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siannan: (Default)
Like many of us, I eagerly awaited the Hulu production of The Handmaid's Tale. The book it's based on is essential reading, and I am a fan of the 1990 film adaptation. In recent weeks I've had a bit of trepidation -- the casting of Elisabeth Moss, a devout $cientologist, as Offred, is problematic to me, since that cult is not known for espousing reproductive autonomy, and a panel where Moss and other crew members tried to distance the story from feminism was pretty fucked up.

Still, I paid for a couple months of Hulu commercial-free, because I believe it's important to financially support art that carries a message. I binged the first three episodes available yesterday.

There are changes. Gilead is no longer a homogeneously lily-white nation as depicted in the book, no mention of the "Children of Ham" being forcibly relocated. Offred/June's husband is black, her stolen daughter biracial, her best friend Moira is also black. Nick is played by a British multi-ethnic actor. Non-white Handmaids, Marthas, and Eyes are seen--so far, though, no Commanders or Wives are POC that I noticed.

It's interesting to me how some have drawn parallels from the hierarchy of Gilead to that of areas controlled by Daesh or the Taliban. Pointing at the costumes of Handmaids in their body-obscuring robes and sight-obscuring bonnets, conditioned to meek complacency and saying "this is just like shariah!"

Well...yes and no.

[Possible spoiler ahead]

At the close of the third episode, a character is sentenced to state sanctioned genital mutilation for the crime of "gender treachery", i.e. lesbianism. The judge claims she is sentenced to "redemption" rather than death, because she is useful to the government for her fertility--her lover is not so lucky. The audience is left to wonder what "redemption" means until we see her wake up in a blinding-white hospital ward, wincing in pain. She gets to her feet and raises her gown. A patch of bandages covers her pubis, she has surgical hose on over it. The Aunt in charge of her strides in and briskly informs her that "the stitches will come out soon" and this has been done because "you cannot want what you cannot have."

The inference, of course, is that she has at the very least been subject to a clitoridectomy, perhaps infibulation as well. Her pleasure has been excised from her. Taking her reproductive freedom was not enough.

Let me pause here for a minute because FGM has always made me physically ill.


Now, recently in the news, a female doctor in Michigan, a practicing Muslim, has become the first American physician to be charged with performing female genital mutilation on children. That's already a horror. And it adds to the cries of "creeping sharia" that anti-immigration crowds use to whip themselves into a frenzy.

Except...she's not the first to do this in the United States. And this is not anything new. And it is not only a Muslim practice. It's not even a Muslim practice at all. (I must defer to the scholarship of Qasim Rashid, but I know that there is no mention of FGM in the Koran.)

Do you like corn flakes? Or graham crackers?

Both John Harvey Kellogg and Sylvester Graham endorsed clitoral mutilation to curb what they deemed the "dangerous practice" of masturbation in women. Usually by burning the tissue with pure carbolic acid, or surgical removal in certain "advanced cases".

Clitoridectomy was on the books to treat "hysteria" as late as 1946. Performed on children as young as toddlers. And it continued long after that.

To white girls.

Here are the stories of several white, American and Canadian women, in their own words, who underwent unnecessary clitoral surgeries long after the 1946 cut off (pun not intended). https://sites.google.com/site/completebaby/female

In the last decade a prominent white, American body modification blogger was arrested for colluding to perform clitoral excisions on two young girls brought to him by their parents. At the time of his arrest, police found that he had prepared a bath tub full of some sort of noxious herbal solution for them to sit in while he cut them. His full-time BDSM slave spoke of how eager she was to have him remove her own clitoris and feed it to her as what she described as a "complete act of submission" to her "master".

Submission. Removal of autonomy, removal of anatomy. Removal of pleasure. All you are is a hole. All you are is a vessel. Now there's this trend of "stealthing" in the news where men feel entitled to sneak condoms off and "spread their seed". I've had too many creeps on twitter argue with me that this is not rape. They probably don't think what the Commanders do to Handmaids is rape. I wonder what they'd think of Lebensborn? Well, with the rise of visible Nazism since 45's election, they probably think it's a swell idea. Round up all those blonde Fox News anchors and install them in rape racks and Richard Spencer and his cadre can have a go. No wonder Tomi Lahren got fired, she's no longer a potential incubator for them.

