What gives?

May 13th, 2016

I am just not having a good time with advertisers lately. There’s always the chance that someone will lowball you or string you along without providing you with whatever price or product was agreed upon. lots of people just flake out, and I’m not always the best at keeping up with email. (The lack of posts isn’t because I have half a dozen toys/books ready to write a review about or anything…) But I recently went through my inbox to catch up on messages about reviews and potential advertising and thought I was doing a pretty good job as an adult.

This is where I realized, however, that the representative from Tacky Sex Toys had never actually come through with their side of the agreement in regards to my sex toy store profile/review. Since the communications had been positive, I figured it was an honest mistake. I, too, had not been on the ball. Except my return email bounced back and the site doesn’t even exist anymore? Yesterday, it was a directly, today’s it’s a 500 error.

I mean, the dine-and-dash doesn’t even make sense in this context because the post I put up simply links to nothing, so it’s not like they’re reaping the benefits.

But it gets more frustrating. Another representative from a different site wondered if I could naturally slip a link into an existing post. Listen, we all know how “natural” any sponsored content is most of the time. It was my bad for even accepting it after seeing the link text, which was as unnatural as it gets. But after slipping the link into the requested post, the rep decides this post isn’t suitable.

C’mon, now! I can’t do what you want and then have you back out. In the meantime, the link’s on my site while this person tries to figure out my crap. I don’t particularly like it. I haven’t been paid. I’m starting to realize while I let all those emails pile up to begin with. I’m wondering if this is just punishment for me agreeing to work with such shady people in the first place.

So it’s a bit my fault, sure, but i feel like the nature of the Internet means I deal with more flaky people and more fly-by-night companies than ever before, and I’m just kind of sick of it.

[edit]

As soon as I posted it, someone else followed up that they couldn’t pay for a sponsored post. Um, what? You already agreed that was fine?! Ugh.

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Dear Carla Alcorn

December 30th, 2014

Last night, I read about how your trans daughter killed herself. Then, I read any number of incorrect articles about how your “son,” your words and the media’s, accidentally died while taking a walk. Make no mistake, it was no accident. More correctly, it was suicide, but I am many who think that you and your husband had a direct influence on your daughter’s death.

I am sure this is a difficult time for you, whether or not you subscribe to the truth. But consider this.

Your daughter’s entire life was difficult for her.

She admits to spending a decade — 10 long years — uncomfortable in her own body. In her blog, she talks about feeling awash with relief upon discovering out what it means to be trans. She rushed to you, wanting to share in an intimate and vulnerable moment, and you shut her down. You told her that she was confused and going through a phase. You told her to consider your feelings and your social standing while never considering her own feelings, feelings that were surely tumultuous and more difficult than anything you, as a white, Christian, cisgendered woman have ever experience.

You tried to force her to abandon her true self. But I knew better. She knew better. Humans just can’t do that. You tried to force her to keep her wings still, and when she tried to fly, you clipped them. You cut her off from her freedom, her friends and any sort of social connection.

Why? Because you don’t understand? Or because you were afraid of how it would make your family look?

Carla, let me tell you how you look now.

You look hateful and spiteful. You look shallow. You look like a bad parent. You look, to some, like a fucking murderer. You look like a monster.

You look like someone whose denial is so strong that she’s painfully close to insanity.

You look like part of the problem, a problem that your daughter wrote and cried about in depth. A problem that ultimately took her life.

It is easy enough for me to forget that trans and homophobia exist with so many happy and smiling trans faces, but it’s dangerous to do so when those opinions still exist and they’re still killing people like Leelah.

I have no hope that you would ever see this, Carla. You’re probably hiding out because many people have attacked you after you continued to spew ignorance and hate after your daughter’s suicide. I know I should be a better person, but I cannot help but think this is karmic retribution for the way you attacked your daughter during her life and the way you’re somehow still managing to attack her in her death.

I couldn’t begin to understand how your daughter felt, Carla, but I can imagine how I would respond in your position in a parent. Hint: you failed your daughter.

I am privileged in many ways, with my skin color and sexual orientation and able body. In fact, we are privileged in the same ways as far as I know. Yet you drove your daughter to suicide and I will stand up for her rights, even in her death.

So, Mrs Alcorn, I apologize for your loss. It will hurt no matter how you look at it. But your pain is nothing like the pain you caused your daughter, and all of this could have been avoided if you were a better person. I have no doubt you will come to this realization. Perhaps on your death bed. Perhaps some night as you lie awake, tossing and turning, in your own comfortable bed.

