical condition” because they have vaginas?

As a PROTIP, Republicans, I WAS brought up with “deportment classes” because I was supposed to be a debutante. I never mastered the “book on head” thing, but I know how to properly comport myself at a formal dinner and which arcane bit of silverware to use when, how to introduce two dignitaries to each other properly, how to cross my ankles and get into and out of cars in a lady-like fashion, ballroom dancing, all those old fashioned rules about what not to wear when, how to curtsey, when to remove your white gloves and when not to, and all those so-called “lady skills”. I own several etiquette books and I read them all. Guess what? THIS STUFF DOES NOT GET YOU A JOB, and, in fact, will often make your bosses and co-workers uncomfortable if you behave like an old-fashioned, mannerly, etiquette-knowledgeable lady these days.

Look, guys, “Lady Skills”–much like insisting upon speaking correctly and using proper spelling and grammar–often make your bosses and co-workers feel uncomfortable. It is sad but true. Consider these skills to be nice “cherry on top” life skills, but don’t pretend that people are going to understand or appreciate your new “Proper Lady Graces”, because they are going to think you are fucking weird. Trust me on this. I have gotten more shit from my peers for behaving properly and with respect towards others and following etiquette and deportment rules than I have doing anything else in life. THEY DO NOT GET IT. THEY THINK YOU ARE A NUTBAR. THEY DO NOT APPRECIATE IT. Sometimes it even makes them feel bad about themselves. How does this help you get a job, really? Do you think balancing a textbook on your head is a life skill someone is willing to pay for? It isn’t.

About the debutante thing: I told the Cotillion / “debutante mill” people to go fuck themselves and refused to make my debut because they did not allow non-white or non-Christian debutantes. If my friends weren’t allowed the same privileges and Society didn’t deem them presentable or want to meet them, then I had no time to waste on being presented to that Society. It was and is not a Society I want to be a part of. Fuck them.

Look. It is an accident of birth that I qualify to belong to Colonial Dames or Daughters of the American Revolution, and I don’t meant to disparage those groups at all. Truly, I am not. I’m just saying that it doesn’t make me “better” than anyone that my ancestors got here earlier than someone else’s, or that they did so as wealthy landowners or businesspeople and not as someone’s “property.” It is an accident of birth that my ancestors made a mark on history (for instance, my nieces are going to grow up knowing they are related to Meriwether Lewis and John and Abigail Adams and people that several counties in Arkansas and Georgia were named after, just as a small sampling, and maybe it will inspire them to be excited by history, as a bonus), and I am proud of them too, but I can’t take credit for their accomplishments, if you know what I mean.

I do not consider it my greatest accomplishment in life to have the accidental fortune to be born white and upper-middle class. I can take no credit for those things.

Anyway, fuck these people and their Feminine Presence classes bullshit. I’m living proof that it is just a distraction and something that will NOT help you get employed, especially if there are NO JOBS. It won’t help women get fair pay. It won’t do anything but annoy and insult a bunch of unemployed women and teach them skills of dubious value in this day and age who would be better served using that time applying to more jobs instead.

Thus endeth my rant.

 

The Fake Will Smith Account Needs to SFTU with the Stupid Platitudes

I’ve shared this before, and it annoys me each time I see it. On the surface, this sounds like a good idea: Don’t spend a lot of time thinking or feeling negatively about unworthy people. Okay, cool, I can try that out.

 

Fake Fresh Prince is Fake.

 

Once you start thinking about what that quote is actually saying, though, it becomes more problematic.

1. Will Smith and his wife have been dabbling in Scientology, going so far as to be involved in a Scientology tech-based school. Scientology is ALL ABOUT doing nothing without getting something in return (that is “out-exchange”, so charity and being a Good Samaritan is not part of their creed) and, further, Scientology is all about controlling customers’ minds through Training Routines which teach its customers how to obey orders and give orders without questioning them, and Auditing which encourages its customers to reveal deeply personal (blackmail) material and then unburden themselves to an auditor who functions as a psychology-averse pseudo-therapist, Knowledge Reports (grass forms / tattletale sheets), diktats from Source (4th-rate sci-fi author and cult leader, L. Ron Hubbard) on every conceivable area of one’s life that must be adhered to without deviation or question, bans on non-Scientology media, websites, books and unapproved entertainments (they used to go as far as to install “Net Nannies” on customers’ computers which would block access to “entheta” (negative data) websites), thought-stopping use of a special language rife with acronyms and what used to be perfectly good words in English (like “ethics”) which are twisted into unrecognizable Hubbardese, and mistrust of any competing technological advances or information (psychology is supposedly evil, medications are supposedly unnecessary because all you need is touch assisting or auditing or medically unsound concoctions like CalMag (a special Hubbard brew) or barley water instead of baby formula and any number of similar idiocies).

