truth

Victim Blaming

I keep trying to write this post…and keep hitting a stopping spot…I’ll try again…

There is a candidate for Senate that has some allegations of forcing himself on a 14 year old girl 40 years ago. I keep reading comments that say, paraphrase, “why did she wait 40 years? It MUST be political” 40 years ago, the common defense to a charge like that was to blame HER for HIS actions. Even now, she is being doxed and having death threats…

I was reading, on a slightly different note, a discussion of men making undesired advances and the person that wrote the article used the phrase “creepy guy”. The conversation went from being about respecting the right of the woman to refuse to being one about what constitutes a “creepy guy” and denying that the Men’s Rights Movement exists.

*exhale*

I’m having a hard time getting past my own anger and disgust so, short words for stupid people…

NO MEANS NO.

Abusing or being in a position of power and using that to proposition a woman is wrong. What was she going to do? How could she refuse him without him lashing out? Hint, being coerced DOES NOT EQUAL CONSENT.

If you have to ask what defines the phrase “creepy guy” odds are, YOU ARE HIM. Denying that the Men’s Rights Movement exists is one of the bigger loads of Horses**t that there is. Justifying it is even worse.

Telling myself to slow down…didn’t work…

What in the hell are you thinking? Women have been coerced for all of time. Most of the women I know, rephrase, every one that has said anything about it to me, has been in that spot. Every. Single. One.

I am NOT a feminist. Don’t need to be. That implies lesser capability. The ones I know are NOT less capable…

What I am is a realist. Not every man has done this stuff. I haven’t. Period. I am not excising some personal guilt. I am speaking as a Man to say no wonder women fear us. Males, the half of the planet that is generally stronger, have forced ourselves on women. We have given them reasons to fear and resent us. Do I really need to rehash all the BS we have, over the length of time, put them through?

It isn’t really about “politics”. Respecting the dignity of another human is basic Adult 101. Not causing fear is the next lesson…or maybe even the first.

F**k me…How hard is the damn lesson?

Ladies, I can’t fix it. Sorry. Apologies for the profanity-laden diatribe. There are some, most I think, kind and decent males in the world. I am sorry that some of my sub-human brethren exist and that you’ve had to bear the brunt of their insecurities and frail egos. Not all of us demand your fear or obeisance. Most of us would prefer that you are what and who you are, capable and strong.

Men, she doesn’t owe you a d**n thing. She doesn’t owe you sex or respect. Those are earned. When you do earn those, you have a treasure beyond price. When you steal sex and force deference, your treasure is like ashes…

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There Was A Truck Across The Road

Yesterday morning, while I was having my coffee and smoke before work, I heard a boom. I didn’t think anything of it…till the sirens. The highway that I take to work is behind my house and the entrance that I use is about 1/4 mile away. It’s just a crossover that lets you go across 2 lanes of traffic to get to the northbound side…and someone coming south didn’t see the semi crossing his lanes. He hit the truck. He died. I KNOW that road. I know how fast traffic is. I suspect that it was quick. I hope he was gone before the flames got to him…
I don’t know who it was. It was just someone that was either coming home or going to work. No one expects that at 5:30 on a nice Fall morning that they won’t make it home from work. No family expects it…

I was going to write some cutsie pie post about a Blanket Fort…at least that was what I had been thinking about during the week. Yesterday morning changed that. I’m not going to use some person I don’t know as a tool to beat down people, please don’t read that into this.

Tell your person that you love them. Tell your people that you love them. If you’re in a fight and leave the house before you leave say “I love you”. Say the words.
Let the people that you surround yourself know what you like about them. Tell your wife she’s beautiful or your husband he’s attractive. If you don’t have either or a person, find someone and let them know.

Quit being so spiteful and fearful. Look for common ground and quit embracing xenophobic hate. Don’t consign people to Hell. When you take that stuff in, is that what you want in your heart when there’s a truck across the highway?

Let people in, don’t push them away.

