This Reflection Business Again

Pusheen!

What? It was cute.

Man, I can’t believe that I have to write another one of these already. The fact that it’s been around four months since the beginning of the semester is kind of baffling. It definitely hasn’t seemed like four months, at least in terms of 491.

So, what did I like about this class? Well, the people in the class has to be the number one thing. Unlike last time I had to write one of these, there were only seven other people besides me, including Kate, so it was much easier to get to know everyone and it was a much more comfortable atmosphere than the vast majority of my classes in the past. Everyone had something different they brought to the class that made it better as a whole. And I got more friends (as lonely and pathetic as that makes me sound)! Especially Dan. I got to know Dan a lot more over this semester and he’s now one of my good friends. And I met another childfree person in the flesh! And I actually got to know a teacher better than I ever have in my life! And hugs! And exclamation marks!

Another big plus to this class is that it helped me out a lot with my shyness. If you couldn’t tell (well, it is the Internet), I’m a really shy person offline and even pretty shy online, so I had a lot of room for improvement. The result? Well, I’m still a shy person, but I’ve opened up more, which is a good thing. I also discovered that I don’t actually suck at presentations if I know the topic intimately. The childfreedom and contraceptives presentation I did was the easiest one I ever had to do AND was the longest one I ever had to do. Go figure.

What about the actual stuff I learned about? I learned a lot, actually. I think the thing that’s going to stick with me is the whole “health at every size” thing. While I still think that there’s a limit to which sizes can possibly be healthy, I do like the idea a lot and it motivated me a bit to start taking care of myself a bit better. Having to do a blog post every week also taught me a few things, mainly about how depressing these stupid people with their stupid laws are and how, but also there’s so much going on in the United States that most people aren’t even aware of.

Overall, I’m really glad I took this class. It was a really good experience for me to have and one that I think I needed to have. Kate is a great teacher and is equally great moral support who helped me a ton with graduate school stuff and sorting out my future a bit.

So yeah…thanks. I’ll miss you guys. Keep in touch.

DISENGAGE

*facepalm*

No. Do not make it so. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.

So, uh…yeah. Remember last week and how Tennessee passed that no hand-holding bill and how stupid that was? Apparently they read my post and decided to up the ante and are trying to pass an EVEN STUPIDER law. Yep. Guess what will happen if it passes? Congratulations, women of Tennessee! You now are all one miscarriage away from being murderers! What? Didn’t like that prize? Oh well. Maybe if you stopped being sluts, you wouldn’t have to worry about possibly becoming murderers.

See, Tennessee lawmakers are now deciding that embryos weren’t really included in laws because they kept using the term fetuses (reminds me of my first post), so they claim they were just trying to include all stages of an unborn child’s growth. They say that this is to protect women from people attacking them and charging people who do with homicide or whatever if the women miscarry. Yeah, I don’t buy it one bit. It’s completely obvious what they’re trying to do:

  1. Ban abortion at any stage. If embryos are people and it’s considered murder if you kill an embryo, then clinics and hospitals shouldn’t be allowed to “murder” anymore and abortion would be outlawed like any other form of “murder”. This is the main reason for this law, no matter how much it’s glossed over.
  2. Punish women for having natural bodily functions they can’t control. About 40%-50% or so of embryos are miscarried before they reach the fetal stage. This means that women have a 40%-50% or so chance of being murderers for something that happens naturally, even if they do everything they’re supposed to in order to try and keep the embryo alive until they give birth. This leads to…
  3. Punish women for having sex. If women weren’t such sluts, they wouldn’t have to worry about having miscarriages. Who cares if she was trying to get pregnant? SLUT. Who cares if she used birth control? SLUT. Who cares if she only has one partner, which is her husband? SLUT.

