on Kaepernick

On Facebook, a woman who I will identify only as E proclaimed, “That stupid football player is the biggest freaking joke I’ve ever seen in my life. I hope to G*d his career ends today.” [nb: censoring mine. She uses a number of words I no longer say]. She further advocated “frying” him, and said that a man sitting down for the national anthem is a disgrace. “And I think he should be removed from the NFL or apologize”. She invoked the troops who had fought for his right to stand for that anthem.

Here’s what I have to say to her, and to every person who is vilifying this man for standing up (or more accurately, sitting down) for what he believes in:

You want to talk about the men and women fighting for America? They’re fighting for your rights. They’re fighting for his. The first amendment gives him as much right to sit down as it gives you to spew all this hate against him. I have to wonder, would you be this vitriolic if he were white? Because I didn’t stand for this country’s national anthem either, when it played at my work. Should I lose my job?

The thing is, if he’d been white, they’d be lauding him as a champion of First Amendment rights. But because he’s black, he’s ungrateful, unpatriotic, and unconscionable. My question is, what exactly has he got to be grateful for?

Sure, he’s a well paid wealthy athlete, but he would have had to work hard and have actual talent for that. That’s him, all him. In terms of his rights, privileges and liberties, that his country affords him – that the national anthem in question purports to be about – he’s got nothing, because he’s a black man in a country where WWB seems to be considered a crime punishable by instant execution by cop.

Think on that.

 

on confusion

So what do you do when you’ve taken thirty years to figure out your sexuality and then something – someone – throws you for a loop?

I spent the better part of my life believing I was a lesbian, and then circumstances and new acquaintances led me to see that I am, in fact, asexual. For the last two years I’ve been perfectly happy to be asexual. It fits. It makes sense to me. It describes me. I’m just not sexually attracted to anyone. I see a person who is aesthetically pleasing and I think “huh. That person is aesthetically pleasing”, but there’s a world of difference between this:

“You are hot, and I want to touch you.”

and this:

“You are hot, and I can see why other people would want to touch you, but I am fine with not touching you myself.”

I thought I was fine! And then I see these pictures of her and it’s just nngnhhh. So I tried to really examine what I was thinking and feeling. Do I want to touch her, or is it that I just have a working understanding of this society’s standards of beauty and recognize that she meets them? And the truth is, I don’t know. I’m fluctuating, between “She is actually a cool person, and I sure would like to hug her, but that’d be enough for me” to “She is actually a cool person, and I sure would like to get my smooch on with her, but that’d be enough for me” to “She is actually a cool person, and I would like to touch her and make her feel good”.

So. Confused.

I’m like 99% sure I’m still ace. It’s just this one girl I can’t get out of my head. She could be the exception that proves the rule, right?

Right?

on paris

I stand with Paris.

But I also stand with Beirut, and Baghdad. I stand with any city in mourning. I am sorry for any loss of human life. I’m not going to sit here and pretend that only the pretty white French-speaking European lives are worth mourning.

I’ve seen the DP pic filter on FB for displaying the French flag. Where was the Lebanese filter, when Beirut was bombed? Where was the Iraqi filter, when Baghdad was bombed?

There’s a post going around on Facebook right now, and it goes like this.

Michael McCubbing (permalink)

I have decided to revert my profile picture and remove the overlay for Paris. As much as my heart goes out to everyone in Paris, it is not just Paris that has suffered from attacks, it is not even the only place to suffer an attack yesterday.

Our tendency in the West to view attacks in the Middle East or Africa as simply unfortunate — if we pay attention to them at all — but attacks against a Western country as “an attack on all humanity” is an sad betrayal of our underlying racism and xenophobia.

A life in Beirut is worth no less than a life in Paris. A life in Iraq is worth no less than a life in Canada. We must keep ALL of humanity in our thoughts and prayers at these times, not just those that we feel closest to. And we must forbid ourselves from giving in to fear of the “other”, no matter how much we are taught to fear our fellow man.

I’m not trying to disrespect anyone who has a legitimate personal connection to Paris who is in mourning right now. I would never, ever tell another person how to mourn. That’s none of my business. What I am condemning is the way a crisis in a predominantly white country like France is currently occupying the majority percentage of our collective consciousness, while crises in the brown countries, countries in the Middle East, get a cursory mention at best.

I’ve looked at the feed from the biggest online news provider in my country. 90% of the articles in the World section are about Paris. There’s one about the royal family planning a visit to India – 10 to 1 it’s there because of the royal family (they’re white), not because of India. There’s a bunch of stuff about miracle survivors (in Paris) and some stuff about how we’re frightened the same thing could happen there. Oh, and there’s a very cute piece about a baby fox found frolicking in someone’s back garden.

WHERE IS THE NEWS ABOUT BEIRUT? ABOUT BAGHDAD? Why is it that we care so much about France, but not the others? Have we become so desensitized about violence and tragedy in the Middle East that we no longer care?

Maybe it’s a defense mechanism perhaps, that it happens so often that we can’t let ourselves care.

