Sunday, November 27, 2011

Why we don't need "lost causes" to assuage our consciences

This is a rant that's always kinda been in me but has solidified b/c two things happened today which got me thinking about this more. And what "this" is is the tendency to put down or dismiss people who are suffering from trauma, depression, abuse or any other bad situation that they're stuck in a deep black hole, as being "hopeless" or "lost causes" or to imply negative things about them.

Before I continue further, I want to say that I absolutely understand that a lot of the time it's up to THEM to get better, to recognize that something has to change, and etc... I mean, I say that a lot about myself and my eating disorder, most of the time I just want SUPPORT, nobody can make me eat, or make me stop exercising, but that doesn't mean that support doesn't help. I also understand that there are other REAL PEOPLE who are the ones giving that support, and it can take a lot out of them, I know and understand the frustration of feeling like you can't rescue the person, and that it can take a toll on people and it's an individual and personal choice to continue helping or not.

I absolutely get this. HOWEVER, what I DON'T like and what this rant is about, is when people feel that they have to put down the person that they feel they can't help anymore in ORDER to justify them stepping away, ending a friendship, or not feeling guilty (which they shouldn't).

Today, I got a response from a friend to me seeking help for a friend in an abusive situation. Not to get into details, but I was looking for a person who could give my friend a place to stay in case my friend has to leave their abusive relationship (which they won't acknowledge is abusive) because I know from experience, that having an option can really change that outlook sometimes, but of course it's up to the person ultimately to recognize they have to leave. It doesn't mean I can't help, I'm merely trying to set the groundwork and give them support (esp since their partner has cut out the rest of their friends), but yes, I know only THEY can make the decision. However, the response was basically telling me that I can't do anything, and that it'll hurt me too much to watch the cycle go on because they ultimately made that decision with their friend, and that my friend is just going to keep cycling.

That bugs me because nowhere did I say I'm reaching wits end, I never said anything about the specifics of my friend's circumstances, or that I felt they would never leave (in fact I said they recognized intellectually what's happening but feels there are no options for escape)... but what I did do, I think, was make my friend worry that SHE didn't do enough for HER friend, and therefore she had to justify it by dismissing my friend and my efforts.

The second case is a friend telling another friend who had just ended a toxic relationship which was hurting them a lot, that people like the ex-partner are just a black hole of need, and so they shouldn't feel that they did anything wrong or should have done certain things differently. I agree with the second part, that they shouldn't feel guilty at ALL about their relationship, and that they shouldn't blame themselves for not saving their ex-partner. But that doesn't have to come with the first part (especially since my friend still cares a lot about their ex-partner). Their ex-partner had PTSD from childhood trauma and suffered from depression and had attempted suicide. It doesn't mean my friend is a bad person for leaving the relationship, especially because they were being used as a crutch. It doesn't mean that the other person is a lost cause, a black hole of need. I've been there too, and I understand what it feels like to need support and need a crutch. It may be a lot, but it's not infinite, and it can get better. It doesn't mean that people have to give up their mental and emotional well-being to help though, but it doesn't mean NOBODY can help. Saying "you couldn't have done anything" doesn't have to come with "nobody could have" in order for it to be "it's not your fault". I hope that made sense.

Look, my personality is that I just can't step away, and also I can handle a lot even if it's upsetting me. But that's me. It's probably also why I'm going back to school for social work and currently working in social services. But I don't make judgements about what other people need for THEMSELVES, nor am I saying or implying that I think I'm BETTER than other people because I still care. We're ALL HUMAN BEINGS, and we ALL HAVE OUR OWN LIVES and breaking points. And ultimately, I am not going to tell another person what they should have done, that they should have done more or that they didn't do enough.

But I suspect, THEY worry that, because they don't see it the way I just laid it out, what they see is that they have to either be a good person or a bad person. And the only way stepping away from a friend in distress makes them NOT a bad person, is if that friend is a "lost cause" or a never-ending "black hole". And I get that people might feel that's the best way to help their friends get over their guilt too, or because they care about THEIR friends over some people they've never met before that they see are causing their friends distress. I get that too. NOBODY IS IN THE WRONG HERE. And I get all the good intentions happening.

I'm merely saying that I think a lot of people worry that they're not good people if they have to do what's best for themselves, and if it's POSSIBLE to have helped their friend, then it means that they're bad people for not having stayed longer, for not having sacrificed more. And in THAT framework, the other person has to be the bad person, or the weak person, or the hopeless person, because otherwise, we should have tried harder, or the implication is we don't care enough.

