Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Whole New View of the Virgin Mary

I don't know about you . . .

Hundreds have seen the Virgin Mary in the sun.

Yes, I know, people see the Virgin Mary in everything from toast to trees, but this is different. For one thing, people can go blind looking for her. For another, this is the first time the Virgin Mary has shown us her vagina. Seriously, look at that picture. If that isn't a vagina, I don't know vaginas.

You go, Virgin Mary, Mother of God, show us the vagina from whence the Messiah the pushed. Awaken a new era of vagina positivity. Make bodily shame a thing of the past!

Here's a new Hail Mary for a new, letting it all hang out Mary:

Hail Mary, full of sex positivity.
Show us your vagina.
Blessed art thou among women,
and blessed are the labia which have touched the Messiah,
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for our pap smears,
and work towards free health care for all.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Pop Quiz

Okay, Hellions***, it's time for a pop quiz. Read the following quotes and tell me who said them:

1) Leggings are not pants. Leggings are the dickeys of dresses/skirts/long tunics & tees.
2) All flesh-colored leggings should be outlawed.
3) Grey leggings should not be allowed at the gym because they show crotch sweat like whoa.


I support all of these observations. I love leggings, but they belong under a longer shirt.

a. Stacy London of What Not to Wear
b. A sexual predator excusing his behavior
c. A commenter at and a blogger at feministe

The correct answer is "c", though I'm sure Stacy has said those things and well, you'll see after the second part of this quiz.

Part 2 of the quiz, same question: who said this?

Ok, I have to ask, how often do people really wear leggings as pants pants? I don’t think I’ve ever seen it in the wild, though I’ve seen a billion leggings under dresses and tunic-length tops. I hear it complained about a lot though.

Oh I see it a lot. Sunday morning in New York is a virtual camel show.

Is this the statement of:

a. a well known feminist blogger

b. a fashion commentator

c. a character in "Mean Girls"

Yeah, it's Jill again.

Well, here's the thing about Jill: she's a privileged, educated, well off white woman living in NYC. I don't think she knows jack shit about my life or how I live it. And I don't think Jill gets that feminism is about way more than what her and her privileged little clique experience. So when Jill tells me I just don't understand her thinky thoughts and I have no sense of humor*, well, Jill, you don't get my entire fucking life. And maybe you need to step away from the red wine and Burt's Bees (she can't live without it) and see how a very large number of women live.

Do I get mentally judgey when I see other women? Yeah. Because I live in this culture and I have absorbed that I am required to judge other women based on their attractiveness to men. (I rarely get mentally judgey about what men wear. It's the patriarchy, baby!) But I am aware of this and I work very hard not to do it. I stop my judgey thoughts and replace them with this: I sincerely hope she was happy with her outfit when she left the house this morning.

Because I rarely am.

I can only imagine, based on the above, what Jill would think upon seeing me in my frequently ill fitting, sagging, pilling, old and often inappropriate outfits. Like Tuesday, when it was 80F/27C. That's hot, especially in April. So I was wearing a flowery sundress, in a soft, crinkly cotton, with an empire waist and spaghetti straps. It's like wearing nothing at all**, this dress. I did put a cardigan over it at work, but, yeah, inappropriate for a law office. Probably also inappropriate for a 35 year old woman.

But you know what? I don't have any money and I have to buy clothes for work, and walking around in the heat and rain and snow, and clothes for doing yard work and running around after nieces and for days when my hands are so stiff buttons are a fucking puzzlebox. That's what it's like to be poor, Jill. You get to be inappropriate, in public, where other people can see you. And you know it. You know those people are looking at you and thinking ZOMG! Doesn't she know what she looks like?

Yeah, I do. I just can't do a damn thing about it. And Jill, you have no idea what it's like. None at all. So stop pretending the problem is me and my inability to understand your amazing thinky thoughts, and start trying to understand, in some small way, what it's like to lose.

And I have to wonder what Jill would think about her words coming out of the mouth of a man, especially a man who sexually assaulted a woman. I mean, look at the way she was dressed!

Yeah, I just don't understand your thinky thoughts. That's the problem.

*We call that a Scott Adams, btw. Yes, that is a link to feministe. Irony, it's a funny thing.

**Stupid sexy Flanders!

***Please, please, please let me call you that!

Girl Genius Discussion Friday - 4-29

(reposted for noobs) From now on, Friday morning will be Girl Genius discussion day here in Hell. Girl Genius updates Monday,Wednesday and Friday, so we can discuss the preceding week, and Girl Genius in general, on Friday.

This week we learned that people in glass houses probably shouldn't throw robots.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

I Think I May Be God's Favorite Little Light and Other News

We'll start with the other news because what can follow the discovery that I may potentially be God's favorite little light?

When it comes to adolescents genuinely committing to their faith, a study found that their social environment determines how strong their faith level will be.


According to the study, titled “Seven Anchors of Religious Commitment,” parents, religious leaders, a faith community, rituals and traditions, faith tradition or denomination, God and sacred texts are crucial to a young person's faith.

Emily Layton, who conducted the analysis as part of her M.S. thesis for the study, explained to The Christian Post, “Relationships were extremely important – relationships with parents, with church leaders and relationships with people in their faith community. That was interesting to me, the relationships with other adults in their faith community as well as other younger teens.”

