A Bitter Pill Indeed

I just came across a group that I didn’t even know existed up to this point: The Red Pill Movement. And the more I learned, the more horrified I became. I’m glad it mostly only exists within the confines of Reddit, because if it were a widespread, out there, active thing, it would be the face of the ugliest parts of humanity.

The Red Pill Movement, in essence, is a sexist social club for angry men who feel they’ve been victimized by women and society in general. The consensus seems to be that all women are the same. Apparently we all cheat, we delight in belittling men, we are manipulative, selfish, and cruel to the point of making a sport out of it. We claim to want nice guys who treat us decently, but really we want to be dominated, subjugated, and even (on the more extreme end of the movement) raped.

Huh.

I had no idea that I was supposed to be connected into some waspish man-hating hive mind. I also had no idea that, while hating men, I was also supposed to be longing for them to be even more “manly” toward me. I am also, so the theory goes, so sexually manipulative that I lead men around by the ear lobes, all while truly wanting them to tie me down and transport me back to the 1950’s.

Yeah, that makes sense.

It makes as much sense as believing that all women are inherently awful, and yet spending a great deal of time trying to figure out how to get them to sleep with you, as these Red Pillers do.

The thing that I find most amusing is that these people believe that women can have whomever they want, whereas for men, dating is a struggle, and a smorgasbord of rejection. If we can have whomever we want, why have so many of us suffered through the humiliation of internet dating along with our male counterparts? Why are so many of us lonely, just like our male counterparts?

I’ll tell you why. Life is hard. Love is hard to find. But the only way to find it is to have respect for others as well as respect for yourself. If you are allowing a hate forum like the Red Pill infect your belief system, you’re going to either attract people as damaged as you are, or you’ll be alone. Lead with love for people, not hate.

What truly sickens me is that there’s a subreddit in that group called Red Pill Women, and apparently they talk a lot about being more meek, offering up their vaginas whenever their men want it, and ways to submit to their man’s every desire. It’s the most self-loathing group of women that I’ve ever heard of.

I suspect this group mostly caters to young men who are in that socially awkward stage that all of us suffer through, combined with a mentally unstable group of guys with anger management issues, and the women who love them and don’t think they deserve better treatment. It’s all very sad, really.

Always surround yourself with people who celebrate your abilities and your amazing qualities. Interact with those who want to lift you up and encourage you, not treat you as if you were some mindless scum that shouldn’t think for yourself. And that’s advice not only for the Red Pill Women out there, but the men as well. You’re all being manipulated by the echo chamber of this bitter, misogynistic group. Break free. It can be done.

Red Pill

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Despicable Him

I’ve been binge watching Game of Thrones. It’s probably one of the best series I’ve ever seen, right up there with The Handmaid’s Tale, This is Us, Northern Exposure, and Six Feet Under. But at the end of each episode, I’m always left stunned with how despicable some human beings can be.

I try to comfort myself with the fact that this series is a work of fiction. (Obviously. I mean, there are dragons.) People can’t really be that horrible, can they?

But I know better. People can suck. I’ve seen it firsthand.

Whenever I have any doubt about the depths to which people can sink, all I have to do is remember a guy I knew decades ago, whom I’ll call John Smith for the purposes of this post. I never liked him. He gave off this selfish, hostile vibe, and he’d blatantly lie to get whatever it was he happened to want. That was bad enough, but then I learned something really horrible about him.

His wife was pregnant, and one day John Smith drives up to the house with this ratty little trailer that he proceeds to park in the back yard. Naturally, his wife wanted to know what was going on, since she hadn’t been consulted. Boy, did she ever find out.

It turns out that the trailer was there to house John Smith’s girlfriend, who also happened to be pregnant. Of course this came as quite a shock to the wife. I have no idea why she put up with such treatment, but the girlfriend lived there for many months, and then she had the baby before the wife had hers.

When the girlfriend had her baby, it was a boy. And John Smith decided to call the child John Smith Jr. Take that, wife!

A few weeks later, the wife had her baby. It, too, was a boy. Guess what John Smith named the child?

Yup. John Smith Jr.

