jadedmusings: (NCIS - Ziva Anger)
I'm going to say this: It's time for better, more stringent gun control in this country.

I was raised around guns, and I don't mean, "My dad owned a handgun." Multiple guns. I don't recall a time in my life when my father didn't own at least one pistol and then two or three rifles. As he got older, there were more. We had a gun safe and it had four rifles in it, plus dad always had a pistol in the glove compartment of his truck (it's legal in South Carolina to have one, though he always took it out if he knew he was picking me up from school as it's still illegal to have a gun on school grounds). That's not including the guns at the hunting club my father and his friends ran. And boxes upon boxes of amunition, like, those military cases full of them. My father even, once upon a time, reloaded his own shotgun shells and bullets meaning there was gun powder and caps on our property. He was a card-carrying lifetime member of the NRA, and he also had a conceal and carry permit valid in at least two states.

From an early age, I fired guns. I have been to a shooting range more than once in my life. I've shot rifles and pistols of varying calibres. I've been hunting (though I missed the deer I shot at). I've been shown how to clean a gun, how to site one in, where the safety usually is, and most of all, I was taught from as early as I can remember that guns are deadly weapons deserving of respect. For me and where I grew up, this is a normal experience. Guns are a way of life. In fact, I was weirded out the first time I dated someone who had never been exposed to guns as I had.

I have also grown up hearing every bit of second amendment rhetoric you can think of. I know what the NRA says about guns not killing people and all the nonsense about needing to defend yourself. For a time, I bought into it. I knew there were gun control laws in place from background checks to waiting periods, and at the gun and knife shows I went to with my father (well into my twenties), I watched him jump through the legal hoops to purchase a gun.

But I saw something else at those gun and knife shows. Men who, unlike my father, weren't buying guns for hunting. I saw men picking up pistols and other handguns, holding them improperly at an agle. Men who were imitating what they saw on television and in the movies. Men who didn't understand why the gun sellers and others flinched at the way they held the guns. "What? It's not loaded." But you never, ever pick up a gun and assume it's not loaded, even in a gun show where they've tied off the chamber so it can't close and there are bullets kept far away from the guns.

Those men passed the background checks and were allowed to purchase the guns, and maybe I can never be 100% certain, but I had an idea those guns weren't going out to shoot poisonous snakes on someone's property, or killing a deer that could feed a family for a month. They were for show, to prove someone's masculinity, someone's power. That power they showed was, "I can kill someone, several someones in the time it takes you to draw breath." That's it, nothing else, because a gun has no other purpose than to kill. None. And in our twisted world where masculinity is measured in someone's potential level of violence, guns are used as symbols of that potential violence.

The thing my father and his friends never seemed to understand was that for every one responsible gun owner who knew how to properly care for a gun, respected it as a weapon, and knew the laws, there were dozens more who weren't responsible, who didn't know how to make sure a gun never misfired, who treated it like a toy and not a deadly weapon. And there were those who no amount of mental health screening or prevention would keep them from using that gun as a weapon, guns they might not have had if we were just a little more strict as to who could own a gun, how many they could own, and were aware of someone non-military or non-law enforcement purchasing bullet proof vests and armor piercing rounds.

I used to believe guns could be used for protection, and they can (and should), but in the gun magazines he used to recieve, I read the monthly reports of people who had saved their lives (and sometimes others) by shooting home invaders or robbers. There were only a few paragraphs taking up a page each month, and maybe five or six at most. Add that up, that's only 60 or 72 people per year, and those are people we don't know would have died for a fact because they shot first and were lauded as heroes and held up as proof that guns are great. But yesterday, twenty children died, most of them no older than five years old. And last week in a mall people died. In Illinois, several people died, and those are just the mass shootings. We don't often hear about the individuals who are killed every day from gun violence. For all those sixty or seventy people I'd read about in a year, thousands more died because of guns. Thousands more would still be alive without guns.

Yesterday, in China, a man entered a school with a knife and stabbed 20 students and some adults. Violent, horrible, tragic, yes, but no one died. Yesterday, in Conneticut, a man entered a school and killed his mother before opening fire on her classroom full of kindergarten students. Twenty children died. Remove the gun from the equation and what might the story out of Conneticut be? Oregon? Illinois? Arizona? Would Gabriel Giffords still be in congress? Would Trayvon Martin be making regular trips to the 7-11 for soda?

I'm not here to advocate taking away every single gun in the hands of civilains. That's not necessary, but my father could have been all right with only a pistol and a rifle. Same for his friends. They'd be able to hunt, my father could have the pistol in case, while working on our rural heavily wooded property, he encountered a rattlesnake. (And more than once he had to kill snakes that came into our yard for our safety.) My father would have complained, but because he loved to hunt and like to shoot at a range, he would have sat through classes about gun safety. He would have helped teach basic gun safety and care, even. He'd complain about not being able to own as many guns as he'd like, but he'd still be able to protect his home if it came down to it. So would his friends and other gun owners.

It's not just guns, either. With free access to mental health care, education to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness, and giving families resources when they fear someone they love might be in trouble, we could help stop violence before it erupts. If we punished men who tried to control and abuse women and children, and we took threats of violence seriously when abused women reported it, we'd be able to prevent so many murders every year. If we portrayed guns as the deadly weapons they are rather than worshiping them, maybe our children would learn from an early age to respect the danger they pose.

It's time to have an adult discussion about guns in America. It's time we demanded compromises from the gun lobbyists, and if they won't come to the table, we make the laws without them. It's time we protected our children, our women, and our men. A nation in which kindergarteners can't go to school without being in danger of dying to gun violence should not be considered the greatest nation in the world, and it's time we fixed that.

