Where is our news coverage?

I have a question for you, internets. I know I’ve been out of touch lately, due to being up to my eyeballs in class and all, but I’ve still been scrolling my Twitter, Facebook, and Google Reader feeds. I generally am kept pretty up to date via these things, because I follow a lot of primary sources on Google Reader, and Twitter and Facebook are full of my well-read friends who regularly link interesting new things.

They also link the new Harry Potter trailer like eight billion times, but that just goes to show that what is being consumed by the mass public WILL show up in my feeds, and usually several times.

So why is it that I had to read posts from Toronto natives on a vegan cooking forum, of all places, to hear about what’s been going down at the G20 summit?

Oh wait, I apologize–there has been an article at Jezebel (and it’s a doozy). However, why isn’t this getting anymore attention? Why are we only worrying about what the first ladies are wearing?

I am appalled.

Here’s another great article worth reading.

Now, start talking about it.

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07/01/2010. Tags: , , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

More Than Just An Oil Slick

The BP oil disaster. I can’t even begin to express how heartbroken I’ve been over it. It seems like every time I turn around, the situation is getting worse. There’s more oil, the flow can’t be stopped, the oil is reaching the shoreline, animals are dying…

The worst part, to me, is this feeling of complete helplessness. I looked into going down to Louisiana to help with clean-up efforts along the shore, and BP is refusing all non-local volunteers in order to avoid having to provide shelter. Beyond going down to Louisiana to help clean up, I can’t think of anything else I can do–there’s no action I can engage in to help stop the flow of oil, to staunch the leak, to hold in what’s already there. My planet is getting destroyed, my world is going to hell, and there is nothing I can do. But if nothing is done, the oil is going to go around Florida and make its way up the coast and out into the open ocean.

If you look at the image in that article, the distance that the oil is spread is huge. That’s an enormous amount of coastline. Even just all the ecological damage being done to the Gulf is huge. And here’s the thing–we get a lot of food from the southern regions of the US, and the oil is going to impact that. It’s going to get into the water, get into the plants that the animals will eat, and come down as acid rain. This spill isn’t just impacting the fishing industry; it’s impacting everything.

And now it’s worse. Again. Now it’s going to have reproductive effects. Feministing gives us a heads up that there are chemicals in both the oil and the dispersants that can impair fertility, or influence the development of a fetus. This spill is literally shaping our next generation. It will have effects that will trickle down for who knows how long. Like radiation from Chernobyl, the spill is altering us.

You don’t have to TOUCH the oil to feel the effects. This is much bigger than a potential increase in the price per gallon at your local gas station. All that stuff I said about how the oil and its related chemicals will travel through the entire system? Yep. That means you’ll end up eating or drinking those chemicals. It’s hard to say exactly how far those reproduction-mangling chemicals will travel, or how common or severe the effects will be. But do you really want to play Russian Roulette with this kind of thing?

I wish I had more of a sense of what we can do. For now, I’m working hard at trying to cut back on my use of all things oil-related, but a lot of this is hard–what do I replace my plastic kitchen trash bags with? When I buy bulk drygoods at the market, I have no option except to put them into the plastic baggies they provide (bringing containers from home would alter the weight measurement at the register) . Bread comes in plastic. Toothbrushes and razors in bubble packs. Seriously–think for a second about how much of the stuff you throw away is just packaging! Stuff that isn’t reusable, or recyclable, or anything. I recently saw a bag of chips that came in a compostable bag and I almost squealed with excitement. Unfortunately, my current living situation doesn’t allow for composting (my grandmother has been composting for as long as I can remember, and my sister does too. I’d love to join that bandwagon!).

For now, I’m doing my best to think about how I interact with the world around me–how to cut back on waste, how to be more energy efficient, and so on. Building good habits now will help keep those behaviors going even after the BP disaster is “over.” It’s never too late to start changing our ways to try to prevent history from repeating itself. There may be nothing we can do to stop what’s going on now, but we can do what we can to stop it from happening again and try to stop other disasters that we can’t currently imagine.

Remember, just because we think nothing will happen and we think we’re ready doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true. After all, BP thought there was no possible way things could get this bad.

I want my future back. I am still waiting on my jetpack, dammit!