*****

I like online conversations. It lets me see what I’ve missed. I’m sort of a functioning agoraphobic. I don’t ever want to leave home. As a result, most of my meaningful communication is online. The other day, I introduced someone I have been talking to for a couple (?) of years to Aj and Z. I am incredibly selective when I do that. I need to be sure that they fit. It was an emergency. My wife is feeling poorly. Just a bad cold…I think…but, I get stressed when she is because she’s my wife…anyway…
I introduced her to Aj and Z.

*When I NEED “prayer”, yeah not really Pagan but, still communication with the spiritual and not the profane, so, it’ll do, I go to Aj and Z. It covers the bases, Christian and Pagan.*

I was worried, yeah, that she wouldn’t fit, not because of her but, just because…well…Aj and Z and I respect them. My point, after I dropped offline for the night, the next day, I read back what was said.

As it turns out, much to my not surprise, she and Aj act just like old friends. They have a deep and abiding love of their Craft. They see beyond what I see. They both NEED to be grounded. Z, well, to tell Z she couldn’t get outside would be the end of her. I am glad I did and wonder why I waited. I should have known that.

What’s the point of this bit? Their worlds got a bit bigger. Mine did, too.

*****

I decided to write this to say when the end comes, the world ends, even if only for one person. I don’t know if I say it enough to them so…

You’re important to me. You, who you are, means more to me than mere typed words can express. I think about y’all all the time…and no this doesn’t mean that I think that what “I” think matters as much as that you have my, for what it’s worth, gratitude for letting me into YOUR worlds. That YOU matter. That you guys have embraced me being different and let me into your lives. If I don’t say it enough, I’ll give it one more shot. The compassion, patience, and understanding you’ve shown to my grumpy, middle-aged, hidebound, fearful, egotistical, worry-wort self, is beyond my understanding… Thank you all for letting me in to your worlds. I love you all dearly for it.

Life is vanishingly brief. It can end on a workday morning because you didn’t see the truck across the road.

 

I Want to Title This “I Am Lucky” But, I Don’t Remember If I Have…

I haven’t written in a very long time. I don’t know if the words will find me…

Since my last post, it seems the World has changed. We are more divided than ever. *editorial, I am not and will not make this “political” because I think the state of “politics” is a symptom and not the disease*

If anyone is to “blame” it is ourselves. Maybe I missed it? Whatever happened to “live and let live”? What happened to being responsible for our own actions? Why is it someone else’s “fault” if something happens to me?

Why is it that it is easier to see someone as “different” and then claim persecution by them. Yes, persecution does happen. I am not denying that. Yes, prejudice and misogyny exist. People are stupid. I really get that. People are xenophobic and clannish. People are a$$holes just because…

People can also be kind and caring. People can empathize. People can reach out to strangers. We may, if we’re lucky, meet people that give us a chance to learn and grow.

I am lucky. I married my best friend. It was our first marriage. It happened in our mid-40’s. It is still, some years later, an “adventure”. I have said a few (thousand) times, “Smartest damn thing I ever did was marry her”. She makes me grow. She, not realizing it, forces me to look outside myself. I do things for her that I will not do for any other human…and sometimes I fall flat on my face, too…

Yesterday, I was also lucky. If you happen to read back through the blog from years past, you’ll find Aj all through them. I used, in a conversation a few minutes ago, the phrase, “I am romantically attached to ONE human and love a vanishingly few others”. As it turned out, yesterday, I was able to talk to, and watch them talk, a pair of them. It was the first time they interacted. There are not really words for how nice that was. The “funny”, read odd, thing is that I don’t really have any common demographic with them…race but, that doesn’t count…The list of “we don’t share” includes, gender, faith, geographical location, parental status, probably “that ‘p-word'”, a desire to go outdoors…pick a bunch more… and I love them dearly… What they have in common with my wife is that they force me, unknowingly, to look outside myself…and for that, they have my eternal gratitude…

Hobbes said, “No arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death: and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.” 

Yet, if we are lucky and I am, there are reasons not to be those.

