Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Things That Piss Me Off Tuesday - the slow down world, this list is too long edition

At some point, I stopped adding things to this list because it was getting too long and I was getting too angry. Apologies to Sunday and Monday, because I just stopped watching and reading the news for a few days. I'm sure some horrible stuff worth mentioning happened, but we're all full up here for now. No vacancy.

Let's get this over with.

Welcome to white privilege, 2016 edition
When I first saw the picture on Facebook, it was only a few minutes old and I sat, shaking my damn head for a long, long time. A high school in Arizona gave students shirts with letters and/or asterisks on them to spell out words for yearbook photos. As I'm sure you've seen by now, 6 smiling, laughing white girls decided to pose for a picture while spelling out "NI**ER" with their shirts. 

You know....there are moments when I really have faith that this generation we're raising right now will come up to do it better, to be more mindful, to be more aware of their place in this world and how much their words and actions can affect other people. And then there are moments like this one when I'm banging my head on the wall repeatedly, disgusted at a society that raised up these kids to believe not only that this was okay, but that it was a hilarious photo op.

Nothing about this is funny.

I'm raising my kids with their eyes wide open, teaching them to appreciate the existence of the white privilege that still allows shit like this to happen.

On your knees, little girl....
This dress code shit has gone too damn far, you guys. Too goddamn far.

This past week, a female high school student was ordered to kneel in front of her male principal so that he could measure the length of her skirt.

Take a moment to go back and re-read that sentence.

Drink it in, in all that misogynistic glory. This grown man ordered a child to her knees, into a submissive sexual position before him to re-measure a skirt he'd already measured once.

Her skirt was an inch longer than it was required to be, not that it fucking matters.

Commandeering a field trip
Hi little children!!! I know that you're here at the Botanical Gardens on a field trip because you want to learn about plants and bugs and things that are totally age appropriate. Your parents signed all those permission slips so that you could watch butterflies and learn about how seeds grow, sure, but since you're here, could you just sit right down in front of Auntie Carly? These nice people over here just need to take some pictures of your adorable cherubic faces sitting at my feet as I rail about the right to life in front of a giant picture of a fetus. Oh sweetie, can you look that way and pretend to be interested? I'll give you some candy in just a second. 

Does that sound gross?

Uh, because it actually happened. Fiorina commandeered a preschool field trip and used the kids as props in a campaign speech without the consent of the vast majority of their parents. 

She's so lucky right now that one of my kids wasn't in that class. Holy shit.

You do not use other people's kids as props. 

I'm sure she was ranting about the evils of Planned Parenthood, which makes sense because she still hasn't figured out that the videos were fake. FFS.

Zika Virus
If you've missed the reports on the Zika virus, enjoy your last few moments of obliviousness, because I'm about to tell you why you should be scared. Zika is a mosquito borne disease that is almost always asymptomatic. The virus only lasts about 5 days from what the scientists can tell, but the damage it seems capable of is unlike anything we've seen.

It seems to be causing microcephaly in babies born to women who contracted the virus while pregnant. Microcephaly is a birth defect resulting in abnormally small heads and underdeveloped brains. Many of the babies die in utero, many more don't survive delivery. There is no treatment for the children born with this condition.

The virus is predominately in warm tropical climates, though it seems to be working its way North fairly quickly. Pregnant women are being urged not to travel to countries with known outbreaks, and women living in those countries are being urged to avoid getting pregnant at all for at least one year, if not longer.

These recommendations are sound ones, absolutely sound, from a public health standpoint. The issue I have with them is that they are being issued in heavily religious countries where birth control is not readily available, some where abortion is forbidden even in cases of serious birth defects.

Only 52% of women in the region have access to birth control, and 97% of women of childbearing age live in areas where abortion is prohibited.

Track Palin and PTSD
Rather than retype out what I wrote on my Facebook page about this, let's just cut and paste.

God. I don't want to talk about Track Palin, but here we go. Dammit.
1. He may have PTSD, he may not. I don't know because he's not my patient. I am not a person who questions and doubts when people say they suffer from something.
2. Buuuuut...He isn't the one claiming he has it, his Mom is. Not the same. And she's using his alleged diagnosis as a political tool to try and both justify his criminal acts and vilify Obama. That's ridiculous and opportunistic in like 47 different ways.
3. He didn't see combat. IT DOES NOT MATTER WHETHER HE SAW COMBAT. I'm yelling now. Combat is not required for PTSD. Physical injury is not required. It can happen as a result of any trauma.
4. As a person living with PTSD myself, this whole issue has me doing high kicks and throwing shit.
5. PTSD is awful, like actual living hell. Pitchforks and brimstone and all that shit. If you don't understand it and/or haven't lived it, don't judge people who have.
6. PTSD is treatable. EMDR therapy saved my life, saved my sanity, saved me. We can help those suffering. I promise.
7. The VA isn't doing enough for people living with PTSD. Guess what? The private health care system sucks abundantly as well when it comes to mental health. As a society, we need to have some real conversations about mental health.
8. PTSD sufferers of the world are done no favors by claims that this condition somehow justifies violence. It doesn't. Full stop. Have some damn respect for all the people getting tossed under the bus here.
9. I don't like those blaming his mother for his behavior either. Don't do that. At some point, we all have to grow the fuck up and take responsibility for our own lives.
10. I'm done. Going to do more high kicks.

So there. I'm still pissed.

Believe it or not, I had four more topics to rant about, but I need to put on some goddamn pants so I can drive carpool. Pants. The worst.

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