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: (ATLA - Chibi :D)

Dear Pixar,

Please, pretty please with caramel and chocolate sauce and sugar on top, DO NOT FUCK THIS UP!!!



P.S.: The fact that my son who swears there are boy things and girl things (and never shall the twain meet--Mommy doesn't count as a girl apparently) wants to see it speaks volumes to your animation. Again, don't fuck it up.
jadedmusings: (NCIS - Gibbs Headslap)
Scalzi fucking nails it:

You know, there’s a part of me who looks at the actions of each of non-raping grown men in the “Pennsylvania State University small-child-allegedly-being-raped-by-a-grown-man-who-is-part-of-the-football-hierarchy” scandal and can understand why those men could rationalize a) not immediately acting in the interests of a small child being raped, b) not immediately going to the police, c) doing only the minimum legal requirements in the situation, d) acting to keep from exposing their organization to a scandal. But here’s the thing: that part of me? The part that understands these actions? That part of me is a fucking coward. And so by their actions — and by their inactions — were these men.

Every bit of new information in this story sickens me just a little more. If ONE adult in any of this had acted as they should have, just ONE, how many children would have been spared vicitimization?
jadedmusings: (Sherlock - You see you just don't observ)
[TRIGGER WARNINGS apply for this entire post for child sexual abuse/assault.]

I'm reading through the grand jury report on Sandusky (PDF) (well, skipping over the more gruesome parts), and I read this:

Before Victim 1 ceased contact with Sandusky, Sandusky routinely had contact with him at a Clinton County high school where the administration would call Victim 1 out of activity period/study hall in the late afternoon to meet with Sandusky in a conference room. No one monitored these visits. Sandusky assisted the school with coaching varsity football and had unfettered access to the school.


[Steve] Turchetta [an assistant principal at Victim 1's high school] said it was not unusual for him, as assistant principal, to call a Second Mile student out of activity period at the end of the day, at Sandusky's request, to see Sandusky. He knew of several students who were left alone with Sandusky, including Victim 1. [...] Turchetta testified that Sandusky would be "clingy" and even "needy" when a young man broke off the relationship he had established with him and called the behavior "suspicious." [Emphasis Mine]

This was in 2007-2008. Remember, Mike McQueary witnessed Sandusky sexually assaulting a 10-year-old boy in the showers--I'm sparing you the grand jury report on that incident, but it's at the link too and it's way worse than the "sexual assault" implies--in March 2002.

McQueary failed to intervene and stop the assault, though he said Sandusky and the boy saw him enter the locker room, according to the report.

Instead, McQueary, then a 28-year-old graduate assistant, went to Paterno with the allegation. Paterno, the report said, alerted athletic director Tim Curley, fulfilling a legal obligation, but did not alert the authorities, shirking a moral one.

This is a different victim from the one I'm reading about in the grand jury report linked above. Five and six years later, Sandusky was still coaching and had "unfettered access" to a high school. That'll give you nightmares.

Back to the grand jury report, I found something even more disturbing. After McQueary reported what he witnessed in the showers in 2002, which according to testimony from Tim Curley, Penn State Athletic Director, was reported to him by McQueary as merely "horsing around" and "inappropriate"--and doesn't that make you wonder who is telling the truth?--here's what action was taken, plus a little extra tidbit about Sandusky's past prior to 2002:

[Gary] Schultz [then-Senior Vice President for Finance and Business at Penn State] testified that he and Curley agreed that Sandusky was to be told not to bring any Second Mile children into the football building and he believed that he and Curley asked "the child protection agency" to look into the matter. Schultz testified that he knew about an investigation of Sandusky that occurred in 1998, that the "child protection agency" had done, and he testified that he believed this same agency was investigating the 2002 report by the graduate assistant [McQueary]. Schultz acknowledged that there were similarities between the 1998 and 2002 allegations, both of which involved minor boys in the football showers with Sandusky behaving in a sexually inappropriate manner. Schultz testified that the 1998 incident was reviewed by the University Police and "the child protection agency" with the blessing of the then-University counsel Wendell Courtney. [...] Schultz confirmed that University President Graham Spanier was apprised in 2002 that a report of an incident involving Sandusky and a child in the showers on campus had been reported by an employee. Shcultz testified that Spanier approved the decision to ban Sandusky from bringing children into the football locker room and the decision to advise The Second Mile of the 2002 incident. [Emphasis Mine]

Right, so in 1998 they were aware of an investigation by the child protection agency and after 2002 the most action taken was to...bar Sandusky from the showers? Victim 1 testified that he was abused in Sandusky's home, so taking away access to the showers did absolutely squat to prevent further abuse. In fact, doing next to nothing seems to be a recurring theme in this entire nightmare.

