Pecan Pie

Social Anxiety from the South

Archive for the ‘equality’ Category

Ranty

Amazing what a bit of snark can do to the totally ridiculous habit of victim-shaming by the public at large.

If it seems stupid for you to be expected to do things in any other normal environment, then believe me, women also think it’s stupid for us to be expected to do it to avoid “inviting” the sting.

I reject your stupid patriarchal reality and substitute my own intelligence.

Angie's Anti-Theistic Thoughts

It is simply shocking that in the year 2012 people are still getting stung by bees, even when we all know perfectly well the best ways to avoid this. Clearly, people are being frivolous and uncareful in their personal protection and if they took this kind of threat a bit more seriously, maybe they wouldn’t hate themselves so badly after an attack. So, in the spirit of victim-shaming, let me share with you the best methods for avoiding being stung by a bee. Remember: if you are stung by a bee, you should immediately consult this list to discover what you did wrong. It is never the bee’s fault, always yours. With that in mind, let us begin.

  • Invest in the best locks and doors you can. Never enjoy a summer’s breeze. Having an unlocked or open window is like an invitation to a feisty bee to invade your home and puncture…

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Written by thelittlepecan

March 19, 2012 at 7:05 pm

Posted in equality

Friendship. Ur doin it rong.

Well, it finally happened.

Not because I am atheist.

Not because I am liberal.

Not because I am loud, provocative and offensive.

I lost a friend because I am poor.

It didn’t start out that way.  It started out as a typical Facebook debate over liberal and conservative ideals.  Welfare was brought up, as usually happens no matter what the original topic is, and I reminded my friend that I am a government assistance recipient.

It isn’t much.  My son receives Medicaid and SNAP (the new name for the federal food stamp program.)  We recently voluntarily gave up his WIC benefits because I felt we did not need them.

I take a lot of pride in the contents of my friends list.  I did one of those “who’s on your list” things about a year or so ago.  Most of my list is composed of people who are opposite of me in almost every respect.  Religion, politics, education, financial situation, sexual orientation, marital status, you name a demographic variable and my friends are different than me.

I think that’s awesome.

Back to the story.

This friend became upset because I did not choose to take him up on a job offer he presented to me several months ago.  If I remember correctly, this offer was presented as I was choosing to return to school to begin my graduate degree.  The decision had already been made, I had come to an agreement with my family about the support they would give to help me achieve this goal and I had already accepted a job on campus.  If I remember correctly…it’s entirely possible that I have the timeline wrong.  If I do, it means the offer came as I was graduating last summer (pretty sure that isn’t it) or it came after I had already begun classes, taken a job and would be unable to do something different.  Quitting in the middle of the semester is grossly irresponsible financially for a number of reasons.  Not the least of which is that any financial aid received gets all messed up and withdrawing with F’s or I’s doesn’t work the same way at the graduate level as it does as an undergraduate.

Not that any of this even matters.

There is a pervasive idea in this country that if you are poor, you are undeserving.  You must work your fingers to their bloody bone, never have anything nice, always be miserable until you climb up bruised and beaten to the next tiny rung on the social mobility ladder and you’ll be grateful about it whether or not you actually reach the next level.

Because I am poor, I must try and get a job any place I can, shun any chance at happiness or goal fulfillment, never buy anything new, hide my face away inside my home so that no one gets the wrong idea that my life might actually be good and never draw out of a system I have paid into consistently.

I should not use my talents to get the education I need to have the career I want if I am poor because it might mean 1/10000000 of 1% of the aid I receive might come from someone who does not think I should have it.

(Wonder how well that will work when I start demanding the money I pay in taxes only go to those in need and NOT fund war or farm subsidies or corporate welfare.)

I have a great life.  I have a wonderful family.  I am happy and fulfilled.  I work a job I love that provides me with a small salary, great experience and allows me to go to school at a significant discount.  It adds to my employment capital, AKA the “thud factor” on the curriculum vitae that I will provide to the school where I earn my PhD.

I’m angry that I feel like I need to explain myself.  I’m not doing anything wrong.  I’m sad that someone would choose to judge me and refuse my friendship over $300 per month that buys food and only food for my family.

When I was strung out, I hid away.  I never applied or received any assistance from the gov’t.  Thank Bob my family thought I deserved to survive or I’d probably be homeless and still strung out right now.  It wasn’t until I decided to go get those things I want for my life and had a family to support that I applied for assistance in the first place.  It wasn’t until I decided to make something of myself that I asked for help.

And this is why I know it isn’t about welfare fraud or welfare drug users or welfare queens, whatever the hell that even is.

Because I’m not any of those things, but I am still undeserving, I am still a leech on the system; I am still filthy liberal scum.

