Monday, June 20, 2011

Saturday, June 18, 2011

My Lips Are a Veritable Cesspool

What is the most important thing about me? Is it my generosity, my kindness, my intelligence, my patience, my sense of humor?

What is the greatest gift of myself I could give another person? My time, my loyalty, my love?

I actually called my husband and asked him these questions. He declined to pick any one thing out of the first list (that is kind of a minefield of a question), but for greatest gift he listened to the three options and said, "Yes."

So then I asked him if my first kiss, had I not recklessly squandered it at age 15 on a boy named Jake, would have been better.

His reply: "Will you stop reading those fucking fundy blogs? A kiss lasts, what, five minutes if you're really pushing it, you've been with me for how long? Going on 14 years now? I'd say putting up with me for that long is better than some kiss!" long pause "Not that you're bad kisser or anything. Your kisses are great! I gotta go." click

His greatest gift to me is probably putting up with those sorts of phone calls, but I digress.

What my husband values most about me are not physical qualities. Which is a damn good thing, because let me tell you, the view from 35 is getting a bit wrinkly.

So why is it that the fundamentalists, who are so much more moral than you and I, value most the physical? Why is the most important thing about a woman whether or not her lips have ever touched another's? Why is that the greatest gift?

I have kept my lips pure. I have never kissed another guy – besides my dad and brothers (and those are only on the cheek :) – and I don’t plan to, either…until that special moment at the altar. After we say ‘I do’…after the pastor says ‘You may kiss your bride’…and after my husband raises my veil. Then, and only then, am I going to give that man one of the greatest gifts I have.

Honey, that's really sad. I know I heartlessly mocked your "fictional", but you have so much more to offer than your "pure" lips. You are a person, with ideas and dreams and qualities so much more valuable than that one moment your lips become diseased, polluted cesspools of impurity. (Might I suggest Victoria's Secret Beauty Rush lip gloss in Mega Melon to deal with the disgusting lips you will have after that? During the Semi Annual Sale, it's only $1.75!*)

I just . . . sweetie . . . there is so much more to you than whether or not your lips have contacted a man's lips. I find you thoroughly obnoxious and I can see that. Why can't you?

I would encourage you to remember – and I guarantee this! – that your husband will delight in your kiss even more, knowing that no other man has touched your lips. That he is the only one who has known the delight of your kiss. And that he is the only one who will ever have that privilege.

Well, she guaranteed . . . I called my husband back and asked him if he would have delighted in being the only one who had ever delighted in my kiss (wow, she is a terrible writer) and after he got done working that one out, he said, "No, what do I care what you did before you met me?" So, Raquel, what do I get? Your guarantee was invalid for spouses equal to mine, so what now?

If I was part of the ‘dating scene’ – always having a new boyfriend, not having my parents involved in my relationship(s) and letting my boyfriend have too much freedom in touching me – what would happen to the sweetness of keeping myself for my husband? It would be…hurtful…sad…and could even lead to marriage problems. The same goes for him. If he and his girlfriend took too much freedom in expressing their ‘like’ for each other, how would that make me feel? Put yourself in that story…

Well, for values of spouses equal to my husband and me, the story's okay. But thanks for assuming that our relationship is a morass of pain and problems due my rank, tainted, revolting lips. 14 years in August, honey, call me back when you've been married that long.

*That comes off like I'm getting paid, but no, I'm just really excited about getting great lip gloss for less than $2.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

I Am Big Time!

Thanks to some generous donations, I am now the owner of my very own website. With a url. That doesn’t include “.blogger”:

How fucking cool is that? (EDIT: now works. You may notice that by itself doesn't actually do anything. Yeah, I need to figure that out.)

I am insanely busy at work right now, but I am hoping to do another Elsie Dinsmore Deconstruction post tomorrow or Saturday. (I’m thinking of doing ED posts on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Too much? Too little? Comment and let’s see if that’s working!)

I need to figure out a way to either migrate my archives or link to them. I’d like my own banner thing, across the top, you know, something that really says “forever” and “hell”. I think I can have a separate “About Me” page, which may also mean I can move my book (looking like a trilogy at this point) onto a page within this site, which would be much more convenient- for me, anyway. Any suggestions and help would be much appreciated.

So, anyway, please change your links. I don’t want to lose anyone in the move. I have no idea how to do a blogroll on WordPress, but I will have one. If you’d like to be on it, let me know. I will continue to to at least put up a link to each post at the old site, so no pressure.

Um, you know, I am a dreamer. I do believe, underneath the cynicism and sarcasm I protect myself with, that there are better possibilities and that I might just be one of those people lucky and talented enough to achieve them.

This website, my very own url, it probably sounds stupid to you, but it’s a big deal to me. Thank you. Without you, I’m just a cranky atheist talking to myself.

I Don't Even Want to Know Where This Is Going

I just noticed something, at about 10:30 last night, that conservatives seem to have a very disturbing plan. I can't figure out what it is, but I'm sure it's not good. Let's review conservative goals as shown through activism and (proposed) legislation:

no birth control
no abortion
no WIC
no food stamps
no welfare
no education*
no art/music*
no unions
no healthcare
no social security
no euthanasia

Birth to death in a neat little list and I can't quite figure what it means. I can see the results, more babies to more women who can't afford to feed them. Those children will grow up hungry and ignorant. They will have low paying jobs with little protection and if they get sick, they will die. They will work until they die and they'd better hope it's quick, because they won't have the option of cutting a painful, lingering death short.


I guess the Confederacy lost, but the dream of owning slaves is still very much alive.

*Schools have become nothing but centers for teaching to the test. My niece is going into middle school next year, at which point she will have music as a class for the first time. She won't get art until high school, assuming they don't cut it before then. She gets science half the year. That's not an education.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Plan Is Now Live

I forgot to add:

anonymous, the hacker group, is attempting to end the plutocracy. as of right now, they are demanding the resignation of ben bernanke. they have made it clear they are devoted to nonviolence civil disobedience (hacking, i suppose), but they're sick of the poor getting curb stomped by the rich.

so am I.