I look at the Duggar family, the most media-friendly "submissive" women out there right now. How the cult they belong to values them only for looking pleasant and remaining "fruitful". Curled hair, body-obscuring clothing in any climate, and always, vapid smiles, because you cannot sell the idea of heavenly contentment even if your dissatisfaction is destroying you inside, even if your elder brother comes into your bedroom and diddles you, even if you are told from childhood that you cannot grow up and live your own life. Smile for the cameras, and mark the big kitchen calendar for Mommy's fertile days, because everyone in the house needs to know when Daddy is going to fuck her.

I look at the FLDS cult run by Warren Jeffs, Again, women are commodities, with only the most prominent of men in the group allowed to collect, amass, and hoard them. Again, long-sleeved, elaborately-coiffed, and admonished to "keep sweet" at all times to please their God and their shared husband, who is supposed to be their God on earth. Again, smile, smile, smile, keep your head down, be humble, never show any sign of any honest emotion. What use would that be? You're livestock. Chew your cud and birth your calves and look pretty, at least until the Prophet assigns someone younger and prettier to your celestially-bound spouse.

I don't need to look at American Muslim cultures to see parallels to Gilead. The original book wasn't written as such, and I first read it back in 1988 or so. I can just turn on Lifetime, or go to Colorado City. I can look at Steve King, who only wants white babies born in Iowa. I can look at Mike Pence, for whom Gilead must be a wet dream. I can look at Trump and his love of eugenics and how he thinks he has superior genes (sorry, dude, have you looked at your sons? Beavis and Butthead?). In Oklahoma, a legislator referred to pregnant women as "hosts". A New Hampshire legislator was recently outed as having created the infamous "Red Pill" subreddit, dedicated to the idea that women do not and have not ever contributed anything to society beyond sexual release and incubation, and do not even possess SENTIENCE.

This has been a long ramble. I'm not one to go back and edit beyond fixing typos.

Typos are easier to fix than a fucked up society that is getting worse by the day. Trump just stripped funding from women's programs.

I remember what Moira said to Offred, I'm paraphrasing here: they had to do it this way. They had to do it all at once, so that we wouldn't have time to escape.

Sometimes the bastardes carborundorm.
siannan: (Default)
Well. This is new.
siannan: (Default)
So yeah yeah obligatory flashback link to that entry you all like. Christamighty, it's been 14 years since I posted that? It's old enough to have zits and shaving and have spent all it's Bat Mitzvah money at Claire's.

I don't feel like celebrating shit this year. I'd consider getting drunk if 1. I had booze in the house that wasn't designated for cooking 2. my guts weren't a misery and I'm out of antiemetics 3. I actually enjoyed being drunk.

The world sucks and shitty people are happy about it.

Me, I like clean air and water and Sesame Street and knowing that old people and school kids have full tummies and immunizations.

Sucks to be more Christian than most so-called "Christians".

oo, ah, up da Ra. Punch Trump in the vaja as a symbol.

siannan: (Default)
(inspired by @pommie_tappet, a gnome of great worth.)

Take a drink every time Schlump uses the word "very" in a tweet. You'll be wasted before you finish one scroll.

Take two drinks if Shlump ends a tweet with an interjection. Sad!

If Shlump uses "scare" "quotes" in an "awkward" manner, light a shot on fire and pound it.

If Shlump ignores an established cultural holiday or anniversary, chug the bottle and throw the empty at Sean Spicer.

if Shlump tweets something apeshit after sundown on Fridays, have a swig of Manishewitz.

If Shlump says anything about a wall, have a shot of cheap tequila. If Vicente Fox says #FuckingWall in a subtweet, top shelf anejo.

If Shlump gets another lesson in international policy from Merkel, do a Jaegerbomb.

If Shlump pretends that Malcolm Turnbull is his friend, shotgun a Toohey's.

