Thursday, December 28, 2006

The Twisty Thread and the Response

The comments section of one of Twisty's posts festered into a pile of vile crap. Several bloggers have been discussing this. Many people have rightly condemned the hateful things said in that thread.

This is not a post about radical feminists versus transpeople. I can't go there yet. My purpose here is to beg all of you to walk your talk. It is not possible to advocate for the humanity of one group of people by denying the humanity of another group. In fact, that exact sentiment was expressed repeatedly by people who were objecting to Twisty's commenters. In one of the attacks on Twisty's blog, someone equated a transperson with a "nutjob". Yet the same types of slurs showed up on the blogs of people condemning Twisty and her commenters. Here's an example:

“I wish you weren’t a crazy-ass, so I could listen to you.”

The slurs against those with mental illness weren't that frequent, given the number of comments. But they were there, and what broke my heart is that I never saw a single comment objecting to them. You know, when you throw around words about mental illness, like crazy, psycho or psychotic, frootbat, and nutjob, you're mocking disability. You're spitting in the face of everyone who suffers from a mental illness. You're equating horrible behavior with mental illness. Stop it.

Do people care about doing more than paying lip service to respecting the rights of disabled people? I really don't know. I was feeling isolated enough before reading those blogs.

Comments: Please remember, this is about disablism, not about the original conflict.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Radical Feminist Lesbian Festival

An intimate gathering of radical feminists
May 25-28, 2007

The Radical-Feminist Lesbian Festival is a lesbian festival open to all radical feminist womyn (lesbian, straight, bi,undeclared, other). If you know that men are waging a war against women and that rape, battering, incest, pornography, and prostitution are some of the main instruments of male supremacy; and you're unalterably opposed to all forms of domination and oppression, you share our radical feminist beliefs. This festival is designed to bring together womyn who share these beliefs for sustenance, support, encouragement, and plotting and scheming about the overthrow of patriarchy. See FAQ for more details.

Don't Believe Rape Victims Without Checking Their Story!

So far, I've deleted two comments from my post on the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case. Both commenters explained to me that sometimes women lie about rape, and that this hurts everyone! Rape is the only crime in which the victim is immediately viewed suspiciously. No one asks if a man who is robbed brought the robbery on himself.

Misogynists insist that they know better than I do. They insist that you just can't trust a rape victim. I wonder if they will maintain that attitude when the rape victims are male?

Houston: A rapist targeting young men in a Texas refinery town has struck at least five times since April, stalking each victim in advance to make sure he's home alone.

Is anyone asking if the men who were attacked wore tight pants (which would cause the rapist to lose control over himself)? Is anyone asking if the men locked their doors, or if they encouraged the rapist in any way? Is anyone insisting that the men who were attacked weren't really raped? I hope not. These questions are disgusting, and no one who survives a rape should have to hear them. But women hear these remarks all the time.

Women who have been raped are often reluctant to come forward for fear of being ostracised or victimised again; for men those feelings can be even more amplified, police say.

In the Baytown attacks, police suspect even more young men have been assaulted, but they are ashamed to come forward. Some of the five known victims told police about the attacks after initially reporting a robbery, Clifford said.

"When you're talking about the humiliation of being dominated and threatened with your life to perform sexual acts, it's understandable."

So men suffer more from rape than women do? I don't think so. I don't see men being treated as if they "asked for it". What a shame we can't support all people who've endured being raped. What a shame that gender has such a big role to play in how rape survivors are treated.

Going to leave an ignorant and/or offensive comment? Don't bother, I'll delete it.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Best Christmas Post Ever

The Unapologetic Mexican has the best Christmas post ever!

Christmas Bunny Blogging

Bumble wishes everyone a peaceful and happy Christmas.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Duke Lacrosse Case

This morning, I read Yolanda's post in which she broke the news that the DA's office is dropping the rape charges. You'll recall that this case involves white boys on Duke's lacrosse team who were accused of rape and false imprisonment of an African American woman.

J informs me that sports programs are all over this news, worried about how the poor boys who were "falsely accused" will ever be able to recover. It doesn't seem to matter that the sexual assault and kidnapping charges still stand.

The racism in this case is overwhelming. The sexism is so standard that I want to scream. If you think the fact that the woman worked as a stripper is relevant, you're a sexist. If you think it's irrelevant that the woman who was assaulted was African American and the boys who attacked her were white, you're not only a racist, you're a fool. If you immediately disbelieve a woman who says she's been raped, you're a waste of human tissue.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Biting Beaver

Does anyone know if BB is alright?

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Monday Bunny Blogging

The hay drawer has been removed. Bumble is standing where the hay existed just seconds before!

