Tag Archives: Activism

Mental Health Update

4 Feb

Anxiety attacks are increasing, in both frequency and in number of triggering situations.

Depression is slightly stabilized, but mostly hovering around the moderate/severely depressed line.

I haven’t been taking my medication since the first month’s pills ran out (six weeks of pills total, because I had a two week sample pack) – they weren’t helping, and the psychiatrist I had gotten the prescription from gave me anxiety attacks.

He said I was too young. To be depressed. And anxious. In the most condescending way possible, the psychiatrist I saw told me that my age made my mental health condition tragic. He assumed and stated the sex of my lover to be male before I mentioned anything other than having a lover, and he told me I was too young to be in the condition I am.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot??!

My age has nothing to do with what I am being treated for. My sexuality has nothing to do with what I am being treated for. I am being treated for depression and anxiety, not for whatever the fuck I’m too young for (which, um, I pretty obviously have and therefore am clearly not too young for). My lover’s sex is not for some doctor* to assume, nor am I comfortable with anybody doing so.  The phrase “I’ve been dating somebody…” coming from me should not instantly trigger the phrase “And what does he…” or the mentality behind it.

So, mentally, I’m not doing great. I have two art classes, and that helps! But overall, I’m miserable and want stuff to actually get better, not have my attempted solutions to my problems blow ageism and het privilege into my eyes like salty lemon water.

On age, I recently read a great post by Chally – read the comments too, they’re quite a lovely read: That’s that, then.

On gender and assumed heteronormativity,  meloukhia’s tag, “LGBQT,” is a veritable goldmine of delicious bloggy material. Also, my Oppression 101 tab has a few things relevant to the subject (I keep meaning to organize and add links, but for now you get a disorganized list of jumbled thought which does not reflect my full interests in internet activism).

*My gynecologist’s assumption of my lover’s sex to be male is less objectionable to me , as it is her job to make sure I am well-informed about potential sexual health risks, many of which are possible only through heterosexual PIV sex (read: certainly not totally unobjectionable, but I believe the assumption was made with my best interests in mind. The GYN also assumed that I was sexually active with a STD-positive partner.).

Quick Hit: FWD/Forward

12 Oct

Apropos of my last post concerning the Feministing debacle, a bunch of awesome feminist writers have teamed up (including friend to Foxtrot Chally *waves*) and started a group blog discussing disablism, accessibility, marginalizing language and lots of other cool goodies.

It looks like a useful resource. It’s new, so reading the extent of the archives is easier than older blogs (in other words, go! Read!).

Why I’m Angry

7 Oct

You may have heard of Feministing’s recent refusal to acknowledge disability as a feminist issue.

You may have heard about the systematic othering of disabled people at Feministing.

You may have heard that Feministing commenters continue to engage in problematic behavior, in spite of being called out on TAB privilege.

You may have heard that Feministing moderators allow (and, by silence, encourage) the marginalization of trans people and denial of trans rights.

You may have heard that Feministing encourages multiple forms of kyriarchy, consistently and without apology.

You may have realized by now that I’m cosigning meloukhia’s letter.

A Letter to BBC Radio News

6 Oct

To Whom It May Concern:

I found the BBC Radio News reporting on Roman Polanski’s arrest rather unsatisfactory. The reporter stated that Polanski was under arrest for “having sex with” a thirteen-year old girl. I find this report inaccurate, as Polanski raped a thirteen-year old girl. Having sex with a person is not the same thing as raping this person, and conflating the two contributes to a misunderstanding of rape and sex. This misunderstanding, in turn, increases the difficulty of convicting rapists, as the seriousness of the crime is undervalued by being understood as consensual sex, rather than the forced crime of rape.

I would appreciate it if, in the future, BBC Radio News would refrain from perpetuating the idea that sex and rape can be used interchangably.

Thank you,

[niemaodpowiedzi’s government name]

I haven’t sent it yet. Anything else I should add?

For more on the concept of “It’s not sex. It’s rape!” see Hoyden About Town.

Quick Hit: Roman Polanski

30 Sep

Agree or disagree: getting a thirteen-year old girl high and violating her multiple times, in spite of her dissent, is the same thing as being arrested for stealing a loaf of bread in 19th century France.

There is a correct answer. You will be judged based on your response. (via Feministe)

Edited because blogger was so angry about the comparison between Polanski and Jean Valjean she forgot to include the hyperlink to said comparison.

On Living In Polite Society

17 Sep

As you see a grown-ass woman traversing your college campus/rapidly walking somewhere/ignoring your existence, do not call her “sweetie.” Especially don’t repeat it over and over until she is forced to stop in her tracks and give you death glares. And then don’t tell her, “Never mind, thought you were a teacher.” Especially if you don’t know this woman person. For all you know, she might be in a bad mood because she had an in-class essay test that morning, had trouble finding a parking spot (even though this hypothetical person arrived half an hour early to study for this hypothetical exam), couldn’t get coffee because the lines would have made her late to class (again, half an hour before classes started), and whose hand may have been cramping from said in-class essay, due to the speed it would be necessary to write such an essay and sufficiently address the topic.

