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Category Archives: Arguments We’re Done Having

On Making Good Choices

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Hey. Poor people. You need to listen the fuck up.

Ok now:

Y’all need to make better choices.

I mean really, what were you thinking, getting sick? And on a work day, too. If you really need to get sick, do it on your day off—after all, what else are you going to do? It’s not like you have a life outside work, and if you do, you shouldn’t. Poor people are supposed to work, and work, and then sleep maybe three hours a night, and do it all over again the next day. That’s poverty. In fact, if you have days off, you don’t count as poor, which means you just shouldn’t get sick at all. And no, constant work and sleep deprivation are not hard on your immune system; you just need some Emergen-C.

So, ok, don’t get sick. Getting sick fucks things up, because then, if you have to call into work, they sometimes require you to bring a doctor’s note, and if you don’t have health insurance you have to shell out extra money for a doctor’s visit, and you miss a day of work, so you end up paying out the ass to sit around feeling miserable, and why would anyone do that? God, what a stupid choice you just made.

You also need to manage your money better. You make minimum wage, right? That’s 7.25 an hour, and you work 35 hours a week (because if it’s under 40 your employer doesn’t have to offer benefits), so before taxes you make, what? 253.75 a week, which comes to 1015 a month. Now let’s knock off some money for taxes, ok? It varies by state, so we’ll pick something that sounds reasonable—let’s say you actually make 950 a month.

This is totally enough money to live comfortably.

Let’s say you’re a single person living cheap. Your apartment is 400 a month, and your utilities come to about 60, and your phone is about 100 (you with your fancy smartphone that you totally don’t need to communicate), and your internet is 60 (why do you have that, anyway? Yeah, you’re a college student, but since when do students need internet access?), and you have several bills you’re paying off with excruciating slowness—they total about 80 a month—so all that comes to…700. Ok, well, you still need food, right? Let’s budget about 35 a week, which makes 140 a month, which leaves you 60 a month to spend on everything else.

Good thing you don’t have a car, right? Gas, repairs, all that shit—not having a car is a wise choice, one of the few wise choices you’ve made. Of course, you should also be able to travel everywhere people with cars travel, at the same speed, and no, you don’t get to bitch about how hard it is on your stupid poor-person body, because you chose to be car-less. Maybe you should’ve made better choices, right? Seriously, do I have to explain everything to you people?

So you have sixty dollars. That’s enough, provided you don’t get sick, or have to buy books for classes (if you’re a student), or need to buy a bottle of wine to bring to a dinner party, or have any unexpected expenses, or basically live at all.

Oh wait. 950 a month comes to 11400 a year, which is above the poverty line. You’re not even technically a poor person, and you still can’t figure out how to manage your damn money. God, you suck.

What’s that? Uh, no, the government does not have a fucked-up idea of what counts as poverty, you’re just a really very dumb not-poor person.

And what is up with you needing things? You don’t need things. Rich people need things. Middle-class people also need things (sometimes), but you? You need a better work ethic and the ability to balance a checkbook.

Uh. You don’t…have a bank account? I cannot conceive of a single reason why a person with no money would not have a bank account. What a stupid choice.

Also—and I know this is kinda rude, or at least it would be, if you were a real person and not just a waste of my tax dolalrs—but why are you so fat? As Sean Hannity once said, (The United States of) America is the only country where all the poor people are fat. And it doesn’t make a damn bit of sense, because as everyone knows, healthy food is cheap, filling, and delicious. Why spend five dollars on a meal at MacDonald’s when you could spend that money on a single container of unprepared wheat pasta from your local health food store?

No, you don’t need calorie-rich food, I don’t care if you’re working a double today. One slice of bread with peanut butter will totally get you through, and if it doesn’t, you’re clearly not cut out to be poor.

If you can’t hack it, go forth and be rich. This isn’t rocket surgery, guys.

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Swooping Back In to Drop a Rant on Alla Y’all

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So I read this stupid article the other day. It was called “8 Reasons Young Americans Don’t Fight Back: How the US Crushed Youth Resistance,” and while it had some semi-decent points, it was mostly very “man, the establishment and stuff.” Education, college included, is making us all conform to…something; television allows us to live in a fantastical dream world in which actions come consequence-free (dude. watch some crime shows, ok?); and most predictably, we’re all being medicated into compliance!!!

Which, no. No, no, no, no, no.

Setting aside how steeped in privilege this entire article is (how cute that the author has apparently never had to imagine the social and economic ramifications of not finishing high school), it’s also dumb in that very special fauxgressive, elitist, cis-het-male-able-bodied-middle-class-Caucasian kind of way. And it gave me an annoyed.