And when you do, Carla Alcorn, I hope you pick up the torch your daughter has lit, cease your involvement as part of the problem and help to make the world a place where people like Leelah will want to live. After all, you owe Leelah her life.

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I’m So Glad I’m Not You

June 12th, 2014

This post isn’t going to be a positive one, and that’s okay.

Today, a Facebook friend is going through a very public breakup with her husband and father of her children.  He suddenly informed her that he was unhappy and leaving. She publicly posted the ended of their relationship.

Then, she discovered he has been in appropriately messaging another woman, and her good friend publicly tagged the husband, the woman who was participating in these messages and that woman’s fiance. So when said woman who may or may not be having an affair with her husband tried to contact my friend, my friend posted on Facebook about it as though it was shocking.

From the get-go, I looked at this and thought Facebook wasn’t the place to air her dirty laundry. Since then, she has received many comments lauding her for being strong and none that I’ve seen warning her away from such a public display. Especially because this isn’t the first time he has done this.s

Yes, it’s her right to have feelings and to answer with honesty the questions posed to her. However, she doesn’t have to do it in a public place.

It goes beyond there, however. The whole thing reminds me of the relationship drama I experienced fifteen years ago — when I was 13. It’s not something that an adult does. It’s petty and childish. It’s not about being healthy, moving on or learning lessons, and while people certainly need time to experience their grief and sadness when a relationship ends, they need not to wallow in it. And they need support from their friends not to do that.

It’s almost 5 in the morning and my thoughts are no longer as clear as I want them to be, but I know that I tried to go through my own divorce with my head held high and my Facebook posts positive.  At the end of the day, I didn’t want to have to go back and delete things that made me look immature or petty, and I sure as hell didn’t want to give my ex the benefit of seeing how torn up I was.

 

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If #NotAllMen Are “Bad,” Stop Acting Like You Are

May 27th, 2014

I have a problem with the #NotAllMen hashtag and misogynistic assholes. I plan to tackle these issues, perhaps not so succinctly, in this post.

First, #NotAllMen. It’s the trending topic that started when men wanted to point out that not all men are rapists. It’s true, according to numbers. According to numbers, however, it’s also true that most rapists are men and most victims are women.

The problem with #NotAllMen is it always comes across as “but I’m not a rapist.” Congratulations. Do you want a cookie? Not being a rapist isn’t good. It’s neutral. And you don’t get an award for being a human being who doesn’t hurt other human beings. This should be something we expect as society.

It’s the bare minimum you should be when it comes to not subscribing to sexism and rape culture. In fact, you can be “not a rapist” and absolutely be a douchebag.  Men don’t even disagree with this point. After discussing this with a guy friend, he said that he wants to point out that #NotAllMen are rapists or sexist because he isn’t, because he is personally offended to be associated with them. On the one hand, being repulsed by rapists or the idea that someone could think you are one is good. It shows a moral compass. On the other hand, that behavior brings the discussion back around to men. If there’s one thing that human rights advocates and feminists have been fighting to say, it’s not about you, men. It’s not about you. You are not the victim.

It’s also not about men who are victim to predatory women. Yes, this happens. Yes, it’s awful. No, this is not the forum to discuss it. Because that isn’t a result of system-wide hatred and objectification of men — but the idea that a man shouldn’t be so “weak” to become a woman’s victim is a result of misogyny.

And if pointing out that systematic hatred for and objectification of women hurts your feelings, I am okay with it if it also helps put an end to the societal constructs and beliefs that treat women as less than human. Because your hurt feelings don’t even fall on the scale of terror when rape and murder make that scale.  Think big picture. Do your hurt feelings pale in comparison to rape? I can live in a world where men are offended by this means women are safe.

Does defending yourself take attention away from the problem — a system that, at best, leaves women uncomfortable and worried about their safety for their entire lives? A system that, in reality, results in 1 in 8 women being a victim of rape in their lifetime and that fails to enact justice for rapists, some of whom are even able to continually harass their victims until their victims have to change their lives because they live in a world that does not protect them. Women live in a world where we are told to deal with harassment and abuse and then questioned as to what we did to cause it rather than a world that tells men not to harass or abuse women.

