Monday Reads

6bedecaa0b54b1f638346ba2237669e2Good Morning!

I’m afraid if you’re looking for a cheery Monday morning set of reads that I am not going to fill your bill today.

I’m not sure if you’ve been following the story of  Zerlina Maxwell who suggested that we consider teaching men not to rape since we’ve got so many incidences of rape in so many places here and around the world.  This is a timely question given the awful Steubenville Rape Trial that is scheduled to start today in Ohio.  In many ways, the videos and tales from Steubenville show that rapists are more common than the psychopathic sexual predator that many want to conjure up to gloss over the problems we with have with rampant male entitlement. Get ready for this week in rape culture and apologia. It will be coming to media near you.

With the trial scheduled to start this week and after a judge refused to change the trial location, officials are again prepping for the glare of the media spotlight to descend on the town.

In a press conference last week, DeWine told reporters that additional charges may be brought against the other teenagers after this trial concludes. He estimated the case would last between three to four days.

DeWine also met with protesters lead by Jacqueline Hillyer of the Ohio chapter of the National Organization of Women, who called for the arrest of Nodianos and the other teens involved for failing to report a crime.

“The worst thing about the crime in Steubenville and it was a crime, it was not that it was so ugly and horrible and disgusting but that it was ordinary,” Hillyer said. “It happens all the time across the state, across the country in high schools and people don’t intervene.”

Rape is all too ordinary. So, to many of us, Maxwell asks a legitimate question.  She even braved Hannity–the patron saint of white male entitlement–to begin a conversation on why rape is so pervasive and how we might try telling boys that it’s not okay to rape girls instead of telling girls to be in a constant state of alert and fear.  She got way more than she bargained as a result.

As Maxwell, a rape survivor herself, told Salon on Friday, “I don’t think we need to be telling a rape survivor that statistics are not on your side. That’s insensitive.” But where she drew outrage was in her suggestion to Hannity that “I don’t think that we should be telling women anything. I think we should be telling men not to rape women and start the conversation there.” She told Hannity, “You’re talking about this as if it’s some faceless, nameless criminal, when a lot of times it’s someone you know and trust,” adding, “If you train men not to grow up to become rapists, you prevent rape.”

The mere notion that maybe men need to be involved in the conversation about sexual violence earned Maxwell instant disdain, anger – and a lot worse. The Blaze called her remarks “bizarre” and the Washington Times reported that she’d “argued against women arming themselves.” Deeper down on the Internet, the responses got even more scathing, from bloggers who said she’d been “oversimplifying” to the Twitter trolls who told her she ought to get raped. Thanks for the feedback, Internet dopes. Why would anybody think that you need some sensitivity training?

“I knew going in I was going to get a lot of pushback,” Maxwell says. “I didn’t think I would receive rape threats. I can’t even go on my Facebook page; it’s full of people wanting to rape me. It’s too triggering. The amount of insensitivity is shocking.”

As Maxwell tells Salon, her point to Hannity was not about self-defense; it was about how we look at the big picture. “Telling every woman to get a gun is not rape prevention,” she explains. “The reality is that we need to be changing how we train and teach young men. We need to teach them to see women as human beings and respect their bodily autonomy. We need to teach them about consent and to hold themselves accountable.” And when we do, things change. After Canada launched a “Don’t be that guy” consent awareness campaign in 2011, the sexual assault rate dropped for the first time in years — by 10 percent.

There’s a basic problem with the argument that Hannity made which is essentially a similar statement made by the victim’s father in 6a7c8f5ed4b0f6e18840db1ad7410edeSteubenville.  The father said

“I’ve tried to show my girl that not all men are like this, but only a despicable few,” and their mothers that ignore the truth that they gave birth to a monster”

while Hannity told Maxwell that “evil exists in the world”.  I don’t think mothers give birth to monsters.  I think most cultures teach men that women and children are prey and property and can be brought into control in whatever ways it takes.

One in three women will be raped in her life time. Rape is all too ordinary.

