It’s Not About Preventing Pregnancy, It’s About Dogma

Trump to switch federal money from comprehensive sex-ed programs in favor of abstinence only education.
 
The man who can’t stay out of women’s changing rooms and his dick out of porn stars and hold on to a wife, will be championing abstinence only education that does not work. That is not an opinion, that is objective fact backed up by research and study.
 
Comprehensive sex-ed programs, in addition to access to contraception, does reduce unwanted pregnancy. Again, that isn’t opinion, that is objective fact.
 
Children are going to f*ck, that’s it, period. Abstinence only education tells the kids they’ve sinned, and now they must carry the baby to term, ruining their lives and setting up the baby to come into a world with unprepared parents.
 
Children who have access to comprehensive education and contraception might get into a situation they didn’t plan for, luckily the guy is ready with a condom, and if not, it’s likely she’s on the pill or has an IUD, then they get to have disappointing awkward kid sex, not have a baby, and go to college, and have a productive career where they can have a child in their late 20s or 30s when they’re ready.
 
MAKE NO MISTAKE, this is not about what’s more effective than the other, because we have numbers, research, and facts that tell us which one works better.
 
This is about religious dogma being pushed by the very man Jesus said could never make it to heaven.
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Monsters Don’t Use Guns

Psychos, maniacs, sickos, crazy, insane, messed up.

Monster.

Stop, calling, them, this.

First, you are calling them this in the same breath as mentioning mental health and mental illness. This is offensive to everyone who is going through mental health issues. It deters people from seeking help with mental health because then they are ‘psycho’ or labeled as violent and dangerous. When people don’t seek help, they become worse and suffer in silence until it becomes a crisis. I speak from personal experience.

I’ll expand on that later, but my main point is that, secondly,  calling them monsters ignores a very, very important point.

They’re not monsters.

They’re not psychos.

They’re not maniacs.

They’re human.

They’re your classmates, co-workers, neighbors, friends and family. They’re sons, daughters, mothers and fathers.

They’re me, they’re you.

An uncomfortable thought, I know, but no one wants to believe someone they know is capable of murder. Everyone wants to believe that people who are going to commit murders are some deranged lunatic steeping in hatred in a basement. Everyone wants to believe serial killers and mass murderers are psychopathic monsters writing hieroglyphics on the wall in blood.

That simply isn’t the case.

People who commit violent crime; murder, spousal abuse, assault, are usually well adjusted members of society. So quit trying to de-humanize them.

I used to read the local paper daily, and there was almost always a shooting or assault report in the crime section. Usually non-lethal, but it involved everyday people going about their everyday life doing everyday things, then things just got out of hand, one thing led to another.

Other times there were reports involving death. Someone getting shot in the dark, a previous boyfriend suspected. A murder suicide, just two people going about their lives when an argument gets out of hand.

When you look beyond local there is always a story to see. A boy shooting his siblings over an argument about food. People shooting each other and themselves all the time by mistake or in a moment of passion. A negligent parent who is shot or loses a child because they left their gun unattended and a toddler picked it up. A family man who murders his family.

Hitler wasn’t a monster, he was a man. He wasn’t a psychopathic sicko, he was a veteran, a son. He wasn’t insane, he was an articulate speaker who had convinced himself what he was doing was right and just.

When you convince yourself only monsters commit these horrific atrocities, then you can’t see them. You won’t be able to see them because all you see are people. And just like in a horror movie, you only see the monster when it’s too late.

So when NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch says that the ‘Insane monster’ who shot students in Florida, what does she mean? When did he become a monster?

Before or after he shot people?

Before or after he decided to kill people?

Before or after he had a thought about killing people?

How do you define a monster? Who gets to decide? Are you a monster for your thoughts? Or actions?

If you have ever been on the internet, you know that death threats are almost as common as compliments. Is every who sends a death threat, or threat of any kinds, a monster? Should they be allowed to have guns?

What do you do for people when they’re a ‘monster’? Where do you send them? Who pays for it? How do you force someone to get help if they don’t want it?

Is someone who abuses their spouse a monster? How about someone who makes threats online? How about someone who assaults another person? What about someone who just thinks about those things?

It’s awfully convenient to say ‘insane monsters’ shouldn’t have guns, when they’re only ‘insane monsters’ once they start killing people.

Lets stop talking about monsters, and talk about people. Because that’s what this is about.

Let’s Talk About Mental Health.

If we’re going to talk about mental health, then fucking do it. Stop using mental illness as your distraction topic from gun violence. Because the link between mental illness and violent crimes is an important topic worth discussing, but the link between mass shooting and mental illness is very weak. In fact the crime rate involving people with mental illness with firearms is quite low, in actuality two thirds of gun deaths are suicides.

