Misogynist Bingo

The “Game” Women Play Every Day (Now in Handy Game Form)

Here’s a sad and infuriating fact:

Among the women I know, not a day goes by when one or more of them isn’t in some way harassed, threatened, bullied, stalked, badgered, endangered, or even subject to physical abuse or violence at the hands of a (usually, but not always, male) member of our misogynistic culture. Think about that. Literally not a single day. When this stuff happens to women, it’s terrifying, it’s enraging, it’s demoralizing, it’s wrong, and sometimes – often, even – it’s deadly. And nobody who supports feminism needs to be told any of this.

But recently, another angle of why this behavior is so fucking insufferably awful, why it routinely sucks the very life out of women I love and want to protect, has been particularly visible to me. I’m thinking about the rote exhaustion and boredom of dealing with misogynistic behaviors day in and day out. And yes, for any readers who are wondering: it is indeed possible to be simultaneously afraid for your life/safety and bored to actual tears. Welcome to the living nightmare experienced by roughly 50 percent of the human population at least part of the time! Continue reading

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The Squirrel is Wearing a Blue Dress

On sensory perception vs. awareness, The Dress infernal, and empathy.

After the internet juggernaut that was The Dress – about which I think we can say 1) interesting things have been written, good job! and 2) horse is dead, people, move on – another article has started making the rounds, having to do with how our perceptions of color have changed over time.

No one could see the color blue until modern times, argues Kevin Loria over at Business Insider. This article is a pretty great read for anyone interested in how language, perception, and awareness interact in our minds. But – and this is an important but – the headline is completely inaccurate, and buries the most interesting points of the discussion in clickbait’s characteristically sloppy swagger and panache. Continue reading

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Calling on Ethical Members of Law Enforcement: Stand Against Police Brutality and First Amendment Violations in Ferguson

What’s happening in Ferguson, MO, is wrong. And it is terrifying in terms of its implications for racial equity, or even the basic safety of Black people living in the United States today, as well as any other group that has been a frequent target of discrimination and violence.

"Don't Shoot"

Please help me credit the original photographer for this photo – it’s been floating around since last night and there are no photo credits that I can find.

It would be wrong and ignorant to categorically label every police officer and member of law enforcement in this country a racist, coldblooded murderer with no respect for human rights and human dignity.

But the one who murdered Michael Brown is.

And the ones who are tear-gassing unarmed civilians and using military-level force in response to NONVIOLENT, FIRST AMENDMENT PROTECTED protests and journalism certainly have the potential to be, and certainly aren’t shying away from the opportunity.

Meanwhile, law enforcement throughout the nation has remained largely silent on this catastrophic tramping of human rights and basic, basic morality.

So now I want to call on every ethical member of law enforcement who does NOT stand in support of race-motivated violence, oppression, and murder to stop slinking around in silence and SAY IT. Say it publicly. Say it loudly. Let us know that you are ALLIES of the nonviolent civilians you are paid to protect, and not a danger to us. Say how you’re willing to help.

Please. If you love your country, now is the time to show it, and this is the way to do so.

A Better Suggestion

See, for example, the great thinking of bell hooks and Kate Losse.

NO YOU

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I’ll just stop at “Why?”

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A “GYPSY-worthy” canal has fewer carcinogenic heavy metals that will kill you. Except that it doesn’t. And “GYPSY” is an ethnic slur.

I was admittedly not at my best when I first came across the glib “Happiness = Reality – Expectations” equation in Wait But Why’s now-ubiquitous “Why Generation Y Yuppies Are Unhappy”: I had just cleaned dog vomit off of a suitcase full of clean clothing. So I tried, sincerely, to take my desire to find and strangle the person who wrote the piece with a post-dog-vomit grain of salt. I mean, vom happens, right? I clearly needed to adjust my expectations so that I could be happy.

Except that NO. Because there are just so many things this piece gets wrong. And it does so stealthily, cleverly, and cutely, so that it comes across as optimistic coping advice based in humorous tough love ethics. And the more I tried not to engage, the more I knew I couldn’t let it lie (and lie, and lie), because this piece crosses the line from “poorly-written, vaguely trolling fluff” into “sinister, inaccurate, damaging misinformation” and keeps on going until it arrives at “reader-bullying strawperson arguments about things that did not actually happen with a side of apologism/denial re: a good many things that did”. And there it stays. And it’s really awful and depressing and infuriating.

So here is an alternate list of reasons why Gen Y yuppies are unhappy, with bonus extra-credit reasons why it’s maybe kind of stoopid to call us “yuppies” at all. It is based on reality, and features no rainbow-spewing unicorn adversaries. Sorry.

Continue reading

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