Hi, I'm Melissa. I'm a broke college student with too much time on my hands. I'm addicted to the internet. I will speak my mind even if you don't really like it.
I know for a fact that I don’t have a very strong readership so I know that I won’t be missed, but nonetheless I will be participating in the SOPA blackout. I understand that the media companies want to protect copyrighted material, but censorship on the home front is not going to stop piracy overseas. The ramifications of passing a bill like this go far beyond simple copyright protection; it could mean the end of the internet as we know it. We cannot let this happen. Please take a moment to tell Congress to end piracy, not liberty.
I’ve seen a lot of debate on the internet lately regarding Amy Winehouse and whether her passing should be considered “tragic” or “newsworthy.” There were small clusters of people (myself included) who were genuinely saddened by her untimely death, and many others asserted that her demise was less tragic because of her addictions and sympathy wasn’t necessarily warranted. I made the mistake of reading the comments on mainstream media sites where the latter attitude was prominently displayed, and later found it on my own Facebook feed (still the bane of my existence). While the friend in question conceded my point that death is not a competition, he still held that she deserved no sympathy from him because she was an addict and the only reason that people were commenting en masse about her death is because they were unaware of the “real tragedies” going on around the world. I honestly do not understand this line of reasoning and found it appalling that he would say such a thing. Clearly I don’t know some of my friends as well as I think I do.
Mostly, I think the debate is rooted in the fact that Miss Winehouse had a very serious drug and alcohol problem. If it weren’t for that, she’d probably be hailed universally as a great artist gone too soon. But no, because she was an addict, everyone is divided and some continue to deride her even though she’s gone; this alone speaks to a painful lack of education about addiction and how it really works. I noted that many of those in Camp Not a Tragedy felt that her drug problem was a choice and she had no one else to blame but herself. Even more mind-boggling is that some of these people were recovering addicts themselves (apparently, its not uncommon for recovering addicts to feel a sense of superiority over those who still struggle with their demons). Sure, it was a choice in the beginning, but after that it becomes a disease that robs one of everything they have before ending their life. It isn’t something to point and laugh about, as the media and most of the world did to poor Amy.
My take on the matter is this: Death is tragic, whether the deceased was the innocent victim of a vicious attack or a troubled soul unable to control their inner demons. Death and tragedy have no hierarchy, and it’s foolish to try to categorize them in such a manner. As far as addiction is concerned, I encourage everyone who hasn’t experienced it firsthand to educate themselves. Maybe if enough people take the time to really understand addiction, the stigma could be removed.
Thank you. It’s sad that this even needs to be pointed out. Fuck you, rape culture.
(via eleeee)my peace of mind.
Generally speaking, I try to stay as far away from the abortion debate as humanly possible because it’s such a hot-button issue and I don’t want to get into the thick of it. Then something happened that led to my decision to add my two cents. I would like to preface this post by saying that while I personally disagree with abortion, I also believe that what a woman chooses to do with her body is her business and no one else’s.
Yesterday, my local newspaper ran this story about a dismembered fetus that was found in a trash bag near an abortion clinic. I got wind of this story when one of my relatives posted a link to it on his Facebook page (the bane of my existence, I tell you). I read over the article and noted several things: The bag was placed by a trash bin in the alley next to the clinic by a neighbor (who, as of this posting, could not be reached for comment); and the clinic itself is a target of frequent anti-choice demonstrations; the remains were found on, of all days, Good Friday; and finally, the authorities were not notified of the discovery until roughly two and a half hours after they were found.
Gathering all the information from the article, I formed a conclusion that speaks volumes about my own cynicism and lack of faith in humanity: The bag was planted in an effort to make the clinic look bad. For me personally, the setup seemed too perfect, and the medical examiner (again, as of this posting) has not confirmed the origin of the fetus. It looks like the comments section of this particular article has been disabled (which is probably a good thing; sensitive subjects like this tend to get nasty), so there is no means of gauging public opinion (being in an overwhelmingly Roman Catholic city would probably guarantee that the majority of comments would be anti-abortion).
However, the link posted on my relative’s page did generate some responses, one of which greatly angered me beyond all rational thought. In it, this person stated that he had heard stories of aborted fetuses being washed down a common drain and the water recycled, then he accused society of essentially eating its own. He went on to declare that the government must stop funding abortions and ended his comment with a plea to pray a rosary to end abortion.