Friday, December 15, 2006

The Problem with Mental Illness

Here's a perfect example of what happens once you're given the label "mentally ill":

Look at the difference between the psychiatric definition (#4) and every other definition. Generally, using a neologism is a creative use of language, which is a good thing. But for those labeled mentally ill, a neologism is a nonsense word-it's meaningless. Why? Well, because once you're mentally ill, everything you have to say is at best, suspect, and at worst, absurd.

It doesn't matter that many mental disorders are cyclical. Even when you're doing well, you're still stigmatized. I wrote about my gallbladder surgery recently. Once the gastroenterologist reviewed my history and saw "lithium", his manner changed. He did the physical exam and informed my that my gallbladder felt fine (the test results and the surgeon disagreed), and that it would be difficult to sedate me for the endoscopy he ordered (it wasn't). He even said I'd be so difficult to sedate that I might be awake during the entire procedure (which included 8 biopsies).

Anyone else out there terrified of medical procedures? I am, and the buildup of anxiety (I also have an anxiety disorder!) before my endoscopy was terrible. What actually happened? I remember watching him inject the drugs, then a nurse telling me I needed to wake up so I could go home.

When the nurse was prepping me, and Dr. Bigot hadn't arrived yet, I confided that I was scared of being awake during the endoscopy. The nurse said "Oh, honey, if you ever give signs that you're not fully sedated, we just give you more drugs. We don't want you to be awake during something like this!"

I guess she hadn't seen "lithium" on my chart.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Help! Most People Can't Comment

Yes, it's counterproductive to do a blog post asking for help when the problem is that most people can't comment on my blog anymore.

If you know how to fix the problem, but can't comment, please email me:

I hate Blogger. Thought I'd switch to wordpress, but can't pay for the hosting thingy, and frankly am not up for anything complicated right now.

Update: Brownfemipower told me about the free blogs at Wordpress!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Nearest Book Meme

Elaina from Trash Talks Back tagged me for a book meme.

The rules:
1. Go to the nearest book in your reach and turn to page 123.
2. Go to the fifth sentence of the book.
3. Copy the next three sentences, then tag 3 people.

Tomo asiento y escojo una de las revistas.

Un hombre amable entra. El debe tener la primera cita de la tarde.

from Fundamental Spanish by Barbara Bregstein

I'm still on the pronunciation pages, so I don't know what I just typed.

I tag: Amy, BloggingMone, Sly Civilian

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Racism and Mental Illness

I'm a white woman. I'm also writing this post while I'm very upset, which is never a good idea. I'd really like to hear from woc/poc in comments, because I know the power of racism and white privilege, so I know that maybe I'm not getting something so fundamental, so important, that I'm missing the whole point.

There's a discussion over at Sly Civilian's about whether racism is a mental illness. Max Julian says:

The reason I conceptualize racism/white supremacy as a mental illness, is not because I don’t want to do something about it, but because of the chronic nature of the illness. I’ve talked to more than enough white folks about racism, seen their inability to grasp plain English (and these were highly educated people), cringed at their illogic, observed them strain and do verbal and mental backflips in order to sidestep the implications of their own behavior. From what I’ve seen, my diagnosis still stands.

The chronic nature doesn't mean that racism is an illness. Hate fuels itself and has remarkable staying power. White people refusing to see racism, to see the damage done by racism, comes from obstinacy. A person who is psychotic is truly incapable of seeing reality. A racist chooses to be racist. I've seen a lot of highly educated white people, and I'm not impressed on any level by them. They choose to be hateful and to do stupid things on a regular basis. Their actions don't spring from an illness, they result from both deliberate and unconscious choices that each individual makes.

Max Julian is right that all white people are born into a system of white supremacy, and that there is no escaping being in that system. But I maintain that all white people have a choice: go along with the status quo or fight. Racism is learned, mental illness is not. People don't learn to develop mental illness, just like they don't learn to have lupus. People have to avoid thinking critically, avoid seeing the harm they cause to continue to be racists.

Racism deserves to be stigmatized; mental illness does not. Unfortunately, the amount of stigma attached to racism is still very small, while the amount of stigma attached to mental illness is huge. I simply can't understand why anyone fails to see why I find classifying racism as a mental illness to be highly offensive. Please, offer your thoughts.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Monday Bunny Blogging

On cleaning day, all of Bumble's things (except my desk) are taken out of his room, and massive piles of fur and hay are vacuumed up. Smart bunnies always know the layout of their surroundings. When you run for your life, you need to know where you can run and where you can hide. The moving process agitates Bumble, and he has to go look at the new location of everything.

The litter box does NOT belong on the landing!

I can adapt.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Oh, Happy Day

This post is navel-gazing at its worst. It really would be more appropriate as a journal entry than as a blog post, but it makes me so very happy that I thought I'd share.