Shock, shocked I am! Religion is a function of society? The more religious the people around you, the more normalized ritual is in your community, the more likely you are to believe and believe strongly? It's almost like religious belief is like every other sort of belief: a function of it being so pervasive and normal that you never really think about it.

Well then.

Anyway, in the wake of the horse killing homophobes, somebody in real life* told me that the perpetrators could not have been Christian. For the record, I did not say that the perpetrators were Christian, I said that many of the people who spew homophobic hatred are. She not only strawmanned my argument, she whipped out a No True Scotsman so fast I got whiplash. I, of course, argued against the No True Scotsman and was told to read Isaiah and see if anyone who could do such a thing- kill horses, not spread hatred, I don't think she was really opposed to that- could possibly be the light of God, i.e., a Christian.

It's a damn good thing she used the phrase "light of God" because Isaiah is a big book, and what she was referencing, I think, is in chapter 58.

They ask me for just decisions
and seem eager for God to come near them.
3 ‘Why have we fasted,’ they say,
‘and you have not seen it?
Why have we humbled ourselves,
and you have not noticed?’

“Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please
and exploit all your workers.
4 Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife,
and in striking each other with wicked fists.
You cannot fast as you do today
and expect your voice to be heard on high.
5 Is this the kind of fast I have chosen,
only a day for people to humble themselves?
Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed
and for lying in sackcloth and ashes?
Is that what you call a fast,
a day acceptable to the LORD?

So . . . I'm a socialist, which makes me obviously against worker exploitation, and I'm not in favor violence . . .

6 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice

I am so against injustice!

and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?

I am so trying to break every yoke! It's the whole point of my blog.

7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—

I do that (and then end up being the hungry, but whatever) and I rarely don't have someone sleeping on the couch in the basement.

when you see the naked, to clothe them,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?

I've never actually seen a naked person in public, but if I did, you'd better believe I rush to cover that up.

8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;

Metaphorical healing, perhaps . . . wait! Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is totally making me better mentally.

then your righteousness[a] will go before you,
and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.

If anyone can make an argument that "righteousness" and "rear guard" actually mean "Jägermonster", I will worship the Christian god with a fervor previously unseen in all 2,000 years of Christianity.

“If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk,

oppression like American business and landowners being free to legally discriminate against gays? Malicious talk like telling people the gays are coming for your children? Like that?


10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,

How do they syncretize this with going galt? am I insane or are they?

then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.

Which would doubtless make it hard to sleep, but seriously folks, by this measure, I'm the greatest fucking christian of all time and god's favorite little light. (Or the greatest Jew of all time, given that Isaiah is Old Testament.)

*Remember the lady who told the bus driver that god gave him his house? It was her. I wasn't talking to her, I was talking to another woman and she jumped right in to fallacy me into sputtering. She's fun like that.

10 Things I Hate About Misogyny*

You know I couldn't possibly pass up an article entitled "10 Traits Men Look for in a Girlfriend". That's like asking my dog to walk away from a steak just sitting there on the table, unattended. So, let's review the inevitable misogyny. (I wrote this before looking at the article. Don't worry, I'm not psychic, these things are always misogynistic.)

Apparently, they saw me coming. I can't copy and paste the text, so I'll have to just print it out and retype it. (How dedicated am I?)

1. She has a life of her own and it's pretty good to boot.

Okay, that's not bad. Maybe I'm wrong about this.

2. She never makes the first move.

Oh, dating articles, you never fail to disappoint.

This issue has been debated to death, and there is no true consensus. But Daily says that she strongly believes women should never, ever pursue a man. Instead, she suggests waiting for the man to initiate and plan dates. Her reasoning: If the woman is always the one calling, she will never know if he is really interested in her or if it's just convenient for him. She may find herself questioning the relationship every step of the way. Men simply aren't programmed to think like that and are therefore better suited to the chase, Daily says.

So . . . I'm supposed to have a "pretty good" life without you and sit around waiting for you to call and you to decide when we go out. Okay then. Also, false dichotomy. There is a lot of room between "she always calls" and "he always calls". How about both parties call and both parties set up dates? Why should the man have all the power in this dynamic? Oh, right, because men are hunters and women are gatherers and evo psych blahblahblah.

Bullshit. I bet any guy trying to start a relationship with a woman who only ever calls back has to wonder how interested she is in being with him. Men are not from Mars, women are not from Venus. Call him. Initiate. If it doesn't work for him, go find a man who isn't stuck in a misogynistic mindset.

3. She is Sexy without being Trampy.

Oh. my. Odin. I am the keeper of the male sex drive and I must manage it with the finesse of a . . . I don't even know what. I must ensure my shirts are low, but not too low, my skirts are high, but not too high, my clothes are not too tight but not too loose, my makeup just sultry enough and not . . . You know, I have other things to do with my time. I dress like I dress. If you don't like it, too bad. I am not responsible for anyone else's sexuality, I barely have time to deal with my own.

This means something different at the beginning of the relationship than it does down the road. In the beginning of courtship, a woman should refrain from making any comments that are overtly sexual. She also flirts by using nonsexual touch like placing her hand on his forearm or even the knee, but only briefly. When the relationship gets more serious, and presumably more intimate, sexual touch and public displays of affection are more appropriate. At this point, it's okay to play footsie under the table.