Although Schultz oversaw the University Police as part of his position, he never reported the 2002 incident to the University Police or other police agency, never sought or reviewed a police report on the 1998 incident and never attempted to learn the identity of the child in the shower in 2002. No one from the University did so. Schultz did not ask the graduate assistant [McQueary] for specifics. No one ever did. Schultz expressed surprise upon learning that the 1998 investigation by University Police produced a lengthy police report. Schultz said there was never any discussion between himself and Curley about turning the 2002 incident over to any police agency.


Department of Public Welfare and Children and Youth Services local and state records were subpoenaed by the Grand Jury; University Police records were also subpoenaed. The records reveal that the 2002 incident was never reported to any officials, in contravention of Pennsylvania law. [Emphasis Mine]

So that entire argument that Paterno/University officials et. al did everything they were supposed to do, that everyone in this case did what they were supposed to do? Complete and utter bullshit. All of it.

And that, dear friends, is the point where I think I need to stop reading this because, quite frankly, it's only 9:30 AM on a Thursday which means it's too early to start drinking.

If this is not an example of a cover-up, then surely this is evidence of extreme incompetence at every fucking level. Victim 1, Victim 2, and their families were failed at every level by the adults they were supposed to trust with their/their children's safety and well-being. Children who may never have been victimized had this been addressed as it should were victimized, horribly so. Nothing was done to stop this. It was more important to protect the university's reputation and to keep the football team from being damaged. The lives of those children were seen as less important than the interests of the football team.

You know, maybe the rules and laws say that Paterno did what he was supposed to do, McQueary too (even though the grand jury report indicates otherwise). But when you do report and you see nothing done (never mind that you actually saw it physically happen in front of you and you did nothing), shouldn't there be a moral obligation to report it to authorities? Why does there have to be a fucking law telling you to do the right thing?

And because Paterno was rightly fired, now students are protesting and think it's unfair that he can't coach another game. Paterno is "disappointed" in his firing. I suppose asking he be disappointed in himself and his failure to report and prevent the abuse of several children is too much to ask.

ETA: Jesus fucking christ. In 2000 a janitor saw Sandusky orally assaulting a boy and...he reported it to janitorial staff. As to who that victim is, he's "Vcitim 8" and his identity is unknown. There are victims tesitfying about abuse as early as 1994.

What the fucking fuck, people? All that's happening is that Paterno and Spanier are getting fired. They aren't being charged. There is no goddamned justice in this world. None.
jadedmusings: (Supernatural - Castiel pass the ammuniti)
Some good news before I turn in for the night.

The state of Mississippi has now provided the answer to an interesting political test: How severe must a proposed piece of pro-life legislation be, for it to fail in the Deep South?

Voters on Tuesday rejected ballot Initiative 26, which would have defined personhood as beginning at fertilization. With 63% of the vote reporting, the ‘No’ position is leading by a margin of 57%-43%, and has been projected as the winner by the Associated Press.

The proposal, initiated through petitions by pro-life activists, would have outlawed not only abortion but many forms of birth control that can prevent the uterine implantation of a fertilized egg.


However, even in this very conservative and religious state, the ‘No’ campaign successfully mobilized against it by explaining to voters what such a law would mean if actually put into practice. For example, the proposal made no exceptions for abortion in the sensitive situations of rape or incest.

And what was more, such a law would have forbidden medically necessary abortions even in cases where a fetus could not be viable, and where a woman’s life would be at risk. The ‘No’ campaign successfully highlighted the example of an ectopic pregnancy, a condition where an embryo implants in the fallopian tubes rather than the uterus — resulting in a pregnancy that will not only fail to develop into a viable baby, but if left untreated will result in the woman’s death.

In some ways I hate that these things don't fail based on the idea that women have every right to obtain a legal medical procedure without any interference from the government, but in a year that's been extremely scary for women's rights, this was a bit of good news.
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.
jadedmusings: (BtVS - Buffy does not approve)
Via Blog For Choice:

Anti-choice Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) just filed an anti-choice amendment to a bill related to agriculture, transportation, housing, and other programs. The DeMint amendment could bar discussion of abortion over the Internet and through videoconferencing, even if a woman's health is at risk and if this kind of communication with her doctor is her best option to receive care.

Under this amendment, women would need a separate, segregated Internet just for talking about abortion care with their doctors. [Emphasis in Original]

It's unsurprising this comes from Senator DeMint, who was elected even after he said unwed mothers and gays should be banned from teaching. Still, it's more than a little galling that a man who comes from a state with many, many rural areas where residents have to travel long distances for specialized treatment (where I'm from, a minimum of an hour's worth of driving is expected for anything beyond the flu) can't expect that this has a potential to endanger the health of women. That's not even mentioning the fact that it's no one fucking business what legal medical procedures a doctor discusses with his/her patient!

Lest you start laughing at the idiocy and think this is an isolated incident or that it has no chance of passing, remember that this year alone has seen more anti-choice measures on the state and federal level than any year since 2000. And this is with a Democrat, ostensibly the "pro-choice party," sitting in the White House.

