A couple of days ago, Misha Collins, Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki got on social media to announce that the TV show Supernatural is ending next season (season 15, over 320 episodes) and the finale of all finales will thus be next season – their choice, most likely. A couple of them had been crying, which doesn’t bother me, I’d be crying too if I moved along from the best job I’d ever had even if it was my choice.
Inside the fandom, for the show, there is a substantial chonk of LGBT and straight cisgirl fans who absolutely love on the idea of a romance between Castiel the angel, who appeared season 4, and Dean the Hunter, who, along with his brother Sam the Hunter, carries the show week to week.
There are also Supernatural fans who write fanfic in the A/B/O universe (don’t look, it’s a concourse of poorly realized paraphilias and it’s even worse when you realize that (never mind, just more fandom bs) and I have read precisely one decently written A/B/O fic so I know it’s possible but Jesus it’s GROSS) and write explicitly incestuous fic (it’s called Wincest, and I haven’t even let my eyes roam over one of them, thanks).
Neither of these two things are supported by the show; Destiel, which is the mashup of the names of Dean and Castiel, while not supported word for word in script canon, is teased at, at least once a season, all through the show. I won’t go into the list of specific callouts as to there being romance in the air, just go to the Dean/Castiel page on Superwiki, where it’s all laid out in prim detail.
It’s my belief that the show would rather kill one of the characters than let any of them wander off into the sunset, encoupled. From a strictly ‘whose body is this’ standpoint, there’s no longer any squick about who Castiel’s vessel is, which removed a lot of the hassles about a canonical romance. But
it doesn’t fit the show. And Castiel, although he can be briefly physically affectionate, has not been represented as a sexual being, at least not successfully.
So yeah, I’ll write fanfic because it looks like love, romance and lifetime commitment to me. But anybody who thinks Destiel is gonna be canon is a fucking idiot, because the lead actor, the gold standard of a richly successful franchise, is happy with how things are.
The queer-baiting will continue until you make your own art, folx. (Definition of queer-baiting on the page linked to above.)
Got into a beatdown with a bunch of one of the most self-righteous pot activists (like there’s another fucking kind) on twitter today.
Come ON I smoke, but I don’t smoke and blow smoke in the faces of the allergic and the elderly, and they’re announcing it’s their RIGHT, because this is VANCOUVER, home of TOLERANCE. Yeah I’ll believe that when Canada gives back the unceded lands, you unregenerate failure of logic. I’m like a homophobe for harshing their mellow. Srsly. Got accused of equivalency to homophobia for objecting to people dousing the entire west end in pot smoke for their stupid fucking 420 festival (which leaves heaps of trash mounded everywhere and they’re all cryface because they didn’t get a fucking permit.) F*ck me!
I realized that when you put asterisks in f*cking swearwords you’re putting a leedle asshole right in the meedle of the word and since when you’re swearing there’s usually an asshole involved, it’s mesmerizingly poifect.
I love Buster, he’s an amazing cat. And he loves me too, I know it. I don’t think Miss Margot cares if I live or die, but Buster does.
My latest piece of fanfic smut has more than five hundred likes (it’s cute and hot, so there)
I’ve written a BDSM scene in the same ‘verse but I’m not happy with it yet. I had to put in about 200 words about how the scene is ‘necessary but non-consensual’ which kinda blows (or not!) since scenes need consent if they’re to resonate with me writing, at all. So it’s like “We’ve talked about this – I hate it when you want me (and need me) to top you but I’m s’posed to read your mind – and topping when you’re angry at your partner is a bad bad bad idea” followed by “Do what ya gotta, man, just hit me really hard.” Oh, and there are minor children in the house while this sh*t’s going down, just to make it even more like real life, and our heroes must deal with the domestic consequences of Daddies fighting. I LOVE A CHALLENGE. After all, continuing to have interesting sex after kids *is* a continuing challenge in real life. People want carefree smut? they can look elsewhere; to me smut always has a cost. Who bears it depends on who’s being responsible, or not.
Not that anybody wants to know, but I’m really not into any of those behaviours in real life. Nagging at volume is sort of where I max out, ask any of my exes.
Continuing to have the poly life discussion with someone. It’s painful. Really painful. I feel like I have my nose up again a particularly interesting window. I can smell bread baking. But no. G*ddamned heteronormative uncommunicative bushwah (on their end, not mine.) But at the same time there’s NO F*CKING POINT to becoming an elder if you don’t understand that real life takes time, opportunities for growth don’t wait, and if you don’t consider who’s going to be impacted by your decisions, your years, your grey hairs and and your learning means squat. I am still 22 in some corner of my persona, for my enthusiasms still have all the joy of my youth; I just can’t write everyone affected by my behaviour out of the script any more. I do from time to time, but not all the time.