So, at first, I must pretend that I've never heard of sex, but touch, but only on the arm or the knee- briefly- and then I have to whore it up. *sigh* This is just exhausting.

4. She waits to have sex.

Yes, they invoke oxytocin. I guess because it sounds all sciency. See women? We're fucking stupid. We're at the mercy of our hormones. Orgasms cause the release of oxytocin and once that happens, you can't help but love the guy you fucked. And then he'll run away because guys hate commitment. Can't even stand it. You know, except for every guy who asks a woman to marry him. *sigh* Really, this is just exhausting to try to keep up with.

5 and 6 are obvious and stupid, so 7:
7. She never turns on the pressure.
Oh, right. Are you ready to get married and have a family? Don't even bring that up, he'll run away so fast, he'll leave a sonic boom in his wake. You must trick men into marriage. You cannot ever be honest about anything, ever.

Men have a distinct aversion to any sort of pressure.

Really? Like pressure at work, pressure at school, pressure at sporting events?

8. She does not take crap from anyone.

Really? Like always waiting for him to call, like never ever discussing the future to avoid stressing out her delicate flower? this is contradictory, Daily! You are asking me to take crap and then telling me to never take crap? Which is it?! WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?!

9. A good woman always chooses a good man.

This is a trait men want? That's not a trait, that's an axiom. An axiom that defines the goodness of a woman by the goodness of the men she chooses to date. Nice.

10. She knows that love is the biggest part of the dating equation.

Glad we cleared that up! Is there any way to write an article about dating that doesn't sink into the depths of misogyny?

*See, I changed one word, and now it's my title. Cleverness!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Words Are Power

[trigger warning: anti gay bigotry, fire, dead horses. please visit this joyfully living otter instead.]

(ETA: trigger warning)

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.

I used to hate that little ditty. I still do, but as a child, as a victim of bullying, I knew that was not true. Words hurt. Words hurt as much, if not more, than fists and weapons. Words are powerful. Words have power.

No, words are power.

Which is why I spend so much of my time talking about the use of words. Why is it important to discuss that atheist have morals, too? Because every time someone says that morals come from god, the idea is planted in another person's mind that atheists are immoral, dangerous perhaps. Maybe shouldn't be suffered to live. I mean, who knows what they might do to the children?

Why is it important to confront it, each and every time, when someone says that a man "cried/threw/whatever like a girl"? Because any time you compare undesirable behavior to being female you spread the belief that to be female is to be lesser. And people who believe that women are lesser have no problem raping women, taking away their rights, paying them less and generally oppressing them. And women who believe that they themselves are less have more trouble fighting against that.

It is important to hold people responsible for the words that they say because words are power. We should hold people as accountable for their words as we do for how they use their guns. If a person randomly fires off a gun into a crowd and kills someone, we do not accept the excuse that well, I wasn't really aiming for anyone in particular, I just wanted to see what people would do.

Which is why I'm holding accountable every single Christian who spreads hatred against gays for the deaths of 8 horses. If you stood up online, at a church, among your friends and spewed hatred and lies and vitriol against gays, then you may as well have held the torch. You may as well have slit the throats of these 8 horses because that would have been kinder than what did happen.

Seven adult horses and one foal died as a result of an arson fire at 874 West Richards Road in McConnelsville just after 11:30 p.m. on Sunday. Owner Brent Whitehouse said he woke to discover the barn engulfed in flames and immediately called 911, but it was too late.

"I couldn't get the door open I could still hear the horses kicking and I tried as hard as I could to get them out and I just couldn't get them out in time," he said.

Those who know Brent believe this was a hate crime, explicit words relating to his sexuality were spray painted in large white letters on the side of the barn before the fire was started.

You. You did it. You spread hatred and fear. It's your fault. Oh, I know, you didn't tell anyone to go torch a barn with 8 horses in it, but don't think that makes you innocent. You put the idea in a person's mind that gays are evil and wrong and will harm your children. You're responsible for that idea. It's that idea that led to 8 horses desperately trying to escape a raging fire and failing. Your idea. Your words.

Your fucking fault.

In Which I Come Perilously Close to Dividing by Zero

Today is Secretary's Day*. I know, right? We make sure offices across America actually do something, anything, and we get our own artificial holiday, too? It's a betrayal of capitalism, I tell you.

Seriously, I know I am merely a secretary, to be derided and dismissed, doing "woman's work", without a college degree. I am generally referred to as one of the "girls"**, and any expression of gratitude for all the things I do every day to ensure that my bosses actually have work to bill for is delivered in a joking tone. Mind you, this is from the guy that doesn't know how to turn on a computer in a day and age when almost all filing with all courts is done electronically. Yeah, laugh away, buddy. I'm sure you could learn it all in the 20 days you have to file that brief.

This is a typical day for me:

Print out all emails. There are at least 20 every morning, most of them have Word or Adobe attachments. This takes at least half an hour.

Reply to emails in complete sentences translated from the vague instructions given. "Tell him I'm okay." Sure. I can make a paragraph out of that.