I just snapped when I saw the GOP presidential primary debate and watched those fucks play the limbo with corporate tax rates. then it gets to Bachmann and she's all "not only will i get corporate tax rates down to 9%, i'll make sure that the 47% of citizens that don't pay taxes at all pay 10% across the board."

That's me. Bitch thinks i can do without 10% of my income while walmart need give up only 9% of theirs. that night, i pretended i wasn't that hungry so there would be enough dinner for me and my husband and his mom.

i am done.

Elsie Dinsmore Deconstruction: The Readers Have Spoken!

This picture came 140 years too late for Elsie.

(note: I am copying and pasting text from the Project Gutenburg ereader. For some reason, that turns off the text wrap, and while editing a post, I can't tell where the side elements of my blog are. I think I've got it fixed, at least viewing through firefox, but if not, please email me at personalfailure[at] and let me know. If you know how to turn text wrap back on in blogger, pleasepleaseplease email me. I really do try to provide you guys with the best blog I can, I'm just working from a place of ignorance.)

Alright, you asked for it and here it is: The Deconstruction of Elsie Dinsmore. Thanks to Project Gutenberg (not Gutenburg, as original typoed), I can read this book for free online, and so can you! (You can also download for ereader if you are so inclined.)

So, a little background. The first book in the series was written by Martha Finley in 1867. That's right, the Reconstruction, that lovely period in American history when we were busy mopping up the mess of the Civil War and ensuring that newly emancipated and enfranchised slaves were sufficiently oppressed. (Ending slavery didn't do as much for the average person of color as you might think.) So don't be surprised when persons of color in the book are referred to as n***ers. Don't be surprised by the way people of color talk in the book or the way white people in the book talk about people of color. It will make me wildly uncomfortable, but I will do my best to address these issues.

Don't be surprised by the rigidly enforced gender roles, the misogyny or the use of the word "fondle" to mean a kind touch not applied by a pedophile. And while I'll explain it in more detail when it comes up, the (platonic until later) romance between 8-year-old Elsie and her father's 30-year-old friend would not have been viewed as alarming when the book was published.

Also, I am by no means an expert in this period of American history, nor in literature of the time period. I do have some knowledge gleaned from an enjoyment of (other) literature of the time, but if you do have knowledge about this, please feel free to comment and let me know what I missed or got wrong.

Now, the deconstruction!

 "I never saw an eye so bright,
And yet so soft as hers;
It sometimes swam in liquid light,
And sometimes swam in tears;
It seemed a beauty set apart
For softness and for sighs."

That's how the book begins. Already, we know Elsie is the
urMary Sue. Over 110 years before a Star Trek fanfic writer
ever introduced us to the world's most perfectist
character, Ms. Finley created Elsie, she of the incomparable
beauty and the world's kindest soul. She is so amazing, random
characters write bad poetry about her eyes.

The story proper begins with the children of Roselands being taught by
their nanny, Ms. Day, who is the worst teacher ever.

Within this pleasant apartment sat Miss Day with her pupils,
six in number. She was giving a lesson to Enna, the youngest,
the spoiled darling of the family, the pet and plaything of
both father and mother. It was always a trying task to both
teacher and scholar, for Enna was very wilful, and her
teacher's patience by no means inexhaustible.

"There!" exclaimed Miss Day, shutting the book and giving it
an impatient toss on to the desk; "go, for I might as well
try to teach old Bruno. I presume he would learn about as fast."

Fuck you, Enna, I may as well go teach the dog. Enna threatens to
tell her mother, and that is treated as more proof of Enna's wicked
ways, but she ought to. Enna's willful, but she's not developmentally
disabled. If I were her mother, I'd be righteously pissed that I
was paying a teacher to give up on teaching.

Then, Miss Day decides that she doesn't want to teach any of them,
she'd rather take them riding. So she announces that everyone who
is done with their work at the end of the hour gets to go riding
with her. She leaves 6 children in a room by themselves
for an hour, expecting them to do schoolwork. Either
Miss Day is an idiot or she's a sadist. (More on that later.)

Now we are introduced to Elsie, and right away we know she's the Sue.
We know, because not only does she get the most description, but
she's the only one who gets a mention of eye color, and it's an unusual
color. (That trope is much older than I thought.)

"Yes, ma'am," said the child meekly, raising a pair of large soft
eyes of the darkest hazel for an instant to her teacher's face,
and then dropping them again upon her slate.

Yup, that's the Sue.

It's now page 2 of this fine, 28 volume set, and already we see a
pattern. Every person who is not a Real True Christian is a complete
and utter jerk. The governess is impatient and can't be bothered
to do her job. Enna is uncontrollable. Arthur- a mischief loving boy
of ten- is a bully. Meanwhile, Elsie of the darkest hazel eyes is a
whiney pushover. Well, I'm sure Finley meant for Elsie to be the best
sort of meek-will-inherit-the-earth, turn-the-other-cheek
Christian, but really, she's whiney.

Arthur stole on tiptoe across the room, and coming up behind
Elsie, tickled the back of her neck with a feather.

She started, saying in a pleading tone, "Please, Arthur, don't."
"It pleases me to do," he said, repeating the experiment.

Elsie changed her position, saying in the same gentle,
persuasive tone, "O Arthur! _please_ let me alone, or
I never shall be able to do this example."

"What! all this time on one example! you ought to be ashamed. Why,
I could have done it half a dozen times over."