So, the idea of (real) Will Smith–who has AT THE VERY LEAST, chosen not to investigate Scientology before supporting a Scientology tech-based school–speaking about people wanting to “control your mind” is laughably disingenuous.

Clearly, Fake Will Smith shouldn’t pick quotes like this one. Bad form, Fake Will Smith.

2. You will also notice that Fake Will Smith’s advice depends on you carefully keeping some kind of scoresheet in your head, and making sure that “people who do so little for you” receive no thoughtful contemplation or emotional feeling from you unless they pass the “what have you done for me lately?” test.

This kind of attitude about relationships is infantile and self-centered, and the opposite of being genuinely kind and charitable towards everyone without regard for whether they “do” anything for you first.

This is not to say that people who are abusive or selfish deserve to be forgiven endlessly. Far from it. It is not a bad thing to examine a problematic relationship and determine whether it is healthy for you to remain in it. It is OK to say “no” to people. If you are dealing with an abusive, manipulative or passive aggressive person in a relationship, then thinking about the one-sided-ness and negative emotional impact of that relationship is healthy and a good idea.

If you are, however, keeping some kind of tabs on whether every person you are in some kind of relationship with, in your opinion, has done enough for you to “deserve” basic kindness or thoughtful consideration, then you are an asshole. Healthy relationships do not require scorekeeping.

Just my humble opinion.

 

On Honor and Kindness

Republican Marty Golden wants unemployed women to take etiquette and deportment classes. Just another example of the complete disregard some of these conservative men have for women and the poor.

What’s more important, to me, than having an expert grasp of the ins and outs of etiquette rules, is being honorable and kind and having self-respect for yourself.

Want to know some things that will get you labeled as “weird” by your peers? Having an old-fashioned sense of honor and fair play and graciousness. Consider trying to always do the right thing, even though it will be misunderstood, and even when it does not benefit you at all (and, in fact, will inconvenience you) to do the right thing, or admit you were at fault, or to be scrupulously honest, or to always tell the truth when you can. People will look at what you do, compare it to what they would do (and, sadly, a lot of people don’t really understand what “honor” means), and judge you on that basis rather than figuring out that you simply don’t act or think like they do or that you are OK with that and that you don’t think you are “right” and they are “wrong” (or vice versa)–they fail to realize that you are just DIFFERENT. We all come from different backgrounds and do things in our own ways. But you’ll be misunderstood if your way is too foreign; you have to just roll with it. Be friendly to all, be kind to all, be close friends with only a few, avoid the “poison pill personalities” that make you feel shitty more than once or those people who persist in filtering your behaviors through some kind of warped dysfunctional lens in their heads and interpreting it in the worst and most offensive way possible…just carry on doing your best to do your best.

What is “behaving honorably” anyway? Well, you know it when you see it or live it, I guess, and I regret to inform you that you WILL be misunderstood or have your actions interpreted less than generously by some people. Sad but true. But be honorable and kind anyway.

Sometimes having honor or being kind means being misunderstood when you drive a male acquaintance home after a night out (if you are both straight and if you are female). Your peers might only do it if they had some ulterior motive, like wanting to get laid or something. You do it because you can, and it is the right thing to do if you don’t want to risk having your acquaintance get into an accident or get a ticket or hurt innocent people by crashing into them because your acquaintance was driving impaired. You’re going to be surprised when your acquaintance’s friends give him a hard time about it (but probably not very surprised that none of them offered to drive him home). Consider it a life lesson about what kind of folks they must be, and marvel that they consider his business and your business to be their business.

Solution: Be responsible and concerned about others anyway. If anyone has a problem with it or misunderstands? Fuck ’em.

