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The Five Bigots You Meet in Queerland

13 Jun

We queer ladies (and gents) have to deal with a lot of crap. It comes from strangers who shout “dyke!” out their car windows, from friends who introduce you as their “lesbian friend,” (as if that were the only notable thing about you), and not-so-well-meaning friends who make drunken assessments of your “true” sexuality.

There are so many of these slights that they warrant categorization. So, without further ado, I give you the Five Basic Types of Bigot, as experienced by your friendly blogger:

1. The Hater

This person is the one who leans out of the car window and shouts, “Ugly dyke!” or “Fucking faggot!” at you whilst you are strolling along admiring the daffodils, holding your girlfriend/boyfriend’s hand. Examples in my life have included:

Haters are easy to ignore when you're a badass.

Haters are easy to ignore when you’re a badass.

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Women! The Internet Hates You

20 Jan

I’ve been felled with a terrible cold/cough/bird flu. So a couple nights ago, I found myself doped up on NyQuil and totally useless to everyone around me. Naturally, what with Reddit and Wikipedia being offline in protest of SOPA (yes, I wrote to my representatives, don’t lecture) I turned to StumbleUpon for some lowbrow entertainment to take my mind off my lung-threatening illness.

What did I find but yet another user-content driven web site capable of providing hours of entertaining fun! It’s called IdeaSwap. You’re supposed to submit an idea you have but can’t or won’t accomplish. Like, for example, “Build a leaning tower of Portland.” Once you click submit, someone else’s idea pops up. You click that button enough times, something you DO have the resources to commit to is bound to pop up. Like, for example, “Go to sleep.”

Naturally, I typed in my brilliant idea, and what pops up but this:

It reads: “[sic]if you’re a woman, get offline and go to the kitchen,
if you’re a guy, tell a woman to go fetch a beer for ya :D”

Awww, thanks internet! It sure is awesome being a female on you. The internet is a glorious place where it’s nigh impossible to ignore misogyny. In real life, it’s often masked and difficult to uncover. On the internet, though, people aren’t afraid to reveal the true nature of their woman-hatred, ‘cuz they get to be anonymous and add stupid little smileys after their grammatical train wreck sentences.

Being a masochist, I clicked again. What should appear but this:

It reads: “Women should not crack their backs. It’s bad for their
reproductive systems.”

Firstly, this is less of an idea and more of a misguided directive so five demerits there. Secondly, it’s stupid. I’m no doctor. Nor do I have any chiropractic training. But a cursory Google search turns up no evidence for what this sticky note posits. Only a bit of hemming and hawing about joint-cracking in general being possibly linked to arthritis, which has no relation to reproduction whatsoever. A cursory brain search turns up … rage. As per usual, the only type of health women have worth caring about is the reproductive variety. We can certainly feel free to crack our knuckles, knees and even skulls, just so long as we can still serve as incubators for the next generation of male overlords and female incubators.

Clicking again, I got this:

It reads: “sometimes all you need to get by is a girl[sic]“

Sometimes all you need to get by is a steady paycheck and a 5th-floor walkup. Other times, a bowl of soup and a blanket. Today, though, is an object lesson in females as objects. Feeling down? Head over to your local K-Mart and pick up a late-model lady! She’ll get you beer, give you babies, and help you “get by,” apparently. It’s like a sinister version of the peppy Beatles hit:

Exasperated, I clicked again.

It reads: “Let’s do a wife swap every ten years.”

And that’s the topper. Not that there’s anything wrong with swinging, if that’s your bag. There ain’t. But for the luvvagod, people, check with your wives first. Nothing is less sexy than nonconsensual nonmonogamy, except maybe being traded for funsies with strangers on the internet via digital sticky note.