I hate that I even have to make corrections to the above statements, but here it goes: The abortion clinic in question (as well as every legitimate abortion clinic in existence) is a licensed MEDICAL facility, and as such, are required to dispose of aborted fetuses as medical waste. One can’t just dispose of tissues or you know, a partially formed human being all willy-nilly; there are procedures that need to be followed, and I would think that an abortion clinic of all places would follow those protocols to a “t” so as not to be accused of using the heinous disposal practices put forth by anti-choice groups. The next point of contention is with the assertion that abortions are being funded by the government. A simple Google search will tell you that virtually no federal money can be used to fund abortion per the Hyde Amendment of 1977. So yeah, federal money cannot be and hasn’t been used to fund abortion for more than 30 years. Finally, we come to the plea to end abortion. I have a really good idea of how to end abortion (or at least reduce the number): Institute proper sex education for the youth, make contraception more widely available, and most importantly, STOP TRYING TO MAKE ABORTION ILLEGAL. Outlawing abortion is not going to make it go away, and the sooner people realize this, the sooner we can put our focus to more important matters, like our economy.
But I fear that will never happen.
Those who read my last blog post know that I chronicled my run-ins with Nice Guys™ who didn’t really know how to handle it when a woman (namely, me) wasn’t interested in them. This week, I’m going to talk about a Nice Guy™ who, like many Nice Guys™, is in total denial about his attitude problem. Even worse, I once considered him a friend.
All of this nonsense started when a former classmate found me on Facebook and sent me a friend request (on a side note, I’ve noticed that Facebook is increasingly becoming the bane of my existence, but I’ll save that for another post). I’ll admit that I was hesitant to add him to my friends list, so I let him languish in Facebook limbo for a while. It didn’t take long before I realized that adding him probably wasn’t such a good idea. Soon, my news feed was inundated with endless complaints about how women didn’t want to be in a relationship, or if they did, they only wanted to date assholes. For me personally, statements like this raised an enormous red flag. His complaints (or as he put it, his “feelings”) became more and more frequent, and at some point, he even started posting passive-aggressive status updates when people didn’t email him per his request. Through all of this, I resolved to not cause a stir and keep my mouth shut, as irritating as I found these posts.
The proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back came last week when he posted a video for Mudvayne’s “Never Enough” and dedicated it to women, along with a challenge to sit through the entire video. He didn’t dedicate it to a woman in particular, mind you, just women. Upon seeing this, I couldn’t keep quiet any longer. I prefaced a rather long and ranty comment with a statement that I had not planned on saying anything, but I had had enough of his bullshit. I pointed out that dedicating that video to women was a massive dick move and that he was making sweeping generalizations about women and how they treat men (if you have no idea what this song is about, Google the lyrics at your own risk). At this point, I couldn’t stop myself (ah, the joys of word vomit) and proceeded to tell him that he needed to stop complaining about not being in a relationship because it reeked of desperation and it was a major turn-off, as well as look at the type of girl he was going for and make sure they weren’t all the same (personality wise). I ended my diatribe by saying that introspection would do him a world of good and that he was free to delete me from his friends list, but he should keep in mind that I only said what I said because I didn’t want to see him turn into a bitter misogynist who only sees women as blow up dolls with pulses. As harsh as my words were, I maintain that I meant well.
As I expected, my post did not go over well. Looking back, his initial response seems to indicate that he didn’t even read the more verbose initial post, because he only quoted my addendum (stating that I didn’t want to see him turn into a bitter misogynist) and said that he thought it was too late; that he was already there. Frustrated that I wasn’t getting through, I accused him of using that statement as a cop-out and told him that it was his choice to either take a good hard look at himself to see what could be improved or to keep feeling sorry for himself and wallow in an endless cycle of disappointment. Later, I found this charming little update on my news feed, and I quote:
what to write about today… let me put on a fake smile now!!! when i write about how i feel people run their mouths but ill tell you one time…I DONT GIVE A FUCK!! im who i am, and ill do what the fuck i want to, im not who i was a year ago and i dont take anyones shit!! TIME TO CLEAN HOUSE!!
In addition to the above statement, I found that he had also scrubbed my comments from the link he posted, and when some of his other friends cheered him on, he took various subtle jabs at me such as saying I was an unimportant person. Aside from finding this attitude extremely childish, I can’t help but be amused that he felt the need to make a big show of letting his detractor(s) know that he didn’t care. To me, the fact that he even posted this at all indicates that he does care, or I would have been unceremoniously deleted from his page. This, however didn’t prevent me from adding a bitchy update of my own:
Burned a bridge last night. I should probably feel a lot worse than I do, but I’m not sorry at all. If I’m sorry for anything, I’m sorry that person can’t handle the truth.
