exactly that

Posts tagged ‘ass hats’

“Just A Parent”

I had an interesting experience the other day at the 8-10 year old basketball game here on the USAG. We were watching the game of the son of a friend of our family at which The Kid was cheering with her cheer squad. It was the second game we had attended that day, as Kid cheers at any or all of the games that happen during game days.

During the halftime period of the games the squad does a dance routine that they have been working on to Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror”, a favorite of mine, I don’t mind saying. It looks pretty sharp, and I am hoping to get a vid of it up soon(ish), and the Coach has really done a great job putting it together. Of the six and one half minutes of the halftime period they use about two or three. Most of the teams have been gracious to clear the court to allow them their two minutes to perform.

During the last game of the age group, however, one of the teams decided to run layup drills. During the cheerleaders performance the coaches of the basketball team were shouting to their kids, and the kids were running and yelling and dribbling and running back and forth from half court to the hoop. It was really distracting to the team, and in my opinion, it was incredibly disrespectful to the girls.

I took the opportunity to mention it to the director of the Child and Youth Sports Services, a man who is usually sitting in the corner of the gym. With my coffee in hand, I walked over to him at the end of the squad’s routine and leaned to him so as not to be heard by everyone, and mentioned that I just wanted to let him know that I though the team on the court had shown poor taste and disrespect to the cheerleaders.

The director kind of chuckled, and told me that he had no problem focusing on the girls, and that he didn’t think the team was disrespectful at all. I felt that this was beside my point, and a bit dismissive, but I restated my opinion, and told him that I just wanted to let him know what I thought.

He said to me, more sternly, that this was just my opinion, and that I needed to watch how I was talking to him, that it was inappropriate for me to talk to him the way that I was. I asked him what was wrong with voicing an opinion.

He stood up from his chair and leaned over me, being much taller than I am (and I am not a short woman at 67″ tall). He told me “I am the Director of this program, and you are just a parent. You will not speak to me this way, waving your hands about.”

For the record, I do gesticulate a bit when I speak, but I turn my hands in small circles, and for crying out loud, I had a hot coffee in one hand.

He proceeded to tell me just how disrespectful I was being to him, walking up to him and talking to him in front of everyone this way. No matter that he was now yelling at me in front of a gymnasium full of parents and children. He mentioned that we could continue this in his office, to which I agreed, but he never took me to his office. Instead, he moved towards where the cheerleaders and coaches stood, who were now staring at us as he yelled at me.

No matter what I said, he had a dismissive remark to silence me. If I said I had a right to voice a complaint, I was using a disrespectful tone. If I said that the cheerleaders were enrolled in an athletic program just like the basketball players that parents also came to see, he said he had waived the Winter fee (only true for some of them). When I tried to explain that I was merely advocating for them because cheerleading as a sport is disrespected from early on through professional level, he yelled that he has a 20 year-old daughter, that I don’t need to tell him about respect.

My partner came over and extracted me from the situation at this point, because we had to go relieve our friends’ babysitter soon, and my other friend had come over to make sure I was OK, but this man was already storming off, shouting about my attitude and that I could talk to his supervisor. (Believe me, I will) He left me there shaking, glad that I hadn’t agreed to go into an office alone with him.

More so than him yelling at me I was angry at the things that he had yelled at me. Dismissing my concerns outright was infuriating. He could have even simply placated me, a common military tactic (Yes ma’am, I’ll pass that along, or I’ll take that under advisement would do).

Firstly, this man’s job here at USAG would not exist if not for the parents that he seems to hold such contempt for. I got the feeling that what he meant was “mother” who dared to speak out of turn, as he had no problem chatting up the dads, either in uniform or who were volunteer coaches. Obviously I have no real worth after spitting my kid from my loin, but I really was gobsmacked by the way he spit “parent” from his mouth like it tasted bad.

Parenting is an important job. I am not going to go on about the holy sanctity of it being the most sacred of jobs, but it is not to be scoffed at. Daily, when I want to rip my hair out, or actually do, wondering if I am doing a good enough job, or am scrutinized for the job I am doing, or when I have some pre-pubescent behavior issue I am sidelined by, I know that my work is cut out for me.

