Tuesday, March 31, 2009

You Come To It

So I was thinking last night about these wacky fundies and their need to control the universe. I was thinking about Obama and his "No-really-see-I'm-devout-but-not-crazy" style of Christianity, and I was thinking about Wicca and how it's (usually) so utterly different from the way these church-goers behave.

I was thinking, in short, about religion. And I was doing it in the shower, mostly because I'd forgotten the fifth verse in that song about the old ladies in the lavatory. But still, thought is thought. Right?
Right. Anyway...

Some time ago I had a conversation with a friend of my mother-in-law, let's call her L. L is very nice, and very intelligent, and a McCain voter (though I tend to think of those last two things as a contradiction in terms). But the conversation swung around to religion and it has stayed with me, because it gave me some insight into the minds of some of these godbags.

L was asking me (very respectfully) about Wicca, how I came to it, what it's about, and all the usual things. She asked me about churches, and holidays, and ritual worship practices, and asked why I'm so reluctant to talk about it. I sigh. "Partially because I'm uncomfortable talking about my beliefs, because it's personal. And partly, and more importantly, because I don't want to be seen as trying to convert anyone. That's not how it works."
I told her this, and she was astounded. She asked incredulously "But doesn't it make you happy? Improve your life?"
"Yes, this is what feels right for me."
"Then if it makes you happy, why wouldn't you want to share that with everyone?"
And I didn't couldn't seem to explain to her my firm belief that what works for one person may not necessarily work for all, and that I don't need to tout my religion to all and sundry as "the way", because it is what it is- and also I believe in thinking for yourself.
So finally I smiled at her as mysteriously as I could and stated: "Wicca doesn't come to you. You come to it."
"Oh," she said, wide-eyed.

And on some level it was just to end the subject, but really I do kind of feel that way. There's no such thing as a Wiccan missionary. We don't recruit. Everybody I've met who comes to it, finds their own path.

And forgive me but I much prefer it to evangelizing- much quieter, for a start. Why it should be so hard to grasp that hello! not everyone wants to 'accept Jesus as their personal savior', I've no idea. I think it'd be great if they took a leaf from our book (which they started out with anyway and rewrote to suit themselves; Halloween, Easter, and Christmas, anyone? ...Ahem), and just let people come to them; a religion that's forced on you can't be very enlightening, can it?
But I know my experience isn't the only experience. Any opinions?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A Fucking GayMarriage Link Roundup

Yay! More linky goodness, and I have decided that they will all use the word "fuck", since a little gratuitous cursing always makes my day better. 

And a couple things that are fucking cool:

Okay, I'm done. I'm officially "fucked" out. (My Ferret will not be pleased to hear that!) 
I don't know how PhysioProf manages to sustain that level of profanity on his blog; more power to him, say I!

Let me know how you like my links, and if you've got good ones, leave 'em in comments.

(h/t to Shakesville, Gender Goggles, and um I forget who else.)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Caption This Photo

...No, really, caption it!

Hey, look! More cuteness pictures! Enjoy them...

Chaos says: Kitten tongue. For those hard to reach areas between your toez.

Haven's reaction to all things kitteny: OMG WTF

"Okay your idea of family togetherness sucks and I am squished. Down now!"

...So yes, one metric fuckton of cute, just for you. Yay!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

You'll Find Me In The [Strip] Club

...Or rather, you won't.

I've been to strip clubs; "both kinds" (that is, for het guys and for het ladies)... I was younger, I was dumber, I was curious, I was invited along.
And most of what I can remember is... it's weird.
"Regular" strip clubs (where women get naked for men) are... disturbing. These women looked so naked- I mean, more naked than usual, stalking around in nothing but torture-high heels. And I felt very out of place there. This did not turn me on. Even though I appreciate nudity on both genders (having only seen cis-men and cis-women naked, and not any other gender), this was... different. They weren't naked because they wanted to be, and it seemed unfair and wrong. As one woman headed on to the stage for her dance, I saw her coworker come down the stairs, look sympathetically at her, and remind her to "smile!". Smile, because it was her job to be on display and to look like it was fun. I can remember that image, because that's when I knew I would not be going back to that place.

I've been to a 'naked-men' strip club, too- even worse, I swear. I went to a friend-of-a-friend's bachelorette party. What was really amusing was that while women in strip clubs (in Florida, anyway) can get fully nude, men apparently don't. These guys took their clothes off down to a pair of black speedos, and some of them put... socks? a roll of quarters? a small dildo? in there to be more, um, impressive. And while the guy onstage was dancing, other guys would stand around the edge of the stage which ran the length of the club and just... um, pelvic-thrust. And women would put money in their speedos. Seriously. I could not imagine a sane reason for it, but there it was. I was torn between laughter and nausea. Eventually nausea won and I asked my friend if we could leave early.
These guys all looked like they were, really, having fun. And why not? I could feel the calculated performance, the condescension, and the lack of vulnerability that I'd seen in the women strippers. Hey, I thought, in my next life, I wanna be a Chippendale's dancer!
On my way out, a girl popped up out of nowhere and started talking to us. She told us that "she was good friends with lots of the performers" and that "all of them are single and all of them straight". This, I reflected, was either some highly draconian hiring principles or the biggest pile of bullshit I'd encountered all month. Didn't matter, anyway. We wished her good night and got the hell out.