The U.S. Senate could vote on the DeMint amendment as early as today. And even though we have strong pro-choice leaders in the Senate, only 40 out of the 100 senators are fully pro-choice.

Stand up today: call your senators at 202-421-3121 and tell them to oppose the DeMint amendment (#768) to H.R.2112.

That this comes on the heels of the "Let Women Die" bill just further proves women are under attack in this country.
jadedmusings: (Supernatural - Castiel pass the ammuniti)
Because I live under a rock, I'm only just now getting around to reading Moon Called by Patricia Briggs. I've heard good things about the Mercy Thompson series and figured I'd give it a shot since it has werewolves (and vampires), and I did need something totally different while I give myself a breather from reading Stephen King's Dark Tower series (I've read the first two thus far).

The writing is good and the plot is interesting despite not making me white knuckle the book and putting me on the edge of my seat. But of course, there's something that's bugging me and it's something I see in a lot of paranormals with werewolves, and that's this excusing of bad behavior on the part of the males.

Look, I get that werewolves aren't technically supposed to be humans. In most books about them, they might start out as human and are then transformed, but the end result is that they are other, no longer 100% human. Most retain some sense of their humanity and make a point of interacting with humans, or are at least forced to live alongside humans and exist in their world peacefully. So, with that in mind, can we please stop using biology to excuse horrible misogynistic, sexist, and violent behavior?

In Moon Called, Mercy remarks that un-mated females are lower than males (and so far, it's only hetereosexual couples I've seen mentioned). Always. A female werewolf can only gain rank by pairing up with a male who has power. She remarks that even though she isn't in Adam's (the Alpha of her region) pack, he talks down to her and expects her to act submissive (i.e. no direct eye contact). Mercy does this to avoid getting harmed because, well, werewolves just can't help it. It's in their biology to be violent and dominant, and gee, doesn't this sound familiar?

Perhaps a werewolf would have more biologically-based reasons to respond with violence to a perceived slight, and perhaps the females of their wild cousins are supposedly always submissive when not paired up*, but for fuck's sake they're still at least partially human and show they can control their beast so they're not out running on rampages. You've even mentioned this several times that with a strong dominant/Alpha around, they're under control. So why do the males get the same pass we give men in real life. "Oh, it's just their testosterone makes them that way! They can't help but be aggressive!"

Bull. Fucking. Shit. Stop excusing bad behavior. Maybe male werewolves are assholes because, well, they're being assholes. We don't need to excuse it. If you'd just said, "They're jerks and I don't want the hassle of a confrontation," I'd be fine with it. At least then you'd still be calling it what it was and not excusing what should be inexcusable behavior.

Yes, I get that it's fantasy/fiction, but that's why I think I should expect to escape the crap I deal with in real life. And your mileage may vary.

* = And I don't believe this is true. Also what's not true are the whole notion of alphas and betas in wolf packs. More research is proving what we've thought of captive wolf behavior is not reflective of wild wolf. ...I'm not making sense there, am I? Colds suck.
jadedmusings: (Firefly - Women are awesome)
I'm not much into comics. I tried when I was younger and a tom boy, but there wasn't much out there for me, you know? Had I been a child when the internet took off, it might have turned out differently since I'd have access to a wider variety of entertainment and more information about how wide and varied comics can be and are.

Because I live under a rock as far as comics are concerned, I was only peripherally aware that DC was shaking things up and doing a huge reboot of its universe. Supposedly they were going to try and finally tap into that female audience they've never quite reached. The results, however, were...well, less than stellar as Andew Wheeler notes in "No More Mutants: 52 Problems."

We’ve known for a while that the cover to the Catwoman reboot has the character lying on her back barefoot with her legs in the air, baring her cleavage and pouring sparkling white droplets over her boobs. It’s very tasteful. It sets the tone. She’s a thief, you see, and that’s what thieves do; at the end of a long day of thieving they lie on a rooftop and throw diamonds away. Erotically.

But if you still haven’t understood what sort of book this is going to be, the first panel of the first page gives the mission statement. It is boobs. Bosoms. Breasts. The first panel is framed not on the protagonist’s face, but on her brassiered chest. Page two ends on a shot of her derriere. It’s an action shot. Men are unloading their guns on her derriere. On the third story page Catwoman smashes through a window with one boob hanging out of her costume. One might note that she also has a cat hanging out of a box, but there is nothing semiotically sordid about that, no sir.

And it only gets better from there.

This article is a must read for feminists, comic fans, and feminist comic fans. Mr. Wheeler nails so many points on the head and is, simply, spot-on about what's wrong with Catwoman.

But it’s the final five pages that cement this book’s place in comic history, as Catwoman aggressively turns a visit from the Batman into a bat-booty-call, thus reducing years of sexual tension into good old drunken Halloween sex.

Now, when it comes to transparent attempts to pander to the sexual fantasies of fanboys, this one looks unusually progressive. The woman is clearly in control of the situation and is using the willing male for her own satisfaction. This must be what nerds think feminism looks like. The scene is dressed up as female empowerment, but it’s not there for female readers.