If Shlump whinetweets about the Taoiseach refusing to meet him, drink whatever the fuck you want, but blast some Thin LIzzy.

If Shlump thinks someone dead for over a century is alive, have some Jim Beam Jacob's Ghost.

If Shlump calls for a boycott of any company, funnel some Budweiser.

If Shlump says any established press or network is "fake news", have an O'Douls.
siannan: (Default)
Ya know...I'm really not all that altruistic.

I'm lazy. And not just because I have this chronic ailment bullshit that fatigues me. I'm genuinely a sedentary kind of person who wants to pursue her own interests at her own pace most of the time. Low physical energy, high mental energy, I suppose.

But at the same time I know that ensuring the well-being of others is the best way to achieve my own overarching goal. If others are happy, healthy, and safe, then I can concentrate on myself. And I am aware that makes me selfish in the end.

I didn't want to spend the next four years keeping one eye on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. I never have before. No, not even in GOP administrations. Bush 2 might have been a dolt but he was not genuinely evil or inherently unkind or disgusting, and even he had the intellectual curiosity that is essential to governance.

I wanted to spend my time observing and creating beautiful things. I wanted to spend my time seeking knowledge.

I didn't count on having to call out egregious lies from a ridiculous bloated creature that throws tantrums because not enough people showed up to his self-aggrandizing fete in the rain, and then sends some equally infantile doofus in an ill-fitting suit in front of the cameras to insist that 2+2=1.5 million.

Are you not ashamed?
siannan: (annie lennox)
25 years ago I helped arrange for two busloads of women from Queens College to travel to Washington DC for the March for Women's Lives, on April 5 1992. It was an amazing day.

Unfortunately I won't be able to relive that experience on January 21 (though i did knit a swanky pink pussyhat in preparation). I'm having oral surgery a couple days before and I will be too wonked out on painkillers to be traipsing around the Mall in the cold. I bet I could navigate the metro from RFK to Lafayette Park, though.

I wish I was going. I wish so so much I was going. I missed the 2004 march too, because J. had his hernia operation and I had to stay home and nurse him. But we gave [livejournal.com profile] judecorp and her then-wife our hotel room so at least they weren't down two bodies.

I want to be around people who know that what is happening is not right. I need the contact.

I'm an agoraphobe, but some crowds I find great safety in.
siannan: (Franny)
With all the attempts to normalize the "alt-right" and package them as dapper (and therefore more palatable?) hatemongers, who manage to keep their pocket squares crisp while venting their frustration that white/cis/het is not the default setting of all things anymore;

With the wheedling exhortations to "give it a chance" and "try to understand" factions that quite frankly would not piss on me and the people I care about if we were on fire;

I'm reminded of this tale penned by James Clavell, "The Children's Story". Take five minutes and read it.

We have an incoming President with the mindset of a petulant toddler. He is held up as a paragon by his adherents, something to aspire to, to converse in dumbed-down language and squall when his desires are not immediately met without question.

Consider how easily the classroom is swayed in Clavell's story. Consider how malleable the PEOTUS is by the sycophants that surround him. Consider. Considering anything is going to put you a few levels above his functioning parameters, which we can all agree are stuck permanently in Id.

John Oliver* was right. This is not normal. Do not accept this as normal. Please. Write letters. Make phone calls. Send emails. Tweet. You are not alone. We can support each other. We are all we have.

*I just found out he is Stephen Oliver's nephew.
siannan: (linus)
These are the days of the open hand
They will not be the last
Look around now
These are the days of the beggars and the choosers

This is the year of the hungry man
Whose place is in the past
Hand in hand with ignorance
And legitimate excuses

The rich declare themselves poor
And most of us are not sure
If we have too much
But we'll taking our chance to say
I sang twenty years and a day
But nothing changed
The human race found some other guy
And walked into the flame

And it's hard to love, there's so much to hate
Hanging on to hope
When there is no hope to speak of
And the wounded skies above say it's much too late
Well maybe we should all be praying for time

These are the days of the empty hand
Oh, you hold on to what you can
And charity, charity is a coat you wear twice a year