That's BS. Ultimately nobody can judge what's right for another person, and what another person needs for their own mental and emotional well being. It doesn't make you a bad person if after the third suicide attempt, you blocked your friend from facebook because you couldn't take it anymore. And if somebody else stuck around and that friend got better, it doesn't mean you failed.

I think it plays into narratives of "good vs evil" or black and white situations, and of the idea that people either need to get over it, or they're to blame for not fixing their own situation, which is problematic, because support DOES help, and being in a dark terrible place alone can be terrifying. The problem with playing into the above narratives, is that it sets up the idea that "only they can save themselves" = "therefore whether they have support or not makes no difference". And I get how that last narrative is... everywhere in our culture, and also it makes it easier for us to assuage our guilty consciences. But I still think it's a problematic narrative, and that the message in our society can be that we have nothing to feel guilty of if we are operating in good faith, and need to take care of ourselves, without necessarily setting up a dark mirror where the other person is the problem.

When I help my friends who are dealing with these kinds of situations, I always try to focus on that this is what they need for their emotional and mental well-being and there's absolutely nothing wrong about that, or anything they should feel guilty about at ALL. I personally find it more useful than using a narrative where their feelings of guilt hinges on how they feel or think of the person they care about but can't help.

Sometimes, life just happens. And we're ALL just trying to live our own lives, and be the best people we can be, trying to balance our lives and our needs with the lives and needs of people we care about. There's no good and evil when it comes to that.

Edit: This btw is not saying I believe a "nobody is right or wrong" view of the world. I'm speaking THESE SPECIFIC situations where you want to help a friend but it is too much for you. I'm not saying that I believe abusers are equal to the abused, or that it's bad, for example, to support your friend's anger at their abuser or rapist.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

And this is why I now read comics about robots

So apparently Harley Quinn has gotten the Starfire/Catwoman new DCU treatment too

Wonderful e_e (Tho I think the clown car joke is supposed to be how big Deadshot is... or how big he is through his underwear... or maybe he's wearing that xD )

And yay! The whole "the skill women bring to the table is that they have vaginas!" trope/fantasy/whatever e_e

Maybe that's why guys don't give ME free things xD

*SIGHS*

SO NOT INSPIRED TO GO BACK TO DC

I don't care if there are some good books, or it's "not all bad"... first off, even the not bad stuff isn't amazing awesome (in MY opinion, from what I've seen) and secondly, my money is valuable to me (esp right now) and I'm def not spending it on a company that makes me want to rage every month or so b/c there's a new epic fail. e_e

Thursday, November 17, 2011

RAWR >:O Trans woman's arrest exposes contradictory double standard

A trans woman was denied a documentation gender-change and then was arrested for indecent exposure when she took off her top in protest

Tennessee resident Andrea Jones effectively demonstrated this week how poorly transgender people can be treated. According to the federal government, Jones is a woman, but Tennessee’s Department of Safety says she doesn’t have enough proof to have her state gender documentation changed. The state claims she only had partial sexual reassignment surgery and state law requires a “full sex change” to recognize a change of gender. When her paperwork was rejected, she went outside and removed her shirt in protest, for which she was arrested. The police report read:

Mr. Jones continued to yell that he had the right to show his breasts in public and wanted to be recognized as a female.

If the state recognizes her as a male, then it was not against the law for her to remove her shirt in public, as only the showing of “the female breast” counts as public indecency under Tennessee law. The state is essentially punishing her both for being female enough and for not being female enough, whereas the federal government already recognizes her as female.

Jones’ story demonstrates how unrealistic it is to set standards of “proof” for people to identify their gender transition. If trans people were celebrated for their authenticity, they would not face the undue hardship of being punished just for being who they are.

That's awful and such BS >:O BUT, while angry, I'm also impressed by her choice of protest (and quick thinking) in exposing the contradictions and double standards our society operate with. Apparently she's female enough to be arrested as a woman, but not to legally be considered as one. e_e

I've wondered myself where I fall in legality if I walked around naked in the summer (which is supposedly legal in Ontario, but I haven't seen nebody do it, and protestors needed a permit to do it this summer, so I dunno) because sometimes it's freakishly hot. Of course, when I even tie up my t-shirt cuz it's so hot, I get harassed and creepoids attempt to touch me... so... >_<;;; Neways, RAWR AT STUPID TRANSPHOBIC LAWS AND REGULATIONS >:O

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Bonus rages about the Penn State child rape cover-up

Mike McQueary claims that he stopped the rape he witnessed and told the police

McQueary, now the football team's wide receivers coach, told a friend from Penn State that he made sure the 2002 shower assault he witnessed was stopped and went to the police about it. The friend made McQueary's email, written Nov. 8, available to the AP on Tuesday on the condition he not be identified.

