Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Fine. I'm Intolerant: Part Deux

Photo by Fibonacci Blue
If you read my blog yesterday, you'll know that I'm being facetious. Because I'm intolerant of intolerance, that makes me intolerant...er...at least that's what some people have said. Some joking, some maybe not? Who knows. Anyway, it's because of these statements:
  • I believe in marriage equality.
  • I do not like not practice racism.
  • I believe waving a confederate battle flag is a slap in the face to all African Americans and their ancestors who worked so hard for their civil rights.
Yesterday I spoke about marriage equality. Today, racism and the Confederate battle flag (Southern Cross). I believe if you want to wave your battle flag after what has gone on this past couple weeks, let alone the last few hundred years, you are either ignorant or racist. 

There are those who call it "heritage and pride." Mostly because they had an ancestor fight for the confederacy.

Heritage. Your ancestor fought for the Confederacy. Against his own country. What was happening at the time was not tyranny,  as with the Revolutionary War. It was one part of the country still wanting to be able to own people for self serving reasons, and the other side saying, that's not okay. One side that so desired slavery that they tried to secede from the Union. One president saying, nope, not happening. The cost of your ancestors defending the right to own slaves cost 625,000 American lives.

The war started when a Confederate army opened fire on Fort Sumter, claiming it as its own. The North originally wanted a "little" war to restore the Union. It had to turn into full on destruction of the South and its institution of slavery. The nation had to be reunited and reborn, free of slavery.

Confederate president Jefferson Davis tried to flee as his armies were surrendering. Not very brave behavior for a leader. He was caught and the rest of the confederate army collapsed.

Pride. So, after reading the above, is this flag really a symbol of pride? I don't want to hear the "The battle flag isn't the national flag of the Confederacy," argument. Who cares? Both are representative of a nation torn apart by slavery. Are you proud that your ancestors tried to keep slavery alive? Are you proud that so many people had to lose their lives to defend the freedom of others? The Confederate flag is not a symbol of pride; it's a symbol of shame.

The flag after the war was flown only on occasion at events honoring confederate soldiers. However,  there was a surge of reappearances during the struggle for civil rights and desegregation. It's said that it's first return was in South Carolina in 1948 when Strom Thurmond ran for president under what was known as the Dixiecrat party. Article 4 of its platform was, "We stand for segregation of the races."

After the Supreme Court ruling on Brown vs. Board of Education, and when desegregation started,
Little Rock 9 Protest
the flag surfaced more and more. Then in 1961, to honor the 100th anniversary of the onset of the civil war, South Carolina flew it over its capitol. (It was moved in 2000, but was still on capitol grounds. There's more to that story, but you can find out on your own).

Some southern states even incorporated one of the Confederate flags into their own state flag.

So I repeat, if you want to continue to wave your Confederate battle flag, you are either ignorant or racist.

I had someone, a transplant to the south, debate this with me: People are trying to erase it from history. I think we know that it can't be erased from history.  His point was that Apple stopped selling video games based on the  Civil War.  In my opinion, perhaps that is going to far. There are many historically accurate games and you can't erase history, I don't know. But I do applaud stores from discontinuing the sale of the Southern Cross. The flag, like the Nazi flag, belongs in history books and museums, not flying high at state buildings, in front of people's homes, or in the back of a pickup truck. He also told me that support of the flag wanes with every generation, which is good to hear.

I applaud Bree Newsome, the activist that climbed the pole on the South Carolina capitol grounds and removed the Confederate battle flag. That was a brave act of civil disobedience. She was immediately arrested of course. Someone offered her bounty money, which she refused. Instead she had it donated to support the victims of the Charleston church massacre. She wants everyone to keep in mind, this act was not about one woman. In her own words. "We made this decision because for us, this is not simply about a flag, but rather it is about abolishing the spirit of hatred and oppression in all its forms."

It comes down to respect. Even if you disagree with me on what the Confederacy battle flag symbolizes, you have to realize that an entire race (and supporters) finds its image oppressive. If you respect African Americans and the battles they and their ancestors have encountered throughout the years, take your flag down. It's the neighborly thing to do. It's the right thing to do.  Especially after the Charleston shooting and the burning of southern churches. For many people in this country, the battle flag is nothing but a reminder of the victimization and slavery of blacks, and that racism unfortunately still exists in our "civilized" society.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Fine. I'm intolerant.

