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Archive for January, 2018

Bill Cosby. Harvey Weinstein. Kevin Spacey. Matt Lauer. Charlie Rose.

#metoo #TimesUp

Lawsuits. Tears. Criminal complaints. Job loss.

It’s been raging in the news cycles for months now. Like it’s something newly discovered or recently created. Nope. Just finally hit critical mass, with enough of us shaking our heads in frustration and declaring, “I’m done with this shit!”

In truth, we’ve been done for generations. Millennia, even. Before technology, we were individuals trapped in our own little corners of the world with no way of knowing there were thousands – millions – out there in the same boat. The larger and stronger have always lorded themselves over the smaller and weaker in the animal kingdom. And, lest we forget: humans are indeed animals. The male of the species has been a total shit to the female on a pretty consistent basis throughout history. Even today, women across the world are still considered little more than broodmare property to be traded accordingly. Why you want to subjugate half the human population and accuse them of causing all the sins the other half actually does is beyond me. Especially when that latter half wouldn’t even exist without the former.

 

No Men = Happy Women

Someecards.com

 

Then there was Social Media and many things changed.

Well, what really changed was that the crappy things done to people by other people in the shadows of thousands of years now had light shown upon them and declared to be horrible things that no one should do, and if we had only known sooner we would have done something to stop them.

Yeah, I call bullshit on that play. The “casting couch” has been a long running “joke” in the entertainment industry. And it’s certainly not exclusive to Hollywood. Women have been subjected to that special kind of abuse in all walks of life, in all kinds of places, in all sorts of businesses. Any successful woman in any field will tell you stories of how coworkers are convinced she “slept her way to the top,” or at least had some serious dirt on the boss, because it certainly couldn’t be because she was actually good at her job.

And if you’re one of those people who thinks we need to boycott every person, every product, every company that has ever been touched by sexual harassment claims, then you might as well strip naked and run off into the woods, because there is no one no where that is angelically pure of this sin. Why should I be pilloried for watching Kevin Spacey in The Usual Suspects or Bill Cosby in Himself? Am I not allowed anymore to separate the performance from the performer? I think that’s for me to decide, and for you to just deal.

People like Spacey and Lauer were dropped like hot potatoes not because management was shocked and horrified to learn of such behavior, but because they were rats escaping a sinking ship. They didn’t want to be caught in the crossfire, or – worse yet -implicated for their complicity. Which of course is the case for most of them. That’s why celebrities and politicians and corporations have PR firms, to protect their cash cows from such torrid issues becoming public knowledge. It’s called spin doctoring. And if things really get out of hand, you call a fixer. Eventually, though, even the fixer is out of options, and you end up where we are now.

 

Ray Donovan

http://www.sho.com/ray-donovan

 

A strong, opinionated man is an assertive leader. A strong, opinionated woman is a demanding bitch. It is society as a whole that has condemned the female of the species to her unwelcome position. We have been conditioned since birth to believe that boys will be boys and girls just have to watch out for themselves. Almost weekly there’s some uproar from some school about dress code violations. It is always some young lady wearing something purportedly scandalous, and when you look at the picture you think: “Wow, I see kids wearing that all the time.” And it’s no more scandalous than what I’m wearing right now as I write this. (For the record, flannel Walking Dead PJs and a sweatshirt.) Never have I seen a young man pictured. Never.

Because it’s never about the behavior of the boys/men and always about what the woman should/shouldn’t do. From the first hue and cry, the apologists have been demanding, “Well, why didn’t she say something? Why didn’t she tell him no?”

Why?

Because a man in a position of power threatening your health and career if you don’t do what he says should be taken seriously.

Because you never know when that guy is the guy that’s going to beat you to unconsciousness.

Because you don’t want to die, that’s why.

Go do a simple search on the Internet and you’ll be bombarded with the stories of women who said no. Here, start with this article from a couple years ago. You’ll note the victims are all from the USA. Yeah, the country that prides itself on its progressiveness and touts equal rights for all is killing women just because they turn a guy down for a date. It’s that sense of entitlement by men – and abject fear by women – that has led us to this point.

That, and smart phones.

And while social media can be a positive force, allowing us to instantaneously shine lights into the dark corners of our world, it can also be the digital equivalent of a lynch mob. Al Franken is out as a Senator because of incidents from when he was a comedian. No, they weren’t appropriate and he probably shouldn’t have done them. But, fercryinoutloud, people: he was a COMEDIAN. They aren’t known for being appropriate. And, by all reports, there were no complaints from his time as Senator. But the feeding frenzy just got caught up in itself and the popular chorus demanded blood for their efforts, so off he went.

More recently, Aziz Ansari has been caught in the splatter, in a controversial report depicting a sexual assault or just a bad date, depending on whom you’re listening to. That one grey-area incident does not come close to the decades of penis waving and threats exhibited by the likes of Weinstein, but it is exactly what most women have experienced, and where our conversation really needs to start. Both sides need to be clear on what they want and expect, just as both sides need to listen and respect.

