Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Prostitution, Justin Bieber, the List Goes On

Lady Gaga, lax gun laws, drugs moving over the border faster than ever, or whomever or whatever else you don't like - all have something in common. There is a supply and demand curve, much as with any consumable or commercial good or service out there. This is an inevitable part of life. Whenever I hear someone going on about some shitty food or shitty music or whatever terrible fly has fallen in their ointment, I want to remind them of this.

You see, there will be nothing on the shelves in a store no one shops in. If you don't like tomatoes, that doesn't mean they won't be sold. But if everyone were disgusted by the sight of a tomato, you'd be hard pressed to get your hands on one. Notice how many novelty mustache-on-a-sticks you've seen in Facebook photos lately? Yeah, that's supply and demand at work. Ever see those ten years ago? Exactly.

Don't get all up in arms because you hate Taylor Swift's cloying voice belting out some insane lyric- change the channel! Pass by a store selling kinky sex items and get worried for the fate of children who might have looked up from their electronic game in the backseat for two seconds and caught site of a mannequin wearing a teddy? Don't sweat it, just drive up to your church and pray for them.

There is a force at work greater than all your worry and greater than any of us. It is vital that we understand the fundamental basics of this so that we can free ourselves. I know, you think its God. Its not. It is money. If it makes you feel any better, we mention him on the money. He is there as it changes hands to pay for sex.

Prostitutes would not be selling their ass if no one was buying. We sell what people will buy. The force of money is great enough to burn a hole in your pocket and convince fugitive swindlers to commit suicide. We are pushed and pulled to the brink and back by the number of bills with which we can buy the comforts of life.

The worst part is that we just don't seem to get it. Until you make something monetarily worthwhile, no one will do it. Want a greener earth? Make plastic unbelievably expensive and start packaging in sustainable, recyclable, compostable packaging. It will cost less, so everyone will seamlessly move over to that. You don't have to ruin the economy to save the environment. And you don't have to get rid of the 2nd amendment in order to stop senseless mass murder. Who needs an AR-15 in their house? You can't load, aim and shoot it in time. A 9mm will do wonders, a .45 is even better. Make assault style weapons ridiculously expensive and make key components cost even more. Yes, there will always be a black market. But just think about all the ways you can use supply and demand to create the world you want AND make more money. Which creates more jobs! Republicans, I'm looking at you!

You really want to change the world? Make a list. Include everything you wish wasn't part of your existence. Figure out NOT who sells it, but who buys it. Change the supply and demand curve, keeping in mind that you cannot change demand. We sell what people buy. Ever wonder why companies spend billions figuring out what people want? Yeah. Good luck competing with that.


Discrimination is the worst. A conscious action to treat someone differently, to exclude them, to make them less of a part of the whole, to remove them from their rights or dignity. Simply due to the difference there is between you and them. Maybe because they are a different gender and you don't like the change. Maybe they are a different skin color, and you have ideas about how that means they will act, work, behave. Maybe they speak differently, come from somewhere other than where you are and you are just so uncomfortable you cannot deal.

Maybe, though, because even though they look just like you, speak just like you, but they don't have the same exact circumstance, you feel threatened. You feel that you need your voice to be heard loudly. That they are a threat to your needs. So you ostracize them.

As someone discriminated against, you think that you are unique, that you are special, protected. You think that by belonging to a group of any kind, that you at least face this discrimination together. It is no longer you against the world- it is all of us versus all of them. But there is infighting in all groups. If you have a group, you have a clique within. There is no escape from this simple truth. Ask any middle schooler.

This is especially true for the gay community.

You see, the world as a whole is moving towards embracing the idea that not all people are born the exact same. Thousands of years of human history and we are finally coming to the conclusion that it is not a fad or a trend, people are really attracted to other people, just not always other genders. Sometimes they are attracted to both genders. We don't know everything and that scares some people. Their worldview depends on the knowledge that "right" and "wrong" can be applied to anything and therefore they can decide how to feel about it. Usually based on an ancient text. Because thinking logically for themselves is just too much.

But even within the gay community, there is a divide.

The world is coming to a new dawn. The acceptance is coming, albeit slowly, like any big change. The world is trying to say "it's ok to be gay".  The unspoken second half of that is "As long as you are male."

Lesbians are still a sore point. People of all orientations feel threatened by lesbians. They are somehow not ok. They represent something fearful and dangerous to us. Here are the people that have the power of reproduction in their hands and yet they are choosing not to be with a man? Or GOD FORBID! raising a child with another woman?!?! What will the children think? Oh the humanity! Gay men often feel that they have their own fight to win, that things are 'worse' for them, so they don't have time to fight for lesbians.