(Oh, and this is kinda off-topic, but just as a side note—what is it with the hand-wringing, pearl-clutching older generations who apparently cannot fathom the possibility that people who grew up with television and other technology would, in fact, be able to differentiate between TV, video games, and Real Life™? Violence, racism, misogyny, ablism, homophobia, transphobia—their presence in the media is a problem because it’s indicative of actual attitudes held by actual people, because their popularity suggests that bigotry is rampant, and because their prevalence reassures bigots that it’s all cool, don’t bother rethinking your bullshit. But the media is not dragging people into a Big Crazy Dream Land. People create entertainment, and then the media reinforces their bigotry. It works cyclically. The No-Good Terrible Very-Bad Media is not some kind of mysterious entity swooping down to corrupt us all.

Plz to not anthropomorphize the media kthanxbai.)

Anyway, here’s what I don’t get about the Meds Are Making Us Conform bullshit: well, everything, but my biggest problem with it is that, if you really want people to be malleable and ineffectual, you keep them sick. Right? I mean, before we had meds, we had…what? Institutions, and before that, nothing. Sick people just stayed sick, or got sicker, and eventually died.

If you deny treatment to someone with a physical ailment, whether they ignore the sickness or go into debt trying to buy treatment themselves, you have weakened them and taken some of their power. Is it really such a stretch to apply this to mental illness?

Oh wait. Yes it is. Because people get weird about mental illness.

If I had any doubt about the general public’s apparent inability to treat mental illness as a real thing that actually happens and is the fault of brain chemistry, not the person suffering from the illness, those doubts were put to rest the day Amy Winehouse’s death was first reported. Because here’s someone who stated publicly that she suffered from bipolar disorder, who became addicted to multiple substances, who wrote music about her addictions—and yet, after she died, I heard tons of people essentially saying “oh well, dead junkie is dead.”

Because yeah, that’s fair. Because this is totally the first time someone with bipolar disorder has ever developed a compensatory substance abuse problem, and clearly, it was entirely her fault.

I mean really. Obviously, I didn’t know Amy Winehouse, and I don’t know what her life was like, and I’m not going to pretend I had some deep personal investment in her well-being. That would be kind of creepy. And I don’t have bipolar disorder, so I can’t personally testify to how it feels. I do know plenty of people with BPD, one of whom is an immediate family member, so I’m fairly close to it, but no, I haven’t really been there.

And yet, I know better than to blame people for not winning the neuro-lottery. Crazy, right? (That’s not to say I won the neuro-lottery myself; I haven’t really. But I didn’t fare too badly, and I have plenty of other privilege that helps compensate for the problems caused by the issues I do have.)

People love to trot out Personal Responsibility as an excuse to ignore mental illness—because like, duh, you gottta take responsibility for your problems and stuff! It’s not even that I disagree; I think that sympathy, taken too far, can become coddling, which is enabling (and one of the reasons I prefer empathy to sympathy, but that’s a whole other post). I think it’s easy to slip into the role of an enabler, and I dislike arguments which assume that the mentally ill can never have any power or agency.

But.

First, there are people whose illnesses really are so severe that they literally cannot be held accountable for their actions. They don’t comprise the majority of the mentally ill, but they are there. The degree of their illness might be temporary, or it could be permanent, but they shouldn’t be ignored.

And second, I’m not going to jump on the Personal Responsibility bandwagon until our cultural attitudes toward mental illnesses change. I’m not going to criticize people for not seeking help when the likelihood that they will be shamed for it is so strong. Actually, I probably wouldn’t criticize them anyway, but you know.

Not to be one of those obnoxious self-referential bloggers who makes everything relate back to Me and My Issues, but I’ve dealing with this problem right now—because while I am finally, after years of being really fucking miserable, coming to recognize the depths of my issues with food, I cannot pick up the phone and schedule an appointment with a counselor. Part of the problem is that I’m tired, and used to feeling shitty, and terrified of gaining weight. But another part of it is the fear that I’m not sick enough, that I’m exaggerating, that I just need to go eat a waffle and go biking in the sunshine and listen to the birds chirp. (Or whatever.) Part of it is the fear that I’m just privileged and self-obsessed, and that the counselor is going to shrug and say, meh. You’re fine. You don’t look like someone with an ED. And part of it is simply not wanting to put up with the bullshit that comes when people discover you have a problem.