Sometimes having honor or being kind means being misunderstood when you remain friends with your ex-boyfriends. They didn’t suddenly turn into bad people because the relationship failed to work out, right? You still like the same things about them you did before, it’s just that you guys just don’t want to date anymore. It doesn’t matter who made the decision, really. Eventually that detail is no big deal. While you are still heartbroken, behave with dignity and basic, platonic friendliness until you get over it. It is hard, but not THAT hard. You are an adult. Act like one. (Holy cow, you mean you also like their new girlfriends and wives? What is wrong with you? You must be carrying a torch for them. There is no other explanation. It can’t be that you just LIKE them as human beings! What’s wrong with you, you are supposed to have hate and resentment towards your exes and be jealous of their new partners. Get with the program!)

Solution: Continue to treat them as platonic friends…if they can handle it. (If not; well, you tried. Move on.) Continue to like and appreciate their new partners, because those women happen to be awesome (and clearly they have good taste in men, amirite?) and carry on. If anyone has a problem with it or misunderstands? Fuck ’em.

Sometimes having honor or being kind means being considered stupid or unobservant because you don’t talk about or reveal everything you know about what your peers are up to, and because you don’t share what has been told to you in confidence, so they think you don’t know when, in truth, you just don’t judge them or care. (It is knowing enough about the skeletons in the closet of every single person you hang out with to utterly destroy them with a single sentence, but never, ever doing so, no matter how awfully they behave towards you, because it would be wrong to swat a fly with an H-bomb.)

Solution: Be trustworthy and discreet anyway. People don’t understand that? Fuck ’em.

Sometimes having honor or being kind means being treated like a token aunt or parent by people only 3-4 years younger than yourself because you already made the mistakes they are making or learned from watching other people fuck up, and being nagged for advice you don’t feel like it is your place to give, and then being avoided or mocked if you do fall for it and offer advice or because someone bared their soul to you and they think you’re going to act like everyone else and betray them, so they better make you look foolish instead.

Solution: Be helpful anyway. People don’t understand that? Fuck ’em.

Sometimes having honor or being kind means being misunderstood when you treat what other people say with interest, and they interpret your interest in what they say as interest in them “romantically” or a desire to “be their best friend” or a desire to be a “part of their gang.” No, you do it because you generally find what other people have to say interesting because you can learn from different points of view, and because it is polite to hear people out, and you could give a rat’s about being part of any groups, “in” or not.

Solution: Be interested anyway. People don’t understand that? Fuck ’em.

Sometimes having honor or being kind means being misunderstood when you buy someone’s lunch for them because you can, and they are struggling. Again, you don’t want anything from them, you are just treating them with the same kindness you would like to be treated with.

Solution: Be generous anyway. People don’t understand that? Fuck ’em.

Sometimes having honor or being kind means being misunderstood when you decline to join in when someone is being teased and it starts to feel a little mean-spirited. It’s not that you have no sense of humor, you just think the best jokes are inclusive and positive, and not designed to make the target feel like shit and then have to sit and take it or be accused of being a poor sport.

Solution: Be thoughtful (and choose not to tease others in a mean way) anyway. People don’t understand that? Fuck ’em.

Sometimes having honor or being kind means being given a hard time when you pick up your trash when you are ready to leave at the movie theatre and being told to “leave it, that’s what the employees are paid for” or being given a hard time when you clean up your mess at a restaurant and being told “leave it, that’s what the servers are paid for”…but doing it anyway.

Solution: Think of other people’s feelings anyway. People don’t understand that? Fuck ’em.

Sometimes having honor or being kind means talking to the homeless guy who likes to sell homemade incense outside the dance club you like to go to regularly, becoming a friendly acquaintance with him because he is funny and smart and a decent dude who fell on hard times, and regularly getting the stink eye for it. (Anyone want some incense? I still have pounds of it.)

Solution: Care about people anyway. People don’t understand that? Fuck ’em.

Sometimes having honor or being kind means being responsible enough not to ever drink so much you get impaired, and then having to always be the designated driver because everyone else knows you’re going to be the responsible party. It is then being considered a bit of a drag who should “let her hair down” because you choose not to get stinking drunk and act out and force your friends and acquaintances to babysit your ass.

Solution: Be responsible anyway. People don’t understand that? Fuck ’em.

Sometimes having honor or being kind means talking about what interests you and sharing information, and risking being called a big ol’ nerd for it.

Solution: Stupidity is not cute. Ignorance is not cool. Books are awesome. People don’t understand that? Fornicate them right in the earhole.