If these guys are so concerned about mental health, why do they only, ONLY talk about it when it’s in relation gun massacres. Why dozens of people are slaughtered, the bring up the mentally ill.
When 123 people die daily, 44,965 people a year, die to suicide each year. 494,169 visited a hospital in 2016 for injuries due to self-harm, with hundreds of thousands of self-harm and suicide attempts going unreported and untreated.

Suicide rates increase sharply in adults 25 and over, men are 3.5 times more likely to die than women and white men account 7 out of 10 suicides in 2016. Firearms account for half of all suicides. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death overall, being the 2nd leading cause of death among those 15-34, and 3rd leading cause of death between children 10-14.
That’s right, children, 10-14, 409 of them took their own lives in 2015. In comparison, 158 were killed because of homicide. That’s all homicide mind you, not just gun violence.

None of what I just mentioned, has anything to do with mass shootings.

So, why, the fuck, do we only talk about mental health when there’s a mass shooting?
Millions of people struggle with mental illness, minor and severe.

To say it’s only worth taking about mental illness in the context of violence isn’t only god damned insulting, it is stigmatizing and damaging to legitimate discussion about mental illness.

People will not seek help, if they believe only violent people have mental illness. There is a very real stigma with mental illness. People believe only those with problems should seek mental health physicians, which isn’t true. That people with mental illnesses are dangerous, which isn’t true. That it’s a weakness to seek help for mental health, which isn’t true.
But to talk about mental health in the context of violence gives weight to all these myths that we’ve been trying to dispel for years.
Trump mentioned mental health, but no plans, no ideas, no policy thoughts.

So, I expect nothing to happen, but if we as citizens want to stop mental illness and suicides from claiming lives we have to change the stigma.

If we want to help children struggling, we have to have comprehensive mental health and wellness education. We need counselors and professionals who can identify when children are starting to slip, and guide them and help them. And they will grow into a generation more mindful of mental health and hopefully reduce suicides in a time suicide rates are increasing.
That is going to require staffing, and funds. Something many schools lack.

But Trump didn’t mention anything that would imply he wants to actually do anything.

In fact, everything he is doing would imply he only wants to make it worse.

He has slashed taxes which could have been used for funding national, state and local programs for mental health.

He has removed the individual mandate which will kick 11 million people off medical insurance which would help provide assistance for those needing mental health care.

And most importantly he rescinded and Obama era policy that would help prevent those with mental health issues from getting fire arms.

So, when Trump says he wants to address mental health. He’s just doing the standard news cycle post school shooting.

Thoughts and Prayers

Mental Health

Forget and wait for the next one.

Women’s March, MeToo.

I’ve seen some extremely inspiring videos like one from musician and artist Halsey who recited a poem on her experiences growing up; going over rape, abortion, and sexual abuse. This is way to familiar from stories from other women I know personally and stories from hundreds of women all over the world.

These things are hard to avoid, but, people still manage to avoid it. As a man, and working with men growing up, I’ve heard men say sick thing, I’ve heard men make repugnant jokes, and even brag about things they’ve done and condone abhorrent behavior and decry women for just standing up for themselves. And they still don’t see it. They hear about rape or sexual abuse and harassment and they put the onus on the woman to not be molested. They might not say it with a woman present, but a ‘decent man’ will say terrible things when he doesn’t think women are around.

Men feel entitled to women, period. I know this because I follow people who share their stories, who share texts they get from men who ask for pictures, who call them bitches for not talking to them, send unsolicited dick pics, and insult their life styles. I see it from people who are artists, YouTubers, Social Media promoters, in general, if there’s a woman in public view, she is harassed.  If there’s a woman who isn’t, she’s probably been harassed too.

I know these things because I have eyes and ears.

If you want to see it, it’s easy to see it.

Of course if you don’t want to see it, it’s incredibly easy to discredit and dismiss it.

Trump of course told women to get out and march to celebrate the success of the economy, telling his base that they don’t have to listen to why women were out there. And of course Fox Insider ran a video of the repulsive Tomi Lahren decrying the women’s march as ‘modern day feminism’. Calling it a vulgar display and degrading what it means to be female, without offering up a single argument to support that stance.

Of course, if you listen to women like Natalie Portman and other’s who spoke at the women’s march and if you listen to women who have spoken out for years you begin to understand. They are afraid to be themselves. To be accepted and express as the want without fear of being objectified, molested, and sent hateful messages and mail. To live without fear of both being alone and with others, to live as they choose, and not as society demands them to live.

I wanted to share my MeToo experience, but I don’t quite have it in me to do it. Not yet.

But, this movement is vital, it’s important. It’s important so that everyone can live in peace and comfort, without being afraid of putting themselves out there or worried that if they’re in the public eye they aren’t going to be sent rape fantasies or hate mail just for existing.