But, I also know that this man looked at me and decided that I was worthless and that he was automatically nothing. He knows nothing about me, or the other hats I wear despite my womanhood holding me down. How on Earth could I be a Sailor while having ladybits? Veterans don’t have anything but good and sturdy penises, surely. I couldn’t be active in the DAV, or on the PTO (Oops, is that too close to parenting, and therefore not a real thing?) I am a writer, a blogger (but depending on who you ask that doesn’t count either), and a political/social justice activist. I am a disability rights advocate both online and off. All of these things and more, and he waved it away with the narrowing of his eyes at me, and looking down his nose at me as if my State College sweatshirt somehow put me beneath his shoes.

We are not the sum of our titles. We are people, who beings comprised of many things, and we wear titles. It is what we do that matters, how we treat the people around us, ultimately, that matters. Being a director of a program over people you hate somehow doesn’t de facto make you better.

I think I am most angry because for a few fleeting moments I let this man convince me that he was right, that I didn’t matter and that I had done something wrong. But luckily there are good people surrounding me who reminded me that standing my ground the way I did for the right reasons was in no way wrong. That is a relatively new experience for me, and at its most basic, the crux of what I was trying to accomplish. I wanted those girls to know that they have a right to be respected.




Those Who Yell the Loudest…

A while back I was having a talk w/ The Guy.

See, there were some related things that coincided with this little thing that happened where this celebrity you might have heard of, Amanda Palmer, together with her partner created this project, Evelyn Evelyn, and my co-blogger at FWD/Forward, Annaham wrote about the problematic issues involved.

There was a wee bit of fallout.

Then, Amanda Palmer, because she is a celebrity, and sometimes celebrities, who aren’t bloggers, and who get big platforms due to their fame and getting paid for their work and stuff, was invited to appear on this Australian talk show. If I was a big celebrity like Amanda Palmer and not a blogger I would probably talk about my upcoming projects and plug my tours or talk about my fabulous engagement to my super cool fiancee who writes charming children’s books…or maybe pick a cause that is important to me (in interviews, Daniel Radcliff likes to talk about Gay Rights, because he is totes awesome), because sometimes celebrities can be thoughtful and deep and think about the nuances of social justice or something important with their spot in front of millions of viewers.

But instead, Amanda Palmer thought this would be the time to talk about how MEEN that little blogger was (well those bloggers, b/c she couldn’t be arsed to remember any one blogger’s silly name), the one who wrote the big nasty blog post about her SOOPER COOL project, and then have a good laugh with the other folks on the show…oh and make fun of the same feminists who rallied behind her when her record label was being a bunch of arseholes.

Instead of just going about her day and promoting her (albeit deeply problematic new work), she chose to pick on a blogger, someone who put thoughtful work and time evaluating the problematic themes of a piece of work Amanda Palmer was working on and didn’t get paid for it. She laughed at her on national television. Pretty cool, Amanda Palmer.

And I asked The Guy: Why do people who hate/dislike/are annoyed by “little” people so much continue to follow them, read them, watch what they are doing, or apparently even talk about them on TV? Why don’t they just ignore us if we are so insignificant and irritating? He hugged me tightly and said “Because the people who yell the loudest have the most buried within them and are the most guilty”.

Damn it I really love him.

But it didn’t stop there!


Now Amanda Palmer hates on Lady Gaga, and at least this time she isn’t picking on a disabled feminist blogger who doesn’t get paid for her work (but really, no one should be bullied, b/c bullies are jerks), but instead she thinks that Lady Gaga is a sell out. Or, not ironic enough, ya know, like the Klan.

Cuz that is some funny shit right there…y’all will excuse me if I don’t laugh. But just in case you don’t get it, she understands.

See, not liking someone’s taste or style is one thing…like people who don’t like That Coffee Company’s lattes and think it is a crime against humanity to put steamed milk and flavored syrup into coffee (I can take it both ways), but when you start telling someone that their taste in such thing is wrong or just R-O-N-G, then you really need to step back and self examine why it is that it is so important to pull that woman’s feminist cred b/c she has an affinity for M.A.C cosmetics or pictures of D&G shoes…wev. You are perfectly entitled to hate Lady Gaga’s music or find it catchy or think she is the worst thing to happen to pop music since Aqua (Shut Up! I am going to go DL some Barbie Girl RIGHT NAO!), but why does it have to be a judgment on humanity? Also, I don’t think I have seen a celebrity lash out at another so vehemently before…(unless you are Eminem, but that is kind of his schtick…). Don’t you have better things to do?