We can make our own society that doesn’t include fear…well, aside from our own nightmares and insecurities but, you get my point. We can live knowing that the odds of “violent death” are small. We can be not “solitary”. The paragraphs up there prove that to me…As for the next two, “nasty” and “brutish”, those choices belong to YOU. “Short”? Who knows when this path ends? We are all going to be surprised when it does…

Life is an odd place. I am lucky that I finally grew up. I am grateful for every breath I am allowed. I am also grateful that I am allowed to have some people to love and that, I truly hope, love me back.

Ya know what? You decide what you want to do. Love me or hate me. See my demographic and blame me. See my loves as different. Those are YOUR choices. Live a cold, bleak, and distant life. See life as competition and struggle. I am not willing to spend my emotional energy on that. For me and mine, I’ll care for those in MY world and not be concerned with how you live in yours. Seems fair to me…

 

Other…

I was talking to a friend. She called herself “other”, meaning “different”…

It occurs to me that we are all other. I mean, even the people we think are “same” aren’t. How could we be? As far as I know, there are no cloned humans with exactly the same experiences. We might share a gender, political views, religious views, and sexual orientation but, even then, we came to those spots inside our own skins…

So, why did this idea of Other stick in my head?

It is because of this…We need to protect other. We need to appreciate the Otherness of those that are other. Gaaaaack, this seems so obvious to me. We will never be able to fully understand any human. Hell, we don’t even understand ourselves. Anyway, *sigh* to not protect Other, we fail to protect ourselves.

There’s nothing wrong with not being the same.

Current society thinks Other equals Dangerous. If your political views differ, that person must be a threat… I suppose I could go down the list but, y’all get the point…Jumpin’ Jimmeny Christmas and The Easter Bunny, being different doesn’t present an existential threat.

The next part of this thought is, how do we develop and mature our own views if we are so hidebound that we refuse to listen to difference? If am so unwilling to listen to dissent and become so defensive of my own views that I refuse to admit the possibility that I could be in error, odds are that MY views are less valid than I think. Perhaps it’s just me but, I do make mistakes and continually look for holes in what I think and my personal philosophies…and adapt when some Other shows me error or invalidity…

*****

Other is also a trap when you apply it to yourself…

“I am Other and they’re all the Same so, they couldn’t possibly understand me…” That’s what a kid says to their parents and a 20-something says to someone in their 50’s…Not realizing the oldsters survived what they are living. I know I used the section up there to point out how we’re all different but, which in this case doesn’t mean “please disregard”, in quite a few ways we are the same. We all started out pooping our pants. We all want whatever form of “success” we deem. We all want to love and be loved. We will all face the same end…

…and not to drop into “politics” because I have avoided making any indication of any “political” view I might have…

…Our parents survived the Cold War. *I was born in 1963*. Their childhood was filled with above ground Atom Bomb testing. Their parents were the generation of WWII. The parents of kids today, are children of the Viet Nam Era. The World has been filled with “threats” to us since before the Dawn of History…

We, humanity, will survive and adapt. It is our nature to do that…

*****

Other, hunh? Celebrate it.

Other, hunh? Protect it.

Other, hunh? Ignore it.

Other, hunh? Learn from it.

Other, hunh? Yeah, and Same…

Holy Smokes

It’s been almost a year since I last wrote…I left because I was fed up with “politics”. I felt that Reason had long since become disgusted and wandered away. I am not “political” in the sense that I identify with a party or specific ideology. I also believe that the topics that I’ve written about, meaning, Religious Freedom, the fact that Women have worth and should never be physically or emotionally abused and, LBGT Rights transcend politics…

I left because I was fed up with “politics”. I felt that Reason had long since become disgusted and wandered away. I am not “political” in the sense that I identify with a party or specific ideology. I also believe that the topics that I’ve written about, meaning, Religious Freedom, the fact that Women have worth and should never be physically or emotionally abused and, LBGT Rights transcend politics…

I also left because I was at a point where I felt like I had said all I could say and was reaching burnout. In addition, my own tiny family, meaning, my wife, needed every bit of my emotional energy…

I am writing this one because I want to reaffirm and restate what I always believed.