Of course I fear we're still going to be having this conversation by the time the next mass shooting happens, and it will happen because so far it hasn't stopped.
jadedmusings: (NCIS - Gibbs Headslap)
...but then there was an "Around Azeroth" post on WoWInsider that just made me facepalm.

"Reading Tides of War just really drives home how awful of a role the Horde player has in this scenario: we are actually mentioned in passing in the book. We're part of canon now, but in a very terrible way -- at least if you're Horde. So, Jaina, while it's too little too late: I am sorry."

Except for the part where Baine and Vol'jin are both going, "Heeey, this isn't a good idea," even before they know about the bomb (which they only know about after the fact). And then Baine pulls his people back to Thunder Bluff and Vol'jin is obviously quietly waiting for an opportunity to safely rise up as the Echo Isles are rather vulnerable to an assault from Orgrimmar. As for Sylvanas and Lor'Themar, they apparently think so highly of the operation that they don't even show up and instead send their best two people (who are then murdered by Garrosh's Kor'Kron)*.

So yeah, the Theramore event had the backing of the entire Horde, except for where it didn't, and there was more than just the leaders and NPCs who were horrified by this. All my toons, even Folami who was looking forward to war, are horrified by this.

WAY TO FUCKING GO, BLIZZARD! Your scenario was so terrible as to make it look like the Horde is full of nothing but unthinking monsters and neglected to include even the tiniest bit of canon that would have established what happened in that very book you want us to read to understand WTF is happening here. And now I have to deal with all this "Bawwww, I want to change sides," and, "I'm faction changing!" because no one wants to be the bad guys, which while understandable is also annoying because, hey guys, remember when the Alliance used Theramore to send troops into Kalimdor to slaughter Camp Taurajo? Yeah, remember that? We don't hold the monopoly on pointless slaughter.

* = And I sincerely hope that while the mana bomb is of blood elf design, that Lor'Themar didn't know about it. The goblins "improved" upon the bomb's design, so I fear that if Lor'Themar pulls a Kael'Thas later on, as we will apparently be hearing from the blood elves in a future patch, I might legit have to drive to Irvine and deliver Gibbs-style headslaps to everyone on the writing team.
jadedmusings: (Sherlock - Funny little brains)
(This is a copy of something I posted elsewhere. There'll be more ranting from me later about the entire problem with Thalen Songweaver and the characterizations of Horde leaders.)

I suppose from the title it's rather easy to conclude what my opinion was of the in-game event in which Theramore is destroyed. This isn't to say I that I completely hate everything about it, though I guess given that I feel it fails mechanically, lore-wise, and in execution it might seem that way. However, I love the idea of Theramore and feel that, in the right hands, it could have been utterly amazing and a dramatic prologue to Mists of Pandaria that would establish the tone for the newest expansion.

So, what went wrong? Everything, and allow me to break it down into sections because that is the only way I feel I can climb this mountain of fail.

(Note: This post will, unsurprisingly, contain spoilers, both for the Theramore scenario and for Tides of War. Read at your own risk.)

Read more... )
jadedmusings: (NCIS - Ziva Anger)
Here's what Blizz said initially about the Theramore event:

Your ticket to ride is your level. If you don't have anyone to go into the Scenario with, we can provide people to group with via the queue.

See that? Level. Not ilevel, just level. If you're max level, you ought to be able to go.

Then there's now this:

I just went back to verify this further to make sure I wasn't giving incorrect information. (Sorry for the confusion folks.) There is also an item level that goes with it. At level 85 Theramore's Fall is set to item level 353. At level 90 the item level is currently set for 425.

Whoops! Sorry we got your hopes up all you non-PvErs and PvPers. Unless you're willing to spend gold at the AH and/or come up with the mats to make your own gear, you're SoL.

Look, fellows, in WoW there's plenty of stuff some of my friends have accepted they'll never see. Current end-game content like the dungeons and raids are among them. Other events will be beyond their ability to see. Blizzard put out a book about Theramore and have been pimping this event left and right. They've made it out to be this awesome thing you don't want to miss when it goes live.

And then they limit who can participate.

Anyone who has run an end-level dungeon or an LFR can tell you that ilevel isn't necessarily an indication of ability to play the game or that you won't need to be carried by more capable players. Hell, I've seen players who have half a clue as to how to gear and glyph who somehow manage to perform way, way below expectations. What does it take away from you, the player, if this event that alters the course of lore and has an impact on Alliance and Horde alike is available to all 85 players? We get our raids, our dungeons, and gods know what else we'll get in MoP.

I'm not complaining for me. I've got three raid-geared toons who can go on it, and a fourth if I get off my lazy butt and gear her (but learning ret pally scares me). I'm complaining for some RP pals who really wanted to see this and now they can't. There's not enough time for them to grind for the rep gear, or to farm the mats/troll the AH for the gear and that's if they're on a server with a decent AH. Also, I'm complaining for the players in the forum thread who admit they have disabilities that make it difficult or impossible for them to do the end-game content and gear up as easily as those without disabilities.

I wouldn't mind so much if they'd initially clarified what they meant by "your level is your ticket to ride." My friend and I have been planning for this for a while and now she can't go and I feel like shit because I can. (Technically, she can go on one of her two max level toons, but with it being like a random dungeon finder, she doesn't want to be carried or deal with the potential headache of jerks who'll talk trash.)