But maybe you’re not an abuser or a harasser. You’re a nice guy. At best, you’re #NotAllMen and you treat women as human beings and not objects. You are someone who everyone may describe as a nice guy. However, you’re still not helping to fix the problem. Ignoring the problem is the same as letting the problem persist.

What do I think men can and should do to help defeat rape culture?

  • Don’t advertise that you’re not a rapist. Simply be a decent human being whom others, especially women, can trust. You can build trust by not raping.
  • Don’t make rape/non-consent jokes. Call out inappropriate jokes whether it’s from your peers or a talk show host. Remember, in a room with 8 women, one of them is likely a victim or will be a victim. Your jokes could be triggering them again and again.
  • Skip catcalling women. Forgo objectification in general, whether it’s online, in person or during a discussion with your buddies.  Recognize that women are not there to look good for you. No one owes you that. Measure women on the merits of their character and skills, not their appearance. View women as complete human brings who do not just exist to get you something (sex, popularity, a cup of coffee).
  • Teach your sons not to rape. Do not teach your daughters that a certain aspect of dressing means they are “asking” for rape. Do not “slut shame” women for the way they dress, which has nothing to do with their sexual activity. Ditch the words “slut” and “whore.” You might even do away with “bitch.” On that note, do not judge women who are sexually active or celibate. Whether a woman chooses to have sex or not, she does not deserve to be a victim of harassment or rape.
  • Call out men who describe women who don’t want them as “bitches” or any other negative label. Explain to men that rejection is okay. Not every woman will be interested. This is a part of life. No one is entitled to another person’s affection or body. Let men know that they should leave women be who do not return their interest.
  • Engage in conversations about behavior that may actually contribute to rape culture even if that is not your intent. Let women express themselves without going on the defensive.

Because subtle versions of all these things mean you still subscribe to rape culture and misogynistic views. Even if you’re just mimicking things you’ve heard, you’re contributing to the problem. If you let other people around you do these things, you are actively part of rape culture. I know many men — and even women — who are so immersed in these things that they don’t realize how entrenched it is in society. Just because you don’t see it or even think about it doesn’t mean it’s not there.

The problem is that while most men don’t think about these things, haven’t even considered them, no woman is ever allowed to not think about them. It might not be all men who are a danger to women, but all men need to hear the message until all men are on board and, then, when a woman is victim of violence or harassment, we’ll know it was because of one unwell person. Not a person who was taught these things every day of his life and just treating women in a way that society taught him was acceptable.

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Get Nervous

May 3rd, 2013

 

I am an anxious person. I am less so than I was during my divorce. In fact, I may be the least anxious I’ve ever been in 2013, save for a period in 2010 when I may have just been in denial. Thus, I tend to overthink things. I analyze them, and I have a hard time putting things on the back burner. I don’t even think that I have a back burner, in fact. I have to deal with everything right now. Of course, things that can’t be dealt with until the future drive me crazy.

I’m going a little bit crazy in this odd sort of purgatory space that I seem to be operating in with the bartender. I know that I like him and he likes me. He’s said that he won’t do anything with anyone else as long as we are having sex, which we are. The same is true for me; although, I haven’t said as much. One could assume that about me pretty easily, however.

But nothing’s official, and I’m not even sure what’s in movement. I’m just not much of a go-with-the-flow sort of person. I like to control things, and I know he wants to move slowly, but the purgatory is weird. This is especially true because we don’t see each other quite as much as I’d like, but I don’t think it’s possible, given out current schedules and transportation issues, for us to see is more. I’d be happier in this position if I saw him two or three times a week or knew exactly when I’d see him next.

So the fact that he’s been a little quiet has me getting a little nervous. He tends to pull away when he’s stressed, and he’s doing this now. I know that giving him space is the best course of action, but it’s difficult for me to do so. In the interim, my mind races circles, wondering if his stress has anything to do with me or if he’s lying because I’ve done something and he’s pulling away.

I don’t necessarily think that any of these things are true but I worry that they could be because I am a nervous Nellie like that. And I’m more than a little cautious after he stopped talking to me for no good reason for several weeks. So I may be a bit worried that he will repeat or that he’s cooled off since then or that the suggestion that eventually I will want to label what we’re doing has scared him off, and maybe none of those thoughts have any merit

But what if they do?