Not five minutes after I posted that update, I was deleted. And it was a relief.
Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about past experiences with Nice Guys™ and the role they played in shaping my personality. Two men stick out in particular, and having to deal with these guys and their stupid bullshit taught me a lot.
We’ll start with the first one. I had just dropped out of college and started working in a local call center when I caught the attention of Nice Guy™ number one. He struck up a conversation with me one day (after I had been working there for a few months), and I replied, not wanting to be rude. This was not the best idea in the world, apparently. Soon after, he started trying to convince me to date him. I told him in so many words that he wasn’t really my type (he was at least 15 years my senior at the time and too short for my liking), but this only made him more persistent. It got to a point where I couldn’t be in the break room by myself. Finally, I got fed up when he implied that I should lower my standards so that we could date. I stopped speaking to him and avoided him at every opportunity. I won’t pretend that this was a particularly mature way to handle the situation, but I wasn’t assertive enough at that point to really tear him a new one. It should go without saying that he didn’t handle this well, and he proceeded to vilify me when speaking to other women at work. It never went beyond this, thankfully, but it was still an immense relief to me when I didn’t see him around work anymore (which may or may not have been the result of telling my supervisor what he had put me through when the sup asked me about it).
I crossed paths with Nice Guy™ number two while working in that same call center. It was pretty much the same thing, he struck up a conversation with me and I engaged because I didn’t want to be rude. This one also expressed interest, but I didn’t give him a chance to try to convince me to date him. Again, I gave the cold shoulder, and again, I realize that this wasn’t the most mature way to convey my disinterest, but my own actions paled in comparison to the way he reacted. He immediately went to his friends and talked a lot of trash (apparently) and they, in turn, made my life completely miserable by saying nasty things within earshot of me, and Nice Guy™ even made sure to say that he was going to have a female friend kick my ass for him so that I could hear him. The one thing that sticks out in my mind from all of this is the fact that he was in his mid-twenties at the time and he had described himself as “A man” when he was trying to sell himself as boyfriend material. In my mind, his actions proved that he was no better than a child when it came to maturity.
So what did all of this teach me? It taught me what signs to look for when dealing with a Nice Guy™. Sometimes I feel like I did something wrong or that my actions somehow provoked the given responses, but I’ve come to realize that their responses likely would not have been different even if I had addressed the situations in a more mature manner. So thanks, Nice Guys™. Without your respective hissy fits, I wouldn’t have known that I was dodging a couple of bullets.
One of my favorite things to do is peruse the lady-blogs on the internet, particularly Jezebel. Today, I came across a piece on this gem of a video that discusses Christian mens’ views on modesty. While the pastor giving the sermon used quite a bit of flowery language to get his point across, it can be summed up in one cruelly blunt sentence: “Ladies, stop dressing like whores because we men cannot control our urges.” I’m amazed that I sat through the entire video, and I’m still struggling to process what I’ve just heard. There were so many things wrong with that sermon that I don’t even know where to begin.
Well, let’s start with his assertion that men struggle with temptation everywhere they go. Fair enough, some men struggle with temptation wherever they go. However, it isn’t a woman’s responsibility to make sure that a man is not suffering from his uncontrollable lust, that’s his responsibility. Which brings me to my next point: the video is vile and insulting, not only to me because I’m a woman who is apparently the property of her father until marriage (at which point I become my prospective husband’s property), it’s also insulting to men because it reinforces the notion that they are base creatures who are slaves to their sinful desires. Gentlemen, if you’re not pissed off yet, you should be.
Another talking point with which I took issue was the pastor’s declaration that female friends who dress “inappropriately” were respected less because of their sartorial choices. Excuse me, what? I’m amazed that anyone would think nothing of going all Judger McJudgeypants on some poor woman (whom he considers a friend) based solely on an article of clothing she chose to wear that day. I probably shouldn’t be surprised, though. Here are my thoughts on the matter: True friendship does not require conditions, nor does respect for a person, man or woman. If someone feels it necessary to impose a condition for friendship or respect, he probably has no respect for others to begin with, nor is he a very good friend. Just sayin’.
For me, this entire sermon came across less like a lesson in modesty and Christian fellowship and more like a reinforcement of gender stereotypes and a very intimate look into some seriously deep-seated misogyny.