Today is a very special day for me. One year ago today, I had my gallbladder removed. If you're a regular reader, you already know that I take a dim view of surgery. It should be the last resort. For my gallbladder, it was! I was sick for two years, and the last three months of that time were pure hell. Gallstones can cause an impressive amount of pain.

When I finally got an appointment to see a gastroenterologist, I had a battery of tests, saw the surgeon, and was in the OR exactly one week after that appointment. I can't be too disgusted with the gastro, since he correctly diagnosed me, but you'd think someone who specialized in the digestive system would be able to tell that he himself suffered from having a big splintery board lodged in his rectum. Oh well.

The surgeon (Dr. Gallbladder) and the surgical resident both had an amazing bedside manner. I was quite suspicious-since when do surgeons know how to behave like humans? My poor little gallbladder was so full of stones that it could no longer function. Dr. Gallbladder said all it was doing was spitting out stones and causing me pain.

Not to brag, but MY gallbladder had way more stones than this one!

I was in enough pain that I didn't care about details, I wanted it OUT. If it was the thing causing those attacks that dropped me to my knees, then I wanted it gone. I'd been diagnosed with nothing but acid reflux before this. Lucky for me, there have been some advances in medicine, and I got to have a laparoscopic surgery instead of the traditional open procedure.

It's a diagram, but it's still gross if you don't care for medical procedures.

The laparoscopic procedure causes significantly less pain, and you get to leave the hospital either the same day, or the next day. However, sometimes they find that they can't do the laparoscopy, and convert to the open. I was terrified this would happen. I woke up in recovery with a nurse screaming my name at me (how rude!). All I wanted to know was if they'd had to convert to the open procedure. He said no, and I was so very happy! They seem so surprised when you want to get out of the hospital as fast as you can.

My surgery started at approximately 3pm, and even though I took a long time to wake up, I was home a little before 10pm. J ran to the pharmacy to get a prescription filled for me, and I sat propped up in my bed, grinning. In spite of the anesthesia that was still making me loopy, in spite of the pain meds, and in spite of the fact that its "home" was right next to an incision, I could tell that the fierce little ball of pain in my torso was gone. Want to know how that made me feel?

For those of you who read Monday Bunny Blogging, you'll be *shocked* to know that the one time Bumble truly showed empathy for me was the morning of my surgery. I was trying to get dressed to go to the hospital, and I guess I was giving off a lot of pain and fear, and it got to him. So he pressed himself up against my foot, and I couldn't get my socks and shoes on because he stuck to me like glue. J had to intervene. When I got home that evening, he was back to his demanding self.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Global Day to Stop Rape in Darfur

Amnesty International has declared International Human Rights Day, December 10, a day of action to stop rape in Darfur. Actions include:

* Show solidarity on December 10th with Darfuri women and activists around the world by wearing white, a universal color of mourning.
* Write a letter to your Senators asking them to do more to encourage the Arab League, China and Russia to press the Government of Sudan to admit U.N. peacekeepers immediately to provide security for Darfuri women and girls.
* Write an Urgent Action letter asking Sudanese officials to end rape in Darfur.
* Write a ‘Letter to the Editor’ to call national attention to the issue of rape in Darfur.
* Host a write in white event in your community and write letters calling attention to the issue of rape as a tool of war in Darfur.

Please take a stand for the women of Darfur.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Monday Bunny Blogging: The Radical Feminism Edition

Last Wednesday, during the middle of the night, a metal bookend and a 573-page book went crashing from a cabinet on top of my desk, hit Bumble's carrier (for maximum noise), bounced to the floor and stopped when they hit his litter box. You can see the basic layout in this photo (my desk is on the right side of the poorly-composed picture):

The site of The Incident.

Unfortunately, Bumble was apparently in the litter box when the bookmonster charged at him and tried to eat him, since the litter box was kicked way out of place. Poor Bumble ran for his life, but upon hitting the linoleum by the kitchen, lost control and slammed into a sliding closet door so hard that he knocked it off its track. This is a very sturdy door, so hopefully he hit it with his butt and not his head. We both came running to see if he was okay, but when he's in the panic state, he doesn't know who we are, so we just add to the stress.

This is too awful, let's take a little break:

Bumble in happier times.

So there's my bunny, he's hyperventilating, his eyes are bulging, and his whole body is shaking. Finally, he recognizes my voice and lets me pet him. The shaking stops, the eyes start to return to normal, and he accepts a treat. As far as we could tell, he wasn't hurt at all. It took two more treats to get him back into his room, but he finally went back in, checking everywhere for the bookmonster.

I've sworn never to store books like that again. He's sworn not to hate me for causing The Incident. What was the book that literally scared the crap (he left a trail, poor guy) out of Bumble?

Radical Feminism: a documentary reader. Ed Barbara A. Crow

Bumble's conclusion: radical feminism is no different than every animal on this planet. It exists to eat rabbits.

Friday, December 01, 2006