Sometimes having honor or being kind means keeping your mouth shut more often than not, and not just being a chatterbox to fill the air with the sound of your own voice unless you think you have something productive to say. People are probably going to think you are aloof or superior or unfriendly or stupid.

Solution: Don’t give a shit about other people’s opinions about you, because what they think about you actually isn’t any of your business. Who gives a shit? Not you! Also, fuck ’em.

Sometimes having honor or being kind means giving an acquaintance something nice that you don’t need anymore as a gift without strings, and having to deal with other people who wonder why you didn’t just sell it to make a buck, and who decide you must have had an ulterior motive.

Solution: Give gifts if you want to and give them to whomever you want, it’s your stuff. People don’t understand that? Just say fuck ’em, because giving feels good.

Sometimes having honor or being kind means liking almost everyone despite or because of their human flaws, and enjoying their company, and then having to deal with other people in your social circles getting butthurt because you are not shunning the same people they have some boring and irrelevant-to-you interpersonal conflicts with.

Solution: Choose your own acquaintances and friends without concern for other people’s opinions. People don’t understand that? Fuck ’em.

In other words, your kindness is going to be filtered through the “what would I be doing or thinking in the same situation” lens by people who find basic kindness or honor a bit confusing, and you’re likely to wind up being deemed “weird.” Again. So, some people don’t understand your behavior?

Fffffffffuck ’em.

This sort of crap is, of course, your cue to hang out with kinder and more mature people if you find the people you are hanging around with always seem to have difficulty understanding decency and thoughtfulness.

Not giving a shit about other people’s opinions about me and just carrying on means I’m pretty content with life most of the time. If you like me, great; if you don’t, great. I can’t be bothered to have angst over it. I have plenty of friends. I don’t need “friends” who don’t understand me or respect me. Be kind or begone.

Being honorable or kind is not something that can be taught in “Lady Skills” classes. It is probably also not something that a Republican man like Marty Golden–who is prehistoric enough to suggest “Lady Classes” for the unemployed–is going to understand.

To be fair, “being honorable and kind” doesn’t get you employed, either, but you feel a hell of a lot better about yourself on a day to day basis, which makes it worth it.

How To Be an Awesome Person on Social Networks

After spending a little time scouring “I’m Not A Racist But” and “I’m Not A Sexist But“, I came to the conclusion that I have excellent online friends. I wrote them a little love note to explain why.

Stuff My Online Friends Do Not Do:

  1. Whine about Black History Month and wonder when White History Month is (that would be ALL the months, dicks)
  2. Whine about International Women’s Day and wonder when International Men’s Day is (that would be ALL the days, dicks)
  3. Whine about Women’s Studies courses in universities while wondering why there are no Men’s Studies courses (those are called History courses, dicks)
  4. Tell “sandwich” and “kitchen” jokes about women
  5. Tell sexist jokes in general (and yes, that would include “dumb guy” jokes)
  6. Tell jokes making fun of people from particular countries (i.e. Polish jokes) or religions (i.e., Jewish jokes) or races (i.e., jokes about Asian people)
  7. Fail to notice sexism in advertising (i.e., more than one FB friend has griped that while Axe commercials are bad and sexist towards both women and men, commercials that depict dads who can’t handle diapers or make healthy adult dietary choices or which show men making foolish financial choices while being scolded by women are also bad, and adverts using women as nothing more than props or sex objects are gross as well)
  8. Complain about a bad driver while making sure to specify that the driver is (pick one): black, Asian, or female.
  9. Complain about women in traditionally male-dominated fields; in fact, many of you ARE women in male-dominated fields
  10. Blame someone’s stupid behavior on their sex or race. Sometimes people are just not smart.
  11. Get grossed out by non-traditional partnerships or parents or people who express their sex or gender in non-traditional ways or people who define their sex or gender in non-traditional ways or people who choose not to define their sex or gender at all
  12. Try to explain your distaste for something by explaining it is due to someone’s race or sex / gender (e.g., “all women’s sports suck, because…women!” or “all rap music sucks, because…black people!” or, when pointing out a particular male acting badly, saying “all men suck!”)
  13. Get bent out of shape when someone expresses a lack of interest in having children. Instead, you guys are accepting of other people’s choices to have or not have children.
  14. Comment that “all” people of a certain religion are in some way the same.
  15. Comment that “all” people who are not religious are in some way the same.
  16. Show a lack of compassion for people with mental illness or disabilities.
  17. Show disdain for people in a lower social class than yourself. If anyone pokes fun of anyone in a particular social class, you can bet that they poke fun of people in other social classes as well (I’m thinking of certain folks who enjoy “People of Wal*Mart” videos as much as they enjoy “Bizarre Rich WASP people” news stories). It is not specifically their social class that is being mocked or shamed.
  18. Express a belief that being able to afford certain material goods makes someone better than someone else.
  19. Make comments about how “all” people of a certain race or sex / gender / orientation are the same, in a negative way. On “I’m Not A Racist But” and “I’m Not A Sexist But” you will find comments about how all X people “smell bad,” “talk too loudly,” “steal stuff,” “are criminals,” “are stupid,” “can’t drive,” “don’t belong in academia,” “are lazy,” “dress badly,” “can’t play sports,” “can’t operate electronic technology,” “have bad taste,” “eat gross things,” and so on. I would quickly get annoyed if my FB friends were making stupid comments like those.
  20. Use sexist insults towards female politicians you disagree with. In fact, whether you have agreed with a particular female politician or not, I have noted that you are typically quick to be outraged on their behalf when they are disparaged with sexist insults.
  21. Express xenophobia or a lack of curiosity and interest in other countries and cultures.
  22. Try to excuse attachment to a symbol (like the Confederate flag) that upsets and offends others.
  23. Use the nonsense phrases “reverse racism” or “reverse sexism.”
  24.  Get butthurt when you realize you have been harboring a racist or sexist or cisgendered assumption and it is challenged; rather, this tends to lead to reflection and discussion and a vow to address and work on it
  25. Pass around images that show the female body as an object or decoration (often headless / dehumanized). At least this doesn’t happen often, I should say.
  26. Assume, when a story about a crime is circulated, that the culprit, if race is not specified, is non-white.
  27. Ignore institutional and societal biases that unfairly target the less privileged folks out there
  28. Slut shame
  29. Casually use language that is traditionally racist, sexist or otherwise generally offensive (i.e., someone “gyped” you, “nude” used to denote a shade of Caucasian skin only, “whore,” etc.)
  30. Act like raging arseholes when you disagree with each other on my Wall threads

I could go on, but reading through “I’m Not A Racist But” and “I’m Not A Sexist But” really brought it home how fortunate I am to have connected online with some truly exceptional human beings. In short, you may not like what someone has done or said, but you restrict your criticism to that specific individual. You may not like someone’s political or religious beliefs, but you do not make the mistake of damning an entire religion or political party thanks to stupid people or stupid groups of people.

We could still do a little better about not lumping all cops and all military personnel (etc) into the same category when a single LEO or service member does something awful, but, on the whole, we do pretty darn well. We’re also pretty good about not using sexually shaming epithets, too. We’re still learning a language that includes people of all genders and sexual orientations (or lack thereof) but are not deliberately ignoring or dismissing others.

It’s just a shame that it is such a rare thing that I had to notice a general LACK of assholery–because it is so uncommon and unusual–at all. It’s true, however, that I become acutely aware of this when I branch out and, for example, read the comments sections under YouTube videos or news articles. What’s “normal” for my Wall or news feed is not “normal” for the Internet as a whole.

So, we’re not perfect, but we’re trying, and we’re avoiding most of the really obviously offensive behaviors while not becoming so “offensensitive” that we can’t discuss anything at all. I’m glad about that.

There Are Some Things I Won’t Tolerate Anymore

I don’t put up with people coming up to me and whispering words like “gay” or “black” couched in a complaint. So the *whisper* BLACK people in the grocery store blocked the aisle with their carts to say hello to each other? Sorry, those are rude people who HAPPEN to be black. Allow me to share a story about the WHITE people in my neighborhood who block the roadway with their cars to chat.

So you say you are Christian, but want to come up to me and be all judge-y and bitchy about people you don’t like? As a Christian, I am sure you will appreciate some words from Jesus about how you should judge not, lest ye be judged and loving your neighbor and being without sin before casting the first stone. Allow me, the heathen infidel, to share some of those scriptures with you. Because unlike you, I have read your holy book.