So, Arthur, left to his own devices, decides to tease Elsie. Is anyone
surprised? This sort of behavior is totally normal between 8 and
10-year-old siblings*. I can't believe this is the first time Arthur
has done this to Elsie. I have two older siblings myself. I'm fairly
certain they spent two years actively trying to kill me, and they admit
to regularly taking delight in scaring me senseless. My
sister and brother aren't bad people. That's just what siblings do.

What Arthur is doing is mild. He's tickling Elsie. Her response is
bizarre. One could argue that girls were probably expected to be docile
in the time period, but the 12 and 14-year-old girls' behavior is
completely different from Elsie's, so that's not it. Elsie is the Sue.
Elsie is perfect. Clearly, this is what Finley is promoting as perfect,
Christian behavior: complete docility, even to the point of not
defending oneself from attackers.

Remember why I started this deconstruction? Elsie Dinsmore is the
favorite of fundymommys everywhere. These books are the gold
standard of Christian entertainment for little girls. Often,
these are the only books other than the Bible fundymommys
will allow their girls to read. Elsie is held up as the only
heroine acceptable for little girls to model themselves after.

Elsie Dinsmore is perfect. Perfectly docile. Perfectly
uncomplaining. The perfect victim.

It's even more disturbing when you consider how nonChristians
are presented in this book: evil, cruel, sadistic, monstrous
ravening wolves. That's not an exaggeration of how fundy
Christians see the rest of us. If that's how you saw the world,
would you arm your children with strength and knowledge,
or make your children too docile and beaten down to fight?

Assuming you like your children, of course.

Page 3 of book 1 and shit's already gotten seriously creepy.

*The other five children, including Arthur and Enna, are siblings.
Elsie is their cousin. However, Elsie has always been raised in
this family. You'll get the backstory later, but effectively Elsie
is the sixth sibling.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I Can Has Deconstruction?

Trust me, it's worse than it looks. Much, much worse.

I keep a lot of fundymommy blogs in my reader and, for the most part, they are deliriously boring. There's only so much you can say about modesty/cooking/housekeeping/pregnancy/nursing, though they don't seem to mind repeating themselves. Or plagiarism.

Every single one of these blogs has one more subject in common: the Elsie Dinsmore books. Other than the Bible, this is the most recommended book for children in fundydom. I cannot stress this enough (it will be very important later): if you are a fundy in America, you are either reading the Elsie Dinsmore books or you are giving them to your children to read.

So, after the 10,000th mention of Elsie Dinsmore as the book for young Christians, I had a thought: deconstruction. All the cool kids are doing it. I haven't seen another deconstruction of Elsie Dinsmore. I can get the books online for free. I've even read a few chapters of the first book. (Seriously, seriously dreadful.)

So, would you like to read my deconstruction of Elsie Dinsmore? I plan on deconstructing the first book (there are 28, I think) and, if that goes well, several of the later books, maybe the book in which she gets married and book dealing with Elsie and her children. I would appreciate it if you would let me know either way, because the books are just so brain-searingly awful that I don't want to subject myself to them if no one else is interested in the idea.

Just let me know, please. I was going to add a poll, but I couldn't figure out how, so comments it is. Sorry.

Leviticus Is Just Good Science

Over and over again I hear that the Bible must be the inspired word of God because the rules in Leviticus are so scientific and sane, we should all be following them just for our health.


For example, this is what passes as scientific in this crowd:

the Law states we are not to eat pork. God will not punsih us if we do. BUT do you know that science has backed up God? pigs are the only animal that doesn't sweat, releasing it's toxins. so when you eat pork you are eating toxins! same goes for the catfish that God warned us against eating. they are the trash eaters of the water. why would you want to eat trash?

Sweating is not how you "release toxins". Sweating is how you modulate body temperature and it's not even that efficient a means of doing so. You do have a way of dealing with harmful substances in your body, it's called your liver. Your liver does not make you sweat.

Also, if eating catfish is eating trash, then eating a cow is eating grass, eating grass is eating sunshine and you should be able to live off of nothing but sitting out in the sun for several hours a day.

Continuing on, I guess this person doesn't get any international news, because all the people that were sickened, seriously injured or killed in Germany due to food poisoning? That was e coli. E coli is not found in pigs. Most outbreaks that don't come from people come from cows. When was the last time you heard about a trichinosis outbreak? (That's an actual disease you can get from pigs.) Never, I would imagine. E coli outbreaks, on the other hand, are common.

Let's examine some other sciencey stuff found in Leviticus:

  • Don't wear clothes made of more than one fabric (Leviticus 19:19) You know, because . . . yeah, I got nothing.
  • If a man has sex with a woman on her period, they are both to be "cut off from their people" (Leviticus 20:18) Scientifically speaking . . . no idea.
  • Don't let cattle graze with other kinds of Cattle (Leviticus 19:19) Because . . . well . . . I dunno.

Then there's this wtfuckery:

  • "And the man whose hair is fallen off his head, he is bald; yet is he clean." 13:40
  • "And he that hath his hair fallen off from the part of his head toward his face, he is forehead bald: yet is he clean." 13:41

Well, gee, I'm glad we cleared that up.

Monday, June 13, 2011

I Think I Finally Get It

If you're an atheist, you probably hear this a lot: You hate God. It's not that you don't believe in God, it's that you totally hate him. Probably because your relationship with your father was bad. But you totally believe in him.

This argument is, of course, wildly frustrating. You're inside your own brain. You know what you think and believe and for someone else to tell you different is, at best, rude. Plus, how do you argue with someone who thinks they know you better than you know you? There's really nowhere to go with that.

I love music. I have always loved music. When I was five, my favorite record* was by the Tijuana Brass. I would play it endlessly and dance to it. (I was never into kids' music at all.) I played clarinet for six years. The last two years, I was playing several hours a day (up to six on weekends) and earned a scholarship to study music. Nerve damage to my right hand ended that dream, but music is still as important to me as food.

That's not true. I have chosen to spend money on music instead of food. Music is more important to me than food.