Which, whatever, I’ll be fine. But this just reinforces my anger when it comes to popular attitudes in re: mental illness, because really, what the fuck? I mean, I understand that there’s magical thinking at work here: the stubborn belief that people with diagnosed mental disorders are weak, that the contemptuous magical asshat in question isn’t weak, and therefore, that zie is immune from mental illness. Ok, fine, I get it. But it’s stupid and damaging.

And it enrages me (enrages, I say) when people who ostensibly support universal health care either make exclusions for mental illness, or pretend it’s a non-issue. No, it’s not. It’s really not. And sorry, but you don’t have the right to determine what kind of illnesses deserve treatment. You also don’t get to decide who deserves treatment, or for how long, or to what degree. You just don’t.

I wish I could write more on that subject, but now I’m pissy.

All I’m really asking, I guess, is that mental illness be treated as something real, as something harmful, and not as a sign of non-comformity and exciting independence. I also want this to be a genderless issue, but of course it isn’t. I remember when Amy Winehouse and Pete Doherty were both gaining notoriety in the States, and the ways they were discussed were, ah, radically different. Amy Winehouse?—worthless junkie, terrible person, and people kept making fun of her beehive and beat-up ballet flats. But Pete Doherty? He was a misunderstood genius with a boyish face, which could be totally cute if he just got off the heroin and started bathing again.

Basically, I want a world that encourages anyone suffering from mental illness to seek help, regardless of who they are, how affable they seem, how sympathetic their suffering is. I want treatment to be free, for as long as it’s needed. I want everyone to realize that no, medication isn’t Destroying Young Minds; when used appropriately, it empowers people who suffer from problems they never asked for.

I also want this post to be more coherent, but I have too many thoughts and not enough focus. Heh.

In Re: The Blogosphere Lately

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A Brief List of Shit You Should Not Do:

The Atheist Elevator Debacle

Dictate another person’s boundaries

Decide that you are entitled to their time and/or attention

Approach them in an enclosed space with no other people present, acknowledge that you’re being inappropriate, but boldly soldier on

Insist that women are responsible for magically intuiting the desires of sad, socially inept men

Suggest that men are literally incapable of following accepted social guidelines, then accuse feminists of being “misandrist”

Turn someone’s story of a creepy come-on into the most contrived controversy ever

The Hugo Schwyzer Paternity Kerfluffle

Compare “paternity fraud” (really, guys?) to rape

Decide that a brief run-down of what is no doubt a very complicated story gives you enough information to make sweeping judgments about everyone involved

Shriek about “poor Ted” and “horrible Jill,”apparently oblivious to the inconsistency in who you’re willing to give the benefit of the doubt/assume the absolute best intentions

Leave a wall of text, using information lifted from Wikipedia, that accuses the author of being a psychopath. That’s just stupid

Say that you would stop loving your kid if you found out he wasn’t biologically yours. Not only does that make you a terrible person, it’s a lie—because if that’s all it would take to make you stop loving your son, you never really loved him to begin with

Get so hung up on the details of the story that you completely miss the overarching point of the article. (For the record, I was pretty squicked out by the story, but in the end I agree with Schwyzer—DNA doesn’t make a parent)

Mac McLelland’s Horrible Article to Which I Will Not Link

Grossly mischaracterize PTSD (Protip: You don’t get a diagnosis so soon after the traumatic event—like all mental disorders, you have to demonstrate an established pattern of behavior. Also, if she really had PTSD, “rough sex” would not have been a cure.)

Falsely equivocate bystander trauma with first-hand trauma

Make someone else’s rape about you

Turn a horrible story of a Haitian woman’s rape into a tale of Privileged White Lady Pain

Be so lazy in your use of language that your writing blurs the very-super-obvious line between sex and rape

Criticize her article on the grounds that she’s OMG SO TOTALLY SLUTTY instead of “wow, what a terrible narcissistic asshole”

This and This

Freely admit to being a stat rapist (2:14 in the video), revealing how utterly unconcerned you are with the potential legal repercussions, then deny that we live in a rape culture. (Yes, that person probably wouldn’t give you his real name, but his IP could be traced)

Be one of those horrible people. I can’t even.

I Have Questions For the English-Only Movement

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Or more specifically, for the movement’s largest and most vocal organization, U.S. English.

Q: So uh, first off, why do you call yourself U.S. English? Why not The U.S. English Organization or something? As it stands, your name is a little unclear.

A: Because we control all the English! Or at least the U.S. English. IT IS OURS.

Q: Oh, alright then. Well, maybe you could explain your position to me a little more, as it sounds, to laypersons such as myself, like a huge pile of bullshit.