This, to me, is proof positive that humans can be selfish, cruel, thoughtless, and evil. (I wonder, too, about the passivity of the women in this story, but that’s a perplexing tangent that I don’t have the energy to pursue at the moment, and I have no idea what either one had to do to survive. Putting up with this demon seems like way too high a price to pay, but that’s me.)

I hope neither John Smith Jr. carried on his father’s legacy in any way. They’d be adults now. I hope they realize that their father is a despicable, misogynistic, waste of human flesh. I also hope that they turned into decent, upstanding men in spite of that.

Awful

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Celebrating Women

Happy International Women’s Day!

Personally, I think women should be celebrated every day, not just on March 8th, but I figured this was the perfect opportunity to highlight some of the many blog posts I’ve written over the years on women’s issues. For a complete list, click on my “Feminism” category. You’ll discover that this is a subject that is near and dear to my heart.

I have shared one post, in particular, with various authorities in the City of Seattle, to no avail. Entitled The Cubic Yard Test, it highlights the city’s ridiculous and unnecessary test that pretty much excludes most women from ever being able to obtain a field work positions in Seattle.

I’ve participated in a few hashtag movements, including #WhyIDidntReport,   #MeToo and #ShoutYourAbortion.

I’ve spoken out about the thousands of indigenous women in this country that disappear without a trace in The Value of Human Life.

I’ve talked about the difficulty of being a woman in a male oriented job in Do a Search of Women and Drawbridges , Women of the Ship Canal , and I am NOT Made of Glass .

And I’ve shone a light on some of the absurdly antiquated misogynistic ideas that are held by our politicians in 10 Quotes That Should Piss Off Any Woman With Sense.

I’ve even lamented the insane practice of Corrective Rape.

One of the most powerful weapons that we have as women is the ability to effectively communicate. So I’ll continue to write about these issues. I hope you’ll continue to read these posts and spread the word.

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Support vs. Supremacy

Do you feel like an outcast? Do you feel abnormal? Do you have social anxiety? Are you lonely? Misunderstood? Having trouble fitting in? Do you have a health issue, or a fetish or an addiction? Can’t get a job? In a toxic relationship? Do you want help?

Odds are quite good that there’s a support group out there for you. Thank God for support groups. I highly recommend them. Having the camaraderie of like-minded people, who are working together toward self-improvement, is priceless.

A good support group will discuss the issue at hand. It will help individuals talk about their struggles with said issue, and also allow them to brainstorm possible solutions. It will celebrate triumphs and parse failures to redirect people toward a more positive path. The ultimate goal is to get you into a better headspace, and help you build a better life for yourself.

Self-improvement isn’t easy. It takes work. It requires commitment. There are no shortcuts.

Unfortunately, in this era of social media, it’s easy to think that there are shortcuts. For every support group out there, there’s an online forum for people who want to stay right in their toxic place. Want to remain an anorexic? There are plenty of people just like you who will be more than willing to encourage your march toward death. Don’t want to face your fear? You can simply hide in your house and interact with a wide network of people who are doing the exact same thing. Do you prefer to blame others rather than make changes yourself? You will always be able to find people who will join you in casting blame, spewing hatred, and inciting violence.

But how’s that working for you? Being allowed to vent your bile with people who agree with you might feel good at first, but has it solved your issue? Are you happier, healthier, more functional now than you were before? Or are you simply more angry?

Let’s take, for example, your basic Incel group. There are many reasons why one might be involuntarily celibate. If your self-esteem is poor, if you feel ugly or awkward or socially-inept, if you’re isolated or depressed, you could benefit from a group of others who are going through the same thing. You could learn from each other’s mistakes and successes. You could learn that you’re maybe a lot more normal than you first realized, and that would do wonders for your self-image. A group like that, with the goal of helping you find ways to form a healthy romantic relationship, would be ideal. Unfortunately that’s not what on-line Incel groups do.

Incel groups place the blame on others. It’s the fault of women that you’re not getting laid. Yeah. You’re just fine the way you are. Its them. They are shallow and only go for muscular, gorgeous men. Because of that, you are not getting the sex you’re entitled to. That attitude rapidly devolves into misogyny, and then you get people encouraging violence. They celebrate mass killers. They encourage rape and spousal abuse. They say they’d feel soooo much better if someone threw acid into women’s faces.