Anyway, last week, my brother-in-law (hereinafter "BIL") was at the house at the height of my husband's mixing marathon (he sent the album for mastering Wednesday). We don't have soundproofing, so you can hear the music fairly clearly on the first floor. My BIL asked me if that drove me crazy, because it would drive him crazy to hear that all the time.

I was flabbergasted.

The Awkward Out (album name) has been the background to everything I have done in the last year: cleaning, bathing, gaming, watching TV, if my husband was awake and not in the room with me, that's what I was listening to. And I love it. I've been bereft since the album went for mastering and my husband, burnt out after two weeks of 16 hour days, hasn't been writing/recording.

It turns out that my BIL doesn't like music. He doesn't like any music at all. Music is as irrelevant to him as God is to me.

That seriously freaks me out. I don't understand it. At first, I thought my BIL just doesn't like Skull Has a Secret's (band name) style of music. I don't judge anyone's taste in music. I like some weird stuff myself, so I'm not judgey about anyone else's taste.

No, he just doesn't like music. I find this very hard to comprehend. So I think I get where believers are coming from in refusing to believe I don't believe in God.

However, no matter how bizarre a statement I may find "I don't like music" to be, I trust that my BIL knows how he feels on this subject. I don't argue with him when he says he likes to watch Nascar. That's five hours of left turn, but if he says he likes it, he does. And if he says he doesn't like music, he doesn't.

And when I say I don't believe in God, I don't. Trust me on this one.

*Yes, I am totally that old.

My Brain Is Freaking Me Out Again

I have a cold. Actually, I'm at the end of the cold, the part where you have a ton of congestion. For all the creationists out there that assert something cannot come from nothing, my sinuses are disproving that right now. Seriously, where does all the mucus come from? And why can't I run out?

Anyway, I'm a little freaked out by my brain right now. Apparently, my brain, or at least the part that I don't control, is completely unaware I can breathe through my mouth. 35 years out of the womb and my brain still doesn't know this.

Which it made abundantly clear by switching me to nose breathing as soon as I fell asleep, depriving me of oxygen until I woke up gasping for air.

I am not kidding you, this is what happened last night:

My brain: So, the nose is all clogged up. Can't breathe out of that. Hmmm . . . is there some other way of getting oxygen to the lungs? Something else I can breathe through? Nope, guess we'll just have to suffocate.

Me: The mouth! I went to sleep breathing through my mouth! Just go with that!

My brain: I have no knowledge of this "mouth" of which you speak.

Me: Look! I'm breathing through it right now!

My brain: I can't heeeeaaaar you.

Me: Fuck you.

My brain: Try going to sleep again. I dare you.

So, yeah, that was my weekend.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The End of Days: Indistinguishable From All Other Days

Okay, so at the End of Times there will be: earthquakes, floods, storms, wars and rumors of wars.

So, you know, business as usual on the planet Earth.

As far as prophecy goes, that's like predicting that there will be people, eating food and drinking beverages. Somewhere. In the vicinity of the prophecied activity.

But these signs- they are now! (Well, sure, they are always.)

This is just another strange event...I am constantly in awe by the pure reluctant acceptance of the general populace to the signs around us. I have discussed the earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes, pestilences, turmoil in the Middle East and the state of Israel to just about anyone who will talk to me about it and it seems they always come back with the same answer.... It has always been like this! We just didn't have the technology to realize it. It makes me sad that people are just so blind to what is happening. I want people to get right with God to turn back to him. However, it seems that the ME society has finally taken over and they have no room for our Creator! I wish I knew the magic words to open their eyes.....Come Lord Jesus Come!

Psst! You, yeah, you. C'mere. Generally speaking, when you're the only person who can see a thing, that's because it's not actually there. I mean, I suppose it's possible that white horse in the garden is a unicorn, but more than likely, you are delusional.

Seriously, has there ever been a time when there weren't earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes, pestilences, and turmoil in the Middle East (and everywhere else)? Go get a history book, read it and then get back to me.

I wish I knew the magic words too

Me, too! That's be sweet! Oh, you mean to convince me that earthquakes are highly unusual events. Never mind.

I found a correlation to these times at work the other day. My coworker Leslie spoke over the loudspeakers to warn customers that the store would be closing in 10 minutes, and people kept on shopping, some came to the front. She then warned that the store would be closing in five minutes. People started coming to the front then.

I realized that on a much wider and less petty scale, this is what the Lord has been doing since 1948. The store is closing, but people are still doing their shopping while those who are listening have gone to the checkout. Soon the store will close and people who didn't listen will be trapped overnight.

Um, wut? What does "correlation" mean again? Do you warn your customers that the store is closing by setting the displays on fire? I . . . wut?

Great Analogy! I could not agree more! It just saddens me to see the blind walking everywhere!

Damn blind people! Stick to your . . . blind . . . places.

Remember hurricane Katrina. Weren't the people being warned four or five days ahead of expected landfall. Many didn't heed the warning and the landfall and the breaking of the levee caused a lot more damage and loss of life than anyone anticipated or could have imagined.

Oh, you mean the poor people who had no way to get out of town and nowhere to go even if they did get out? That makes this analogy . . . interesting.

I'll end with the most disturbing thing I've ever read (and I've read the Bible):

With fish and game comissions trying to rid the US of invasive-destructive species,

starlings have always been a scourge, and remember the snake head fish infestation, should we be surprised when this kind of thing happens?

With toxic spills and weather system changes, fish will suffer very quickly.

All we need is some massive land animal die-offs.

Certianly these events need investigation, cause identification, as there may be a serious health threat to humans.

But This isn't God's handiwork. God would kill every starling on the face of the earth. God's signs leave no doubt.

satan on the other hand, loves to play games, and if these occurances get lots of christians proclaiming "signs of the times"

Well, that will be fuel for scoffers wouldn't it. "So where is your long expected Jesus?"