Fucking hell, I'm sick of this attitude of, "Baaaaw, the casuals might get to play," and "I got mine." I worked my ass off to get to raids and I take pride in my ability to play the game on multiple classes. But I can sympathize with those who can't or who have no desire to do these things and who still love the game as much as I do. And when MoP hits, I'll be quickly gearing up for the newest dungeons and raids, and I'll get to run them while my friend won't.

Not everyone can play the game like I do, or like others do. They're still players and they still deserve a chance to participate in something that's supposed to be really fucking awesome.
jadedmusings: (BtVS - Buffy does not approve)
Drama Mamas made a list called "40 Things You Should Never Say In Game." Most are all right, but I've got a quibble with a few.

"No, really, guys – it's my MOM calling." Same story. If you really can't miss your call from Mom, you really shouldn't be logged in to a group activity.

Hey, guess what? My mother calls any damn time she wants. I can't plan around it. And if I tell her to only call between X and Y hours or say I'll call her back in ten minutes, she gets upset and it causes drama. People I raid with or run instances with have never taken an issue to this, especially if it's a guild and I explain my mother's medical issues.

If my grown-ass nearly 32 year-old self can't plan around parental phone calls, I sure as hell won't begrudge Random Player C for saying, "Oh, my mother's calling. BRB 2 min."

"Baby woke up, AFK BRB!" I know. We wish you had more time to play, too. Still, don't group unless you have someone else around to take point duty with the kids.

As a formerly single mother: FUCK. YOU. Some of us players don't have someone around, or if we do, they're only around at hours we can't play. Some couple work swing shifts, or have dynamic schedules where they can't really do anything consistently. Hell, I have someone around to help me tend to my no-longer-an-infant child, and still sometimes I have to say, "BRB kid aggro." Just last night, we had someone say, "Baby woke up and was looking for mommy," in the middle of a raid right before a boss pull. And you know what? Nobody said anything and we were all cool about it. Know why? Because we're reasonable human being and most of us have been there.

Being parents doesn't mean we can't play, and I know more than one WoW Mother who mastered holding the baby in her lap while playing. And I remember how lonely it was to be a single mom and not have anyone around at night. Having a game like WoW would have been a tremendous help back then, and it is I'll never forget how awesome my IRC and FFRPG friends were to me, and how much having that little bit of socialization helped me not to feel as lonely or isolated. And none of them ever said boo about me needing the occasional AFK.

"Dude, I'm busy. You have to stop whispering me now." OK, you might actually end up needing this line for a particularly persistent pest. But try this first: "The stuff I run with this character now makes it really hard to chat when I'm playing. Sorry, gotta run ..."

No, just no. I'm a nice person, but most people on my friends list look to see where I'm at before whispering me. And sometimes, there are people who won't be nice, who don't understand how boundaries work. I'm tired that being blunt over text is seen as some gigantic social faux pas, especially when it comes to women. Yes, I know this wasn't directed at solely women, but don't tell me they don't often get, "Well, geeze, you don't have to be such a bitch about it." In real life too, we establish boundaries and we're horrible people for doing so. I don't have to be nice if someone is interfering with something I'm doing. I've yet to lose any friends over it when I've had to be blunt, and I do follow it up with a, "Hey, sorry about that, but I was being swarmed by murlocs."

Invariably, however, I usually get a, "Oh man, sorry, didn't see you were in [Instance/Raid]. Have fun!"

"Hey, I just met you, and this is crazy, but here's my number, so call me, maybe..." No playing music into Vent. No maybe about it.

Says the group who never got to share an awesome Journey moment in raid before.

Just a lonely girl, livin' in a lonely world...

"We don't have to worry about rules. Drama never happens in our guild." /facepalm Simple rules like "No harrassment" and "Keep it PG-13" will help if drama does happen. Better to be prepared.

Simple rules won't prevent that. Rules that clearly outline what harassment is, what hate speech is, and a clear procedure for what steps are taken to address infractions. If you just say "No harassment," some asshole will say, "I didn't know that constituted harassment." And if you say, "You can't do X," you need to be able to know what to do when someone does do X. I can't stress how much this is a must if you plan to have a guild larger than just you and a few close friends.

You know what I didn't see on the list that should be? "Dude, I'm so baked right now." This happened to me the other night after a couple of deaths and one wipe thanks to the tank being stoned in an Hour of Twilight instance. But no, someone tending to their child is more aggravating and evil than someone doing illicit substances that alter their ability to play the game.

(And hey, I don't care if you smoke a bowl, but for fuck's sake, don't do that and leave me with a huge repair bill because you can't take a second to move out of the fucking fire.)
jadedmusings: (NCIS - Ziva Never Broken)
So, someone from Steadfast contacted me. This was a good thing, yes, and I maybe be a bit teary-eyed after our conversation and some letters in my in-game mailbox on Folami. We exchanged battletags and if Steadfast ever needs a hand, she knows they can reach out to me if I'm available.

Vent under here. )

Yeah, yeah, I'm whiny. Move along, nothing to see here.
jadedmusings: (Sherlock - Wrong)
So I'm listening to The Smoking Gamer's special "But Wait, There's Lore" episode concerning Jaina Proudmoore and her new book and the upcoming events in the game. Referencing an interview by Blizz Planet with Christie Golden, Pride mentions that Jaina's had a few partners (and that she's "gone around the block a few times, har har!" Ow, sprained my eyes from rolling them so hard. Let's ignore that one of those partners was just a friend, really.), and Golden says something like they needed a romance for Jaina in the book. I guess to make it more compelling?