It’s important, and it’s empowering for me personally. So to those standing up and speaking out, you have my undying gratitude.

Celebrating Trump’s First Year

I’ve been wanting to avoid political writings, but this is special. This is President Trump’s first year. Now, since the first year typically rides on the previous presidents’ fiscal plan and Trump’s tax cuts won’t go into effect for some time, we can’t really judge this president on the economy until next year. Those record numbers Trump’s touting, yea, that’s all Obama’s administration. ‘But those pay raises businesses are giving out cuz of the tax cuts’. Yea, okay, except the tax proposal hasn’t gone into effect and won’t for a while, so the businesses always had the money to do this. In addition, the two companies that reportedly did this by handing out bonuses with extreme caveats (Like being at the business for 20 years) and did so while announcing massive layoffs.

So, other than the big tax cuts, what has Trump done?
What has he done?
Show your work.

The biggest thing I see his supporters point to is North Korea, Iran, Law and Order, and putting American people over immigrants, oh, and he killed ISIS. I’m not joking, they accredit the entire defeating of ISIS to Trump. For no reason I can figure out other than they just hated the black guy so much. If you read the papers instead of just watching news on TV, you would have seen that ISIS was in its death throes long before Trump.

In addition, Trump has rolled back dozens of regulations put in place to protect citizens and shrunk national land marks for private consumption. He also pulled out of the Paris Agreement which didn’t require America to do ANYTHING. We didn’t have to do anything. It was a commitment to reach goals we ourselves set, and nothing happened if we didn’t reach them.

This may have contributed to our standing in the world. I hear many people say Trump made us strong to the world again, we were the laughing stuck with Obama but now Trump has restored us…

Except not even close, at all.

I don’t know what metric they’re using, but it must be within their own heads.

Gallup polling put us at 30% approval for a leadership role, below Germany and China.

And the cherry on top, the government shutdown. Now, this isn’t automatically on the president, government shutdown happened under Obama too. However, this is quite different isn’t it? Republicans control every part of the process, and they can’t get their own team on board for an agreement. This is also different because we have such a great deal maker as president. Even though there’s not much evidence for that.

Republican’s are using CHIP and DREAMERS as bargaining chips, except those are things we already had, and most people want.

Now, there was already a bill that was created by (R) Graham and (D) Durbin. President Trump said he would sign a bill if it hit his desk even if he wasn’t a fan of it. He said that. And then it hit his desk and he said ‘nah, I changed my mind, people of color are from shitholes, I want whites,’ after which I assume he ate the bipartisan bill as to leave no evidence that Republicans and Democrats can cooperate.

So, what has Trump done?

Well, he has golfed.

A lot.

And not just golfing, but just visiting golf resorts. K’now, to remind him he’s rich.

  91 trips to golf clubs, totaling, as of this writing, $49,518,575. Fifty Million Dollars. Instead of making sure the people in Puerto Rico have power and are recovering, he’s golfing. Instead of dedicating a day to civic service like other previous presidents on MLK day, he was golfing. Instead of passing any decent legislation, he was smacking those balls around.

These aren’t partisan issues; most people agree on reasonable terms. Trump though? Nope. Because he’s not reasonable. His position is changing so often, he backs down from what he says and blames others and plays the victim when almost everything going on right now with the shut down is by his own design. The Graham/Durbin bill wasn’t perfect, but it removed the VISA lottery (which isn’t actually a lottery and Trump doesn’t understand that) in favor of more targeted immigration that aided those in struggling countries. It protected DACA recipients, extended CHIP, AND provided border security funds.
It wasn’t perfect, but it would have avoided shut down. And Trump said fuck it, I alone will decide to shut down government, and then blame others. My signature move.

Stay Weird folks, it’s the only way we’ll survive.

Fighting With Myself.

Mental illness, it’s something a lot of people don’t talk about and a lot of people don’t understand. Today I wanted to shed a little light on how it affects me. I can’t speak for others, because mental illness hits different people in different ways, especially when multiple diagnoses are involved.

I myself have been diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety, Reoccurring Depression Disorder with Psychotic Symptoms, PTSD, Gender Dysphoria, and Bi-Polar Disorder among a few others. Now, what does that mean to you? If you’re not very familiar with mental disorders in general it’s a lot of words, Psychotic and PTSD probably caught your eye. If you are more familiar with mental illness, then you know that someone with these struggle with emotions and can fall into uncontrollable bouts of depression. However, without living it, its difficult to understand how to help those who are struggling.