I suppose I should backstory this by letting you know that I’ve never been raped by a stranger but I sure as hell have had to fight off bosses and high school and college peers to varying degrees.  I am  not a rape survivor.  I’m a girl who got lucky many times.  I  was ‘volunteered’ by a Junior League neighbor when I was a junior in high school for a rape and violence line they were establishing in Omaha.  There were very few things like that at the time.  It’s now a major program staffed with professionals. The program resides with the local YWCA.  Back then, it was a few psychologists and concerned women.  They got volunteers where they could and trained us with what little they had.

Two years of answering that phone one night a week morphed me into an advocate for changing rape laws by the time I got to university. By that time, I fully understood the threat of date and acquaintance rape. We succeeded in getting most Nebraska police departments to take officers responding to rape out of the property crimes division and asked for trained, women police officers.  Sex crimes are now properly placed into the major crimes divisions.  We also got the law changed so that a women married to her rapist could be legally recognized a a victim.  We fought the clause that said two people had to witness the rape and testify in order for it to be ‘rape rape’.  We also worked to block a woman’s previous sexual history as well as things like where she was or what she was wearing or had been eating or drinking.

Then there were changes that had to be made by the hospital and police responses to rape victims too.  I remember when one of my friends got raped by a stranger on campus.  She told me she thought she couldn’t report it because she’d been smoking pot before she was ambushed in the library by this criminal. She was afraid no one would take her seriously.  I told her hell no and let’s call a police woman right now.  But, of all the times I went to speak about rape at high schools and sororities, it became apparent to me what is apparent in the numbers.  The majority of women are not raped by ski-masked, gun wielding strangers that could be taken care of with the careful aim of the right caliber of gun.  I learned that was a myth of the old west about 40 years ago.  I still want to strangle any one that says women make up rapes or ask for it.  It’s obvious there needs to be some education out there otherwise this crap would go away instead of showing up in US Senator debates and on major news shows.

No one would ever blame a man for being the victim of a burglary or hold up.  But, our rape culture gives many folks the idea that women are always at least partially to blame for the aggressive sexual behavior of men.  No matter how old we get, how dowdy we dress, or how careful we are about the locks on our doors or where we park, the fear and danger is there. It’s not about our behavior, it’s about theirs.

Think about what kinds of things we teach children not to do via school.  These things include not engaging in consensual sex, not stealing, not fighting, and a lot of other things.  Check out these statistics on sexual assault and tell me it’s not a pervasive problem in this country. Many children–of both sexes–are not even safe in their homes, churches, or social groups.  Anyway, I know that we have many rape survivors here whose stories are more compelling than anything I could write.  It’s just that it’s going to be a week of watching this trial and listening to the same old canards.  I’m prepackaging my hugz already because I’m aware that were going to hear rape apologia along with the facts of the case.626d36d1d019d0b75a8e5cef86f58b25

Anyway, if you want to see how cruel the world can be to victims of crime, here’s a look at some of Maxwell’s twitter stream via TPM.  It’s awful beyond words. That she’s a rape survivor makes it more than awful beyond words.

So, here’s a few other things that you might want to read this morning that are slightly less traumatizing.

This is a compelling article on punditry and presidential scandal by Robert Parry.

A favorite saying of Official Washington is that “the cover-up is worse than the crime.” But that presupposes you accurately understand what the crime was. And, in the case of the two major U.S. government scandals of the last third of the Twentieth Century – Watergate and Iran-Contra – that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Indeed, newly disclosed documents have put old evidence into a sharply different light and suggest that history has substantially miswritten the two scandals by failing to understand that they actually were sequels to earlier scandals that were far worse. Watergate and Iran-Contra were, in part at least, extensions of the original crimes, which involved dirty dealings to secure the immense power of the presidency.

There’s an amazing piece of cinema out on America’s Hunger Epidemic called ‘A Place at the Table’.  It couldn’t be more timely given the impact of the sequester on basic programs like WIC.  I watched it On Demand so I’m sure it’s probably there for you too if you have access to that or some other on-line movie source.

Table’s statistics are overwhelming, but they are intended to overwhelm. Whether it’s the 50 million Americans who are living in food-insecure households (which means they are struggling with hunger), or the fact that 1-out-of-2 kids in America will, at some time in their childhood, have to rely on federal assistance for food. This is happening in the richest country in the world, and the problem is only getting worse. Under President Reagan there were 20 million Americans living with food insecurity. We’re well over double that figure now.