Type dictation. The boss who dictates is a nice guy, but I deeply suspect English is not his first language. (This is not unreasonable. His mother emigrated from France as an adult- after spending two years in a concentration camp. Oddly, he's the only partner who isn't Jewish.) In conversation he is fine, but as soon as he starts dictating, he entirely drops "a" and "the", subject-verb agreement, any understanding of singular and plural, all understanding of verb tense and, quite frequently, any remembrance that sentences require subjects and verbs. I have to translate that on the fly, for at least two hours every day.

Retype handwritten materials for the man who writes entirely in code. Technophobe boss handwrites his materials, which wouldn't be so bad, except that he abbreviates everything. That sentence, as written by this man, would be: Tnp bs hadwri h matls, w wn't be so bd exc tt he abb evyt. Wtf am I supposed to do with that?

Perform corrections to typed materials. Dictating boss can't spell. Really can't spell. And he has the handwriting of an otter on meth.

Answer constantly interrupting phone calls from complete idiots who don't listen to a word I say and who seem to think that I'm involved in some vast conspiracy to keep them from talking to their lawyer, who is standing right next to me and would love to take their phone call, if only I would let him. Oh, and they think they're funny.

Find files. In a file room larger than my house with no filing system whatsoever.

Make copies. Sometimes of entire files, sometimes of one page, because the person with the juris doctorate is too fucking good to put a sheet of paper on a copier and press start. It is beneath them.

Translate my boss for billing. My boss has me open files under a name he will never refer to the file by again. Which would be fine if he'd put the file number on the billing sheet. He doesn't. Which means that I spend a portion of each day trying to figure out which file he means to have billed for 2.5 hours of work.

Find [person]. Last week, in the driving rain, I spent my lunch hour wandering around downtown looking for an associate attorney. My boss needed to ask her a three word question that could not possibly have been that important to anyone, ever, in any alternate universe, not even the one where dividing by zero is possible and always results in purple.

That is a regular day for me, guys. That's not an extraordinary day where I get to type a 35 page brief in 2 hours or anything. Just a regular day.

For that, on Secretary's Day, I get . . . nothing. In years past, we all got huge baskets. "Hey, thanks for not greeting Mondays with a flamethrower, here's a gross of bagels!" Not this year. This year I get jack shit.

Here's a lesson in capitalism: my boss may as well have handed me a memo that said, "Please be as annoying and nonhelpful as you possibly can without getting fired. Seriously, have at it," because that's exactly what I'll be doing.

*Hilariously, there is a Boss' Day, but as I've said to my boss, every day is boss' day.

**I once inquired about child labor laws, but it sailed right over the attorneys' heads.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Go Ahead and Have The Baby- but Don't Bring It to Church or Anything

The Fetus Fetishists (I'd call them prolifers, but, um, they're not) are forever telling women to have every baby they get pregnant with, no matter what. Not just telling, either, but passing every law they can mange to ensure that all pregnancies result in babies. Are you too poor to support a baby? Too bad, have it. Are you in an abusive relationship? Too bad, baby time. Are you too sick to have a baby? Die giving birth, bitch. Does the baby have a disability incompatible with life, or that would result in a need for medical interventions you can't afford? Deal with it. Is it the result of a rape? Won't that be fun, raising your rapist's baby.

The thing is, and the reason I won't call them prolife, is that once the baby stops being a fetus and is out in the world crying and making trouble and needing food and stuff, they don't want to be bothered, as evidenced by this screed:

Your precious sweet baby was the focus of attention today. I guess you
didn't notice. There you were, Dad, Mom, and sweet baby sitting in the front row.

The way she says and repeats "precious" makes me think she was replacing a word she wouldn't be allowed to use on that forum. Seriously, replace "precious" with "fucking" and watch the tone change not one bit.

It was time for the service to begin. Pastor introduced the very special guest speaker. He was a Jewish man who had studied for the Priesthood before becoming a Christian. He traveled three thousand miles to be with us on Palm Sunday. Later in the evening we would have the opportunity to sit down to a Seder dinner, with him teaching the meaning of the meal.

As he began to speak, you could tell, this was going to be an interesting and powerful message. He barely got started when your baby began making noise. True, precious baby wasn't crying; no, she was only talking, loudly.

So . . . doing what babies do, in other words.

Some minutes into the guest speaker's message, baby talks more and more. Interrupting and causing the speaker to lose his train of thought.

You know what? If you can't give your speech except in complete silence, don't give speeches. You aren't good at it. This is a baby being a baby. Calm the fuck down.

By now, I'm having a difficult time listening to the speaker, my thoughts are
directed to precious baby and Mom and Dad. Frustration sets in, and so now I'm thinking thoughts that are far away from Whom I came to hear about. Jesus. I'm thinking, please take your child out of here. You are being rude Mom and Dad, you are being rude to everyone in the room, but especially to the guest speaker.

You had a baby! And brought it into public! It's rude! Yes, I want you to have 12 babies each, which I am trying to ensure by making birth control and abortion illegal, but I don't want to actually see or hear those babies.

I can see that your own attention is on baby, not on the message. You are sitting in the front row, dealing with a noisy baby, not hearing the speaker, and subjecting us all to this.

Subjecting us all to a baby.

I began squirming in my seat, I'm unable to concentrate on the speaker. By now the speaker is having even more trouble concentrating on his message. Finally, the speaker can't take it anymore and asks you to leave, you force him to, in front of everyone.