There’s also a few, possibly unforeseen/they didn’t give a shit, implications of this law:

  1. Punish women who actually want to have children. To women who are trying to have children, a miscarriage can be a devastating slap in the face and is already an emotional event for them. Adding the possibility of being charged with murdering the baby they eventually wanted to have doesn’t help at all. It’s just like banning abortion after a certain number of weeks, like 22 and such. Since the VAST majority of abortions happen WAY before 22 weeks, the only women who are being punished are the ones who want their children to be born, but they might have birth defects that would kill the baby, or the birth would probably kill the mother or both. Imagine having to give birth to a dead baby because the laws refused to let you abort it and said you were evil and immoral for wanting to not give birth to a dead baby. Gee, thanks government for punishing those evil…how many women again?
    Abortion Graph

    Psst. 88% of women get abortions before 12 weeks.

    Ah, right. Thanks for punishing those evil 1.5% of all women who get abortions after 21 weeks, especially those who get them for medically-necessary reasons! You sure showed them!

  2. Give women the ability to punish others for their miscarriages. Just think about it. In this sue-happy society we live in, there’s no doubt that there’s going to be a few women who try to sue anyone and everyone for their miscarriages. Woman A can eat at McDonald’s and then sue them for not having a warning label that says pregnant women shouldn’t eat there because it caused their miscarriage. Woman B can work somewhere that allows smoking within however many feet in front of the building and then sue them for allowing smoking because it caused their miscarriage. Woman C can have a husband and then threaten to sue him for causing her miscarriage if he doesn’t do what she wants. Of course, this can also work the other way around. Her husband could threaten to turn her in for murder if she doesn’t do what he wants.

Now the question is, will they stop with fertilized eggs? Well, most likely. I doubt that a law that prohibits women from not being pregnant would fly. Plus, they wouldn’t dare to try and pass a law that says male ejaculation without impregnating a woman is murder because they’re killing millions of potential babies. All the white guys would bust a nut and vote against it. Why punish the men? DISCRIMINATION. It’s the women who get pregnant, so they need to take full responsibility for the outcomes of their pregnancies! Hate to break it to you guys, but it takes two to tango.

Really? Are Tennessee and Arizona having a contest to see who can turn their state into a militant, oppressive, women-gay-and-racial-minority-hating, dictatorshipland first? LESS GOVERNMENT REGULATION YAAAAAY.

DOES NOT COMPUTE

Yoda

Full of shit, you are.

So Tennessee lawmakers have apparently passed a bill that says that children should not be exposed to kissing or hand-holding at school. The reasoning? THEY QUALIFY AS “GATEWAY SEXUAL ACTIVITIES” THAT ENCOURAGE UNMARRIED CHILDREN TO HAVE SEX.

I…eh…WHAT?!

Alright, how in the nine circles of hell does goddamn HAND-HOLDING encourage sex? How could they have POSSIBLY come to that conclusion?

Wait, let me see if I understand this correctly:

Hand-holding leads to hugging

Hugging leads to kissing

Kissing leads to groping

Groping leads to premarital sex

Premarital sex leads to THE DARK SIDE

Tennessee lawmakers believe this shit, but they refuse to acknowledge that abstinence-only education has pretty much been PROVEN TO NOT WORK. If it worked, how come states that ban teaching comprehensive sex education have the highest rates of teen pregnancy and STDs? So instead of actually reducing the amount of teen pregnancy and STDs, they’re making their abstinence-only education EVEN MORE ABSTINENCE-ONLY? WHICH WILL ONLY INCREASE THE TEEN PREGNANCY RATES AND SPREAD OF STDS? GAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!

Even better, if a teacher is found to be “demonstrating gateway sexual activity”, they can be sued. Well, I guess if I lived in Tennessee, my Lutheran preschool teachers would have been sued out the ass by our parents because they DARED to make us hold-hands with our street-crossing buddies so that we didn’t get hit by cars. “What? You say that they were making you hold hands? THOSE GODLESS GOD-FEARING SLUTS! HOW DARE THEY TRY TO PROTECT THE LIVES OF THEIR STUDENTS BY ENCOURAGING THEM TO HAVE SEX WHEN WALKING ACROSS THE STREET!”