Table’s stories will overwhelm too. Whether it’s the fifth grader who is so hungry that she envisions her teacher as a banana and her fellow students as apples, or the single mother of two who finally gets a fulltime job only to realize that she is no longer food stamp eligible, a loss of $3-per-day that puts her family into serious food insecurity. That means her kids no longer have breakfast or lunch at daycare, and her youngest is already developmentally disabled due to improper nutrition. Lest we think she’s living large off her new job, food stamp eligibility ended once her salary passed $23,000, a figure hardly sufficient to pay for rent, utilities, insurance and transport, let alone food. (Most Americans are surprised to learn that the parents of hungry children typically have fulltime jobs.) Those who think food stamps breed dependency are wrong. As a child, raised singly by my mom after my dad died early, I too depended on food stamps. For many of us, they are critical lifelines of support while we get back on our feet.

I’ve got one last suggestion for you to ponder and then I’m off to finish coffee and work with students.  How do you redefine etiquette in the Digital Age?

Some people are so rude. Really, who sends an e-mail or text message that just says “Thank you”? Who leaves a voice mail message when you don’t answer, rather than texting you? Who asks for a fact easily found on Google?

Don’t these people realize that they’re wasting your time?

Of course, some people might think me the rude one for not appreciating life’s little courtesies. But many social norms just don’t make sense to people drowning in digital communication.

So, what’s on your reading and blogging list today?

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56 Comments on “Monday Reads”

  1. hyperjoy says:

    All the men who make excuses for rape, blame the victim, are sympathetic to the rapist, etc., are all rapists themselves, if not in actual physical deed, then in attitude, which is just as bad. But mostly it’s in both attitude and physical deed.

  2. bostonboomer says:

    Thanks for this powerful, heartfelt post, Dak. As you know, I’ve been following the Zerlina Maxwell story too. I wish I could say I’ve been surprised by the violent reactions she got to her mild suggestions, but I’ve seen this happen too many times before. The fact that Josh Marshall finds it “extreme” just shows that he hasn’t been paying attention or that it hasn’t happened to someone he values before.

    You can be justifiably proud of your work as a young woman to change the way rape was treated in Nebraska. Some things have gotten better, but the attitudes of the public and even of some police officers, prosecutors, and judges, are so very difficult to change.

    I hadn’t heard of the documentary on hunger in America. Heartbreaking. I remember when hunger became a huge issue back in the 1960s, and LBJ responded with the “Great Society.” Slowly but surely, the politicians have killed off those valuable programs beginning with Reagan, and here we are back to those bad old days of children starving in the richest country on earth.

    • bostonboomer says:

      The piece on modern “courtesy” made me want to slit my wrists. Obviously, I’m too old fashioned to live any longer.

      • RalphB says:

        Seems to me modern “courtesy” is the lack of it. I’m too old for that now.

      • Allie says:

        Oh thank you for saying that. I couldn’t get past the part where the a-hole whined about his father’s voice mail messages…that he refused to listen to.

        And I’m so old I don’t use a cell phone except to carry in my car or call Mom from the grocery store. It’s off otherwise.

      • NW Luna says:

        I’m one of those people who will reply to emails with “Thank you.” I had no idea that was considered a waste of time. Well, excuuuuuuse me for acknowledging you.

        I hope that whiney kid runs into something much bigger than himself while typing his next text. And Dad, you’ve already cut that brat out of your will, right?

    • RalphB says:

      Frankly, I hope I never stop being shocked by the merciless attacks on someone like Zerlina, Even when you expect them, they sheer level of hate and rage is shocking.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Oh, I’m definitely shocked by the horrible things people do or say, just not surprised–if that makes sense.

        I’ve seen too much of it not to expect it. I know of female bloggers who have been driven off the internet into hiding–stalked and even physically attacked because they dared to say things that certain men didn’t like about sexual violence.

      • bostonboomer says:

        I think what makes this situation so horrible is it combines two topics that get people enraged–rape and guns. Frankly the gun people are probably the worst of the two.