But then that is real Prophecy coming to fruition, isn't it?

No one knows the day, but act like the time is short - be busy until He sounds the Quitting Time Whistle.

You'll know it's god by the incredible scale of death and suffering. Um, yeah. I'm sure the Egyptians, looking at their dead first born children would agree.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Guess the Century!

Time for a new game here in Hell in which I give you a quote and you guess which century this quote was written in. It'll be fun!

Here's the quote (no cheating, click after if you want to verify):

So why do I want a clean home?
Well like I said above to be able to practice hospitality, and also so that I am able to show appreciation to my husband for providing me with a roof above my head. I want to show him how much I appreciate him by taking care of my home so that he doesn't have to dread walking through the door and seeing clutter, and dust everywhere! I want a clean home for our children, and a safe environment for them to grow up in. I want to be able to practice what I preach, and glorify the Lord with the home that He has provided for us using it to serve Him.

Hmmm. . . in English, references a time when women did not equally own marital property so . . . 18th Century? 17th Century?

Nope. That was written yesterday. That's right, kids, 2011!

Look, Amber, darling, that house, it's also your house! I know, it's totally amazing. And your husband, should he truly approach dust and clutter with dread, is perfectly capable of using his hands (I'm assuming he has hands) to pick things up and run a duster over things. It is totally within his capabilities. Contrary to your promotion of a book about cleaning (not making this up), cleaning is not actually rocket science. I'm not saying cleaning isn't work. I'm not saying cleaning isn't time consuming. I'm not saying cleaning isn't a pain in my ass. Your husband can totally handle it.

And please stop thanking your husband for the home you both live in. That's what marriage is. Sharing things. It's both of your houses. It's both of your children. It's both of your responsibilities.


Friday, June 10, 2011

I May, in Fact, Be Mocking Armless Children

You know, I'm not opposed to people raising their children within their belief systems, even if those belief systems are seriously whacky. (Really, I don't see how you could avoid it.) I do have a problem with people raising their children in a way that's going to seriously handicap them if they ever, you know, grow up and have to interact with the rest of us. That's just mean.

For example:

my girls are being taught to EXPECT the boy to open the door ( and likewise my boys are being taught to open the door).

Wow. Yeah, see, that's not going to work out well if they ever have to visit pretty much anywhere. I mean, if I refused to open a door myself and just waited around for someone with a penis to do so for me, I'd never get into my own house.

Are these children armless? Because otherwise, that's just atrocious. Think of the message being sent here: Honey, yes, boys can go anywhere they want to go, but girls can only go somewhere with a boy, because she can't open doors. Yes, I know you have arms, but you are not supposed to use them. What? Because you have a vagina, that's why! Stop questioning mommy and stand out here in the hail until some man comes by to open the door for us.


although the following comment to the post may actually be the holy grail of what the fuckery unrelated to trolling:

To think that for all of history women wore long dresses until about the 1920s. They didn't shave. I've met women who have had problems due to shaving. One women told me she needed surgery due to shaving the underarms(ingrown hairs) and a doctor told me he had a patient who died due to a cyst infection from shaving(his nurse said an old razor was probably used). I was watching an old silent movie on tv(if it was up to me we wouldn't have one-I should have listened to Mary Pride and David Wilkerson years ago). Anyway,in the silent movie the older women wore dresses that covered the ankles and the younger women wore dresses that were just above the ankles. Then I did a study a few years ago, on the fashion industry and when women started wearing pants(Hollywood was involved again). All I know is the law says I have to register my sons 30 days after their 18th birthday for the Selective Service(the Post Office has the paperwork)-women are now taxpayers,I hope they won't have to register in the future. I tell my daughters-in-law and daughter to please let my granddaughters have long hair,as well.

So, to translate:

1. shaving is prevented by long dresses
2. shaving kills
3. ankles
4. pants
6. taxes
7. women need long hair.

I . . . well . . . somehow I don't think it's the misogyny that's the problem for that woman's children.

Great, God Just Glorified Himself All Over My Rug

God won't give you more than you can handle.

People used to spout that at me and I would seethe- at the age of 6. The implication is, of course, that if you fail to handle something, it's because you're lazy, not because it's too much for you. After all, god wouldn't do that to you. God is love. And killing Egyptians.

That is, of course, bullshit. Things happen because they do. Or because we cause them to. Or because somebody else caused them to.

This explanation, however, raises the level of horrifying:

God knows exactly how much I can handle, but oftentimes He chooses to display His glory by placing me in situations far above my ability to handle them so that He can come in and show Himself. Sometimes, He has to bring me to a point where I realize that I just can't do it on my own. It is when I confess, "I need you, Lord!" that He is glorified and freely pours out His grace.

I have taught a child to swim. At first, I supported her in water up to my waist for my own convenience, and well above her head, by holding her up with my hands on her stomach, so she could learn the movements of swimming without having to be able to float. Then we moved to the very shallow end of the pool and learned how to float. I chose the shallow end so that if she sank, she could just put her feet down and have her head above the water. Then we combined the floating and the swimming, with me intervening immediately as soon as I felt she might possibly be starting to have trouble. (Cuz drowning other people's children just isn't cool.)

The point is, were I god, according to this person's logic, I would have thrown this child into the deep end and only saved her if she clearly articulated that I was far better at swimming than her and she really needed help.

So, how many of you would pat me on the back and call me a responsible adult if I did that? And how many of you would hold my head under the water until I stopped arguing about it? Yeah, I'd do that, too.

But I should totally get down on my knees and thank the lord for allowing me to drown until I specifically told him how fantastic he is.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Porn for Women (SFW, Don't Worry)

Fannie, who is Teh Awesome, made a comment on my last post about something called Porn for Women, which involves pictures of men doing housework.

Of course, I had to look.

