Thursday, June 26, 2014

So there is this little meme going around,  maybe you've seen it? 

No not that, but yum!.......


No wrong one..... 

Okay now that's funny but still wrong....

Ah ha!  *faints*
Sorry,  I know that's a quite predictable response.   And apparently it has been pretty common...... At least by women.    Men however have responded with an disproportionate amount of "how dare you!" to said women.   Now THAT is something I wasn't expecting!

Though maybe I should have.   When I mentioned it to my husband he responded with a hearty laugh and said something to the effect that "men are mad because  he has a better chance at getting laid than they do".    Most of the time I just nod and smile when he talks, but I wondered if for once he might have a point.  
So I started paying attention to the responses.   At first I wasn't sure if he was right or just over analyzing.  

Well I'll be Bell Hooks!   I think he was right!   For the most part,  the angry responses are two parts patriarchy and one part objectification to the Nth power.    Or maybe it's the other way around...... I'm not good with recipes.  Or math.

The message behind these messages is that
1) women aren't entitled to their own sexuality when it isn't for the purpose of pleasing men.   Oh sure,  you can flirt with other chicks cuz that's a turn on for many straight men. So from the standpoint of these men,  that's really their sexuality being acted out by women.   But making a big deal of some guy who probably looks twenty times better than average guys and a hundred times better than the slovenly ones...... Well what fun is that?!
2) if you like some guy who looks hotter than most,  you clearly aren't thinking right. Silly girl!  If the  average guy likes some chick who has been airbrushed to the point of having alien measurements,  it's because she's hot.  But you silly women clearly don't make any sense.
Double standard for the win!
3) to me this is the most dangerous. The one my husband pointed out.   The one that I initially missed.   This is the line of thought that is the gateway to rape culture-- women owe men sex if they do things *right*. therefore the sudden realization that there is a possibility that women would prefer someone who is literally in a mug shot,  currently incarcerated,  and has a rap sheet......   Means that guys who play by the rules have been cheated out of sex that is *owed* to them.   How dare women even ponder giving sex (cuz it's a thing and not a mutual act ya know) that is owed to good men to some asshole.   Que the anger!!  
The insistence that women are engaging in objectification of this singular photo is really just objectification.   Like crazy angry objectification.   

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

"Consensual" incest and other idiotic notions

I've recently deduced that there are many common words that we use every day which either render people retarded or I'm not as literate as I thought I was. Since I think quite highly of my own intelligence and seldom question it.....I've decided that it's the former. My dear friend recently uttered my own heart in regard to the sadistic pedophile who has been receiving support and endorsement from celebs I and many others previously respected and revered. The notion of what Roman Polanski did to a child not yet in high school being considered "not rape" caused me to reevaluate the meaning of the word. I thought that surely I had misunderstood. Or perhaps they were unaware of the details of the case.......but surely no one would deny that drugging a child and penetrating every orifice of her body with your penis is "rape". Or people are retarded.
Must be the latter.

So along this same line of reasoning, people who consider John Phillips forcibly raping and then developing a coerced relationship with his adult daughter Mackenzie Phillips are also clearly retarded. (please note: if you have already begun formulating your complaint letter to me indicting my use of the word "retarded", you can kindly remove yourself from my friend list right

In the past two weeks, since her disclosure to the world about the incest, I have heard several people refer to the incest as "consensual sex with her father". Now despite the fact that there are instances where Mackenzie refers to it as a "sexual relationship", the fact of the matter is that anything that occurred was, by definition, wrought with coercion. John Phillips himself acknowledged prior to his passing that he had used drugs with his daughter Mackenzie, he was acutely aware of how his daughter idolized him, and probably the most coercive detail of all: other people have stated that she told them years ago about what her father had done to her....yet no one made any attempt to help her and no one so much as made a personal indictment against him, which was surely proof in her mind that even if people did believe her they would still side with him. The psychological dynamics that occur when any person is forced and then coerced into such acts with a parent, no matter what the age, are never ending. But this is not a professional assessment of the situation. It is my personal opinion, albeit affected by my professional knowledge, and a venting of sorts about the semantics that grate my ears when I hear the word consensual connected in any way shape or form to acts that followed the rape of an young adult by her father. If for no other reason than so that you will know why my head explodes the next time I hear it.

To Mackenzie I would say the following: You did what you felt was saving you at the time. You complied as a means of self preservation. The word consensual indicates an agreement of will that is not indicated by your reaction to the incest that you suffered. I wish that you had had an ally and I hope that you gain some peace in speaking.

thanks and good night.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

perception is everything. I know this is true and that it places me in a precarious state. My olive skin is so fair, sans exposure to the sun, that if one has not had the occasion to encounter many people of mixed ancestry they tend to assume that I am white. Even if they have had enough exposure to people of more varied ethnicities than their own (and hence they recognize the possibility that I'm not as lilly white as their contemporaries may believe), they still tend to view me as "white enough". White enough is a phrase that I have coined and designate for situations where white folks, even though I am fully aware that they view me as Peurto Rican or biracial, feel that it is "safe" to make disparaging comments about people of color in my presence. They do this to their own detriment and are frequently unaware. I'll not elaborate further on that particular subject lest I be unable to remain incognito.