Why isn't Jaina being a bad ass mage not compelling enough? Why does she have to always be paired off with Thrall/Kael'Thas/[Spoiler]? And what the fuck is so bad if Jaina's been either unlucky in love, or just a chick who wants to have boyfriends but doesn't want to settle down because, you know, she's busy running a fucking kingdom and being a one bad-ass motherfucking mage?

WHY DOES JAINA, A WOMAN WITH HER OWN FUCKING CITY, NEED ANYONE? You know what's reasonable to me? Jaina going, "You know what? You're really nice and all that, and I really dig your hair, but see, [Spoiler] just risked being named a traitor to the Horde to tell me my home's about to get fucked up by Garrosh, so I'm going to focus on saving my people instead of romance."

Given who Jaina's been paired off with, I'm betting she's going the way of Tyrande Whisperwind with her treatment. You know, how powerful Priestess of Elune is out shined by her husband Malfurion. Then again, maybe she could end up like Sylvanas's characterizations, but that'd make her evil.
jadedmusings: (NCIS - Gibbs Headslap)
* = This an in-joke with my FFRPG buddies who will immediately understand what sort of RP'er I've encountered. Yes, some of his whining in whispers reminded me so much of Tet. I think I put out some sort of pheromone to attract the weirdos and creeps.

So this happened last night. Some of his behavior reminded me immediately of Tet, though I highly suspect he'll run for the hills if he learns I'm a mother and that I have a significant other. (I'm saving that announcement for when he inevitably whispers me again for RP and asks why I'm reluctant to speak with him alone in public.)

Oh, and I've been checking out Wyrmrest Accord's RP website and all things look promising in terms of finding people interested in casual roleplay, also for sharing character journals and the like. I plan to post a blog entry tonight (under the guise of Aridhana writing a journal). My only issue with it is I fear she comes off as male rather than female. Other than that, I'm still pleased to see so much RP happening anytime I'm in a place where more than a couple of people happen to be.

In non-roleplay news, I almost made it through the Through a Glass, Darkly portion of the Dragonwrath quest only to die at the boss, but when I came back inside my portal was gone and when I tried to walk to the boss platform, I got stuck. I logged out and logged back in only to find the instance had reset. [Insert giant "FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU" here.] Aggravated, I made the decision to try again this evening, and I think I'll have it nailed. I did consider putting in a ticket, but I figure that by the time I got a response, I could get through the entire thing, not to mention I feared getting a response along the lines of, "lol we're sorry you suck, but we can't do anything."

And then on Friday, we'll be running through 10-man Dragon Soul before we'll be returning to FL for the subsequent portions of the Dragonwrath quest (and also collecting Embers for a new person).
jadedmusings: (Sherlock - Moriarty omgwtf)
Everyone, meet Harry Readshaw, a (supposed) Democratic member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives (36th District). Mr. Readshaw recently co-sponsored Pennsylvania's HB1077, a bill that would require women seeking abortions to undergo endovaginal ultrasounds (something that's becoming a disturbing trend of late). One of his pro-choice constituents decided to email Mr. Readshaw and let him know in no uncertain terms that not only is he terribly misguided when it comes to women and their reproductive rights, but that he has also lost her vote.

So far this sounds pretty much what probably happens with any piece of legislation to pass through any state house, right? There's a bill or a proposed bill, voters either like it or hate it, and they then decide to let their representatives know how much they like it or hate it. Oh, but that's not enough for Mr. Readshaw. He apparently was so terribly affronted that a voter--a female voter told him women are intelligent competent people capable of making their own medical choices that he personally sent her a hand-written letter. Not only that, he pulled up her name, address, and voting record and made mention of it in the letter.

I know you're thinking, "Jade, that's some real bullshit. You can't possibly be for real." And I'll tell you I wish that it wasn't real, but it happened to Amadi of Amaditalks (a pretty awesome lady I follow on Twitter).

On Tuesday, after liveblogging my read-through of Pennsylvania’s HB1077, the bill which would force unwanted endovaginal ultrasounds on most persons seeking an abortion in the state, I sent a scathing email to my state representative, Harry Readshaw, who is a co-sponsor of the bill. To be entirely fair, I dislike my representative a great deal. He’s nominally a democrat, yet he’s entirely anti-choice, he also introduced a copy of the Arizona “papers please” anti-immigrant bill in this legislative session. I don’t know why he calls himself a democrat, but he does, and I hold him accountable.

[...]

Today, I received an oversized manilla envelope from Rep. Readshaw. Inside was a printout of HB 1077, a printout of some database’s information about me, indicating where I live, that I’m not the head of the household (why/how it knows this I do not know) and a few other things about me, like ethnicity, that no elected official should or needs to know. I’m going to have to get to the bottom of that.

As if that weren't enough in and of itself, Mr. Readshaw also discloses private medical information about his own daughter's reproductive status in a particularly heinous way of saying, "If she can't have babies, why should other women get to kill them?" (I shit you not.)

Seriously, this guy needs to be kicked out of office post-haste, like yesterday. And if you're in PA and are one of his constituents, you too can email him and tell him what a douchebag he is. Or, write to him.

Representative Harry A. Readshaw
1917 Brownsville Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15210

or
Room 122 Irvis Office Building
House Box 202020
Harrisburg, PA 17120-2020

If you’re inclined to call or fax:

Call: 412-881-4208 or 717-783-0411
Fax: 412-886-2077 or 717-705-2007

And if anyone knows who Amadi should contact or where to report this to, please visit her Tumblr and let her know.
jadedmusings: (NCIS - Ziva Anger)
I just had a Paul-lite tell me on Twitter that Ron Paul would leave abortion up to the states and that if I don't like it, I could just move out of the Bible Belt.

