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Oct. 11th, 2011

Mississippi Personhood Amendment

Originally posted by eppic at Mississippi Personhood Amendment
Originally posted by twbasketcase at Mississippi Personhood Amendment
Originally posted by gabrielleabelle at Mississippi Personhood Amendment
Okay, so I don't usually do this, but this is an issue near and dear to me and this is getting very little no attention in the mainstream media.

Mississippi is voting on November 8th on whether to pass Amendment 26, the "Personhood Amendment". This amendment would grant fertilized eggs and fetuses personhood status.

Putting aside the contentious issue of abortion, this would effectively outlaw birth control and criminalize women who have miscarriages. This is not a good thing.

Jackson Women's Health Organization is the only place women can get abortions in the entire state, and they are trying to launch a grassroots movement against this amendment. This doesn't just apply to Mississippi, though, as Personhood USA, the group that introduced this amendment, is trying to introduce identical amendments in all 50 states.

What's more, in Mississippi, this amendment is expected to pass. It even has Mississippi Democrats, including the Attorney General, Jim Hood, backing it.

The reason I'm posting this here is because I made a meager donation to the Jackson Women's Health Organization this morning, and I received a personal email back hours later - on a Sunday - thanking me and noting that I'm one of the first "outside" people to contribute.

So if you sometimes pass on political action because you figure that enough other people will do something to make a difference, make an exception on this one. My RSS reader is near silent on this amendment. I only found out about it through a feminist blog. The mainstream media is not reporting on it.

If there is ever a time to donate or send a letter in protest, this would be it.

What to do?

- Read up on it. Wake Up, Mississippi is the home of the grassroots effort to fight this amendment. Daily Kos also has a thorough story on it.

- If you can afford it, you can donate at the site's link.

- You can contact the Democratic National Committee to see why more of our representatives aren't speaking out against this.

- Like this Facebook page to help spread awareness.


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Oct. 4th, 2011

Writer's Block: Anti-bullying month

Who is the biggest bully in your life? One response chosen at random will win an Amazon Kindle. [contest details] (sponsored by )


The biggest bully in my life was probably me.

Considering I'm not even f-locking this I suppose this won't really be a secret anymore, but let me tell it to you anyway: I was a bully. And I was bullied. And I am still not sure which was worse. (Long memoir on bullying experiences is long.)Collapse )




Meta on bullying is not nearly as long but still rather long. Meta being that it is hard to get out of your head and realize just what is and is not bullying, just what is and is not crossing the line, and that as much as we despise bullying, the answer is not to despise the bullies.Collapse )




TL;DR


I was a bully, and I was bullied. I was the tough girl of the playground and of the block who managed to bully people without every laying a finger or a word on them. I was also shunned by my peers while barely clinging on to my friends, and eventually even assaulted for something that is such a small part of me and yet such a big part of what people see in me.

To this day, I struggle with trying not to bully others, trying not to be domineering. I try not to turn into a "bad boss", hurting and ignoring others to my ego-stroking benefit and at their expense.

There are a lot of types of bullies and a lot of reasons people bully, and there will be no one, easy solution to depend on to get rid of it, or even make a dent in it. But one type of bully I can say we can help is the ones who don't know that they are bullies.

And yes, they exist. They think their roughhousing is just playing, and don't realize that it's not playing when your friend/opponent is not nearly of your size or skill level. They think their back-and-forth insults are just joking around, without realizing that some of the people around them take these words to heart in a negative way. They believe what they are doing is truly okay, because they are seeing it on TV and in books and in video games that it's okay, and everyone expects someone else to do it so no one is just talking with them about it.

I can't speak for every bully or bullying victim, or even most, but I can speak for the ones who were like me in saying that we need to stop relying on bullshit campaigns and false platitudes, and that we need to start figuring out what bullying is and what it means for kids today, where they are getting the message from. The existing plans and campaigns against bullying are great, and they get a lot done, but they ultimately only reach out to a few kids because they only target a few specific types of bullies - they get a lot done but not enough, because we are placing too high and unrealistic expectations on them. We need to quit the futile efforts against stopping these ideas and instead equip kids with the ability to filter these ideas, learn what is and isn't okay, because if we don't, then no one else will - after all, no one else has so far.