The first thing I found doing a google search for "porn for women housework" is this. (see above) It's a book containing pictures of mostly clothed men vacuuming and such.

I think I just rolled my eyes so hard I sprained them.

This is not pornography. I don't even think the most modesty obsessed fundys I stalk would consider that pornography. Unseemly, perhaps, but only in that their wives ought to be doing the housework.

I find this disturbing on two levels.

1. "As soon as I'm done with the laundry, I'll do the grocery shopping and take the kids with me so you can relax" is not erotica. This is erotica*. Honestly rather mild erotica that kinda flirts with kinky. But it's erotica.

"I'm going to do some chores and spend time with my children" should just be normal communication between partners. (Also, I am seriously uncomfortable with mentions of children and erotica in the same place.) That that is eroticized is disturbing. I find it unbelievable that I am so outside normal gender roles and interplay that I am experiencing erotica on a regular basis and not recognizing it.

Seriously, really, honestly, truly this sort of thing is so rare in the average marriage that it counts as erotica? My husband is no great shakes in the participating in the maintaining our property department, and he says something like this to me all the time. (Obviously, not involving kids.)

"Hey, I had some time waiting for the sauce to reduce, so I loaded the dishwasher."

"I noticed you had laundry left in the dryer, so I folded it and brought it upstairs."

"I spilled salt all over the kitchen floor, so I figured I might as well sweep the entire downstairs while I was at it."

Yes, I do thank him. He also compliments me on a job well done every time I clean the kitchen and every time he finds just the t-shirt he wanted, already clean, in his drawer**.

This does not arouse me. I do not fantasize about this. I'm not telling you you shouldn't be aroused by this sort of thing because I don't care what gets you off, but, c'mon, really?

Men want to fuck, women want to . . . sit around eating bon bons? This is a view of male/female relations stuck somewhere in a mythical, TV 1950s, then turned into a joke that isn't funny. Women, they do all the housework and- hahahahaha!- it's housework that turns them on. If men do it.

2. This enforces so many gender stereotypes I don't know where to start. and, it plays them off as a hilarious joke so that I'm just a meany mean feminazi with no sense of humor for complaining about it.

Let's see if I can list all the gender stereotypes at work here:

  • housework is women's work. If men do it, it's superspecial.
  • childcare is women's work. if men do it, it's superspecial.
  • fucking is what men want. women don't really like to fuck. women consent to fucking.
  • women consent to fucking in order to please men.
  • what women really like to to is get a break from women's work.
  • women are not turned on by depictions or descriptions of sex. that is for men.

I probably missed a few. And no, it's not fucking funny. This is not pornography. It's also not a joke. It's just another slap in the face of women as mature adults with actual sexual feelings.

*C'mon, you knew there was Jägererotica, Rule 34 demands it. And if you didn't think I knew where it was, you just don't know me.

**The man is incapable of putting dirty clothes in a hamper, so simply finding his dirty clothes is like Indiana Jones in my house. He should compliment me.

Kelley Wants Me to Comment on Sexy Greek Shipping Magnates

The google image search for "romance novel" yields hilarious results.

Kelley asked me to check this out. Kelley either really values my opinion or is engaged in psychological warfare to destroy me. Given what zie linked to, it's a little hard to tell. ;)

The question at hand is Is Chick Lit Emotional Porn.

Well, I think-

No, fuck that. The title alone is too much to gloss over.

a. Chick Lit.

Allow me to spare you at least 9 hours towards a degree in English literature: books written by men are literature, books written by women using male pseudonyms or androgynous names may also be literature, books written by women using an obviously female name are chick lit. Because while men are human beings and male experiences and male feelings are universal, women and their experiences and feelings are only suitable for a ghetto decorated in pink, lace and stiletto shoes. (Seriously, check out the covers of books written by women.)

b. Emotional Porn.

Fuck if I know what that means. Okay, I know what porn is. I worked at a porn website (well, actually we ran 30 of them) way back when people paid for porn online. Yes, children, I'm ancient. Emotional porn? I . . . um . . . now I'm picturing someone furiously fapping to pictures of people experiencing emotions.

Inside my head is a scary place.

So, okay, before we get into the article proper (are you happy, yet, Kelley? are you entertained? THIS IS . . . never mind.), full disclosure time: my mother wrote romance novels for over 30 years. She was reasonably popular at one point, and at her height was writing three in a year. My mother has, btw, a master's degree in English literature. Romance novels were the reading equivalent of snacks to her, to be consumed between Tolstoy and Orwell. A palate cleanser, if you will.

Once she had children, she no longer had the time to devote to such heavy reading and fell back entirely on romance novels for entertainment. She got so sick of the plot driven characters and other such crimes of writing that she started writing her own. Thus was a career born.

So, do I think romance novels are literature? Eh. Does everything have to be deeply meaningful all the damn time? Is there no room for movies in which shit blows up and that's the plot? I guess it depends upon who's answering the question. Sometimes I want to to experience illumination, sometimes I just want to read how Harry and Sally got to the fucking.

Okay, full, full disclosure: I'm not into visual porn, but I am into written porn. So, there you have that.

So, anyway, what was I- oh yeah, the article. Here, I'll link it again.

On the nightstand of a woman you know, there’s a Christian romance novel and a Bible. Does that matter?


Matter to whom? Also, read that in Phil Hartmann's Troy McClure voice and tell me that ain't hilarious.

A new book by Boston University researchers Ogi Ogas and Sai Gaddam, A Billion Wicked Thoughts, offers a disturbing look at how Internet search engines reveal much about the sexual and emotional desires of men and women, and how they differ. The research confirms in some ways what almost everyone knows: men are visually engaged, attracted to youth and sexual novelty, and are thus vulnerable to visual pornography.