You know, it’s nice to know that they actually care about their children’s sexual health and totally get their youth who never EVER have sex before marriage, unlike the kids in those filthy liberal states with their heathen comprehensive sex education that actually helps reduce teen pregnancy and STDs. Studies are lies! There’s no merit to them!

Then again, I can’t really be surprised by a state that passed a bill that banned the use of the words gay and homosexuality in school, tried/is trying to allow a loophole in anti-bullying laws that lets people use their religions as an excuse to bully anyone they wanted, especially those damn homosexuals, and passed a law that lets schools teach creationism if they want to. Because, you know, being a decent human being is stupid and we didn’t come from monkeys. Is this the “smaller government” that republicans like to talk about? If so, FUCK YOU.

*sigh*

To Compliment or Not to Compliment

BOOBIES

You saw this coming

Alright, so Feministe has a post basically about society seeing woman as only their body parts and whatnot, which isn’t a rare topic at all. The part I was interested in involved countering things like “I think I’m being negatively judged because of my x being too y” with “What’s wrong with them? I like y x.” As I skimmed through the huge number of comments, I noticed that there were two main groups: the women who thought that doing this type of thing is still objectification and the men who thought that doing this type of thing is trying to reassure them that they aren’t shit. Personally, I’m kind of torn on this issue.

On one hand, I definitely agree that this female objectification thing is annoying and it doesn’t do any favors to women who have body image issues like myself. It doesn’t help that trying to increase the body image of one group of women often can decrease the body image of another group. The first one that pops into my head is small breasts versus large breasts. It’s either “Oh, I love big boobs!” or “Smaller boobs are better. More than a handful is a waste.” Also, if a woman complains to a man about being discriminated against at work because of her small breasts, it may not be such a good idea to bring up how he likes her small breasts. This may cause her to think that all that really matters is her small breasts and not how she feels.

On the other hand, I can see where the guys are coming from. For example, I actually agreed with this comment for the most part:

You guys, so, my bird is a Quaker Parrot, and he’s green and grey, but when he sees other birds that are brown and red and blue and stuff he gets all down on himself and he’s like “squawk” and I’m like “You know society is the messed up one for judging based on the color of your feathers!” but then he’s all “squawk chirp” and then does a biting motion so I wanna tell him that I LIKE green and grey feathers but I’m afraid he’ll just squawk if I do.

So my question (I’m asking because I BELIEVE in FEMINISM, and if you believe in FEMINISM you’ll help me because that’s your job as King Feminism) but like seriously Caperton, since you wrote this article addressing me:

Can I tell my bird that it’s pretty?

Other than reducing women to squawking parrots, I get his point. He realizes that society judges women based on their appearances and thinks that playing up certain attributes of women can make them feel better. For example, if I came home one day and said that I thought I was being judged at work because of my big thighs or something and my fiancé said that it was stupid and unfair, I admit that I would most likely welcome a comment about him liking my big thighs because it would probably help make me feel better. However, this isn’t the case for all women, especially due to the large number of comments calling out any men who thought this way. Plus, I’m not sure how I’d take a comment about my thighs from a stranger. About a week ago, some guy told me “I like you boobs” as we walked by each other. That…was a tad creepy. Still, a tiny part of me appreciated that because it made me feel slightly less undesirable, even if it was really weird.

So what’s the right answer in all of this? Personally, I have no idea. I mean, telling a woman that they shouldn’t be judged by their appearance and then judging her by her appearance is hypocritical and pretty stupid. However, some women like myself do appreciate finding people who like the attributes that they hate because it may boost their self-esteem. I guess it just depends on the person, really.

Happiness? Pfft.