I am perpetually asked “what are you?”. I used to answer “white”. then I answered “mixed” or “black”. none of which is a legitimate response since the answer is that I have only hunches and suspicions about my genetic makeup and my cultural makeup doesn’t match any of those.
I decided as a young adult that all of the answers that I was giving others were to appease them and it was never successful. I was often called a liar no matter what I answered, so I stopped answering.
I mean, I answer. but I do it in a way that appeases me and not them. I question their need to place me in a category and ask them why they feel uncomfortable that they are unable to do so. they always insist that this is not the case and we both know that they are lying.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

you would think that I'm a sap

....if you were to glimpse my bawling face this morning when I learned that Laura Ling and Euna Lee had been released. Every time I saw their pictures while they were held captive, in fact, you could certainly have seen the sting that it brought to my heart and my eyes.
My older sister cries at long distance commercials and generally I am quite the opposite. Generally, I don't pay much attention to the news. Generally, only the tears of tangible individuals can cause my heart to ache. Generally, I'm a smart ass..........but this wasn't general.
I know without a doubt that my heart aches because of a person who is quite tangible to me, as the thought that came to mind immediately and repeatedly when I heard details of this story was my own sister. I couldn't help but make the parallel: how I would die inside and out if that were my sister. I raised her. She's more than my sister. I know that this bothers my older siblings at times. I can't help that any more than I can help the fact that they share bonds and experiences that are unique to them and don't include my sister and me. I have good relationships with them, just different.
Ultimately, I know that no one could be as happy for Laura as her own sister........but right now I'm running a close second.


Friday, July 31, 2009

Behold! The Human Metronome!

I had to take CPR for the millionth time today. I don't know why employers routinely require that I take this. I have told every boss that I've ever had: if someone get's out of control, I'm your girl. if they pass out/have a heart attack/choke/etc......I am not the one! You really don't want my life to be in your hands. I will certainly pass out myself and then someone will have to help the both of us.

Despite this, I had to go. In my class was one of the nurses from my floor: a white guy. I like him. We disagree on religion and politics and simply agree not to speak of it. He has a sick sense of humor, which I appreciate. He also apparently has some rhythm, which I find endearing and hilarious given the fact that he looks a little like the kid from Napoleon Dynamite. I discovered this because the instructors of the course decided to use music to demonstrate how to give chest compressions. Now, I say "some rhythm" because they used the song "Stayin' Alive", which is not the most rhythmic theme I've ever heard, but whatever.

So anyway, Joel was in the row in front of me and I did notice that he was on beat to the music (I use both those terms loosely). I fully intended to tease him about it later, not just because he's a goofy white guy, but also because I'm mean. Well, the instructor's beat me to it and began calling him the "human metronome". Now the kicker was that Joel called them out! "You're just saying that because I'm white!", he shot at the leader of the exercise, who was as wide as she was tall short. She mumbled and stuttered for a moment and then vehemently denied that that was the case. Now this was obviously a lie since the class was about 25% black and of the folks who were sitting ahead of me (I can't vouch for those who were in the back row. I wasn't paying attention because I wasn't intending to write a blog about it at the time.) all but one was on beat.

Monday, January 26, 2009

With this ring, I thee wed my country

I honestly never thought that I would ever feel any sort of pride in my country. I know that is not a popular sentiment, but it's the truth. I have frequently thought that if it weren't so difficult to disentangle myself from this land, that I would find another to call home and I'll tell you why. My earliest teachings about this country's history were that it was founded by marauders and thieves. Now, my mother wasn't a history buff who taught me such notions, but she also didn't raise any fools. So when I sat in my elementary school classes and learned about "Indians", which is a subject heavily taught and skewed in the Great Lakes State of Michigan, I read between the lines. When my teacher spoke of "missionaries" and "explorers" I heard tyrants and thieves. When they spoke of pride and legacy all I heard were the cries of those before me. On the foundation of this history, I never felt proud of America in the nationalist sense that is prosthelitized to children K-12 every day of the week in this country. I always felt like it was based in a history of hatred, negativity, racism, and shame. I felt coerced to be an American. Like it was an arranged marriage, that I could have turned away from, at the cost of all who were dear to me. Indeed, I still feel like that. I'm not backtracking, mind you. However, I will say that recent events have caused me to feel that this spouse who I did not choose, might just be lovable after all.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Waiting for it.

People wait for it every day: the punchline...the other shoe to fall.....that which they know is coming. Working in a hospital is different from the type of social work that I am used to in that I meet new clients daily. Sometimes I meet three people a day and sometimes it's ten. As a result of numerous incidents in the past year, I have come to determine that the IT that I am frequently waiting for is the racial slur. Whether it is the 80 year old lady who mutters that she doesn't want to return to the nursing home that she came from because there are too many "blacks" there and "they scare [her] with their spiky hair" or the family member of a patient who thinks nothing of referring to one of my nurses as "chink", "spic", "darkie", or "nigger": somehow I can sense it coming 90% of the time.
So today, while I was was speaking to an 83 year old man, who was sailing last week and this week is unable to walk and was getting a blood transfusion as we spoke.....I waited for it. I waited for it while he spoke of the roommate that he had the night before, who happened to be a young black man. I waited for it when he mentioned his doctor from the ER, who happened to be hispanic. I continued to wait for it while we discussed rehab placements, some of which were in a predominantly black part of town and some of which were from an overwhelmingly white part of town. And IT never came. And the more I spoke to him, the more I thought he was decidedly one of the most jovial and inspiring human beings that I have ever seen hooked up to a blood bag.
He and his daughter told me of his many travels, all the sailing that he had done, several women he had loved--including his most beloved deceased wife in whose name he donated several thousand dollars to a local organization for children to attend wildlife camps. They laughed about the time that he participated in a pirate re-enactment just a few years ago and he boasted of the eye patch that he got to wear for the production. He spoke of the university that he attended and joked that his primary physician attended the same institution and surely made ten times the salary that he has made in his lifetime. His daughter blushed when he chuckled that the pirate ship replica that he sailed was later used in a porno. I only hope that I can makemy kids blush like that and still love me like she does when I am that age!
I have a lot of favorite patients, but right now room number 22 is at the top of the list. Not only because he has a great sense of humor, has all of his wits about him, and has all of the spunk of a teenager. But also because the IT that came was unexpected.