It's all well and good for a woman to be in charge of her sexuality, and I love seeing a woman who is allowed to be sexual, but this isn't it. And when her being sexually empowered (supposedly) is shown as the only way to be a strong, independent woman, I have huge issues. I especially have issues if she's spending part of the comic with a breast hanging out or constantly flashing panties. Even being a bisexual woman, I know these books were not made for me and are not pandering to me.

Finally, it's the last two paragraphs that say pretty much everything that needs to be said:

But it’s not the sole responsibility of women to somehow get themselves hired so they can write books that their nieces might buy. Men – yes, even straight ones – will have to make an actual effort to establish that diverse landscape in which some of the female characters do wear pants for 20 whole pages. The problem DC has right now is that too many of their creators decided that their book was going to be the one targeted to that all-important horny adolescent boys niche, and someone else could deal with stuff like ‘women’. Somehow the reboot seems to have set DC back about twenty years.


Diversity doesn’t happen because you think it should. Diversity happens when you make it happen. DC has said several times that one of its aims with the reboot was “to diversify as much as possible”. The question we have to ask is, what stopped you?

All I can say is "Word."
jadedmusings: (Sherlock - Don't fuck with my Watson)
Dear Asshats in the little red sedan:

If my truck door hit your precious little car, I'm terribly sorry. I think there was contact, but I had opened my car door slowly and carefully enough that it did not slam against it as you said. I know this might be hard to wrap your brain around, but I don't make a habit of hitting cars, and at first I thought you were trying to say I'd literally hit your car, which bewildered me because, well, I knew that hadn't happened.

Look, it was pouring down rain. I opened my car door carefully, making sure it wasn't going to slam against anything. Then I had to open my umbrella. I couldn't hear diddly squat except for the rain and my own thoughts. Hell, I thought the car was empty. (BTW, what were you and your friend doing just sitting in the parking lot? You weren't waiting on anyone that I could see, but boy were your friend's eyes red.) You then opened the door and immediately started out with, "OH, SO YOU'RE JUST GOING TO WALK AWAY AND NOT SAY ANYTHING?"

First, yes, I'm just going to walk away if I'm unaware I've done anything wrong. I didn't know or think I'd hit your precious baby and, well, I'm focused on getting my umbrella opened and getting the fuck out of the pouring rain. After some back and forth you ask for my license and insurance information and all I asked was to be able to get my son out the car and, unknown to you, to signal that hulking 6' 1" three hundred-pound gorilla waiting at the store's entrance wondering what's taking me so long.

Also, I was going to ask the police be called. Know why? Because you and your friend were intimidating me. You might not be criminals and you might not ever raise your hand to a woman, but I don't know that. I have been pushed around by men before, men who knew precisely what they were doing. Was it mentioning that I had a kid in the car that softened you? I doubt you realized you were being an asshat even after I explained that I didn't hear anything and I wasn't aware and if you'd just give me a second to speak--but no, you cut me off. That teeny tiny mark on your car that most insurance companies would cover without the need of someone else to blame. Also, again, there was no paint on my truck door and for a mark like that, even one that small, red paint should have clearly shown up on my gray door. I've had a car scraped by another's car door before and I know what to look for (granted, that was my mother's truck on a moving day for college, but still, same scenarior minus the asshats).

Some part of me wonders if you did see the gorilla at the store's entrance. I don't think you did, but I do know if he had been in the truck with me and got out with me, this whole thing probably wouldn't have happened, or you would have seriously scaled back your anger. I've seen men with chips on their shoulders around my boyfriend before. It's not because he's violent or that he even makes a threat, it's that it's usually very obvious in a cost-benefit analysis of a situation, it's going to hurt them way more in the long run to test him to see if he can defend himself.

And I hate you for that. I hate that you'd have been more respectful had I the physical strength to back it up. I hate that I was intimidated by a moron who thinks his car is an extension of his masculinity, that you believe I'm the sort of dishonest person who harms someone else's property and just walks away. You couldn't take two seconds to ascertain whether or not I knew what happened. We had to shout to be heard over the rain. You think I'm going to hear it if a car door dings another car?

If that little mark costs you more than fifty bucks to repair, you're going to the wrong auto detailer. And had you pushed for a report, I'd have called in the police to make it all official-like and to make sure you weren't going to push toward violence. Also, your friends red eyes might have been allergies, but again, why were you just sitting in the parking lot? Yeah, bet that's another reason you didn't want to wait and only wanted to yell at me.

Fuck you for making my nice afternoon out full of anxiety. For making me upset enough to feel my hands shaking and to make me feel like crying. Fuck you for making me fear for my son's safety too and make him frightened because a man was outside yelling at his mother and he didn't know what was going on.

Hoping you get a flat tire,


I hate people.
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.