With that, I turned off the computer and went to bed, safe in the knowledge that I am surrounded by insane people who hate me and millions of people like me, because we have ladybits. If they’re not busy hating your ladybits, they’re busy hating your queeritude. If they’re not busy with that, they’re busy hating transpeople, or people of color, or poor people, or… all of the above. And that hatred leads to the taking-away-of-rights. And violence. And rape. And murder. And mutilation [NSFW]. I tells ya, it’s enough to make a misanthrope outta me.

In any case, I’m glad that Wikipedia and Reddit are back, and that SOPA is failing miserably. Now if only we could all rally behind other causes that are just as – if not more – important. Ideas, people? Put ‘em in the comments. No ‘get me a sandwich’ allowed. Lurkers, ummask thyselves!

 And don’t forget to subscribe, or join!

The Five People You Meet in Queerland

1 Nov

I’ve countenanced a lot of, shall we say, “crap” over the years. It comes from strangers who shout “dyke!” out their car windows. It comes from well-meaning friends who introduce me as their “lesbian friend,” as if that were the only notable thing worth mentioning. It comes from not-so-well-meaning friends who make drunken declaratory assessments of my “true” sexuality, as of course who better to judge who I can or should or actually do love or lust after than someone other than ME?

There are so many of these slights that they warrant categorization. So, without further ado, I give you the Five Basic Types of Bigot, as experienced by your friendly blogger:

1. The Hater

This person is the one who leans out of the car window and shouts, “Ugly dyke!” or “Fucking faggot!” at you whilst you are strolling along admiring the daffodils, holding your girlfriend/boyfriend’s hand. Examples in my life have included:

2. The Liberal

This is the one who trots out your sexuality (or any other non-trad feature of you, including but not limited to your race, religion (or lack thereof), gender (or lack thereof), occupation, etc.) to garner “liberal points” at dinner parties. This friend uses you to fortify their liberal bonafieds. You are offered up at social gatherings as proof positive that, because of his or her friendship with you, The Other, s/he is The Most Open-Minded, Most Liberal of all his/her liberal friends. Examples in my life have included:

  • Facebook Friend A, making repeated public requests to have drinks/lunch/whatever with my Special Ladyfriend and myself thusly: “I’d like to sign up for lesbian happy hour!” Ahhhh yes, because hanging out with us is, in fact, hanging out with women who date women, how very au courant of you.
  • Meeting new people, “And this is my lesbian friend, S!” And this is my dick-sucking friend, Mallory. C’mon, people. Think before you talk.

3.    The Denier

Deniers are particularly vocal around queers that conform to heteronormative gender standards (i.e. femme lesbians, butch gay men, bisexuals who don’t wear some kind of “Hi, I’m bi” badge). They’re convinced that you’re “confused” or “traumatized” or some other load of crap. Examples in my life include:

  • During a booze-fueled late-night heart-to-heart with one of my good friends, he made the following unhelpful and inaccurate assessment of me: “Well S, I never really thought you were queer. I think you’ve probably been hurt by men in the past, and, well, you know… *falls asleep/drools on self*”
  • Letter from my ex-boyfriend to my then-girlfriend: “Stop messing with S’s head. She’s really straight, you know.” Because my head, you see, it is pretty, and little, and easily messed with. I certainly can’t be trusted to make my own partnering decisions, heavens no. Others must make them for me, you see, either through coercion, or, if necessary, force. It’s like one big game of sexuality keep-away. Funsies!
  • Boy I dated: “Oh you’re just confused, you’re actually straight.”
  • Girl I dated: “Oh you’re just confused, you’re actually a lesbian.”
  • Random Girl in Social Circle: “So Boy A turned you gay, and Boy B turned you straight again, eh?” Right. Because that’s TOTALLY how that works. There’s like, a toggle switch, or something. But only really sexy people know where it is.

