Beemer’s Rants: White People: STFU.

I keep seeing white people express shock at John Derbyshire’s blatantly racist “article.” Like, they know that there are a bunch of racist white people out there, but ohmigoodness, they can’t believe he just out and said it! No dog whistles! Shock! How can this be?

For fucking real, people?

Did you really think that racism was over? Did you really think that you’ve been such good allies, calling out racism everywhere, every time, that these people were shamed into the closet?

Give me a fucking break.

Look. I’m white. And I cannot tell you, how many fucking times that other white people, whether or not they know me, have felt perfectly comfortable making a racist comment, going off on a tangent even, saying the most vile, disgusting things to me about people of color.

This ain’t rare. Blatant racism of the Derbyshire-variety happens every day, everywhere. Don’t you fucking dare pretend that it doesn’t.

So. Shut the fuck up about how shocking this is. Get off your fucking fainting couch and call out racism, blatant or covert, wherever-the-fuck you see it.

Edit: And go read Renee’s post.

Chronicles of the Gym: Getting “Sexy”

I suppose this is going to become a series. Unsurprising, considering, but frustrating nonetheless. There’s so much cultural baggage  surrounding women and exercise–thanks to the “beauty standard” that all women are expected to constantly adhere to, and strive for.

Women are supposed to look good–all the time. Even while exercising. We’re supposed to be exercising in order to look better. Everything we do is supposed to, in some way, be about men. We work out to get “sexy.” While we work out, we’re objects to stare at–bouncing, sweaty pieces of flesh for men to look upon, comment upon, and follow around for entertainment. We’re supposed to interrupt our workout to chat with you. We’re supposed to cease use of a machine if a man wants to use it, because his workout is a priority–he’s working out to become stronger and healthier–increasing our sexiness for his benefit is of lesser priority when it clashes with his needs.

From the moment I signed my contract for my gym membership, I’ve had numerous comments outside of the gym, regarding my purpose there.

“Trying to lose some weight, eh?”

“Oh, I can tell already! You look so much better!”

“Hey sexy!”

“Your ass is looking awfully good! That gym membership is paying off!” *stare*

“Trying to get a sexy six pack, huh?”

Every time, I protest.

“I’m not there to lose weight.””

“I don’t care if I lose weight–I don’t care if I gain weight. I’m trying to build strength and endurance.”

*deadpan stare* “I’m not working on my ass. I’m training for a hike this summer.”

“Sexy has nothing to do with it. Yes I want a six pack. It’s messed up to just assume I’m working out to get sexy.”

Then come the protests.

“Oh, but you look good! You’re getting all tone!”

“I was joking!”

“Of course you don’t need to work out! You’re already hawt!”

Even when I attempt to steer the conversation away from appearance, weight loss, or attractiveness, my conversation partners never fail to correct my course change, right back to the beauty standard.

Evidently, I need constant assurance that I am indeed attractive, duh. I’m just working out to get even more so. Pssh, don’t listen to what I’m actually saying or anything. I don’t really want to get all muscled up. I’m not really trying to get to the point where I can do pull-ups, or bench my body weight, or run long distances quickly or climb mountains or anything. You, autonomous person who is not me, clearly know my motivations and goals better than I do.

I’m just a silly woman, after all. A silly woman who is obsessed with her looks, so clearly you can’t trust anything I say. Including when I say that adhering to the beauty standard is not my purpose for exercising.

 

A Few Tips For Engaging in Facebook Debates

1. Consistency. Trotting out the latest tropes about women, people in poverty, and immigrants while insisting you’re the furthest thing from a misogynist is not going to help you make your case.

2. Show me, don’t tell me. Talking about how awesome an advocate you are for women while arguing for legislation that will roll back women’s rights ain’t gonna convince me for shit. I will consider the telling a flat out lie, and take the showing for what you really are.

3. Bingo! Get me a bingo on the anti-feminist bingo card, and I will cease taking the discussion seriously, and begin to mock you.

4. Playground. If you do the above, and then act all surprised when I get angry and respond angrily, I will conclude that you’re nothing but a troll. I’ll call you on your stupidity.

5. Be nice! Don’t act like an asshole for the entire discussion, and then cry foul when I stop treating it like a civil discussion. Admonishing me to be nice while acting like a jackass is also pretty misogynistic.

6. Sob story! Don’t tell me how haaaaaard it is to be you. I don’t really care at this point. You’re just trying to score points. I will not play the “who’s life is worse” game. I’m not really believing your sob story is the truth, either.

7. Store clerks look at me! MRA whining? Really? You’re really going there? Don’t go there.

8. I know everything! No, you really don’t. You have a whole hell of a lot to learn. Just by telling me you know allll about feminism already, so why the fuck would you waste time reading Feminism 101 blogs, tells me you know nothing.

9. Feminazi! Fucking really? Stop talking. That shit disgusts me, as it would any decent person. You lose your decent person card.