So you think it is funny to tell jokes that play on harmful stereotypes and myths about women or men or male-female relations? Pardon me if I don’t laugh about your Stupid Useless Husband or your Sex-hating Frigid Wife. HA HA, he likes sports and beer and can’t wash a dish! HA HA, she likes shoes and silly women’s magazines and can’t wash a dish, either! Man, that’s some kind of comedy. Excuse me if I don’t laugh, and just look at you with my head cocked to one side like a puzzled puppy. Because you aren’t funny. Oh, was that the punchline?

So you think it is fine to casually put your hands on me, even though we are not friends? Pardon me while I hold up your hand in the air and ask loudly which asshat this misplaced hand belongs to, because I found it touching my ass, and I didn’t say that was OK.

So you think it is OK to invade my personal space and make sexually aggressive comments? You will be pleased to discover that I carry a Taser with me and am willing to use it, because it is legal in my area. Perhaps you should back the fuck off.

So you think it is OK to fight with your co-workers, run off competent co-workers, be lazy, be stupid, and not do your assigned job tasks? How much do you like being employed in this shitty economy? Because I’m not doing your work for you, or taking orders from you, or helping you get out of your self-created jams, or teaching you more than once how to do a simple office task. If you can’t get with it, there are at least 100 hungry people out there who want and need a job and who will work, and you CAN and WILL be replaced. So fuck off with your attempts to tell me that my boss OKed you dumping shitwork on me. I asked, she didn’t, you’re busted, so do it yourself. You’re a pestilence.

So you Jehovah’s Witnesses think it is OK to wake me up early on Saturday morning to tell me my religion (or lack thereof) sucks and that yours is better and I should convert? How about I turn the sprinklers on? Is that a subtle enough hint? Because I have talked to you before and told you I am down with blood transfusions and holidays and have no plans to convert to your cult, especially as I have read your holy book and you, clearly, have not. I have asked you to leave me alone. I have posted “No Soliciting” signs, as has the neighborhood. That means religious soliciting, too. I have tried ignoring you. Now, if you are annoying and persistent enough to wake me up and get me out of bed, so help you, I will turn the goddamned sprinklers on you. I am sick of your shit.

So you think it is OK to lie about what our Founding Fathers said, to ignore Separation of Church and State, and be hateful towards women, homosexuals, minorities, the poor, the disabled, the elderly, the pregnant, the foreign, the non-Christian? How about we expose your hypocrisy at every turn and not vote for you assholes? How about we compare YOUR messages with the messages in your holy book? Will you go away, then? Do we have to get as nasty as you are, first? Really, what will it take?

So you think it is OK to treat gays like second-class citizens and deny them their equal rights? How would you like to be shunned because of things YOU were born with, like your height or baldness or eye color? Here’s a shocker: Even if it were true that gay was a choice, which it is not, guess what? Religion is also a choice. You aren’t born believing in one religion or another, you are raised by adults who teach you about their flavor of religion. What if bigots were denied their equal rights? You’d be shit out of luck, Chuck.

What are some things you won’t put up with anymore?

Hate abortions? Then why are you doing everything so bassackwards and wrong?

Conservatives have whined that comparing Republican Todd Akin’s “legitimate rape” remarks to the GOP’s party platform as a whole is “intellectually vacant”. How intellectually vacant is it when the current Vice Presidential candidate, Paul Ryan, authored ignorant rape-related bills with Akin, and when the GOP party platform echoes exactly what Akin said? Have these disgruntled conservatives failed, somehow, to notice that Republicans have at least several dozen ignorant politicians and pundits constantly spouting ignorant non-scientific fairy tales about biology and rape in addition to Akin? So. You explain that to me, because I don’t know how someone can claim it is “intellectually vacant” to make the connection when the connection is right fucking there.