4.    The Fetishist

This guy is so accepting. He LOVES lesbians. In fact, he loves them so much that when he thinks about them, he touches himself. His eyes twinkle when he sees you with your Special Ladyfriend. If you’re bi, they twinkle even more. He’ll attempt to maneuver you near his wife/girlfriend, who will be pushed into becoming besties with you so that one glorious day, he can have a four-way. Or a three-way. Or some such -way. Examples from real life:

  • Friend X’s perfectly nice girlfriend, W, approaches me in bar and asks to have three-way with me, her boyfriend, and her. Me: “Did Friend X put you up to this?” W: ::hangs head slightly:: “Yes.”
  • Me, at a party: “Hi Random Guy Sitting with My Friends. What do you say to me having some of that Tasty Beverage over there?” RGSWMF: “Hmmm… first, you gotta make out with your girlfriend!”

5.    Curious George

Curious George just wants to know aaallllll about you so that s/he can better understand your kee-razy sex rebel mind and/or “lifestyle.” Curious George thinks your entire life serves as either a) a teachable moment, or b) material for the spank bank. Curious George used to be my downfall. “Familiarity begets acceptance, right?” I would think to myself. But then I realized how incredibly rude it would be if I asked them the same sort of questions they felt perfectly justified in asking me, and stopped talking to these arseholes. Examples from real life:

  • (Very drunk) checkout clerk from local grocery emporium, upon running into me out at a bar: “But… what is it you guys DO? I mean, you know…” My then-ladyfriend then proceeded to patiently explain various sex acts to her while I suddenly became very interested in the worn quilted bar leather.
  • Male friend: “So, how do you guys, you know, keep it interesting? I mean, do you have… you know, tools?” Yeah dude. We have like, drill bits and shit. Also, a sewing machine and a stand mixer. Ferfuckssake. 
This concludes our Tuesday misanthropy session – although I know there are closeted bigot categories I’ve missed (like the ever-popular fundiegelical – “God hates fags! But Jesus loves you.”). Share yours in the comments. Oh, yeah, and subscribe!

I want a trust fund

18 Mar

When I grow up, I want to be blessed with a chip on my shoulder, imbued with a sense of entitlement I’ve never questioned or lived without. I want a trust fund so I can look down my nose at people who desire money. I want to show my scorn for a poor man’s desire by wearing thrift-store clothing ironically. I’ll call myself a socialist, a populist. All my friends will be just like me. I want to assume that I am more intelligent than Steve the janitor by virtue of the sort of work I do, nevermind that his mind, unlike mine, is free to think truly original thoughts while he does his work; whereas my mind is occupied trying to figure out new ways to sell the same old shit, office politics, and the bottom line. I’ll invent dumpster-diving, train-hopping, international travel, and be the first person in history to discover poetry and nature. I’ll buy cases of expensive wine, refuse to cross rivers and train tracks, never leave my neighborhood, call myself a philanthropist, consider graduate school, complain about how hard it is to find good help these days.

Having puppy = having baby

22 Nov

A little Monday levity for all y’all with twisted senses of humor out there:

http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=2042969&server=vimeo.com&show_title=1&show_byline=1&show_portrait=1&color=&fullscreen=1&autoplay=0&loop=0
Baby HD from summer of tears on Vimeo.

Can’t watch this ‘cuz you’re at work or you’re visually impaired or you just hate web video? It’s cool, here’s a synopsis for you:

White middle class couple sits on couch smugly discussing how their lives changed post-baby. They gloat about how they were more prepared than your average couple to have a baby, since they already had a dog. “Raising a baby is just like raising a dog!”

Cue scenes of baby eating food out of a dog bowl, mom yelling at baby not to poop on the floor and rubbing its nose in it, mom swatting baby off the furniture with a rolled-up newspaper, baby being packed off in a kennel carrier, dad making jokes about baby humping a guest’s leg: “He must smell your baby!”

OK, so the ending is kinda weird, and they totally could’ve moved their lighting setup out of the last shot, but the whole thing is worth it for the shot of the baby in a kennel. For some reason that probably signals deep psychological issues, I laughed like a crazy hyena.