10. Olive branch! You’re not extending me an olive branch. The only way to end this amicably is to apologize, and shut the fuck up and listen. Clogging up my inbox with your trash isn’t making peace–you’re just trying to hide from the rest of the facebook world what a jerk you are. Transparent, you are.

This, my friends, is how I spent my evening. What a waste of time.

Parents: You Don’t Get Cookies

“You don’t get cookies for doing what you’re supposed to do.”

My father used to say this to me all the time. It meant that I didn’t deserve a reward, kudos, or praise for doing things that I should be doing: getting good grades, cleaning, etc. It came to mind yesterday when thinking about all the comments supporting the abusive jerk who humiliated his daughter on facebook. I couldn’t tell you how many rants I saw enumerating all the ways in which parents provide for their children. They give their kids shelter! They feed their children! They pay for school! (What? Unless you send your kid to private school…no. You don’t.) How dare these no-good, disrespectful, modern teenagers be ungrateful!

Cough.

You don’t get cookies for doing what you’re supposed to do, love.

If you don’t feed your kids? You go to jail. You kick them out? You go to jail. You prevent them from going to school? You go to jail.

This may be the first time many of you have heard this, given the high pedestal parents are put upon in American culture, but read my lips: you are not a fucking saint for providing for your own fucking children, that you chose to bring into this world.

For whatever reason, under whatever circumstances, you chose to become a parent. You took on that responsibility of your own free will. Fulfilling such a huge responsibility, that you chose, earns you no kudos. In fact, taking on that responsibility, and failing to fulfill it will earn you, the parent, serious consequences, and it doesn’t matter if that failure was intentional or not. Our society doesn’t care. Our justice system doesn’t care. If you fail to provide shelter and nourishment to your child, the society that you live in will punish you.

So fulfilling your commitment, and thereby avoiding serious consequences to yourself, does not earn you cookies.

Expecting that your child is obligated to worship at your feet for providing her basic needs is indicative of a very sociopathic, abusive mind.

The hypocrisy of this man, who expect cookies in the form of unconditional worship and adulation from his daughter for doing what he is supposed to do as a parent, while becoming outraged at his daughter’s suggestion that she be rewarded with an allowance for doing her chores!

No.

I’m sick of this attitude. I’m sick of parents bestowing sainthood on themselves, and losing their shit when their children don’t treat them as such.

You don’t get any fucking cookies for willingly becoming a parent, and then fulfilling the responsibilities that come with it.

Grow the fuck up.

Ron Paul Memes

There are a couple of Ron Paul memes making the rounds on facebook–basically photos of Paul with captions numerating his veteran status, his advocacy for peace, and his love of FREEDOM!™

The more I see the “Ron Paul loves FREEDOM!™ Unlike all those other commie socialist FREEDOM HATERS WHO HATE FREEDOM!™” trope, the angrier I get.

Everyone knows Ron Paul is anti-choice.

I’m sure everyone is sick of women pointing out that Mr. FREEDOM!™ is anti-choice.

It counters the freedom-loving narrative! It’s a buzzkill! Ron Paul fans LOVE RON PAUL, DAMMIT, stop saying bad things about him! Haterz! You hate freedom, too!

If FREEDOM!™ means the freedom for rich-white-straight-men to dictate to others how to live, what medications to take, and take away control of others’ own bodies? Then, yep, I hate FREEDOM!™

The very idea that a Presidential candidate can trot out the freedom trope, and millions of people buy it, when that same candidate has stated over and over again that a woman should have no right to decide what happens to her own body, to decide whether or not to risk her own fucking life for another potential life, is utterly flabbergasting.

Ron Paul does not love freedom. He loves freedom for himself, and others exactly like him–and no one else.

Ron Paul fans are quick to jump on anyone who points these facts out. But otherwise? They completely ignore this issue. Here’s one of the memes: Read more of this post

To Those Who Don’t Understand the Decision Regarding Birth Control

Because I read HuffPo and Facebook comments, even though they drive me up the wall:

So, here’s how this new rule requiring full coverage of birth control works:

1. Insurance policies for all employers, save churches, must provide full coverage for birth control.

2. This is not violating religious freedom, or “keeping organizations from practicing there [sic] beliefs.” Women employed by a Catholic hospital, or a Baptist university aren’t there to “practice their beliefs.” They are working. For a paycheck. Also! For the benefits.

2a. An organization cannot be religious, or have beliefs–people have religious beliefs. Women that work at a Catholic hospital are just as free to practice their beliefs as before–they can take or not take birth control as they see fit. Many employees of these types of religious organizations do not have the same religious beliefs–it would be discriminatory to force a Baptist woman, for example, to follow the rules of Catholicism (to use my aunt as an example).

