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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Well Done! Sister Suffragette

Today I posted a link to the trailer of the movie Suffragette in a 'feminist' group on Facebook. The group calls itself "This is What a Feminist Looks Like." I was immediately attacked by 4 people who told me that this was a terrible movie because it didn't depict the movement correctly for black women. I was removed from the group (apparently this is NOT what a feminist looks like) when I asked them to even tell me why they were all saying this and was shocked at the new language I was hearing about my supposed white privilege (from here in the trailer park) and that I was a believer in 'white feminism,' a term I didn't even realize existed.

Once I was blocked from the group, I used my other account to go in and see the discussion that followed. Apparently, one young 'feminist' who wanted to condemn me as a racist posted a picture of one of the hoodies I've designed for my shop. I guess reading its message and considering the context was too much to ask of someone who can't be bothered to have mature dialogue with a human being who respectfully asked for their side of the argument and received only trash talk in response.

Are there complexities in this message that I cannot see?
The young ladies who didn't realize I had been blocked went on to educate me about all of the black people who had been left out of the movie. Of course, they were all Americans. I researched all of them before posting this and the people did not have anything to do with the suffrage movement across the pond. You see, as I was attempting to inform these young women before I was so graciously dismissed from the conversation, the movie is about the movement in London. The movement, itself, is what I wanted to celebrate and encourage us to show excitement about because OUR MOVEMENT is repeatedly accosted and given more negative connotations than positive in our society. Regardless of where the movie is located, if we dismiss the accomplishments of those who came before us because we don't like the manner in which they were achieved, we also have to dismiss the progress that they made. Frankly, I'd rather not.

The media and social media are the resources most used in order to get the messages out about anything in our national discourse. The media, itself, can hardly be expected to direct the narrative to the conscience of the country, they don't have a conscience themselves. And what does the left do when they are given an opportunity to celebrate or educate about some facet of its movement? Well, we take a shit on it. Every single time.

Its funny (in the way that its not remotely funny), but I actually researched the beginnings of a recent Battle Royale held between ourselves earlier this summer to see if my suspicions were accurate and that they were started by someone on the right. The attack was against the Black Widow character in the latest Avengers movie. The attack was specifically against the writer/director Joss Whedon by saying he hated women and the character wasn't quite feminist enough for them and she offered a negative stereotype against women. All of these people determined that he hated women. I literally shut down that conversation on Twitter by passing this meme around. I had it saved in my personal happy place file because I have been a huge fan of his since back in the Buffy days.

I was convinced that this entire controversy came out of some place on the right and I determined I would trace it. Wanna know where I traced the beginnings of this nonsensical frenzy to? A guy who lives in London and is an editor for Breitbart. Yep. He decided it was something radical feminists would jump all over and talk about without having actually seen the movie or having had a single idea what they were talking about. And, sadly, he was right. Nice work, ladies.

Because I had missed previous discussions surrounding the new movie, I researched our latest feminist attack on feminism (Goddamn ... any wonder why we can't get anything done in 100 years?). Apparently it all started when the female leads of the movie were all wearing this shirt for a photo shoot and people found it offensive. I will not research it, but I would not be surprised if someone else wants to, they will find that the right injected just one little well-placed nugget into the Twittersphere and allowed us to take it from there. Let me be quite clear: If we ask the RWNJs to direct our narrative, they will be happy to oblige. If we give them an opportunity to perpetuate divisions within our varied movements, they will gladly take it upon themselves to do that, too.

Please breathe here for a moment and then hear all of the things that no one could have said in 140 characters:

The movie is set in London. The quote on the t-shirts was from Emmaline Pankhurst, played by Meryl Streep in the movie. That quote was her response to how she felt at that time. This isn't about Americas history with slavery. By acknowledging that white women have been oppressed, no one is discounting the fact women of color have been, as well. And by celebrating the accomplishments of those women, we are not dismissing those who were not included in that struggle.

Having been enslaved means more than being black. That is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word, especially in America, and for good reason. But slavery did, like it or not, offer the same legal freedoms to all blacks as it did to all women. We were not allowed to vote or allowed to own property and we, too, were property. (I am only speaking in legalities, again, obviously the treatment of these human beings was quite different). We were not mentioned in the Constitution until we were given the vote (1920). Because we were not able to pass the rest of the Equal Rights Amendment, that is still the only right that women have, per the Constitution.

For various reasons, throughout the last century the ERA has had its ass kicked by feminists. There were always divisions among those who argued about which rights they wanted and how they wanted to have them enacted. Historically, we have fucked ourselves out of meeting our own goals. Fabulous, huh?

Maybe we could all unite, not fall for dog whistles and look for reasons to disagree with one another? Maybe when opportunities come up for us to celebrate womanhood and those who preceeded us in this fight we could do that instead of looking for reasons to dismiss their accomplishments?