Top ten reasons to work in journalism

19 Aug

10. The Swearing

Only in a newsroom does one get congratulated by one’s boss for using the word “fuck” during a meeting.

9. The Drinking

Newsies can drink average humans under a mesa, and newsrooms have lots of good places to nurse a hangover: Decommissioned darkrooms, for one, are cool, dark and private, and often have couches for reasons that will remain unexplored here.

8. The Sarcasm

The Fake AP Stylebook. Overheard in the Newsroom. This stuff doesn’t write itself, people. We started the whole sarcasm/irony trend before those hipsters co-opted it, and journalists remain sarcastic, lovable assholes to this day.

7. The Liberals

There’s something sweetly safe in knowing that most of your coworkers are, like you, bleeding-heart liberals.*

6. The Misanthropy

Newsroom humor, like emergency room humor, is dark. It comes from a place of finely tuned cynicism, and grants its practitioners the permission to wield dry, cutting wit at the expense of the rabble with nary a thought to the politically correct.

5. Sportswriting

I don’t like sports (except boxing, ‘course), but I love sportswriting. Oh, the action verbs! The wordplay! The ability to experiment with nigh-obscenity due to the sports’ section placement deeep inside the paper!

4. Sportswriters

For some inexplicable reason, I get along famously with sportswriters. I don’t understand their interests, but you have to love a person who can conduct an interview with a high school softball star, hammer out a lead story, and design a front page all while drinking a 40 of 211 out of a MegaGulp cup and keeping an eye on “Striptease,” streaming on the laptop brought from home.

3.The camaraderie

There’s nothing like being on a sinking ship to bring on that tingly “sense of brotherhood” feeling.

2. Schadenfreude

As a journalist, you get to be secretly, or not-so-secretly pleased when disaster strikes other people’s lives. All the better if it strikes on your news cycle. You get to say things like, “Way to die on deadline, Reagan,” or “I need to see the carnage! Find me a shot of the carnage.”

1. Grammar jokes

If this isn’t good enough reason for you, you’re probably a business analyst anyway.

* Yep, it’s true, we media types really are damn dirty pinko Jesus-hating fags. Or rather, journalists tend to have more education than the general population, and therefore wind up more liberal than the majority. Take unsubstantiated theory any way you want.

Top Six Vehicles Driven by Assholes

3 Jun

About five years ago, I was completely unable to tell the difference between different types of vehicles. A Mercedes and a Ford looked exactly the same to me. I could divine the difference between “truck” and “car,” and might’ve gone so far as to describe a vehicle as a “minivan,” or a “convertible.” But outside of those utilitarian delineations, I hadn’t the faintest what piloting a particular automobile “meant” about the person behind the wheel.

Thanks to my arduous commute, my state of ignorant bliss is, alas, no more. So, in order to provide you all with the benefits of my Significant Life Experience, I give you, without further ado, my Top Six List o’ Vehicles Driven by Assholes:

Mercedes Benz

A Mercedes is the ultimate entitled asshole mobile. Firstly, no one can figure out how to pluralize either “Mercedes” or “Benz,” giving it that unpronounceable je’ne sais quoi beloved to elitist pigdoggies everywhere. Secondly, the totems to materialism that serve as hood ornaments exist for no other reason than to serve as reminders to normal people that we are like tiny, tiny ants just waiting to be squashed by the Mercedes’ superior horsepower. Or whatever it is they have that’s worth a sticker price of about $56,000 (which, according to my Very Scientific Calculations, could keep me in portobello mushroom paninis for about 15 years). The only exception to the rule is if it is a very, very old Mercedes. If it’s rusted out, you can trust the driver. If it’s been converted to biodiesel complete with prominently located bumper sticker, well that’s a gray area.

