vasaris: (Default)
You know, it bothers me a lot less when a conservative tells me s/he thinks I'm wrong than when s/he says I'm unAmerican. Every time I even glance at the backlash against Obama's win, I come away with a sick horror. For all that I find a lot of the visible, frothing GOP to be OMG, WTF batshit, with a side order zealot-frosted krazykakes, I don't doubt that they're American. I totally understand disappointment, even fear (because I honestly do fear the GOP, not just on the front of human rights, but in how the GOP views America vs. the rest of the world, deities above, below, and in the deep blue sea...), but I cannot understand, or condone the "America died" and "We should secede" rhetoric, much less the claims of we weren't divisive enough, WTF?. Aside from the obvious issues (sovereign nations provide their own currency, security, and such, that I doubt right wing separationists have thought of), it boggles me that that is somehow a rational response.

In a GOP win, I would have tried to fight within the system, supporting issues at a state level, even if they couldn't be managed at the federal level. I would campaign, and call, and argue one person at a time if necessary.

But I would never have called GOP supporters unAmerican. I would never have said Washinton, California, and Oregon should secede from the Union (despite the fact I'm fairly certain they could be self supporting as a group). Because, yeah, I think they're wrong in ways that matter deeply to me, but I don't think they're magically not American.

So... Dear GOP: Get Over Yourselves, because We're Americans Too.
vasaris: (Default)
Assholes, please.

Believe it or not -- for all that I'm not impressed by a fair number of the female Republican contingent -- neither I, nor most liberals I know, are actually happy about them being the subject of gender-, sex-, or sexual activity-based slurs. Weirdly, if such are brought to my attention, I object to them.

You know what I find odd? Conservatives complaining that Liberals are allowed to make nasty comments about their female contingent when they don't have the same right.

Thing is: Liberals don't have the same right. What I want to know is, where is the Conservative backlash about such incidents? And don't give me the 'OMG LIBERAL MEDIA' garbage. Locally (and nationally) there are plenty of outlets that would carry the message 'You don't have the right to do that.' There are organizations that would fight on your side (the ACLU is about American civil liberties, and among these is the right to be free of slander). Where is Rush Limbaugh, using the power of his millions of listeners, striking back with 'You can't use that language -- stick to the issues not the stereotypes and gendered name-calling'? Where is the groudswell of outrage on the intarwebs?

I'll tell you where: In the camp that thinks that it's okay to use those words for women, especially women with the potential for power or influence. The really obnoxious aspects male privledge are not confined to Conservative males -- there's heaps of them on the Liberal side, too. A person can believe in social welfare and still have the primitive response that 'women with power are dangerous', believe in equal rights but still have a visceral reaction to the threat of what he considers his rights, and frankly -- no one likes sharing.

The Christian Right which has taken over so much of the Republican Party has no real room for female politicians in their "Conservative Christian" doctrine. They are women who are required to simultaneously be the exemplar of "traditional familiy values" -- including but not limited to bowing to the will of the males in their lives and being content with 'a woman's role' -- while living lives that could not exist without the sexual revolution and the women's movement. And so -- if there is name calling -- the outrage is muted, because a large sector of the Right Wing agrees on a visceral level. The women of the Left aren't a threat to "traditional family values" the way that the women of the Right are.

Women on the Left can be dismissed as women who don't know their place, as women who do what they do because they are in some way moral degenerates, as belonging to some strata of society that's just trying to gain some kind of unwarranted focus (ugly, fat, gay, spinster, or whatever). But women on the Right -- they exemplify the same usurpations of male privledge, and the Right cannot tear them down in the same way... so the Right does not scream as loudly in outrage when some Liberal asshole uses inappropriate language to tear at them. Their women have to endure the mudslinging and the Right gets to say 'You're hypocrites' when the Left complains about Right Wing behavior.

Which, while true, is meant as a distraction from real issues instead of opening a dialogue about how the mud and blood and grime that is allowed to be used against women (I mean, c'mon, you call a politician a 'real bastard' it can be as much a compliment as a denigration. "Slut" has no redeeming features whatsoever.) But we can't have that conversation because it is antithetical to the "Traditional Family Values" Right wing, because if they campaign against the use of such language, they have to admit that it's wrong, that it is wrong to bring sexuality or gender into the political arena, that their Moral Agenda would be crippled by saying 'These things have no place in the governing of our nation.'