McQueary, who has been placed on administrative leave and did not coach in Saturday's 17-14 loss to Nebraska, wrote: “I did stop it, not physically ... but made sure it was stopped when I left that locker room ... I did have discussions with police and with the official at the university in charge of police .... no one can imagine my thoughts or wants to be in my shoes for those 30-45 seconds ... trust me.”

Added McQueary: “Do with this what you want ... but I am getting hammered for handling this the right way ... or what I thought at the time was right ... I had to make tough impacting quick decisions.”

I tend to try to give ppl the benefit of the doubt when they claim stuff, but I really doubt this. I find it convenient that now that he's under fire for not doing anything, he emails a friend saying he stopped the rape & called the police, and hints that the friend can do what he wants with the email (I.E SHOW THE MEDIA). Why didn't he mention this in his grand jury testimony? Who would testify that they did LESS than they did to stop a rape!? Now that he's not under oath, he suddenly remembers his heroics?

Oh and another thing. Everybody is analyzing or commenting on the one question during the Costas/Sandusky interview, where Costas asked Sandusky if he was attracted to young boys. One tweet I saw said that he took too many seconds to answer, and another said that Sandusky saying "I enjoy young people" is disturbing.

In this context, that kind of loaded answer IS incredibly disturbing (you'd think for a guy doing an interview supposedly to clear his name, he'd know better than to answer with that, Sandusky basically admitted to everything BUT actual legal rape) but what gets me is everybody being focused on who he's attracted to and the question itself as being of super import, and ppl going "HE TOOK TOO LONG TO ANSWER!"

WHO CARES WHO HE'S ATTRACTED TO!? HE DID WHAT HE DID! HE COMMITTED RAPE!

This isn't me defending pedophiles or nething btw, it's just... first off, when it comes to child abuse/rape cases, there's always this idea that the person must be attracted to a) the age and b) the gender, and that sets up the idea that NOT being attracted is a defense (it also plays into the fallacy that every male that rapes boys is homosexual)... and secondly, it again makes that stupid fallacy that rape is about sexual attraction, and is an extension of it. Sometimes sexual attraction MIGHT have to do with rape, but it's hardly universal, OR necessary, so therefore focusing on it goes to that fallacy b/c it implies that sexual attraction is necessary, or a factor we can predict in every rape, rather than being another possible factor (and not necessarily even a causal one). Also it plays into all sorts of problems where taking AWAY sexual attraction prevents rape. -_-

To me the most important thing is that he RAPED THOSE BOYS not if he's attracted to them. What if he honestly isn't? So what? -_- Does that change anything? Does it change anything if my rapist was attracted to trans women or not? If he answers quickly is he more likely to be guilty than if he answered slowly?

-_-;;

This entire case is just making me angrier and more upset day by day. There's so much fail to go around >:O

Friday, November 11, 2011

FFS ASSHATS, PEOPLE WERE RAPED

Jezebel - What if Penn State's Coach had victimized girls?

UGH -_- UGH UGH UGH... I HATE when ppl do this... when there's something going on that has NOTHING TO DO with a certain issue but ppl create a hypothetical question to make it as if that was an issue... I see it a lot with MRAs with the "you know if the criminal was a woman then she'd have been let off" "if she was a man she'd be killed" "if the victim was a girl everybody would support her" etc etc, but I dun rly care about MRAs so I dun rage about it...

But... FFS JEZEBEL! >_<;; Even if they're right (and it's ridic to make up hypothetical situations and then answer them), IT'S IRRELEVANT! This isn't a case of OMG GIRLS vs OMG BOYS b/c THERE WERE NO GIRLS OR WOMEN INVOLVED -_- And you can't just say "WELL WHAT IF" to make it a gendered issue. -_- What if Joe Frazier was a female boxer? I BET THERE WOULDN'T BE TRIBUTES TO HER! It's so stupid! -_- And it's a cheap and stupid way to inject your ideology into things that have nothing to do with your ideology. -_- AND IT'S INSULTING, INSENSITIVE AND WRONG >_<;; Many children have been raped by a child rapist that was allowed to keep doing it because the school administrators and coaches that knew turned a blind eye and even tried to quietly take him off the team (while allowing him to continue to operate his charity there, it reminds me of the Catholic church simply re-assigning abusive priests) and Jezebel thinks that now is the time to start playing "who has it worse"? -_-;;; It's one thing if there were girls and boys being abused in the same situation and one gender was getting justice while the other was not... but this is doing that thing I said above "WELL YOU KNOW THAT IF THEY WERE GIRLS/BOYS THEN..." a) we don't "know" that because we aren't Q and we don't have access to multiple universes b) yes, if things were different, they wouldn't be the same c) WHO CARES!? THESE ARE REAL PEOPLE AND THIS IS A REAL SITUATION AND WHETHER IN SOME FICTIONAL UNIVERSE THINGS WOULD BE WORSE OR BETTER OR PURPLE OR GREEN IS IRRELEVANT, INSULTING AND DISGUSTING TO EVEN DERAIL INTO Ugh. Not that I expect that much from Jezebel either given how whenever I hear about them it's some problematic article or another -_- But... this rly RLY RLY angers me >:O