It seems that the people who yell the loudest…the ones who insist that people are doing things that they haven’t done, the ones who use a position of power to inflict hurt, abuse, or otherwish ass hattish behaviour on to other people, especially vulnerable people (like Annaham), or who would rally their allies around them as if a personal distaste for something makes a certain pop star (who might possibly have more current success) inherently evil, and that making judgments about that pop star’s appearance WHEN YOU BUILT YOUR FEMINIST CRED ON HOW IT WASN’T FUCKING COOL TO DO THAT REMEMBER THE REBELLYON!!!1!ELEVENTY really have some things they should examine…

Like some unfuckingchecked privilege.

Further reading, with a trigger warning for very graphic images, but I think the point is made.

And also.

Your Infinite Wisdom

While I was experiencing some technical difficulties I got a most interesting comment in my mod queue for this post. My first inclination was to delete it, but instead I decided that I would write a post about it, because there are some points about it that need to be addressed.

Also, it should stand as a warning, that anything sent to me could be potential mockery fodder, as per my comment policy.

This problem is only with Whites…We see this in the Black community. Blacks passing for White??? Ugggg, they are white. We don’t have Chinese passing for White? Filipino’s passing for White. Wherever White people land their boates, they convert their ethnic background. You look White because this is 90% of your genes. Did you ever see a Native American? One close to full blood. Sorry, you don’t resemble one. They are not even close to European looking. Their features are related to Asian. You look European and this is what you mostly are, get over it. people closely mixed with Native American, are the most exotic least looking Whites I’ve seen.

Oh, so many things to say. I swear there are people all over Bloglandia crying “BINGO!” as I type. I can’t possibly address everything…but I will take a few points down.

The first thing I have to say: The only person who gets to choose a person’s racial identity is that person. There is no way for a person outside of a body to know their story, their background. The stereotypes with which people base their assumptions of what a particular racial group should look like are not the only defining factors that make a racial group. Race is made of so many components. History, blood, family…it doesn’t come from a passer-by shouting your identity at you.

The only point that is true in the screed is this: Wherever White people land their boates, they convert their ethnic background.

The systematic whitewashing of indigenous people has been responsible for practically demolishing their cultures and histories. We who try to grasp on to it are within our rights to hold on dearly to that which was violently torn from our ancestors. Your insistence that we assimilate into that which was forced upon us is not going to change us. I suppose the next time I go home to the tribe I grew up with I will just tell them all to give up? That we can just forget about holding on to any of our past because you said we just need to accept that we aren’t Native enough for you?

Did you ever see a Native American? One close to full blood.

Did you know that people are different? Did you know that there are hundreds of indigenous tribes in the U.S. and Canada alone? There may just be a slight variance in how those people look, first stereotypically according to your preconceived notions, and second due to years of systematic whitewashing, cultural decimation, and societal change. People from Northern tribes will look very different from people from Southern tribes for many reasons. I hate to rip your world asunder, but human beings have variations in them. We aren’t all copied from coloring books. Close to full blood is rare today. It is estimated that about eight in ten indigenous people in the U.S. alone is of mixed blood because of colonization. Wherever White people landed their boats they decided that they had to save us savages by intermarrying with us to make our children whiter. The lighter the better, right?

You look White because this is 90% of your genes.

You are wrong, and you could not possibly know this. Why? Because you are not me, nor are you my family. Plus, your maths are absurd. How can I be 90% of anything? It boggles me, truly. I will not and should not have to prove my racial identity to anyone. It is mine and mine alone. The only person who gets to label me is me.

You base all of this on one photograph. Good for you, being so awesome that you can gather all of that infinite wisdom from a quick glance. I wish I had your powers of intuition.

Excuse me now while I go weep at not being exotic looking enough for one drive-by commenter.


So, when you live overseas (and to be clear “choosing” to live overseas is like “choosing” to either have a root canal or loos your teeth) with the military you are issued an APO box, so that you can still access the United States Postal Service. It is sort of a thank you for the kick in the ass of dealing with the multitude of ways your life is going to be fucked with by the military while you live over seas. Some of these are made up for by experiencing another culture, but being able to send and receive mail without hassle is a nice touch.