This is the year of the guilty man
Your television takes a stand
And you find that what was over there is over here

So you scream from behind your door
Say what's mine is mine and not yours
I may have too much but I'll take my chances
I sang twenty years and a day
'Cause nothing changed
The human race found some other guy
And walked into the flames

It's hard to love, Jesus, there's so much to hate
Hanging on to hope, there is no hope to speak of
And the wounded skies above say it's much too late
Then maybe we should all be praying for time

Doo doo doo
Do you think we have time?
Do you
Do you think we have time?
Lord, give us time

siannan: (annie lennox)
My dad was a WW2 veteran. Purple Heart, Silver Star, lost a hand at the Bulge. Lifelong untreated PTSD. Night terrors. Saw some shit on a scale of the opening scenes of Saving Private Ryan. Self-medicated with screwdrivers. I think having to learn to write with his non-dominant hand fucked up his brain, too.

On the GI Bill he got two Masters degrees from NYU. The first person to earn two concurrently. I dunno how long that record stood. The diplomas stayed rolled up in their tubes in a drawer. I don't know where he kept his medals. He never displayed any accomplishments.

He wasn't a great father. But I know he loved me. And I know his marriage to me mudder was miserable and a mistake he could not extricate himself from for many reasons.

He was also on the McCarthy list.

He worked as a high school teacher, and later as a vice principal. One day in the teacher's lounge as his fellow faculty were getting their nicotine fixes and ranting on about the Red Scare and Them Dirty Commies and who knows what-all else bullshit white suburban people wet their pants over in The Time America Was So Fucking Great, he opined thusly:

"eh, people should be allowed to think what they want."

That night the FBI was at our fucking house. NB: I wasn't alive at this time, this is from my sister, who as a little girl answered the door to find a couple of G-men asking for her Daddy. LITERALLY because he made a comment against THOUGHT POLICING.

And now Newt Gingrich wants to revive HUAC once Drumpf names him to whatever cronyist cabinet position he's been slated for.

The fuck did you do, America? The fuck did we do?

Aren't we better than this?

I'm glad my dad is dead. I'm glad he doesn't have to see this horror.
siannan: (despair)
Now you fuckers know I love comic books. I read shitloads of comic books. Mainstream stuff from the big two, indie stuff, "kiddie" titles, manga, you name it. I follow more established comic writers and artists on twitter than any other entertainment field. I have strong opinions about comic books and media associated therefrom.

Now, if you're a fellow comic fan,you're probably well aware of how Chelsea Cain has been treated recently for her stint writing Mockingbird. Non-comic fans might know Mockingbird as Adrianne Palicki's character (although she's not referred to by that code name there) on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., because fuck it, I know a lot of non-readers watch and dig that show muchly because it's pretty damn strong. Also because whenever Coulson flies Lola around it's the bestest.

Chelsea Cain was the writer on the recent highly acclaimed Mockingbird solo title. Chelsea Cain is also an established novelist. She's not the first female novelist to have transitioned into writing comics in the past decade; Jodi Picoult (Wonder Woman), Roxane Gay (World of Wakanda), and Margaret Atwood (Angel Catbird) off the top of my head have stuck their toe in the water and each of them have done so to rave reviews thus far.

And because we can't ever have ANYTHING NICE, people decided to shit all over Chelsea Cain because of this cover. I'm gonna say it was because of the cover because if they had bothered to fucking read the book they would know that this is entirely in keeping with the character of Bobbi "Mockingbird" Morse:

..have I mentioned that Cain is the writer and not the artist?

So the harassment starts against Cain because like I said, we can't have nice things, and Mockingbird had already been canceled for god knows whatever reason, and Chelsea Cain has to leave twitter because you know, sometimes you just really, really have enough of the shit, sometimes the bastardes carborundorm, sometimes you just wanna go write and meet your fucking publishing deadline without your phone exploding every ten seconds with another Pepe-or-Egg cheesedick whining that his precious world-of-funnybooks has been tainted by ungrabbable pussy.