The research explores further what the commercialized romance industry tells us about what it means to be a woman (at least in a fallen world). Women are much less likely to be drawn to visual pornography (although more do so than one might think), but are quite likely to be involved in such media as Internet romantic fiction or the old-fashioned romance novel.

The romance novel follows, the researchers argue, a typical pattern. The hero is almost never, they say, a blue collar worker, a bureaucrat, or someone in the traditionally feminine occupations (hairdresser, kindergarten teacher, etc.). He is competent, confident and usually wealthy. He is, in short, an alpha male.

But, they argue, this alpha male is typically a rough character who learns to be tamed into kindness—kindness to her. Thus, you wind up with not only the strong silent cowboys with the soft interior life, but also vampires and werewolves and Vikings.

And all of this is moving toward the climax of the romance story: the “happily-ever-after.”

Okay . . . so romance novels are female porn because women consume, or admit to consuming, more romance novels than porn. I . . . what?

Let me try again. Romance novels tell you the true psyche of a woman because the protagonists are wealthy Greek shipping magnates (this actually does come up a lot in Harlequins. you'd think Greece is entirely populated by wealthy shipping magnates. sexy wealthy shipping magnates. with secret hearts of gold!) and vampires instead of guys you meet in line at Walmart.

Here, let me tell you a little secret about writing: nobody wants to read boring shit. There's a reason writers don't include every detail of opening every door or a description of every breath the protagonists take: because it's boring. If I want boring shit, I'll just live my life. I'm not going to pay to read it.

Heroes are sexy, powerful and wealthy because that's exciting. Following construction worker Joe throughout his day as he runs errands and cares for his lawn, not so much. I've got a demon assisting a nephalim in stopping the apocalypse in my book, fighting archangels and the Horsemen of the Apocalypse and the Messiah! That's exciting right there! (pro tip: if you run out of plot, blow some shit up. that's what i'll be doing.)

Look, the Romance Novel Panic(tm) is not new. My mother tells people about her writing with a note of defiance because she's gotten so much shit* for writing romance novels. The argument is basically this: women who read romance novels will develop a skewed vision of love that will cause problems in their marriages because real relationships are nothing like what is portrayed in romance novels.

Because women are so fucking stupid they can't tell the difference between fiction and reality. Our pretty little heads just don't contain the necessary grey matter to make the distinction. We need to be protected from our own childlike naivete.

Fuck off.

Wait, holy fuck, those researchers are relating romance novels to evo psych. Apparently, sexy Greek shipping magnates with secret hearts of gold represent Darwinian [mumblemumblesputter]. Wow.

Fuck off on that, too.

*apparently, that's my word for today.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Fuck You, Glamor!

For some reason I cannot identify, I have an unending subscription to Glamor that I never have to pay for. It's very odd.

Anyway, Glamor might make me crazier than Cosmo, in that Glamor likes to position themselves as the urfeminist fashion magazine. You read that right. Urfeminist fashion magazine. It's obnoxious. It is simply hateful to see "You're all right just the way you are" articles interspersed with this crap (gee, I wish I could move pictures around while editing blogger in Firefox):

1. See the first picture? This is in answer to a question about going grey at 28. (Welcome to the club, people.) If you don't feel like clicking on it to enlarge, the caption says that models were deliberately greyed at a fashion show. Is that hair grey? No, it fucking isn't. That hair is not grey, not at all. If you're going to tell me grey is the new blonde, accompany it with a picture of actual grey hair.

2. See the second picture? Those two models represent (top) a "leggy" body type and (bottom) a "plus size" body type. Can you tell a difference? Because I can't. Neither one of those women is plus sized. In fact, given that the average size for American women is a size 12, that "plus size" woman isn't even close to average, let alone plus average. In fact, that's what I look like naked.


I cannot shop in department stores, their smallest size is a 6. I buy a lot of my clothes in the junior's section.

I AM UNDERWEIGHT. IT IS NOT HEALTHY. Stomach bugs put me in the hospital because my body has nothing to fall back on when I can't eat. I am cold 8 months of the year. My kitchen chairs have cushions rather than hard seats because I don't have natural cushioning to sit on, so if I sit on a hard chair for any period of time, I cut off the nerves in my rear and my legs go numb. Do you know how much well cushioned dining room chairs cost? I do.

That "plus size" model looks exactly like the underweight, size 2 wearing woman on the other end of your computer screen.

Feeling bad about yourself? Don't. You couldn't possibly have any idea what healthy or average or normal even looks like because of this shit. You couldn't even get close. And Glamor is at least part of the reason why.

Fuck you, Glamor!

The Future Is the Past

New York City circa 1965? Nope. Tehran. Yes, that Tehran.

[Note, this post inspired by the latest Cosmocking by Holly Pervocracy. Express written consent was given. Read it! Cosmocking is something that, when I see the link for it, I squeal! It's that good! ]

Rowdy has a theory that this "it's normal and funny to despise all exes" attitude comes from a particularly limited view of monogamy, in which it isn't enough to only love one person--you have to only love one person ever. In order to maintain retroactive monogamy, you must declare that all previous relationships were false loves, and thus despicable.

My own theory is different. My theory is that a breakup hurts, so (if you're a little perspective-deficient) you see the person who broke up with you as an attacker causing you pain. Never mind that the only way to avoid this pain is to date one person your entire life--they're still a jerkface for making you unhappy, and concepts of "painful for him too" or "painful but necessary" don't enter into it.

I actually think Holly and Rowdy are both right about exes.

If your breakup was one sided or, for whatever reason, turned especially ugly, it colors the entirety of the relationship.

If the breakup was mutual and not based in angry feelings, then you may simply be telling your new partner "Oh, I never felt this way before!" to make them feel special.

Part of it is the emotional distance of memory, as well. If I ask you about a pain you are feeling right now, you'll give me adjectives aplenty: searing, fiery, electrical, tearing, ripping, broken, etc. If I ask you about a pain you felt one year ago, I'll get "it really hurt". Memory provides distance.