Let’s be clear. This “rape” business is just the right’s way to pretend they are making policy to overturn Roe v. Wade based on secular arguments and not extremist far-right evangelical beliefs. Because not everyone believes that a clump of cells is a person, and because they can’t argue that it has “a soul” and be taken seriously outside their evangelical hug-boxes, they are determined to grant it “personhood”, thereby making miscarriages murder and some forms of contraception illegal. (‘Fun’ fact: Paul Ryan’s stance is so extreme, it would outlaw in-vitro fertilization. Irony alert: Some of Mitt Romney’s grandchildren were conceived thanks to IVF.) They cling to junk science not, I suspect, because most of them actually believe it (though some undoubtedly do), but because it allows them to pretend they are not trying to legislate religion-based morality. They want to re-frame the discussion to distract us all from the fact that they are making a 100% legal procedure more difficult to access. They want to force women to be incubators, because they value clumps of cells, zygotes and fetuses far more than the women who will incubating them. They don’t give a shit about women at all, ever, and only care about clumps of cells, zygotes and fetuses until they are born, at which point they don’t give a shit anymore. It is about control, and establishing their religious beliefs as law that everyone else will then be forced to abide by. It completely ignores the Separation of Church and State and they don’t care, because it is THEIR flavor of Tealibangelical Shari’a Law, so it is OK.

Let’s get real about something else. If you overturn Roe v. Wade, here’s some of what will happen:

1. Abortions won’t magically go away. Instead, you have more illegal abortions. Roe didn’t make abortions suddenly pop into existence, women were getting them long before the early 1970s. Women frequently died or were rendered sterile from illegal abortions. Make abortion illegal again, and women will be dying or suffering preventable injuries and sterility again.

2. If abortions are made illegal, then who will go to jail? We have nutters willing to murder doctors already, so I am guessing that doctors will go to jail. Medical professionals are already terrorized by radical anti-choice activists and worried that they may be the next Dr. George Tiller, who was murdered simply for providing a legal and patient-requested medical procedure. And, guess what, if miscarriages are illegal, then women will be going to jail, too. Yes, even women who may have dearly wanted that child. Fabulous.

3. People who are completely ignorant about how contraception works are going to be legislating birth control. Rush Limbaugh doesn’t understand birth control pills, for instance, thinking you somehow take “more” if you are more sexually active (much like Viagra). That is not how it works. Further, contraception literally means it is “against conceiving”. You aren’t “aborting” anything; you are preventing conception from occurring at all. Sperm and egg never even say “howdy”.

4. Dead babies. You do know we already have panicked mothers disposing of infants they can’t or won’t care for, right? Then there are poor mothers who can barely financially support themselves who won’t be able to feed or get appropriate medical care for their babies, and those babies will suffer for it, some of them dying of starvation or preventable diseases and illnesses. Wouldn’t it be preferable that every child be a wanted and cherished child?

Question: why would you think someone is responsible enough and suitable for parenthood if you can’t trust them to make their own personal reproductive and/or healthcare decisions? If you think adoption is the solution, then you are demonstrating that you know NOTHING about how adoption works, and I don’t see swarms of anti-choice people lining up to adopt a non-white, non-infant, non-“cute” American child who may come with some emotional, mental, or medical problems. Most adopted children are fantastic, I know some personally, BUT there are far fewer suitable parents who are willing to adopt and who are also actually capable and available to care for these parentless children than you fantasize there are.

It is past time for this shit to be shut down. If you do not want an abortion, do not get one.  Deal with your own personal unwanted pregnancy in whatever way you see fit. You do not have the right to dictate what medical decisions other human beings make. It is none of your business whatsoever. It doesn’t matter what “kind” of rape it was, either. Rape is rape, and it is not up to you to determine if you think that it is OK or not OK to abort an unwanted pregnancy.

Here is how to work to reduce abortions, if they offend you:

1. Sex ed. Comprehensive, clear, detailed, thorough, ACCURATE and science-based sex ed that explains How Babby Is Formed and How Gril Get Pragnat. But seriously, abstinence doesn’t work, and some evangelicals are even starting to clue into this. Teach more than “don’t do it”. Teach about STDs, and contraception, and the whole shebang. Educate people. Debunk stupidity like “falling down stairs causes miscarriages” or “Coca-cola mixed with aspirin makes an abortion-inducing or contraceptive douche” or “Pulling out is 100% safe” or “vaginas are sentient rape-sperm-destroying creatures which prevent rape victims from getting pregnant”. Allow kids to ask questions about the human body and sexuality and menstruation and conception and contraception or whatever and let them do it 100% anonymously, and then answer every single question you receive, no matter how silly you think those questions might be, because if they are asking, then they do not know the answer. Abolish ignorance about sexuality and basic human biology.