God Damn. The right has it so easy, don't they? They can just all agree to rewrite history or ignore it altogether because they don't really have anything to be proud of. Instead of throwing that in their faces and cheering ourselves on to victory, we are demanding more of our history. Reflect quietly on that sentence, please. We cannot rewrite our history, either. But by denouncing it as if every element of it had to meet today's standards, we condemn ourselves to having had no accomplishments.

If this movement is to get anywhere, it really is time to be more thoughtful about where you project your angst. Pissing off and alienating those who are literally fighting along side you on our journey to move (or drag, if need be) Americans forward is only going to do two things: #1 Give the Regressive Party just the tools they need to ensure NOTHING is accomplished (and did you notice how many of them were anxious to jump into your fight and confuse the argument even further on social media?) #2 Scare more people from joining our movements in the first place.

I leave you with a quote from Sophia: Princess, Suffragette, Revolutionary by Anita Anand. This regarded Princess Sophia, of India, who battled prominently in the London movement and was celebrated, regardless of her skin color:

“The empire took everything from her father but she spent her life fighting for women’s rights in this country. She believed there was something stronger than racial hatred and it was the sisterhood.

Please, my feminist sisters, pause and reflect. We want to move forward WITH you, not IN SPITE of you.

My most sincere Love,
Mean Progressive

SUFFRAGETTE - Official Trailer - In Theaters October 2015

Get excited for the movie! Watch the trailer! Hit 'Like' with the Thumbs Up and forward on to everyone else who wants to have a revelation about where we are. Why we are still here. And why its about damned time we change it.

Kiss Kiss. :)

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Maybe A Little Anxious

For the most part, I keep my two blogs separate. My personal life, from day one to this, has formed my belief structure and my bleeding heart for the whole wide world, but my readership for one is completely different than that of the other. I have posted (and then re-posted) my piece on our mental health stigma in this political forum because I think it is important for everyone to consider. I found a lot of people were either comforted by my having explained a loved one that they could never quite understand or, even more rewarding for me, I found people who were grateful for having found another person who shares this place that is so painful and ugly.

Most people who don't suffer from mental health issues, it seems, would really rather not think about them, either. "Mental health" is a great catch phrase when you are trying to distract people from a goddamned epidemic of tolerated gun violence in our country, but really, no one should be expected to give a shit about it beyond that. Right?

The revelation that many of my readers seemed to have had about my piece was offered to me this morning by my friend, Greg. He sent me this video and I reacted in a way that surprised me. I literally had a panic attack watching someone who completely understood why my panic attacks have left me in this place. I have built a wall so tall and so thick as to protect myself from ever making myself vulnerable again to a person who might want to try and deal with my myriad complexities but determine later that I wasn't really worth the effort, after all. It used to be a subconscious effort to push people away, but after my most recent and most powerful loss, I have become aware of what I am doing. Sadly, I have determined that it is safer to just keep the wall.

This poet, Brenna Twohy, has hope. It is beautiful. I have maternal pride for her having identified her demons and offered them for reflection. Or rejection. She is powerful in a way she probably has no way of understanding. She is beautiful and wise. I hope she knows. And I hope someone else will find encouragement from her strength and endurance.

I don't imagine I will ever be able to set myself up for the kind of hope she is projecting. I do find genuine solace, however, in knowing that this place is not solitary, either. Although his journey was different, James Hetfield, too, has found this place.

Please pass the video of Brenna Twohy on to others who suffer from PTSD and struggle with anxiety. The comfort of finding you are not alone will never be matched or exceeded by those who mean well but really have no idea what you are dealing with.

Kiss Kiss.
Mean Progressive

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Expanded Audience

For several reasons I have struggled to write lately. One of my hurdles has been trying to figure out a way to get what I consider to be the Progressive voice out there to those who can't (or won't) hear it. I have the most amazing readership (I'm not kissing your ass, I sincerely love you) and the camaraderie I have found has been probably the most rewarding in my life. I keep realizing, however, that we need to find a way to get our message beyond ourselves because we already agree with one another for the most part. We have to force others to hear the truths as we see them, or we can still end up being miserable in the future. As my depression is finally being treated and my mind is starting to clear, I look forward to writing again and, hopefully continuing to create narrative around the most important movement in America: The movement of the left. The following has been my attempt at expanding our audience over the last couple of weeks.

A few weeks ago I decided that I wanted to have bumper stickers to give people things to think about while sitting behind me in traffic. I went looking for products that said what I wanted to say and was disappointed with either the quality of the product or the idea of giving my money to a company who creates items for both liberal and conservative messages and, therefore, doesn't much care about the message itself. And, needless to say, they all lacked my slightly offensive tone. (wink) So I went to a place online where I could create my own bumper stickers. Then I got an email that said I could sell them. Huh. I really hadn't thought about it. But then I had a blast making all kinds of designs and determined I wanted t-shirts with lots of these messages, too. But that company had no choice beyond a white t-shirt and so I went looking elsewhere.