 

**Pat Benatar because she’s awesome. I will punch you in the throat if you disagree.

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Why Dona Pisses Me Off

April 10th, 2012

Since I do a lot of shopping online, I like to know as much as I can to determine that I actually want to buy what I’m looking at. I want to know about size and fit and strength, and I do not want to have to send something back, because shipping is inconvenient and frequently expensive. However, System Jo seems to want to make it harder than ever to shop. “How?” you ask. I’ll tell you. They come out with an entire line of products that uses descriptions that any normal consumer would think refer to their scents but, no, these are the aphrodisiacs with which each product is infused:

  • acai
  • blue lotus
  • camu camu
  • goji berry
  • mangosteen
  • pomegranate

Never mind the fact that aphrodisiacs are a bunch of BS or that the company’s official statement is to refuse to describe the scents, because they want consumers to experience it for themselves. Boy, have we been doing that. None of the Dona products I’ve tried smell anything like the aphrodisiac and most of them have smelled down-right awful. I would have saved a lot of time and frustration if I had known that the pomegranate products smell nothing at all like pomegranate.

I find it difficult to believe that I am the only one who feels this way, either. It’s like System Jo is actually making it harder for consumers to find a product that suits them. However, if they had at least tried to describe scents, we’d have a much better idea about which product might suit our tastes, or smells as it were. Now, I’d pretty much have to assume all consumers should stay away from all of Dona’s products because they can’t be sure if their powerful smells will be agreeable or cause them headaches. Plus, $10 is a lot more than your$2.50 bottle of body wash from the local drug store, which you actually can smell before you buy.

Good news is, I have a bunch of Dona products that I don’t really like and I wouldn’t have to deal with, if it weren’t for this brilliant marketing move.

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Where Has All the Plan B Gone?

October 20th, 2011

I’d never heard of Jane Pratt or any of her work before the recent uprising over the article GET IT TOGETHER, GIRLS: Every Goddamn Pharmacy in New York is Out of Plan B! Every ONE!. I’m just young enough and located in an isolated enough location that (maga)zine culture never really flourished in my life. Sassy? Too alternative to be sold in my hometown and if it wasn’t Gothic Beauty or Revolver, I probably didn’t care.

So this article started popping in on my radar a few days ago and I was like “What is this website?” and furthermore “What are they talking about?” You see, the article itself is written so poorly that it’s really difficult to copy and paste it into your own post — to add commentary — in a way that makes sense. I didn’t actually read the article until avflox’s analysis on BlogHer appeared on my radar.

And all I can say now is “What the fuck?!”

Some people have posited that this article, which praises the virtues of Plan B over other birth control while admonishing women for buying so much Plan B that the entire city of New York has run out, is perhaps performance art. How can a young woman be so ignore, sheltered or naive? I guess they never read Overheard in New York which proves that the entire city is pretty much one french fry short of a happy meal. Not to worry rest of the world, ’cause the entire Internet proves you’re a bunch of morons.

But, really, even this is going too far. The writer in me is offended by the overuse of capitalization and the under-use of any sort of grammar but my humanity is offended at every other fucking part of this post. Who needs a God damned list of why birth control is too inconvenient to use? Who needs this convoluted B.S. that is full is misunderstanding — and shaming! — about our bodies! Cat literally describes the way that Plan B works as “THIS IS TOO, TOO TERRIFYING AND I REFUSE TO UNDERSTAND IT.” And how more classist can you get than by insisting that $50 is something every woman should be able to shell out multiple times per month for a non-prescription form of birth control? And, hey, if you are that woman who is shelling out all that money — it’s practically a new fall fragrance, you guys!!!!! — how’s your body doing with the super-dosage of hormones? I can’t imagine that feels good.

Perhaps the only thing worth reading in this article is Cat’s admission that there is clearly abuse of Plan B and if other women aren’t abusing it, then at least she is. Yes, Cat, maybe you are abusing Plan B because or poor planning skills or because, apparently, you’re a fucking moron. Darwin and I would both agree that you should keep using Plan B so that your genetic line ends with you.

Flaming aside, I cannot help but wonder what other factors are at work. Are pharmacies not providing (much) Plan B because of their “moral” compasses? Was there a bad bad or something else that temporarily slowed or halted production? Is October just a really busy fucking month? See what I did there?

We all saw what Cat did there. She made a fool of herself. She shared some seriously incorrect information to impressionable minds on the Internet and the folks over at xoJane? Didn’t do a God damned thing about it. If any of them have a Plan B for saving their reputation, now’s the time to enact it.

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