NOMNOMNOM

We've all been there

Right, so here’s the top 10 list (out of 20) happiest jobs:

1. Software Quality Assurance Engineer

2a. Executive Chef

2b. Property Manager

4. Teller

5. Warehouse Manager

6. Administrative Assistant

7. Customer Service Representative

8. Accountant

9a. Systems Engineer

9b. Construction Manager

Compare that with the list of the top ten unhappiest jobs by the same person:

1. Security Officer

2. Registered Nurse

3. Teacher

4. Sales Engineer

5a. Product Manager

5b. Program Manager

7. Marketing Manager

8. Director of Sales

9a. Marketing Director

9b. Maintenance Supervisor

So, what’s wrong with this picture? Well, two out of the top five unhappiest jobs are traditionally female-dominated professions, which are nurse and teacher. It’s safe to say that most people in the United States have heard about nurses and especially teachers getting paid chump change in comparison to how important their jobs are or how they are treated unfairly for only doing their jobs. For example, teachers are being treated more and more like crap now that parents are starting to side with their children for everything, even if their little angels are destructive little shits who have never been disciplined in their lives.

Compare this with the (admittedly dubious for including customer service) top 10 happiest jobs, which include no traditionally female-dominated professions. Furthermore, if you look at the top 10 happiest jobs and even the top 11-20 happiest jobs, there are a good number of STEM professions there. The problem with this is that there aren’t a lot of women in STEM careers for whatever reason, such as women being advised to not go into these careers, the stereotype that women can’t do math, or the stigma of women entering male-dominated professions. Also, girls are more often than not usually encouraged to go into traditionally female-oriented jobs when they are young.

“Oh, you want to be an astronaut? That’s not ladylike at all. You need to be a teacher!”

“Oh, you want to be a surgeon? That’s not ladylike at all either. You need to be a nurse!”

“Oh, you want to be the president of a pharmaceutical company? That’s still not ladylike at all. You need to be a mommy!”

Asking for It

This seems familiar...

Only blame these hoods

I’m assuming that most of you already know about Trayvon Martin’s death by shooting. If you’re a white person, chances are you automatically jumped to “Well, why should I care? They get shot and stabbed to death all the time. They kill each other all the time too” Yeah, don’t do that. Take a look at this and tell me that you don’t feel disgusted. If you don’t, you’re either the scum of the earth or a white supremacist, which are also the scum of the earth.

So, there’s a few a few forces in play here.

1) Victim blaming: IN FUCKING SPADES. Case in point, the hoodie that Trayvon was wearing is apparently an accomplice in his murder. What. I completely understand what Rivera is saying and I get his point, but that still doesn’t mean that clothing is to blame here. It isn’t the root of the problem at all. Saying that wearing a hoodie was him just asking to get shot was like saying a woman walking by herself was her just asking to get raped. Besides, IT WAS RAINING WHEN HE GOT SHOT. Tons of people wear hoodies with the hood up when it’s raining. Hell, I see them up all the time when it’s raining on campus here and nobody gets shot for it. How is this situation any different?

2) Racism: Obviously. It’s already known that the psycho that killed Trayvon was actively looking for crimes committed by black kids and teens. People on all sides of this issue are also up at arms about the psycho’s race. When I was looking on Yahoo! for information about this, one of the things noted was that the psycho was “white Hispanic”, which confused the hell out of a lot of people. He was either Hispanic and pretending to be white or mixed Mexican/white. Hispanic isn’t actually a race and plenty of white Hispanics exist. Hell, Spain is full of them. Here you either have black people saying that a white guy killed Trayvon or white people saying that a Hispanic guy killed Trayvon (which automatically means Mexican here). It’s always the other guy’s race.

3) Stand Your Ground: This is a really big problem. In Florida, you can basically shoot anyone you feel like if you feel threatened by them and then claim self-defense and get away without murder charges. Since Trayvon was such a big, scary, 140 lbs black teenager, the 250 lbs psycho felt threatened by his obviously suspicious behavior and shot him. Naturally, the people who wrote the law in the first place are saying that he needs to face charges. Yeah, they wouldn’t have to do that if their law wasn’t so damn vague in the first place. I mean, I’m a short chick without much athletic ability, so there’s a lot of people who could overpower me or be unnerving to be around. If I’m walking by myself, does that mean I can shoot anyone who walks by me and call it self-defense? Hell no.

Do your part in some small way and sign the petition to bring the bastard to justice.