I stand with Paris, but I’m not going to let myself only stand with Paris. I stand with anyone mourning tonight. I won’t pray for Paris alone. I’ll pray for the world.

on false friends

I’ve had mixed responses to my slow process of figuring out my identity and such. For the most part, they’ve been overwhelmingly positive, but not all of them. I’ve had at least one truly awful experience, the details of which I won’t get into here. But I think by far my most frustrating experience was with someone who pretended to be my friend, yet completely disregarded everything I had told him about myself and everything I had discovered myself to be.

I told him I’m ace, in a roundabout sort of way (we were at work at the time).

Me: I’m not really… interested in anyone.

Him: Yeah but like, boys or girls?

Me: Neither? I really don’t like anyone like that.

Him:  Oh darling, we can fix that.

Me: I… don’t want or need to be fixed?

Him: Oh, honey. We’ll find you someone.

Dude. I don’t want anyone. Not in the way you’re talking about. That’s the whole point?

I told him I’m not a woman. I told him my preferred name, my pronouns. He is probably the one person I know who has consistently refused to even try to use them, despite being told numerous times. Like, people have messed up before, but at least I know they’re trying. And that one horrible experience, she was awful, but she never pretended to be anything other than awful (to me at least. She was a horrible two faced piece of work in front of our superiors, but again, that’s another story).

This guy acts like we’re such good friends. He calls me darling, and honey, and sweetie, and he’s so pleasant around me. Then he calls me by my birth name, refers to me with she/her pronouns, or says something like “bye, girls!” referring to me and the girl I’m walking with. And it’s so frustrating because when I call him out, he laughs.

Him: Do you have any idea how hard it is to change? You’re [birth name] in my head, I can’t help it.

It’s funny to me how literally everyone else in my life has assimilated the information and got on with it. He’s the only person who is making me feel like I’m not worth the effort it would cost him to even try to respect me. And with the horrible piece of work, she’s awful, but you expect awful people to be awful. I expect people who call themselves my friends to at least try to show me the smallest amount of respect.

on winning and losing

There comes a time when it’s time to stop fighting.

Sometimes, even when we know we’re right, we can’t win, and the harder we fight, the harder we end up losing.

I’m right. I’m definitely right. And she’s wrong. But I live in an imperfect world and the harder I fight, the less I’m being listened to. Never mind that I have to keep asking because the people who are supposed to help me, don’t want to. I made the mistake of pushing against a woman who clearly, has enough friends in high places that she will never face consequences. Not on my account, anyway.

I always do this. Make the mistake of thinking people like me when I’m tolerated at best.

I’m letting it drop not because I want to, but because I need to if I want to retain any credibility. The injustice of it all just staggers me, but there’s literally nothing I can do about it. The only weapon left in my arsenal is the Leonie Gambit: “I’m not even going to do anything. I’m just going to sit back and give you enough rope and watch you hang yourself.”

on apologies

So let’s talk about apologies.

Chescaleigh says it better than I ever could, so I’ve embedded her video here. All I’m going to do is elaborate on a point she raises, which is intent vs. impact. She talks about what happens if she accidentally steps on your toe and it breaks: maybe she didn’t mean to tread on your toe, but hey, your toe is still broken! And it still hurts!

I’d like to add this quote from Hershele Ostropoler:

If you step on my foot, you need to get off my foot.

If you step on my foot without meaning to, you need to get off my foot.

If you step on my foot without realizing it, you need to get off my foot.

If everyone in your culture steps on feet, your culture is horrible, and you need to get off my foot.

If you have foot-stepping disease, and it makes you unaware you’re stepping on feet, you need to get off my foot. If an event has rules designed to keep people from stepping on feet, you need to follow them. If you think that even with the rules, you won’t be able to avoid stepping on people’s feet, absent yourself from the event until you work something out.

If you’re a serial foot-stepper, and you feel you’re entitled to step on people’s feet because you’re just that awesome and they’re not really people anyway, you’re a bad person and you don’t get to use any of those excuses, limited as they are. And moreover, you need to get off my foot.

See, I didn’t even write this post. I just brought together a video and a quote to illustrate my point. Do you know why? Because a recent situation where I was owed an apology, and where what I got was pretty much the antithesis of an apology, has left me “literally angry with rage”. Probably too angry to string two coherent words together with enough impact to make my point. However. I think for tonight, this will suffice.

on curiosetta

Okay.

So there is a guy – and rest assured, I know it’s a guy, because only a guy would get this bent out of shape about this – who has commented on a previous post I made. And it wasn’t just a “hey, no” comment. It was a line by line dissection on how I was wrong and ought to feel bad.

Bad news, curiosetta. I am calling you out.

What follows under the cut is me dishing back to curiosetta what he can’t or won’t stand on his own blog. See, he either doesn’t have one, or he deleted it, which tells me he doesn’t have the stones to put his own opinions somewhere public where they can be critiqued and picked apart, the way he’s done to me.

As he has done, twice now, I’m going to take his comment point by point and break it down. You have been warned.

EDITED because while I don’t think an opinion blog should be held to the same standards as a peer reviewed academic journal re: sources and citing, I’d hate for you (or anyone) to feel like the lack of sources in this rebuttal is an opening for more “discussion”. I have refuted each and every fallacious point you attempted to make, and with this edit, I have done it AND cited the sources you demanded (despite offering none of your own). You are done.

Continue reading “on curiosetta”