Beware the Purpose of Outcry: A Brief Duck Dynasty Diatribe

So there was an outcry for the patriarch of Duck Dynasty after he was essentially accused of vilifying members of the LGBT community. The outcry was based on two separate motivations: religion and money.

Members of various faith communities indicated that he was speaking from Biblical foundations and should not be fired for that. I submit that some of those who gave voice were also investors or others who stand to lose money with the demise of the program (have you seen how much DD merch is in Walmart?!?).

I admit that I have not followed every detail of the story but it wasn’t until I caught an update from this morning’s “Good Morning America” that I heard more of the story.

Evidently said DD patriarch also had some insight into the lives of American Black folk too. Allegedly the African Americans in his area of Louisiana were happy before civil rights as they worked cotton and so forth. This was based on what he saw working in some of those same fields.

What he saw.

Did he ever have a conversation with any people of color who, based on the numbers of such individuals who marched, sat in at lunch counters, and were beaten, hosed, and burned out and who might have had a slightly different perspective?

This part of the story certainly did not get as much press as the portion that has been identified with conservative gay bashing.

Know that it should have.

I must say that I do not react to both comments with the same level of vehemence. The first causes me upset because it again raises the specter of Biblical application. Yes, there are passages that state it is an abomination for a man to be with a man (Leviticus 18:22) and a woman to be with a woman (Romans 1:26) in a sexual manner. However, no one has yet been able to answer my question about how Christians are to live out their faith with members of their communities who are LGBTQ and are also Christian or are seeking a Christian faith. Further, had the DD patriarch called out same sex adultery, would there have been such a reaction, such a polarization of the so-called left and right?

The second of his comments makes me sad and angry because of its ignorance. If he had said something like “The Black people I worked with said they were happy before all this civil rights business” is very different than saying the Black people he worked with looked happy because they sang as they worked and didn’t complain. Singing and silence were how we stayed alive! Seemingly happy workers were not harassed or killed. Maybe such treatment didn’t happen in his neighborhood; it happened in many other neighborhoods, but hey, I wasn’t there in his neighborhood and can’t tell you.

I would like to say that it will be nice when this blows over bit it won’t be. Bigotry, hatred, and separation will still be a major issue in the world. We must continue to call it out, not to cause more division but to bring it to light and to hopefully educate one another outside such a public forum.

Feelings Count. Even if You Disagree

I had an hour occasion to be with a certain group of people for a certain purpose once; let us say it was a church. I was under the impression that I and my kin could share our triumphs and pains there. In the end I found that we could not. It was probably because we were in a minority there.

Now do not be mistaken. There were various cultures of people in the congregation. We missed the comment when we first started there about it being a “multiethnic and multigenerational” congregation. Racial and cultural minorities were outliers and were, so we found out, expected to fall in and comply.

So when a comment came up that was an affront to every non-European in the room, we spoke up. We were the only ones to speak up. And in the end we left, saddened that we could not make a difference, but glad to have taken a stand.

Our feelings mattered and still do. We continue to fight oppression–regardless of the particular “ism” (racism, sexism, ageism, genderism, financialism, etc.).

Don’t settle. Don’t blend.

Concern for the Abuser

I think this happens more often than people realize, where the victim is more concerned about the abuser’s well-being and what others are going to think about said abuser than they are about themselves.
Rihanna’s reaction does not surprise me. What did surprise me was the number of women who said things like “Chris Brown is hot, I’d get with him. So what if he abused me a little?”
Now…tell me why we don’t need feminism.
~The Cheese~
Cross-Posted to:

Activism – You’re Not Doing It Wrong

The times in my life when I have gone bats**t crazy, off the walls, ranting with steam coming out of my ears, are those times when I have in many different ways tried to express myself calmly and nobody listened, and I finally lost it.
I really don’t like to lose it, so at this point, I’m kind of cranky all the time and I speak my mind from the get-go. I may not be yelling, but I’m not smiling or begging either.

Dances With Fat

DefendToday I posted a link to a piece to Facebook called “Privilege, Oppression, and Being Nice.”  In the piece she says:

When privileged people tell oppressed groups “I would listen to you, but you aren’t being very nice” they are asserting their power in a subtle, but dangerous way. They are victim blaming. They are trying to hide the fact that when others have “asked nicely,” they just ignored them. When they tell you it is up to you to convince them to treat you like a human being, they are revealing that they never thought of you as human to begin with.