If you want to throw that word back in my face, feel free. Because I voluntarily admit to the following:
  • I believe in marriage equality.
  • I do not like not practice racism.
  • I believe waving a Confederate flag is a slap in the face to all African Americans and their ancestors who worked so hard for their civil rights.
Therefore, if you're racist, don't think people should be able to marry who they want, or feel that proudly waving the Confederate flag is only a show of southern pride and heritage, I disagree - vehemently - with you.

Call it what you want. I've unfriended a couple people from Facebook this week because of it. I'd not be surprised if I was also unfriended. However, if you call me intolerant because I think people should have equal rights and should be treated with respect then I'll own that label.

Let's start with the freedom to marry whomever we choose.  Most of the opposition is due to religious belief that marriage belongs between a man and woman because the bible says so.

Sure, your bible said so (Leviticus 20:13). The book is also 3,400 years old. Are we bound to ethical and moral judgments made by those living thousands of years ago and in a completely different culture than our own? Plus, the bible has been translated thousands of times over the years. Can we trust its accuracy?

Would Jesus keep to the archaic law of the land as written in the bible if he were here today? You do realize there is a whole shit ton of other crap forbidden in the bible, right? I'm pretty sure you're not abiding by those either. Let's take a look, shall we?

  1. Divorce. In his gospel, Mark is pretty clear about divorce. 10:9 “What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” And how about this one 10:11-12, “And He said to them, ‘Whoever divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her; and if she herself divorces her husband and marries another man, she is committing adultery.’” Are you remarried? Adulterer!!!
  2. Bastards. You can't go to church. Ever. Do you think Bristol Palin takes her baby to church? Deuteronomy 23:2 “No one of illegitimate birth shall enter the assembly of the Lord; none of his descendants, even to the tenth generation, shall enter the assembly of the Lord.” That's pretty harsh.
  3. Pork. You love your bacon right? Who doesn't? But, uh-oh, according to the bible, swine is off
    limits. Leviticus 11:7-8 "And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you. Of their flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcase shall ye not touch; they are unclean to you.
  4. Seafood. Guess what else you're not supposed to eat.  Leviticus 10-11 "And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you. They shall be even an abomination unto you; ye shall not eat of their flesh, but ye shall have their carcases in abomination." Kiss your clams, oysters, shrimp and mussels goodbye. Mwaa!
  5. Ink. You like that butterfly tramp stamp you got when you were 22? Or the tribal or Celtic band around your bicep? According to Leviticus, you're in trouble. 19:28 "Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD."
  6. Virginity. You want to get laid before the wedding? Nope, not according to Deuteronomy 22:20-21. "But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel: Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father's house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you."
For many of these transgressions the penalty is death. DEATH!! Aside from not being a bastard, I have broken every single one of these rules. Do you think I'm going to hell?

Honestly, I could go on and on. Wearing clothing of two types of fabric, trimming your beard, getting a bowl cut...the list goes on. Oh, and ladies, don't help your husband in a fight. The penalty is losing your damn hand! "Oh, sorry honey, I'd love to help you fight that mugger, but God might sever my hand with a bolt of lightning..."

If you don't follow the above rules, don't tell a homosexual that they can't marry, which by the way, is not in the bible...

How about we remember these bible verses instead:
Matthew 22:39 :"Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."
James 4:11-12 "There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?"
Matthew 7:1-2 "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."
 Psalm 145:9 "The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works."
 1 John 1:8 "If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us."

Then there's this guy, who tells us why Leviticus is inadmissible evidence. 

And with July 4th coming up, let's not forget about the Declaration of Independence...

"...all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."


I've spouted off so much about this topic, that I'm going to save the other for tomorrow...until then...

Friday, June 5, 2015

Child Abuse: Public Shaming

A teenager from my city recently killed herself after her father posted a shaming video of her online. Oh wait, after he first chopped off all her beautiful black hair, then posted the video of her following said hair cut.

I mean, first off, IMHO, cutting someone's hair as punishment is atrocious. It's not punishment. It's bullying and emotional abuse. I couldn't imagine taking one of my daughter's beautiful locks to teach them a lesson. Take away their electronics, not something as personal as hair. You may as well have taken a limb.

I would also not take away something that is perhaps a one time thing that they were looking forward too, such as a concert, vacation, or important school dance for example.

Now, on to this public shaming...I've seen this done before, and to me it's also a form of bullying and emotional abuse. Posting to your child's social media accounts about the mistakes they've made, creating videos or memes at your child's mental expense...honestly, I'm having trouble finding the words about how angry I feel about it.