But the thing is, how does that solve your problem? Do you think that attitude or behavior is going to bring you love? Because I’m here to tell you that you could be the most gorgeous man on the planet, but I’m not going to find you attractive if you want to throw acid in my face. And I’m fairly certain I’m in the majority, there.

Incel groups are also based on a lot of false premises. Most women aren’t looking specifically for muscular men. In fact, a lot of us find extreme muscles kinda gross. We all have different tastes. The fact that many men, who are fat or not well endowed or deformed or have scars, still manage to find love, will tell you that most women aren’t as shallow as these Incel groups would like you to believe. We are looking for love, too. (In fact, the way these groups insult the physical attributes of women, and only prize the “gorgeous”,  “unattainable” ones, show that the members are the shallow ones, not the women.)

And, uh, by the way, no one is “entitled” to sex. Healthy sex is a mutually given gift that is shared between people who respect, admire, and love one another. Love. Not hate. Equality. Not superiority or entitlement.

Incel groups are not about support. They’re about male supremacy. That gets you nowhere. Believing others are inferior isn’t going to render you more popular with them.

If you really want to improve your life, look at the people you associate with. Are they trying to help you improve? Are they a positive force, or are they toxic? Are they encouraging anger or violence? That isn’t going to do you any good.

To be clear: groups that marinate in negativity become extremists, gangs, and/or terrorists. You can do better than that. Everyone has felt like an outcast at some point. I guarantee it. But I know there’s awesomeness within you. You just have to nurture it to make it grow.

Hate is the wrong path. Take the high road. It may take some effort to get up there, but in the end, you’ll be all the better for it. Onward and upward!

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The right group for you is out there. I promise.

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The Vancouver Women’s Library

Can I just say that I love Vancouver, Canada? It’s quirky. It’s diverse. The food is good, the people are friendly, and there is much to do and see. One of my favorite things about this city is that people aren’t afraid to be controversial and/or cutting edge.

What better place to start a women’s library? This library is run by women, for women, and it’s about women. All the books therein are written by women. It also hosts lots of interesting community events, such as an open mic night where you can display your talents, writing workshops, holistic hormonal health workshops, and a summer film series. If I lived up there, I’d be hanging out in this library all the time.

But even in Vancouver, this library sparks controversy. At their grand opening, protesters claimed that the library founders were feminists so radical that they were excluding Transgenders and sex workers. (For what it’s worth, I don’t get that sense from their catalog at all.) These protesters were aggressive and tried to block access to the library. That seems kind of self-defeating to me. In a world that’s as misogynistic as ours, any pro-women effort, whether it’s flawed or not, needs to be celebrated.

What I love most about this library is that it’s not “just” about feminism. It even goes beyond women in history. It also has a wide variety of women-authored fiction, poetry, and different points of view. It’s a safe place for women to have a voice in a world that so often seems to discount what we say. I’ve yet to visit this place, but it makes me very happy to know that it exists in the world.

Next time I go to Vancouver, I plan to stop by and donate a copy of my book. It’s not radical. It’s not controversial. But it was written by a woman who holds a non-traditional job, and the photographer was a woman, and the editor/designer/catalyst was a woman. And that, too, makes me proud.

library

You Have Been Warned

I’ve seen two things recently that have made my hair stand on end because they seem to be so prescient. We are living in terrifying times. And they’re all the more terrifying because these things have happened before.

The first thing I’m referring to is the Hulu series, the Handmaid’s Tale, which is based on the dystopian novel by Margaret Atwood. Here are some of the events that have taken place in the first 4 episodes. These things either sound very familiar at the moment or very possible:

  • Militarization.
  • Propaganda and catch phrases.
  • News is regulated.
  • People who protest are shot at.
  • People are forced to don particular clothing to identify their role in society.
  • Special rewards for the rich.
  • An atmosphere of divide and conquer.
  • Forced religion.
  • Doctors, professors, and homosexuals being executed by hanging them on a wall.
  • People encouraged to do violence by the ruling party.
  • Calling women sluts and whores.
  • Increased surveillance.
  • Book burnings.
  • Travel restrictions.
  • Martial law in response to terrorism, real or imagined.
  • Women’s credit card and bank accounts suspended.
  • Women fired from jobs.
  • Institutionalized misogyny.
  • Women’s rights over their own bodies prevented.
  • Rape by men in positions of power with no consequence.
  • Women being blamed for all of the above.