  3. Pat Johnson says:

    When the definition of “rape” is being changed and challenged, the message takes on a whole new meaning within the culture. It is no longer the “stranger danger” we fear as much but the attitudes of a generation raised on the belief that it is “no big deal”.

    Listen to the lyrics of the hip hop culture long enough, or watch the videos who depict women as nothing more than willing objects, and the “respect” for women is lost in translation.

    Girls are taught at a very young age that the “sluttier” they look by way of fashion the easier it is to “attract” attention. Shopping in a clothing store for young girls where skimpy costumes are on display is a product of that p.r. campaign.

    Combine the those two messages and you come away with “boys will be boys” and “she asked for it” that become the anthem in the aftermath.

    Young kids take in those messages that filter across the screen, or are piped into their iPods as the “norm”. With the advent of so much technology that has created “social networks” the crime of rape has been reduced to those vicious comments you illustrate that puts on display the lack of empathy towards victims. No longer a crime but a “rite of passage”.

    It is the culture that diminishes the crime. “Popularity” is found in “sexting”. Respect for boundaries is ridiculed. Lust is encouraged for those whose emotional levels are still developing. Rape is equated with “love”. Excuses abound.

    The outside influences of pop culture have as much to do with the decline of the respect between the sexes when the “celebration” of male domination is the message these kids absorb day in and day out.

  4. mjames says:

    My brother, two years older than me, was the neighborhood Peeping Tom, taking other boys with him as he spied on the lovemaking of our neighbors nightly (one of those boys, a successful doctor, bragged to me a few years ago how much fun it was – I never spoke to him again) and then came home to describe to me (a kid) the various sex acts he had seen. He tried to rape me and my two younger sisters almost daily. He’d break down our doors, go through our belongings, jump on us, pin us down, and maul us for hours. Almost daily. I couldn’t even take a bath after he and his buddies tried to break in one time; after that, I limited myself to 5 minute showers. At 16, he broke into the home of a girl in my Sunday School class and tried to rape her, for which he was arrested (but not convicted, because, hey, she was just asking for it), though he was convicted of burglary.

    No one ever came to our aid. Never. Not our drunken useless father. Not our saint mother who spent 20 years slowly dying of cancer and never once came out of her shell of denial.

    He now appears to be a very successful businessman. I pity his four children. One of my sisters is close to catatonic (the one I raised myself until I went to college), the other severely disabled. I have PTSD, though it’s manageable. I’m finally, at age 68, moving beyond the rage – into profound sadness.

    I don’t know the causes of rape – feelings of massive impotence, I’d guess, at least in my brother’s case. Over-stimulation (we grew up on my father’s porn collection). Sociopathy. A general feeling that women don’t count. Entitlement. And permission (and denial – boys will be boys) from parents and society. I don’t see much has changed unfortunately.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      I am so sorry mjames. I’ve known quite a few women with similar stories, You’re a very brave woman. I hope you have found peace.

    • dakinikat says:

      Wow. That is an incredible story. I am so sorry you had to go through that. You must have the inner strength of a tiger!

    • ANonOMouse says:

      People of our generation were notorious for keeping horrendous family secrets. My father was an alcholic who gave me whippings that would probably be better characterized as beatings, He hit me so hard in the face, back and head that he knocked me unconscious on one occasion. Fortunately for me I spent most of my childhood in a collective family environment with aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins and I had a lot of protection. People who would actually tell my father to stop when he’d start to hit on me.

      I have 2 friends, both in the 60’s, who were literally prisoners in their own homes. One was sexually assualted by her father and brother for over 15 years, the other was raised by an aunt & uncle and the uncle and cousin sexually assualted her for over 10 years. Both of these women talk about putting furniture in front of their bedroom doors at night to keep their family members out. Both of them have said that the women in their lives, in these cases mother and aunt, were in denial. I know my mother was in serious denial concerning my fathers abuse of me and even his alcoholism until they were old. They’re both dead now and I look at them both much differently than I did when I was younger. I see my mother’s frail emotional nature and my father’s tormented life as an abused child turned alcoholic and abusing father. Time heals the wound, but the scars never go away.