Sep. 6th, 2011 08:33 am
jadedmusings: (Supernatural - Sam doubts that)
After the uproar DAJanuary's review of the self-published Spoil of War caused, guest reviewer Dhympna, a medieval historian, was invited by Sunita to read the book and grade it. The result was the book being ripped to shreds on its so-called historical accuracy, and that's without getting into the rape. Of course I expect Phoenix Sullivan's fans and sockpuppets to come out in droves again to defend this "masterpiece" and tell the reviewers they simply don't know what they're talking about.

One thing that annoyed me is that Sullivan was apparently comparing her work to Mists of Avalon, which is asinine to a severe degree.
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,

jadedmusings: (ATLA - Toph Rocks Fall)
In Texas it's apparently just too hard to expect men not to be misogynistic assholes. In fact it's so hard that if you're a woman wanting to attend a Battlefield 3 LAN party at one particular establishment, you're just S.O.L.

A large launch party and LAN for Battlefield 3 is being held in Texas, and women are disallowed from attending in order to protect them from misogynistic insults. While the original text in the FAQ has now been removed, the FAQ declared that women are not invited with the following statement:

Nothing ruins a good LAN party like uncomfortable guests or lots of tension, both of which can result from mixing immature, misogynistic male-gamers with female counterparts. Though we’ve done our best to avoid these situations in years past, we’ve certainly had our share of problems. As a result, we no longer allow women to attend this event.”

After being called out on this behavior on Reddit and on Kotaku, the text was removed and replaced by declaring the event as a ‘gentleman’s retreat’.

I was alerted to this via [community profile] girlgamers where the poster said "The reason seems to be that a girl gamer, and other MALE gamers, complained about some asshole who in conclusion got banned from the LAN party." I can't vouch for the veracity of this statement, but sadly it wouldn't surprise me if this was the case.

By banning women, you aren't solving the problem of sexist language. You're saying it's permissible so long as no woman is around to hear you say it, which it shouldn't be. Here's a hint: Just because nobody hears you saying offensive crap doesn't make it suddenly unoffensive. It's offensive no matter what, and offensive language carries social consequences.

Our findings demonstrate that sexist humor is not simply benign amusement. For men who have sexist attitudes it can create a perceived social norm of tolerance of discrimination against women, and as a result, increase personal tolerance of discrimination against women and even increase willingness to engage in sexist behavior without fears of disapproval.

Again, by banning women and not the language you've only become part of the problem you claim you're trying to address. Congratulations.

Also, I want to repeat something Tami B. said at the first link:

I will say that preventing women from attending gaming events doesn’t solve the problem with misogyny and hate speech towards them. Instead, it puts the blame on the women for even being present, and removes the obligation for men to be decent human beings who respect women gamers. It basically is saying that the organizers either don’t want to put the effort into policing language at their event, or don’t trust the men to be mature and responsible enough to adhere to event policies. [Emphasis added]

And that's the bottom line. Punish women for being women and treat men like children who are incapable of controlling themselves and their mouths. Sound familiar? It should. It's part of Rape Culture 101 and Misogyny 101. Men are animals with no self control and we can't expect any better out of them.

Now you see why only Toph could express my anger appropriately.
jadedmusings: (NCIS - Ziva Anger)
Hey, California Milk Processor Board. Yeah, you, over there. I saw your new ad campaign, and I have but two words for you.


Oh, forgive me, I'm upset probably because I'm PMSing, huh? Just one of those hysterical females at the mercy of her hormones. I mean, it's not like saying I had PMS or was on the rag was ever used as a way to dismiss me or to negate my feelings.

Oh wait, it was. Constantly. It didn't matter where I was in my cycle, either. By virtue of having a (mostly) functioning uterus, I was always at the mercy of my hormones and never was allowed to be angry, sad, or just plain upset because people in my life were being total and complete asshats. That my own parents hopped on the Blame PMS bandwagon fucked me up for years.

And ads like this do nothing but continue to reinforce the notion that women are irrational, hormonal, and just plain don't know what we want and as such we need men around to tell us what we're really thinking and feeling. Oh yeah, ha ha, it's a joke, but you see, people actually believe this shit and they're laughing because they think it's one of those "funny" facts of life. Were my father alive, I can guarantee you he would take one look at this ad, look at me, and go, "Well, yeah, but it's true and that's what makes it funny! Just look at you!" So thanks, California Milk Processor Board, for being part of the fucking problem and trying to set women back.

If I am mad, sad, or just plain upset, there's a fucking reason for it and it's not those mysterious terrifying hormones that are a part of my freaking biology. You don't get to invalidate my emotions just because it suits you or because it's easier to ignore me than to try and talk to me and admit you're actually wrong. $Deity forbid we actually encourage men to grow the fuck up and actually treat women like real people.

Change.org has a petition to stop this ad campaign.
jadedmusings: (ATLA - Toph Rocks Fall)
Dear New Hampshire,

Fuck you.