Sure, okay, let's assume I can just uproot my family, move away from people I genuinely like and love, move away from an area of the country I love and have lived my entire life. Where shall I move to? Where is the magical state where women's reproductive rights are not being attacked? In 2011, "all 50 states introduced more than 1,100 reproductive health and rights-related provisions."

All. 50. States. Even freaking Massachussettes, a state responsible for the Kennedys, had legislation related to reproductive rights.

And even if I wanted to move, what about poor women, or women who can't move for any variety of reasons (let's ignore the fact that "I don't want to move" is a valid fucking reason to stay where you are)? Do I leave them to be forced to carry unwanted pregnancies to term? Leave them to fend for themselves as far as caring for those children's basic needs? Let's face it, Ron Paul isn't a fan of social welfare either, and if left up to the states, who is going to put out the money to clothe and feed those children? Do I sit from my privileged position and sneer condescendingly at them over the internet and say "Just move if you don't like it"?

Roe V. Wade wasn't some magical thing that let abortions happen. Abortions were already happening. In countries where abortion is illegal, abortion still happens. Women die because they are not given access to safe, legal abortions and they try to do it themelves. And let's not beat around the bush about this, those "personhood" legislative measures that keep cropping up? They're worded in such a way that hormonal birth control could be construed as illegal because of a chance it might not let a fertilized egg implant in the uterine wall. It certainly rules out IUDs.

I was also told there are more issues important than abortion I should worry about. Put another way it's the old "You're being a one-issue voter" argument that gets trotted out whenever women like me get all offended at being told we should relinquish control over our bodies for the greater good. You're damn straight I'm a one-issue voter on issues that affect the way I live my life, the way I can plan my future. I hope I'll never need an abortion, but you know what? I might some day. I need afforable access to birth control, and that might one day include an abortion. Even if I don't, other women will need it. It's not a belief or an idea, it's a motherfucking fact of life. And it's not just abortion access as I said, these anti-choicers want to take away my contraception too. They want to ensure I am forced not only to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term, but that I can't even prevent that pregnancy and abortion in the first place. In this case, the personal is political because it's my physical body that's at stake here.

Look, I get the appeal for smaller government. It's a nice idea, except smaller government appears to be conditional. Government shouldn't get its hands on your money ("Down with the IRS!") or dictate how you conduct business ("Fuck the EPA!"), but if you own a uterus, government ought to be able to shove a dildo up your vagina against your consent ("All life is precious...unless they want my tax dollars to pay for food and medical care!").

And this is leaving aside the huge issue that Ron Paul is a huge goddamned racist. That alone ought to be disqualification enough, but as I sadly learned this morning from someone in real life, that's not the case. Being Libertarian is good enough apparently.

Fuck all of y'all right now. Goddamn.
jadedmusings: (NCIS - Gibbs Headslap)
Jim C. Hines, author of The Stepsister Scheme, which I adored, made (yet another) excellent post about victim blaming and shaming entitled "Don't Be a Victim!"

I’m a pretty strong supporter of the idea of self-defense. I enrolled my daughter in karate years ago. (This is how I ended up taking it as well.) She eventually dropped out, but I hope she retained at least some of the basics: things like a willingness to be loud, fight back, and raise a fuss.

[...]

But I have a problem with … let’s call it a certain philosophy about self-defense, one best summed up by the phrase, “Don’t be a victim!” The assumption being that if you follow all of this training, then you’ll be safe … and as a direct corollary, if you’re assaulted, then it’s because you didn’t remember your training. I.e., it’s your own fault.

How often have we seen and heard that phrase? Don’t be a victim! Like it’s all about the victim’s choice. “Gosh, I’m bored and there’s nothing good on TV. Guess I’ll go get myself assaulted.” Why the hell do we so rarely see, “Don’t be a rapist!” or “Don’t be a batterer!”

He makes other excellent points and also mentions how, statistically speaking, you are far more likely to be assaulted by someone you know, someone you trust than you are by some complete stranger. It's not always so easy to raise a hand to someone you love, and I know from experience that sometimes, you're just so shocked that you freeze up and can't scream "NO!" and fight back.

The post was up for less than an hour before we get this "lovely" comment:

On another level, though, Mr. Miyagi says, "Best defense, not be there." A man or woman can do a lot to improve their safety through being aware of situations. Even in our small and pretty-safe town, there are places and times I avoid. Simple prudence isn't just for women, and isn't just about rape.

*headdesk, headdesk, headdesk*

As I told him, Jim's entire point with the post was that you can follow all the rules, stay in the "safe" areas, and live your life in a little bubble, but it ultimately will not guarantee that you won't be a victim. Women know the narrative "Don't be a victim!" all too well. Ask any woman who's planning to go out at night by herself what she thinks about. Ask any woman who's ever gone to a bar either alone or with friends what sorts of precautions she takes. You will get a list about as long as your arm of everything that's at the back of their minds. "Stay in a well-lit area. Walk with my keys between my fingers. Don't go to X place after Y time. Call a friend so they know where I am. Don't let my drink out of my sight/Better not drink at all in case someone either drugs me or I have too much and get taken advantage of." The trouble is that all these rules are supposed to protect us, but that's the big lie. Ultimately, "simple prudence" will only take us so far. Once an abuser/robber/attacker enters the picture, all bets are off, and more often than not that abuser/rapist/attacker is someone we know, someone we're supposed to trust to protect us from the stranger lurking in a dark alley.