And while we're on the subject... the media needs to stop being so f-ing squeamish about rape and sexual assault and use the f-ing words.

Since I listen to a lot of sports talk radio, I've been hearing a lot about this case and I've heard "sex scandal" way more than I've heard "child rape" or even "sexual abuse scandal" (to his credit, Stephen Brunt on Primetime Sports corrected host Bob McCown who was trying to put it "gently" with euphemisms and said "it's child rape") >:|

It reminds me of when Eric Tillman plead guilty to sexually assaulting his 16 year old babysitter, and the media was tiptoeing around that too (Bob McCown referred to it as "a sexual indiscretion" as if he had cheated on his wife and not SEXUALLY ASSAULTED SOMEBODY).

Or when the Toronto Star reported on the conviction of a twin who raped his brother's girlfriend as "convicted of sex with twin brother's girlfriend". Um no.. he wasn't convicted of SEX. SEX ISN'T A CRIME! RAPE IS THE FUCKING CRIME! >:O

ARGH! >:O I am so sick of "rape" being conflated with "sex" and the media's squeamishness in reporting >:O (esp things that don't fit the RAWR CRIMINAL MINDS MONSTER KIDNAPPING PEOPLE AND RAPING THEM modus operandi)

I feel so ill... this entire thing is so rage-inducing and makes me so angry... the cover up... the fact that they didn't fire Paterno immediately... and that they ONLY fired him b/c he broke ranks and said "I should have done more" which opens them up for a lawsuit and so they had to disassociate with him, and that the student body is rallying behind him and they rioted to protect a guy who was negligent in stopping a CHILD RAPIST! >:O

I know that in some US cities, college football is religion and football coaches are gods, but this is f-ing ridic. PRIORITIES PEOPLE! PERSPECTIVE PEOPLE!!! >:O

It's sickening that they think that Paterno is somehow the victim here... >:O

And honestly, we know the NCAA won't give them the death penalty, but Penn State should give themselves the death penalty, even if it's just for the cynical pragmatic purpose of giving them a chance to regain trust in any future recruits and their parents. And their reputation outside of their supporters. >:| Kill the entire program for a season, and fire EVERYBODY. Cleanse the entire place and bring in new people. And THEN you can claim "this won't happen again" because at least you can claim you're starting with new soil now >:|

But still... this is absolutely bulls-... the media reporting, the students, Paterno, the cynicism of the school, the fact that this rapist was protected to preserve the all-mighty football program and that Jezebel thinks this tragedy is a GREAT time to play the "WHAT IF" ideological game. >:\

UGH! >:O

REAL PEOPLE WERE VICTIMIZED, TRAUMATIZED AND VIOLATED HERE PEOPLE! THE LEAST IMPORTANT THING RIGHT NOW IS FOOTBALL, YOUR JOB, OR YOUR IDEOLOGICAL HYPOTHETICALS >:O

I wish the survivors and their families infinite healing, strength and heart-felt prayers :(

Thursday, November 03, 2011

THIS IS THE GREATEST THING EVER!!!!



AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW <3

I dunno where it came from (I found it while Escher Girl pic hunting xD) but... AWWWWWWWWWWWW :D

Deadpool Pony is SO CUTE! :D But I'm in love w/ the Ms. Marvel pony cuz I love Ms. Marvel! :D

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Miss MartiAmi! :D



This is me last night! :D I know she doesn't wear socks, but it's cold, even indoors, and I don't have blue boots xD I put together the costume in 2 days w/ some ribbon and blue cloth I found at Wal-Mart, so I'm pretty happy w/ it despite it not being perfect XD I plan to fix it up (esp the cape), get some blue boots, and then I'll have a Miss Martian costume for comicons! :D

(oh and the X rode up a bit, that's why it looks like that. It was lower but I didn't adjust it for the picture :\ )