Fortunately, since I’m pushing 60 with a broom, I can contemplate my greed like the gorram caged bear that it is. Still here, but not running the show.
Katie is still having a rough time and she and Alex are both sick again.
I am not having a rough time. I feel pretty good, all things considered. I have another two weeks of full time work. If that changes, I’ll deal with it. I actually have a plan to deal with it that I think will make almost everyone happy, at least temporarily.
Rogue One is a fucking fantastic movie. Getting eaten by Disney was the best thing that ever happened to the franchise.
Now to check if my money transfer has come through.
There are few things more entertaining than having a former lover sniffing around and being able to repel boarders (so to speak), and unworthy thoughts of weakening into “Well mebbe just this once” territory, with a well timed “So have your girlfriend call me and we’ll thrash out the poly thing while you aren’t in the room!”
Doesn’t take much.
I’m thinking of having HOLD FAST tattooed on my knuckles, but only long enough to envision what pOp would say, and nope.
I scraped dried coffee blerg, elderly scotch tape and who the hell knows what off many surfaces tonight. Nobody will notice but me, and that makes me happy.
Hello, new bingo card, based on my writing….
Yesterday the whole fam damily, less Jeff, went to Edmonds pool and frolicked. I only had two hours sleep at the time so I stayed in the hot tub – every time I got out I was chilled TO THE BONE. Alex is a complete joy. Paul was still thinking about his happy family time at 10 pm and texted me to give him a lift. I AM SO LUCKY AMONG MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY I feel set among stars.
Indigo Nai, who lives and works in New York, wrote this
I am abandoning the world of men.
I am abandoning the world of men because masculinity is a sinking ship, and it is loaded with leaking, toxic drums, and it is sinking while we watch, and it is my belief that the men that do not escape it will drown.
Now, I’mma tell you a little story. It’s a long one, so feel free to flake if you start to fade, but here it is:
On my last day in the Bay area, a small gang of us agreed to meet at a local bar to hang out, take in the late summer sun, and drink a healthy amount of bourbon. It’s a warm summer day, and the patio of the bar is crowded; friends and acquaintances of both genders join our little group every once in a while, stay for a bit, and then wander off, but just before things kicked off, our little group is four women, myself, and another male friend. Over on my side of the table we’ve just started a conversation about rape culture and how to help redefine the ways men view themselves within it, because me and my friends really enjoy light conversation. The dialog in our part of the little circle is going great, but at one point I look over and notice that my best friend has been cornered by the other guy in the group, and it’s clear that she’s having *exactly* the kind of conversation that you don’t want to be stuck in; that one conversation where a guy is mansplaining to a woman about the ‘slippery slope’ that prosecuting everyone accused of rape inevitably leads to, in the kingdom of toxic masculinity, at least. My friend is trying her best to be both polite and to be heard, but she can’t get a word in edgewise, so I decide to leverage my own privilege; the next time he interrupts her, I interrupt him, and say, “Hey brother, you know what’s sexy? Letting a woman finish a sentence”. I then turn away, good deed done, to rejoin my own conversation. Unfortunately, this causes me to miss the warning signs as the guy begins to grimly stew on the indignity of having his privilege publicly checked, because masculinity so fragile.
A moment later, he calls out: “Hey, I think Shannon is done talking, so I’d like to share my thoughts, if that’s all right with you, INDIGO”. Now, I admit, I’m obnoxious to the bone, so I toss a quick and merry “That’s fine!” over my shoulder. This, inexplicably breaks him; that simple comment sends him right over the edge of man-child sulking into the abyss of beast-mode rage, and before you can say “can’t hold your liquor” he unfolds from his seat, all 6’3″ and 240 pounds of him, and bellows “Do you want to have a fucking go then, man?”
Now, this is unexpected, since he’s an old friend, and we’re surrounded by a handful of other old friends, and we’re in the middle of a bar that’s run by Family, and we’re there for an unfortunate friend’s fundraiser, so it seems a little strange that he and I have suddenly started doing the man-dance right in the middle of of a crowded patio on a Sunday afternoon. But he’s Scottish, and I’m Irish, and the story of a wee Irish guy scrapping with a great Scottish hulk is a tale as old as love itself, and besides, I’m always one for a story, so I call back “Sure, brother” and stand up.
Before I can even get my arms up, I have a giant meatpile of angry, drunken Scotsman throwing his fists in my face. I hear/feel My tendons squeak a bit as his weight came down on my knee, so I know my knee was wrenched, and at some point I saw stars so I knew he got a good kiss in, but mostly I just kept grappling with him and tried not to worry too much about the damage already done in order to try and minimize the damage that was yet to happen.