A woman who will endeavor to never travel to your state and/or spend a dime on any businesses in your state until you pull your heads out of your collective asses.

Explanation for the above starts here.

The six Planned Parenthood centers in New Hampshire stopped dispensing contraception last week after the Executive Council rejected a new contract with the organization.

Planned Parenthood had operated under a limited retail pharmacy license that was contingent on having a state contract, said Steve Trombley, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England. Two weeks ago, the all-Republican Executive Council voted 3-2 against a new contract that would have provided the organization $1.8 million in state and federal money for the two years starting this month.

Executive Councilor Dan St. Hilaire of Concord, who cast one of the three votes in opposition, said the contract should go to an organization that does not perform abortions. The councilors approved 10 other contracts for family planning services.

So in order to stop more abortions you take away Planned Parenthood's ability to help their patients prevent unintended/unwanted pregnancy which would likely go on to be aborted anyway. Yeah, makes perfect sense.

The Planned Parenthood contract, which accounts for about 20 percent of its annual New Hampshire budget, would have paid for education, distributing contraception, and the testing and treatment of sexually transmitted infections. The organization's abortion practice is paid for by private donations, Trombley said, with audits ensuring no public money is used.

But, oh my god you guys, they're still performing abortions! That's enough to punish people who otherwise wouldn't have access to education and treatment for STIs and contraception!

The center has turned away 20 to 30 patients a day who have arrived to refill their birth control prescriptions, said site manager Amanda Mehegan. She said some women have said they will stop taking birth control because they cannot afford the higher prices charged by pharmacies. Seventy percent of the center's patients lack private health insurance, she said.

Mehegan said she also worries the denied contract will lead to women with breast and cervical cancer going longer without a diagnosis, both because of direct cuts in funding for examinations and because many women are drawn to the center to pick up their birth control and then receive checkups.

But, but, abortions! Babies! Sex without consequences!!!!!

Anne Hildreth, a practitioner at the West Lebanon center who has worked for Planned Parenthood for 22 years, said her goal is to help prevent unwanted pregnancies. She questioned the rationale of limiting access to contraception in an effort to prevent abortions.

"It's crazy to not give women birth control if you want to stop women from having abortions," Hildreth said.

Who told you logic was invited to this conversation? How dare you make sound and well-reasoned arguments!

Another executive councilor who opposed the contract, Raymond Wieczorek of Manchester, said he had asked if the contract could exclude the issuance of condoms. Wieczorek said he supports paying to test for sexually transmitted diseases but does not believe the state should subsidize contraception.

"If they want to have a good time, why not let them pay for it?" he said.

... ... I can't even be sarcastic or funny with this one. Congratulations Mr. Raymond Wieczorek, you have utterly flabbered my ghast and rendered me speechless with your record-setting levels of douchebaggery.

You see, Mr. Wieczorek, those poor people who have the gall to want to bump uglies will pay for what you're doing. They're going to pay for it with STIs or other reproductive organ ailments they cannot afford to treat. They will be forced to bear children they do not want and cannot afford. And then you're going to whine and complain that you're paying for those increased medical costs, paying for those children to go to school and to eat, and then you're going to try and take their education away and rip the food right out of their greedy little mouths.

I wish people would stop pretending that all this anti-choice rhetoric and attack on abortion rights is anything other than a full on war against women and the poor. They hate women, yes they do.

Shakesville has more with added asshattery from Wisconsin.
jadedmusings: (BtVS - Buffy does not approve)
So, uh, we all know that I have a love/hate relationship with the Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher, yes? I've alluded to the issues I have with the sexism and misogyny present in the books, though I don't really go in depth here because I'm having those sorts of in-depth conversations in real life. Sam and I have had many positive and wonderful conversations about the books' portrayal of women and Harry's sexism and so perhaps I get most of it out of my system with a real-life fan of the series rather than posting it here.

(And yes, Sam does listen and perhaps has even learned a few things from our talks. In fact, I don't recall us ever really disagreeing on the problematic elements. Our biggest disagreement so far has probably been over our theories as to who shot J.R. [spoiler] at the end of Changes.)

But maybe I should have talked about it here and used inflammatory words like "Fuck you" and called out the misogyny and sexism and rubbed everyone's nose in it. Maybe I still should because there's no fail quite like author fail and it seems Mr. Butcher is in the mood to provide.

It begins, innocently enough, over on Tumblr. Unfortunately for poor Mr. Butcher, someone actually knows a thing or two about the layout of Chicago (rightly) takes issue with the geography presented in the books, and then there's a pretty big point made about the racism and classism inherit in one of the descriptions of Lincoln Hyde Park.

FUCK YOU, JIM BUTCHER. You have obviously never actually lived in Hyde Park. I bet you just walked around a little bit — maybe you walked along the edges of Washington Park, maybe you walked down 55th until you hit Cottage Grove. Did you walk along 53rd St and decide that this was “the worst a large city had to offer”? What made you think that?

