Monday, August 31, 2009

A Public Service Announcement

I would just like to clarify to all for one and final time.

I do not make personal jabs on my blog.

I do understand that these days passive-aggressiveness is the default action of many people, and we are all incredibly battered by it. We come to expect that when people have a problem with us, then we will be on the receiving end of passive-aggressive behaviour.

This is not how I operate. EVER. If I have a problem with someone that I wish to address, I will address it with them directly and personally. If they hear no more about it from me, they can rest assured it is of no consequence to me and I have moved on. Trust me, if I'm angry with you... you will know it, I'm quite comfortable in expressing anger with someone directly.

My blog posts are not of any targeted nature and are about my feelings, opinions, beliefs and thoughts on general situations. Sometimes a discussion or event may bring those thoughts to the surface, or assist me in illustrating a point, but I do not use my blog to make personal slights or attacks on anyone - unless they come here to this blog and attack me.

If you have read an opinion piece on my blog that does not directly name you, link to a comment you made on my blog or to something you have written about me, but you think it is directly targeting you... you are wrong and you need to let go of that attitude/belief.

If you have a problem with me personally, you are welcome to contact me directly to discuss as I will do for you. However if you make any derogatory comments, personal insults or behave in a disrespectful manner, I will delete everything and block you.

But this blog is not some snarking ground to bitch about other people. Others may behave like that but I do not. And I will not tolerate people trying to turn it into that in comments either.

No more will be entered into on this subject.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Be Careful of Taking the Easy Road Out

Tonight I want to talk about the concept of privilege. I was going to blog about this on Fat Heffalump but on further thought I think it's about more than just fat discrimination. It's about any kind of discrimination or prejudice.

Let's start with a definition.

privilege: A special advantage, immunity, permission, right or benefit granted to or enjoyed by an individual class or caste.

The context I am talking about today is the idea that any member of a majority has privilege over the minority, and therefore cannot understand, criticise or challenge that minority in their thinking.

I'm going to probably make myself quite unpopular here, but that's ok, I'm used to it. But I really think too many people use the concept of privilege as a cop out when it comes to discussions and debates.

While I do think the concept of privilege is valid, and sometimes yes, someone who is particularly close minded and cloistered in their privilege is never going to get it. But I think all too often those who feel marginalised and are unable to articulate their point just throw their hands up and state "Oh I can't get through to you, you're coming from privilege."

When the truth is, they either want out of the discussion, or don't have a valid argument to continue it. It is often used as the metaphorical equivalent of taking your bat and ball and going home.

Perhaps I see this because technically I live on both sides of the privilege. I am a fat woman, so I do not have privilege on my side in that aspect. But I am also a Christian in Western society, which technically does put me in privilege.

So I've seen it from both sides of the fence so to speak. As I said, I do believe there are instances when people just simply cannot understand or they use their privilege to silence those in the minority. But I think that those of us who are in the minority for whatever reason need to be very careful about how we use the cry of privilege.

Do we we really want to end up being the boys and girls who cried wolf?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sunday Morning Wordplay

I've had a self imposed rest weekend this week. I told myself that I wasn't allowed to accept any invitations out, because I needed some time to just rest and sleep properly and recharge the batteries. By Friday morning I had such frightening green and purple circles under my eyes from simply racing around like a madwoman for the past few months, it gave me the determination to carry out a weekend of rest.

I was bored by 10am Saturday morning. It is now 11am Sunday morning and I have accepted an invitation to go out for dinner tonight because I'm feeling rested enough and think if I stay cooped up I will probably get very angry and ranty.

So while laying in bed this morning mulling over a bit of douchebag behaviour I suffered last night (which I will blog on Fat Heffalump later when the sting isn't so sharp) I came up with a brilliant word. What's the word you ask? Well...

Douchebuggery: when two or more douchebags get together and encourage each other in their douchebag behaviour.

Like it? You can use it if you like.

I posted it to Twitter and in response Agent X (who has a rather awesome web comic) responded with "how about "Douchebraggery" - where douchebags talk up their exploits."

I like that one too!

And last night I used "Douchebaguette". That's a young female douchebag, usually seen in packs on public transport on a Friday or Saturday night, slightly pissed and highly abusive.

I am sure there are lots and lots of others, so I'd like you all to put your thinking caps on and post some suggestions to the comments below. Let's create a whole collection of words to express our feelings and thoughts about the douchebags of the world!

Go to it!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

My Epiphany on Love, Hate and God

This morning while laying in bed, I was thinking about the post I read over on Rickofawesome's blog last night. Not only is it a great rant, very eloquently put, but it's saddening that in 2009 he needs to have this rant. I was laying there thinking about how sad it makes me that people use God to justify their own hateful behaviour and attitudes, when I personally don't believe that is what God is about at all. My thoughts ran over how people like those that comment in this Courier Mail article, regarding MP Dorothy Pratt's comments in State Parliament about homosexuality being "not a normal part of life", use God or religion to spread hate.