      • bostonboomer says:

        As I’ve said before, I too grew up in a violent home. I’m grateful that I’ve been able to work through most of the anger–it probably never goes away completely–and that I now understand that my parents were also abused as children. It’s a cycle of violence that is so very difficult to break.

      • mjames says:

        How terrible for you. It’s all so sad.

    • bostonboomer says:

      I’m so terribly sorry for what you went through M.James. Just know that you’re not alone. Your experience was obviously very extreme and incredibly painful. You deserve all the credit in the world for courageously surviving and working on your own recovery.

      You didn’t deserve any of that. And you are not alone.

      • mjames says:

        Thanks to all of you. I really appreciate it. I can still hear my sister screaming for help (in vain). I never screamed. I know that many others ( several on this site) went through similar traumas. I also believe that the abuse didn’t just begin in my childhood home. As I say, most of the rage is gone, but trust is simply not possible. However, I am a high-functioning adult, capable of empathy, and I broke the cycle of violence for my daughter. So there’s that. And I am due to be a gramma before the month is out!

      • bostonboomer says:

        That’s wonderful! That grandchild will be so lucky to have you watching over him or her.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        A very lucky child.

    • NW Luna says:

      ((gentle hugs)) to you, mjames. What resilience you have! What a hideous childhood and young womanhood you endured. It is no longer happening. Yes the memories are there, but it is no longer happening now. May sadness flow into equanimity. May She Who Embodies Great Compassion manifest to you in many ways.

      • NW Luna says:

        mjames, how wonderful for your daughter to have such a strong and compassionate and wise mother. Happy grandmotherhood! A spring baby!

    • janicen says:

      I’m so sorry. I’m glad you were able to share your horror story. People need to be aware that it happens so much more often than it is reported.

    • HT says:

      So very true that “boys will be boys” crap. I was molested when I was 5 years old by a neighbour. When my parents finally found out about it they buried it. I recall “he’s a good boy, just a minor problem”. then when I was molested age 14 by the superintendent of our apartment building – bury the problem, don’t want to be evicted. when I was raped at 20 I realized that no one would do anything so it was never reported. That is why men continue to rape and paedophiles continue to do what they do – because of the system, and the reportage few report it, and even when they do, the victim is treated as if she/he asked for it by the police (although they are getting better) and the defense lawyers. It’s horrific,and quite frankly how any of us grow up into functioning adults is amazing proof of the female spirit. You have done marvelous things – you should be proud of yourself many times over. I know it’s difficult to overcome – really difficult. I tried to suicide three times before I finally figured out I was not the one at fault. I could learn to live with the pain, and like you I did. Mind you, if anyone hurt my daughter or son the way I was, I’d be in prison for the rest of my life. I had nightmares when they were small about men kidnapping and raping them.
      Anyone know why it is now referred to as sexual assault or molestation rather than rape?

  5. ANonOMouse says:

    One thing that isn’t mentioned or even discussed in connection with violence toward women is the ongoing attitude and actions of organized religions,(run almostly exclusively by men) that fail to teach men that women are to be respected and valued as autonomous humans who are not in anyway required to be subservient to or subjected to the rule or desires of daddy/husband/boss/priest/rabbi/pope.

    Many churches still hold women to an entirely different moral and ethical standards than men. The old saying “boys will be boys” which is a GIANT excuse for misbehavior, is as alive in the mind of many men today, as it was 60 years ago. To their minds women were created to serve man & procreate (Adam & Eve) and it is the behavior of women that creates the circumstances by which men cannot resist their inner drives (the bible is full of these stories) and that inability to resist the “evil temptress” or “wicked woman” leads to violent attacks, especially sexual attacks against women. It is either our way of dressing, walking, talking, thinking, acting. sleeping, bending, moving, eating, drinking, swimming, dancing, sitting, standing, etc,etc,etc, that is our downfall to their mind. Churches still teach/preach to women about the necessity of being chaste and guarded in our behavior to avoid arousing or enraging the poor, helpless, hapless, man. And sadly, too many women buy into the same mythology. The perpetrator is the problem, not the victim.