It's the same for love. If I ask you about the love you feel at the moment, I could be listening to your reply for an hour. If I ask you about the love you felt a decade ago, I'm likely to get "Oh, I loved zie with all my heart" delivered in a rather neutral tone of voice. So today's love, by virtue of its immediacy, might very well feel like the specialest love ever.

But the thing is, the way monogamy is set up in our culture for women, it's risky to tell men your real "number", and it's risky to tell men you every really enjoyed sex before them or that you were ever really in love because orgasms and love are for one man and one man alone. And if you don't believe me, watch movies (Twilight), read books (fucking Twilight) and watch some TV. I love you, I have always loved you, I have loved no one other than you as if love were oil rather than wind energy.

Which is funny, because my mother, back in the 80s, used to write for Harlequin's Second Chance at Love line, which were romance novels in which both protagonists had been in love and married before, happily, at least for a period of time. The stories were about people finding love again, presented in a natural "of course you can love more than one person in a lifetime" tone.

And prior to Prop 8, I don't really remember such open frothing rage about gay people. I'm not saying everyone in the country was attending gay pride events, but it definitely seems more out in the open now.

And this abstinence only thing? I got comprehensive sex ed in high school. I was forced to put a condom on a banana more than once. Meanwhile, all of my nieces and nephews got religiously motivated speeches about crumbled up cookies and licked lollipops delivered rather pointedly at the girls in the room.

Abortion was a given when I was in high school and college. It was a right. You didn't send out abortion party invitations, but nobody questioned that it was an option. These days they're trying to defund Planned Parenthood.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, that though nobody seems to be noticing, we are, as a society, getting more conservative, in a religiously motivated way. The numbers of atheists and nonchristians might be growing in our country, but the fundamentalists are, to a large degree, winning. They're shaping the culture and shaping our minds. To such a point where admitting your have loved before, truly and deeply, is a dangerous admission to make.

And before you dismiss my concerns, consider one thing: Prior to 1979, Iran was a forward thinking, happening place. It's a little different there now.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A Conversational Guide to the Ladies

I keep hearing a lot about pick up artists* (hereinafter "PUA") and negging. I wasn't exactly certain what negging was, so I looked it up.

It's appalling.

Remember that a neg-hit is a remark, sometimes humorous, used to point out a woman’s flaws.

a) A neg-hit IS used to penetrate a woman’s bitch shield.

b) A neg-hit IS used to bring a woman down off her self-imposed pedestal.

c) A neg-hit is SINCERE. Women can spot phony a mile away.

d) And most importantly, a neg-hit IS used to bring a woman’s self perception more into line with reality.

a) the "bitch shield".

Oh, I know what he's talking about. You know what being a woman is like? Imagine that when you talk to a man, you say "I need a cordless drill" and what he hears is "I'm a stupid woman. Even though I asked you for the drill, you should address all remarks concerning said drill to the man standing next to me, whom I may or may not know."

Imagine that when you talk to a man, you say "Do you know if the bus left yet?" and he hears "I would love to give you a blowjob."

Imagine that when you say nothing at all, a man hears "Please, comment on my body/ask me out/request sexual activity".

Every fucking day, people. Every fucking day.

Now imagine that is what happens to you every day, imagine that you are completely aware that at any moment, a man may abduct you, rape you, drug you, rape you, rape you, rape you and it will be you fault because (pick any two) you made eye contact, you smiled at him, you wore clothes, you have a vagina.

Imagine not having a "bitch shield" if that was your everyday life. I need that shield asshole.

b) self imposed pedestal.

Oh, noez! Ai has self esteemz! I should not. I should be pathetically happy for any scrap of attention any man gives me because he's man, damnit! How dare I not find him to be attractive/desireable/funny/awesome! How dare I not respond to his attentions! I need to be knocked off my pedestal right this instant!

c) sincere?

srsly? Let's be honest here, fellas: if you are insulting me, I don't give a shit whether you really think my breasts could be better or not, you're still insulting me. fuck off. you don't like my breasts? go find someone whose breasts you do like.

i really just can't get over that it's the sincerity of the insults that is supposed to be the issue. that's like being stabbed and then told, "don't worry, I used a Ginsu, that's the good stuff!"

d) a neg-hit IS used to bring a woman’s self perception more into line with reality

Because it's men who determine reality, you see. I am just a woman, I cannot accurately determine my own worth. I need men to tell me what the worth is, and enforce that estimation of worth if my estimation is different.

You think that's just the PUA culture? Ha! Welcome to reality, dude. How do I know you're a dude if you think that? Simple. If you're a woman, you know that your worth is always determined by men. You know that your worth is always in relation to what men can get from you. You know that default human beings are men, the default human experience is male and "he" is a perfectly adequate word to discuss human beings in general.

Because human beings are men.

V.S. Naipul
is causing yet another stir by claiming that female writers just aren't as good as male writers. They aren't. Because they write from the female perspective, you see. And even though women are 50% of the population of the Earth, the female perspective is not a universal perspective.

When men write books from the male perspective about men doing man things, it's literature. Even though the male perspective only applies to 50% of the population, their stories are universal and represent the "human" experience, perhaps even the "triumph of the human soul." These books are marketed to everyone everywhere.

When women write books from the female perspective about women doing woman things, it's chick lit. These books will have silly, frilly covers including at least one pink item, cutesy clever titles (writers do NOT pick their books' titles) and will be marketed exclusively to women and the word "human" will not be used at all. You're lucky if they're using "women" instead of "girls".

So as disgusting as I find PUAs, they're not the disease. They're just the hard to ignore symptom of how our culture regards women.

Including me.

*Christopher Walken's finest moment: One can be an artist in anything. Creasy's art is death. But it could use a little more cowbell.
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