Meep

PEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

Somewhat relevant

Alright, so we’re each gonna have to teach everyone in the class for 30-35 minutes about a topic of our choosing that relates to the course. I’m probably gonna be scared shitless for the days leading up to my day, so I might as well pick something I know about decently well.

The topic that I’m seriously considering is childfreedom and contraception/abortion. This got suggested to me because my fellow CFer in the class is already doing childfreedom and I really don’t want to step on their toes, but I also really want to present on something childfree related. I think the rationalization is that I can cover contraception/abortion issues and they can cover everything else. I’m planning on going over a few myths about childfree people and contraception (possibly), the obstacles that most childfree people have to face in order to get certain kinds of contraception (mainly IUDs and permanent sterilization in any form), why the option to get an abortion is necessary for most childfree people, how the internet has helped childfree people obtain certain kinds of contraception by providing valuable information and tips from others, online resources for childfree people, and anything else I can think of that relates to this specific area.

Of course, I have a backup topic just in case, but I’m not exactly sure how to make porn classroom friendly.

Speaking of White Chicks…

ASS MOVIE

First thing I thought of

I’m still feeling like shit, so this’ll be a pretty short post.

I remember a while back, I saw a few commercials for some new show that was going to air at some point. I remember thinking that it looked completely stupid. I remember instantly comparing it to White Chicks because it seemed similar and similarly stupid. And now I found out it got cancelled. What? You mean it was offensive to transgender people? NO, REALLY?

I mean, seriously. From what I could tell, this show was assuming a few things:

1) Men (sex) can dress up as women (sex) in the workplace (and vice versa) and not get fired, harassed, beaten up, or killed for it. Transwomen who wear feminine clothing (again, and vice versa) typically can’t. Also, this is making it seem that transgender people are just cross-dressers or something. They aren’t.

2) Women have an easier time getting jobs because they’re women. What? You mean that affirmative action doesn’t work like that?

3) The world needed another one of these stupid shows.

This whole thing reeks of cisgender privilege. Glad there won’t be any more new episodes of this garbage coming out.

Body Image Blues

Agnes Lum

My favorite bikini model ever

I, like many other women in the United States, have self-esteem issues that partially stem from a poor body image. My thighs are too fat, my eyebrows are too bushy, my stomach is too pudgy, my nose is too big, my ears are too small, my skin is too pale, etc, etc, etc. I’m just too imperfect to ever expect to make it in life. And I thought this for a while.

And then I found the Internet.

This wonderful thing opened up a new world to me that I didn’t know existed. It allowed me to find many many MANY other people all around the United States who aren’t happy with they way they look. I found images upon images of normal people like me who don’t fit the airbrushed and perfect look that we are trained from a young age to aspire to be. And not to sound creepy or anything, but I also found her.

Agnes Lum is often considered to be the first gravure idol (kind of like a bikini model) in Japan and was extremely popular when she was in the business. I’m not even sure how I came across a picture of her, but I was curious about who she was. When I found out she was so well-liked and pranced around in a bikini, I was both surprised and pretty happy. I mean, look at her! She’s got thighs that aren’t about the same thickness as her lower legs, slight saddlebags, and even some stomach pudge! Knowing that people thought she was beautiful (and still do!) makes me very happy. Her boobs might have had something to do with it, but eh. At least they aren’t stuffed with silicone.

So what does she and the rest of the Internet have to do with my body image? Well, I still have pretty horrible self-esteem and I still don’t really like my body, but I’m starting to say screw it all and just focus on being healthy. My lifestyle choices right now suck horribly. I’m really lazy and my diet is crap, so I want to work on that when I’m out of college and have time to do so. Though it’s really hard for me to not worry about what other people think of me, I’m working on it.

Speaking of body image, how about that new Levi’s ad? Before I clicked on this story on another site, I assumed people were complaining about “glorifying unhealthy weights” or something for daring to have a model over size 4 in an ad, but I was wrong. Good thing or bad thing? I’m not exactly sure. Looking at the images, I can consider myself to be one of the people who really can’t see any real differences between the three women in the ad. What’s the difference? No, seriously. I can’t tell at all. I mean, I can kind of see a difference in their butts, but…yeah. There’s no real difference. And that’s a problem.