Was it the Starbucks on the corner? Or the farmers market that happens every Thursday morning in the summer? The Aveda salon? Treasure Island, the expensive “European food market”?

Or was it the back door Latino club that sells empenadas and Latinoamericano magazines out of the back door every afternoon? The smoke shop with the cheap weaves on Styrofoam heads in the window? The crappy Mexican food shop that sells huge burritos for a buck? The 24 hour cheap grocery by the bus stop, where I bought my yogurt from because I couldn’t afford to shell out 5 dollars on fucking yogurt?

Naturally Mr. Butcher recognized his mistakes, issued an apology, and immediately promised to endeavor to correct both his poor geography and educate himself about privilege and racism.

Oh, wait, that was what should have happened. My apologies. Instead he invokes the tone argument as a reason not to listen to valid criticsm as presented by a marginalized person and he goes on the defensive over on Twitter. [livejournal.com profile] lucia_tanaka posted her conversation with Mr. Butcher here. It is, as you can expect, pretty much a demonstration of why the Privilege Denying Dude meme exists and is so popular.

I'd say I'm disappointed, but honestly having read the Dresden Files, I pretty much could have told you how something like this would have gone down. Don't get me wrong, I expect more and I'm glad other people are listening to what's being said even if that doesn't include Butcher himself. However, it would have been nice to be wrong, to see someone respond positively and acknowledge that polite phrasing isn't what makes a complaint valid or invalid. If something is racist or sexist, it's still racist or sexist whether I say "Please, sir, consider this," or, "Fuck you, asshole, here's where you're wrong." We've tried being polite and following the rules of engagement (rules, I might add, made by the ones with the privilege and the power), and look where it got us.

So, take a lesson from Mr. Butcher here. He's offering an excellent demonstration of how not to respond to criticism.

And if any of you want to try to tell me Harry isn't sexist or that sexism and misogyny aren't running rampant in the Dresden books, you might want to save your poor fingers because I will go on at length about Murphy, about Susan, and about Molly (oh boy, will I go on about Molly and the skeeviness surrounding her). I'll also touch on the rape-y undertones concerning the White Court vampires ("But oh my god Jade, they're succubi/incubi! It's supposed to be like that!").

If you're asking why I read this crap if it offends me, I'll tell you it's the same reason I watch Supernatural and why I watched BtVS even after the abysmal fail of season six (and no, I'm not referring to Buffy coming back from the dead). Because I like them in spite of myself and also because it gives me a chance to point out what's wrong and why it's wrong. If I didn't care about it, if I didn't love it, I would want it all to go away. Instead I want to see it do better because I think it can be better, because I want to believe the creative minds behind these loves of mine would prefer to know when they get it wrong so that they might improve their art and perhaps encourage people to talk about this stuff in real life.

Or maybe I read this shit and talk about it just to piss you off.
jadedmusings: (Sherlock - Wrong)
Disclaimer: This is not a post about whether or not it's okay to spank your child. This is about the attitudes about how children should behave in public and the perception that poor parenting is always to blame when a child isn't exhibiting perfect behavior.

I've made no secret of the fact the kiddo has a couple of developmental delays, one of which is a speech delay. He's always been an incredibly bright, happy, and well behaved child, but no child is ever perfect 100% of the time, and when he was a toddler and unable to effectively communicate his desires and needs, there were moments when he would become so frustrated with his inability to make us understand that he would tantrum. Sometimes these tantrums happened when we were out in public and there would be much screaming and crying and occasionally flailing as I tried to keep him from running away from me.

One day, after a long day on a family outing, exhaustion combined with a lack of positive reinforcement caught up with the kiddo (then three years old) while we were in the middle of Best Buy. The catalyst was that he wanted something and we failed to understand him. Unwilling to play the "Show me what you want" game, he had a meltdown right there in the middle of the family portion of the DVD section. Naturally this meant I could almost hear several dozen necks creaking as other customers slowly turned to stare at the Terrible Mother and Bratty Child who had dared to spoil their evening of milling around a public place. Per usual, the responsibility for getting the kiddo to calm down and use his words fell to me because, well, I'm mommy and had previous experience with this sort of thing prior to becoming a parent. (Any trace of bitterness directed toward my ex is not exactly imagined.)

It didn't take long for me to realize that the kiddo was way overstimulated and not going to calm down until he was completely removed from the situation and allowed several minutes to cool off. I'd been down this road plenty of times, though not always in public (minus an incident at an IHOP) and knew that I was going to have to carry him out the door whether he cooperated or not. On the way out the door some "enlightened" individual snidely remarked, "Well somebody needs a spanking!"