Or, at least that is the basic concept.

But that isn’t really how it goes.

I am not talking about the “hassle” of filling out a customs form every time you mail something, because that is no big deal. We bring them home in stacks and have them on hand. We fill them out before we get to the post office, and it isn’t too much of an extra step. We have to plan it out, and it costs me spoons sometimes, but we have adjusted. It is a part of our life.

But there are so many places that won’t deliver or work with APOs that it is just a big pain in the ass. Mostly this is from companies that have contracts with UPS and FedEx, and they don’t want to work with the USPS to accommodate us. I find this upsetting that they don’t want to take the extra step to work with the men and women in the military (it upsets me more that the people in the MidEast are being denied services, really). I also read about things like Walmart charging extra for shipping to FPO/APO boxes because it costs them extra in transportation costs, which is a lie, because our mail is sent though the USPS, just like all other mail. They just have to fill out the forms.

Most recently the biggest aggravation came when I tried to make a holiday purchase from Apple, and because of their signature policy they don’t deliver to APOs (even though there are people on staff who do this very thing, and who are logged and accountable for insurance purposes). The wanted me to use their “gift services”, which is one of a new trend of companies who offer services to APO/FPO box holders. Yes, for a fee you can get a State-side address, and have your mail re-routed to them, and they will re-send it to you…all for an additional cost.

This completely misses the point of the APO box. To allow us to use the US postal service like normal.

Like I said, this somehow presumes that I am to be penalized for being a pain in the ass and have a special address that requires special accommodations and forms and now I want to be able to get my mail and things I order all at the normal time and not have to pay extra!

Cuz, you know, I chose this inconvenience.

The next time I see a company that says or sells something that says it “supports our troops” and then won’t ship to an APO you had better believe that you will read about it here.

And yes, I am so grateful to those of you who offered to intercept and re-route gifts for us, or who helped us get stuff where it needed to be. Your kindness is beside the point, and much much appreciated. You have been the truest of good friends. Thank you.

But the point still stands.

Having an APO isn’t a choice we made. We shouldn’t be penalized for it. Working with us and not forcing us to spend extra dollars is not too much to ask. It certainly isn’t in keeping with the spirit of the intention of the APO box.

Don’t look back in anger…

Via The Red Queen I find this post from Antigone at Punkass Blog in my blog reader.

I wasn’t able to get to the Washington Post piece (it’s behind a subscription wall) but I remember this at Feministe not long ago.

Antigone does a nice take down of some jerk’s take on the article, and how the poor are just poor b/c they are stupid and are WASTING WHAT LITTLE MONEY THEY HAVE ZOMG! and if they were smart like him they would have all the answers.

Reading those examples was like reliving pages from my youth, and my early years as a parent (mostly pre-military). (more…)

From the Moderation Queue…

comes this little gem on this post:

Juanita *is* fat. She’s so fat, she’s at risk for diabetes and heart problems. Every time I see her in an episode I want to cry, because a child this fat will have a short life. We should be praising Desperate Housewives for making this a part of the show instead of not talking about the widespread childhood obesity epidemic in America.

Let’s pretend for a moment that Ms. Elizabeth Buckwalter knows everything in creation, as she pretends to, and that, sure, she is correct in her assholish assertion about De La Garza’s health.

This heartless and ignorant statement would still not be OK, not by a long fucking shot.  The young actress who plays Juanita Solis is still a human being, and a child for fuck’s sake.  No where on any plane is it acceptable to be so cruel to a child.  Ever.  Not unless you want to set her up for a lifetime of health problems b/c of your psychological abuse, which she is already suffering from being the butt of nasty jokes on the show. (more…)

Dear Everyone

Can we knock this shit off for the love of gods?


Calling Nadya Suleman “Octomom” still makes you a big misogynistic ass hat, and an all around jerk.

She has a name, and a nice one at that.

And I don’t give a flying fuck what the hell you think of her reproductive choices, b/c frankly it’s none of your fucking business. You don’t like her, big deal. That is your problem, not hers.

Get the fuck over yourselves.

Nadya Suleman might not roll off the tongue as nicely as, say, Mary Smith, for some of you, but it is still her name.

Hugs and Kisses,

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