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Please, Call Me Fat

30 Jan

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If you haven’t seen the article yet, Matel has officially announced the release of the new Barbies: petite, tall, and curvy. Find the article here. You can also check out the various skin tones, ethnicities, eye shapes, and face shapes (and order your own Barbie!) at the Barbie.com website.

The new Barbies are absolutely gorgeous! That isn’t to say that I didn’t find original Barbie gorgeous, or even that I had a problem with her portrayal of women’s bodies. I didn’t. But these new Barbie’s are so beautiful! I was absolutely thrilled when I first laid eyes on curvy Barbie’s figure; it was so similar to mine!

But alas, we decided to call her curvy (which I won’t say she isn’t). Marketing a fat Barbie would’ve been a nightmare, so I get it (don’t get me started about “curvy women’s clothing). I’m also sure that half of the women out there, regardless of size or struggle, would be up in arms about that.

But I’m here to say please, call me fat.

After all, it’s what I am. I’m blessed that my fat falls in some of the more desirable places, but those curves are still made up of fat. We’ve decided that in order to be sensitive, we need to stop saying fat, but that just disguises the issue. If being fat is okay, then saying someone is fat is okay. I don’t want to be attractive because I’m fat, and I don’t want to be unattractive because I’m fat, I want to be attractive regardless of it. When we refuse to say “fat”, it feels like we should not only be ashamed of the word but of ourselves, too. Of course, I don’t want to disregard others struggles, because there are so many body types that could also be considered “fat” or “curvy”.

I am fat. I weigh 250 lbs. I’m okay with it. You should be too.

What is a descriptive term you feel we’ve removed from our repertoire to try to be “sensitive”, but it ends up working against us? How do you feel about “fat” vs. “curvy”?

Oregon Militia: Peaceful Protesters or Terrorists?

4 Jan

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted something political. I bet you’re absolutely giddy!

If you aren’t up to date on what’s going on in Oregon, here is basically what is happening:

Some ranchers set some fires in the early 2000s that ended up burning federal land on a wildlife refuge. They served time in prison for it, but now the judge says that they were supposed to serve more time than they did, and is sending them back. Cue militia. Some other folks with some guns went onto the refuge, and have taken up shop in the buildings. They say they won’t leave until the judge reverses the decision for the ranchers to be sent back to prison and the wildlife refuge land is returned to ranchers.

If you would like to read something other than that brief, extremely vague, synopsis you can get more info here and here.

From this, we’ve seen several meme-like pictures pop up, including this one:

Now then, I’m all for protesting. I’ve always wanted to protest for some cause or other, but haven’t really had the chance (apparently I don’t know anyone that passionate about anything). But when protesting, peaceful protesting and sit-ins are the only way to go. Peaceful protests don’t involve guns. That is where the Oregon militia becomes confusing, and why we are having such a hard time classifying what we are looking at.

First, while this militia group has guns, we have no record that they have used them to take over the buildings they are in, we have no record of hostages, and we have no record that they have forced entry or broken any property. For all it’s worth, that is pretty peaceful, and it points that they only plan to use their guns for defense. Now, according to the Oregonian, the man heading this protest has said they would “not rule out violence” if police tried to remove them (read). I couldn’t find a direct quote, and so I’m a tad skeptical. Assuming our sources are credible, this is a direct move away from peaceful protest. You know…the great part about sit-ins is if you sit and refuse to move, the people being rough trying to get you to move look like assholes and you become the hero. If you pull a gun, you become portrayed differently and as we know…violence begets violence.

We also have to wonder if they have the right to protest. They are trespassing on government property and they aren’t even part of this county. Bundy is from Nevada! Even the Hammonds, who are the people imprisoned for arson, aren’t supporting their actions. Really, one could argue that this isn’t even Bundy’s fight to fight.

Then, looking at this meme, we are drawn to compare minority protests to this apparently white militia. Again, I bring you back to the idea of peaceful protest. If a protest begins without violence, it is no longer peaceful when violence begins. As the protesting group becomes larger, the danger of the group becoming violent increases. From what I’ve read (and as always…please tell me if I’m wrong!), at least Ferguson protests began peacefully enough, and the goal was never to stray from that. But, as I’ve said, when your group becomes larger you see higher likelihood of violence, and once the scale tips, group dynamics cause it to continue. Then, actions like looting are only a step away. That is where these protests have differed from what we are seeing. Oregon appears to be a smaller group, and we haven’t any reports of violence yet. Yet.

