Saturday Storify!

This may or may not be a regular thing, but people seem to really like it when I combine my escorting tweets into an easy to read format.

We don’t get the crowds as other clinics, but our regulars are persistent, annoying, the worst, and occasionally, hilarious.

So, here’s two Saturdays combined. Enjoy!

 

Saturday Storify!
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Dear Black People: Homophobia is Our Problem, Too.

I am sitting here, fresh out of a visit to the ER for a bad medicine reaction, and with a headache that makes me super cranky, so Femi isn’t going to mince words here.  If you don’t like swearing, leave now.

So the move Dear White People is out, and since move theaters make me twitchy, I’m waiting for it to go to streaming (Netflix, HuluPlus?  Make this shit happen).  I want to see this movie so bad, because the previews were so on point.

Also, it made racists mad, and I love making the foolish angry with the truth.

Speaking of the foolish, Ashley Miller, awesome blogger and my ukulele hero,  went to a viewing and observed some seriously assbackwards reactions by a group of football players from Morehouse (WARNING: Spoilers for the movie ahead):

There are three main plots in “Dear White People,” and one of them focuses on a black gay kid named Lionel, played by “Everybody Hates Chris” star Tyler James Williams, who doesn’t fit in with any group — not with gay kids, not with white kids, and not with black kids, who have historically treated him with homophobia and cruelty.  His story is about the toxic effect of homophobia in the black community.  In addition to the heterosexual romances involving all the other characters, there is also a budding romance between Lionel and another man.  The initial hints at this romance did not win the Morehouse College Football Team’s approval.  They started saying homophobic things every time Lionel was onscreen.  When Lionel had a same-sex kiss, the team went into a frenzy — everyone turned on their phones and said they weren’t looking, they started yelling, “What kind of movie is this?”  Several of them walked out, others started yelling at anyone on their team for looking at the screen when the kiss happened, “Man, you looked at that, I saw you!”  “What is this gay shit?”  “Some of y’all didn’t turn your heads away!”

It was nauseating.  But it got worse.

Lionel has a major heroic moment toward the end of the film in which he breaks up a racist party being held by an entitled white jerk, who is, more or less, the antagonist of the film, and who verbally and sexually harassed Lionel over his sexuality throughout the film.  The racist white guy tackles Lionel and pins him down.  In retaliation, Lionel kisses him (this freaked out the audience again), but the racist white guy responds by punching Lionel repeatedly in the face.

They cheered.  This room full of black men who attend Dr. King’s alma mater.  They cheered for the racist white guy because the black man he was being allowed to beat without repercussion was a faggot.

This would make any fair-minded person dedicated to equality upset.  Too bad the folks streaming onto her blog seem to lack any sense of fair-mindedness or irony.  Because Miller is white, they immediately turn on the fake rivers of tears of oppression while ignoring the very real problem of homophobia in the black community.  Which is still a problem, just in case you didn’t get the memo.

Fam, listen. Read those comments.  See the same tired ass homophobic BS dragged out.  See the excuses of “what do you expect?”.  See the deflections. See the motherfuckers trying to make their discomfort everyone else’s problem.

This is our motherfucking dirty laundry these young men exposed in public, and Miller isn’t some click-baiting racist for pointing it out. I’m glad she pointed it out, because if one person was uncomfortable with that display of ignorance, there had to be plenty in that audience who felt the same way.

My field of fucks is empty for anyone trying to justify this.  I don’t care if seeing two men kiss makes you all squirmy.  GET THE FUCK OVER IT.  TURN AWAY. Don’t ruin the fucking experience for the other people who PAID the same fucking money to see this movie without a bunch of grown men acting like children seeing their parents kiss while being presented with a bowl of boiled greens.

What do I expect from a bunch of young men raised in this day and age where queer people exist, some brave enough to exist in public whether a bunch of whiny throwbacks are comfy with it or not?

Better.  This is the alma fucking mater of Dr. “Injustice Anywhere is Injustice Everywhere” Martin Luther King, Jr.  The man who marched next to a gay black man.

Hell, these young men are failing themselves.  I can’t just blame the college, they’re adults who should know better. These particular Morehouse Men showed their asses that night and did not represent their college in a good light.  And their defenders want to ignore that. And it’s shameful as hell that these sad fucks can’t get over themselves and realize we Queers of Color aren’t going anywhere and are getting more representation, never mind their precious fee-fees.

These defenders are real fuckbrained pieces of work, spewing tired-ass lines that would make the Westboro Baptist Church say, “That is some basic shit. Get a new script, posers.”