Stick with me here for a bit.

Now let me just clear this up, I am a Christian. I don't belong to any denomination because I've not been able to find one that fits me and my beliefs, but I believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God and therefore that makes me Christian. I don't need to belong to a denomination or church to be Christian. I also don't need to prove my faith, evangelise it, defend it or convert anyone to it. I don't care if people believe different to me, so long as they allow me to hold my faith without prejudice. Personally I believe God is God, regardless of what name you call Him by or if you split Him up into a bunch of Gods that all serve the same purpose. But that's by the by.

But as well as being Christian, I also believe a whole bunch of things that people calling themselves Christian spread a whole lot of hate against. I believe that a person's sexuality is private and personal and has no bearing on their worth as a human being. I believe that pornography and prostitution have a place in a healthy society. I believe that there are circumstances where abortion is a legitimate option (sometimes sadly the only option). I believe that religion has no place in education, health care or government. I believe that women are equal to men. I believe that if someone is partaking in an activity that harms no-one but themselves, then it is their right to do so. I also swear like a trouper, drink like a fish and believe in pre-marital sex. These beliefs will draw me hatred from many of my so-called fellow Christians.

Which draws me back to my thoughts as I lay in bed this morning, thinking of the hate that so many people spread in the name of God. And I had an epiphany. It was a big one too. That epiphany was:

God is Love.

Simple isn't it? Or at least it feels that way when you look at that little three word sentence. But so many people simply don't get it. They spread hatred and anger (which is just the expression of hatred) in the name of God when they are actually doing the very opposite of what I believe God is. And it doesn't matter who or what your God is.

But it really goes for everyone, both those of faith and those who are atheists. If you want to achieve anything in your life, bring love into it. I'm not talking about sex. Or a relationship, though that form of love will count. I'm also not talking about a big hippy ideal of peace and love and groovy man.

If you want happiness, find love in your life. Now calm down, I'm not saying that you have to be in a relationship to have happiness, which is what everyone thinks when one mentions finding love. I'm saying focus on the things you love. Your family, your friends, your job, your art, your pets, whatever. But most of all, love yourself. If you can't find love for yourself, your struggle is still going to be there my friend. You don't have to get all weird and announce "Oh I am loving myself sick right now!" But you do have to find yourself feeling a deep like for who you are. It's not an easy thing to do, but work on making yourself the best you can possibly and you will find that love.

If you spread hate, if you spend your day filled with hate, then that's all you're going to get back in return. People hating you back. All you're going to see in your life are the things you hate. You're never going to notice the good things that are right there in front of you while you are all about hate.

It's ok to disagree with things. It's ok to be passionate in that disagreement. But hateful? That's what's bringing you the shit in your life. Hate doesn't make you a better person, it makes you a worse one. If you disagree with something passionately, which you have the right to do, even if that belief is harmful or discriminatory to others, find evidence about it, discuss it in an intelligent, rational, respectful manner and listen when you are presented the opposing view. Even if others believe you are wrong, you have the right to hold that belief so long as you do so with respect. You have the right to hold a belief, you do not necessarily have the right to act on that belief. Learn the difference.

But most of all, stop hiding behind religion to justify your hate. God doesn't want you to spread hate. No matter which God or Gods you believe in. Besides you're fucking it up for the rest of us who would like to be respected in our faith.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

A Post for the Guys...

This post is especially for the guys. I would like to ask you all to please go and read this article:

On Being a No-Name Blogger Using Her Real Name - Kate Harding

Ladies may read it as well, but I wager it's all nothing you haven't heard or thought before.

I am not using my real name. However many of you know my real name, or I have enough information on here for anyone who knows me, to know that this is my blog. I did have my real name on my Twitter too but changed that, however I use my first name regularly there. I have toyed with using my real name everywhere, as I really want to be transparent in my blogging/tweeting etc, I want my name to be connected to my writing, but I have had some troubling experiences in the life of my blogging. I have been lucky so far, I've not had anything truly frightening, but I have had some upsetting experiences.

However I don't want those to take my joy of writing, tweeting, sharing photos and videos away from me. I want to stay transparent and open, I'm proud of that. I want to share my experiences and the wisdom I gain along the way, and dammit my opinions too.

So that's why I'm asking particularly the guys to read the Kate Harding article linked above. Because when you fellas let it slide when some douchebag makes our lives miserable, or insults us, or "drunk tweets" feral sexual comments about us, or harasses us in blog comments, or rolls their eyes when we get upset about something and so on, you're giving those misogynistic fuckers the message that it's ok. And that encourages them to take it to the next step, and the next, and beyond.

