Cognitive Dissonance

"Democracy! Bah! When I hear that I reach for my feather boa!" - Allen Ginsberg

Posts tagged anonymous

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Anonymous asked: I hate when I hang out with boys and they make sexist jokes. I'll say something along the lines of "hey, don't say that" and blah blah blah. I've gotten comments that I should stop being so negative, especially from my boyfriend's friends. It really upsets me because my boyfriend doesn't ever back me up and I feel like he just accepts it. He has told me to stop because I make things awkward. I feel suppressed. They don't think it's a problem because "they're just joking". What do you think?

I hate it too. I find it disgusting. First off, it’s appalling that he or his friends would tell you to stop being so negative towards sexism. Really? 

Don’t. Sexism was negative to you first, and it should be able to take as good as it gets. Would they have told Rosa Parks to sit her ass at the back of the bus and stop being so negative toward racism?

Sheesh. And how dare you make it awkward by calling out their sexism? I bet it was super awkward for dudebros the first time women voted, but they’ve mostly gotten over it. Mostly. Now they just joke about institutionalized oppression. Always remember that the person who tells the joke is responsible for awkwardness, not we women for responding to it and calling it out.

I’m not laughing. And you shouldn’t be expected to either.

I decided to share this message with my husband, Andrew, for his thoughts — as a dude, he has a perspective that I lack. Here’s what he had to say:

"I think your boy needs to check himself before he wrecks your relationship. Part of being a feminist is standing up to discrimination in your own life. If your boy isn’t willing to stand up to his friends who are ‘joking’ and putting you down, that says quite a bit about him. Don’t be afraid to find someone who respects your opinions and is willing to say so to his friends."

I’ll say he seriously nailed it. Andrew was pretty shocked when I read him your ask — let’s just say he had a few choice words for the kind of people not willing to stand up for the one person they supposedly love because it would be “awkward” and “negative.”

It is completely a problem, and I have a few suggestions. First, have a very frank talk with your boyfriend — just the two of you — and explain to him just exactly how you feel when he doesn’t stand up for you. If you haven’t told him how you feel, it’s prime-time to let him know.

Ask him if he accepts their “humor” and if he thinks those jokes are funny. He likely doesn’t, but doesn’t want to rock the boat. Too bad. Would he tell a person of color to “stop being so negative” if his pals were telling racist jokes? Frances Othen nicely sums up why this humor is destructive:

"But sexism is alive and well, and part of every woman’s life. Even some of my most enlightened male friends, who would probably call themselves feminists, are guilty of sexist behavior. Every time a joke is made about how women are less intelligent and less worthy of respect, I cringe. However flippant and inoffensive the phrasing may be, the assumptions and social conditioning behind the statement are dangerous."

Try to avoid pushing for a “me or your buddies” ultimatum — his friends are ignorant assholes, but unless he gets new pals or they get educated, they are his friends. Make sure you’re framing it in terms of attacking the behavior, not his pals. Here’s a guide on why ignorance is not an excuse. You could even explain that you know he’s smarter than someone who would hang out with people who have such negative attitudes towards women, and that it’s terrible that others likely assume he shares the dudebros’ attitudes.

If it’s possible, try to educate the dudebros. You can blind them with science or obfuscation. 

Blinding them with science: A recent study by the Melbourne Business School found, to almost no one’s surprise, sexist jokes and an “I was just joking” attitude hold women back in the workplace and contribute to a culture of bullying:

Sexist jokes in the workplace are one of the biggest factors impacting women’s ability to thrive, a study has found. Companies lack strategy to tackle “low level sexism” despite having policies in place that target “overt” sexual harassment, a Melbourne Business School report found. One way organisations should target low-level sexism is by implementing a “no just joking” policy, the report recommends.

"Still in the general population there is a perception it’s ok to engage in sexual slang and sexist jokes," said report author Victor Rojo. "This has negative impact on the health and performance of female workers, and it creates a culture where it’s okay to be a bully."

Point your boyfriend to this part:

"If women feel they do not fit in or are not accepted as equals they are less likely to stay in their role or in the organisation," the report said.

Or in the role as “girlfriend” in the “we” organization… just sayin’.

Bonus science! What happens when dudebros think other dudebros approve of their behavior? Discrimination:

In the second experiment, men were shown video clips of sexist or non-sexist comedy skits and were then asked to participate in a project designed to determine how funding cuts should be allocated amongst select student organizations.