06/15/2010. Tags: , , , . Uncategorized. 2 comments.

The Crotchal Tyranny!

Fear me, for I am the High Queen Crotchula, Withholder of the Sacred Vaginamancy!

So I have had this article sitting open in a tab in Firefox for a while now, waiting for my brain to be ready to be coherent about it. I am, honestly, failing hard. It just blows my mind.

It is an article entitled “Reasons Women Withhold Sex.”

First, let’s talk title: withholding sounds evil. You withhold rent if your landlord turns off your heat. You withhold food if you’re a prison overlord from a horror pulp in the 40s. You withhold services.

I am going to say this, and I’m only going to say it once:

My vagina is not a service.

Astounding, right? Anyways, moving on.

Reason 1: She’s pissed.

A HURR HURR DURR. I see someone has been working hard on this one! Yep, sometimes, when angry at a significant other, we do not get turned on. It’s true! Just like sometimes because there are other things in our mind we do not want to cook, or balance our checkbooks, or solve multivariate calculus equations. Sometimes, the things that are urgently on our mind ARE URGENTLY THERE. So it’s hard to think about other things–including sex.

Reason 2: She’s asserting herself.

…because you are such a jackass that you have shown her the only way she can possibly hold ANY power is through her vagina. Good work. You dug this hole for yourself, so I’m just gonna stand back and laugh, okiedokie?

“If there’s one area of a relationship women think they have control over, it’s sex.”

Truly, it is positively INSANE for us to think that we have the right to decide whether or not something is put inside of our bodies. Consent–it’s totally just a figment of a crazy little woman’s imagination!

Reason 3: She’s manipulating you.

“When no other methods of getting what she wants are working, she might resort to revoking your sex privileges until you agree to what she’s after.”

Now remember, boyfriend, you can only play with the toys if you behave yourself and eat all your vegetables! …Seriously? Seriously? Can we please grow up here?

I think what bothers me the most about this statement is that sometimes it is actually TRUE. Bastions of rationality such as Cosmo encourage women to go on sex embargoes to get things from men, or to get their boyfriends to prove how they “really feel.” People, that is NOT the foundation of a healthy relationship! And in this article, the advice is to just give in and give her what she wants. How about instead of feeding a passive-aggressive cycle, you elect to be the mature one and see what’s going on and try to, y’know, communicate?

No, of course not. Why would we do that when we can continue to use our detachable genitals as bargaining chips? Just stick the ol’ vagina in a tupperware in the freezer till you need it.

Reason 4: She’s bored.

“She could be avoiding sex with you because she’s not enjoying it.”

Okay, article, good work. You have made a valid point. It turns out, dudes, that us ladies do occasionally become involved with you folk for reasons other than sex (it’s been years since I’ve done that, so don’t look at me). And word on the street is that when y0u care about someone, you put up with a lot of shit. Including your boyfriend’s unattractive beer gut, his lack of interest in foreplay, and the fact that he’s just not a good lay, if he even lasts very long. Truly, it is astounding the sort of sexual desserts women will exile them to because the guy is so great in other ways. So yeah, she might actually even actively dislike sleeping with you! But she doesn’t want to hurt your fragile penile ego, because we know how important the majesty of your dick is to you.

Scathing bitchiness aside, it’s true–sometimes couples don’t have sex often because the sex is unsatisfying. It’s the job of BOTH members of the couple to fix this. But dudes, as much as it might be painful to think, when your girlfriend is avoiding sex, instead of assuming that she’s manipulating you or trying to make a point about her power, pause to think when the last time you gave her orgasm was (and remember When Harry Met Sally. Faking: it happens). Think about to what extent you’ve really worried about her satisfaction, and think about whether or not she has been responsive. This is actually probably the BEST problem to have when it comes to lack of sex, because it means you’re not dating a bitch. This can be fixed without someone needing to be kicked to the curb. And fixing it can be FUUUNNN!

Reason 5: She’s tired.

Again, how astute. Yes, sometimes we just want some sleep. No, really. It happens. It happens to dudes, too! I’ve been turned down for sex by partners because they’re tired. It’s kind of part of the modern world–we work hard, we’re busy, we don’t get enough rest, so we’re tired. If you’ve never been too tired for sex, then either your sex requires very minimal energy, which is kind of depressing, or you have an easy life, and I would like to borrow it.