A: Well, duh, making English the official language of the U.S. will make life better for immigrants, because it forces them to learn things, which, as we all know, immigrants are generally averse to doing.

Q: Yeah. Lazy immigrants. That’s not racism, it’s just truth! Anyway, I’m sure I’m not the first person to observe that trying to make English the official language of a country that is still home to so many indigenous languages, or at least the ones that have thrived in spite of what amounts to mass genocide, is a little—

A: We don’t actually address that anywhere on our website, so I don’t know what to tell you there.

Q: So you don’t see the hypocrisy in telling immigrants to learn English without having learned the indigenous language most common to your particular region of the country yourself?

A: No.

Q: Not to press the issue, but do you genuinely not see how offensive this is? English isn’t in any danger of dying out, but many—most, even—indigenous languages are. English doesn’t need to be preserved; it’s doing just fine. I mean, I totally support attempts to preserve endangered languages, like the indigenous languages I just mentioned. Or if you want to go across the ocean, take a language like Welsh, which, unlike English, isn’t even an official language of Wales. See, that’s a language that needs preserving. Wintu needs preserving. But English? English is thriving like a goddamn mosquito by a river.

A: A mosquito by a river?

Q: Look, I have six bites on one hand. I’m pissy. But you see my point.

A: Not really. We’re a bunch of clueless assholes.

Q: Well that just gives me a sad. The US is basically one big colony, you know? And to actually try and pass legislation mandating that people learn the language of the colonizers while native languages continue to die out is just—

A: Can we change the subject? Examining my privilege feels weird.

Q: Alright, fine. My next question is a more practical one, namely, should you succeed, what do you expect this movement to accomplish?

A: Force the dumb immigrants to speak good, of course.

Q: Right. But you know, on your website, you list all the states that have English-only laws, as well as the states that have the largest populations that speak English worse than “very well,” and there’s some overlap. Like California. California has English as its official state language, but also has the largest population of people who speak English “less than very well” of any other state in the nation. Doesn’t that kind of undercut your argument?

A: Hey now—

Q: I’m also wondering how, if English were to be declared the national language of the U.S., you would go about enforcing that. I mean, are you going to hand out citations every time you hear someone speaking a language other than English? Because you make this big point of being all, we totally support people learning other languages, but your position doesn’t really seem to support that.

A: Duh, Paprika, if English is declared the official language, it will be the only language used in government, and on driver’s license exams, and on signage—

Q: Wait. So if shit goes your way, people who don’t speak English fluently won’t be able to get driver’s licenses?

A: It’s already that way in Arkansas.

Q: Well fuck.

A:We win!

Q: Not yet. Look, I’ve yet to see any proof that your arguments stem from anything other than good old-fashioned racism. You cite national unity as an argument in favor of English-Only, implying that Amurrica is fractured and inharmonious—which, duh—but you fail to provide a causal link between linguistic diversity and general shittasticness. I mean, this isn’t an especially linguistically diverse country anyway, and what diversity we have is due in large part to languages that are becoming obsolete. We don’t generally encourage our native English speakers to learn other languages, but we insist on immigrants learning English. We ignore how difficult English is (and sorry, but some of the most ardent supports of the EOM can barely compose a coherent sentence), and don’t even consider how much more difficult it is for adults to acquire new languages. (You know that statistic you cite about the age disparity in immigrants who speak English “very well”? Yeah, well, I guarantee that’s related to how easily children pick up new languages compared to adults.) I also think it’s interesting that you act purely as a lobbying group, and don’t actually do anything to help immigrants learn English, short of linking to the US English Foundation. And although this foundation supposedly sponsors English classes for immigrants, they also make a point of saying, in their mission statement, that language learning assistance should be “short-term and transitional,” and that one of their goals is “to raise public awareness about the importance of our common language.” Specifying in the mission statement that the immigrants should only be granted “short-term and transitional” language assistance raises plenty of red flags, and suggests that they don’t really understand how the whole language acquisition thing works. And I have to wonder, too, if your goal is simply to lobby for legislation that supports your dream of a magical English-Only wonderland, why don’t you try to pass laws that, say, mandate the availability of free English classes to immigrants? That would be far more helpful than simply banning Spanish driver’s license exams.

A: So what’s your point?