  • “Gay people are shoving their lifestyle down our throat” (calm down, drama, no one’s shoving anything into you)
  • “Men in feminine clothing aren’t men” (femme men would disagree with you, and don’t require your say-so to exist)
  • “The masculine environment of sports has an effect on their homophobia” (So? Do better.  Be better. And I’m sure Michael Sam might say different)
  •  ” I am in no way condoning homophobia, but [Some fuckshit that actually condones or excuses homophobia]” (“I’m not ‘blah’, but” is tired. Just be a bigot already)
  • “I agree that gays should have equal rights, but they make me so uncomfortable that I feel the need to say so as if my discomfort matters because I’m a fucking child.” (’nuff said here)
  • “Is there no way to respectfully disagree with you queers being outwardly queer in my visual range?” (NOPE. There is no respectful way to tell me I shouldn’t exist)

And the irony of this?  The character in that movie is there to explore *fanfare* homophobia in the Black community. This movie don’ told on your asses, and the reaction shows just why this is still a problem.

And seriously, find some better shit to worry about.  Two dudes or two ladies, or two people whose gender identity you can’t figure out kissing is not the end of the fucking world.

Deal, fam. My rights don’t hinge on YOUR comfort, so quit bringing that basic shit in OUR faces.

And if you can’t deal, at least have the good sense to keep your nasty bigoted nonsense out of the circles of decent people.

 

(And before some shit gets smeared on my comments, allow me to direct you to my policy, mostly the rule about NOT BORING ME. Homophobic excuses are booooooring! If you’re gonna waste your time commenting, try to at least come up with some new shit, or you will get mocked and blocked)

Dear Black People: Homophobia is Our Problem, Too.

Too Easy

Once upon a time, when I was a little Chill Girl fresh from the clutches of my home, I joined my college’s improv troupe, Let’s Try This! It was an amazing experience. I learned stage presence, I learned I HAD a stage presence.  I learned how to be funny, or maybe I should say, I learned that I was pretty funny.  It helped that I was surrounded by some pretty talented folks.
Guess which one is me?  Go on, guess! Here's a hint: I'm not the fluffy dog.  Though I have been known to be a bitch sometimes AY-YO!
Guess which one is me?
Go on, guess!
Here’s a hint: I’m not the fluffy dog. Though I have been known to be a bitch sometimes AY-YO!

Improv isn’t a competition, this isn’t some Last Comic Standing shit.  The ‘rules’ are simple and diverse: Don’t Deny what your partner(s) are bringing into the scene; Don’t just ask questions (i.e. don’t leave your partner(s) to do all the work); Make your partner look good; Tell a story.  It was on everyone on stage to make the scene work.  Giving up or getting mad because the scene wasn’t going your way ruins everything.

There was something else I learned, that was specific to my former trope.  We had a ‘no scatology during shows’ rule.  Because we were college students performing for other college students, and our short form games required audience suggestions, we tended to hear some of the same suggestions: “blowjobs!” “poop!”, “sex!”

Host: “I need a location!”
Audience Member (usually a guy): “Proctologist’s office!”

Host: “I need a situation!”
Audience Member: “Late to an orgy!”

…and so on.  Here’s how we handled those suggestions and why:

Host: “I need a location?”
“The gynecologist!” (apparently just yelling “vagina” was just not classy enough?)
Host: “Come on, that’s one’s too easy.  Give us a challenge!”

It was too easy.  It’s too easy to make funny out of sex and bodily functions.  KIDS find bodily functions insanely funny.  We wanted a challenge.

I took that lesson with me, stuck deep into my conciousness, and it didn’t reappear until I started getting involved with social justice for the second time (the first time around left me very cold, with white progressives trying to tell me what I should find offensive).  I discovered the concept of Punching Down vs. Punching Up, and that gendered insults were no bueno (unless you’re taking it back).  That lesson came roaring back, “oh yeah, calling this terrible conservative woman a bitch isn’t funny.  It’s Too Easy.”

And my worldview then expanded.  I love comedy, grew up watching Comedy Central (where my love of improv was first planted in the British version of Whose Line Is It Anyway?), but as I grew up and realized these concepts, I found a lot of stand up, well, easy.  The “Take my Wife Please” type jokes, the “Men are so stupid” type jokes, the allusions to rape and domestic abuse, the “marriage is a load of suck” jokes, “Non-White people are so weird!”, Too Easy.