Some colder, more removed part of me was also laughing its ass off because I suddenly found myself climbing Mt. Slappy McHaggis when, less than ten seconds before, I had been drinking bourbon and chatting with some very old friends about the nuances of feminism, rape culture, and male privilege.
Trust me, the irony didn’t escape me, even at the time.
It was also, in some sense, tragic: this was someone I had been friends with for fifteen years, someone whom I had always considered Family. This was a man I had always thought would have my back in a fight, not someone who would suddenly be trying to bury their fists in my face.
It was also, in some sense, inexplicable: this was a guy with a six inch height and a fifty pound weight advantage over me, who I know for a fact thinks of himself as honorable and chivalrous.
And finally, in every sense it was hideously dangerous: physical fights are terrifically dodgy ideas to begin with. I mean, I have anger issues, and I’m a big fan of consensual violence between men, but fighting is chock full of the potential for really shitty consequences; come in at a bad angle, you can crack the zygomatic bone and blind someone; land wrong after a takedown, you can tear tendons and lame them; knock them off balance, and you can crack their head on a curb and there you are, in prison for the next two decades of your life, and the guy who was looking at you funny that one night in a bar is shitting into a bag.
I mean, who knew, but physically beating someone into submission is really hard, and pretty risky when it all comes down to it.
And over what?
The perception that you’ve been disrespected when a friend suggests that you stop interrupting another friend while they speak?
The perception that you’ve been disrespected when someone calls you out for rude behavior?
On the masculine side of things, it makes me very sad for men as they grow older; go through divorces; lose their businesses; have their children taken away. As men, we’re never taught to build communities, or examine our feelings, or build genuinely intimate connections with other men. We’re taught that we can share two emotions: lust and anger. And we’re taught to use those two brutal, clumsy tools to solve every challenge that we experience in our worlds. This is the price we pay for our privilege.
But on the feminine side, my experience makes me much sadder. See, I’ve been thinking about that fight ever since it happened. It’s been a long time since I was in a real fight, and a long time since I was in a fight with a real fighter. And that means it’s been a long time since I had to really think about what it must be like to have to be constantly wary of the rage of men. I did well for a wee Irish guy, for the few seconds that our scuffle went on, I held my own; but those few seconds were enough to earn me a black eye an d weeks worth of limping. And if we hadn’t been in a public place, surrounded by friends, I would have been fucked. Right proper fucked. Rabbit in a hound’s mouth fucked. Fucked like every abused wife in a trailer or McMansion is fucked. Which, ironically, is what the conversation we were having to begin with was all about: when that fight popped off, we were discussing the reality that about half of the world’s population has to process that the at any given moment, some member of the other half of it could go savagely violent on you with no warning, rhyme, or reason. And this reality is something every woman I know has to deal with every day. The irony is remarkable: simply discussing the topic of male rage and expecting equality from all participants was enough to provoke this guy to violence. What I experienced in that brief window of time was being punched right out of my privilege for a minute. In that moment, I was reminded, very briefly, what being assaulted by someone much bigger and much more aggressive than you are is like; what it’s like to go toe-to-toe with someone to big for you to resist, let alone overcome. And it reminded me why I care, why I fight, and why feminism is always worth fighting for, with our words, our tongues, our fists, or a goddamn barstool, needs must.
So, yeah. I’m abandoning the world of men. I’m abandoning the idea of egos so fragile they can’t bear criticism. I’m abandoning the idea of size as strength, might as right, and women as an audience. And most of all, I reject the idea of using your power as a tool to enforce your will, rather than using it as a tool to protect your Family.
Always punch up. Never punch down.
We’re going to win this.
YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED…..
So my very favourite Bad Feminist Roxane Gay, who has to deal with so much more intersectionality than I do, has participated in a puff piece in stylist.co.uk talking about her hygiene routine. I told her I would follow her example.
At this point I can hear Jeff saying something, and then when I ask him to repeat it, he says, ‘Oh, nothing, nothing.’
I probably should shower more frequently than I do, being about three times a week, but as I get older I get dryer, and I feel like I’m turning into a desiccated old piece of sod. I use Belle de Provence Honeysuckle soap because it smells very good, lasts a long time and is the one piece of luxury in my hygiene routine. Hardly anyone carries it and since it’s 6 bucks a pop I tend to buy in bulk when I find it. I use Head and Shoulders brand shampoo/conditioner and buy it in the large pump size as it’s cheaper. I use no other soap products. I wash my hands every time I handle the cat, before I prep food and after I come in from being out in public as well as after I groom myself or go to the toilet. I didn’t give a shit about washing my hands before I ran a restaurant. Now I really, really do care about it, and it’s the simplest, fastest and easiest way to prevent illness, so why the hell not.