And the thing is, if they're willing to take these steps in order to humiliate their child, what are they doing behind closed doors. What kind of control and abuse are they inflicting that people haven't seen?

I admit to teasing my kids publicly, but I do it in jest and they think it's funny. For instance, I stalk my daughter's Twitter account and make funny comments on her posts. I I'll post funny ecards to their Facebook page.

My kids are awesome. They hardly ever get in trouble. However, when my kids screw up, we talk it out. In some cases, I take away their phones, tablets, and any electronics they hold dear.  In serious cases, their car is gone and their freedom for a period of time, usually not more than a couple days. I would never take a way their dignity by humiliating them in such a public way.

In the shaming video the father asks her "was it worth it?"

I bet he's asking himself the same thing now.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

The Caitlyn Controversy

I was completely going to avoid this subject as it's so played out, but the stupid people are hurting my brain. Let me first say, if you don't think it's okay to go transgender, but you're considerate with your comments, I respect your opinion. I don't agree with it, but I respect that it's how you feel and you have a right to that. However, if you're against being transgender and act like an asshat about it, I think you're an idiot.

Now that that's out of the way, I'll give you my take. I cannot possibly begin to understand how it feels to be physically one sex, yet inside feel like the other. I can't only imagine how heartbreaking and emotionally painful it must be. I would never judge someone who goes through a change to become the person they truly believe they are. I think what Caitlyn did is brave. Someone on my Facebook commented that when we call people like her "brave" we're forgetting the real heroes that fight for our country. This makes no sense to me. I never called Caitlyn a hero, though I think she makes a good spokesperson for the LGBT community. But I don't forget or discredit what others have sacrificed in the name of freedom. What they do actually helps people like Caitlyn become who they are.  To be free of the mask she wore for decades. They fight for all the freedoms we're allowed these days and that is one thing great about our country.

I've also heard the argument that we're supposed to be the person that God made us. That only He or She can change us. I don't believe in isms. I don't believe in religion because  man made it. I don't believe that a book written eons ago and translated millions of times is supposed to be taken literally. I'm not sure if there is a giant invisible man in the sky watching down on us and waiting to judge us upon our death. There are two things I do know however. 1) I'm pretty sure if I live my life in a way that doesn't hurt anyone and if I treat people with respect, that what awaits my soul when my body is six feet under will be fine. 2) If your God didn't want people to become transgender, why did he allow us to gain the knowledge in order to create the technology that makes this possible?

I understand transgenderism. I do not understand intolerance. Why do you care? Is it affecting you and your rights? Truly, it's not your business what someone does with their body. Sound like a familiar argument?

And the religious right continues to defend their child molester to the ends of the earth, yet condemns Caitlyn for simply being who she is. If instead of Josh Duggar it was a black person, or gay person, or Muslim, or anyone that didn't fit into that perfect mold of all that is righteous and pure, you'd be wanting their head on a platter. Not only did he molest his own sisters, but then his family hid their ugly truth for their own benefit, not caring how all of this affected their daughters or their religious community. It's all for the good of television. The show must go on!!!

I've had people complain to me that I keep mentioning that Duggar is Christian, when molestation, by a Christan or not is reprehensible. Of course it is. I only mention this because of what I stated before about how those defending him would feel if it were someone else in his shoes, and because of who he is. He stood before you on television spewing vitriol against the LGBT community and marriage equality. He preached about family values yet inappropriately touched his own sisters and helped hide the truth. He should have been put in juvee, received counseling and been registered as a sex offender.  But no, he was sent to a Christian reform program, received no counseling, then went to work for a family friend. This is not justice This is not okay,

I'm tired of right wing Christians taking bible verses out of context when it fits their agenda and hiding behind their religion when they spout and breed intolerance. How come they never use these verses?:

Matthew 7:1 "Judge not lest ye be judged."
John 8:7 "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone."
Luke 6:37 “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;"
1 Corinthian 4:5  Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God"
Proverbs 21: 2 "Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the heart."
James 4:12 " There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?"

I could go on and on.

Then you have Mike Huckabee sticking his foot in his mouth again by telling stupid transgender jokes. You have change.org trying to strip her of her gold medals

Why do I think Caitlyln Jenner is brave? Because it takes a lot to stand up and tell people who you really are when you know you will be faced with criticism and judgment.  Also, I think John Stewart also made a good point:

 "It's really heartening to see that everyone is willing to not only accept Caitlyn Jenner as a woman,
but to waste no time in treating her like a woman. You see, Caitlyn, when you were a man, we could talk about your athleticism, your business acumen, but now you’re a woman, and your looks are really the only thing we care about. Which brings us to phase two of your transition: 'comparative fuckability.'"