The speaker's quite the rude little bastard, isn't he? Would you go back to that church? "Choose life!- and once you do, I will publicly humiliate you for that life being lively."

Everyone's attention is on you and only you. We watch you gather your things and walk to the back of the building and we hear the door close behind you. You chose not to go to the crying room. The special room built and equipped just for you, so that you can watch a live feed while attending to your precious noisy baby. You chose to show your displeasure by leaving the church entirely.


It is now halfway thru the hour. The speaker is standing up front feeling horrible. We his audience, are feeling very sorry for him. And embarrassed.

Sorry for him, huh? Well, he is bad at public speaking. I guess that is a bit embarrassing.

You Mom and Dad, deprived one hundred people of a powerful Palm Sunday message because you chose to sit in the front row with your precious noisy baby. Your noisy baby is simply impossible to ignore.

Darn right. That's why some of us choose not to have babies, you see.

I really thought this crowd would castigate the poster for such an antibaby message, but they don't.

Reality check: I come from a large Italian family, as does my husband. Between our two families, there are always babies and small children. We include them in everything: weddings, funerals, birthdays, whatever. If we're getting together, there will be babies. And you know what? Babies cry, toddlers talk loudly and run around and that's okay. We're not totally out of control at restaurants, but we've enjoyed weddings in which the background music was a wailing baby and nobody cared. That's what babies do. At one funeral, an 18 month old showed off her jumping skills during the eulogy. Whatever, the dead person loved children, what better way to celebrate their life than to let a toddler jump a bit?

So that's where I'm coming from. I'm atheist, prochoice and happily childless and entirely probaby and pro children being children. The uberright, christian fetus fetishists, not so much.

My aunt accused me of being a "Bridezilla" because I refused to allow the pastor's toddler to attend. I had seen too many weddings with a crying infant/toddler.

We had the wedding at 7 PM... and I just knew "But she's such a perfect little angel' would start acting up. She was 18 months.

We had a lovely wedding, small and quiet.

Children: not for weddings.

Sometimes parents just think that their kids are just too cute to be aggravating, but we all know better don't we? This was uncalled for and I agree with you. I feel absolutely terrible for the speaker and for the congregation. If the parents walked out of the church instead of going to the crying room, that was their selfish decision. What they did was not the way of God's children. This was a sad chain of events in which many people suffered. Sad! :-(

Selfish! So selfish! You must have your babies- and be exiled to the crying room. But babies, have them, just not around us, we don't really like them.

I have a very selfish SIL who refused to miss one moment of my daughter's wedding, even though she had a fussy, crying baby. I was never irritated with the baby because she was doing what babies are supposed to do. But I was highly annoyed with the baby's mother who always puts herself and her own interests first. My only daughter was having her only wedding and the gorom, an only son, was having his only wedding. Unfortunately, we missed much of the ceremony due to my SIL's selfishness. I will never understand why people refuse to be more thoughtful. Parents shouldn't have to be told that their sweet, precious babies are creating a disturbance and a distraction when they are making noise in situations like this. I'm sorry that, due to their own self centeredness, the parents were offended and I'm sorry that the speaker and the audience were all so distracted.

Only one wedding and a baby cried! Oh noes! At the Wedding O' the Century last year, the ringbearer was 2 years old. He made it all the way to the special vows and then threw down the pillow with the rings on it and declared, "I'm bored. I want SpongeBob!"

We could have gasped in horror. The bride could have cried over her wedding being ruined, and then it would have been. Instead, she laughed, picked up the pillow and told him to see if he could find a frog in the rocks (it was an outdoor wedding). It was a cute moment and so much more memorable than a "perfect" wedding- just like every other "perfect" wedding I have seen and can't remember one thing about.

One person does point out that Jesus had something to say about children:

There's no denying that these parents should have taken their baby out of the sanctuary. However, I don't believe that Jesus, who gently admonished that we suffer little children unto him, would have handled the situation in the same way.

But no, this doesn't mean that Jesus wanted children around, he was just getting rid of some overenthusiastic baby lover as quickly as possible. (What kind of freak likes a baby once it's born?)

If this is the scripture that you're referring to Matthew 19:13 & Matthew 19:14 I understand this to mean that parents wanted Jesus to pray for their children and so he did.

I love this:

Still there are some parents who think it is a good thing to have their kids with them through the service to the detriment of others because their kids often get bored and will do what kids know best and that is to make nosie to entertain themselves. Some even break free and run around the pews. It is these serial offenders that get me upset. Fortunately the new minister isn't a softy buy speaks to the parents(privately) and asks them to go with their children to the child care area next time. In the end if they ignore the minister's request they are asked to not come into the service at all but stay outside in a area outside where the sermon is broadcast on speakers.

It's parenthood as a contagion. Stay outside and listen to the broadcast, you parent, you.

Prolife: It has nothing to do with loving babies. Nothing at all.

I'll Show You Desecration

I don't agree with spray painting statues, however, this to me is the money quote:

Pink paint was sprayed on the face and hands, and the $80,000 statue was tagged elsewhere with offensive symbols.

$80fucking000?! Don't ever talk to me about morals again, you hear? How many children could you feed with $80,000? How many homeless people could you shelter for $80,000? How much medicine could you buy with $80,000? So you bought a statue instead?

