mangofandango: (drhorrible/letsey_x/bashinminds)
One thing that keeps coming up in my discussions with people recently about The Great Breastfeeding Issue OMG, to the point where I must rant briefly, is this:

A feeling of discomfort is not actually objective proof that something is bad, wrong, unhealthy, ridiculous, or unnecessary. If you are well-informed and still feel uncomfortable, please do honor that for yourself! But also make sure you at least have an informed opinion rather than a vague feeling of "that's weird and I don't like it" before you go ahead and tell other people how gross and wrong they are being, ok?

I literally saw someone say "I can't imagine what the benefits would be" and my head kind of popped off a little. You are actively on the internet right now, talking about this! DID YOU FORGET ABOUT GOOGLE? You do not actually have to imagine the benefits, or even whether there are benefits - a bazillion sources are there to make up for your lack of imagination!

OK sorry I'll stop now. I am mostly enjoying these conversations, but dude, SOMETIMES.
mangofandango: (drhorrible/letsey_x/bashinminds)
I apologize to those of you who are the choir to whom I am about to preach, the internet just made me cranky and I must rant.

Listen. Using the word "retarded" to mean "stupid" is offensive and hurtful to people with disabilities. It makes you look ignorant, because it is ignorant. The same is true about using "gay" to mean "stupid" or "bad" - when you do that, you are calling gay people stupid and bad. It doesn't matter if you don't mean it that way, you like gay people, or your best friend's cousin is gay! That is what you are saying, it is inherent in how the word is being used.

People get all worked up about how uptight it is to insist on so-called "PC language". Those people are usually the ones who refuse to acknowledge the experience of others, who do not see that language shapes a lot and reflects very powerful cultural attitudes towards groups of people. If it's too hard for you to stop being so disrespectful of others because these words are a habit for you, please get yourself a thesaurus and learn some new words. If these words do not hurt you and you do not think they matter, consider how privileged you are to feel that way. Your words do matter. Being mindful of your word choices is not just a matter of some false "correctness", it is a matter of respect and genuine concern for others.

Edited to add, based on a polite and apologetic response from one person who used "retarded" as slang today: I totally get that there is a disconnect for people here, since these are commonly-used slang words as well as super-loaded ones. My crankiness is not directed at people who have not thought about this, really, so much as the people who insist that these words are not worthy of concern.
mangofandango: (drhorrible/letsey_x/bashinminds)
In light of this whole kerfuffle:

A wise woman ([Bad username or site: @], IIRC) once said something very much like this: "Consent is not just the absence of "no". It's a free and enthusiastic yes (YES! YES!)". Actually, she says it with some frequency around VP. It's a thing that comes up often.

Personal responsibility does not mean that you have to prevent your own rape, sexual assault, harassment or even discomfort. It's great if you can shout, scream, fight, push, and otherwise get the hell out of a bad situation. It's also great if you feel able to speak up, during an upsetting event, and say that something is making you uncomfortable and the pressure/activity/etc. should stop. But some people cannot do that. Sometimes, they are too surprised by what's happening, or they feel threatened and like it might be safer to just go along, or they are triggered and simply unable to open their mouths, or just...whatever. These people should not be shamed for that. If someone feels victimized, being asked why they didn't leave faster or shout louder is not helping. Being told they shouldn't have been in that place at that time is not helping.

Sure, it is possible for a person to find out later, despite the best of intentions, that what was happening was not okay for someone who was involved. If that happens, the right thing to do is apologize profusely and immediately. The best thing to do is to make sure beforehand - get that enthusiastic yes. Know your partner or partners are willing and if there is any doubt, check in.

It is heartening to see that there are many, many people talking about rape culture and consent and victim blaming on LJ today and yesterday. It is disheartening to see a few people being obtuse about it, to say the least. I thought I should join in the conversation just a little bit, because it's an important one.

And one more time - even if you are walking down the street naked and drunk, alone, at 2 in the morning, you do not deserve to be raped, nor are you asking to be. If you are raped in that situation, the fault lies with the person who decided to rape you. No, really. It's important and great to talk about safety measures and gauging a situation and doing what one can to protect oneself, but the shame and the guilt gets off here.


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