Q: My point is that you don’t really care about national unity. You don’t care if everyone lives in perfect harmony, you just want brown people to act less brown. I mean, hell, if you were even advocating for an artificial language to bridge the gap between different nationalities, I’d think it was a needlessly complex approach, but I’d believe you when you said you were just trying to help. But what you’re doing with this movement is creating the illusion of a problem which you then try to correct with a plan fundamentally rooted in racism. Do you really believe people emigrate to the US expecting to never have to learn the language? Of course not. But there aren’t many resources available to immigrants—and I’m not just referring to illegal immigrants either, but to all of them—and at any rate, if you seriously have a problem with people holding on to their native languages and cultures, then you are terrible. Objectively terrible. And the legislation you’re trying to push through won’t do anything but make things more difficult.

A: Yeah, well, what’s your solution?

Q: I don’t think we should have a national language at all, personally, but if it went to a vote and my side lost, I’d say that at the very least we should declare more than one. That’s not actually very unusual, you know—ever heard of Switzerland? Declare English, Spanish, and maybe French. Keep signage in multiple languages; offer licensing exams in multiple languages. Encourage our children to learn languages besides English, because being multilingual is great. I don’t think we get to demand that immigrants be bilingual without making an effort ourselves. People will always figure out a way to communicate—you don’t need to pass legislation demanding that we communicate in one way. Basically, don’t opt to limit our knowledge; opt to expand it. Offer free classes in Spanish and English. Work to preserve indigenous languages. Don’t be an asshole. It’s really quite simple.

A: Do you ever shut up?

Q: No, actually.

A: I barely talked at all in this interview.

Q: Of course you didn’t. This was really just a platform for me to pontificate. Thanks for playing, though!

A: …

The End.

You don’t get to be my trigger.

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Hello All!  I’m Ginger Rae, a dear friend of Pepper’s and Paprika’s.  I’m guest blogging about a recent experience that I felt was not only a great example of what women should look for in an abusive relationship, but also as encouragement that you can walk away from abusers.  First of all, let me start by providing a little self-history.  I’m a mid twenties college student studying Child Psychology.  I am  not a fantastic writer like Pepper or Paprika.  As a matter of fact, this post will most likely contain grammatical errors like nobody’s business, but hey.  My apologies in advance.

My boyfriend proposed to me after dating for 3 years.  I was madly in love with him and I couldn’t wait to get married.  While planning our wedding, our life derailed.  He found new friends that negatively influenced him.  He was fired from his steady job and found cocaine to help him pass his time.  Our life went from heaven to hell very quickly.  Realizing his problem with substance abuse and drug addiction, I tried everything to help him.  I tried family and friends, support groups, mentors…everyone.  He spiraled out of control, stealing money from my account and from his family to buy cocaine.  I remember one particular moment…mid-January in South Dakota and the propane heater was running on fumes from the empty propane tank.  I called to order a truck delivery for the house and that’s when I realized he had emptied out both of our accounts, leaving us with out heat and hot water in the middle of winter.  Enough was engouh.  I began to fight back against his addiction.   The harder I pushed for rehab, the harder he pushed me.

The relationship turned physical and I often found myself on the kitchen floor being punched in the face.  I’d cry from the encounter and so would he.  As I sat on the kitchen floor, holding my wounded face, he’d calm himself and kneel down beside me to hold me and tell me how sorry he was; how it would never happen again; how it was his addiction and not him.  He gave every excuse in the book…but the excuse he gave the most:  “If only you had done what I had said…”  It never failed…it was always my fault.  If I had only done the laundry.  If I had only cleaned the dishes.  If I had only fulfilled the duties of a good ‘wife.’  If I had only given him more money.  If only.  As an abuser, he worked to break me down.  He challenged himself to find new ways to scar me emotionally and mentally.  And then…then!…when I was at my lowest point, depressed and lost, he’d be there.  He’d hold me while I cried, wipe my tears, kiss my cheek, and tell me it was all going to be ‘OKAY’ because he was going to help me be better and shed my disgusting skin. It was an ugly cycle.  He’d beat me down, both literally and figuratively, then he’d be there to pick me up and pull me up by my bootstraps.  All too often, women are victims of this cycle.