"We found that, upon exposure to sexist humor, men higher in sexism discriminated against women by allocating larger funding cuts to a women’s organization than they did to other organizations," [Thomas] Ford said. "We also found that, in the presence of sexist humor, participants believed the other participants would approve of the funding cuts to women’s organizations," he said. "We believe this shows that humorous disparagement creates the perception of a shared standard of tolerance of discrimination that may guide behavior when people believe others feel the same way."

Just steeping themselves in sexist humor actually makes them more sexist. Hilarious, right? </sarcasm> You can even point it out to them gently (assuming they’re all cisgendered, hetero, and seeking lady friends) by saying, “You know guys, it would really suck if people viewed you as total sexist assholes for these jokes, especially other girls. I mean, I know you’re smarter than that, right?” Force them to explain that they’re not.

Which brings us to intentionally not getting the joke. This is one my favorites, but it can devolve quickly into an argument about the humor itself and “you shouldn’t be so sensitive” bullshit, so use it if you’re sure you can follow through at the end versus continue the discussion.

Basically, if one of them cracks a sexist joke, don’t get mad. Keep telling dudebro you don’t get it until he’s backed into a corner and forced to explain why women are stupid, not worthy of respect, etc. Then just say, “Oh,” and walk away. Leave. Because that makes the whole social situation as awkward as fuck and calls attention to the person who keeps trying to explain why it shouldn’t be squirm-worthy. 

Finally, here’s some advice for your boyfriend on why and how he should stand up for you, besides it being the right goddamn thing to do, especially because he supposedly loves you. First, some suggested responses from Steve at Stop Sexist Remarks (that you can also use) to redirect the conversation. He writes:

There may be situations in which we decide that the costs of a potentially uncomfortable interaction outweigh the benefits of addressing sexist “humor” directly. In those cases, an in-between solution may be an alternative to doing nothing. 

  • Ouch.
  • Hey, let’s keep it classy, OK?
  • Could we elevate the conversation?
  • Yikes. 
  • Now that the sexist part of the conversation is over, can we move on?

I’m sure your boyfriend, if asked, would claim he believes in women’s rights and sees you as an equal, right? Well, that’s not enough. Here’s some great advice on how to be a feminist boyfriend in general:

Identify as a feminist. If you want to be a feminist boyfriend, first you have to be a feminist. Saying ‘I’m for women’s equality’ and ‘of course a woman can be president’ is all well and good, but an important part of advocating for women’s rights is being willing to say that you’re in it with the people who are fighting in name…

Don’t tolerate sexism. Being a feminist boyfriend is not just about how you treat your girlfriend. When you are around others, whether your girlfriend is there or not, don’t tolerate sexist or misogynist remarks from your friends, family, or coworkers. Retorts that aren’t overly earnest include ‘dude, what the fuck is wrong with you?’ ‘sometimes I really wish you were funny’ and ‘I’m sorry, is this a time machine? Are we in 1950?’ ‘You know, women have the vote now and everything!’ Most importantly, don’t laugh. Cultivate a good sneer.

Emphasis mine. It’s not just about how he treats you, which seems to be lacking at the moment. I’m sure he’s going to insist he’s not one of those guys, you know, the ones who treat women badly. Kate Harding has summed up why that’s wrong:

But here’s where all this victimy girl shit concerns you:

  • every time you don’t tell your buddies it’s not okay to talk shit about women, even if it’s kinda funny;
  • every time you roll your eyes and think “PMS!” instead of listening to why a woman’s upset;
  • every time you call Ann Coulter a tranny cunt instead of a halfwit demagogue;
  • every time you say any woman–Coulter, Michelle Malkin, Phyllis Schlafly, Condoleezza Rice, Hillary Clinton, Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, any of us–”deserves whatever she gets” for being so detestable, instead of acknowledging there are things that no human being deserves and only women get;
  • every time you tell a woman you love she’s being crazy/hysterical/irrational, when you know deep down you haven’t heard a word she’s said in the past 15 minutes, and all you’re really thinking about is how seeing her yell and/or cry is incredibly unsettling to you, and you just want that shit to stop;
  • every time you dismiss a woman as “playing the victim,” even if you’re right about that particular woman

You are missing an opportunity to help stop the bad guys.

You’re missing an opportunity to stop the real misogynists, the fucking sickos, the ones who really, truly hate women just for being women. The ones whose ranks you do not belong to and never would. The ones who might hurt women you love in the future, or might have already…

When you trivialize what even the women you love are saying to you, when you let sexist remarks slide, when you insist that women view things from your perspective (rational! calm! reasonable!) because you don’t feel like trying to see theirs (emotional! hysterical! nuts!), when you sit around laughing with other men about how crazy chicks are before you go home to the wife and daughters you love more than life and always treat with respect… You’re enjoying the luxury of not having to take what we’re telling you seriously–and that’s why we get so goddamned frustrated and angry and hysterical. Because we don’t have the option of not caring about this shit, and you just keep telling us not to.