    • dakinikat says:

      After my experience with being stalked and harassed by churches and good church goers from daring to be a pro-choice republican woman in the 1980s, I would say that one of the main purposes of those organized religions is to empower and continue male entitlement and the patriarchy. I think the only reason that most of the “holy books” talk so much about the saintliness of the poor in suffering is to keep the slaves safely in their positions.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        “I think the only reason that most of the “holy books” talk so much about the saintliness of the poor in suffering is to keep the slaves safely in their positions.”

        Ditto that!!!

      • HT says:

        Bingo, absolutely. It’s exactly why all those disgraced “preachers” are back in the “preacher business” again. Swaggart, Baker you name em, they’re back! And the yahoos are sending them money hand over fist. Amazing that women buy into this schtick. I was raised in a high anglican family with a devout mother, but at one point I stamped my 12 year old size 5 (at the time) foot and said no way. These women not only stay, but they train their boys to be their fathers and their girl children to be submissive. Don’t understand it at all, particularly in the information age.

  6. RalphB says:

    The Worst Mistake in U.S. History — America Will Never Recover from Bush’s Great Foreign Policy Disaster

    This is one fine story of our imperial decline. It follows nicely Robert Parry’s piece about our checkered political past.

  7. bostonboomer says:

    Josh Marshall linked to this piece on guns in his post on Zerlina Maxwell. It’s amazing and expresses exactly how I feel about the gun culture.

    I have no problem with people hunting or wanting to keep guns in a rural area. But I don’t want to have to be exposed to guns when I go to a store or otherwise out in public. In the area I live in (urban) I don’t think people carrying guns around is a good idea at all. If I had kids I wouldn’t allow them to go to a home where guns were kept. And so on. People can love their guns, but don’t try to force me to like them.

    • NW Luna says:

      You speak for me, too.

    • Fannie says:

      Not 8 hours ago, a 3 year shot himself in the head…………….believe this was in Tenn. His mother and aunt came home from shopping (yup) at the mall, and the aunt went into bathroom, put her gun on counter, and forgot about it. The three year old sister’s went to draw water in tub for her brother, and she thought it was a play gun, and he shot himself, and the doctors said it was a miracle that he is going to survive. I think both parents, and the aunt, and gun maker should be held accountable.

      • dakinikat says:

        They should be both arrested for–at the very least–negligent homicide.

        Gun makers can’t be held accountable by law … our idiot congress and president dubya signed a law to that effect … only industry, person, or whatever totally free from product or any other kind of liability.

  8. Delphyne says:

    This is a really wonderful post, Kat – thank you.

    MJames, you are one strong woman – thank you for sharing your story and recovery. Same to you, Mouse. I always enjoy both of your comments and find you both very inspiring women.

  9. RalphB says:

    Breitbarted

    OK, I’m an evil person — and my scheming has paid off.

    On Friday I started hearing from friends about a fake story making the rounds about my allegedly filing for personal bankruptcy; I even got asked about the story by a reporter from Russian television, who was very embarrassed when I told him it was fake. But I decided not to post anything about it; instead, I wanted to wait and see which right-wing media outlets would fall for the hoax.

    And Breitbart.com came through!

    Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go give a lavishly paid speech to Friends of Hamas.

    Krugman has a little fun here. :-)

  10. bostonboomer says:

    Yesterday I sent out some nasty tweets about Bill Keller’s op-ed about Bradley Manning and Wikileaks. The arrogant SOB actually replied to one.

    Boston Boomer @BostonBoomer
    Bill Keller: “wikileaks fiesta” ow.ly/iIb9J Is that supposed to be snark?</

    Bill Keller
    @nytkelier
    @BostonBoomer Yes. My snarkiness is one my best traits.
    1:30am · 11 Mar 13 · web

    My reply:

    Boston Boomer @BostonBoomer
    RT @nytkelier: @BostonBoomer Yes. My snarkiness is one my best traits. // Perhaps, with all those other disastrous traits for comparison.