I’m not sure where to even begin, I suppose it’d have to be the standard feeling of depression. ‘What’s the point of it all, of anything?’ this thought pursues me throughout the day, every day. It’s a question the lingers behind every thought and action I do. It’s something that makes me begin to question myself and nearly everything I do. Some days it’s not as bad, but others, it paralyzes me.
Then there’s the obsessive and paranoid thoughts. Where I hyper focus on one thing, one person, event or memory, and I dissect it every way I can in my mind. I think about it from a thousand different angles and personalities until it festers into an itchy wound that I can’t stop picking at. I tell myself things I know aren’t true, but it still drives me insane. Everything positive in my mind must be lies, and everything negative must be what’s real. I know that isn’t true, but I can’t stop the thinking.

People often say distract yourself, but it’s all a constant wailing in my head, screaming and shouting that permeates everything I do. The amount of effort it takes to just get going is exhausting, and to keep going, to keep my thoughts focused and the negative thoughts away is often times insurmountable. Imagine a group of people in your house following you, shouting and screaming at you constantly. Yea, you can distract yourself, watch something or do something, but they’re still there screaming in your ear. If you focus enough you can ignore it, but for how long? It wears me down, breaks me until there’s only the despair in my mind.

Every day is a constant fight with myself to move forward, to stay on course and to reign in my own thoughts as if they were misbehaving children. Except they’re not just children, they’re thoughts, and feelings that have stuck with me, that have formed their own personality and opinions in my own head. Some of them are abusive, mentally, emotionally, and physically, others verbally angry at me, some just perpetually negative or nihilistic. There are positive ones, but it’s hard to focus on just them, it’s hard to pull the good through the bad. It’s so much easier just to imagine the end, the struggle is too hard, it’s a weight that draws me down every day. I don’t want to struggle anymore, but I know I have to.

I don’t say any of this for pity or attention. I don’t want positive affirmation, not in response to this, because in my mind, through it’s awful filter, it’ll appear fake and facetious. No I say this, mostly in the hopes people will understand mental illness a little better. Telling someone like me to distract themselves is like telling someone with a broken leg to walk. Sure, they can do it, but they need help, crutches, someone to lean on, a rest every once in a while. Mental illness is no different from a physical ailment. Keeping an effected mind on track, focused and training their thoughts, is like running with sand bags.

Finally, I want to apologize to some of my friends I know I’ve been pestering over the last few, forevers. I don’t mean to, and I know I need to shut up, but if I don’t talk, it stays locked up in my mind, and it’s a scary place in there.

Thank you to anyone who took the time to read this.

To Be a Man, I Will Be Feminine

I’ve been thinking quite a bit about gender lately, how it plays a role in society and in my own life personally. It’s a common trope to think of rigid traditional gender roles and ‘old timey’ thinking of men at work and women as home makers as something that’s an older generation thing. However, it’s still very much a part of our every day lives and ingrained into youth and people as they enter the adult world. It’s still very much a typical thing to think of men behaving a certain way and women another. If you’re in a bubble, you might not see it so much, but I’ve worked all over the place and it still really is there.

Working in factories and unloading trucks afforded me an unfortunate glimpse of how men behave and how they think, especially when women aren’t around. I’ll say this right now, remember when the pussy tape came out, and so many men denied that it was ‘locker room’ talk or that men weren’t like that? Well, they are, some just are. And even if they say it when they think no one is looking, that thinking permeates into their behavior. I’ve seen it, in almost every job I’ve worked and how it effects people, and how it shoehorns them into certain roles.

This isn’t entirely on the men either, it’s a culture of thinking that if they don’t behave a certain way, they aren’t men, they aren’t right, they aren’t good enough. If they don’t reach that certain standard, it can be extremely emotionally damaging, which leads to them lashing out. Anger, anguish, despair, it leads to violence, which we see all the time in ‘manly’ culture. They have something to prove, to themselves and to others because the culture of masculinity has set that standard for them.

This standard is impressed upon me as well. That I had to act a certain way, that I had to look a certain way, that I had to make a certain amount of money, had to have a certain job, reach a certain milestone, get the girl, perform a certain role in the household, and when I couldn’t do it, it hurt. I knew, I knew those things weren’t true, that I didn’t have to be a certain way, but the culture was still pressed into my mind because it’s what I grew up with. From the male figures in my life to the kids at school bullying me for how I behaved, it doesn’t matter what I believed, it was pounded into my mind that I was wrong. When I couldn’t reconcile what I knew to be right, with the beliefs pounded into my head, with the doubts and a number of other things, I broke down.

And so that leads me to where I’m at now, still recovering, still grappling with the thoughts rattling around in my head, still reconciling with the duality of thinking from both perspectives almost at all times. Something does help though, something that I keep forgetting to remember, amidst all this gender argument and confusion from within and without. If you don’t believe in gender stereotypes or roles, then great, me neither.

But if you do, then you probably believe men are men, they stand by their convictions, they do what they want and what they believe is right. So if you believe a man is a man because of his wang, (Which I have, full disclosure) Then he, I, must do what is right, what I believe in.

So to be a man, I will be feminine.