People always say, “Why didn’t you just leave!?  Why didn’t you just get out!?”  No-no-no-no-no.  You don’t get to ask that.  It’s not that simple.  I used to be the one asking those questions, and now, I know the answers.  When this cycle began, it seemed to have appeared outta nowhere!  Ya, his sketch friends were iffy.  Ya, he was spending more and more time either drunk or high.  But those two factors were gradual.  It seemed like I woke up one morning and his fist was bouncing off my face.  The anger. The aggression.  The rage.  The furry.  All appeared from nowhere.  The first punch shocked me more than it hurt.  It was like a giant “WTF was that!” I didn’t even have time to think about what had happened, why, or if it would happen again.  There was no time for contemplation,  self-assessment, or understanding.  Life stops and existing begins.  It’s feels like your body is going through the motions of life but your mind is floating somewhere above your body, unable to comprehend the psychological abuse, the physical pain, the breaking down and building up, and primarily, the fact that you know everything that’s happening is so very very wrong.  This ‘floating’ phase can last years.  Mine did.  I don’t remember much about that time.  It’s all just a haze of me thinking I was worthless, being hit over and over again, and him telling me “he’d fix me.”

I finally broke through the fog when friends began to ask questions about my secret life.  There were only a few friends I ever let in.  Pepper was one of them.  But it wasn’t until another friend (we’ll call her Debbie), physically burst through my front door, packed my bags, and dragged me out of my house with me kicking and crying the whole way.  Even with all the abuse, I still didn’t want to leave.  Looking back, I think I wanted to stay because I was isolated and scared.  It was heart-wrenching when Debbie pulled me free of that dungeon.  Yet that moment, I realized I had two choices…to go back and continue ‘floating,’ or reclaim my mind and my body as my own and run from the hell I called home.  So, I say to you, women suffering from abuse, you can make that choice.  As scary and as isolating as it may seem, you have the choice to stop floating, return to earth, and reclaim yourself.  Nothing you have ever EVER done deserves abuse, be it physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual.  You are strong, intelligent, beautiful and empowering.

However, if this story sounds familiar and you’re still making excuses, like I was, listen to this.

I left that relationship a few years ago and I had spent time with a therapist recovering from all the abuse.  Some time after that relationship ended, I began dating again.  I’ve just recently became single (from a different non-abusive relationship) but I am certainly not interested in being in any kind of a committment. I want to take a year or two and just have fun, fuck around, and be me.  There are still triggers that remind me of those terrible days and one such trigger shot me in the face just weeks ago.   Recently, a ‘friend’ and I crossed the friendship line and entered into friends-with-benefits.  There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this…as long as both parties agree on the terms of the friendship and the benefits.  Welp….this ‘friend,’  we’ll call him Alan for the sake of the blog and privacy and such, soon became sticky and wanted more than a friendship. I do not want anything more than friendships and fuck buddies.  When I tried to explain to him that we could no longer have our friendship nor our benefits, he lost it.  His text messages served as that trigger.  He’s a text from our conversation:

—I had planned to meet with him after I finished classes for the day, but…

Alan: So, are you coming over after class?

Me: No, I have homework.  Sorry. I’m really busy.

Alan: Relationships work both ways, ya know.

Me: What? What are you talking about?

Alan: Forget it.  Sorry I bugged you.  It’s just I like you.  Sorry.  I’ll leave you alone…have a good summer.

Me: (I suspect he wanted me to chase him, but no…I don’t play stupid petty games like that.) I had planned on it but plans change.  Things came up.  I don’t want you to like me.  That’s a problem.

Alan: Ok Forget it.  You told me you like me.  Great.  Now you can’t even be friends.  Why can’t I like you?

Me: (No. I never told him I like him.  He proceeded to call me multiple times.) Sorry but I’m not going to answer your call.  I just don’t think it’s a good idea to hang out.  You like me and I just don’t want that.  I’ve made that clear.

Alan: Are you serious? We can just be friends.  What did I do? I fucked you like you wanted and now you can’t even hang out! It was that bad huh? I want to be friends at least.  How can you do this? What did I do? (And his aggression begins)

Me: You got sticky.  That’s what happened.  I want a friend w/benefits…not someone ‘clingy.’

Alan: Why are you being like this? How am I clinging? I just want to hang out is all.  I have given you space.  When did I get clingy? I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to.

Me: Please, stop apologizing.  It’s annoying.  I have work to do.  Have a good one.

Alan: Bye then…..(minutes later) You’re pretty mean.  When all I have done is be nice.  Good luck with summer classes and finishing school.  I guess sex was our last goodbye.

Me: (notice how the guilt trip starts) Lol…I’m not mean.  I just know what I want.  Hanging out is not what I want, but you can’t accept that.  I don’t want to hang out bc you like me and are taking things farther than what we agreed on.  So no, this is not me being mean.  This is me knowing myself and knowing when I’m vulnerable and knowing when to step back before I get in too deep and can’t get out.  So no…not mean.  Smart.

Alan:  I can’t believe you.

Me:  That’s unfortunate.