BMW

The BMW is the jealous, bitter, aspirational younger yuppie sibling of the Mercedes. Again, the name causes problems in that no one knows what BMW stands for, except for some spurious sources that claim it stands for “Brute’s Murder Weapon.*” The Beamer deviates from the Mercedes in that it doesn’t matter how old the Beamer is, the driver will never be absolved of asshole status while barreling down the freeway in a car rumored to be built with the blood of Jews. (For realsies! Other cars too!)

Audi

The people who drive Audis are the same people who sign their e-mails with “Cheers,” or worse, “Ciao.”They’re going for European mystique and/or sophistication, but all they get are repair bills so high they end up selling their Beamers to pay for them.

Saabs and Volvos

I want to like these cars. I really do. Saab buys ad space on public radio, and Volvo reminds me of hippies. I like public radio and hippies, therefore I should like Saab and Volvo, right? Wrong. These car brands are marketing to the wrong demographic, as people who drive them are without fail unable to use their turn signals or let populist cars change lanes.

And, last but not least, the humble Volkswagen:


You’d think VW would get a bye on accounta being responsible for a cute co-opted slogan like “fahrvergnugen” and making those adorable bugs and Scooby Doo vans. But you’d be wrong! Sure, patchouli-scented old-school VW owners do not pass the asshole test. But did you know that VW was invented by Hitler? Fo’ sho’! Also, VW owns Audi, and makes Certifiable Asshole Cars like the Jetta. Unless you live in your VeeDub with your crime-fighting dog and mod posse, you fail.

While the vast majority of my fellow commuters are just normal regular humans trying to get from Point A to Point B in normal regular human cars, taken as a collective, they’re something far more sinister. The commute, after all, is more than just a commute — it’s a microcosmic representation of society, with all the preening, power struggles, and Machiavellian machinations inherent therein, all baldly displayed right there on the pavement.

*I make no claims to truthfulness, honesty or accuracy. I have performed absolutely no research for this article, and am not an expert on cars, assholes or Hitler. These are not the facts you’re looking for. Or more accurately, these are not the facts for which you’re looking.

"Hey slut! Put on a sweater."

21 Apr

I spent most of my teenagerhood woefully underprepared for cold weather. Putting on twelve layers of clothes just to walk from the house to the car, then from the car to school, seemed like a whole lot of wasted effort to me, and heavy winter coats were a hassle to drag around all day.

This tradition continued well into my college years, when people began asking me, almost daily and unfailingly in an accusatory fashion, “AREN’T YOU COLD?!!?” At first, I thought these “helpful” folks were expressing genuine concern for my well-being. Further reflection reveals that they were, in fact, merely passing judgment on me and my choice of attire.

There are about five damn good reasons why questions of all types that begin with “aren’t” or “aren’t you” are wrong, wrong wrong:

  1. Firstly, the sentence structure is all wonky. If I remember my English lessons correctly, words like “aren’t” are to be used only as question tags, not openers. So if you want to ask the question properly, you should phrase it thusly: “You are cold, aren’t you?” which leads perfectly into the next point…
  2. “Aren’t you cold?” is a statement disguised as a question. What the person is trying to convey with the query is not gentle concern, but: “YOU ARE COLD! I DEEM IT SO!” They phrase it this way so that it’s seen as innocuous, when it’s really accusatory…
  3. …which immediately puts you, the recipient of such rudeness, on the defensive. When asked such a question, without really knowing why, you suddenly feel compelled to start explaining a behavior which needs no explanation and which the asker has no right to demand from you in the first place.
  4. They aren’t asking, they’re telling — they’re projecting the answer on you already and telling you there is something wrong with you for not being warmly dressed (code for “not wearing a burqa/sweater set/whatever is deemed appropriate female attire that is appealing but not too slutty), or whatever it is with which they’ve taken issue, and are in fact saying…
  5. “You aren’t planning on being cold/covering up those filthy exposed shoulders/Jezebellian cleavage, and I would just like to point out that you’ve no decency, and clearly there is something wrong with you.”