Chilling, isn’t it? Even more disturbing is a website that lists the events that occurred in the first 100 days of Fascist Germany. I read every single day. I actually learned quite a bit that makes me even more worried about our future. Here are some of the things that went on:

  • Attacks on the press.
  • Widespread belief in unsubstantiated conspiracies.
  • Prohibition of protests.
  • Public urged to report foreigners who are causing conflict.
  • Communists rounded up.
  • A big effort to crush resistance.
  • Politicians overstate successes.
  • Jew bashing doesn’t start until Day 40. (That surprised me.)
  • Hitler wants to arm all the people.
  • There as much more resistance than I thought. People were going into exile.
  • Artists and writers and homosexuals attacked.
  • Gay bars closed down.
  • Trade Unions banned.
  • Jews begin to be fired.
  • The first concentration camp, Dachau, is open by day 49 and starts receiving political prisoners by day 51.
  • The press warns that its freedoms are being diminished, and stresses the importance of relying on multiple sources to confirm the validity of information.
  • On Day 55 Goring states that persecution of a person based on ethnicity will not be tolerated. The next day the Nazi Party orders a nationwide boycott of Jewish merchants.
  • Hitler says the press are issuing “slanderous propaganda” about Germany. The Nazi party claims that the press is run by “international Jewry”.
  • Book burning.
  • Civil service workers who do not agree with the Nazis are dismissed.
  • Anti-semitic signs begin to appear everywhere.
  • The government begins identifying all non-Aryans, using early IBM computers.
  • Day 74, an opinion piece appears saying that actual Christian values are nothing like the values of the conservative Christians who have aligned themselves with the Nazi party.

Wake up, people! Wake up! Wake up!

handmaid's tale

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A Message to the World

Hello. I’m an American. Never in my life did I imagine that I would say this, but I am ashamed of the state of my country. I am embarrassed at the face we are currently showing to the world. This is not who we are.

Never again will I look at another country and assume that all its people agree with its government. Because I don’t. Never again will I think of the resident of another country as possessing a stereotypical characteristic based on that person’s place of birth. Because clearly, I no longer fit in here.

In recent months I’ve been seeing a great deal of ugliness. I’ve seen Americans spewing hate. I’ve seen selfishness and greed and intolerance. I’ve seen ignorance deified and intelligence vilified. I’ve seen science discounted and fantasy encouraged. I’ve seen violence. I’ve seen misogyny. I’ve seen fraud. I see more and more lies every day.

I am so sorry that things have gotten this way. I didn’t vote for Trump. I wouldn’t have approved any of his cabinet members or his choices for the Supreme Court. There is not a single thing that this man has done that I agree with. Not one.

I’m particularly mortified that his immigration policies are making so many people live in fear. This is not acceptable to me. I am a second generation American, and the vast majority of the people who live here are descended from immigrants. We have absolutely no right to do what we are currently doing.

We also have no right to treat the Native Americans the way that we do. If anyone should have moral currency with regard to how we treat the land here, it should be them. They should not be beaten down for wanting water that is safe to drink. Shame on us.

We, of all people, should not have the right to negatively impact women’s health at home or abroad. We should also appreciate the good work that other members of the United Nations do every single day. We should be good stewards of our environment, because what we do affects the entire planet.

I just want you to know that many Americans still believe in human rights, freedom, justice, the environment, freedom of speech, science, peace, and respect for all people who do good in this world. I want you to know that those of us who feel this way will not remain silent. We will speak out for the values that we all strive to maintain. Our voices might get drowned out by those in power, but please don’t stop listening for us. We are here.

Because what you’re seeing now is not who we are.

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