Although, a note from this section: “Or, you could be truly unselfish and devote your time entirely to her pleasure for one night, making her more likely to want to return the favor another time.”

Yeeeeeep. That about says it all. You don’t devote your time to pleasing your significant other because you like to make that person happy–you do it in hopes that it will be reciprocated in the future.

Fun trivia: when I’m with a guy, I like sucking his dick because I like making him happy. I’m not getting turned on by it because I’m gleefully thinking “Oh boy, oh boy, now he pretty much HAS to eat me out!” No, I’m thinking about how much I like satisfying my partner and how hot it is to hear him breathing hard and moaning. I really have a hard time believing that I’m the only one like that.

Reason 6: She’s cheating.

I can’t really argue that. I find cheating abhorrent from either sex, so I won’t even begin to make an argument for the woman in this case.

Reason 7: Playing games.

It’s a good thing I don’t actually own an xbox or Playstation, because I’d probably pass up sex pretty often so that I could try to beat that level. “Sorry sweetie, I can’t come to bed yet, I’ve decided to turn to the Dark Side so I’m using my Force powers to toss Jawas at stormtroopers. UTINNI!”

Oh. Oh wait, they don’t mean those kinds of games.

“Women withhold sex because men let them get away with it.”

Yeah, gotta keep those bitches in line. Don’t they know that vaginas belong to the MENS and that they can’t be ALLOWED to keep them away? Jeez. Next time your woman tries to deny you access to the vagina that is rightfully yours, squirt her with a bottle of water or smack her on the nose with a newspaper. When pets misbehave, they can’t be allowed to get away with it!

“It’s pretty clear it’s the one thing that most guys can’t live without and that they’ll do pretty much anything to keep it coming on a regular basis.”

Ah yes, the “men are slaves to their penises and have zero cognitive capacity beyond what their penis is kind enough to allow them” argument.

DUDE-FOLK. YOU HAVE BRAINS. I SWEAR. I KNOW IT. You aren’t just penis-transport-mechanisms. You have free will and the ability to think rationally and make decisions for yourself and all kinds of neat things! As much as I love the word “vaginamancy,” it isn’t actually possible for a woman to control you with her vagina unless you let her.

Please. Please stop this bullshit. I am so sick of hearing about how men are powerless in the face of sex and vaginas because they just WANT IT SO BADLY, and women are sex-hating man-manipulating lumps of frigidity.

I seriously do not understand why people continue to bother with trying to have relationships when this is the sort of bullshit that we are being programmed with. Everything about that article made me not want to be a woman, and not want to date a man.

Congratulations, Fox. I think you have turned me gay.

06/14/2010. Tags: , , , , , . Uncategorized. 1 comment.

Yes, Our Flight Attendants Are Why the Economy is Tanking.

Before I start this post, full disclosure: my dad is an airline pilot and my stepmom is a flight attendant. I’m not entirely unbiased here.

Anyways, apparently when a Spanish airline went bankrupt, they owed their flight attendants something along the lines of 8 or 9 months of wages. In order to protest this, the flight attendants are posing naked for a calendar.

I don’t have a problem with the posing naked, but I DO want to know… How exactly is this protesting the unpaid wages? How is this solving the problem?

Then I made the mistake of scrolling through the comments. I really, really ought to know better.

Why is it that foreign airlines have pretty young flight attendants, while American stewardesses are mainly dried-up old bags?

Oh, I dunno. They probably get sapped of their will to live due to having to spend their lives making $18k a year at best while dealing with jackasses like you. I hear that can be terribly dehydrating.

The responses to that inquiry were equally precious:

Because American Airlines have to face our overly PC and litigious culture, and have forgotten what stewardesses are there for.

Call me old fashioned, but I thought flight attendants were there to serve you food, bring you blankets, and keep you safe during the flight. I was unaware that in fact they are supposed to be airborne sex-delivery systems. Someone should probably inform the airlines that those weeks of training that they make flight attendants attend every year and all those certifications that they’re expected to keep current are actually completely irrelevant because they have nothing to do with a flight attendant’s REAL PURPOSE. Of course. What value can safety and professionalism have when there are penises in this world that aren’t receiving flying blowjobs at this very second?