And because the really bad guys don’t pop out of thin air as fully formed misogynists. They need encouragement and reinforcement in order to completely miss the fact that there’s something deeply fucking wrong with them. Subtle sexism gives them that. Keeping your mouth shut about overt sexism gives them that. Not really listening to the women you love, let alone women you don’t even know – thereby being one more guy sending a message to women that we’re only worth listening to on men’s terms – gives them that.

If none of that is enough for him, and the actual pain and distress YOU feel is not enough to convince him, take Andrew’s advice. Don’t be afraid to find someone who respects your opinions and is willing to say so to his friends. And tell him exactly that.

I hope this helps you and others dealing with this same fuckery. It’s not okay.

Cheers,

Meg

Filed under Anonymous ask ask box sexism feminism

8 notes

Anonymous asked: What song should I listen to if I'm a cynical asshole?

Here’s one of my favorites:

"whiteliberalonwhiteliberalaction" by mclusky

Lyrics:

Liberals on skates.
Pass through park gates.
Zeroes and threes.
Pass right…
Stick together.

Save me altavista they’ve got cauliflower ears.
Still I haven’t seen the sun or moon for twenty-seven years.
She wants to dance on burning bridges.
Making patterns in the snow.
I want to move to Mexico where everyone’s a hero.

Goddamnit ‘cos everyone’s a hero
Hail Allah ‘cos everyone’s a hero
Praise Buddha ‘cos everyone’s a hero
Wash daily ‘cos everyone’s a hero
(repeat from the beginning)

Fuck you! ‘cos everyone’s a hero
Fuck you! ‘cos everyone’s a hero
Fuck you! ‘cos everyone’s a hero

fuck you ‘cos everyone’s stuck together
don’t sing me the words
don’t sing me the words
don’t sing me the words
1-2-3

Cheers,

Meg

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23 notes

Anonymous asked: Can you draw me an over simplified shitty picture to explain the fiscal cliff?

Uh, yeah. I guess. 

How’s this?

Over-simplified, shitty explanation of the fiscal cliff

There you go, weirdo.

Cheers,

Meg

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10 notes

Anonymous asked: I just unfollowed someone I see as intelligent for being too confrontational and then you posted, so I'm gonna take this moment to thank you for being both intelligent and rational.

Thank you! I’ll take that. I try not to be too confrontational, but I’m not going to be a doormat, either.

Cheers,

Meg

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3 notes

Anonymous asked: Your new pic is hot! But are you really that pale?

Thank you!

And yes. I almost need sunscreen to stand in front of a picture window. 

Cheers,

Meg

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5 notes

Anonymous asked: CHRISTMAS MUSIC!

Anon, we went over this last week. Here’s your x-mas music, you demanding bastard. I played it for you last night. This Friday, you’ll get nicer carols. But yesterday was Nov. 30th. 

Cheers,

Meg

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17 notes

Anonymous asked: karma is going to make you pregnant now.

Huh, here I thought it was sperm. Silly me! 

Sent to me by an MRA charmer today: 

I guess that explains it! Stupid woman brain. </sarcasm>

Cheers,

Meg

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11 notes

Anonymous asked: "Would you say to a person of color that the real problem with race relations is that black people view the Klan as an enemy and with hate? Doubt it." People DO say this, and other things like it. It's pretty much always problematic to say "you wouldn't do _____ to Black people/POC, so don't do it to (insert other marginalized group)." Because it feeds into rhetoric that implies racism is over, or at least seen as far less acceptable than other forms of bigotry, when sadly it's really not.

Yeah… not trying to marginalize anyone or imply racism is over. I was trying to think of a ridiculous example because I have literally never seen anyone say POC or Jewish people should just not hate the Klan and/or not view them as an enemy because viewing the Klan with hate or as an enemy is the true problem — not that the Klan is a group devoted to hating basically every non-white, non-Christian thing/person that exists. 

And fuck no, racism isn’t over. Please see this Tumblr calling out racist/bigoted teens tweeting stupid shit. (BTW, there’s a shit-ton of slurs on there, so if you don’t want to read that content, I suggest taking my word for it). Or what Dion, the Socialist posts about on the daily.

Bigotry and racism are oppressive forces that still exist. And I can see how what I wrote can be taken the way you suggested, but by no means do I mean to diminish racism and/or bigotry, or the experiences of POC. Sorry that’s not clear. I hope my response here clears it up. 