Then my tastes for comedy shifted with my more progressive leanings.  Did that mean I stopped enjoying the greats like Carlin, Robin Williams and the like because some of their gags were problematic? Nope. I recognize the problem, sometimes even skip certain tracks. But I still consider the greats to be comedy greats, especially when their off stage personas were just as progressive.  As much as Joan River’s stand up made me laugh, I considered her to be a terrible person off stage, which many, many examples that you can very well look up on your own.
Heck if a comedian REALLY wanted to be all edgy and shit, try defending rape culture.  How about a joke about how awesome your wife is? Point out how racist the cops are.  Yeah, it’s not an easy laugh to go for, but it can be done.  I’ve seen it.

So now, I punch up, I miss the easy insult, I avoid the obvious.  Fewer ‘bitches’ and ‘cunts’, more ‘assholes’ and ‘shitheels’ and various combinations where I can use the term ‘douche’ (hat, canoe, bag, cake, weasel…).  Hell, someone used “shitfrigates” and I’m making it a point to use it until it is part of my vocabulary. I am a lot more vulgar, yes, but my insults are sharper, more likely to get a notice.  My mind gets a good stretch as I stopped using various forms of “-tard’ in my vocab in place of other words that lack the splash damage.

Does it feel like I’m walking some sort of PC mindfield of stifled creativity?  Oh hell no.  This is awesome.  I like the challenge, and the more I do it, the easier it gets.

It’s not that hard, folks.  Get creative.  Stop going for the easy shot.  Don’t be a hack.

And that goes double for harassers and abusers. Even their shit is too easy.  Oh, I’m a nigger and a bitch and too ugly to fuck and should be raped.  *Yawn* Dude, I’ve got chronic depression.  I’ve thought shittier stuff about myself before breakfast on a really bad day.  Oh, the best you can do is “haha, you’re a woman! And black! And you do not please my boner!” Oh noes, I’ll cease being all of those things immediately, @womenmakemeangry69. That’s kindergarten shit.  I don’t even know how to respond to such nonsense:
“You’re a cunt!”
Me: “Well, you’re a butt, and your parents dress you funny and also you smell like cheese.  So there.”
And trust me, writing that line took more thought that any number of bigoted insults.
Too Easy

A Good Start

While escorting (been sick for two weeks, so no new fuckery to share, sorries!), two things never fail to break my shriveled black heart:

  1. A patient bursting into tears due to the harassment
  2. A patient asking me if there’s anything I can do to make the harassment stop

Number one makes me rage, makes me see red, makes me want to shove those brochures down the lying, pathetic. sanctimonious, bullying maws of our merry band of morons.  Number two makes me feel so helpless that I want to cry.  I wish I could do something, say something that would spare our patients from the deluge of bullshit and lies incapable of taking “no”, “leave me alone”, or “fuck off” for an answer.   

And you know what the fucked up part of it all is?  If I was walking downtown and one of those friendly vest wearing hawkers for Save The Children or Amnesty International came up to me and I said, “No Thank You”, they go away. I don’t have to hear them out first, I don’t have to give them a second of my time, I don’t even have to be POLITE about (though I usually am), and they go away.  If they didn’t, I could find a cop and say, “This person is harassing me”, and the cop would do something.  Talk to the person, if there’s enough complaints, even arrest this person.  Downtown, I have the right to not be harassed, no matter how good of a cause they think they are representing to not be harassed.

So, why is it any different when I’m walking into a women’s clinic?  Isn’t me saying “I’m not interested, leave me alone” enough of a hint that I don’t want to be followed and or pestered?  

Hat tip to Jezebel, San Francisco seems to be taking the first step in the very correct direction to stop the harassment of clinic patients and escorts:

Supervisor David Campos announced a joint-effort with San Francisco’s police department along with Planned Parenthood and the City Attorney’s Office, working on legislation that would act as an anti-harassment ordinance. The legislation seeks to prevent the more aggressive harassment that protesters launch at abortion clinics, namely following patients or clinic employees around. It would give police the authority to temporarily move protesters away from a clinic, allowing them to return.

This is exactly what we need, for every clinic in every city in this country.  An anti-harassment law that is aimed to keep patients safe and unbothered by the more pushy and obnoxious elements of the pro-life side. Those who show up to just pray are still allowed (even though personally, I think that’s a form of spiritual bullying), those who show up and just hold up a sign are still allowed, those who even get the occasional, rare patient that will stop and hear them out are still allowed.  