Our country is in crisis, clearly.

yes, FOREIGN stewardesses are way younger and hotter.

what’s wrong w/ U.S? this is why our economy is not growing.

Oh but of course. Never mind the fact that these foxy young foreign flight attendants are protesting because THEIR AIRLINE WENT BANKRUPT.

Pfft. Details. The point is, they’re out there and naked. If American flight attendants would hurry up and get young, slim, and naked, all our economic woes would be solved!

The problems with the airline industry couldn’t possibly have anything to do with the ridiculous restrictions that keep being placed on the airlines that continue to drive costs higher and higher (coupled with an increase in the cost of fuel and provisions), the absurd TSA song and dance you have to do to take even the shortest domestic flight, or the fact that the majority of the American public doesn’t think of air travel as safe so they don’t utilize it. Yes, none of these things could possibly contribute to the low rates of air travel, which in turn drives the tickets even higher than they’ve already been inflated due to all the other outside circumstances.

All of that is completely beside the point.

The problem is that our flight attendants are insufficiently sexy.

Yep. That’s definitely it.

04/02/2010. Tags: . Uncategorized. 3 comments.

Breakin’ Hearts and Takin’ Names

Gentlemen, I am here to break hearts and chew gum. And I am all outta gum.

Seriously, though, there is something about a lady who does not return a dude’s feelings. That something is “bitchiness.” Or perhaps “cuntiness” if the dude is feeling particularly vulnerable-ized.

Over at the always super-rad Tiger Beatdown, Sady has done something brave that I am too scared to do–she has watched (500) Days of Summer. Lady deserves a medal or something, because as soon as I heard the smallest description of what that damn movie was about, I knew it would take gunpoint at minimum to make me watch it (although her descriptions of Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s handsomeness make a strong case to give it a go). It just screams, “Magic vaginas! Magic vaginas! The Manic Pixie Dream Girl (TM) has gone awry! Somebody hit ctrl+alt+del because we’re getting the relationship blue screen of death!”

Because when a dude finds a lady and determines that her vagina is going to be the vagina to Make Him Good or whatever it is that dudes are lookin’ for in a vagina, it is not okay for the vagina to have other plans. Dude needs to put his penis there, ya dig? That whole “being independent” thing is really gonna cramp his style. Her quirkiness and independent spirit are all well and good–as long as they apply to every part of her life except him. He needs his sexual healing. He needs his lady to prop up his self esteem and give him worth and be his property.

It’s just not okay for a lady to not have feelings or to not be after feelings. Cause us ladies, we are chock full of feelings. Like Old Faithful, we are geysers of feelings. In fact, we’re more like Mount Saint Helen’s, or maybe Vesuvius–we got so many feelings that we lay apocalyptic waste to the landscape with all our messy sloppy emotions. So when we do not provide feelings to the gentlemen who want ’em, then it is highly probable that the planet has stopped spinning on its axis.

People, this is like… Coping skills. For real.

I know so many guys who are so obsessively hung up on some ex, which is part of why I live in fear of ever accidentally seeing (500) Days of Summer. I think I might stab someone.

I had the Really Big Deal Relationship. It lasted about two years, and there was some Serious Motherfuckin’ Drama with the end of it. Guess what? I moved on. Hell, I even occasionally get dinner or drinks with the dude. You know why? Because life doesn’t always pan out. Almost all the time, the people we think are so really ultra mega super duper perfect are actually not all that perfect. We kick back and idealize them and throw them up on a pedestal.

I’ll bet that chick in (500) Days was not the flawless angel that our poor emotive hero thinks she is, kind of like none of my buddy’s exes are the paragons of humanity that they think they are. And what this is, you guys, is creepy. It’s a different kind of objectification–instead of turning a woman into a sex object, it’s turning her into an emotional sponge. A place to put all your problems and neuroses and neediness. It’s denying her any agency or self, because instead of being who she is, she is being what you want her to be.

You guys, it’s creepy. It’s not cute or sweet or flattering when a guy can’t move the fuck on. It’s scary and it’s upsetting.