I hate all deodorants but I stink if I don’t use them. When I’m feeling radical I wash, dry thoroughly and apply baby powder to my pits, but that’s good for about 12 hours before Jeff’s eyebrows do something improbable (the fan in the basement blows my effluent in his direction when we’re watching tv, so … yeah.) Otherwise I use whatever kind of bo juice isn’t loathsome, and I’m like a lightning rod for deodorant being discontinued, so I try to be cool, but right now it’s a pretty loathsome vanilla smelly thing. Gak. Still better than the alternative.
I use two different kinds of eyedrops, thanks to the amazingly practical and super unjudgey Lady Miss Banjola, one for day, one for night, and I am not consistent in their use but by gar it’s a good thing to have them, because when you need them you’re like ACK MY EYES MY EYES I CAN’T GET MY EYES oh thank goodness I can see! Also, thanks to her I found out that dryness amidships can be ameliorated by the twice weekly anointing of der ladygel, and she made brand recommendations, and I can get them reasonably cheap on line. With that one small recommendation she made my life go from a meepy, withered parody of what Beeker sounds like after he’s been mugged, to me being able to contemplate having a boyfriend. I don’t actually want a boyfriend, and the men in my life who squire me around do not wish to fill this or candidly any other vacancy wheresoever situated, but at least the prospect shifted from being painfully impossible to being ludicrously improbable, and only the Rumi’s Beloved could parse that shift in meaningful terms, but I view it as an improvement.
I pluck my eyebrows every day. I watched the best eyebrow guy on the planet do a tutorial on youtube, and I thought “Hey, my OCD and some grooming tips wa-ho!” but I tell you my brow game is fierce, and it helps with the performative feminity, although I have not recently been mistaken for a man (it only happened the once, and I think the person was altered.)
This upping of the eyebrow game was subsequent to Keith picking out to extremely flattering and stylish frames for me. I was looking really hard for a job and I wanted to be ready to interview at a moment’s notice, and now, provided I have a clean dress, I really am. I pluck my chin hairs, and my (sigh, fuck my life) chest hairs. I do not shave my legs or pits and anybody who wants me to can shave his or her legs and pits all they want but this lovely, amazing, FEATURE of adult life called BODILY AUTONOMY does not stop being awesome just because you are creeped out by my hairy legs, and the next time somebody calls me on it I’ll just say that sexism is uglier than hairy legs and any sensible person knows that. Body hair sure makes men who have basic issues with mansplaining and feminism go away right quick, and smell ya later, ya squirrelfondling preverts.
Also, I got really really bad frostbite on my lower legs when I was in public school, so bad that the skin on my lower legs (the shaving zone) is burst-into-tears sensitive, so yeah, no, fuck your leg shaving. It HURTS. I bleed, and then all the little hairs growing back in catch in my bedding, so fuck you and go AWAY if you think I should shave my legs for any reason whatsoever. As for my armpits. When more than 50 percent of north American men shave their armpits, I’ll sign up for one of those monthly boxes of shaving gear, but until that day (bwa ha ha, coming soon!) yeah, just no.
I used to use Garnier number 60 hair dye and I still have some tucked away, but it really really bothers Jeff and I’m not a fan of doing it, I am a fan of having it done. Fortunately the colour is almost exactly the same as the two remaining stripes of colour I have in the mounting nest of grey that is my hair so even when I let it grow out it looks reasonably okay. If I get another interview, which will be hard, as I am officially as of this moment no longer looking for work since hey we’re in a recession, and nobody would want to hire me even if I wanted to trade the best part of me for 24K net a year, which I don’t, and which makes me an elitist asshole. Ok.
I make my own perfume, which is called Cyprus, and has a secret blend of floral oil ingredients, and which smells fantastic on me (to the point where other women have demanded I sell them some, which I did) but everybody from my mOm to my brO thinks it smells like I’m hanging truck stop air freshener from my pits AND about 40% of my friends have chemical sensitivities and find it overpowering even when I’m using it gingerly so it’s only for special occasions.
My last pedicure made me limp for THREE FUCKING MONTHS and I am never paying for one again as Hecate may bear witness; now I cut off the parts of the toenail that stick out and abrade down the rest with a number of different kinds of pedicure gear. I occasionally soak my feet and use footrub on myself or get somebody else like Katie to help out. I am very very on top of my toenails because I can go from Happy Feet to ballerina outtakes (thankfully not shown here) in less than a week. My hair, feet and nails grow at a tremendous rate, which is great because I get rid of heavy metals that way, but I must cut, hack, saw and file away with vigour.