I found a company called and fell in love. It is a feminist company and they even tell the vendors who are using them to create their own designs that they will not approve those which are offensive to women. So I started creating shirts and am now hoping to sell them. I am not trying to make a profit. The money I receive will stay in my account with the company and I will use that money to buy shirts in the spring to sell at community events like the Pride Parade and whatever else comes along. I will then reinvest that money, as well.

I am really not trying to make money on this. I just want the people who aren't paying attention in our society to have opportunities to think or have conversations with people about things they might not talk about otherwise. I keep thinking I want my audience to be people like my mom. She is a life-long Republican who has absolutely no idea what has become of her party. I want those people to be compelled to ask me about my shirt or bumper sticker. I want those who have an idea of what is going on but are just ignoring it to be embarrassed that what they are reading is what I am attributing to THEIR PARTY. I want them to know I think they are THAT STUPID.

Anyway. I am hoping you all will consider looking through the stuff and getting something if you want it for either yourself or someone you love. I will continue to build stock as I keep thinking up snarky messages to send to the sheep. And if nothing comes of this, I will at least have the exact wardrobe of  "And fuck you, too" t-shirts and hoodies that I would want to don for the next campaign season.

btw... these coupon codes are in use on that site right now. If anyone uses them and they don't work in the future, let me know so I can update this:

For $5 off any order code CG16JJ
For $10 off order of $65 or more HALL2
For $20 off order of $95 or more HALL3

Thursday, October 15, 2015

It's Hard Out There For a Trump

As with everything in his world, I suppose, Donald Trump is very adamant about his right to demand the terms of the next debate. He and Dr. Ben Carson have decided that they are going to boycott the CNBC event on October 28th if it is not condensed to 2 hours, including commercials.

The last debate was three hours long and it was a tortured event, I have to admit that. But the torture was for the audience, not the candidates as they would have you understand it. Directly following that event when Trump was interviewed, he repeatedly complained about how long it had been and that he was impressed with himself for having been able to stand the entire three hours. Take pause and imagine ANYONE you know having a proud revelation that they were able to stand up for three hours in a row. While talking. Its not even like he was doing manual labor. He was talking. Jesus Christ.

That evening he also said that he was proud of his daughter, Ivanka, for having endured the long evening. I went to bed that night focused on what kind of a life that woman was afforded when her father gives her accolades for having sat in an audience for three hours. You know that show Wife Swap? I'd like to see a show called Life Swap where she has to switch places with any average American do a week in the life of maybe a single mother who works full time and tries to juggle all responsibilities of the work and home life without losing her mind. And more than that, I'd love to see that single mother get the vacation Ivanka's life surely must be where hardships come from having to sit still for three hours in a row.

The last debates were, absolutely, too long. I cannot come up with a reasonable alternative, though. If CNBC is meant to take their responsibility seriously (as FOX and CNN refused to do), they should have a lot of questions for a lot of candidates, right? With ten or more attention-grabbing, rhetoric spewing, subject changing jackasses to wrangle, it seems nearly impossible to get it done in less time. But on the other hand, none of the candidates have anything of substance to say anyway, so maybe just let them have their two hours. After the record-breaking audience numbers of the Democratic debates the other night which far exceeded any expectations going into it, I would say America has finally realized the difference between the two parties is profound and the defined platforms of 'Hate & Fear' coming from the right are not conducive to the progress any single American is looking for from a leader.

Maybe the media could even start to report on those proposals coming from the left by those who are taking the idea of leading our country seriously. A girl can dream ...

Friday, October 9, 2015

Oregonian Pride

Do you know what? In July I pretty much wanted to lose my shit when my President was in Oklahoma and his welcome committee was a white trash parade carrying hateful signs and waving that fucking flag. I wrote a piece I am very proud of and hoped that we, as a society, could unite and find it in ourselves to lift the country and find the voices necessary to dim those that scream hate and create division.

I suppose three months was not enough time to expect for the country to have had any substantive revelation. So today, in Oregon, the least among us went out in droves to get in front of television cameras and find themselves celebrated on the Internet for perpetuating the disgraceful treatment we have come to expect from them. They will find the attention they are looking for. I, however, have decided to celebrate something beautiful. 

Ms. Dulcie Bagley took it upon herself to make a pretty pink sign to welcome the President and fan it in front of those who wanted to make a mockery of the visit to families of those who had been lost just a week ago to the gun violence they are so desperate to maintain in our society. She explains her commitment here and believes that she is a member of a silent majority of people who wouldn't want to come out and contend with those who display such destructive behaviors (while being armed). I ask us all to consider similar peaceful displays in the future to allow Americans to see that they are not alone in hoping for a healthy counter narrative to what we are continually offered. Maybe if enough people are out in front that story can be told next time.

Thank you, ma'am. You are a badass!

Thank you, babies. America's mothers are proud of you and share the pain in your eyes.