But there's been enough shit written about this and reasonable people like me and (I FUCKING DO HOPE) you are rallying behind Chelsea Cain and lining up to buy the Mockingbird trade paperback because you will not be disappointed.

What I wanna talk about (finally) is this:

The whole idea of "Wednesday Warriors", i.e. comic fans who show up weekly at their local comic book shop to grab their pull lists? Like, claiming that they drive the market and what the publishers consider bankable?


Primary reason being that we don't live in that kind of economy anymore. I wait for trade paperback collections because they're easier to handle, or I buy digital editions from ComiXology or a Kindle version if available when I can't wait--though I vastly prefer trades.

Secondary and anecdotally...I don't like going to my LCBS anymore.

Lemme explain.

THe guy who owns the place is an excellent human. Retired cop, I dig him, he digs me and J., when we hadn't been in to pick up our stuff in awhile he'd written us emails in iambic pentameter asking how we were. He likes my sense of humor and that I know more about pop culture of the early days of television than most people his own age.

But his son works there too and is in the shop half the time.

And he's a dick. A microaggressive dick. I hate seeing him there. And I think he hates seeing me. Probably because his dad thinks I am cooler than he is, but more likely because I have a uterus.

For instance: Kevin Keller comes out in trade. I am delighted. I love Kevin, I love Dan Parent, I am tickled by the fact that the once crappily evangelical Archie imprint is now producing some of the most wonderfully inclusive and progressive (and with the crossovers my homey Alex Segura handles, even transgressive!) stories put to pulp.

So I put my copy of Kevin down on the counter.

He flicks the cover. "You like THIS GUY?"

*blink* "Um. Yes?"

"Yeah but, YOU KNOW about him, RIGHT?"

I play dumb. "That he's Veronica's new BFF? Oh, I know, but Betty isn't the jealous type."


"Just ring up my books please." And I can't wait to get the fuck out of there. I want to read comics. I don't want to stand there and be the fucking ambassador for LGBT when I just wanna buy my fucking comics and go home and read them. It's wearying as fuck.

Somehow I doubt when anyone buys Ant-Man he says "YOU KNOW THAT HANK PYM BEAT HIS WIFE RIGHT?" or "YOU KNOW TONY STARK IS A LUSH RIGHT" or "YOU KNOW ROT LOP FAN HAS TO HAVE AN F-SHARP BELL INSTEAD OF A GREEN LANTERN RIGHT" no wait that last one would be me because fuck yeah Rot Lop Fan. No, I need to be warned about the faggot that moved to Riverdale.

I could end this post with pictures of my longboxes full of single issues, my bookshelves groaning with trades and limited edition hardcovers, my display shelves and closet and drawers full of merchandising tie-ins and t-shirts and shit I have on a fucking Batgirl hoodie right now (and Snoopy pants that don't go with it but I am not leaving the house today so fuck it). But I don't fucking have to prove my cred. I don't have to be all "WAAAAAIIIIT I AM SO NOT A FAKE GEEK GURL I SWEAAAAAAR" fuck you I am 44 years old and I want. To read. Comic books.

And it would be really nice if I could see myself in them sometime.
siannan: (annie lennox)

There's a lot of shit I could/should write about. Politics, of course. Current culture. Social justice efforts. And personal shit too. Health, friends, experiences, renovating this house.

But a combination of ennui and hummingbird brain syndrome (if that is a thing) means I confine my (questionable) wisdom to Twitter these days. 144 characters, zip, boop, lost in the scroll of blatheryblahblah.

Frankly, any time I consider delving into the creation of a long-form screed, I get this internal defeatist telling me "eh, why bother? No one's gonna read it. No one's gonna care. You're not gonna be helping anyone but your ego. You're not gonna make a difference no matter how much effort you put into it."

So I don't.

siannan: (annie lennox)
Prince. Yellow assless Battenburg lace outfit. Gett Off. First appearance of the symbol, probably first televised appearance of the NPG (with the lovely Rosie on keyboards and backing vocals).