I used to be an assclown about dental hygiene but I brush and floss every single day now (occasional lapses, but not many) since I can’t afford to lose the use of any more teeth when toothpaste and floss is so cheap. I buy firm or super firm brushes and brush whatever way feels right and I pay for getting my teeth cleaned professionally once a year. I am seriously considering investing in dental picks.
I have incredibly clean ear canals. I hate the feeling of anything in there except air, but I no longer scrape them out with anything hard because it removes the hair that grows in the canal and I’m so clumsy I might deafen myself.
I wash my face with soap once a week. Any more and I dry out like something that went with Scott to the Pole.
Once every three months I apply a clay facial mask. I like how my skin feels afterward.
Once in a very long while I get a massage or a spa half day, but I can get the same results from rolling around on Wreck Beach and probably get exposed to the same amount of coliform in the process.
And there you have it. Nobody asked for it, but that is my hygiene routine.
Apart from a bunch of stuff healthwise that I’m not going to talk about because EW GROSS, yesterday was awesome. I wrote 1200 words, watched a bunch of world class soccer, drank beer and stayed the hell out of the sun.
Today Jeff and I are going to do a schlep, and then I’m going to lie around waiting for Mike to take me to the beach so I can at least get in one Wreck Day this year. Alex had HIS first Wreck Day yesterday and Katie nearly spavined herself on the stairs but he loved it and no sun burn. Yay. Hope it’s kiteable, Mike always likes that.
Still no word on when C. (Mike’s buddy) can come home from the US. She already had a work visa here, Las Migras in this country are underfunded fools. A buddy has been waiting 3 years to bring his wife from the Phillippines! Cazart.
The court decisions in the States are blowing up my social media feeds. More work remains. I’m not going to colourize my facebook picture; I’ve got all the goddamned ribbons, medals, encomia and thank you letters I want from the work I have done for equality and if people don’t know where I stand they don’t care enough to pay attention. Also, I’m not an American and we’ve been able to marry like that for a decade now.
One of Joni Mitchell’s former squeezes has let slip that the aneurysm has blown out her ability to talk. I figure if she recovers enough to hold a paint brush she’ll be fine. She’ll certainly be getting the best care.
Back to making lists and getting dressed. I am going to have another good day, I can feel it. Tomorrow, when I’m sore from the stairs, that’s something else.
Best commentary by a man on the subject of maxipads that has ever been written in English. Required reading for all men who consider themselves to be feminists, and for any woman who has ever had a period. ALSO VERY FUNNY. I said in my facebook post on the subject: This is one of the funniest, truest, most ah-ha pieces I’ve ever read. By me, he’s got a man card the size a phone book – far too big to be casually ripped up!
I took extensive notes.
Christine Lowe opened things up by saying that in healthy communities we acknowledge the harm that comes to victims of violence, and that victimes need to be helped with their physical, spiritual and emotional well being. Strong relationships make social justice possible.
She made a joke about the podium. When they were finalizing planning they realized they had no podium, and they had no money to buy or rent one. So they called the police. The Victoria PD supplied the podium.
This donation by the police meant that we were looking at their logo the entire time, but it also meant that it was a place where cops and SJWs could work together, and that made me happy.
There was a territorial acknowledgement, and Elder May made a blessing that set the tone for the day. A little rambling, heart-piercingly beautiful, compassionate. When she sang I started weeping. The contrast of her speaking voice and her singing voice was so acute it made me sit up. Her song was wordless and filled with yearning for justice and peace.
Then the Deputy Minister for Justiceland Wanamaker got up and gave a canned f*cking empty speech with about as much inflection and heart as one gets from a Grade 7 kid giving her first address. As a libertarian-inflected feminist, I was enraged to the point I nearly booed when she tried to make political hay out of taking 5 million dollars from civil forfeiture – forgot we had that in Canada, right? right? and earmarking it for prevention of violence against women. Really don’t like that. I could go on at great length about why I was pissed, but instead I stink eyed her until she left. She may be a king hell accomplished career bureaucrat, and we should be thankful that somebody of her dignity spoke to us, but I came away wanting to coach her on public speaking and liberty both. Please don’t think that the 8 Domestic Violence Units which have been set up across BC with the money are bad things. I don’t. One thing I will credit her with is saying ‘all genders’; this is phrasing I wish more politicians would adopt, since it doesn’t other trans* and intersex people, or people who are distinctly possessing identifiable bits but are not gender normative, and it includes two-spirited.