A room full of women drinking an entire keg of beer and getting completely smashed will not rape themselves. The woman walking through a dark parking garage after getting off work won't mug herself, either. And the single mom barely scraping by who has to live in the "bad part" of town isn't going to randomly decide to attack herself one night for shits and giggles. Victims do not make themselves victims, the perpetrators of the crimes are the ones who create the victims.

In short, don't bring your paternalistic attitude into a post about victim blaming and sneer, "But I (a man) avoid being assaulted all the time because I know how to stay safe!" Fuck you and the horse you rode in on.
jadedmusings: (ATLA - Toph Rocks Fall)
First, my latency is all over the place, which made doing one random Hour of Twilight loads of fun with random lag spikes. My DPS suffered a bit as a result, and I almost didn't move out of the "bad stuff" fast enough in Well of Eternity. At least at the end of all that aggravation, I got the Looking For Multitudes achievement and got my Perky Pug. Now I can watch it drag its butt across Fireland when we raid there (no, seriously, it drags its butt over the ground/floor at random moments).

Second, close to 9:00 (AKA raid time), I'm the only person in vent and one of our raiders logs on and informs me he's been hacked. I'd just happened to notice not half and hour before that one of his lesser used alts was online. Cue half an hour of demoting his main and all his alts to limit his guild bank privileges (though not before the hacker managed to steal several stacks of gems and assorted gear from every tab this member had access to). Because the hacker also got his battle.net password AND reset the security question, I had to put in a ticket for him. Believe it or not, Blizz responded in under 15 minutes and he's slowly sorting out the emails to find out what was taken from him.

I spend a few minutes tabbing out to make a post on the officer forums and going through the bank log to make a list of everything we lost. And seriously, I'm more upset at who got hacked than I am that a member of our guild got hacked. I mean, yeah, I'd be upset for any member of Steadfast getting hacked, but this person has always been super awesome and just...why does it happen to the nice ones? (And I'm not just saying that because he has an alt who heals, either.)

Third, by the time all that's done, it's 9:30 and it's clear there will be no raid tonight due to lack of sign ups, the hacking, and one other person logging in to say he won't be raiding with us all weekend because it's his wife's birthday an he forgot. (Seriously, why couldn't he be hacked? Kidding!) I try to do Dragon Soul (raid finder), and managed to do one boss, but the freaking lag spikes are just awful. It hurts my DPS (though I still managed to come out in the top five, ahem--yes, damnit, I'm going to brag because Folami is a boss). I just decide it's too freaking frustrating, and at this point the only really great gear I can get anymore would be the Cunning of the Cruel trinket. I leave the raid and figure I'll do it tomorrow when, hopefully, my latency is better.

Fourth, managed to get a new alt invited to the guild. Tumelo is a Troll shaman who will be an RP character (more on that at a later date) and who, I hope, will be the first one I'll be leveling via the dungeon finder as...a healer. I still want to try tanking with Savitry, but I just don't know right now. I figure if I level with Tumelo in dungeons as a healer, there won't be that much of a learning curve by the time I get to 85.

And to top it all off, in real-life the kiddo has the same cold I had and he has no voice (he stayed home from school today and vegged out on the couch, an usual occurrence), we looked at a new house for rent today that we might be getting as soon as I can get the money together. (*Fingers crossed.*)

All this and I'm only an RP officer.
jadedmusings: (Sherlock - Yes that's porn)
I've been reading Wizard's First Rule by Terry Goodkind. The book has been engaging, the plot moves at a good pace, and apart from some eye-rolling at the gender stereotyping when it comes to the Confessors (women are maternal, ergo they're always compassionate and empathetic; men are biologically incapable of learning these traits and are always power hungry and prone to abusing their power) and a lot of fantasy cliches (including the straight-up Gollum rip-off), I've been enjoying it.

And then...suddenly, femme domme leather S&M! Not. Even. Kidding.

If you've read the book, you should know I'm referring to the Mord-Sith. I am being totally serious when I say I nearly threw the book across the room and stopped reading entirely. The thing is, I would have been okay with it if there'd been any sort of warning that it was coming. Before this, any mentions of torture and abuse happened off-screen, or they were covered with a few sentences that weren't just descriptive enough to get the point across without being explicit. Then, Richard was captured by Deena--excuse me, Mistress Deena, and we are treated to roughly forty pages (not an exaggeration) of Richard being tortured brutally both physically and psychologically, and from their first "lesson," it's quite obvious Deena is a sadist and is getting off on Richard's pain. We're all but told, "Deena is getting wetter each time she makes Richard scream." The only good thing I can say about the scenes is that we at least got a fade to black before the actual sex (because of course, Richard is so awesome that Deena wants to make him her "mate").

Truthfully, it felt like I was an unwilling participant in Goodkind's sexual fantasy, and it left me feeling vaguely nauseous and horrified. When I wasn't revolted from the sudden left turn into Kinky Town, I was rolling my eyes at Deena's over-the-top characterization. Cliche doesn't begin to describe what she is. And to be brutally honest, I could probably find better written S&M with less cartoonish dommes on Literotica (and I have in the past).

I forced myself to keep reading, to get through it, and then got pissed off all over again at how this "conflict" is resolved. Richard gets to learn how to master the Sword of Truth, and then he has to kill Deena (which, she actually wants him to because, you know, it's the only way to truly "save" her since she's so "broken"). Of all the ways for him to figure out that particular mystery, we had to suffer through all those pages of descriptive sadistic torture. Other than that, this whole scenario serves no purpose to help the plot. Well, okay, a half-assed way to get Richard and Darken Rahl in the same room, too. And then, Richard simply walks out of D'Hara after killing Deena and another dominatrix Mord-Sith who helped Deena torture him.