And then we pile onto this the rage that this idealized heavenly being isn’t responding in the way that you have decided she is supposed to and is instead exhibiting her own personality and independent will. Suddenly she is a bitch and a whore and deserving of being raged against (mind you, all this anger will vanish the second she agrees to once again be his very special Manic Pixie Dream Girl magic vagina of cuteness). This makes me especially uncomfortable because I think there’s a slippery slope toward actual violence against the woman in question. This is where stalking comes from.

As Sady points out near the end, in one of my favorite points, if a female were to behave the way Gordon-Levitt does, the censure against her would be like a tornado armed with knives and brass knuckles. She’d be psychotic and clingy and unable to move on. Because he’s a man, though, he’s simply sensitive and sweet and romantic.

I call bullshit.

Fuck you, double standard. If a lady wants to go ahead and have a sexual relationship without offering herself up emotionally, that’s her prerogative. And any dude who is gonna make himself out like he’s this vulnerable fucking martyr while he puts her on a pedestal and walks around lamenting how positively awful it is that she didn’t give him what he wanted even though she said no from the very beginning–well, he’s a sleazy jackass.

Emotional boundaries: they exist, just like physical boundaries. If you can’t admit that, then Houston, we have a problem.

I’m not saying that getting your heartbroken isn’t okay. We all get clotheslined by our hearts now and again–it’s not the exclusive domain of dudes or ladies or straights or gays or any possible bit of the gender or sexuality or whatever spectrum. However, we’re all responsible for learning how to cope and move on and keep on living. This celebration of the heartbroken man crying over this woman who would be so perfect if only she were the imaginary thing in his head has got to stop because frankly, it’s goddamn ridiculous. Please stop trying to date your imaginary friend. The rest of us left those behind in elementary school, ya know?

The Manic Pixie Dream Girl isn’t actually real, so please stop looking for her and please stop getting angry at every woman who turns out to not be her. Just because we don’t love you back doesn’t mean that we’re whores or bitches or lesbians. (I mean, we might be, but it’s not necessarily for that reason.) There is a chance that, you know, we’re just not that into you.

I hear there’s a book about that. Sure, it’s targeted at women, but don’t worry, you sweet sensitive dude of emotional in touchness, you can read it too. Cause you’ve got those feelings, so you can relate, right?

03/17/2010. Tags: , , , , , . Uncategorized. 1 comment.

Don’t Laugh At My Shoes, Motherfucker.

Back around the holidays, a bunch of my friends all gathered to drink hot toddies, mulled wine, and other warm (and alcoholic) holiday beverages while eating roasted chestnuts and hollering carols. We were having a really good time.

In a crowded living room, I found myself sitting on an ottoman, so I stretched my legs out in front of me. I had come straight from work, so I was wearing a skirt and my new black wedge heels were more or less in the middle of the room. One of the other women at the party said, “Oh wow, those are so cute! Are they new?” Always happy to talk up my own frugality, I joyously shared with her the great sale price and free overnight shipping I had gotten, as well as promoting their comfort.

A man walked into the room. He stopped short. He shook his head and went, “Leave the ladies alone and it turns to shoes. I just don’t get it!”

I was several spiced wines in, so I spun around gave him what-for. Look, buddy, we don’t wear 4 inch heels and skinny jeans that require Vaseline and several ladies-in-waiting to get into for OUR sake. Push-up bras were not invented with women in mind. Bikinis are not practical for swimming. We don’t primp and preen because we think it’s fun to get up stupid early so we can style our hair and do our makeup before going to the office to make 75 cents of your dollar and be called “sweetie” by the UPS guy and have people on the phone ask for “someone who actually manages things there” and be denied promotions because we’ll probably catch baby fever soon and end up leaving the company anyways. No. That is not actually a hobby.

We do this for YOU. The male gaze.

We wear cute shoes, because if we wore sneakers and combat boots all the time, we’d never hear the fucking end of it. So don’t you DARE roll your eyes and laugh at how stupid and inexplicable it is that women are so obsessed we shoes.

We are because our society has made us this way. We are because we have to be. Because if we don’t subscribe to our proper role and wear our pumps and skirts and blouses or little black dresses and red lipstick then we aren’t proper women. And if we aren’t proper women, we don’t get our shitty underpaid dead-end jobs and we don’t get to date our creepy skeezy boyfriends.