Watch it here. http://theconcourse.deadspin.com/princes-1991-mtv-video-awards-performance-is-the-maybe-1772314076

In the pit was my friend's brother. He was beautiful. Michael Hutchence from INXS hit on him that night.

Hutchence died with a belt around a doorknob, choking his dick along with his neck.

My friend's brother died on 9/11, a probie firefighter and they never found a speck of him in the rubble.

And now Prince is gone.

"Tonight, you're a star...and I'm the Big Dipper."

art by Fauna93
siannan: (teh gr8 garloo!)




Go kick some fuckin ass you filthy plastic Paddies.
siannan: (pwetty pwetty pwincess)
But I don't feel like it.

Instead: remember these?

They always had them in the lobby of IHOPs. Man, you didn't even need to buy one of those little rolled-up horoscopes. Just spinning the dial round and round was enough. Thrumpitythrumpitythrump. Whirl that rainbow of wee tubes.

Your future is a series of TUBES.
siannan: (Default)
...nope. Still raw.
siannan: (Default)

Any more? Add in comments please.
siannan: (Default)
I'm scared of white people.

There. I said it. White people scare me. Large groups of them. Especially wearing suits. Most especially holding guns. The debates the other night...I didn't watch them live, but watched both of them the next morning.

I'm scared that the people who say the most outrageous, nasty things are getting the best numbers in the polls. Lots of different polls. Donald Trump isn't a laughable douchebag. Some unfathomable faction of America is actually thinking that it's a good idea to have someone that mean, foul-tempered, economically incompetent, and bigoted running the country.

I don't like that I actually sympathize with Megyn "pepper spray is a food product and Santa can only be white" Kelly.

I don't like all these people talking about brown people but not about the white people that engineered more terrorist attacks on US soil since 9/11.

No one talks about racist cops, no one talks about income disparity. They talk about imaginary boogeymen coming over the border wearing sombreros and twirling their bandito mustaches as they supposedly run around raping women. White women, I guess. I doubt they'd kick up a fuss if it was women in any other melanin bracket.

Run, Miss Flora! If you get raped by an "illegal", you can't be in the Miss USA pageant!

It took me a long time to admit this fear I have of the race I was born into. I'm not Rachel Dolezal. I think what she did was beyond disingenuous and totally fucking lazy. Having read about her biological family and their batshittery, I can see why she'd want to distance herself from that Duggar-ish crap, but there are better ways to be an ally than to pull some bullshit Iron Eyes Cody scam and get traction alopecia in the meantime (most Caucasian hair is not structured with the strength to be in cornrows for extended periods, sorry about your bald spots Rachel). The "Charming Negress" in my blog title refers to a line in Star Trek TOS.

That dialogue stayed with me ever since I first heard it as a kid. I like the idea of a future where words are not feared...because right now, words are worse than knives and bullets.

Tonight I expressed this fear to someone close to me. They said I was racist. I admitted yes, I am racist, and I hate that about myself. I am ashamed.

They proceeded to inundate me with line after line of "you want to kill whitey. Kill whitey! Kill whitey! can I quote Malcolm X? 'KILL WHITEY!'" and I was crying so hard I could barely breathe. I begged them to stop. They didn't. Then they said they were just teasing. They had no idea how hard it was to admit my racism and they thought it was okay to make a joke that was not a joke.

I remember being teased like that all through my childhood. I was the fat girl, the girl with the strange ideas beyond the grasp of her peers, the ugly girl who did not know how to play soccer, the girl who had glasses and bad skin and snarly hair who never had a boyfriend ever.

I was the girl who after I gave a presentation about my father's experiences in WW2, a rumor sprang up that my dad was actually a Nazi. Swastikas were drawn on my schoolwork when my back was turned. I came home with muddy footprints on the back of my shirts. My clothes were stolen, my money, my trinkets. My purse was grabbed and turned upside down and my sanitary napkins cackled over. If I got a wrong answer in class, I was jeered at for hours. It didn't matter that the other twenty times I got it right when no one else did. It doesn't matter if you're smart and know stuff. All that matters is that you're fat, ugly, don't know the rules of field hockey, don't own a Benetton shirt like all the popular girls with their gleaming permed hair and perfect handwriting.