When Sam was talking about his favorite characters and aspects of the series, he mentioned the Mord-Sith. Given that it was Sam, I was thinking I'd encounter an elite assassin group, or some other super bad-ass soldiers who strike fear into the hearts of everyone just by mentioning their name. This was totally not what I expected. At all. (Sam, sweetie, I love you, but I am giving you the side-eye so hard over this.)

I am going to finish the book. I'm less than 100 pages from the end. At this time, I'm not sure if I'll read the second book. I might give it a shot. As I said, up until the Mord-Sith, it wasn't terrible, and I was actually mostly enjoying it.

(And if anyone wants to accuse me of being prudish, or try to say I don't "get kink," I'm warning you in advance, I am going to point and laugh and mock you publicly here on my journal.)
jadedmusings: (NCIS - Tim Doubts Your Sincerity)
First, the good: Kiddo is officially out of school for the holidays. Hooray!

The ranting: Started sneezing this morning and have been having random sneezing fits throughout the day. Usually this is a sign that I am headed for a head cold, right when I don't need it. Not only is Mom coming up here Sunday and we have to clean the house, I'm also supposed to be meeting Sam's maternal grandparents for the first time. Great first impression, huh? "Hi, nice to meet you. Pardon me while I blow my nose and try not to cough all over you and the food."

Oh, and did I mention I'm making my mother's semi-famous corn and string bean casserole, my grandmother's no-bake pumpkin pie, and candied yams? I really, really, really hope the sneezing has been some sort of fluke.

And I'm just grumpy after dealing with jerks in LFR (hey, asshats, rp is not "gay," though it is pretty damned fabulous) in WoW and then having guildies forget to invite me to the second half of Dragon Soul. I'll probably run it by myself tomorrow and just hope I don't have to deal with too many jerks. Didn't help that the first part of it I lagged horribly because, apparently, even when a download is capped, WoW doesn't like ANYTHING to be using bandwidth. (Strangely enough, it's fine with someone running another MMO--Sam was playing CoH--but downloads? To paraphrase Little John from BBC's Robin Hood "Downloads it does not like!")

Anyway, I bought two new books, found some Nag Champa incense at the Asheville Mall today (I've been out for months), and some lavender oil on the cheap. Santa, however, was a no go. Kiddo didn't really want to go because he reasoned he'd already sent Santa an email and got a response, so why repeat what the man already knows? (That, and I suspect he's been feeling more and more self conscious about talking to strangers lately.) We were going to insist he do it anyway, but $21 was the cheapest picture package and that plus the probably half-hour to hour wait in line was so not going to be worth it.

Also, the kiddo got Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz today (seasonally appropriate, I know), which I'm eager to read to him because, holy cow, nostalgia like whoa. I used to own all three and read them over and over and over. The first time my third grade teacher read "The Thing" to us, it terrified me so much I had to get Mom to reassure me that night. And then...I wanted more.
jadedmusings: (BtVS - Buffy does not approve)
...it's that there are "not many women in gaming." And I'm tired of hearing it because it's complete and utter bullshit.

There are women in gaming, we're just underrepresented. Add to it that we're not advertised to, (or if we are it's for games designed for "girls") and people seem to think that if they aren't targeting us, we must not be there to target.

But we are. We're on our consoles, our computers, rolling dice across a tabletop, or we're on an MMO measuring our DPS alongside our male counterparts. Trouble is, as much as we are there, we're also quiet.

Gaming isn't just for boys, but they sure like to pretend it is. It's a hostile environment for women. We must field the constant "jokes" of "Tits or GTFO," or "Do you have a boyfriend?" There's the constant rape jokes and rape comparisons, and it's done around women who are highly likely to have been assaulted or raped in their life. If we make a mistake, it's because we're women. If we out perform the men, we're subject to rape or death threats. They aren't serious, we're told, but that doesn't take away the fear that one of them might not be joking. And if we aren't being threatened, we must endure insults that we're fat or ugly or both.

Next time you hear there aren't any women in gaming or who are interested in gaming, take a long hard look at the company you keep and their attitudes. And then look a little harder around you and you might be surprised at just how many women are.
jadedmusings: (Sherlock - Laptop intervention)
Someone needs to take me off Twitter, STAT.

There's this hash tag, #mencallmethings, where (mostly feminist) women bloggers are posting the various abusive comments they have received from men. It's pretty eye-opening if you don't hang out in progressive circles, or you've never read a woman's blog regularly to see the sort of comments she attracts. If you are a woman/know a woman who interacts with men online, it'll just be depressing and totally not surprising. (If you go to Twitter, please note HUGE Trigger Warnings apply.)

It didn't take long before at least one tweeter decided to stand up for men and call the hash tag "anti-men" and "misandrist."

Please, enlighten me as to how "Here's what male commenters have said to me" is anti-men? It always seems to be that the moment the word "men" is mentioned in any feminist discourse, anti-feminists immediately jump on it and scream, "But not ALL men do this!" No one said all men did anything. What we are saying is that men have said these awful misogynistic and sexist things, that men have threatened us with either death or rape, or men have wished rape upon us and mocked sexual abuse/assault survivors. What we are saying is that this is a problem, a huge problem that needs to be addressed.