What isn’t okay is reaching into cars, shoving papers at someone, following them to the door (or property line), beckoning them from windows, pestering someone while they pay for parking, and all the other bullshit I see every Saturday and that you can have a lookie by following the #notcounseling hashtag on Twitter.  

Their right to ‘sidewalk counsel’* ends at the right of the patients to say “NO”. 

 

 

 

*And don’t even get me started on what bullshit “sidewalk counseling” is.

 

 

 

 

 

A Good Start

…You’re not Anti-Heroes

So, while the gamerbros are doing a bang up job of proving just how awful they can get (for serious guys, we have Joss Whedon and Will Wheaton on our side, you have the guy who played the guy more famous for a knitted hat.*), I had a thought.

If the guys who aren’t going along with this, guys who stand up against harassment and abuse of women in gaming, are snidely called “White Knights”, what does that make the gamerBros?

And it came to me…they’re wanna-be anti-heroes.

You know the anti-heros, gritty, tough guys who don’t give a shit about silly things like morals or property damage, but are going to save the day.  The Duke Nukems, the Kratos’, the Renegade Commander Shepards, the Agent 47s, the “I-can-go-on-but-here’s-the-TV-Tropes-link”.  (Hell, if I wanted to take an example from TV, the Jayne Cobbs) You’ll note that some of those heroes I listed are some of the same heroes that are noted in some of the games Anita Sarkessian’s Tropes Vs. Woman series.  They can lie, cheat, steal, kill, treat everyone around them disrespect, and get away with it because they are the heroes. The games are designed with that in mind.  As long as the world gets saved, who gives a shit if you took time out of your mission to kick a puppy or two, sell off some slaves, desecrate a holy site,  unnecessarily kill a dozen NPCs, was a massive tool to even your allies, right?

Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve played the asshole too.  I love RPGs with morality choices.  I’ve played the xenophobic jerkass  Shepard, the ruthless Warden, the complete shitty Hawke.  Hell, I remember have such a low reputation in Baldur’s Gate 2 that after saving the day, the elves were like “Thank you, now leave.” It’s an interesting way to play.

But in this current ‘fight’, video games are in apparent danger. People are talking about them in a critical way! What if designers listen to them and ruin gaming forever! What if evil feminist armies raid houses and put everyone who stared a second too long at Miranda’s ass against the wall for execution?  Time to fight! No holds barred! Everything is permitted! Nothing is true!

The problem, of course, if that this isn’t a video game. The anti-hero exists only in fiction. Most of these boys are either too chickenshit to do anything remotely like their on-screen avatars, or they actually understand that this is reality and taking cues from those guys will get you fucking arrested, so they do what they believe is the next best thing.  Harass, intimidate, abuse.  It doesn’t matter how low they go, as long as Our Games are safe from terrible awful OPINIONS!

Which is both sad and hilarious.  Sorry, boys, you’re not the anti-hero here.  You’re not even the hordes of cannon fodder.

If anything, you’re monkeys, shrieking and throwing poop at anyone who dares look hard at your cage for longer than a few seconds.

This isn’t a fucking war to be fought.  As I said in my previous post, either games are art, and subject to criticism, or they’re toys.  Either way, shrieking and throwing poop isn’t going to phase the rest of us who want our chosen favorite hobby to mature.  Like or hate the criticism, but literally showing your ass isn’t making you the bad ass rebel you think you are.

(here’s a hint, rebels want to CHANGE the status quo)

 

 

*And for ruining a certain recruitment mission for Mass Effect 2 for me.  Jerk.

…You’re not Anti-Heroes

Fucking Pick One

Man, for all of the claims that ladyfolks are the emotional and irrational gender, nothing hits the heights of hysteria like a pissed off dudebro.

The sad part is, of course, pissing off a dudebro could end badly for a lady.

I mean, we could get brutally assaulted for breaking up with them (Trigger Warning for the link, it leads to her medical fund and has a photo of the damage)

We could get the Internet Hate Machine to ran down fury because a salty-ass ex was feeling vengeful.

We could even be driven out of our homes for fear of being physically hurt.

And those are just the most RECENT stories of men acting like the house is burning down at the slightest hint of life’s disappointments.  War Machine, I’d say there’s more fish in the sea, but you’re too damned off your nut that I wouldn’t wish my worst enemy on you.  Dude who is not longer dating Zoe Quinn, thanks for making it clear why no one should ever date you again.  And the horde of whiny gamers trying to intimidate Anita Sarkessian into not talking about your precious video games, grow the hell up.  These women have done waaay less harm to you than you have done to them, and for what?  Daring to no longer be your possession?  Breaking your heart?  Pointing out that *gasp* your favorite form of media has a sexism problem (and by the way, guys, you’re doing a more bang up job in proving that than Anita ever could if she was pumping out an episode a week)?