No one did for me until it was too late.






What the hell did I just type 3300 words in an hour?! I spend 3 years ignoring that 'Writer's Block' widget on the LJ homepage and this is what gets me?!

Oct. 1st, 2011

Gay-Friendly Southwest's Homophobic Employee(s)

I think this article explains it best:

Leisha Hailey and Camila Grey weren't expecting anything out of the ordinary when they boarded their Southwest Airlines flight last Monday. Camila kissed Leisha -- just a typical "I love you" peck like any couple might share.

Apparently, this was not okay with their flight attendant, who came over to explain that two women kissing was not acceptable, because Southwest is "a family-oriented airline."

Leisha and Camila were extremely upset. The flight attendant wouldn't back down. The conflict escalated. And Leisha and Camila were kicked off their flight.

Jeremy Sharp is a college student and a fan of Leisha's -- Leisha was one of the stars of the TV series "The L Word." Jeremy started a petition on Change.org demanding that Southwest apologize to Leisha and Camila. Please sign Jeremy's petition to Southwest today.

[...]

In multiple statements, Southwest has refused to accept responsibility for the actions of its employee, and has instead blamed Leisha and Camila for bringing this discrimination on themselves.


Southwest is normally a very gay-friendly airline - they are even the official airline for the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD).

At first I could understand the company's point of view, which is that they won't be responsible for the actions of one or a few employees - I am a Southwest regular, I have seen many other gay couples on these flights, and have never before seen this problem arise, so I can readily believe this is just the actions of one group of homophobic individuals. But now that they have tried to imply the couple brought discrimination on themselves, I hope for an apology for that statement, along with disciplinary action taken against those involved with kicking the couple off the flight for nothing more than a quick kiss.

Sep. 26th, 2011

The Execution

By now everyone has heard of Troy Davis.

A man who was accused and convicted of killing a police officer. And executed for it...even after multiple witnesses recanted their testimonials and even references police pressure and coercion to give them in the first place.

I don't believe in Capital Punishment. But even for those who do, this entire case is one giant point against its use - even if you believe that people who are absolutely guilty of their crimes deserve the death penalty, the Troy Davis case was riddled with holes and doubt, and at the very, very, very least should have warranted an additional investigation.

Shame on us all.

To be honest, I am rather shocked that the Supreme Court did not stop this execution - their own feelings on capital punishment aside, even they should have been able to acknowledge that the case was riddled with doubt and should have gotten an additional investigation (even if the additional investigation resulted in his conviction and execution). I can help but wonder if there's some merit to speculation suggestions the Supreme Court did this on purpose as a way to incite people against the death penalty, to try and get rid of it from America not through legislation but through culture and the American people themselves.

A part of me hopes that it's false and that they wouldn't be so inhuman and heartless. Another part of me hopes it's true and that Troy Davis' death was not in vain, and that there was a reason behind it.

What do you think?

Sep. 8th, 2011

Laws on Paper are Meaningless in Flames

A lot of laws written on paper don't always work out so well in real life. A lot of issues that in theory sound nice don't pan out in the real world.

Issues over gay marriage are among them.

Just today I had a talk with a man who mentioned that while he doesn't care either way about gay marriage, he voted for California's Proposition 8, the prop to turn over a California Supreme Court ruling that legalized gay marriage. Why? Not because he had any issues on gay marriage, but because he believed it shouldn't be a court issue, but a legislative issue.

The laws that are debated over in theory have devastating effects on people's lives, and what's written down on paper means something very different once translated into real life.Collapse )

Aug. 31st, 2011

Do YOUR Job, Not a Priest's Job

This was just posted over at gsa_lj:



My response:

The thing about the belief bit irks me.

It is NOT the president's job to reinforce faith of any kind in America. So many of these contestants are running on platforms of keeping the faith and all that, and that's fine...but not in their jobs. A President's job is to carry out various governmental actions that are for the welfare of the people, NOT to try and reinforce faith or panic about people adhereing to one religion's moral doctrines.