Finally, we seem to be ignoring the real issue here. It isn’t whether they should or should not be protesting, it isn’t whether they are terrorists or peaceful protestors, and it isn’t about race. It is however about whether or not the Hammonds should be facing more time in jail, and if this area should be ranched or used as a wildlife refuge. This is a pretty classic and decades-old issue. We are highly dependent on agriculture, and to produce crops and meat we have to have land to do it on. That free-range cow of yours takes a lot more space than a cow housed in a feed-lot (this is not a position statement on cattle). In the same breath, humans are sucking the life out of the planet. We are killing things, and destroying land, and in order to help preserve what we can and fix what we’ve destroyed (habitat fragmentation, anyone?) we have to preserve land, too. It seems that the reasons the Hammonds are headed back to prison is because of a domestic terrorism law. Do I think that their fires were domestic terrorism? No, I really don’t. Do I think they should head back to prison for a sentence that is several years old? No, especially because it was an oversight of our judicial system. I can really, actually, get behind the protesting aspect. I did already say I’m pro-protesting. That will change, however, if violence ensues. As a zoologist, I also struggle with letting go of a wildlife refuge. They are so important for preservation and conservation, that while I don’t think there should be more jail time for the Hammonds, I do think that the wildlife refuge should stay a refuge.

Bundy’s message has been heard. I just hope that it rings true and rises above the race and gun issue, because if it has, and they leave peacefully, then I can see real change happening then.

What is your position on the Oregon militia protest? What do you think the real issue is here? 

30 Days of Online Dating: Day 5

4 Dec

I did even less today with the online dating thing than I did yesterday. It was “date night” with a friend of mine, so we’ve been hanging out since I got off work. I do have something exciting to report (kind of).

I got “asked out” on my first date! Granted…well..I guess you’ll see…

Messages Sent: 1
Messages Received: 0
Conversations: 0

About the guy: 26, Environmental Engineer with a masters, 6’4″ *swoon*,  he says his perfect Sunday ends with “nuzzling with a honey badger”, secretly wants to be “a flux capacitor”
His date: How about we…Skype
My reservations: He lives in New Mexico :(

…and I don’t have fast enough internet to Skype…


Intrigued by:
1
Mutual Intrigues: 0

Things learned (general): the heart button might mean that you “liked” them on “speed dating”?, apparently the best matches live in different states
Things learned about myself: location is important
Something I challenged myself to do: tell someone their picture is “cute” (this super adorable guy from Aurora that I really wish was closer)

Most bizarre/shocking: that “the guy” put nuzzling with a honey badger and wanting to be a flux capacitor on his profile (I did thoroughly enjoy reading his profile though)

 

That’s it for now.  Who wants to make bets on if NM man will actually message back?

 

Want to follow my dating excursion? Go here to begin the journey:30 Days of Online Dating

Aside

Confession Time

30 Nov

Confession time:

I’m always worried that I’m going to become really good friends with a couple, and that they will ask me into a three-some, or some other weird swingers shit.

The Casualties of War

3 Oct

In case you haven’t heard, a US airstrike in Afghanistan has led to the death of several personnel who were part of a doctors without borders facility stationed there. You can read about it here.

I find it tragic that those humans that were doing their best to undo the damage that war causes were, themselves, casualties to the same war. I also find it tragic that these lives seem to matter more than the other civilian lives lost.

The article I’m referencing is from the Times, and while they make mention of other Afghanistani civilian lives lost, it is written to bear less weight than the people in this hospital. Apparently there is outrage at our decisions to make an airstrike in this location, and maybe there was some miscommunication, or misinformation surrounding and leading to it, but this article (and the outraged people) seem to lack understanding of how airstrikes work.

Forgive me, and correct me, if I’m wrong (I’m not a military expert), but the nature of an airstrike alone lends itself to killing unwanted targets. We can type in coordinates, and launch whatever ammo we are using in a particular situation, but we can’t say there are 30 people in a building and we only want to bomb 5 of them. It doesn’t work that way.

Any war, at any time has caused civilian casualties. We seem to feel okay if its “the enemies” civilian casualties versus our own, but we shouldn’t. And we shouldn’t feel okay about either, no matter who it is causing them.

My hope is that maybe this situation will help more people realize that civilian casualties aren’t uncommon, and there are more reasons than just a fallen soldier and money to fight less. I also hope that they do look into what happened that lost these doctors their lives, wounding so many others in this hospital, and they find that the original threat was an actual threat. No one will be happy with that, of course, but at least if this is founded, these people didn’t die for no reason.

Finally, I would like to note that this article was so right when they described the capability to perform airstrikes as “devastating”.

The Day “Gay Marriage” Became “Marriage”

26 Jun

Today is a day that will be written into the history books.

Those of us advocating for LGBT rights have long been looking for the legalization of gay marriage. It is so obviously a denial of basic rights, and is so tangible, that it has been the forerunner for civil rights denied by the LGBT community. Today, it became not something to fight for, but a door that has now opened. Because anyone can be married now regardless of sex, gender, or orientation, “gay marriage” is now just “marriage. And that is something to be excited about!

We took this away from those who have used it as a backbone to their arguments that LGBT people are apparently different than everyone else. Now, we can use this momentum to tear down other barriers to things like adoption, life saving blood donations, and instead of tolerance we can seek acceptance. A same-sex married couple doesn’t have any influence on anyone’s lives but there own, so what is there to tolerate? Nothing. Because everyone should be accepting.