There is absolutely nothing they have done to deserve even a little bit of the abuse they have to put up with.  And it’s sexist. Case in point, where’s the hate conga line for the reviewers Zoe supposedly fucked for positive reviews?  Doesn’t it take two to tango? Aren’t they just as corrupt and awful as you think she is? Shouldn’t they be suffering in the exact same way?

…yeah, I thought so.

Either women are weak little things to be put in our places or our genitals are so powerful that they can stir even the toughest man into a frenzy. Fucking pick one and stick with it.

Either women are breathing sex dolls there solely for your enjoyment on a screen or actual people with actual opinions who just might disagree with you from time to time.  Fucking pick one.

Either video games are a valid form of art and storytelling (which can be critiqued like every other art form), or they’re toys for the immature who want more bloodshed and jiggling titties.  Fucking pick one.

Because you can’t have this shit both ways.

Fucking Pick One

I don’t want to do this anymore

…waking up at fuck you o’clock on a Saturday morning.

…making sure I have money for a parking meter and/or a coffee before I can even leave the house

…driving (for any reason)

…leaning on my cane for two to four to five hours at a time, using up my precious spoons (some days I return and go straight to bed for hours)

…listen to some brain spurting bullshit from pro-lifers who seem to throw any shit at patients in the hope that it will stick, and behave in ways that a normal person would consider rude, invasive and shitty (but to them are perfectly justified), and NOT BE ABLE TO CHALLENGE THEM BACK.

 

I would love to not have to do any of this week after week after week.  I would love for no escorts to have to bust their asses and risk their bodies and minds dealing with sometimes large hordes of protestors and fake-ass “counselors”. Hell, I would love to get into a big ol’ screaming match with these twits once in a while.

 

But I can’t.  Because as long as they are out there, spreading lies and guilt like so much rancid garbage, as long as patients need a calm, smiling and respectful presence helping them inside the clinics, I and my fellow volunteer escorts will be there.

 

Oh, also, #FuckOperationRescue and similar organizations for making my job necessary.

 

I don’t want to do this anymore

Ignoring Bullies is Bullshit, and Why

This is my comment I left on Skepchick after the article about the Michigan anti-bullying fuckery.

Of course, I edited it a bit, but it pissed me off enough to repost it here:

I am so incredibly sick of hearing the tired old chestnuts of “just ignore it/let it go/punch them in the face and they’ll stop” when it comes to kids being bullied.

First of all, it presumes entirely too much about the situation in question.  If it’s a light/low level “hurhur yer momma dresses you funny” bully, yeah, maybe a kid could say “whatever” and keep on trucking, but it’s a completely different ball game when several kids are giving you shit each and every day because of something about you that you can’t change. That shit is hard, especially as a kid when you’re just learning about how to deal with the world. It’s far too easy to look back in hindsight with our adult minds and just go “well, why don’t you ignore it?”

Also, and I’m going against the advice of my own mother when I was little,  fighting a bully isn’t always the solution. This isn’t a movie or “special episode” of a sitcom where the skinny little geek gets a lucky punch in and the bully doesn’t glance at them anymore. Fights are dirty and can be fatal or with permanent damage to either combatant, and nothing good comes out of any possible grudges if the bullied gets lucky. What would we say if the bully comes after this kid again with friends? What do we say if the bully comes after this kid with a weapon?

It’s leaving kids out to dry, especially since we has adults have better ways to deal with this stuff in our own lives. If someone calls me a “nappy headed n**gger” at my job, I can file a complaint. If it’s a reoccurring thing, I can see them fired or file a hefty lawsuit. Why wouldn’t I have a similar option if I were 14 and a schoolmate called me such?

If someone is harassing me at work, in my home, on the street, I have recourse. I can call the cops, I can file a complaint at work (it might not stop the idiot, but it’s SOMETHING). If someone actually assaults me, I have the same recourse. We need to either apply the laws we’ve already got against assault and harassment between kids, or support better laws – which this one sure isn’t and I really wish the family could get their poor son’s name off it.

(And another thing, while my heart goes out to bullies who are just lashing out because of their own abuse or bullying or whatever, telling their victim to just “ignore it” isn’t getting them any help either)

Ignoring Bullies is Bullshit, and Why