Had I not had my arms wrapped around a squirling and wailing child, said individual would have gotten an earful with regard to context and how hard it is to raise a child in this world without asshats regularly making commentary about what they think is wrong with either your child, your parenting, or both. Instead, I walked away to four years later bring it up again after reading through comments on a Shakesville post regarding CNN's LZ Granderson's most recent column yet again shaming parents (mostly mothers) for failing to properly beat their children into submission control their children in public spaces. And as with all pieces I've seen in this vein, there is never any sort of understanding that some children can't help but lose control, that parents can't always maintain absolute control of a situation, or that sometimes kids are, well, kids and act accordingly and none of this is necessarily a reflection of a parent's inability to rear a child. Never is any consideration given to children with social and/or developmental disorders. Never is there any consideration for the fact that the other 99% of the time the child is otherwise well behaved and is just having a bad day. No one ever considers that the only way for a child to learn how to behave in public is to, get this, actually get out in public. No, the child is always a selfish brat and the parent (again, usually the mother) is entirely too permissive and never sets any boundaries.

I'm not exactly a stranger to spanking, but in the situation I described spanking would have only served to increase the kiddo's already-high anxiety. Even worse, it would further confuse a child whose biggest crime was lacking the proper tools to express his anger and frustration in an appropriate manner. And when I'm already feeling embarrassed, when I already see several pairs of eyes on me and hearing the mumbled, "What's wrong with that kid?" the last thing that helps is a suggestion that I must physically punish my child for something he has little control over.

Look, I've been the adult in a restaurant where someone's kid decides now is a good opportunity to show mommy and daddy they have a well developed set of lungs. And I'm not saying that there aren't places where you should reasonably expect to be child-free (ask me about the time I was at an R-rated horror movie with a three-year-old in the audience). Those times are frustrating and perhaps real examples of bad parenting choices, but context is always important. That child throwing himself to the floor and kicking and yelling might have never done that before and the parent is as bewildered as you are annoyed, perhaps even more. And I assure you, that parent is absolutely embarrassed and wishing she or he could crawl into a hole and emerge twenty years later after the child has been through college and has children of his own.

In public places where families and children go to, kids are going to have moments when they're more like devils than angels. Adults have them too, but we allow them the excuse of having bad days or [Insert Noun Here] Rage of one sort or another. And sometimes that child and parent are navigating over communication hurdles most people never have to worry about. Sometimes that child is actually terrified, confused, and lost, or might not even know what they feel and only know that it's scary and please won't somebody help them? One bad moment is not necessarily a reflection of an entire life.

Empathy, how does it work?
jadedmusings: (ATLA - Chibi :D)
You don't have to play or even know much about WoW to enjoy this video. If you're a woman who participates in any social group online, most of this will sound familiar to you (and make you laugh your ass off).

jadedmusings: (BtVS - Buffy does not approve)
It's looking like Representative Anthony Weiner (D-NY) will be resigning today during a news conference scheduled for 2:00 PM ET. This is after at least one woman has stepped forward and stated Weiner tried to "turn the conversation into sexual banter" even though she did not reciprocate.

Lee, from La Vergne, Tenn., said the pair exchanged about 100 emails between March and June, but said she never received photos from Weiner and never sent him any. She said she followed him on Twitter because she liked his stance on Planned Parenthood funding and health care, and that he repeatedly tried to turn the conversation into sexual banter.

"My package and I are not going to beg," Weiner emailed at one point, according to Allred. Another email said "I have wardrobe demands too -- I need to highlight my package."

"I did not reciprocate," Lee said Wednesday.

In case you can't figure out what's wrong with this, it's called sexual harassment. And yes, I am aware that Ginger Lee is a former porn actress, but that doesn't really have any bearing on Weiner's actions. He's still in the wrong. Melissa McEwan summed it up nicely:

Please note that we are supposed to assume that Lee is an opportunistic liar because she is a former porn star and a stripper, and we're definitely not supposed to consider the possibility that Weiner figured she'd be axiomatically receptive to his sexual overtures because of her vocation—because, in a culture in which all women are assumed to exist in a perpetual state of consent unless they say no, women in sex work are assumed to not even have the right to say no.

All women (and men), regardless of background, have the right to say no. They have the right to expect that when they interact with a politician be it in real life, via email, or via a social network online, they'll be treated with professional respect and not as a potential sexual outlet/object. Ms. Lee contacted Mr. Weiner because she liked his stance on Planned Parenthood. Tell me, how does that equal "I want you to hit on me"?

What Mr. Weiner did may not be illegal according to the letter of the law, but it sure as hell is skeevy and downright wrong on an ethical and moral level. And now I wonder how many more women are going to step forward.

Mr. Weiner isn't resigning because of some sexually repressed prudes. He's resigning because he sexually harassed women in his professional capacity as a member of the United States Congress and he's realizing this is about the only opportunity for a graceful exit he's going to get. And a part of me hates that he's going to get off so lightly while the women he harassed are going to be called liars, sluts, gold-diggers, and various other misogynistic terms. He's just a man who, yuk-yuk, let his penis do the thinking for him. Because, you know, men just can't help themselves around pretty ladies.


jadedmusings: (Default)
Wrathful and Unrepentant Jade

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