And if gender and sexuality have no place in the debate, we'd have to discuss the economy, foreign policy, domestic policy, environmental policy and all the things that go with them. Instead of promising "I'll fix all them problems" and handwaving the method (which, yes, the Left is pretty damn bad about, too) everything about governance would be exposed to the open air.

But it's easier to provoke screaming matches about gay marriage, birth control, and abortion. It's easier to say 'You're such hypocrites' instead of saying 'You know, you're right -- and we should screamed louder when our own were attacked this way'. The first is dismissive of the real problem, and the second actually calls the Left on their damned shenanigans. So the very real social issue of how women are treated in society goes on untreated because it becomes a convenient tool and weapon.

So, to every jackass who dismisses what was said to Ms. Fluke with 'You're a bunch of hypocrites', it's nice to know that your problem with the screaming is not that what Mr. Limbaugh said was inappropriate -- it's that he was called on it. All that says about you and similar members of the Right is that you're part of the larger problem of denigrating and deriding women who have the utter gall to have opinions, to express opinions, to gain political and social power outside of your narrowly defined rules, to be confident in themselves and their beliefs without a man to dictate such for them. I'm sure that you -- and the Liberal assholes who do, in fact, share your foxhole in the war against women -- are very happy catching your own women in the "friendly fire."

You suck.
vasaris: (Default)
WTF, Limbaugh.

Okay, I realize that not everyone who I'm friended with is a liberal (I'd call myself a more or less liberal moderate), and I realize that not everyone agrees on things like abortion and birth control, but I can, and will, always take issue with the attitude that because a woman is on birth control pills, it's because she's having sex with every Tom, Dick, and Harry that crosses her path.

This attitude ignores the very obvious:
1. Married women use birth control.
2. Women in committed relationships use birth control.
3. Single women who are not promiscuous use birth control.
4. Single women who are do as well, but they're hardly the dominant measure of women in the world.
5. Women with a wide variety of issues with their reproductive systems use birth control to even out their hormone levels and make their lives easier.
6. Women use birth control simply to manage when they *do* have periods.
7. Women use birth control because, let's face it, if you're raped it's far better that you've preemptively taken precautions. Having one less thing to worry about when dealing with a violation doesn't strike me as a bad thing.

Comments about 'I'll buy enough asprin for all the women at Georgetown to hold between their knees' is just disgusting. It is not the sole responsibility of a woman to prevent sexual activity from happening. Leaving out the part that on average, a woman is smaller and physically weaker than a man, and thus more vulnerable to threat of rape -- where is the offer to tie all the boy's flys closed? Hmmm? Oh, that's right, if a man has sex with a woman, it's her fault. If he has sex with a man, it's his fault -- and he's an unholy degenerate for it. But the issue of homosexuality is a bit beyond the scope of this rant.

Why is a single woman on birth control a slut and/or a whore because she's preemptively taking birth control? Why is she at fault if sex occurs? Sure, she can keep her legs shut -- but surely men can keep it in their pants.

Taken in context -- that Ms. Fluke was testifying about a woman who had been denied insurance coverage for medication to treat uterine cancer, which just happens to also be birth control pills -- the whole thing is even more horrifying. She's to be called a slut and a public whore because... she wants insurance coverage for a medication that is prescribed for a wide array issues with the female reproductive system.

And then, of course, there are the other issues -- like insurance will cover Viagra which has (according to Wikipedia) about two uses aside from treating erectile dysfunction. There is little other purpose to Viagra but the having of sex, but a man is not a slut for using it. He's not a whore. He's allowed to have all the drugged up sex he wants, and not be judged for it.

Male privlege, let me show you it.

But historically, insurance has not paid for birth control. It's a moral judgement, not a medical one. The moral (not medical) judgment is that birth control pills exist for sex only and women shouldn't be allowed to have that. Yet, men can have Viagra, which also is also about having sex, but that's okay.

*shakes head*

Insurance will often pay for IVF. It will pay prenatal care. It will pay for birth, and for as many children as a person cares to have. Yet, one of the arguments that I have seen regarding insurance paying for birth control is one of 'Why should I pay higher premiums for you to have sex and not have children.'/'Why should I pay higher premiums for your lifestyle choice?' I really have to counter with 'Why should I pay higher insurance premiums for you to very expensively not have sex in order to have children? Why should they reflect you/your partner's pregnancy (regardless of how it came about)? And then pay higher premiums because the pregnancy and the children will be covered?' After all, having children is also a lifestyle choice. And, honestly, the people with children cost me (as a non-childed single individual with real property) a hell of a lot more in taxes, higher premiums, and all, than the childless woman who is religiously taking her birth control pills and having sex with every man she comes across (well, provided that she's also using a barrier method, because the pill? Isn't really the thing that enables promiscuity... that's condoms).