Frank Elsner. Chief of Police in Victoria since January 2014. Man, I wish, you have NO IDEA HOW I WISH, that brO could have been in the auditorium when he spoke. He worked the room, greeting and speaking with many, many people. Fine, a cop can have good social skills, in fact let’s hope she does. As he was introduced, it was obvious that he is highly intelligent and has multiple degrees from real universities. He’s been chair of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, which means he’s been exposed to best (and worst) practices across the planet, and let’s face it the last decade has seen some impressive advances in community policing.
He said, “Why talk about community health in terms of policing?” Essentially good policing is part of what makes a healthy community. As a cop he was appalled to arrest three generations of criminals. The boys weren’t born bad; intervention and options are required to turn lives around.
He mandated a different approach to street prostitution. Instead of throwing them in the jug, a group of women were streamed toward social workers. Picture their astonishment when the first problem most of them had was that they had no picture ID. Childcare, job training and housing were also issues. Address them, and women can get off the street. He made it sound simple, but the key is collaboration among a large group of people across half a dozen Ministries and social agencies. When you get seven women out of the life, you are reducing human suffering in them, their children and their grandchildren, is the point.
Then he said the thing that would have made brO happiest. He said the police must be accountable to the people they serve for everything they do, even when it hurts the police institutionally and personally. The reactive model of policing is no longer tenable; police have to earn and show respect in the community they serve.
He also mentioned that cops need to be better educated and trained (yay, maybe that one dingus will finally learn how to give evidence in traffic court) and that their own mental health MUST be factored into the equation; police need like all people to be treated with respect for the sad duties they take on, on behalf of all of us, and that if we just keep expecting cops to suck it up they will snap. So he wants to look after the well being of the people in his department and not just expect them to stand tall and be stoic.
My applause at the end of his talk was very genuinely enthusiastic, as was Paul’s.
Then Dr. Martin Broken Leg got up.
1. Dude’s funny.
2. Dude’s a survivor.
3. Dude’s hella smart.
With effortless humour, fluency, clarity and logic, he walked us through what it’s like to live in Aboriginal culture, both sides of the border (he is Lakota, adopted into the Raven clan on Haida Gwaii and man you shoulda seen his button decorated black vest with the most beeeyootiful appliquéd silver raven on the back, I admired it in person.)
One Hundred and Fifty Thousand Indian kids went to residential schools until 94 when the last one closed. Four Hundred and Fifty Thousand Indian kids have gone into care since the mid fifties.
The ACE studies (Adverse Childhood Experiences) can provide some light.
If a child is exposed to addictions, abuse, domestic violence, incarceration and neglect, you will get social impairment, health risks, disease, disability and early death.
There are other sources of trauma to FN kids. Federal laws, provincial policies, residential schools, the institutions of the churches, poverty, sub standard housing, poor nutrition and lack of healthy practices, lower opportunities for education and employment.
Oppression comes in many forms. Social microaggressions, the way people look at you and talk to you and make assumptions about you. Systems don’t make place for you and your cultural folkways. The professional people who are supposed to help you don’t necessarily respect you and don’t expect you to improve; and then of course there’s internalized racism and the numbness that comes when you realize that you’re worthless; you don’t need to see 1200 missing women on tv to realize that there’s not a lot of respect for FN women, let alone men.
He recommended Rupert Ross’s Criminal Conduct and Colonialization and Dr. Paulette Regan’s Unsettling the Settler Within.
Traumatized people show it. They show it by abusing their children, committing suicide, legal trouble and incarceration, early death, violence and addictions.
If you’re working with traumatized people the question to ask is not What’s Wrong with You!? it’s What Happened to You?
In 2012 the Gladue decision brought into sentencing the ability of the judge to inquire as to childhood trauma before jail time.
Subsequently a 19 year old aboriginal man was arrested for assaulting (I remember this story) a Coast Mountain bus driver. At sentencing it was learned that he had been in 28 foster homes between 4 and 18. He didn’t get jail time, he got counselling, and the howls from white people who said BUT HE ISN’T BEING PUNISHED were very loud. And pointless. Jail wouldn’t help.
FN people need to:
See your own and your inherited pain (he called it the dark shadow that lies across every aspect of aboriginal life.)
Know and express your own suffering.
Self-critique and move toward self-improvement (away from victimhood toward self-actualization)
Reclaim aboriginal spirtuality, community and culture ESPECIALLY LANGUAGE (my comment because it is a road map back to the way the land spoke to your ancestors.)
Non-aboriginal people need to work on:
Self-reflection, to lose their white innocence (I had no idea FN children were experimented on, I had no idea that three percent of the residential school kids never came home, I had no idea that the Indian Act didn’t let FN women vote until the 1960s.)