3. These religious organizations are not paying for the birth control–the employees pay for their own policies.

4. Let’s put this in a more abstract way–companies do not get to dictate the health care of their employees. Google cannot tell one of their programmers that they’re not going to offer an insurance plan that would cover surgeries. Zappo’s cannot decide that they’re not going to provide insurance policies that cover prescriptions. In short, employers do not, by and large, get to pick and choose which aspects of health care that their insurance policies will or will not cover.

5. Churches are exempt. Churches are exempt. CHURCHES ARE EXEMPT.

6. Employers have no goddamn business in the exam room with an employee and their doctor. Per-i-od.

 

Fauxressives: Stealing is ‘rong You Evil Poor Person!

So, there are some commenters on Dan’s post at Womanist Musings that are pissing me off with their self-righteous indignant ranting.

Basically, the theme is this: “OMG you awful moral-less poor person! You’re RUINING society by stealing food to live!”

Then, after their disgusting moralistic rants, they then offer alternatives.

Sigh.

1. “Go to church! Churches feed poor people!” I would really, really like to know what churches these people are talking about, because by and large, they don’t. The church I attended as a child certainly never did–and none of the others I visited ever did, either. Christian churches do not hold Jesus’ teachings to feed and clothe the poor, and ‘treat the least of these’ as you would Christ himself as their prime sacrament and mission. No. Churches are concerned with getting butts to warm the pews and cash to fill the offering plates. That money never goes to feeding the least of these–it goes to buying shiny new equipment, furniture, or renovations–and paying the staff.

1a. Churches don’t much care for LGBTs, or anyone, really, that come and go “as they are.” They’re only interested in those families who make them look good, and can give a big fat tithe. They’re only interested in minorities, however that may manifest itself, to “save” them and hold them up as a posterchild (aka testimony) of how awesome and godly they are.

2. “Just go to a food bank!” Food banks aren’t available in every town and rural area. In fact, unless it’s a large city, I doubt they exist at all–and the food banks in the cities serve so many people you’re lucky to get any. (The one in my city runs out of food by 10:00am. If they have enough supplies for a “full day.” If.)

3. “Discrimation! Sue!” The legal system isn’t open for everyone. (Seriously, one commenter’s solution to Dan’s poverty was to sue the company that fired him for being trans. WUT.) As another commenter pointed out, discrimination cases are hard to win. See: Wal*mart. AND, even if you can find a lawyer to help you, litigation drags out for a long ass time. Suing your former employer isn’t going to get you grocery money that week. And it’s not guaranteed. (Again, see Wal*mart.) It may also make it pretty damn hard to find a job if everyone knows you’re the guy suing a former employer. In this economy, companies can be picky, and you don’t want to do anything that may prompt a potential job offer to go sour.

4. “Just try harder!” IS NOT A FUCKING TIP. Way to go buying into the whole Social Darwinism thing, you jackass.

5. “Think of the children!” Um. Is this like “spread your legs and think of England”? ’cause I don’t know about you, but when I’m starving, I’m definitely NOT thinking about hypothetical children I’m setting a bad example for.

5a. “Think of your COMMUNITY! And that store owner! And those poor employees! And the other customers!” Second verse, same as the first. Also: Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

6. “Shop here! It’s cheaper! Use these websites! You can get free stuff!” Good suggestions…for people who live in largely enough populated areas that those stores have a presence in, or that enough locals use sites like freecycle and Craigslist to make them useful on a continuing basis.

6a. There’s also the assumption that people have functioning cars, with money to put in the tank. Or a good public transit system, with money to pay for that. Or a bicycle, and being able-bodied enough to do that. Or have enough money to have the internet at all! (I know. “But he’s writing on a BLOG! He must have internets!” No…One could be using a friend’s laptop, or the public library’s, etc etc.)

Oh, and this is just rich:

“Most of the independents have actually fallen by the wayside,
1.) Because large chains can buy in such huge volumes that the “little guys” can’t compete with the ridiculously low profit margins and the low wages that they pay their employees ( more and more work for less and less pay).
2.) Because dishonest people do things like dent perfectly good cans of food and steal everything they can get their hands on with no regard for the people who actually work hard to keep that store (and all of it’s employees), afloat.

So when you see an article about food deserts and you wonder “Why does that happen? I can see why a large chain might not feel a need to open a store in an economically depressed area, but why doesn’t some independent grocery store go in there and set up shop so that those people have a nice place to purchase decent food?” You can thank yourself and people like you who make it impossible to make a living in some of these neighborhoods because you steal their profits one penny at a time and justify it because you need to have money to dye your hair purple. “

Summary: People have nowhere to buy food because of large chains and you! But mostly you, you can-denting poopy-face!

My eye: it is twitching.

Nope, food deserts don’t happen because a combination of forces, it’s because teh evil purple-haired man stole food so he could fill his belly. Congrats, Dan. That’s a mighty superpower you have there. Now you just need a catchphrase.