Guess what?

Friendship. Ur doin it rong.

Written by thelittlepecan

August 26, 2011 at 1:29 pm

A Word on Tolerance. Well, Several, Actually.

I fancy myself a pretty open-minded individual.  I like civil rights, I’m a big fan of free speech and I personally think the United States Constitution was a great start for securing those things for a budding nation.  When I’m studying groups I don’t understand or want to know more about, I think I have a great capacity to tolerate whatever crazy ideals the members of that group may have and I try very hard to honor their humanity without compromising my own.

But, there’s one thing I can’t stand, I won’t stand and certainly in my personal life I absolutely will not tolerate.  Intolerance.

Liberals get bagged as very wishy-washy when it comes to things like this.  I hear that right-wing stand-by “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything” often as the go-to for pointing out that open-minded tolerance of all types of views and opinions basically makes us spineless.

I think I may agree.

See, we’ve gotten so used to touting ourselves as lovers of everyone that when people start spewing hate all over the world, including our schools, even from those in charge of education, we sort of throw our hands up in the name of free speech.  Or go the opposite way and start threatening people or their families, which is pretty abhorrent behavior.

Then there’s this guy, Andrew Shirvell who used to work in the Michigan Attorney General’s office but was fired for conduct unbecoming an officer of the court.  Conduct in the form of an anti-gay blog.

I’m not advocating that we start policing folks for taking advantage of their Constitutional right to be a jackahole (similar to whack-a-mole) at all.  What I am advocating is that we stop allowing people the space in our personal lives to be hateful.

I used to really try to let everyone have a say on my social networking pages.  Then someone posted something really anti-GLBT.  I was mortified.  I was worried that my gay and lesbian friends would see that and think that I was okay with someone posting things like that on my page.  So, I started deleting.  Then I started deleting “friends” who could only drum up happy talk for other types that only believed like they do.  I am not the United States and my personal life is not a democracy.

Bishop Spong (who is one of the few religious heroes I have) has done amazing work changing minds and lives inside the Episcopal Church.  He recently wrote a sort of manifesto (and again, I’ll thank my friends in Religious Roundtable for the heads up on this one) basically refusing to engage in the debate of intolerance anymore.

“Life moves on. As the poet James Russell Lowell once put it more than a century ago: “New occasions teach new duties, Time makes ancient good uncouth.” I am ready now to claim the victory. I will from now on assume it and live into it. I am unwilling to argue about it or to discuss it as if there are two equally valid, competing positions any longer. The day for that mentality has simply gone forever.”

You can read it in its entirety here on Walking With Integrity.

So, yeah, I’m gonna do that, too.  There aren’t always two sides to every story.  Sometimes there’s just right…and then there’s wrong.  I feel confident, even arrogant, that I’m on the side of right, on the side of human rights, so yanno, if you don’t agree, feel free to not engage with me about it, either.  I won’t tolerate intolerance.  So.  There.

Written by thelittlepecan

November 18, 2010 at 8:45 am

Spongebob and Marx

I love Spongebob.  Who with a toddler doesn’t?  I know many adults who find it to be annoying and the animation to be less than stellar.  But, the content.

Today, it’s raining and the G-man and I are kicking it lazy style, when everyone’s favorite yellow sponge comes on and low and behold it’s Bikini Bottom’s own Bolshevik Revolution.

In “Squid on Strike,” Squidward decides that Krabs underpays and overworks.  He then convinces Spongebob to strike with him.  They picket the Krusty Krab (ew) and instead of rousing up the support from the community they expect, the succeed in drumming up tons of business for the miser Krab.

Beautiful social commentary on the apathy of the American public.  Amidst the screams of the pair about the fate of the lowly, united workers, the public lines up for their prepackaged fast food; unable to be denied their daily comforts.

For your viewing pleasure (or horrific withdraw) I give you “Squid on Strike.”

 

[livevideo id=7A8036ADCEE34978968936BAB3199DCF]

Written by thelittlepecan

November 17, 2010 at 12:01 am

Posted in equality

When in Rome?

Through one of the Muslim women in the religious debate group I moderate, I found this beautifully written article on CNN.com about a journalist who decides to don the niqab in order to better understand and, let’s face it, infiltrate the culture on which she is attempting to report. It is an inspiring piece about meeting others where they are instead of always expecting people outside of Western culture to come to us.

But, that’s sort of where my positivity expires. As a Western woman, I get social “breaks” that women in Africa, the Middle East, Central and East Asia rarely get. And, pardon me, but that’s still not enough. I’ve been exchanging dialogue with Muslim women on a regular basis for four years now. They are intelligent, sincere, and compassionate women. They have theologically sound arguments that often make me stop and say, “Hmm.” But, I’m still coming back to the fact that, no matter how much I try to understand another culture, religion or basic way of life, I cannot with any honesty say that I think mandating a woman to cover anything so that she can be treated as if she is not standing right in front of you is liberating. At all.