So no, we don’t HAVE to do any of this. We aren’t obligated to look pretty and girly. But it’s pretty fucking internalized into this culture and everyone who participates in it as to what women SHOULD look like and how they SHOULD behave. It’s a lot harder to achieve ANYTHING, even the tiny little shitty “rewards” that we get to “win,” if you don’t look like you should and act like you should.

There is nothing more infuriating than listening to a man talk shit about how irritating it is that women are only interested in clothes and makeup and shoes and that they can’t take them out anywhere because they’re counting calories and they take forever to get ready for anything… But just listen to the way the shit will hit the fan if ladies DON’T do any of those things. I have heard guys criticize both in the same breath, even!

Our culture demands that women subscribe to a certain lifestyle but then berates, belittles, and degrades them for following the instructions that they have been given. If you stray, however, the punishment is worse.

What the fuck.

All I am saying is that if motherfucking vajazzling ever hits the point where it is being talked about like my shoes, I am going to start burning shit down.

03/15/2010. Tags: , , , , . Uncategorized. 2 comments.

Stop Happiness Whenever Possible

There’ll be a full-on post later today, but right now I have important things to do, so here’s a quickie…

The gays are SO SCARY that we need to CANCEL PROM lest a girl bring a girl as her date. Heaven forbid one of them wear a tux!

AAHHH THE SANCTITY OF MY HETEROSEXUAL DATE. IT IS UNDERMINED.

Sometimes I forget how lucky I was to live where I did. I brought a girl to the junior prom and no one even batted an eye (admittedly, I was already the punk-rockin’ rebel, so I guess they figured “let social outcasts be social outcasts” or something). Which does raise the question–which do you think would be “better” for this lesbian couple: to be allowed at the prom and be completely shunned by everyone, or to have prom canceled?

I want to hope that the cancellation of the prom will lead to students rising up in support of their lesbian classmate (and any others who may not be out) because they are so outraged at this ridiculous treatment. I fear that it may lead to them lashing out against her as they will perceive it as her “fault” that they can’t have prom. And that, my friends, is fucked up.

Remember a bunch of years back when someone joked that if gay marriage is going to be made illegal then all marriage should be made illegal? I didn’t actually think anyone would follow through on that kind of thinking. Oh humanity. Stop making me sad, please.

P.S. On the plus side, this has spawned a new tag. Joining the hall of fame of favorites like “magic vaginas,” we now have “the gay agenda.” Can I get a what what.

03/11/2010. Tags: , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

More On The Designer Vagina

The designer vagina: it continues to baffle me.

I mean, I know dudes get anxious about the size of their disco stick and apparently hairiness is a growing concern amongst the more “discerning” menfolk, but I am truly boggled by the ways “desirability” is being defined for the female naughty bits. They must be as smooth as a well-polished linoleum floor, be just the right shade of pink, be tighter than a parking space in the North End, be naturally wetter than monsoon season, smell like a florist while tasting like Cinnabon, and be like a Hungry Hungry Hippo for dick. OM NOM NOM.

This blog just got SORDID. Gents, don't you just wanna slip it into that?

So, I guess it shouldn’t surprise me that there’s an actual laundry list of problems and solutions. Over at Alternet, they’ve put together a list of the 6 Weirdest Things Women Do To Their Vaginas, along with the explanation “why.” I put why in quote marks because honestly, none of it makes a damn bit of sense to me.

I guess what particularly confounds me is that there’s all this hype about how DIRTY and SMELLY and FUNNY TASTING and PROBABLY EVEN EVIL vaginas are, and yet dudes still hunt them like trophy animals on the Serengeti. They will spend all night discussing their terror of vaginas, and yet they seek to “score” as many vagina trophies as possible. (Granted, I am speaking in some pretty serious hyperbole here, but you catch my meaning.) I don’t understand why it is that something so AWFUL can be such a focal point of our culture–female sexuality is basically the foundation of, well, practically everything–and such an integral part of how men define their masculinity, achieve happiness, etc.

It makes me laugh, I suppose, but it’s definitely in the “horrormirth” category. There’s really nothing funny about people doing these awful things to their vaginas in order to be appealing, and there’s nothing funny about the shame and criticism being thrown around. Sometimes, though, I just have to laugh at the ridiculousness of the entire situation.