Cheers,

Meg 

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57 notes

Anonymous asked: Maybe the problem with politics is that people like you view Family Research Council as an enemy and with hate. Just sayin.

Nope.

One of the many problems with politics is that organizations like Family Research Council are taken seriously and NOT viewed with hate. 

Did you know that FRC is listed as a hate group by Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC)? That puts them right next to groups like the Ku Klux Klan. Would you say to a person of color that the real problem with race relations is that black people view the Klan as an enemy and with hate? Doubt it. 

Instead of being marginalized politically like the Klan, FRC’s reps testify in state legislatures all across the country, including in my home state of Wyoming. Here’s why the FRC is a designated hate group, along with info about other anti-gay hate groups. Their specialty is to spread malicious misinformation and falsehoods, like the debunked claims about pedophilia and homosexuality, in the name of “protecting children” and the like. 

Oh, and speaking of the Klan, FRC’s leader Tony Perkins has been connected to white supremacists in the past:

Perkins paid $82,500 to use the mailing list of former Klan chieftain David Duke. The campaign was fined $3,000 (reduced from $82,500) after Perkins and Jenkins filed false disclosure forms in a bid to hide the link to Duke. Five years later, on May 17, 2001, Perkins gave a speech to the Louisiana chapter of the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), a white supremacist group that has described black people as a “retrograde species of humanity.” Perkins claimed not to know the group’s ideology at the time, but it had been widely publicized in Louisiana and the nation.

Huh. So please, anon, tell me why I shouldn’t look upon FRC with anything but disdain. Just sayin’.

Cheers,

Meg

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13 notes

Anonymous asked: So I really wanna hear Christmas music, will you play a Christmas song tonight?

My radio show is an x-mas free zone ‘til December, anon. Go hit up Walmart or Kmart. They’ve got ‘em on a loop already.

Cheers,

Meg

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19 notes

Anonymous asked: that was sarcasm. The misspelling of iphone was intentional. My parents (and brother) do use that argument a lot, and anytime I call them out on it they say "we used to be on welfare. Do you remember that? Now tell me, what's the point of welfare? It's not about lack of compassion, it's about priorities." I just stop talking after that point.

Give them that article I linked. And tell them that poor people could have had an iPhone before becoming poor.

I’m in pretty bad financial straits right now. I have a Samsung Galaxy Nexus. A conservative acquaintance pointed that out and I told him three things:

  • I got it when I renewed my contract. After the rebate and discount, it was about $45.00. And I don’t have a landline.
     
  • Second, if something happened to it, I probably couldn’t afford to replace it with anything. Without a phone, how does one suggest I look for work?
     
  • Third, I called three local pawn shops right in front of him to ask what I could get for it. No one offered more than $100.00. 

So let’s do some math. The cheapest Tracfone available in my area is $14.99. I can get 200 minutes for $29.99 a month, provided I enroll in a monthly refill plan. That’s $44.98 up front, plus $29.99 a month. Breaking my Verizon contract costs $175. Now I’m looking at $219.98. All that for a phone I couldn’t get more than $115.26 for, at least according to Orion Blue Book online

See?

If it’s about priorities, I’d say ditching my current phone is pretty financially stupid, especially because I use it for both business and personal reasons. But hey, poor people can’t have nice things, right? Like microwaves or refrigerators.

On a side note, I saw Ann (the woman from the post I just linked) a few weeks ago on campus at the non-trad student’s center. She’s in school again, still working at the same fast food place, but moved up to manager. I asked about her kids, and they’re doing well. She thanked me for giving her the number to DFS here in town and said that if it weren’t for them getting emergency assistance, including a phone, she wouldn’t have kept her family together. 

It’s always about priorities, but there’s some folks that tend to forget that, I’m afraid. Like your parents and brother.

Cheers,

Meg

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9 notes

Anonymous asked: It's funny that people like that anon can grow up and think that anyone/thing actually changes without people hollering for change against the status quo. Lol!

This anon gets it. 

Cheers,

Meg

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35 notes

Anonymous asked: I voted because I want to marry my girlfriend and have it count legally everywhere in this country.

Tonight was a good night for gay rights :)

Cheers,

Meg

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19 notes

Anonymous asked: I voted because Obama and Biden (and his administration) gave my suicidal friend hope that she (a MtF) may have the same rights as everyone else. And gave me hope that I may hold me head up without fear of being fired for my orientation, or denied my rights to marry and visitation.

That’s a very valid reason, and I hope you both sleep well tonight.

Cheers,

Meg

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