The ruling by the Supreme Court of the United States today, wasn’t a landslide movement, however. Four of the nine members voted against it, and while their reasons are their own, it is hard to say why. These 4 people are holding that their reasons for voting against it was because it was unconstitutional to take away the rights of individual states to decide their own laws. It is hard for me to accept that this is their reason for voting against it.

Considering that in Loving v. Virginia the decision was unanimous, we still have a long way to go. I find it very interesting that in that supreme court ruling, that marriage was a “fundamental freedom”, and that the “freedom to marry or not marry…resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the state” while citing the 14th amendment of the constitution lends me to believe that the 4 dissents were of no result of the constitution, but of simple bigotry.

Section 1 of Amendment XIV states:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

 

Sounds to me as though yes, the states screwed up. Yes, due process of law landed this issue in the supreme court. And YES, those states were denying the rights of their citizens, which is unconstitutional, and why no, today’s landmark decision is NOT unconstitutional. These 4 folks just found themselves on the wrong side of history.

Yay history!! Now my coworker can adopt another pet and her wife will be able to easily divorce her.

 

Dissents of the 4 supreme court justices.
Text of Amendment XIV.
And a really awesomely done video about it all.

 

Please, if you feel as though I got it wrong, I would love to hear your comments as I’m not a lawyer nor a judge (or any expert in the law, for that matter). Make sure you include reference material, though, because I don’t need a bunch of bigoted bullshit cluttering up my space. 

Choose Your Own Adventure: Gun Regulation

26 Sep

This post is inspired by this video:

http://www.upworthy.com/he-cried-and-begged-his-father-dont-do-it-daddy-dont-shoot-mommy-my-son-said-that?c=ufb1

Now I’ll admit fully that I didn’t watch the video. I would have, but I live in the boonies and my internet causes me to be unable to watch videos in a normal amount of time.

The title in itself, however, causes me to think a little more about gun control.

He cried and begged his father. Don’t do it Daddy. Don’t shoot Mommy!

This being followed by the description of the post on Facebook: “Some people told her she should have had a gun. Those people have never lived through this.”

From this alone, we say “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” Fair enough, I suppose.

So Dad comes home, what I assume to be an argument or disturbance occurs in front of little Johnny, and Dad pulls out a gun. His intention is to shoot Mom.

This choose your own adventure has two options:

1) Mom doesn’t have a gun and goes into the bedroom to shield her son from Dad.
2) Mom does have a gun, and pulls it on Dad.

Number 1 is actually what happened, and Dad proceeded to shoot through the door. That’s traumatizing for anyone involved. I know that I would be horrified whether I was the target or being the one shielded. It’s ESPECIALLY traumatizing for a child.

To prevent this ending to this adventure, we instead choose option 2. Instead of shielding little Johnny in a room and being shot at, Mom instead whips out her own gun. We will ignore the fact that Mom would more than likely not have the gun on her currently. So…Mom pulls out the gun and aims it at Dad. In any grace of the universe, Dad realizes the rashness of his actions and lowers his gun, defeated. Little Johnny may have been spared, but more than likely will still be traumatized at least slightly because Mommy just pulled a gun on Daddy. Was Daddy going to shoot Mommy? Was Mommy going to shoot Daddy? Or, because the universe is often harsh, Dad doesn’t drop the gun. Dad aims gun (or shoots). So Mom shoots. Now little Johnny sees his parents both shoot at each other. That is even more traumatizing. Now, the two people in his world who are supposed to love him and love each other and care for each other have made what appear to be attempts on each others lives. And who knows what the aftermath could look like. If both people are wounded, now they are just laying there bleeding, while little Johnny looks on. Or if one parent was unscathed and the other wounded, that parent grabs little Johnny and runs. But little Johnny is being ripped away from one parent by the parent that shot the other one.

Traumatic.

There is a third and fourth option. Dad doesn’t have a gun and neither does Mom. Or Dad doesn’t lose his shit. But neither of those is something we can control.

But “Gun control!” you say. “More mental health screening!” you say.

Unfortunately, Dad might not have a history of mental health issues or a criminal record. He may not have gotten his gun legally.

Here’s the thing: I’m okay with guns. I enjoy shooting. I think that we should do more screenings and background checks and regulate a little more who can own a gun. If Dad gets cleared to have a gun because he has no criminal record and no history of mental health issues, so be it. But if Dad has a history of mental health issues and is off his rocker, while having a criminal background also…no, he should not get a gun.

I think the biggest thing to control gun violence is to teach others about gun safety, and both the risks you assume in addition to the benefits owning a gun may provide. Teaching each other about mental health and the risks posed if someone appears to become depressed, or showing other tendencies while a gun is in the home.

Because Mommy having a gun doesn’t traumatize little Johnny any less. Mommy having a gun isn’t a solution. It’s just kind of like a band-aid to cover up a bigger issue that maybe Dad shouldn’t have had a gun.

What option do you choose for this Choose Your Own Adventure?