Ultimately, this is one of those things that I just don’t know how to fight back against. I can speak up and write blog posts–cause, you know, this blog is totally changing the world–and write papers for school, but what am I accomplishing? I don’t know. I don’t know how to combat this kind of institutionalized ridiculousness.

I didn’t mean to end this on a downer. Hopefully I’ll find something cute and happy to end the week with later today!

02/26/2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Domestic Violence is a “pre-existing condition”

I am so angry. SO ANGRY. I can’t even come up with words to express how enraged I am.

According to LiveStrong, domestic violence is considered a pre-existing condition and nine states allow healthcare companies to deny coverage over it.

There’s already an arsenal of reasons why women don’t report domestic violence or get the medical care they need when suffering from DV; adding to the equation the risk of being unable to get health insurance in the future is a very compelling reason why women may continue to keep quiet about violence.

I disagree completely with the idea that insurance companies should be able to deny coverage because of pre-existing conditions; in general it’s a ridiculous concept. However, denying coverage based on having experienced domestic violence is even worse. DV victims are already undergoing severe emotional strains, so to deny health insurance (which they may need to cover their children, or potentially to actually escape their violent relationship) is only going to make the situation worse.

One of the worst parts about denying coverage to DV victims is that it suggests that they will be a continued expense. IE because they have been victimized before, it will probably happen again, and therefore they are high-risk to insure. That smacks of victim-blaming and saying that women are somehow responsible for DV. After all, if the DV incidents weren’t somehow related to the battered person, why would the insurance assume that the violence will continue?

I’m absolutely broiling with anger and sadness about this. I’m fairly certain I have a lot more to say, but I just can’t get my thoughts coherent right now.

Although, as a closing note, I’d like to make mention of the fact that because of my own bias, I did constantly refer to DV victims as women. First off, yes, men are victims of DV as well, and in many ways, they face at least as many hurdles as women do in getting help, due to the stigma on men seeming “weak,” especially compared to a female partner. However, female-on-male DV is only a tiny fraction of the DV problem. Also, homosexual couples often have high rates of DV, and that is certainly not to be overlooked. I wonder, though, how often their DV is actually recorded as such in medical records; do doctors file, say, a gay man who has been battered as being in a fight, or being a DV victim?

Domestic violence is an enormous problem and it stretches umbrella-esque over the lives of victims and into the lives of those around them. Something that may seem contained–such as being unable to get health insurance–is not just an isolated problem but rather a problem with far-reaching ripples of influence, and it is indicative of how many challenges and stigmas still permeate the DV issue.

On top of all that, I’d like to also note that pregnancy is considered a condition for which “most” insurance companies will turn down applicants.

I had so much more I wanted to write about today, too, but then this article showed up and kind of trumped all the less depressing stuff I wanted to write about. Thanks, world, for breaking my heart.

02/17/2010. Tags: , , , , . Uncategorized. 1 comment.

The internet: for porn, and now perving too!

Our civil liberties are being protected. They’re being protected real hard.

They’re so protected, in fact, that a guy can get a conviction for soliciting sex from an underage individual reversed. How? Why? Because he did it using Yahoo messenger, instead of handwriting.

Yes, let that sink in. Because he wrote his attempted solicitation on a computer, instead of in handwriting, it doesn’t count, because the current law only covers things written with a pen or pencil.

The good news is that he was busted by an undercover cop, so although he thought he was getting some sweet sweet lovin’ from a 13 year old girl, he actually wasn’t. So, at least it wasn’t as bad as it could’ve been, I guess?

The worst part is that after having taken an intro law class, I can see exactly how his lawyer worked the system to get him off the hook. What disgusts and enrages me is that the court chose to follow the letter of the law instead of the spirit of the law (as there are also options to work the system in that way), and it disappoints me that the opposing lawyer couldn’t manage a better rebuttal.

The guy was trying to fuck a 13 year old girl. C’mon people, this is not rocket science–dude is guilty, whether he used Yahoo messenger, a #2 SAT-approved pencil, or goddamn smoke signals. I call serious bullshit on this ruling.

[Original article via UniversalHub]

02/05/2010. Tags: , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

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