The objectification of women as a sex class aside, strip clubs creep me out. And that's why.

Whatever fundamental difference there is in the thought processes of men and women, that's part of it. Many men go to these places and spend all their money and have a good time. And I... felt a queasiness in the pit of my stomach the whole time: the kind that says, you should leave. you are doing something wrong.
Sigh. IBTP

Monday, March 9, 2009

Small and Fuzzy Invaders

We have kittens. They are very small and very fluffy and very very cute. We were only going to take home one, but somehow I was railroaded and against my prudent judgement, we ended up with two. 
Their names are Nomad and Chaos, and so far they have been living up to their nomenclature- kitten-bounding all over the house, wandering behind the stove to see what's there, climbing up onto the bed and the top of the couch, squeaking aggressively at tissues, severely disturbing poor Haven (who is not pleased at these small fuzzy invaders), and clambering into the ferret cage whenever I leave it open.

Can we all live to learn together? There are now twice as many animals as humans living in our house. 

There has been so much random crap in the news lately that I thought some fuzzy blogging would be just the thing. Pictures later.

Friday, March 6, 2009


So, I am having my period. 

...This is an experiment I'm doing. Have you ever noticed that having lady-parts is like this big, taboo thing? That we are expected to never talk about, ever? It's a conspiracy:
I was harassed when I got my first period in 7th grade- by other girls.
My parents get unnerved when they see tampon commercials on tv. Cause happy floating tampons and ambiguous blue liquids are unsuitable for viewing, or something.
My mother told me to hide my pads in the garbage in case my 10-year-old brother saw them.

This, despite the fact that 50% of the population does, will, or used to have a period!

I feel that this is some bullshit. So, from now on, I don't care that it's an "overshare" to talk about my period. I have one. If it is relevant, I will mention it. If I have cramps, I will say so. I will not wrap my used tampons in 83 layers of toilet paper lest fragile male eyes be traumatized by the sight of blood. If there are people out there who aren't aware that cisgendered females of "reproductive age" have menstrual cycles, it is time they learned. 

Also, if I hear any more men make that stupid "joke" about "Being afraid of anything that bleeds for 7 days and doesn't die", I will... actually, I haven't decided how I will respond yet. I have many options, though! 
Do I:

a) tell him I, personally, am afraid any group of people responsible for 90% of all violence, such as men;

b) respond with "I'd be afraid of that, too! But technically, I'm not releasing blood out of my veins. I'm expelling the unused lining of my uterine wall, which is totally different and not part of my circulatory system!" in the hopes that I will gross him out so much he will shut up;

c) explain that that fucking joke isn't funny, wasn't funny 40 years ago when it was new, and tell him never to talk again because he's abused the privelege;

d) or, when he tells me it's "just a joke", kick him in the nuts- because that would certainly make me laugh... now who's "oversensitive", smartarse?

Any thoughts? Because I know at least one person who's likely to say that to me at some point.

Jesus called. He wants his religion back.

Aaaand the Vatican once again proves that the leaders of the Catholic church are a bunch of aliens who have no concept of humanity or empathy.

This girl is NINE. Nine years old. She was raped and in all likelihood would have died. And quite possibly the TWINS she was carrying would have died. But on the off-chance that no one died, she would have had twins. At nine years old. The product of rape. At nine. By her stepfather. I mean, dear fucking gods have mercy.

So... she had an abortion, which is about all that could be done to preserve the life and sanity of this poor girl. And in a slightly saner world, that would have been it. It would have been private, and over with, and on to therapy. 
But then. Somehow, the church got involved. And then there was more torture. And a complete and utter lack of compassion.
And the church excommunicated the mother and the doctors, called it murder, and have been very censorious about the whole thing. Big surprise. Assholes.
Amazingly, though, the stepfather? He's not been excommunicated. In fact, not one word about him. Also? Not one word about this little girl and the suffering imposed on her- by men, who will never have to go through this but keep trying to control it.

I guess you could say I'm religious- I believe there's more out there than us; that there's things we don't know and may never know. I believe in the divine. 
As a Wiccan, I live by the Wiccan Rede and the Rule of Three: "do as you will, an it harm none" and "every action you take, for good or ill, returns to you, threefold". Watch what you do, try not to hurt people and be aware of the impact of your words and actions. It's not hard. 
Christians are supposed to be doing the same things- remember "love thy neighbor"? What about "let he who is without sin cast the first stone"? Religion is supposed to be there to teach us to be good to one another, to do no harm, and for those who are wronged, see that justice is done or at least that comfort is given to the hurting.

Why then is religion suddenly no longer concerned with these things? Where is this girl's comfort? Where is the justice for the man who harmed her? And why are all these Bishops surreptitiously picking up rocks? No wonder so many people are abandoning religion these days- it teaches them nothing good. 

Pessimistic maybe, but that's how I'm feeling.

People who are supposed to follow the example of a man of a man who sought love, peace, and the commonalities of all people- and they all seem to be promoting fear, hatred, and shame. What the hell is going on here?? 

...The cognitive dissonance makes my head ache.