History has not let go of the woman. Its tight talons are deep into the female flesh, telling women what is right and wrong for them. Got raped? Probably because you had more than one sexual partner and you are a slut! Men treating you poorly at work? Dress more conservatively. Dress sexier. Work harder. Don't show the men up. Don't try too hard. Less makeup. More makeup. Jewelry. Anything other than- wow, that is total and utter bullshit. Or- How dare that man force himself on you- what can I do to help? Let's prosecute him. Let's make men responsible for their own actions and not women for 'not tempting them'....

Refreshing, huh? It IS nice when you can feel the breeze without your burqa on...

Gays have fought hard and are still fighting. There are anti-sodomy laws still on the books in 13 states, even though it was ruled constitutionally illegal by the Supreme Court over ten years ago to enforce any of those laws. The states are enforcing laws just to prove the point that they don't agree. I can see how gay men are specifically targeted for these 'crimes' and how the AIDS crisis really brought home the enormity of the fears surrounding gays-specifically men and the effects on gay men's health.

But lesbians are just brushed to the side. If a gay man is stereotyped as being effeminate, lesbians are stereotyped as being 'butch'. Television and media have brought the plight of the gay male to the forefront with a number of television shows, movies, and role models who show the 'great, shining gay'.

Lesbians, on the other hand are often an inside joke. Treated as nothing more than a male fantasy, two women who want to be together, but who secretly really just want a dude to come have sex with them to 'straighten them out'. When was the last time you heard someone say of a man who was gay "He just needs a good woman, that would fix that!" Of course not, no one would say that. That would be rude, discriminatory. Lesbians hear it all the time. Their discrimination is suffered more quietly, their heartaches over raising children done in solitude. If we don't protect lesbians, we are not serious about protecting women at all.

I believe this is in large part due to the nature of sexism. As we feel comfortable putting women in second place, I can see how lesbians have been relegated to punch lines. This is the place where we are saying we are comfortable with women. Especially women who dare to tread a different path. Hidden. Forgotten. Representative of a threat. Gay men are often seen as subservient. Lesbians are a problem. A rogue woman who doesn't need a man? Not hard to see how the fragile egos of insecure men are rankled by this.

As a feminist, I think people associate women who will not sit there and listen to this garbage (and who raise their girls to think for themselves) with lesbians. We are not agreeing with the man so we must be interested in having sex with women, right? Otherwise we would subvert ourselves to the male worldview and admit that they know best. The only acceptable reason is that we are into chicks. Which is, of course, because we are 'confused'.(see above)

To combat this, some women try to align themselves with other strong women. And sometimes in doing so, we discriminate against other women. In the fight for who can be the most feminine and strong, we waged 'The Mommy Wars' and I watch as lesbians fight this same battle, who is doing the most for the cause, who is eschewing makeup, who is being their 'truest self'...infighting that hurts the group that needs solidarity the most.

I am not a lesbian, but I feel for them. Not only are they women, but women who (some of the white/cis/male haters believe) have :chosen" not to have sex with men.  As if hetero men or anyone for that matter, could CHOOSE to love differently if they just tried hard enough....The most focused laser beam of hate is pointed at them, by those too insecure to have anyone else in the conversation. This is too bad. We are missing an opportunity here to do more for feminism by protecting the weakest of the group. To rise above by lifting another. Isn't that in your special book somewhere?

Down By The River

I cannot go a whole day without thinking about it.

Like any good addiction, it claws at the edges of my thoughts, chewing, cutting, brittle snapping sounds emanating from the places where conscious thoughts were once laid out like clothes on the bed the night before a big day.

I ignore it and go back to what I was doing. It takes a flying leap into the center of my thoughts, like a cat you have not paid attention to and now it is sitting on your keyboard. No longer demurely purring and looking for my attention, it has now slammed itself into the whole of my worldview so that it is all I can see.

It is done waiting for me to acknowledge it. It is here. The time is now. What are you going to do about me? it asks.

I know what I will do....I will think about it. Until it is my every thought. Then I will sulk, after I've given it the attention it needs and I will resign myself to the thought that it cannot be. However desperately it wants to exist, it cannot. Or can it?