They liked to see me cry. It wasn't difficult. There was always something new wrong with me that they could point out and exploit. I was followed home and pushed in the mud. My winter hat stolen right off my head along with a fistful of my hair. Once I carried a vegetable paring knife in my pocket and brandished it at them when they tried to grab my books and hurl them down the sewer. I got suspended for a week even though it didn't happen on school property. I never got my books back.

I saw kids getting teased worse than me. I tried to deflect attention away from them, onto myself. A martyr. A victim soul. I dunno what I was thinking. We're all supposed to be self-centered shits and wear these invisible helmets of apathy and keep our heads down in a flock, I guess. I didn't know how. I only knew how to cry and have no one stick up for me, at school or at home. I only knew how to give a shit and wonder why no one else did, and watch them in church on Sunday as they genuflected and ate the cracker and didn't take a single fucking thing taught in there to heart.

They said I was racist. I wasn't racist then. I am now. But I don't hate any white people, nor do I want to kill any white people. The only one I want to kill is myself. But I won't. I have promises to keep.

The person I confided in last night has no idea the shame I feel, and I don't think they ever will. I don't think I want them to know how badly it hurt. I don't want anyone else to feel this wrenched apart and raw and hideous.

I still love.
siannan: (Default)
...and according to 23andme, I have 2.1% neanderthal while J. has 2.8.


Also I have some sub-Saharan African DNA. I am indeed a charming negress. J. has some Far East/Native American genome markers. He's pissed because it's not enough to get tribal benefits. Fuck that.
siannan: (despair)

Privilege exists. Everyone pissing and moaning over the White People special that aired on MTV? Stop. Reflect.

You are not being asked to be ashamed of your status as whatever dominant subset you belong to. You cannot control that. You cannot control it any more than people who are oppressed and subjugated for their skin tone, gender, sexual preference, disability, or ethnicity could control where they were born and into what body they reside. And when people try to change their bodies, they are still vilified, i.e. transphobia and "passing".

I'm white, cisfemale, I can pass as able-bodied and cognitive. I was born into an economically privileged area of an economically dominant country. I had access to education. I have not known famine or dire poverty. I am bisexual, but married to a hetero cismale. I have health care and can obtain the medications I need to control my physical and mental conditions somewhat. I own my own home. These are some of my privileges and I am aware of them. I am neither guilt-ridden or proud of them. They simply are what they are, as part of me.

I take it for granted that when confronted by an officer of the law, I will be able to ask questions about the situation and the handling thereof without being considered "arrogant" or "troublesome" and I don't live with the fear of ending up dead.

I can apply for services at financial institutions and only worry about my economic status being a factor as to whether or not I will be approved for those services.

I can enter a realtor's office and know I can inquire about properties in any location without being deterred or rejected.

I can shop in stores without being closely monitored or tailed through the aisles.

People do not clutch their belongings or cross to the other side of the street when they see me. They do not thread their keys through their fingers or reach into their pocket, purse, or holster to fondle a taser, spray can, or weapon upon my approach.

I can walk into any hair salon in a 15 mile radius and trust that they know how to style my type of hair. I can find cosmetics close to my skin tone, and beauty aids that suit my needs, and the standard of beauty for my race is promoted as the ideal.

I can attend public celebrations of my ethnicity and culture (i.e. St. Patrick's Day) and not have the gathering characterized as a riot or potential breeding ground for crime and violence, and the existence of those celebrations is not questioned by the mainstream media.

Do I really need to enumerate this shit? Do I? That in itself is fucking privilege.

full disclosure: I have not watched the entirety of the White People doc, only clips from before the airdate. I don't have cable anymore. But the reactions I am seeing on social media are telling me that 40 minutes was not nearly long enough. Stretch it out to a Roots-length miniseries.

And then enroll yourself into one of Jane Elliott's workshops for a day. Experience it from the other side.

There is no shame in learning. You have time to learn.

And if you tuned this out after the first couple of paragraphs...you have much farther to go than you might ever realize.

April 2017

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