Accept the historical violence, from the Beothuk to Akwesasne.
Admit the full equality of Aboriginal people and ways. That’s the tough one. We’ve been acculturated to believe that European ways are superior, and it ain’t necessarily so.
Remember that the 1948 UN definition of genocide COVERS THE SITUATION OF THE RESIDENTIAL SCHOOLS.
Broken Leg then talked about the four stages of forgiveness, as outlined in Tutu’s The Book of Forgiving, which he wrote with his daughter Mpho.
- Let us tell the truth. Speak the truth, unvarnished, the facts. Tell trusted people, accepting that the past will not be changed.
- Name the hurt. Accept all feelings as valid and connect those feelings to the facts. Use Kubler-Ross’s grief work. Be vulnerable and be willing to be hurt, because you will be.
- Grant forgiveness by choosing to forgive. Grow by forgiveness. Move to the place of being a survivor hero, not a victim.
- Change your story. Tell a new story to heal. Renew or release the relationship that has marked you. Ask for what you need. Look at your role, not to blame yourself, but with calmness.
Young people, to be resilient, must be valued enough by their culture to be taught
Then I went to a breakout session on suicide prevention in young people “This do in memory of me” for Kaitlin Schmidt, whose plaque we put up in the Gazebo of Remembrance on Thursday night.
Almost 4000 people kill themselves in Canada every year. A lot of them are young people. Accidents involving brain injury, suicide and cancer are one two three for cause of death in folks under 25.
It’s okay to ask somebody if they are thinking of harming themselves or killing themselves, but there is a big but.
You have to say that you have seen a change in behaviour first. This marks you as somebody observant and caring. If they are suicidal but deny it you have marked yourself as a safe person to talk to later. (I find it unlikely that I will ever be that blue again but I know EXACTLY who among my friends I can go to, and that in itself is wonderful.) If they aren’t suicidal they can explain why they’ve been wearing nothing but sweat pants for two weeks and are giving away all their stuff.
Since kids have smart phones, there’s been a lot of work on apps that help kids manage their moods. Links below.
I found it very interesting that the presenter, Renata Hindle, said that in two hundred 80 minute presentations in BC to Grade 8 and Grade 10 kids, precisely one class wouldn’t go with the guided meditation, and that dozens of kids have told her they wished they knew about it earlier. Funnily enough, we teach meditation at a number of points in the UU religious education curriculum. Cause we be all about raising resilient kids yo.
Then there was a very challenging talk on male survivors of childhood sexual abuse.
Men process sexual trauma differently than women.
Gender role conditioning to not seek help, to suck it up, to be tough and stoic, mean that help is not sought and the trauma plays out in all aspects of the survivor’s life.
They don’t have the social permission of women to ask for help, to admit to needing it.
When they do seek help, there is a deluge of stuffed-down emotions which occurs at the commencement of the counselling.
Societal and internalized homophobia (offenders normally being men) can cloud the survivor’s ability to see their own victimization. Womanizing is often a consequence of childhood sexual abuse.
Often, they can fear that they will prey on children (this was brilliantly depicted, as an aside, as part of Bunchy’s story in Showtime’s Ray Donovan.)
Something that never occurred to me was that as boys arrive at puberty, they have the ability to be physically aroused by damned near anything. This is used by perps to show to the boy that he ‘must have enjoyed it.’ ew ew ew.
5 – 6% of boys who’ve been molested go on to offend.
BUT 95% of offenders were abused.
Those are horrible statistics. And we’re doing a shitty job as a culture of helping men who’ve been sexually abused as children. I am going to investigate the group helping men here in town.
As an aside, she said that male survivors are very likely to espouse conspiracy theories, because their essential feeling of safety has been destroyed. They have seen the shadowy forces of evil and want everybody to be as frightened as they once were.
This made me realize that someone close to me is probably a survivor. I have had to come to a personal adjustment of my thinking patterns.
Sobriety is virtually impossible for survivors who haven’t had counselling for the trauma.
Survivors get in fights, they are medicated heavily, many have difficulty keeping sober and binge or drink steadily, they dress in a fashion that tells people ‘KEEP THE **** AWAY FROM ME”, they don’t come to family events and cause scenes or sit in the corner and drink, and they are job avoidant or can’t keep a job due to ongoing issues with disrespect and authority.
I didn’t take notes.
Reena Virk’s parents made a presentation about what it was like, and how the reconciliation with one of their daughter’s killers went.
I cried a lot.
Then they started talking about the Bible, which was less moving, and Paul and I anthem sprinted to the ferry, where we made the 5 o’clock. There was a circular rainbow in Active Pass, and I saw a fur seal.