There was an immediate backlash from some people on my Facebook page saying things like “If your goal is to change people’s minds, then attacking them doesn’t make sense. If your goal is to vent, then by all means vent. Just don’t expect it to change anyone’s…

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Republicans Make Pre-Haunting Scrooge Look Like a Generous Soul

republiphant stealing food

This post was originally a response to a post by Michael Hamar, a liberal blogger who lives in Norfolk, Virginia.

I make $18 an hour and sometimes I’m still food insecure. Because my credit was not up to par, the only kind of home I could purchase was a mobile home. I admit that I was naive and had no idea what the impact of a 15% mortgage would really be. I pay $650 a month in mortgage and $500 a month in lot rent. My pay, after taxes and insurance come out, is generally around $1800 a month. I am also trying to pay off student loans, the loan that I had to take out to cover the payday loans I had to take out when doing my unpaid nursing internship, utilities (which in winter sometimes come to around $200 a month) communications (which I got behind on, so I’m trying to catch up) auto insurance, and fuel costs. Then there’s food, and the idea of savings is a joke.
I have a broken furnace that I can’t afford to have fixed. I heat my home by running space heaters. This probably drives up my electricity costs and makes Xcel Energy very happy.
My point being that I make well over minimum wage, and I’m far from making it. The people in minimum wage jobs are really in a bad spot.
The Rethuglicans like to promote the idea that poor people are all lazy and if they weren’t lazy, they wouldn’t be poor. They don’t take into account the fact that the majority of poor people are working poor. Others are people who used to work but no longer can due to injuries or illness.
I’m not sure how much of an aberration I am, but I happen to be a person with major mental illness who has been able to work because my condition is fairly well controlled. Many people with mental illness can’t work.
These individuals make pre-haunting Scrooge look like a bastion of warm-heartedness and generosity.
Happy holidays to you and those you love.

~Cie~

Happy holidays to our team and our readers!

Tyra Banks Please Say No to Special K

I truly believe that Tyra’s heart is in the right place, and I think she’s a very cool person all around. However, Special Krap is anti positivity for larger bodies. Every year it comes out with the same bull-honkus about how we can lose six pounds in six weeks. If they’re so body positive, why are they telling us we need to lose six pounds?
No body bashing includes not bashing fat bodies.

Dances With Fat

DefendIt looks like Tyra Banks has joined Special K for their “Shhhhut Down Fat Talk” campaign.  I hope that she reconsiders, because there are a bunch of issues here.

I blogged about the many issues with using the term “fat talk” as a substitute for “negative body talk” , chief among them that saying that we shouldn’t call people fat suggests that being fat is such a terrible thing that we shouldn’t utter the word out loud.  Fat people are not Voldemort and making fat seem like the “physical descriptor that must not be named” actually further shames and stigmatizes people who are fat whether we call them/ourselves that or not. The trick is to end body shaming and negative body talk full stop – not to suggest that we should abandon the use a perfectly good physical descriptor because people have been allowed to heap stereotypes onto it.

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Competition Class Shape vs. Everyday Fitness

Here is the amazing Marianne Vos, who is in the kind of shape that most of us will never be in.
The pursuit of this kind of conditioning is impossible for the average person. People like Marianne devote large portions of their lives to their sport. The kind of training they do is above and beyond. They do not train to this level when they are not competing. Most people stop competing in most sports by the time they are forty.
There seems to be a push for everyone to be constantly toned and athletic to the degree of people who are in competitive sports–or at least we should all appear this way. This obsession is unrealistic and unhealthy.
The average person should not expect themselves to be in the kind of shape that a competition class athlete is.
While pursuing optimal health is an excellent goal, no-one should be shamed for not doing so. We all have different strengths and weaknesses and different interests.
Some people love to run. I’ll push myself to go a mile around the track three times a week in good weather. I kind of like it. Maybe some people stare at the fat man running. I don’t know, nor do I particularly care. Most of the other runners pass me. I’ve never had any of them say anything to me, which may be because they don’t want to challenge someone of my size. I’m six foot three and weigh somewhere around 330 pounds.
I run three times a week, possibly because I’ve been doing so since I was a kid. At this point in my life, I prefer hiking. When the weather’s good, I like to get out for a hike every weekend. I do go to the gym and do some strength training a couple of times a week, and I love working out in the pool. I love it more and more the older I get! I don’t mean to imply that water workouts are only for the elderly; they are for whoever enjoys them. But as we age, wear and tear on the joints tends to make a workout in water more appealing because it is a very low to non-impact exercise, depending on whether you are doing shallow water aerobics, swimming, or deep water aerobics.
Perhaps the point that I’m trying to make is this: I’m a reasonably active guy, who is reasonably good health. I do have GERD, which I have under control thanks to my good friend Prilosec and steering away from very spicy foods. These days I take my green chili mild.
Nevertheless, I’m still big. Granted, I do not diet obsessively–in fact, I don’t diet at all. Like everyone else here, I was a longtime yo-yo dieter. I now try to choose foods that are less processed and have a good nutrient profile, but I’m nowhere near obsessive about it. I admit to enjoying an organic cheeseburger for lunch once or twice a week. I’m fortunate that I live in an area where organic food is easy to obtain. Not everyone has this luxury.
We have the right to shame absolutely no-one for not being in competition-class athletic shape. We do not even have the right to shame the “stereotypical fatty” who sits in front of the TV chowing down on an entire bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken all by zirself and chasing it with a 2 liter Coke and a dozen Moon Pies for dessert. Shame does not work to make people skinny, it only works to make them miserable.
Exercise should be pleasant, not punitive. Life should be pleasant, not punitive. The one thing we all need to reduce is instances where we have been unkind to others. Some of us need a little sanctimoniousness reduction, some need a lot. Let’s all get started today!
Peace,
Adam
 