The dream of just chucking it all, selling off everything I own, buying a used (because they aren't made anymore) VW bus and living in that, travelling to wherever the weather is best for the time. This dream is the most reality there is. The ability to shed convention and go where your heart takes you. Spending the summertime in sweltering heat in Phoenix? Not in your dreams! I'll be in Northern California, Oregon, really anywhere in the Pacific Northwest coast or somewhere moderate and dry. Wintertime blizzards in North Dakota? NOPE! I'll be down here in the desert, hanging around San Diego, Texas, Florida and Louisiana with the rest of the snowbirds. Hawaii, South America. Any place where I won't freeze to death in my bus.

This could be wanderlust, it could be that I know I can do good things for people without the constraints of my modern computer based life, and it could just be my flighty nature. No matter what, it is a dream I harbor seriously. I have looked at a LOT of travel trailers. I am a gypsy at heart. I don't think I need a lot of  square feet in my 'home' to make me happy. I want to be in the world.

I used to think the best job would be to travel the country and then the world and getting paid. I always wanted to meet people with stories to tell. I saw travel photography and journalism as possibilities. In the end, I realized how much time they spent back at a desk too. The urge to wander was etched into my earliest dreams, and I've settled onto this island of desks. I know I can do better than this.

When I was ten years old, I told my mother that I wanted to be a stand up comedian. I was dead serious (and I kind of still am). She said "No, you don't want to do that. They have to live in a bus!" That was a mistake. I perked up..."BUS? You get to live in a bus?" I was already hooked.

Fear of instability and homelessness and not having warm showers has kept me from doing the most important, soul searching work of my life. I should have done this when I was younger, when it wouldn't have been as noticeable. Now if I wait too long, someone will catch me washing my clothes in a stream and call the authorities, thinking I've escaped 'the home'.

No worries, though. I will reel them in with tales of my life on the road, make them an amazing cup of tea, treat them to the best seat and we'll watch the water together. I'll tell them jokes. Maybe they'll go get their own van. Then I'll know I've done my best.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

For The Longest Time

I have been wanting to send this out into the interwebs and I could not. I could not say these things for fear that they would affect the person who is most important to me. I bit my tongue and waited.

Today, I wait no longer.

My husband's boss is the most insecure, incompetent, ridiculous excuse for management I have ever seen. If you've read this blog and know about the ass hat I work for, you know this is really saying something. This woman has made up HR policies, gotten caught, come up with excuses, undermined her staff, covered her tracks and used other people to corroborate a lie. Then she did something I didn't think she had in her.

This person is my husband's EX boss.

You see, today she unceremoniously skipped details like coaching, leading by example, mentoring and talking like an adult human being, never mind  acting like a professional in her field and went ahead and terminated his employment.

No. No, we are not upset. No, it is not a big deal. No, this is not a bad thing.

You see- sometimes you need someone to pat you on the back when you are on the edge of greatness. She gave all she could and put her foot right in his ass.  I can only repeat what he said: Thank you.


He wouldn't leave until he had a new job. He was miserable. We were miserable. A weight has been lifted. A 5 foot 4, tan skinned, dark haired, sad assed weight. Her name is Patsy Flores. That's right. And she is an IT manager for Dish Network. Yep, that just happened. It's called the First Amendment. And this is called a blog. And what she did is called bullshit. You don't like what I have to say? Shove it up your half-brained ass. This is all shit you could find on LinkedIN, just with some lowdown for you.

But all of that is secondary to this:

Thank you.

Thank you for finally cutting the tie that our family had to the worst company to work for in America (two years running! Congrats Dish!)  Go look it up. I'm not even kidding.

I am so glad to no longer have any connection to an organization that would continue the employment of this person. The one they called a manager, yet she was so worried about her own appearance that she neglected key management functions like: supervising her employees, monitoring progress, working with those that need encouragement, listening to feedback and working on constructive management to get people the tools they need to do their best work. But then again, she has been with Dish a LONG time. So its not hard to see where she learned these tactics.

We sat there for three years while she slowly tore apart everything that worked, drove people out and ignored warnings about the outcomes. Then she assigned a task that could not be done, and used that to justify termination. Wow.

Go ahead, hire someone else to replace him. They will take one whiff of your crazy and start backing away slowly....

Wonder why the guy you moved out to Phoenix found a job 8 months later? With an organization that takes 6 months to get hired? After 2 months, he had applied elsewhere. Probably after 2 days. After you paid relocation costs. What does that tell you about how you manage?

Haven't been able to keep your local IT staff at full level in 3 years? Hmmm? No worries, must be those good for nothing employees. The same ones that are serving their clients everyday. The same ones that care about making sure things are done right and everyone has what they need. The ones you were entrusted to 'lead'.

You, ma'am are an ass. Good riddance and good luck being you. Because as far as we are concerned, every day we wake up and we are not you, we win!