RMA

There’s been a Gawker article making the rounds asserting that “Douchebag” might just be the white racial slur we’ve all been waiting for, though it does specify that it’s intended at entitled white males. [See here]

I maintain that entitled white males have already given us what we’re looking for, though we do need to make a slight adjustment. Men’s Rights Advocates, or MRAs, tend to be at that particularly asinine, douchey intersection of racism and misogyny that is the default and wants to stay that way. The wonderful part about it is that with a slight rearranging of the letters, we come up with the acronym for Racist Misogynist Asshole. It has the benefit of using something they’ve co-opted for themselves and turning it around to call them out on the reality.

Othering

Someone on my Facebook feed shared an article on a Catholic website that includes part of an interview with an Iraqi bishop in an Italian paper. The Iraqi bishop “warns” Europeans and Western Christians, conflating all Muslims with the radicals that want everyone in the world converted or dead, ironically outing himself as the same kind of person deep down by stating that Muslims pose a danger and implying that they should be expelled lest that danger come to fruition.

It’s human nature to want to distinguish ourselves as separate, but also to band together. So we find ourselves in groups and insist that our group is the best. If our group is the best, then any and every other group can’t be as good, so they of course don’t deserve what we don’t want them to have. Like basic human rights.

Yes, this connects to the situation in Ferguson. Because despite the problems with militarization of the police, the real problem is more basic. Black people, black lives, have been othered. Like so many have said, Mike Brown’s murder is simply the culmination of decades-long systemic othering of non-white people, and is representative of what goes on around the country. Reservations, ghettos, barrios… Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis, Mike Brown, John Crawford, Ezell Ford… the litany goes on. We’ve put anyone non-white into that “other” group that doesn’t belong, can’t be as good, so doesn’t deserve what we don’t want to give. And that. is. wrong. Correcting it is going to be a long process, but first we need to acknowledge that it’s something that needs correcting. That it is WRONG.

Every life matters. Muslim lives matter.

Black lives matter.

Desperately Lonely. | Infactorium

From Desperately Lonely. | Infactorium. Retweeted by author Elizabeth Moon from @kejames. A powerful post on overcoming loneliness and entitlement.

I was a virgin until I was twenty-five. I was never any good at attracting attention from women from puberty. I spent about 12 years of my life desperately wanting a girlfriend. Longing with stupid boyish lust. I made humiliating abortive attempts. I rejected the women who were interested in me. Sometimes on purpose, because I didn’t like them as well. Sometimes not realizing what I was doing. Once, in high school, I have since discovered, the girl I liked liked me back, but I was too much of a coward to find out at the time. And I was lonely for all those years. I imagined I wanted a family. A wife. But I can see now that what I was looking for was a body. Access to physical affection. While that wasn’t clear to me at the time, it was perfectly clear to any woman I focused my interest on.

See more at link above.

Urge to Write

I have the urge to write, but absolutely no idea of what I might have to say. I suppose it boils down to the urge to simply create something, more than a mere tweet.

One of the reasons I got over 10K steps yesterday is that I spent the entire morning (post 7 am, anyway) and a little into the afternoon cleaning. I put a bunch of stuff away, or at least stacked it up neater, threw away a BUNCH of trash, vacuumed, Swiffered, deodorized, and generally made my house a more pleasant place to live and hang out. My FitBit only recorded about 8 minutes of that as “intense activity” but the limits of a gyroscope are fairly clear. Walking at a remotely reasonable pace racks up the minutes fairly quickly, so to reach my goal, I should probably just flat walk more. It might help the swelling I notice in my ankles, too.

In any case, I’ve been getting to bed earlier and up earlier in the last couple of days, and it’s a good trend to continue, so off I go!

FitBit

So, almost three months ago, I got myself a FitBit Flex and a FitBit Aria (the scale).

Mostly what it’s done for me is to show me just exactly how much sleep I’m getting (about normal) and how much I’m not walking.

Most days, I manage between 1,500 and 3,000 steps. The normal average/basic recommended number is 10K. Oops. I have managed to make 5K a few times, 10K once and 15K once (those on the same day, so the 10K was passed on the way to 15K).

It’s really no wonder I’m not losing much, if any weight.

This post is as much a shaken “tsk” finger at myself and a reminder that I really can do better.

One Wish

If I could have one, single, world-changing wish, it would be that every single person in the world could enjoy the same level of privilege (in opportunity, in being the norm, in having a voice, in loving the person or persons you wish and marrying them… in every single way) that white cisgendered hetero able-bodied males do right now.

Worthlessness

I realized a few minutes ago that I truly can not think of anything positive my brother has ever had to say about me, except maybe that I’m his sister. This is due to a lot of factors. I’m upset at him right now for his extremely conservative mindset, the way I treated him while we were growing up never really gave him much positive to see or think about me, and he’s actually made it rather abundantly clear that he thinks I’m rather dim, or at the very least, only shallowly intelligent.

I will freely admit that I treated all four of my younger siblings with extreme dysfunctionality. I’d hug too tight, then turn right around and smack them, or try to as they got as big and then bigger than me. Part of that was the dysfunction that was modeled for me by my parents, but at least as much of it was just me. I had a seriously nasty temper, and tended to lash out when I was frustrated, usually at my younger siblings. I have probably spent my entire life trying to prove my superiority over them one way or another.

As much this hurts, even knowing the reasons behind it, it also occurred to me that it’s an interesting metaphor for white feminism. White feminists are oldest children in a dysfunctional family. The parental figure oppresses us with glass ceilings, madonna-whore complexes, and a whole lot more, but we in turn smack around the “younger kids” — trans*, women (and sometimes men) of color — anyone who isn’t cis, hetero, and white. Desperately trying to prove our superiority over someone because mostly white men make us feel small and helpless. And when the ones we’ve turned and made feel small and helpless start yelling out about what we’re doing, we knee-jerk and whine that can’t we all just get along and whining when they hit back that they started it. The metaphor breaks down in the details, but the gist is there.

That’s why my feminism is intersectional, and inclusive. Because even when I’m made to feel like crap for being a woman, or fat (I am morbidly obese), or for whatever reason, turning around and making someone else feel like crap might make me feel temporarily a little bit better, but that temporary feeling of superiority is bullshit.

My feminism will be intersectional or it will be bullshit. (With due credit to Flavia Dzodan.)