Let’s Go Cats!!!

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That is all. ¬†ūüėÄ

I completely agree with you, I’m just concerned that…

Oh concern, concern, concern.  Oh trolls, trolls, trolls.

I read a lot of news articles and blogs and such, but even more than reading the articles I love to read the comments section.  I love/hate reading concern trolls.  Their logic is pathetic at best, cultish and grossly misinformed at the worst.  It makes me feel more validated in my opinion when I read concern trolls because I see how desperately they have to stretch research, how poorly read they are in research, how generally misinformed they are, etc.  Unfortunately, I eventually realize, that these thoughts come not only from this one lost soul whose comment I happen to be reading at the moment, but permeate most of the comment section and the rest of the world in general. Then I get sad and need Manhattan.

If you’re not familiar with the term, here is Wiktionary’s definition (I know, super legit right? ¬†Unfortunately the term hasn’t quite made it into Merriam-Webster’s):¬†¬†“Someone who posts to an internet forum or newsgroup, claiming to share its goals while deliberately working against those goals, typically, by claiming “concern” about group plans to engage in productive activity, urging members instead to attempt some activity that would damage the group’s credibility, or alternatively to give up on group projects entirely.” (http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/concern_troll)

So essentially, what happens is on a forum about let’s say weight, pro-weight, everyone is different, size ¬†0 is as legit as size 20 so long as you’re happy and healthy, your general commentor is all like “Fuck yeah! ¬†Fuck diets! ¬†I’m happy and healthy at 16! ¬†Go me! ¬†Go everyone!” ¬†And I read this and smile and feel happy that people are starting to accept their bodies and not unrealistic standards. ¬†Then, I continue to read and I find a bunch of concern trolls being all like “Well, yeah happy and healthy is good, but I really worry about their actual health. ¬†Like, there’s not possible way to be healthy at that weight and I can’t imagine these women are actually happy with the way they look.” ¬†The subtext being “anyone over size 4 is gross and they’re going to die and they’re never going to have sex. ¬†We should just put them out of their misery.” ¬†This can be used to justify beliefs about denying employment, blocking healthcare benefits to people, simple exploitation, and more. ¬† My favorite is this full length article that is nothing but concern trolling about little girls eating chocolate:¬†http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1336960/Why-mustnt-afraid-tell-daughters-fat.html. ¬†I have also read some really great concern trolls about the Trayvon Martin case, apparently people are worried that Zimmerman “just won’t get a fair shake with all this media attention.” ¬†Another favorite? ¬†“I agree that no woman deserves to be raped, but they really should be more careful going out looking like that. ¬†They know what could happen.”

(<<–How cute is this guy?)

I often can’t tell is the person knows they are a concern troll. ¬†I think some people honestly are “worried” and others are just being dicks. ¬†The ultimate goal of these people is to make you change your mind by making you think that they are so worried about you. ¬†It is no longer appropriate to openly disagree with people, we have to “express concern” and “politely disagree with some minor points.” ¬†Fuck this. ¬†I’m making it my job to start calling out concern trolls. ¬†If you have a dissenting opinion, be fucking honest with it. ¬†Admit it. Don’t be a dick by trying to show how “concerned” you are and how much you “just want to help.”

Okay, have a nice life, and avoid the trolls!

Just FWI:

I will punch the person sitting to my right if she does not learn to let people finish their sentences before she “corrects” them.

I hate school.

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Oh hey, Mr. Too Legit to acknowledge evidence based interventions just adjusted to his Debatin’ pose!

Kill me.

Girl toys. Boy toys. Fuck it. Let all the kids be badasses.

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In the past few days and discussions I’ve had, I’ve been forced to really reflect on how my upbringing has influenced my views on gender.