That woman is grieving for the statue. Do you think that she ever approaches that level of despair over abused animals or homeless people or uninsured dying of treatable illnesses? I'm guessing not.

Fuck off.

[edited to make the quote more clear as being a quote]

Monday, April 25, 2011

Female Stereotypes- They Are So True. Now Stop Fulfilling Them.

She is wearing the Mascara of +5 Smug Face.

Amy Alkon sees rude people, apparently when looking in the mirror. Her job title is, as far as I can tell, "Advice Goddess", which makes me think that perhaps the field of advice giving is not quite as hard to get into as I think it is*. So, let's put Amy's advice giving skills up against mine:

I have an online dating issue. When a man and I are going to have our first phone chat, I set up a specific day and time so we don't have to play phone tag. This allows me to schedule around it and be prepared and at my computer viewing his profile when we talk. I take the man's number and call him, because I'm not comfortable giving out mine right away. During my several years of online dating, the percentage of guys who aren't there at the planned time has been about 90. Many never contact me again, even to explain or apologize.

You know, this seems reasonable to me. Why should she give out her number first if she isn't comfortable with it? (I suppose she would have to accept if the man felt the same way, but clearly they don't.) I also don't see why she should just be waiting around for some guy to call. A specific call time really doesn't strike me as being outrageous, but I am a very organized person. Maybe it is weird.

I think it's very rude for those men to agree to this specific call in time and then not answer the phone. If they are offended by this request, they could just say so, or contact her to cancel it with some stupid excuse. Really, anything other than simply no showing would be better than no showing.

See, that's why Amy's a Goddess and I am not. The menz aren't being rude by agreed to be at a certain place at a certain time, the woman is being rude by requesting it. Not even just rude- she is all things that are wrong with women.

A woman can be a little premature in setting up who wears the ball gag in the relationship.

um, wut? Since when is "I will call you Thursday at 6:30" equivalent to ball gagging someone (which is a metaphor that is rather nasty towards the kink community. They enjoy ball gagging as a consensual activity.) Oh, I see, they are menz, and menz are like the wild animals of the Serengeti: they cannot be tamed. Asking them to be at a certain place at a certain time is just the same as cutting off their testicles! And then displaying said testicles in a jar over the fireplace!

Telling somebody they need to talk to you at a specific time might work fine in business, but because men tend to be wary of controlling women, it's a risky tactic when you're vying to maybe become a guy's girlfriend, not his supervisor. But, here you are, not only setting the call time but informing a guy that he'll be doing the waiting and you'll be doing the calling. Very possibly, there's more in your e-mails that suggests you're bossy and controlling. If so, for a guy, this can foreshadow a lot of being ordered around by you: "Sit. Stay. Repeat after me, 'I'd love nothing more than to turn off the playoffs and join you in watching Valerie Bertinelli kill her abusive husband with a shovel in the Lifetime Movie Of The Week.'"

That's right, it is totally unreasonable to ask a person to pick up their phone at 6pm on Thursday! It's completely insane! And making a man wait for a woman to call? Why not just paint his toenails pink and slap some lipstick on him? He's your bitch now! Menz do the calling, women wait!

Ahem. Nongoddess advice: If a man is really that turned off by the thought of him waiting for you to call, you do not want to date him. If his ego can't handle that tiny role reversal, imagine what will happen when you ask him to put a plate in the dishwasher.

I also enjoy that Amy assumes that the writer is super controlling and her emails, which Amy has never seen, are just odes to controlling behavior. Amy has no way of knowing that, but women, you know.

And good job dragging out some tired stereotypes to fill your word count, Amy. Hurhur- womenz don't like sports. Womenz like sappy movies. Womenz are controlling bitches trying to trap a man into watching chick flicks while the Superbowl is on. Gah! At least be creative about your misogyny, Amy.

Now, maybe you have a peculiar attraction to rude men, but more than likely, you just need to try something new: Relax a little. Give out your number. Not your home number, connected to your address, but the number to your cell or one of those pay-as-you-go phones that isn't traceable to you. Should you start getting unwanted calls, put the thing on silent or give it to some wino and tell him to answer it by breathing heavy and asking, "Are you wearing crotchless panties?"

Yes! Give out your cell phone number to random internet strangers! That sounds like a great idea! That's completely untraceable, right? Or spend even more money on a paygo phone, and then give it to a . . . fuck? wino? . . . stranger and let them deal with the abusive phone calls. That's called charity!

Seriously, though, wino? You are not a good person, Amy Alkon.

Instead of trying to wring every bit of uncertainty out of your life, accept that there might be a little phone tag. When you do get on the phone with a guy, step away from the computer and your spreadsheet of questions. Your goal shouldn't be vacuuming him for data; it should be having fun getting to know him. If you're having fun, you'll be more likely to sound like fun -- like the sort of woman who keeps the spark in a relationship (and not by tasing the guy whenever he's a little slow to take out the trash).

You aren't fun, letter writer. You are a boring person. Fun people like to waste their time waiting for people to call. It's what women do, after all. Stop trying to have time for things other than men and waiting around for men and being more attractive to men. What do you think you are, a man, deserving of respect and suchlike?

Why is Amy Alkon getting paid for her writing and I'm not? That's just proof there is no god, right there.