As a matter of fact, I find it demeaning and what’s more, I find it disheartening that, just like conservative  Christian women feel they are showing strength by submission, these Muslim women feel empowered by giving up one of the most empowering thing we possess; our facial expression.

When I was 21, my mother took me on a trip to Spain. This was pre-9/11, by just a couple of months and part of our tour included a day trip to Morocco. No one went out of their way to get me to cover my hair, or cover my skin, or anything. I wore a long skirt because I was aware it is Muslim dominated kingdom, but I really didn’t think all that much about it. I got a few wayward glances, but nothing too out of the ordinary for an American girl in a foreign country. I didn’t cover my hair, hell, I didn’t cover my arms.

Now, I suppose, given that the amount of knowledge and culture I now posses, greatly exceeds that which I had 10 years ago, I’d probably try to be more aware of my surroundings. I may cover my hair and arms…if doing so didn’t raise my internal body temperature by about a billiondy degrees.

I understand that in order to find common ground, sometimes we need to adapt to others rather than expecting them to adapt to us. Though, I wonder if Gena Somra at CNN could have better shown solidarity with her host country by donning the niqab during the first part of her trip and then removing it several days later to show solidarity to the women of Yemen in a small act that may reveal to them that, yes, they too can take control of their lives and for a small moment, show the men who would interacted with her that she was the same, covered or not. As for those who systematically ignored her while she was covered, well, they’d have done the same either way.

I think people ought to be able to do what they want. Mostly. If a woman wants to cover from head to toe, in a free society (or at least as free as we’ve come to be in our history) then I suppose that’s on her. But, in societies where this is the norm, expected or part of the religious based culture, freedom seems to be an idea without much reality. I appreciate Ms. Somra’s act of decorum and humility, but I think it falls flat in the face of women’s rights.

Written by thelittlepecan

November 8, 2010 at 9:41 pm

A Change is Gonna Come

Today, on the day following national Coming Out Day, I want to share something that doesn’t bemoan the state of society, but hopefully uplifts you and encourages you to keep fighting the good fight for equality.

This is a tribute to my mother.  A tribute to change.

Those who know me, know I was raised in the Southern Baptist church.  A conglomerate of conservative churches sharing a doctrine that refused to allow women in the ministry, believed (and still does, to my knowledge) that homosexual behaviors was against the will of god and abortion is wrong in most, if not all, instances, the SBC and our home church in particular was the center of our social activity when I was a child.  What most of you don’t know is the love I have of my Southern culture manifested itself in a pretty ugly manner.  I had Confederate flags all over my room and more than a couple of t-shirts.  I was adamant that teacher led prayer be allowed back into school.  When we staged a “protest” advocating such at my middle school, I remember my mom being proud that I had stood up for what I believed in and brushing past the in school suspension sentence I received.

My mother has always been a compassionate woman.  I never remember her being cruel to others, but I do know that my young conservative values came in part due to her.  When I began to talk about the struggles of my gay high school friends to my other, I think she was conflicted about how to respond.  She would never advocate violence, but she is a committed Christian and reconciling doctrine with your heart is often a difficult struggle.

Over the past several years, we have discussed religion, politics and social issues from time to time.  I have witnessed something so amazing…Over time, her heart has changed.  The love for others she has always exhibited personally has begun to be reflected in her vote and her voice.   I watch her stand up to friends and acquaintances she has had for years to spread the message of equality and compassion.

This weekend, her business purchased booth space at Atlanta Pride, at her recommendation.

This weekend, my mother donated to the cause of equality for the first time.

This day, my mother spoke excitedly about the Human Rights Campaign ball cap she received in appreciation for her donation and her plan to give it to one our dear friends, who is gay.

In 1996, the year I turned 16, Gallup found that 68% of the population opposed same-sex marriage, with 27% approving.

In 2010, 53% oppose same-sex marriage, with 44% approving.

My mom is one of those 44%.  In 2010, no matter your age, your race or your religious affiliation, you can be the change you wish to see!

It’s a scary thing to leave behind the values you’ve held your whole life.  Core values are one of the most difficult things to sway in the psyche.

You can do it.  We can all do it.  My mother just showed you how.  You just gotta put one foot in front of the other, look straight ahead and see the appreciation of our brothers and sisters waiting for us to walk tall on their behalf.

Written by thelittlepecan

October 12, 2010 at 3:07 pm

Posted in equality