Rick Santorum is running for President of the United States, not to be the Pope.Collapse )

Jul. 3rd, 2011

Education Madness

America spends the most money in the world per child on education, yet has some of the least intelligent students among first world countries. While certainly we shouldn't be making education the go-to target of budget cuts that t is in America, there is another question here that no one has been asking: just what are we spending all this money on? Where is it going?

We spend more money on food wrapping than food, we make students take classes we know they will fail, and we have everyone write the same information down dozens of times despite the fact it will can be written down once just as easily.Collapse )
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Jun. 26th, 2011

Views on Sex, Male and Female

One interesting thing I run across is utter confusion to guys as to how they are supposed to know whether a girl likes sex or not, and how not to get charged with rape, because apparently in many horror stories for men, random and to them consensual acts of sex result in rape charges.

As a woman, this initially seemed like a cop-out to me, but I'm starting to see the other side here. So, addressing the concerns of some of the less than bright men, here's why women play hard to get, are so weird about sex, and why they sometimes act the way they do.

DISCLAIMER: this is speaking of women generally. Lots of women do not have this psyche, do not have these issues, and do not act on any basis I've made here. If you're having issues with a specific women, get to know them first.

Help, Because Apparently Some Guys Need ThisCollapse )

There are tons of books out there to read about women and sexuality. Here's the three that might actually help guys:

Part I of The Curse of the Good Girl, by Rachel Simmons - that should explain a lot about female psychology and why they act the way they do

He's a Stud, She's a Slut, and 49 Other Double Standards Every Woman Should Know, by Jessica Valenti - some of it will probably feel like extremist crap, but it will shed some insight on why women worry about things which feel like no big deal to you

Yes means Yes!, by Jessica Valenti and Jaclyn Friedman - it's actually a series of essays. Not all of them pertain to men dealing with female sexuality, but even a flip through a few of them should show you what's really important for women and why they feel the way they do (and why some women will never look at you as anything other than a threat). Recommended essays within this book, in order of relevance and helpfulness: Beyond Yes and No: Consent as a Sexual Process; Towards a Performance Model of Sex; An Old Enemy in a New Outfit: How Date Rape Became Gray Rape and Why It Matters; Hooking Up with Healthy Sexuality: The Lessons Boys Learn (and Don’t Learn) About Sexuality, and Why a Sex-Positive Rape Prevention Paradigm Can Benefit Everyone Involved; An Immodest Proposal; and Purely Rape: The Myth of Sexual Purity and How It Reinforces Rape Culture.
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May. 9th, 2011

Why Gay Donors Are Supporting Obama

Here there is some controversy over gay donors supporting Obama. As roundabout as it seems, there's a reason why gay donors are supporting Obama despite a lot of simmering resentment and lost promises.

I'm in a government class, and the long story short is that campaign funds almost never go to a "maybe" 'I can do a lot of things' candidate, but a "definitely" 'I can do some thing' candidate.

Unless an extremely liberal - and effective - candidate shows up who is likely to defend gay rights, then funds are going to Obama, because he has actual progress he can point to, and he has the ability to back up his own competency in the area. IT may not be much progress, but it is progress, which is better than a gamble and a LOT better than nothing.

In short, no one is going to invest in a gamble.Collapse )

May. 7th, 2011

Some Musings on Rape Jokes

This is a really unpopular stance to take, but here goes:

A defense of rape jokes. And sexist jokes. And homophobic jokes. And racist jokes. And just about every other kind offensive joke out there that you can think.

Hear me out, here.Collapse )

I am not necessarily saying we need to sit back with a tight smile every time rape is used in a joke - because there are certainly many out there that essentially encourage rape or otherwise give it a cultural free pass, somehow. But, we need not assume everyone who's cracked a rape joke ever is a rapist, and perhaps we should be a bit more discerning about what we attack and what we leave be - if someone is saying some horrible test was like rape just like 'homework is murder', then they are saying it's a bad thing, and that attitude is not one to discourage.

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