2. Realize that the human sex drive can’t be prayed or scolded away, and offer contraception options. Lots of them. With clear instructions on how to use them. Stop trying to defund groups who offer contraception. Learn how contraception WORKS so you don’t say something mentally deficient and stupid such as implying that more sexual activity requires more birth control pills. Learn that no method is 100% fool-proof except sterilization or, yes, abstinence. That is an appropriate time to mention that no sex = no pregnancy. But it can’t be the only option. You are allowed to preach whatever moral “dos and don’ts” you like, but not in public schools that are funded with taxpayer money, nor are you allowed to prohibit other people who do not share your faith from teaching factual information.

3. Expose Rape Culture and break it down. Teach young men not to rape. Stop interrogating rape victims as if they are the criminals. Jail some rapist sons of bitches until they are old and gray. STFU about “forcible” or “legitimate” or “real” rape. Rape is rape. You can be raped no matter what your sex or age or race or piety or modesty or behavior or location or time of day or how you are dressed or what you do or do not drink and so on. Rape is rape. You don’t ask someone who has been mugged what they were wearing or how they were behaving or if they were drinking, or imply that they were “asking for it” or “deserved it,” and rape is a far worse crime than simply having some asshole steal your wallet. And if someone CHOOSES to bear a child conceived during a rape, fine, but if she does not, it is none of your fucking business why she has made that decision and you don’t get to waste time arguing over the definition of her rape, and whether you think it is “forcible” or “legitimate” or “real” or what the fuck ever, all of which is just a sneaky way to delay until it is too late for her to legally abort anyway. We are onto you assholes, and you aren’t going to get your way on this.

4. Strengthen social safety nets. Funny how the most vociferous anti-choice people are also against any and all types of welfare and aid. Here’s a free clue: If someone can’t afford to clothe, feed, house, offer medical care to, school and care for a child, she may choose to abort that clump of cells. If, on the other hand, the woman wants a child and thinks she might be able to afford to care properly for it, she is more likely to have it. It is that simple. So get cracking on creating jobs, making it easier for low-income families to acquire shelter, make it easier for people to get decent health care (including dental, and vision, and preventive), make it easier for people to afford medications, make it easier for low-income families to get food assistance, improve public transportation so poorer people can access a wider variety of job opportunities, improve public schools (including sex ed classes that don’t suck), support libraries and museums and the arts to supplement public school educations, and don’t pretend that churches are going to fill in the gaps when society as a whole won’t, or that everyone is religious.

You know what happens when people know how their sex organs work, and how to prevent pregnancy, and that rape will be prosecuted vigorously and strictly with fucking JAIL TIME and naming and shaming of the rapist(s), and when people feel they can afford to have more kids? The number of abortions go way, way down. It is like magic how that works.

You know what happens when you preach abstinence-only by saying “just don’t do it,” and keep contraceptives hard to get, and quibble over definitions of rape and publicize victims’ names and situations, inviting everyone to judge what the victim did to “deserve” being raped, all while insisting that rapists deserve privacy protections, and make being poor as close to a death sentence as possible? People abort more often, either because they didn’t know how pregnancy happens and/or couldn’t help prevent contraception, or there are more rape victims and more of those victims getting pregnant and not wanting to be forced to care for their rapist’s child forever and ever, or you get a lot of impoverished people who can NOT afford to have a(nother) child, even if they might really want one. You wind up with more women getting abortions. DO THE MATH.

I don’t know how to dumb it down more than that.

If you’re so all-fired concerned about fetuses, then you need to get to work promoting things that will actually result in fewer unwanted fetuses. Trying to force pregnant women to deal with unnecessary waiting periods, shutting down as many abortion-providing clinics as you can, forcing women to endure guilt-and-shame-inducing “counseling” (typically from religious types), mandating unnecessary additional ultrasound procedures with vaginal probes and forcing women to view ultrasound images of their cellular or fetal blobs? That is not the right way to decrease abortions, and you fucking know it.

But we suspect–nay, we KNOW–that you’re really into imposing your Christian beliefs and morality on strangers and being punitive if they don’t comply. You’re really into controlling women and making decisions for them, and punishing sexual activity, while reserving the right to be smug and nasty about the poor. At least be honest about it. It’s not about fetuses. It’s about having your personal religious beliefs made into law in order to control other people.

And that is wrong.

 

Want more links? An updated version of this article has been posted at Addicting Info.