Cross-Posted To:

Homophobes are Idiots: Phil Robertson

Dannii-small

 

Dannii Minogue proudly shows her support for Stonewall’s anti-bullying campaign

This post is a reply to a post on The Daddy Files about the ridiculous remarks made by Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty, which parrot the ridiculous and unfounded arguments of other wing-nuts.

duck-dash-1a

 

Put the smackdown on him, Dashy! (Image found in this post)

I’m sure that according to this fool, only gays get AIDS, and that a heterosexual man who cheats on his wife is a better person than a monogamous gay man.

This fool has had his brains pecked out by ducks.
“That’s it, this marriage is over, and it’s all because of same sex marriage!”
Said no straight couple ever.
Why the hell anyone is worried about whether Joe Next Door is in love with a man, or Jane Down the Lane loves a woman is beyond me. I’m heterosexual. Some people are gay. Some people are bi. As long as all parties involved are consenting adults, who the hell cares?
There are cases of incestuous attraction (I’m not talking about parents raping children, I’m talking about siblings in an equitable relationship) but they are rare enough that we really don’t need to concern ourselves with them. Allowing gay marriage most assuredly does not lead to the allowing of incestuous marriage. That slippery slope does not exist.
Homosexuality is not a perversion, it is a legitimate sexual orientation. Most homosexual couples are not related to each other any more than most heterosexual couples are related to each other. Therefore, it is ridiculous and peculiar to assume that legalizing same sex marriage would lead to a marked rise in siblings wanting to bang each other. I cannot foresee, after some 45 years of being on this planet at the same time, me suddenly wanting to bang my brother because same sex marriage is legalized. I would be more likely to decide to have sex with an unrelated woman than sex with any man to whom I’m related, and I’m really not attracted to women.
As to homosexuality leading to bestiality, this premise is just as ridiculous. Most homosexuals do not want to have sex with animals any more than most heterosexuals do. When’s the last time you heard a gay person preaching that we should all have sex with animals, because, well, you know, them gays is big perverts that will schtoink anything?
The whole thing is ridiculous. Some people have really dirty minds.
The ones who should be ashamed are those who are bashing innocent people whose only “crime” is being attracted to people of the same sex.

Additional: Response to this dumbassery by Phil Robertson

“It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.”
Read more at http://wonkette.com/#kCx6Wg4ai5jeX2pE.99

On a purely visceral level, a woman’s vagina and anus would be more appealing to a heterosexual man. For a homosexual man, a man’s penis and anus are more appealing than a woman’s vagina and anus. Who the hell cares? Why do you care so much, Phil? How does it affect you in any way if Stan is having sex with William rather than Betty?

descartes

 

~Spectra~

Unpretty

me01202011e

Probably the only photo I will ever post of myself. Obviously, I don’t have the art of “selfies” down to a science, because I don’t tend to take a lot of them. For those of you that want to comment that I’m fat and old as a potential insult, let me save you the taxation of your tiny little brain. I’m fat and old. So what? If you have a problem with this, you need to think about why you’re so hell-bent on trying to make others feel bad just because they don’t fulfill your idea of beauty.