A couple of other things I've seen:

If they're anonymous comments, how do you know it's men? We don't, but I can tell you from experience that some of the language I've encountered online is the same sort of language and attitude I've encountered in real life with real men. And also, perhaps some of those comments are from women, but even if there are, the overwhelming majority of them come from men, and that cannot and should not be ignored.

If you don't ignore the trolls, you're just going to encourage them. Actually, I tried to ignore the bullies in school too, but guess what? They just tried harder. Ignoring it doesn't stop bullying, and while it might discourage some, most bullies will pursue other avenues to get at you. Ignoring the problem allows other people to become victims and lets the bullies think this is acceptable behavior if not commendable. That shouldn't happen. Period.

I don't hate men. I hate some men. I fear some men. I don't want to be alone with a male stranger because men have abused me in the past. But I don't hate all men. If that's your take-away message from this, then you've missed the fucking point by a country mile.

Ow.

Oct. 24th, 2011 09:22 pm
jadedmusings: (BtVS - Buffy does not approve)
Dear right shoulder and arm,

Could you please pick another night to give me pain? I'll let you rest tonight, but tomorrow I have to do game stuff.

No love,

The rest of me.

I think I know what happened. I slept on my shoulder wrong last night and then I pushed it rather than rest it.
jadedmusings: (Sherlock - Don't fuck with my Watson)
Dear Wintèr of SWC,

Hi, see all that gear I'm wearing? It's raiding gear meaning I'm a PvE-er, not a PvPer. You got me when I put out the wickerman in Stormwind. Fair enough, I accepted that because I was doing the quest and knew I'd be flagged, but then you proceeded to camp my corpse and ganked me while I was trying to hearth back to Org. You would have gotten me a third time had my flag not worn off, but you still clucked like a chicken at me.

No, I'm not a chicken, I just know I'm not geared and I sure as hell can't handle you when I'm just rezzed and not even at full health and mana. See, I don't want to do PvP because as bad as pugs are, the PvP assholes are worse.

That is, I wasn't planning to PvP until today. Tonight I am going to be reading up on how to play a Warlock in PvP. I can tailor some of my own PvP gear easily enough and my guild has some awesome PvPers eager to bring me to the dark side teach me the basics. Mark my words, I'm only going to do this so I can totally pwn your ass for being a jerk.

By the way, looking forward to seeing you try Undercity. I hope someone is as much of an asshole as you were to me.

The Belf 'Lock plotting your doom,

Folami
jadedmusings: (NCIS - Tim Doubts Your Sincerity)
Right, so is it just me or does anyone else get annoyed by this idea of "Light = Purity, therefore to wield it, you must be celibate"? I'm speaking purely in fantasy settings which, supposedly, has none of our religious dogma and/or trappings. Plus, as a feminist--hell, as a woman, I loath viewing sex as something that can stain a person and/or make them impure, and if you can't figure out why that pisses me off royally, have you even been reading this journal?

My paladin (Salih) is decidedly not celibate. He's not taking a warm body home every night, yet he'll be the first to say he's not dead. Hell, he's not even completely straight, and his vows did not preclude the opportunity to have a family. The reason he didn't take his vows years ago was because his wife-to-be was a Warlock and there was some tension in his family and silly notions about working with demons being a danger. (Yeah, about that...)

Leaving Azeroth and looking to the FFRPG campaign OLAD, I had Clotho. She was a white mage, an accomplished healer, and so damned good she refused to take a life. Ever. Yes, even that evil thing that nearly killed her and her unborn child. She chose forgiveness and turning the other cheek. (Her husband, however...)

And while she'd never publically admit it, she was incredibly kinky and had quite an, ahem, active sex life. She worried about many things, namely sharing a husband with other women and the family dynamic of that, but amazingly she never once considered being a naughty girl in the bedroom would ever impede her ability to wield holy magic.

If there is an established set of rules a "Light wielder" must adhere to in the setting, then by all means, play that angle. Yet, if there is no such rule established, can it hurt to, you know, expand the horizons a little, explore what it might be like if sex were just something people had if they wanted to and ignored if they didn't? That sex is only as dirty as you want it to be and it can be a healing, holy experience all its own?

Just saying.
jadedmusings: (ATLA - Toph Rocks Fall)
Dear Certain Commenters to a Review at Dear Author,

I assure you those of us who found the rape in this book offensive aren't ignorant of history. Women especially know rape was and still is a tool of war. We know our history as being treated as property and that in war our bodies were forfeit to the men with power. We know children were raped and abused. We also know it still happens.

But that doesn't mean an author gets to portray rape, child rape especially, as positive or as a given.

Every time we walk across a dark parking lot at night, we think about rape. Any time we go to a bar and order a drink, we think about rape. When we go on a date with someone new, we think about rape. If we're at a bus stop or on the subway, we're looking around to see if there's a potential rapist following us home. If I turn on the news and see a report about the Sudan or Darfur, I hear how so many women are being raped as a weapon of war. Child-sex trafficking is alive and well in various parts of the globe.

So yes, we have every right to demand better from writers, to demand more accurate portrayals of history. Rape happened in the past, it still happens now with alarming frequency. Rape is still a weapon of war and women are still considered part of the spoils of war. That doesn't excuse rape or make it okay. Rape never has been and never will be okay.

This isn't a personal vendetta against the author, nor are we trying to white wash history. We're saying that we're fucking sick of this bullshit and that we demand better and expect more.

Fuck you if you think we don't know or think about how much rape happens. One in six of us has been raped and it's not something we ever forget.

Take your own advice and read up on history and current events. And while you're at it, step on a few legos barefoot.

Fuck you very much,

Jade

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Wrathful and Unrepentant Jade

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