"As a woman, Jenner can now look forward to her physical appearance, not her talents or mind, being the object of daily scrutiny. Should she ever need to work, she can look forward to earning roughly 77% of what a man makes. Should she ever face physical or sexual violence, she, not her attacker, will be treated with suspicion. As a woman, Jenner will also have to get used to hearing not just new pronouns but other fun words like "shrill," "nagging," "bossy" and "emotional." And then, of course, there's the catcalling, which a "beautiful" woman like Jenner can now expect daily."

The struggle is real. Women in America are still fighting for their own rights, for equal rights. Caitlyn just joined that fight.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Pondering the ink

This is not my tattoo.
Here's my thing today...I have a job interview today. It's the first one I've been offered since losing my job in February. It's the first one I've had since the late 80s I think actually. I've mostly just fell into jobs or worked for myself, so this will be interesting.

I put the question out on my Facebook, "hide or reveal the tattoos?" The overwhelming response is to hide them. I'd like to think that in this day and age, people are more open minded than caring if you have body ink or not, but I know that would be naive.

This in no way represents me.
In my last 16 years, I've pretty much been free to wear, mostly, whatever I've wanted. I mean, I had my own daycare (I call those my frumpy days. I wore sweats and birkenstocks all the time. It was not a pretty time for me.), then I was a stay at home mom, then a writer doing writing visits and crap. Even my job as marketing coordinator at the law firm allowed me a certain freedom. I didn't have a lot of contact with the outside world. If I was meeting with a vendor, I'd step up the outfit a little, but I still openly displayed any tattoos that were not covered by sleeves or pants/tights. No one seemed put out by it. Even when I worked for the government, while the dress code was stricter, it was still pretty loose.

I'm just not a pants person. Actually, I think I can say with all honesty that I loathe pants. While I do own a coupe pairs of jeans, I do not own a pair of slacks. I wear skirts just about every day. Also, since I run about ten hotter degrees than the average human, you rarely see me in long sleeves. Maybe in winter, but our winters here on the left coast have been pretty mild the last couple years.

There are three tattoos that would be showing. One on my forearm, one on my bicep, one on my calf. I think I know what shirt I'm going to wear, but honestly, all my skirts are short. I'm short; I just think I look better in above the knee skirts. I do have a couple that are little longer, but they won't hide the tattoo on my calf. So I'll have to wear boots. Don't get me wrong, I love my boots, but if the temperature gets up in the 70s or 80s, I'm going to be miserable.

I don't like the idea of hiding part of who I am to please people. I would hope that I would be judged on my character, my intelligence, and my skill when being looked at for a job. Maybe that will actually be the case, but you never know. I know some people place a lot of import on appearances, and that's fine. If I have to conform to get a job, I will. I need it. But then, I may have to wonder if I really want a job where people aren't accepting. I mean, if they're not accepting of tattoos, what else do they not accept in life. Whatever happens today, I hope that if I get this job, and once they get to know me, they will realize that I'm a quality person, tattoos or not.

Monday, June 1, 2015

A step in the right direction

I finally found a paying gig. It won't be a lot of work or money (maybe I can work myself into more if I'm, ya know, awesome), but I finally connected with a blogger that liked my writing style. And I must say, it's a good fit for me. She had me write her an article as a test. A paid test. *visualize Megan doing a happy dance*

What I love about it is I can be myself when I write. The blog wasn't looking for AP Style or Chicago Manual yadda yadda yadda. They were just looking for someone who could speak to their readers. Someone who could be honest, informative, witty, and funny. Someone that is on the same level. Someone relatable.

Um, over here...that's me.

So, I know you're asking yourself, what are you writing? (okay, just pretend you are) I get to share with the blogosphere, my dating and relationship experiences. How cool is that? (even if you don't think it's cool, just pretend you do) I get to write just like I do here. Casual, matter of fact. I even get
to throw in some gentle cussing. (sadly, no "f" bombs).

Ex boyfriends,  you might want to steer clear.

When my first article is published, it will be on Attract The One  - Smart, Blunt Relationship Advice for Women.

Don't worry, you'll be the 2nd to know when the article is out (okay, probably right after Facebook and Twitter).

I'm super excited and you should be too (maybe you just don't know it yet).

My Dad. He's awesome.

John Messina, Personal Injury Attorney

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