For those who would try to placate me by saying “oh, you’re not fat and old,” you need to think about why you find either of those descriptors to be problematic. They’re actually neutral.

Technically, I’m not old-old, I’m middle aged. I’ll be 49 in February.

But I am fat. There’s no denying that one. Even the skinny fun house mirror makes me look fat because I am fat!

So what?

This post is a response to a post on the GuySpeak blog.

There’s a song by TLC which speaks to how I feel about the whole beauty judgment. Who is anyone else to make me feel unpretty, which I have my whole life.
Facially speaking, if I were to be completely academic about it, I’m not hideous. I have a reasonably symmetrical face that’s pleasant enough in a non-descript sort of way. My teeth are capped because what’s underneath is a horrible mess, so I have a pleasant enough smile. I had liposuction to remove a hereditary double chin, because, heaven forbid anyone should have a double chin. That’s, like, worse than committing genocide in our thin-centric society.
Even with my tendency to body dysmorphic disorder, I stopped there. I realized that I was never going to be the kind of perfect, airbrushed beauty that everyone thinks women are supposed to be.
The point is, in a world where Number Twelve Looks Just Like You, I always thought of myself as hideously ugly, and really, I’m not. I’m just plain, and at this point I’m pissed at those who pushed me into wasting so many years thinking of myself as unpretty.

I wish I could tie you up in my shoes make you feel unpretty too
I was told I was beautiful but what does that mean to you?
Look into the mirror who’s inside there the one with the long hair
Same old me again today, yeah

My outsides are cool, my insides are blue
Every time I think I’m through it’s because of you
I’ve tried different ways but it’s all the same
At the end of the day I have myself to blame
I’m just trippin’

You can buy your hair if it won’t grow
You can fix your nose if he says so
You can buy all the make up that M.A.C. can make
But if you can look inside you, find out who am I too
Be in a position to make me feel so damn unpretty
Yeah, I feel pretty, oh so pretty. I feel pretty and witty and bright.

Never insecure until I met you, now I’m bein’ stupid
I used to be so cute to me, just a little bit skinny
Why do I look to all these things? To keep you happy
Maybe get rid of you and then I’ll get back to me, hey

My outsides are cool, my insides are blue
Every time I think I’m through it’s because of you
I’ve tried different ways but it’s all the same
At the end of the day I have myself to blame
People trippin’

You can buy your hair if it won’t grow
You can fix your nose if you say so
You can buy all the make up that M.A.C. can make
But if you can look inside you, find out who am I too
Be in a position to make me feel so damn unpretty

You can buy your hair if it won’t grow
You can fix your nose if he says so
You can buy all the make up that M.A.C. can make
But if you can look inside you, find out who am I too
Be in a position to make me feel so damn unpretty
I feel pretty, oh so pretty. I feel pretty and witty and bight, and I pity any girl who isn’t me tonight.
tonight ( oh ah oh, oh oh ah oh oh.)
tonight ( oh ah oh, oh oh ah oh oh.)
to-night!

You can buy your hair if it won’t grow
You can fix your nose if he says so
You can buy all the make up that M.A.C. can make
But if you can look inside you find out who am I too
Be in a position to make me feel so damn unpretty

I feel pretty and unpretty

SONGWRITERS
AUSTIN, DALLAS L / WATKINS, TIONNE TENESE

Lying Liars —

I used to be one of those people who went to the gym for 3+ hours at a time. I was also bulimic to varying degrees. I was miserable.
Nobody can maintain this sort of workout schedule if they have an actual job and a family. I was neglecting my son to try and get rid of my horrible, horrible baby weight. This, not the fact that I wasn’t able to maintain this kind of an exercise schedule, is what I should have been ashamed of.

Fierce, Freethinking Fatties

Weight LossFat HealthFat ScienceExerciseEating DisordersDickweedDiet Talk

Trigger warning: This post is all about weight loss research and the unhealthy lifestyle changes that weight loss gurus promote.

One thing I’ve always found amusing is how in order to be deemed an expert on weight loss (like Maria Kang), you must simply do one thing: lose weight. If you lose 100 pounds and have theDiet Help entrepreneurial spirit, you can open up shop on the internet and start dispensing advice like you’re Lucy from Peanuts.

That’s what the Capitalism is all about, right? If you’ve got the chops, you can make a living by offering goods or services that the public wants or needs. That’s all well and good, but what irritates me is that the fact that these self-ordained experts are assumed to be telling the truth about their lifestyle, regardless of the gaping holes in their story. Setting aside the fact that Kang promotes…

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