*Which is not a good thing, because if I can enter the field of professional advice giving, I will give out advice designed purely to amuse myself. "First, put on a mouse costume . . ."

So Easy, a Toddler Can See It

My youngest two nieces are sisters, aged 2 and 12. (Hereinafter known as "2" and "12".) 12 is, like many 12 year old girls, deeply opposed to pink, flower patterns* and skirts. She apparently caused quite the scene by wearing a grey shirt and black capris to church with her and her stepfather's family. Her stepfather's mother was scandalized.

First of all, her stepfather's mother is an idiot and I wouldn't piss on her if she were on fire. Secondly, I know why 12 was wearing that outfit: to show off her new bangin black sandals. Seriously, these sandals redefine awesome. Thirdly, I know why 12 year old girls reject pink, flower patterns and skirts: they are rejecting the patriarchy.

"PF, c'mon now," you say. "What does a 12 year old know of the patriarchy?"

Well, that's the problem. 12 year olds aren't taught about the patriarchy and the kyriarchy and feminist theory. They do, however, live in our culture. They experience, first hand, how girls are treated, the expectations placed on girls, and what happens to girls who transgress against the patriarchy- but because they have no knowledge of the patriarchy and feminism, they have no means of processing and expressing how they feel about it all other than to reject obvious symbols of femininity: pink, flower patterns and skirts.

If you don't know what I'm talking about, consider the following incident: For about the first year of 2's life, she had the reddest skin I've ever seen, combined with blonde hair and blue eyes. Pink was, at best, unfortunate on her. It really accentuated the red of her skin. Of course, being a girl child, all 2 was dressed in was pink. This was because all the clothes given to her mother as gifts were pink because ZOMG!GIRL!

Anyway, we were at a family party that included 2's idiot grandmother and 2 was dressed in a lavender onesie. I commented to her mother that she looked much better in purple than in pink. Her mother replied that she was going to buy her blue clothes as they would look much better with her skin and nice with her blue eyes. Idiot grandmother proceeded to freak the fuck out about putting a 3 month old girl in blue because, and i quote, "People will think she's a boy!"

Yes, because the worst thing that could ever happen is that some random stranger not be able to immediately identify the sex of an infant.

I'm not innocent in this. I live in the patriarchy and it has seeped into my soul. I once spent 10 minutes on the bus trying to identify the sex of the person sitting across from me. Then I thought, "Why do I care? What does it matter?"

Oh, it matters. Your sex determines how I, and everyone else, will interact with you, and if we can't immediately identify your sex, what will we do?! Treating people as humans, treating women as we treat men, treating people who don't fall into the XX/XY dichotomy as we treat anyone else, just isn't in the patriarchy's plan.

Anyway, at the Easter party yesterday, 2 had the most logical reaction to it all that I've ever seen. She was wearing a cute yellow dress, liberally decorated with flowers, and grubby sneakers. We all commented on her cute dress and her mother said that it came with matching sandals, but 2 had apparently changed out of them and into the sneakers on the sly, because her mother didn't notice it until they got to church.

2 looked at us, jumped and said, "Gotta jump" with great finality and jumped off to find more jelly beans.

To translate from toddler: Look, I know the sandals are cute, but they weren't exactly practical. I like jumping and I see no need to stop jumping just so I can please everyone else by having my footwear match my dress.

So the next time the patriarchy demands something of you, something that makes women less, something that chains us to its oppression just a little bit more, remember, you gotta jump.

*I initially wrote "flowers", but she's not opposed to actual flowers, just depictions of flowers on her person.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Blasphemy, I'm Committing It

Since it's the Easter today, I have been seeing for weeks posts about the great sacrifice of Jesus. He died for our sins, you see. He suffered for all mankind. We fucking owe him! (I'm condensing a bit.)

So I'm going to commit the same blasphemy I did at the age of 6 and ask, "What sacrifice? He was god. That can hardly be considered sacrifice from god."*

To condense the entire Jesus story into a single paragraph:

God makes man. God makes a tree that contains all truth and puts it, unwatched, right out in the open, five feet away from man. Unsurprisingly to everyone but God, man eats the fruit of the tree. Man is now sinful, and now all his descendants are sinful. Yes, the descendants didn't do a thing, but Hell for them, too. God lets this go for a few thousand years and then decides to go to Earth as a human to fix this by being tortured and killed. How this fixes anything or why this was the best method of fixing things or why God waited a few thousand years to fix things is never explained.

Now get on your knees and pray!

None of that makes sense. But what really doesn't make sense is how God as a man briefly suffering and then dying- how surprised was Satan to see God in Hell for a few days?- is a sacrifice at all. Jesus suffered for what, a few days? God is eternal, mind you. God's been around, unchanged since ever. What's three days in comparison to ever? Nothing, nothing at all.

I've been sick for about a decade now. That's 3,650 days. I've been suffering for 3,647 days more than Jesus suffered, ignoring leap years. So why isn't everyone worshipping me? I mean, 3 days? Fuck off! Don't you dare fucking whinge to me about 3 days of suffering. Seriously, fuck you.

