Monthly Archives: November 2016

Dental Phobias & Ethics

 

I was talking to a friend about an upcoming set of dental procedures I need to have done.  We both have dental phobias.  Then, thinking about it, I realized that most of the people I know who have dental phobias seem to have them due to a traumatic (or a series of traumatic) experiences with dental professionals.

Now, mine started with a female dentist who reminds me of Steve Martin in the above clip from the 1986 version of Little Shop of Horrors.

I suppose it could be considered to be the dentist before that, the one who put in a  permanent 6-tooth bridge in my teen years.  You can see part of the reason I needed one in the photo.

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Categories: ethics, General Contemplation | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

Milo, Here’s Your Tin-Foil Hat

 

I thought long and hard about whether or not to link to the article I’m focusing on in this post.  I’m not interested in adding to the popularity of his posts, so I won’t be directly linking to it.  On the other hand, if you really want to read the article, search for washing machine, the Pill and Breitbart, and you will find it.

This unashamedly gay Republican is part of what is considered the alt-right. These are the fringe of the conservative side of the spectrum.  They are kind of fringe for the Right as the radFems (this includes many feminists who consider ANY penis-in-vagina sex is ALWAYS rape, and essentially want to eliminate men as a whole. Sadly, many of them are anti-transgender as well) are as fringe for the Left.

I’ve looked at some of his articles, as well as what Breitbart.com stands for.  When I first came across his article, I was absolutely convinced that it was a satire website such as the Onion or the Daily Currant. The article was just too far-fetched to be someone’s real opinion, I felt.

Sadly, no.

According to him, if we got rid of washing machines and the Pill, women in this country would go back to being happy.

His complaint about the washing machine was that it “effectively freed up half the human species to enter the workforce. His issue with the Pill is that it is “used to lower a woman’s estrogen levels and reduce the likelihood of her becoming pregnant.”

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Categories: Feminism, Gender Inequities | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Fringe Lies

I made no bones about having an issue with Secretary Clinton over this last year. I sat and watched while our assorted political machines ground exceedingly fine.  Unlike the original variations of the previous idiom, this is not saying that they — like justice or the Divine — eventually return to the right action, but that they attempted to force their choices upon the public.

It’s sad that the portion of the public that is Republican were able to overwhelm their party’s puppet-makers, while the Democratic party was able to force their choices down their followers’ throats.

And now, those same supposed “leaders” are desperately trying to point fingers and avoid the repercussions of their actions.

I remember having discussions in the 80s about whether or not we would see an African-American President or a woman President during our lifetimes.  I can remember very firmly stating that before any woman was elected as President, that an African-American male would happen far earlier than a woman.  This prediction, obviously, came true.

The thing is, the Democratic party has become complacent.  They have, with the struggles of America not only during the Obama years, but also in the Bush Jr. years, felt that the Republicans have spent so much time destroying themselves that they could just push through whatever Presidential candidate they wanted and the country would fall in line with their plans.

They forgot that any government leads only upon the consent of the governed.

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The Myth of the Monolith

I’m seeing a lot of people playing the labeling game.  You know what I mean.  Everyone has those particular stereotypes into which they like to put the people they meet.  This happens most often when people meet other people that are so different from themselves that they struggle to understand them.  And too many people don’t care enough to understand someone beyond the first impression they get.

It’s simple, people.  There is no actual monolithic group of “urban elites” nor is there any monolithic group of “white rural Americans.”

From someone who has spent the greater portion of her life in a city (mostly in the seamy underbelly), we’ve made many great strides toward realizing that there is an entire spectrum of personalities, labels and other ways to separate people from each other.  Even within groups there is a wide range of differences. And, often because of how closely packed urban areas are, we are forced to learn to live along side people who are radically different than ourselves.

And, from now having been living in a rural area for almost 3 years, I am being forced to understand that rural America is no different in that respect. There is just as much diversity in the rural areas as there are in urban areas.

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Open Your Eyes … Safety Pin Edition

I’ve been struggling since Election Tuesday to find ways to explain why there is a greater fear running through the “white, liberal, hetero, cis” community, let alone why many women within that listing are scared even more.

Additionally, trying to explain why the idea of the “safety pin” is actually quite bullshit.

I am forced to see both sides of the situation because I am a white, heterosexual, cis woman. But, for me, I stand firmly on the side of those who have been marginalized for decades (well, centuries, actually).  Why? Because I am a woman.