  11. dakinikat says:

    NYT Opinion ‏@nytopinion

    Editorial: The revised Keystone oil pipeline plan is still a threat to the climate & Obama should not approve it. http://nyti.ms/16kXSG9

    • RalphB says:

      For the 5 millionth time, he explains again. Krugman’s a real trooper!

      • ANonOMouse says:

        You are so right….To bad he’s unable to get through the wall of resistance to common sense solutions that has been thrown up to protect the rich. I read several stories this morning about the money hoarding going on by the richest American’s and Corporations. CEO’s who make 50x more than their average worker. GE parking money in other countries, Apple hoarding profits and evading taxes by parking money in other countries. rich individuals hiring clever accountants to avoid taxes using many of the same tax havens that Corporations use, It’s totally out of control. Our Pols should be talking about wealth & wage disparity and how to stop the elite from squeezing the economy to death, but instead they’re talking about how to begin dismantling the safety nets. I’m just totally bummed out by the drone of people who are jumping on the austerity for the have nots bandwagon.

      • RalphB says:

        Me to Mouse, me to.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/11/general-electric-taxes_n_2852094.html

        It just ticks me off that GE, Microsoft, Apple and Google are hoarding money in offshore banks to avoid paying back into the society that created their success. The glorification of the CEO’s or founders of these companies makes me want to puke. Everytime I look at Bill Gates and hear about his “plan” to give most of his money away at his death, or Melinda Gates aid to Africa work, I won’t to scream “horseshit!!!!!” at the top of my lungs. The people who run these companies spend more money on daily incidentals than most American’s make in a year. The MSM and their PR machines have worked relentless to indoctrinate us to see these people as Mini-messiahs, water-walkers, miracle workers, whose accumulation of vast storehouses of wealth is “admirable” and is the “american dream”. Again, horseshit!!!! The American Dream for most us is about surviving, not showering ourselves with more than we could use in 20 lifetimes. We just want to be able to afford, food, shelter, healthcare.

        The people who hoard money and indulge themselves with every accrutement while watching the people who made them rich sink further and further into hoplesness and helplessness, are sick, selfish, demented jerks and when/if the American people ever wake up from the “rich is good” stupor, somebody is going to get their ass kicked and it ain’t gonna be us.

  12. NW Luna says:

    In my early and mid-twenties I was active in a women’s self-defense and advocacy group, an offshoot of the women’s karate school I attended. We taught workshops on how to break out of common holds, how to punch & kick, how to turn a pushed fall into a rolling fall and come back up swinging & kicking.

    We also talked about rape myths and statistics (at that time 1:4 women were raped). That rape risk was less often from strangers and most often from acquaintances or relatives.
    That women who reacted with fear were less likely to fight their attacker.
    Those who reacted with anger tended to fight. and that those women who fought their attackers were more likely (never certain) to get away unraped.

    Women who would fight back? Unheard of then.
    “But what if you get hurt?” was always asked.
    “Hurt? What’s a few bruises or sprains compared with rape?” was our (polite form) reply. Clearly many people thought that rape wasn’t as bad as “getting hurt.”
    “But what if he pulls your hair?” asked one man, clearly incredulous that mere females would dare(!) to fight back.
    “So my hair gets pulled. Meanwhile I’m punching & kicking and twisting out of holds.”
    “What if he gets mad?” Apparently men’s anger is tremendously scary and powerful, and women should just crumble before it. Women’s anger, however, is unseemly and unfeminine.
    Py Bateman, a black belt in the Seattle area who started this program, titled her women’s self-defense book “Fear Into Anger.”

    Ah, angry women! Worse even than angry black men, who are at least men.
    The righteous anger of women is indeed powerful, and disruptive.
    As long as there are bullies and sadists who take it out on women, may there be many, many, righteously angry women.

    • HT says:

      That is hilarious that the worry was about pulling hair. In my self defense class th advice was to either go along with it while memorizing every detail about him, or go for the eyes and the scrotum, prefereably with your house keys for the eyes and a hard grip for the scrotum. If you blind him or bust a testicle, he can’t run after you.

  13. I am always amazed at the strong women here, and how we all have shared some very same experiences. Hugs to you all, I’ve got a funny thread coming up tonight, so see you then.