But I would also like to take this opportunity to thank those men who DO stand up and say "Oi, that's not right." when these things happen. I would like you to know how much it matters to women when you do that. Not just because you're seen as being on our side, but because it gives us a feeling that we are safer having your support. That not every man is out to crush us down, shut us up, force us into our "place". That there is hope for change for women who wish to be seen, who don't want to be invisible.

So thank you.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Things on Twitter that Give Me the Shits

I've had a yucky day. Mostly because I'm unwell (nothing serious, just ick, you know?) and some work crap is bothering me. So I'm going to be totally self-indulgent and have a rant about things that shit me on Twitter*. No, these are not rules or guidelines or what everyone should do. they are things that shit ME, and I am allowed to be shit by things. Get comfy. Or bugger off if you're easily offended. Don't say you weren't warned.

  1. Twittascope. It's spam. Turn that shit off.
  2. Those quiz things. That shit belongs on Facebook where I can hide it.
  3. People with no avatar picture. I hate that brown and blue default o_O thing. It's rude, put a picture up there. I don't care what it is. You, your cat, a flower, a cartoon, just put SOMETHING there so you have identification.
  4. People using the C word. I am the swearin' librarian, and I can swear with the best of 'em (here, have a "fuck", just for the fun of it), but the C word is really misogynistic and has no masculine equivalent. I just hate it.
  5. Links posted with no explanation as to what they are. Stick your rickrolling up your arse.
  6. Boring people who tweet the same thing every day, or that I can tell what day of the week it is by what they're tweeting. They may as well be saying "It's Tuesday, I had meatloaf, same as last Tuesday". Zzzzz!
  7. Got no location or bio in your profile? Piss off! I'd rather you just put your country if you don't want to put your home town.
  8. When people piss all over avatar colours or twibbons that are symbols of goodwill, when they're doing fuck all for any causes themselves.
  9. Constant spammy links to articles about your spiritual beliefs (or lack of them). Stop trying to convert me.
  10. ANY tweets that are denigrating to anyone else's spiritual belief (or lack of them).
  11. People who shit all over those who post pictures of their cat/kids/pet rock. So what if you're not interested, unfollow. Some of us LIKE cute baby/pet pics.
  12. When people bitch about twitter competitions. They're usually the same people posting three hundred spammy links to some anti-religion site or three hundred articles about how Apple is better than Microsoft.
  13. Apple haters.
  14. Microsoft haters
  15. Haters.
  16. Those who excuse disgusting behaviour through tweets as "Oh he was drunk."
  17. Those who shit on newbies. Everyone was new at some stage, and the whole point of social media is through SHARING.
  18. If someone is innocently doing something that is poor form, just tell them. If they continue to do it, THEN get snarky.
  19. Baying for blood. Put the flaming torches down people.
  20. Passive aggressive bullshit.
  21. Cliques
  22. Those who pick on the odd typo or spelling mistake. It's fucking Twitter, not a thesis. (I will admit that every tweet having spelling mistakes or typos does wear a bit thin though).
  23. People who are not famous (ie Stephen Fry or Nathan Fillion) but think they are too important to respond when asked a question, or acknowledge someone who answers their question.
  24. Social media experts.
  25. Any kind of experts.
  26. Businesses that have Twitter accounts and then ignore people who tweet to them.
  27. Businesses that spam with constant links to their products.
  28. Meatmarket tweets. All that shit about girlpashing and photos of their tits and trying to get into each other's pants. Take it to the Normanby you lot.
  29. Lurkers.
  30. Folks worrying about the number of people who follow them. Or folks touting how to get more followers. The numbers don't matter. How you engage and connect with people does.
  31. Shitting on other people's music/movie/book/whatever taste because you think your taste is "better/more important". It's not, get over it.
  32. Bitchiness. Sneering. It doesn't make you look cool or funny. You just look like a prick.
  33. Superiority complexes. "Well I knew all about it, I can't possibly understand how YOU didn't".
  34. Constant "Fuck my life!" tweets trying to gain attention. Everyone goes through tough patches and your Twitter buddies are there for you when you need to vent or feel crap. But when all you do is moan for attention, it's pathetic. Particularly if you're never there for others in return.
  35. Getting involved in other people's discussions when you're not even talking about the same thing as they are. Jump on in if you're on topic, but leave people alone if you're on a tangent!
  36. Posting things that are Not Safe For Work without an NSFW warning.
  37. RACISM. Not acceptable, EVER.
I am sure there is a lot more (that's a lot already, I know!) but I've had my rant and I feel better now. It's been a bitch of a day, I needed that.

Again, these are not "rules" for Twitter, they're things that just shit me personally (and make me unfollow usually).

*note: if I am following you on Twitter, this is NOT about you. I unfollow people who shit me.