  • What your beliefs do not make you good or bad. There are bad Christians, good Pagans and, indifferent Atheists. The “content of your character” comes from within and not a system of belief.
  • Women have worth. Period. They are not chattel. They are not objects. They are not punching bags or targets for torment. They are our mothers, sisters, daughters, coworkers, fellow humans, wives, partners, and any other phrase or word you choose to describe them. They are the equals of men. They are the ONLY gender capable of giving birth to humans. We owe them our lives and they deserve to be treated with the respect that has well earned.
  • Your sexuality is your own. Yeah, I think the LBGT Community has gotten a rough deal from the majority of my Cis-het Christian Community but, the fact that you are ANY of the previous doesn’t make you “special”, it makes you human. There are over 7 billion people on the Earth. All of them have some form of sexuality … including a desire to have none. All it boils down to, in the end, is that you don’t deserve to be persecuted for who you f**k. That’s it.

I started to write this as a response to the Fear that seems to pervade today’s society. Thing is people have been saying for thousands of years “the end is near” and it hasn’t happened yet. The fears of today are nothing but the flavor of the month. We have survived both wise men and fools in high office. We have survived War and Famine. We have made it through everything Nature can throw at us. The troubles of today pale in comprison to those of the past. The only difference it that today’s are happening now…

Perhaps it’s merely my age that gives me some tiny bit, I hope, of wisdom and perspective but, I am less concerned about how the World treats me and more concerned about how I treat y’all. It isn’t the Alfred E. Neuman, “what, me worry?” as much as it is that I really don’t want to waste the energy concerning myself with things I can not change and may not even happen…

…I don’t really know if this post means I’m back or is just to say that my views haven’t changed…

So What?

I read an article the other day about some guy that had won a Silver Medal in some Olympic event and finally decided to come out. My first thought was “so what?” Maybe I’m missing something or maybe I’ve written so many of these that it just doesn’t make any difference to me but, why is that news. It’s like me coming out as balding. Yeah, I’m losing my hair. It happens.

Let’s veer for a sec. What constitutes morality? Is it who you sleep with?Is it who or how you worship? Or is it, in the words of Dr King, “the content of their character”?

I do not equate gender preference with morality. In fact, I don’t even equate the dogmatic belief that premarital sex is immoral. Yeah, I know that flies in the face of what I am supposed to believe as a Christian. I get that I could, and probably should, be accused of “cherry picking” the Bible. I also do not equate having the same faith as mine as being the only exclusive path to morality. I know and love some “godless heathens” that are the most moral people I know. *editorial, they would say they have many gods*

Morality, as defined by the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, is “descriptively to refer to some codes of conduct put forward by a society or, some other group, such as a religion, or accepted by an individual for her own behavior”. For my own use and for the values I hold, being LBGT or “not Christian” is not immoral. To me, it is far more important that someone is truthful, honest, loving, compassionate, and kind.

So, back to where I started way up there. If the guy had come out as a closet jerk that was mean to people, I’d have cared. If he’d admitted to being mean and hypocritical because he said he was a good guy and was not, that would have been a big deal. If he’d said he was a spousal abuser and had no remorse or intent to change, huge problem. He’s gay? Yeah yeah, now tell me something important. Society needs to grow up. Intrinsic traits need to stop being stigmatized or sensationalized. Bottom line is, who you f**k or how you pray is your business. It affects you and your family. We don’t have any business caring one way or the other. We need to know your character.

*****

I hope this made sense. I am not trying to say “don’t ask, don’t tell”. I am also not minimalizing the struggle he had. I am trying to say that we, outsiders, need to look at the person and base our views of them on that.

Some of the people I hold most dear and keep in my prayers had these struggles. They faced having to come out. I love them and respect them. I just don’t care that they are not straight or not Christian. I love the whole of them and pray that they are safe, not for them to change.