I developed a number of clever responses, ranging from the innocuous, “I’m fine, thanks,” to the “What if I am? Are you going to give me your coat? NO YOU ARE NOT NOW LEAVE ME ALONE.” My favorite lie-response involved making up a story about being from Alaska, and how in Alaska, we all wear t-shirts in sub-zero degree weather. I could then easily parlay the conversation into a diatribe about how much of a sissy the asker was, and how they ought to just tough up and be more like me.

Does this/has this happened to anyone else? What do you say when total strangers ask loaded questions like this one?

The spray-paint can is mightier

22 Mar

I found another piece o’ graffiti of interest in my ‘hood, conveniently located next to a dumpster and an overturned dining room chair:

I’m posting this for the benefit of my fellow readers of a worthy blog called I Blame the Patriarchy, but also because I very much consider myself a Blamer of Things. Yes, I blame the patriarchy for a number of social ills, but I also blame:

  • Beamer-driving a-holes for making my commute suck
  • Capitalism for ruining democracy
  • DRM for my inability to listen to the rest of “Anna Karenina” during my commute
  • Yuppies for taking the fun out of being a foodie
  • Hipsters for taking the fun out of facial piercings
  • Society for my misanthropy
  • Oregon for making my feet wet 9 months out of the year

My main point here is that while it may be psychologically easier to accept and work with a reality that is often very much no fun, it makes a helluva lot more sense to see things as they are, find the source(s) of injustice and point your rage and blame in the correct direction.

Add your own stuff worthy of blame in the comments!

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Boys of Facebook

1 Mar

My favorite thing about Facebook is the fact that I get to see pictures of the girls who were mean to me in high school who are now hideously fat. Or burdened with five crackbabies and a meth-dealing ex-husband. Or live in trailer parks. Or, preferably, all three. My least favorite thing about Facebook (other than seeing pictures of the girls who were mean to me in high school who are now fabulously wealthy, accomplished and even more beautiful than they were in adolescence) is receiving messages from boys who were mean to me in high school.

The boys have, without exception, seen the error of their ways, and are hoping to get back in touch. And by “error of their ways,” I mean “my boobies,” and by “getting back in touch,” they mean “with my boobies.” It’s amazing what losing 10 pounds, gaining two cup sizes, getting contacts and learning to love tequila shots will do for a girl’s popularity.

I went from this:

To this*:

And now all the boys love me! There’s nothing like going from a chubby bespectacled über-nerd to a slender full-bosomed über-nerd to reinforce one’s complete and utter lack of faith in humanity. It’s like a real-life “She’s All That,” except instead of Freddie Prinze there’s just cynicism.

That’s not to say I haven’t enjoyed the attention from time to time. My favorite message came from a boy I don’t remember who honestly confessed to having had a crush on me back in the day, when I was ugly and wore stretch pants. Whether ‘twas a cover story or not, it surely gave me the warm fuzzies. My least favorite message came not from Facebook, but in person during one of those “ let’s reconnect over drinks but this isn’t a date OK?” things:

Him: “You’re hot now!”
Me: “Um, thanks.”
Him: “I mean, you used to be all, Sarah with the glasses. And now you’re all… Sarah with the hotness!”
Me: “OK then. I think I’ll go home and wash my hair.”
Him: “But I want to get you drunk!”
Me: “Sure you do, honey.”

What’s a girl to make of all this? Are there any lessons to be taken away other than “humans are hopelessly, incurably shallow and narcissistic”? Should I take advantage of the few years of attractiveness I have left before age sets in to turn the tables on these would-be suitors and be terribly cruel to them? Would they get the message? Or would they just mutter “bitch” under their breath and find some other girl to torment? Either way I doubt it’d make me feel any better.

*Please note: I am neither Lindsay Weir nor Lindsay Lohan, just in case you were confused. I didn’t feel like digging up pictures of me IRL. Plus, I’m not really that hot. But I assure you I was very very nerdy in high school. Please confirm in the comments, fellow members of the Nerd Herd.

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