So what kind of message is this sending? Well, it’s kind of obvious. “Hotness comes in all shapes and sizes”, but only if you’re skinny with little thighs and only have some varying degree of booty. But not too big because that’s ghetto.

Well, fuck. I guess that means I have to throw out my Levi’s.

It’s Black and White to Me

Jynx from Pokemon

This is actually relevant.

The thing that piqued my interest this week in 491 was the “What Do You Know about Black History?” YouTube video.  I had previously seen the last bit of it when I was walking into another class of mine last week and I wondered what it was, but didn’t really think anything about it. After seeing the full video, I’ve got stuff to say.

Why was the blackface necessary? You just don’t do that anymore. EVER. I mean, I can see a few sides to this argument. I understand that he was trying to conduct an experiment with the blackface in order to see if anyone in that school of sheltered white kids would recognize a faker. Personally, I don’t think they’d recognize an actual black person if they danced naked in front of them wearing Dobby’s tea cozy, but that’s just me (alright, that was an exaggeration, but you get my point). Still, the way he went about it wasn’t very…experiment-y. To me, it somewhat seemed that he just wanted to try and pretend to be a black guy to interview people because he couldn’t get an actual black guy to do it and that he threw in the “statistics” at the end to justify it. He could’ve done a lot more with it if he was actually going to have a decent attempt at justifying it. Plus, I’m curious if the people who knew he wasn’t actually a black person where black themselves. That said, you don’t use blackface, even if it’s for “scientific” reasons or modeling reasons or whatever.

But Kathulu, what about White Chicks? Why can black people pretend to be white people but not the other way around? Hell, I dunno. It could possibly have something to do with the fact that blackface was very offensive (AND STILL IS), carries very negative connotations, and evokes very negative emotions in people. “Whiteface” isn’t a thing, but I personally still don’t like it. That movie was stupid anyway.

But Kathulu, what about white people tanning and everyone else whitening their skin? That’s completely different and has to do with beauty ideals in respective cultures rather than being offensive. I’ll admit, it does get really annoying and tiring when you’re always told that you’re sooo pale when you live in a country that values tan skin.

Speaking of stupidity, people really need to stop and think before they say stupid things about domestic violence. I didn’t bother to watch the Grammys and I never do, but I was on Twitter when I noticed a few trending topics related to Chris Brown started to pop up. I clicked one of them, #womanbeater (I think that’s what it was), because I automatically assumed I knew who people were talking about. Turns out, I was right. I was happy to see so many people protesting him, but I was disturbed to see people defending him, telling people to stop bein hatazzz and to get over it because it was totally like such a long time ago. Then I ran into a few articles a few days later about people actually saying they wouldn’t mind if Chris Brown beat them. WHAT.

You can tell that none of these women had EVER been abused because if they had, they would NEVER BE SAYING SUCH STUPID SHIT. Seriously. You think a victim of rape would say that they wouldn’t mind him raping them? FUCKING. NO. I hope that these chicks realize how stupid, heartless, and moronic they sound and change.

So how does this relate to race? Well, I was poking around in the comments and noticed that a few people brought up an interesting point. What if Chris Brown had beaten up a white chick, such as Taylor Swift?

“Had Chris Brown assaulted Taylor Swift he’d be working at Mickey D’s now.”

“Actually, had Chris brown assaulted Taylor Swift, he would be locked up under the jail.”

“I’ve had similar thoughts in regards to race: What if Chris Brown assaulted a white woman? Or what if Rhianna herself was white? How would that scenario have played out up to this point?”

It’s definitely an thought-provoking point. What would’ve happened? I personally think that he’d be in jail (or whatever kind of fancy holding facility celebrities go to) for even daring to attack a sweet and innocent white woman. How dare h-, oh, he only smacked his black girlfriend around a little bit. Nevermind. That’s how black people say I love you. Get over it, people.