 

Communication

Memesbot.com

 

I have been lucky in that my size and strength has allowed me to avoid most of the issues many of my female friends have experienced. I don’t get catcalled or groped, and any physical relations I’ve had have been clearly consensual. But I have had mechanics feed me a line about “fuel injector coils” (when dealing with my ’74 Comet), had doctors tell me my migraine problems are just because of anxiety so here take this Valium (despite having a neurological report of abnormalities), and been paid significantly less than a man doing exactly the same job. One other annoying issue is that people (of all genders) talk to my boobs instead of my face. Yeah. I know I got big ‘uns, and I know I’m a head taller than most of you, but at least make the effort, for fuck’s sake. Be part of the solution for a change.

We can all agree that making employees watch while you wank off at your desk is egregious behavior. We also can agree that women need to be able to say no without fear. What we need to work on is the blurred lines in the middle. Part of that work needs to include not just the victims having their say, but the perpetrators as well. I want to see formal investigations, not just the Court of Twitter and a pink slip. I don’t want the Weinsteins and the Spaceys and the Lauers of the world to just slip off into the shadows mumbling platitudes about their perceived wrongs. I want them in full light, wriggling uncomfortably in their chairs as they face their victims and explain why they did what they did. I need to witness their education and contrition, not read about a week in “therapy” like it’s going to make everything all better now. Behavior like that is going to take a whole lot longer than a week to fix.

Just like this problem as a whole. We just need to keep talking.

 

 

PS: Some light reading:

http://time.com/4286575/sexual-harassment-before-anita-hill/

http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2017/10/13/_1956_casting_couch_expos_shows_little_has_changed.html

http://www.slate.com/articles/podcasts/you_must_remember_this/2015/11/eddie_mannix_mgm_s_fixer_and_the_scandal_of_patricia_douglas.html

 

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Recalibrating …

Wow. 2018 already. Though, to look at the yahoos in control in our nation’s capitol, you’d think it was 1918…

 

Minion WTF
But usually a lot more…
 http://funnyminionsmemes.com/2016/12/08/best-hilarious-minions-pictures-2017/

 

The last few months of 2017 were a little challenging for me. September was a screaming run trying to get product made for our big historical event at the beginning of October. The last week of October had me in cataract surgery for my right eye. Now I can see great out of both at distance, but I’ve lost my superpower of microscopic vision. While it’s been awesomely weird not having to wear glasses just to see past the end of my nose, it has been quite the adjustment to wearing glasses for up close work. I have to resort to lighted magnification on a regular basis, not just occasionally, for my fine needlework. But there’s a trade off for every thing. And getting up in the morning not needing my glasses before I even get out of bed is kind of cool.

The beginning of November brought the passing of a good friend. Back in June we had a lovely day at a writer’s meet, followed by lunch and great conversation. She was her usual irascible self. Part of me feels guilty not visiting when she went to the hospital, but another part is glad that my last memories of her are happy ones. She believed in me despite my issues, and for that I will be forever grateful.

Then I went home to Northern California to visit my mother for Thanksgiving and to celebrate a milestone birthday for her. She’d probably kill me if I said which one. Just suffice to say she, my sister, and I are not nearly as young as we claim. We’ve aged better than most just out of spite. We figure the best way to take over the world is just to outlast everybody else.

 

IMG_1632

Took a bit of work with string and soap to get those rings off those swollen fingers.

 

It was nice spending time with my family and getting out of SoCal. It was not so nice breaking my arm. Yup, grace and beauty, as usual. My sister and I were putting a tarp over my mom’s leaky camper when I lost my balance and fell, landing full force on my out stretched left arm. The result, besides a bruised ego, was a compression fracture of the distal radius. That’s the main bone that runs down the thumb side of the arm, and it broke right at the wrist. Thankfully, no surgery was required. But I’ve been in a splint since then, unable to use my left hand for anything. That means I haven’t been able to make any product for our next big event in February, or do much around the house, which has put things like dishes and cooking onto my already over-worked husband.

I’m able to do this blog today thanks to my lovely Bamboo graphics pad and pen, and the Ink software on my Mac. It’s like writing with a pencil on paper and then the program translates my blatherings into type. It’s not perfect, requiring a little more editing than when I just use the keyboard, but it beats the hell out of typing all this with one hand.

Then the end of the year came, and with it the usual blues over my brother’s passing twenty-one years ago, added in with the pleasure of the winter sinus infection. So, yeah, didn’t feel like doing much these last few months. And 2018 isn’t starting off that great. But for some reason I have managed to find a little hope left in my cold, black heart.

Or maybe that’s just the bourbon.

Whatever… I’ll take what I can get…

 

 

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