If someone told me that I could, today, be whipped, have a crown of thorns shoved into my skull and then be nailed to a cross to hang there for 12 hours or so and then I would never be in pain again, my body would be healthy and without any disease of any kind, I would kiss their feet for offering me such an opportunity. I would buy the cat o' nine tails myself, build my own cross and nail my own feet to it. (I can't believe denelian wouldn't do so as well.) Don't act like that's a sacrifice, people.

And, I'm human. I'm not God. God is omnipresent, which means, practically speaking, that only a tiny portion of God was being human, since not all of God could fit in a human body. So only the tiniest portion of God suffered anything at all. That makes anyone going on about Jesus' suffering like someone with a hangnail telling me their agony is so much worse than what I've been enduring for ten fucking years.

Yeah, you know what? You come back and tell me about the Jesus story when he's suffering a tenth as much as me. Then we'll talk.

Feel free to hand me a bag of Cadbury MiniEggs in the meantime, though.

*I probably did not use those exact words.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Nobody Fights Sea Monsters in Daisy Dukes

You know what I love about BioWare, other than Anders? I love that female characters are never saving the world in daisy dukes or chainmail bikinis*. Seriously.

That's the female version of chainmail from Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion. That is my favorite game of all time. I still play it. It's six years old and still holds up, in my opinion. However, for some strange reason, while men are covered head to toe by chainmail, women can't even wear a bra with it (it would show through the slit). Why? C'mon, you know why.

See that? That's BioWare's Dragon Age II. Every other character is female, but you can't tell the difference just on armor, can you? The women's chests, stomachs, hips, thighs and butts are as covered as the men's. You know, so the armor will do what armor is intended to do.

Look at that. That's Bonnie Lass. She commands a ship and saves the day. She's also at risk for a labia popping out if she moves too fast. And if you've ever worn thigh high pantyhose (hey, I used to be interesting), you know you aren't kicking sea monster ass in them. You're too occupied pulling them up every time you move. And don't get me started on garter belts. (I used to very, very interesting.) And why, exactly, is she so opposed to 3" of her thighs being covered? Is that small strip of flesh constantly hot, so hot she cannot bear the touch of fabric? No, it's sexy. Because being a hero just isn't enough, you also have to titillate every teenage boy in a 500 mile radius.

Gah! Hey, look, it's not just teenage boys that play video games and read comics. Women do, too, increasing numbers. Please, please, please stop treating female characters as existing only to titillate teenage boys. Start treating them like people who select appropriate clothing for the task at hand, and chainmail bikinis and daisy dukes are not appropriate for saving the world.

*Yes, yes, Isabella. Isabella is charmingly slutty. (Actually, I despise Isabella, but not because she enjoys her sexuality. Because she ran off and left me and then I had to do a huge fight with 3 people instead of 4 and it took me 17 tries to get through it. I hate her!) It's just who she is, and she's not the player controlled character or the hero.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Gay People Exist? Shocking!

The usual suspects are freaking out about the Fair Education Act, CA SB 48. They describe it as

Failure to notify parents of sexually charged discussion, which will be used to indoctrinate impressionable young children about high-risk behaviors[*], by praising adults in a high risk lifestyle (without mentioning the dangers thereof), is a blatant usurpation of the rights and responsibilities of parents to teach their own children about sexuality, as well as a thinly-veiled power play by homosexual activists, seeking to mainstream and promote behaviors which are not healthy, normal, admirable, or moral or conducive to a healthy self*, a strong family, or a healthy society.

Wow. That sounds like they're going to be showing gay porn to kindergardeners and insisting that high school students have at least one sexual encounter with a member of their own sex, film it and show it to the entire class.

That seems so unlikely, I checked to see what CA SB 48 actually calls for:

The FAIR Education Act would ensure that LGBT people are included in instructional
materials, which studies have shown is linked to greater student safety and lower
rates of bullying. The FAIR Education Act would require that lesbian, gay, bisexual,
and transgender (LGBT) Americans are included and recognized for their important
historical contributions to the economic, political, and social development of
California. Specifically, this legislation would add LGBT to the existing list of
underrepresented cultural and ethnic groups, which are covered by current law
related to inclusion in textbooks and other instructional materials in schools. This
inclusion will help to ensure that students get a fair and accurate picture of the
people and events that have shaped our society, and that fair and accurate
portrayals of LGBT people are no longer excluded from classroom discussions. The
FAIR Education Act will bring classroom instruction into alignment with nondiscrimination laws passed by the California Legislature and adopted by the State Board of Education a decade ago, by prohibiting the adoption of discriminatory instructional materials and textbooks.

Oh. So we'll be acknowledging reality then. That's certainly . . . the least upsetting thing I can think of. Gay people have always been and always will be a part of the human race, and therefore have shaped society and continue to do so. Acknowledging that should be about as controversial as acknowledging that the sky is blue and grass is green. And working against discrimination and bullying? That should be the sort of thing parents demand for their children.

Unless, of course, you're a homophobic asshole, in which case merely acknowledging that gay people exist is horrifying and ending the discrimination against them is an assault against the very core of their discriminating, bullying souls.

So vote yes on CA SB 48. Vote yes for acknowledging the really real world** and vote no to bullying and discrimination.

*Those are the original links from the post, not my links. I don't recommend clicking on them if you have high blood pressure, or other stress impacted health issues.

**That's right, I worked in a Crow reference.
Creative Commons License
Forever in Hell by Personal Failure is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at