Alan: Dumb down. I still want to see you.  Why would you treat someone like this.  I thought we were friends.  Fine. Bye.

Me:  Dumb down? There’s nothing complex with what I said.  I’m busy today.  You’re insecurities are getting the best of you.

Alan:  Fine.  That’s not how you said it though.  Sorry.  I like you.  Friends is good.  Have a good one.  Fuck it.

Me: I can’t make you understand, but you should try. (Just a note…I never objected to being a friend to this guy.  In fact, we used to be friends.  Yet, I just got out of a long relationship (post-abusive relationship) and the last thing I wanted was a boyfriend.  But he couldn’t take that.)

Alan: I do (understand) and it sucks.  I still want to hang out even though you’re acting like a bitch.

Me: lol and why should I want to hang out after you call me a bitch?  Just because I know what I want and it’s not you, you call me a bitch?  Sorry, you don’t get that privilege.  I’m not being mean nor a bitch.  I’m making choices for myself and not for you.  Sorry you ‘like’ me…but I have a feeling your opinion will change after today.  I have priorities and you’re not one.  Ya, that’s harsh, but I’ve tried to be subtle and you didn’t get it.  I don’t have time for this today.  Seriously.  I have work to do.  I’m not going to text you back.  You’ll be fine.

Alan:  But baby! I didn’t mean it like that.  I just don’t know how I’ve been clingy.  I have given you space.  I’m not sure what you don’t like about me but can’t we just hang out?

—I never replied.  So there it was, the full and complete cycle, laid out like bacon in a frying pan.  The guilt trip, the name calling,  the apologizing, the ‘baby!.’  Most importantly, he refused to accept my decision and pressed the issue beyond annoyance.  This triggered all the memories I had with my abusive ex and in fact lead to nightmares regarding the past.

You do not have to tolerate men that don’t understand the meaning of ‘no.’  You do not have to tolerate a man who chooses to go against what you wish to satisfy himself.  You do not have to stay in that cycle.

My Cryptic Rant

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You know, I’m starting to think that the majority of people just don’t understand what free speech is. Tell someone to stop harassing you? You’re suppressing their speech. Deny someone the right to pontificate on one particular forum, after giving them numerous warnings about the kind of behavior you will and will not tolerate? You just kicked the first amendment right in the balls. Criticize someone for saying stupid shit with no supporting evidence? Oh, you clearly only support free speech if you agree with the arguments being presented.

Seriously now, freedom of speech does not equal freedom from criticism. You don’t get to make asinine, unsupported claims, and then bitch when someone points out that you’re being an idiot. Actually, by trying to shut those people down, you are attempting to suppress their free speech. All aboard the hypocrisy train!

And also, I mean, come on. So you’re not allowed to spew your bullshit on one forum. That doesn’t mean you can’t spew at all. The world is full of soap boxes; just find another, and make stupid comments from there. If you harass people on one forum, even going so far as to say that we should feel “threatened” by you and your big scary business major man brain, you have lost your right to speak on that forum. And if you are banned from a forum for being a harassing piece of shit, don’t up the ante by harassing the person who banned you through private messages.

Man, what an asshole.

The rest of you morons—stop making us repeat ourselves. We have stated the same facts over, and over, and over again, and still you’re bouncing up and down and yelling “I don’t understaaaaand.” Well then, you’re either an idiot, or you’re not listening, or both; either way, it is not our fucking problem. And don’t play devil’s advocate. It’s an insult to the people who actually give a shit about the proposal being disputed.

Stop being all, “the administration has an open door communication policy! Why didn’t you take advantage of it before?” We didn’t take advantage of it before because we didn’t know we needed to. These decisions were made behind closed doors; did you really expect us to magically intuit what was happening? We were quick to become involved once the information was made public. What more could you possibly expect?

If you don’t know what an ad hominem attack is, don’t accuse us of making them.

Don’t ask us to prove the value of the humanities to you. I, for one, refuse to do it—it should be a given, and if you honestly don’t believe they’re worth protecting, we’re never going to convince you to join our side anyway. I will say this, though: I’m seeing a troubling tendency to prioritize athletics over academics, and that’s a bunch of bullshit. I mean, personally, I think athletes are a drain on society—they contribute nothing to the world beyond entertainment, and they make an absurd amount of money to do so. Athletes are just entertainers with impressive bodies, and that’s fine—people like to be entertained, and performers naturally have the right to profit from that—but there is no way in hell they should make as much money as they do. Everyone has the right to live comfortably, including athletes and other performers, but they shouldn’t be making any more money than someone who works for, say, Greenpeace. So.