I am the youngest of 4 daughters. ¬†Even though¬†we constantly tease my dad, saying he was more and more disappointed when each child was born and none of them sons, gender was never a major issue within my immediate family. ¬†My parents allowed us to do just about whatever we wanted. ¬†We had both “boy” and “girl” toys. ¬†Mostly I remember playing with Legos, army men, coloring books. ¬†I did have an awesome set of Grace Kelly paper dolls, so classy. ¬†We had both Barbies and Ninja Turtles. ¬†My bedroom was decorated with both Micheal Jordan posters and The Little Mermaid garb, which I loved equally. ¬†When we went shopping, we were allowed to buy pretty much whatever we wanted, be it sparkly dresses or flannel shirts from the boys’ section. ¬†I played basketball and did Tae Kwon Do while I collected teddy bears. All I really wanted in life was to be as badass as Scully and Leia.


I say all of this remembering that I am the youngest. ¬†There are 8 years between my oldest sister and I; ¬†I guarantee her experience was different. ¬†I’m sure it took my parents quite a bit of trial and error to get to this point of gender neutrality in child rearing. ¬†And, what I consider to be the most powerful, is that I don’t think they did this purposefully. ¬†I know my parents. ¬†They did not sit down and have a conversation about how they would handle gender issues, would they shop in the “pink aisle” or the “blue aisle”? ¬†After a few years of dealing with some fairly assertive little girls, they were able to just let us choose what we wanted, relatively free from the thought “is this toy gender appropriate?” ¬†My dad loved being able to coach my basketball team and set up my army men on the coach. ¬†Perhaps it did cross his mind that this wasn’t what little girls were “supposed to do,” but whatevs! ¬†We played and it was an epic battle.

As we grew up, girl issues (the first time you shave your legs, your first period, etc.) were open and pretty nonchalant. ¬†Girlhood was both overt and inconsequential. ¬†Buying tampons for the first time came without shame. ¬†I remember one day I had to dress up in a skirt for school but I wanted to play basketball at recess, so I did. The other girls made fun of me and I didn’t get why. ¬†Other than “keep your legs closed when you’re wearing a dress,” we were never really told rules for being a girl.

Of course, as much as I praise this, I do think it makes me slightly (more) socially awkward (than simply being a language problemed, robot enthusiast). ¬†I was told just a year or so ago by a guy friend of mine, that he didn’t know if was supposed to hug me or punch me in the shoulder when we departed.

In no way am I gender-confused or desiring to be more male-ish. ¬†I lurv my make-ups, my sexy shoes, my cleavage, and other perks associated with traditional¬†femininity. ¬†But I also love not feeling limited to all of those things that are¬†stereotypically¬†attributed to proper womanhood. ¬†I refuse to limit myself to things that are stereotypically female, but I don’t purposefully go after things that are considered masculine. For a while, in my silly youth, I did this. ¬†I would work hard to prove I wasn’t limited to femininity, like not wear make up (wtf? ¬†Make up is just fun if you’re doing it right!), wear men’s or gender-neutral shirts, make job goals that were traditionally masculine (like taking the stocking shift at the grocery store I worked at as a teen), etc. ¬†I realized that, by doing this, I was actually limiting myself and my choices. ¬†When I reflect on this, I see a really naiive girl trying to prove that she was strong and equal in a teenage world that demanded demure, passive women. ¬†But fuck. ¬†I feel so much better allowing myself both. ¬†I can drink both margaritas and beer. ¬†I can go to the gym for kickboxing or bake cupcakes, and everything in between.

This post was really inspired by the Toy Aisle Action Project, which aims to point out the discrepancy between the previously mentioned “pink aisle” and “blue aisle.” ¬†I’ll do a more in depth post about that, because I love it! (check it out here: http://www.sparksummit.com/2012/02/02/toy-aisle-action-project-lets-make-shoppers-think/)¬† But also from reading the Comments section on a page covering the Lego: Friends petition (the Huffpost’s review of it is right here:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/15/lego-friends-girls-gender-toy-marketing_n_1206293.html) . ¬†I found a ton of comments saying that if you let girls play with “boy” toys (like, normal lego sets) they will grow up to be lesbians and be confused about their gender when they grow up. ¬†This is obviously fucking sexist, homophobic, ignorant. ¬†I hate these people and ignore the fact that they exist. ¬†However, what bothered me more were the ones that said either A) “there are natural differences between boys and girls and their play, this is what girls want” or B) “if girls don’t want to play with it, they won’t.” ¬†Well, here are my arguments:

A) At this point in time, we have not been able to identify organic difference between how boys and girl play or what they want without the influence of socialization. ¬†Boys and girls are socialized very quickly into the world and what it means to be each gender. ¬†Girls are readily put into pink onsies with bows and flowers on them while boys are put into blue onsies with trucks and animals. ¬†Expectations are placed on them from day 1. ¬†A little girl has a strong kick and everyone says she is going to grow up to be a ballerina. ¬†A little boy has a strong kick and he is dubbed a future football star. ¬†Girls are rarely given the opportunity to freely play with blocks or action-oriented toys. ¬†Boys are rarely given the opportunity to freely play with dolls or nurture oriented toys. ¬†You cannot say differences are natural, because we simply don’t know. ¬†To what extent are they natural or imposed by social expectation?

B) No. ¬†This is not true. ¬†Children do not buy their own toys. Although they have a say in toys bought by their parents, many of the toys a child has were gifts. ¬†Often, toys are given to children by people who do not know them well or people who simply have a go to toy to buy for a boy or a girl. Think about it: ¬†your niece is having her fourth birthday party. ¬†You hardly know her or what she’s into, so you run down the pink aisle and find something cute. ¬†More often than not, gifts are genderized because we assume a girl will like a girl toy or a boy will like a boy toy. ¬†Gender neutral toys are disappearing fast because they’re harder to market. ¬†But anyway, I digress. ¬†So, basically, a girl, who maybe or maybe doesn’t like dolls, ends up getting dolls as gifts and those are the toys she has to play with. ¬†So she does. ¬†But what would she do if she had blocks? ¬†Action figures? ¬†Action figures that were girls? (ghasp! think of the adventures and identification!) ¬† What if a boy got a baby doll? ¬†My other half of this argument is that many, many, many children have certain toys taken away from them because they’re not “for them.” ¬†A Barbie doll is quickly grabbed away from a little boy. ¬†A toy gun is snatched from a little girl. ¬†So no, the argument that if a child doesn’t want it, they won’t get it, is invalid.

I guess my whole point here is this: ¬†Give kids all the opportunities to play and experiment with the world that are possible! ¬†Don’t limit them. ¬†Let them decide who they are.

And thanks parents!

This just in!

Rick Santorum proposes that women report each menstrual cycle to the federal government and be jailed until they conceive a child. ¬†Santorum states that every time a woman has her period she is aborting a potential life and this kind of “lifestyle convenience” can no longer be tolerated if we hope to keep our Christian nation strong.

Later in his speech, he continued to press the importance of small government.Image *

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Haha! ¬†Just kidding. ¬†But it sounds like something he’d say.

Addendum to last post.

I had to add an addendum to the previous post because something was really bothering me when I was with the doctors.

 Again, I preface this: I know ER docs and such are super busy and it’s hectic and Clinic docs are just as busy.  But, they are still doctors and if they are understaffed, that needs to be addressed.  They should be providing the best care and addressing all patient questions.

During the week I had my stitches in, I got a bit of a cold.¬† Nothing terrible, just some bad coughing, lethargy, sore throat, stuffy head, and the like.¬† I still had the cold when I went in for the follow-up.¬† They asked me if everything was ok with the wound and such.¬† Now, FYI: every time I get sick I think I‚Äôm dying, even though I never go to the doctor.¬† I just lie in bed and complain and drink tea, essentially waiting to die.¬† But, I figured since I was there I would make sure I didn‚Äôt have MRSA or something else terrible.¬† So I told the triage nurse, the med student that took out my stitches, and the attending, ‚ÄúI am kinda sick.¬† Is that a problem?‚Ä̬† The nurse said: ‚Äúhrm.¬† No fever. Down the hall to the left, second door.¬† The doctor will be in in a minute.‚Ä̬† The student said: ‚ÄúYour stitches look great.¬† My attending will be in here to look it over real quick and you can go home.‚Ä̬† The attending said: ‚ÄúLooks good.¬† Have a good day.‚ÄĚ

At no point did any of them address my being sick or check anything other than my temperature.  I do have a history of giving myself viral infections.  Essentially this just means I stress myself out enough to kill my immune system and allow normal viruses that should be easily killed to make me uber sick.  I assume that is what this is.  Meds don’t really work, you just have to be okay with feeling super sluggish for about 5 days.  But come on docs!  I could be dying!  Respond to my concerns!