I don’t appreciate having ads for Kinder Morgan on my site, and am trying to figure out how to get rid of them.
Check it out! Isn’t it great when men who will have access to date rape drugs make fun about date rape?
A friend is having trouble with a band council administration. Colonialism has made a proper mess of First Nations life. This story has alcohol, violence and threats of it, substandard housing, employment being contingent on who your cousins are, more alcohol, treatment centers that drive their their residents in to town to buy cigarettes (fuck you must be kidding), people walking into your house in the middle of the night and not leaving when asked, being fired for no cause when you’re doing your job properly, having to call the RCMP on your in laws, racism and more bullshit than could be shoveled in a month by ten strong men.
If I hadn’t heard from a dear friend today, who is doing fine, I’d be very much on edge.d
Back to my babies. Literary, squidly babies, with large appetites.
Some dudebro posting under a social justice moniker on twitter just told me that douchebag is not a gendered slur. Do you know what it feels like, protecting Stephen Harper from gendered slurs? I feel…. fucking weirded out, 0 humans!
Of course douchebag is a gendered slur. Men don’t douche. (Women shouldn’t either, but that is a bottle of cultural worms I’m not prepared to uncork at the moment cause then we get into the whole stinky hoo-ha thing… just, no.)
Anyway, Stephen Harper is a REAL man. Where REAL stands for Reliably Evangelistic Authoritarian Leader.
So after he (obliviously he) tells me that douchebag is not a gendered slur, I answered thusly,
Are you implying (along with coconuts migrating) that men douche? Cause, damn, dog, that’s some scary shit.
I think it’s time to turn off the social justice firehose for today.
Manuel Noriega – Ol’ Pineapple Face himself – is suing a gaming company for unauthorized use of his image.
In the words of John Caspell:
bwa ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha aaaa!
Porn has permanently altered the relationship between men and women in North America.
Jeff is under the impression that research (most of this is non scientific precis) here, here, here, here, here, (showing how public health problems arise from porn familiarization) here, and here, (part of this research is more about how young women are affected by partners’ porn use) and cultural commentary like this is of no consequence. My observation that men are experiencing sexual dysfunction in eyebrow raising numbers and women are being forced to emulate porn stars just to keep the interest of their partners is dismissed by Jeff as anecdotal.
If it wasn’t for porn, why have stats on word frequency for certain sex acts skyrocketed in the last thirty years? If it wasn’t for porn, why would Brazilians be so popular? If it wasn’t for porn why would women and men my kids’ age tell me about how porn and hookup culture have come winnowing through their lives like tornados, leaving busted relationships, shame, sexual dysfunction and very bad vibes in their wakes? And let’s not forget the contribution of porn to misogyny. Some poor schmucks watched their way through a lot of contemporary porn, and 90% of the sex acts depicted had the men verbally or physically or sexually abusing the women while the women either stayed blank or appeared to enjoy it. Young men are often (and yes, anecdotally) surprised when the women they have sex with object to having their faces ejaculated on, or don’t want to have unprotected anal on the first date. You can say this is poor socialization. I think it’s porn. Porn changes behaviour. Monkey see, monkey do. Monkey do, monkey think.
Let’s get our feet under us, shall we?
I am a pro porn feminist. I like and consume some forms of porn, and have publicly discussed my porn preferences on this blog, although it was a while back. There is evidence to suggest that porn availability has dropped the rape stats; that legalization of child pornography decreases child sexual abuse; that pornography can be liberating, enjoyable and a perfectly fun part of whatever the hell it is that passes for a normal sex life in these parlous times.
I do think there is enough evidence to suggest that the inescapability of porn is harming the brains and manners of young people, and that an activity that’s really designed for adult brains is injuring young ones. I’m not going to try to ban it or bag at the people who make it. I am going to say that we are, as a culture, participating in a large scale uncontrolled social experiment about the effects of porn, and I predict the long term results for the sexual health of a hefty percentage of Canadians is going to be really, really shitty.
Jeff, given that your contention that porn isn’t a problem for men’s sexual health, would you care to provide the evidence that supports this?
I heard a delightful story from Rob W this week during which he recounted how he chose to wear a kilt to a knee exam (the practical sort, obviously). Later that day he attended a Religious Education meeting (during which people apparently said nice things about me… which was pleasant to learn) and found to his amusement that he was the only one there wearing a skirt. Smashing the patriarchy can be a subtle proposition sometimes.
Chuck Wendig on Men’s Rights Activists… “a great deal of misspellings and dogshit grammar and the reading comprehension of an aging, mule-kicked spider monkey.”
bwa ha ha