Colleges exist to educate people, and prioritizing athletics over academics is a disgusting maneuver (which shouldn’t need to be said, but there you are). And please, news reporters, represent our positions correctly. Please mention the exorbitant amount of money being funneled into the new NCAA program at the expense of the humanities. This isn’t a budget crisis—it’s completely manufactured, and is a clear attempt to crush the liberal arts further. Which violates our goddamn mission statement anyway.

Seriously you guys, this shit is fucking exhausting.

In Which Paprika Proposes Some Much-Needed Constitutional Ammendments

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Earlier today, I told one of my friends that, had I been born a rich white dude, I would probably be a complete ass. Add an unhealthy dose of privilege to my naturally uncompromising nature, and you have a born wannabe dictator. But I’m also OCD, so the type of regulations I would put in place would be…well. Basically, they would force the world to enable me in my dysfunction. And they would be largely language-based, because I have a love of words that borders on the fetishistic.

Take the word “subversive.” I propose that people who want to use this word be required to prove they can do so correctly, at which point they will receive a license allowing them to use it in every day speech. Misuse of the word will carry ramifications similar to those posed by a DUI conviction: offenders will be required to undergo corrective counseling and will have their licenses temporarily suspended, and repeated offenses will ultimately result in the permanent loss of the offender’s license. If, for example, a licensed citizen were to say “man, Howard Stern is totally subversive and stuff,” that person would have to take a class on the subject of Oh for the Fuck of Shit, Reinforcing Tired Stereotypes About Marginalized Groups is Not Fucking Subversive, So Shut the Hell Up Already.  Failure to complete this class successfully would end in the offender’s public castigation, and he would be immortalized for all eternity on the Wall of Non-Subversive Shame.

On a more serious note, I also propose a rule about What You Can Say to People In Re: Their Bodies, the answer to which is Basically Nothing. If someone asks you something body-related, fine (although you should be careful about what you say); if you have an understanding with someone about what you can and cannot say, that’s cool too. But otherwise, you need to shut the hell up. Because it doesn’t matter whether you’re complimenting or criticizing—either way, it is none of your damn business, and you have no idea how the person you’re bothering with your unsolicited opinion will react. As someone who has never dealt with full-on ED, but who does have basically constant food-related anxiety, I do not want to hear what you think about my body. I don’t want to hear that it’s heavier than yours (seriously gramma, stop with the bi-yearly weigh-ins); I don’t want to hear that it’s thin; I don’t want to hear that it’s totally great and healthy. It’s not that I don’t care (trust me, I do), it’s just that I don’t want to think about it. This should be common fucking courtesy, but it’s not, so here we all are.

Furthermore, I propose that Christopher Hitchens be silenced forever, on account of the fact that he is a flaming bag of flaccid cocks. What few interesting things he has to say can be—and have been—said by other, less assholey people. Allowing Christopher Hitchens to continue pontificating from his lectern of douche does the world no favors, and in my personal kingdom, he would be barred from doing so. Hitchens would be banned from all forms of communication, including interpretive dance, and anyone found parroting his relentlessly misogynistic views would have their freedom of speech suspended, and possibly permanently revoked. Hitchens’ charming cottage in Intellectualville would be passed on to Chris Hedges, who is very smart and actually deserves it.

Per Pepper’s suggestion, my dictator-self would also institute a licensing program for the word “female,” mandating that the word be used solely as a modifier unless the speaker is explicitly referring to any and all beings considered female. Unlike the regulations regarding the use of “subversive,” however, the repercussions would entail brief imprisonment (up to six months) for the first offense, with subsequent offenses resulting in increasingly longer imprisonments. This seemingly unfair punishment carries the benefit of silencing the majority of MRAs, who love to refer to “men” and “females,” suggesting that female humans are not noticeably different from, say, a female muskrat.

In my fantastical dictatorship, bombings against abortion clinics, and all similar offenses, would be prosecuted as domestic terrorism. Protesters would lose their right to agitate outside abortion clinics, because when they shout after women entering those clinics they are not protesting the government, they’re harassing women for obtaining a legal medical procedure. Anti-choice protesters would thus be relegated to screaming themselves hoarse outside actual government offices, and women could go on exercising their freedom to rid their bodies of what amounts to non-viable parasites.

Finally, all users who get to our blog with search terms like “horse fucking lady” and “facebook sluts” would be banned from reading our blog. The person who arrived here by way of the search term “y’all let them steal your tea,” however, would be given a nice hot cup of lavender earl grey.