So, seriously, 'why should I pay for your lifestyle?' -- bite me. When I am excused from every tax levy for schools, when my insurance premiums don't take into account IVF, Viagra, and your kids, only then are you allowed to argue that you don't need to pay for 'other people's lifestyles. (Note: I don't have a problem with my property taxes paying for schools, nor -- with the exception of IVF, because I have issues with IVF in general -- do I care about overall insurance premiums reflecting services I never intend to use, but I will *not* accept an argument about 'paying for other people's lifestyles' from people who are subsidized by society and do not acknowledge it.)

It's a bizarre argument and not one that sways me much.

Especially as, given the even more divisive issue of abortion, ready access to birth control is the single most rational place for pro- and anti- abortion to meet.

Calling women sluts, shaming them for daring to have sex (or seek pleasure with their partners), denying them access to a medication that can be lifesaving for a moral judgement that is not levied on men, raging against their right to access to said medication for hypocritical reasons -- none of this moves me.

I understand that many people are passionate about the subject; I understand that they believe -- as deeply and fully as I do -- in things that I find illogical, fallacious, and often morally reprehensible; I know that not all people will agree with me, nor do I believe that all people should.

But the difference is: I don't wage war on men to deny them access to Viagra because, dude, it's just sex. I do not wage war on the childless and infertile to deny them access to IVF because dude, adopt or maybe God is trying to tell you something. I do not wage war against childed people, trying to refuse them acess to my tax monies (for education or social services) because, wow, did you even consider if you could afford that mouth before creating it?

I let these people have their lives without trying to cause them harm. I do not (or possibly cannot) understand how people like Mr. Limbaugh can wage war on women for the trivial reason of sex, especially when birth control pills are so often used for reasons other than birth control.

ETA: For the purposes of this rant, 'birth control' = 'hormonal birth control, generally in the form of pills', although I doubt that Limbaugh and those like him would react any differently to any form of birth control being covered by insurance... except abstinence. *considers how one even attempts to cover absinence in health insurance*
vasaris: (qbitch by misswindy)
The situation is bad enough, but if you honestly think that it doesn't reek of entitlement those are some shiny rose-colored goggles.

The basic situation is: Daughter calls mother to ask for her late father's wedding band to use in her upcoming wedding. This is kind of sweet, right? She wants to use her father's ring to give her new husband as some kind of continuance/heirloom. That's cool -- you don't usually see that in the men's rings.

Except, no -- she calls mom to say 'Mom, I want to melt my father's ring down to have material components for my fiance's ring.'

Apparently the fact that Mom has continued on with life and has since re-married, she should have no problem with this. Except -- no, not so much. Yes, she's moved on, but she keeps both his ring and the wedding set she wore when married to him as part of the few mementos of that life. It doesn't matter if they live in a box, or sit out in her jewelry case, or if they have a creepy shrine somewhere -- she's holding on to them as part of her memories. This woman was understandably shocked by the very idea of melting down her first husband's ring in order to forge a new one.

On the whole the reaction of the comm was on the 'OMG WTF?' scale, but there's a couple of 'Well, it's not like she didn't go out and get a new husband' and 'I don't see how it's entitled to ask to destroy something that belongs to someone else. I mean, did the LW explain that she's distressed by the idea of destroying it?'

Okay, really? Does she have to explain being disturbed by destroying it. Really? If someone said to me '[ profile] vasaris, your mom has been dead for five years. I think we should take that masterpiece quilt she made apart for the scrap fabric and beads.' I'd be really, really horrified.

The ring was presumably important to the LWs husband and is important to her even if she doesn't worship it on a daily basis. I cannot conceive of going 'gee, she's only asking for something you're not using anyway, why get so shirty about it?'

Add the bit where the daughter also went 'Oh, and you're leaving me your first wedding ring set in you will, right' doesn't really give the 'I want these things as mementos of you when you're gone' vibe. It gives the 'I don't care about you, I care about your valuables' vibe.

March 2014

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