That is all. *sips coffee*

P.S. Do not call a fucking teacher “sweetie” either.

Quick Hit: Bastille Day

14 Jul

In honor of Bastille Day, C. L. Minou has a  fantastic post up drawing parallels between French history, kyriarchy, tesseracts and revolution of various sorts. The post is a delight to read – she quotes/references people as diverse as Gerard Manley Hopkins (one of my favorite poems of his, no less(yes, atheists can like religious poems)), Madeleine L’Engle and bell hooks (whose Feminist Theory I am currently reading) to make her point.

Lessons From History

9 Jun

I’m taking a United States history course this summer. Class started yesterday, and today we were assigned a reading from the May 7, 2007 issue of Time Magazine, when Condoleeza Rice was in Bush’s Cabinet and Barack Obama was proving to be a significant candidate for the presidency.

Here’s an excerpt:

The great achievement of the civil rights revolution was the dismantling of what the inheritors of Jamestown had instituted. Today a black woman fills one of the most powerful political offices after the presidency, and a black man holds serious promise of becoming the presidential candidate of the Democratic Party. Whatever the persisting problems of black Americans–many of which, like a fragile family life and the lack of inheritance, also originated in slavery–it is now incontestable that they belong to America as America belongs to them. In this, America stands far above all other multiethnic Western nations. Nonetheless, it cannot, and should never, be forgotten that the racial tragedy that began in Jamestown took more than 350 years to overcome.

The message I receive from this article makes me incredibly sad. The passage I quoted suggests that we are, in fact, living in post-racial America. The first sentence, indeed, states that the institutionalized racism that “began in Jamestown*” was fully dismantled by the civil rights movement revolution. And that is utter bullshit. Just because a handful of POCs inhabit places of influence in the United States government in no way indicates that race is no longer a factor of the world we inhabit. To state that it is requires willful ignorance and a heaping helping of privilege that affords those that buy into this utopian America** the ability to put the blinders on and forget atrocities done for the sake of “racial superiority” (in “scare quotes” because that was the best way I could come up with to convey the utter scorn I have for those that, by accident of birth, view their skin tone as superior to that of another human being).

Whatever the persisting problems of black Americans–many of which, like a fragile family life and the lack of inheritance, also originated in slavery–it is now incontestable that they belong to America as America belongs to them.

Is it just me, or does this sentence seem to say, “Gee! Sorry about all that nasty shit we pulled a while back! But hey – now you’re a real American! Because you’ve struggled, we’ll give lip service and pretending we care! Yet at the same time, it appears to brush those struggles under a rug – smother them beneath a muzzle of “Your story has already been told, so shut up about it already! We get it, you’ve been oppressed, and we can’t wait until you stop whinging about it.”

In this, America stands far above all other multiethnic Western nations.

Oi. That ethnocentrism hit me so hard, I’m seeing stars. How in the hell does this person have the gall to use that jingoistic drivel? How was this approved for publishing? What the fucking fuck happened to journalistic integrity, Time? Oh, right. I keep forgetting that the United States*** is the paragon of enlightenment and reason in the world. It’s in all the best news sources!

The racial issues in the United States haven’t been solved. It’s going to take a lot more than a few elected officials to fix that – it requires intellectually honest discussions about race and privilege, and recognizing that reparations cannot be made through time alone. There has to be an effort to change the root of the problem, rather than pretend we live in a post-racial fairy tale where cookies are handed out for every act of minimal decency.

*I feel confident stating that racism was institutionalized long before the establishment of said colony.

**Specifically, the part of America that is governed by the U.S. Would hate to be unclear about that.

***I accidentally typed “Untied States.” The Freudian potential!

Seen*

15 May

Before I begin this post, some friendly advice. Do not try to balance on unstable things. If you disregard that little nugget o’ wisdom, I recommend not placing the corner of a desk where, should the inevitable happen and you fall, your ear will break the fall for you. ‘Cause that would fucking hurt. And there would probably be blood. Not that I know from experience or anything.

Oh, right! I was writing a post! I was driving along the freeway today, when I saw a billboard that so infuriated me I had to flip it off (which may not be the wisest of moves, given that other drivers tend to take offense when one raises the middle finger in their direction, whether or not it is intended for them). Dear reader, here is a Photoshopped facsimile (no camera while driving) of the billboard that delivered such an irritable and irresponsible response:

Would you like some recreation with your misogyny?

Would you like some recreation with your misogyny?

Nice rack. And other accessories.