We — defined as white America — have gotten used to being able to supposedly “support” different causes by putting a ribbon on it.  But what in the hell does that actually DO for the cause?

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Categories: inequity | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Context, Intersectionality & Fear

Do me a favor.  Go read my post where I explain intersectionality as well as my post regarding context. Then read my post on privilege.

I’ve made no bones that I think of myself more as a centrist than anything else when it comes to political thought.  Yes, I stray more toward the liberal end of the spectrum particularly when it comes to matters of social justice.

Now, why would I emphasize the word spectrum in the last paragraph? Because we seem to have forgotten that no issue in this world is a simple binary set. Yes, there are oppositional states, but the human brain is never quite so limited to the simplistic idea that something is either/or.

What does that have to do with this election?  Quite a bit, actually.

We have two different sets of people acting in two different kinds of anti-social behavior.  But both kinds of anti-social behavior are based in one simple emotion: Fear.

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Categories: Feminism, Political Opinion | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Context Is Everything

 

I had Facebook discussion with a cousin that was a tangent from the actual original post but was very enlightening nonetheless.

Now, one of the things that is clear is that my cousin is a conservative.  And while I prefer to stick to a centrist point of view (with, yes, I admit, liberal leanings — particularly in the case of social justice), I do try to understand what makes people tick. I particularly want to understand when those people are closer to the ends of the spectrum (on both ends) than myself.

In this case, we were having a discussion about the differences perceived when two or more people are discussing words like “racism,” “sexism” or other assorted -isms. The complaint was that people were re-defining those words to “suit themselves.”

This led not only to a discussion of the denotation versus connotation of a word, but how  the connotation of a word can change depending upon the context of the person or persons involved as well as the conversation in which it is being used.

When people use the word “context,” it is most often used as relating to words or the surrounding paragraphs of a word or phrase.  What people forget is that “context” has more use than just in relation to words.

Look at a thesaurus and you will find some of the synonyms of “context” include: situation, environment, “frame of reference,” condition and setting.

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Categories: Mental Retraining, Political Opinion | Tags: , , , , | 5 Comments

Listening To The Rural Voice

 

Via Why We Desperately Need To Bring Back Vocational Training In Schools

This is actually something that I fully support. And it’s something that many rural communities support as well. There’s a reason that you hear complaints from rural areas about “ivory tower academia” and “those damned city-slickers.”  The reality is that many people who have moved from urban areas into rural ones seem to think (and sadly, I can count myself in with these fools — thankfully, I’ve learned better!) that their urban experience means that their knowledge and experience is superior to those who have lived in rural areas their entire lives.  I can tell you very clearly that your experience is different, but different does not equate with better!

Having the skills and talents appropriate to many jobs that are considered “manual labor” (such as a mechanic or farmer or transportation or construction) DOES NOT mean someone is unintelligent. In fact, you would be surprised at the amount of high level knowledge is required for many of those “manual labor” jobs. Construction and woodworking require an understanding of high level geometry, engineering, mechanical knowledge and many other skills. A farmer has to have not only biological knowledge, but often chemical, economic, business management, plant pathology, ecological,and meteorological knowledge as well. Mechanics — in this day and age — need an understanding of computers, technical diagnostic skills and possibly programming skills, mechanical engineering, languages and other “high level” skills. And in fact, some of the manual labor skills like farming require the talents and abilities of OTHER manual labor jobs, such as enough knowledge as a mechanic to be able to do routine maintenance work on the farm machines, as well as the skills of a researcher to keep up with the growing knowledge of the world around us and how it impacts their farm.

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Artist’s Gaze versus the “Male Gaze”

Gabe Sapienza

Gabe Sapienza Illustration

Via Gabe Sapienza – “Hey, why is Gabe drawing so many dicks?”

The word gaze when used in a sociological, psychological or philosophical discussion defines the relationship that someone has with their culture and how someone is forced into a particular role due to the power dynamics in that culture.

It is the misunderstanding of the basics of the phrase “the male gaze” that causes many people to stop listening when that phrase or many others like it are spoken.

This Facebook post by Gabe Sapienza is a very clear discussion by a man and an artist of that knee-jerk phrase of “the male gaze.

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Categories: Creativity, Feminism | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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