Nice RACK, AND OTHER ACCESSORIES?!? *spews outrage*

Because breasts are detachable from the woman. Because women are there to be objectified. Because breasts make you look better. They coordinate with your outfit. They supplement your attractiveness. They make you more fuckable.

Remember, always. You, breasted ones, are members of the sex class – the group of people that owes beauty to the rest of society. And you’d damn well better be able to take a compliment, you bitchy harpy prude, or we can’t speak for how well you’ll manage out in the real world when you can’t even deal with commendation. After all, we were just trying to be nice. We respect you, and we respect the effort you put into your appearance each and every second you’re visible to another person. For the rest of your life. What do you mean, that sounds like a death sentence?

*Title and inspiration for this post taken from the Shakesville series of the same name.

Asperger’s?

9 Apr

After Tuesday’s post, I realized I knew next to nothing about this syndrome I may have. So, naturally, I made friends with Wikipedia and related footnotes. I’m still working through a lot of the links I dug up, but I thought this was interesting:

From the DSM-IV requirements for diagnosis with Asperger’s Syndrome – my comments in italics

A. Qualitative impairment in social interaction, as manifested by at least two of the following:
(1) marked impairment in the use of multiple nonverbal behaviors such as eye-to-eye gaze, facial expression, body postures, and gestures to regulate social interaction I absolutely suck at recognizing non-verbal communication. What I understand, I understand because I’ve looked up body language decoders on the Internet.
(2) failure to develop peer relationships appropriate to developmental level As I said in the last post, I’ve never made friends easily or well. I had what I would term a best friend in elementary, but most might call ‘good friend’ or ‘acquaintance.’ I’ve never had that level of closeness since. In fact, the occasion immortalized here from last Monday was the easiest I’ve ever made friends (and if feeling dizzy and short of breath because I have to stand up and ask a question in a microphone to a room full of people is easy, I’d hate to see what making friends the hard way is).
(3) a lack of spontaneous seeking to share enjoyment, interests, or achievements with other people (e.g., by a lack of showing, bringing, or pointing out objects of interest to other people) Not sure if I do this or not.
(4) lack of social or emotional reciprocity I had to google this, because I wasn’t sure what was meant. This result is interesting, and it may be applicable to me. I’m still not sure if this is what is meant, but I find small talk vastly irritating and as soon as it begins, I try to get away from the situation.

B. Restricted repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests, and activities, as manifested by at least one of the following:
(1) encompassing preoccupation with one or more stereotyped and restricted patterns of interest that is abnormal either in intensity or focus I don’t know if I do this.
(2) apparently inflexible adherence to specific, nonfunctional routines or rituals Possibly. I get frustrated when I’m in an exercise class and the warm-up order shifts unexpectedly. I don’t do well with change to my routine I’m not prepared for well in advance. I don’t like not being able to check my e-mail immediately before bed and immediately upon waking.
(3) stereotyped and repetitive motor mannerisms (e.g., hand or finger flapping or twisting, or complex whole-body movements) Very much so. I fidget constantly, I crochet, I draw. My hands cannot be still. I hate not having something in my hands, something to focus idle energy into. I keep rocks in my purse to hold when I don’t have anything better to do with my hands (and when I’m walking, I pick up rocks I like the shape of that look nice to hold). When in junior high/high school, I played trumpet, and practicing fingerings was a convenient way of appearing “normal” while enabling my need to fidget. When walking, I occasionally throw in a few bounces and pirouettes, without really consciously realizing I’m doing so (others have pointed it out to me).
(4) persistent preoccupation with parts of objects The shape of noses fascinate me. I love staring at noses, the contours and bumps and zits and hairs poking out from the nostril, all the little “imperfections” that give the nose character and make me secretly adore the bearer. This is the only example coming to mind, but I’m almost certain there are others.

C. The disturbance causes clinically significant impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning. I can’t relate to my mother, because she expects things of me that I’m unable to deliver. I have trouble applying for jobs, because I’m so convinced I won’t get the job that it seems futile to even try. I can’t ask for help if and when I need it, because I lack the social skills to feel comfortable doing so.

D. There is no clinically significant general delay in language (e.g., single words used by age 2 years, communicative phrases used by age 3 years). Nothing as far as I’m aware.

E. There is no clinically significant delay in cognitive development or in the development of age-appropriate self-help skills, adaptive behavior (other than in social interaction), and curiosity about the environment in childhood. Nothing as far as I’m aware.

F. Criteria are not met for another specific Pervasive Developmental Disorder or Schizophrenia. Nothing as far as I’m aware.

So I certainly meet enough of the requirements to warrant a follow-up and an attempt to get an official diagnosis. The main problem is financing such an endeavor – as I’m currently uninsured, I have an overwhelming desire to say, “Fuck you, United States of America, for not having socialized healthcare.”

EDIT: So, ten minutes after I post this, Meowser has another awesome post up.