What I learned at the ER…

So, last Monday I had to go to the ER because I’m¬†mildly stupid and extremely¬†clumsy. ¬†Now, I am not a doctor going person. ¬†The only doctor I go to is the¬†Optometrist, because that’s more like a shopping trip for people who love glasses. ¬†The last time I was at the ER was when I was about 2 or 3, which I obviously don’t remember but I assume a lot has changed since then.

So, I first learned that everyone talks very quickly and you’re not allowed to read anything you sign. ¬†In fact, you’re lucky if they even tell you what you’re signing. ¬†I first signed my Consent to Treatment, which I’m pretty familiar with thanks to my job. ¬†So no problem with that. ¬†After that was signed, I wasn’t really paying attention to what was going on, perhaps it was the blood loss that was distracting me.

Fast Forward to my discharge. I’m handed a bunch of insurance papers and such. ¬†The woman at the desk mumbles something while she hands them to me. ¬†I flip to the first page to figure out what is going on and what I’m signing. ¬†The woman says “It’s insurance. ¬†If you want your insurance to pay, you sign it.” I felt really pressured and ill-informed about what I was being given.

I went back today for my wound check/follow-up. ¬†Once again, they take my ID and insurance and such and quickly take me back to do the check up. ¬†But while I’m waiting for the docs, this guy comes in and says something hardly comprehensible about my insurance and when do I want to pay my co-pay? ¬†He tells me the amount and I say I can pay before leave, at which time he offers to take my credit card then and there. ¬†I’m really taken aback because I feel like that is an inappropriate offer. ¬†I was fully cognizant and I’m well educated in paperwork and such, so I declined saying I’ll wait and I ask his name to make sure I remember. ¬†However, I feel like people in this situation could be very easily taken advantage of. ¬†I think it is inappropriate and far too easy to take advantage of someone in a medical office by taking their credit card. ¬†It would be too easy for a staff member to steal the information or overcharge you. ¬†IDK, but it wasn’t okay with me. ¬†Then, when I go to leave and make my copayment, the doctor comes out and says “oh, wait, you need to sign this before you leave.” ¬†Again, I ask what I’m signing. ¬†His very disturbing response: “Uhh, I don’t know. ¬† Hold on. ¬†Oh, this is your wound cleaning instructions. ¬†Oh, this just said that we explained to you how to take care of the wound.” ¬†Even though he actually didn’t do this, I signed it. ¬†I wasn’t about to give him shit and cleaning a cut isn’t difficult.

In addition to not being able to read things, I would like to talk about the lack of informed consent for procedures. ¬†As I said, I don’t go to doctors a lot. ¬†My experience was pretty simple, clean, x-ray to check for class, clean, stitch, wrap, and go. ¬†But even for this, they had to give me meds, local anesthesia and such. ¬†But, other than asking if I had any allergies, I was never given any info about the medications I was being given. ¬†I understand that I was in an ER, but again I was fully cognizant once I stopped bleeding, I was calm, I like to think I was pretty chipper for an ER patient. ¬†But no one talked to me about what they were doing for more than 30 seconds, never was it asked if I was okay with what was happening. ¬†The doctors and nurses were nice, but as far as Informed Consent, it was totally absent.

Last year, I also had to go to the ER with the bf, who was super sick.  They did SOOOO many tests on him!  Ultrasounds, CT scans, X-rays!  Shit son, they threw the whole battery at him.  What did this result in?  A bottle of antibiotics and an $8000 bill.  Never, at any point was he asked if it was okay to do all these tests or if he consented to them or even what they all meant.

I have been told (yeah, this feels like I’m going to tell you a myth about¬†Leprechauns¬†or something) that you can refuse certain treatments. ¬†But, the catch is, they never ask you if you’re willing to do them in the first place. ¬†Essentially, you have to jump up and down like a child or go on a rampage in order to get your medical treatment explained to you.

So yeah. ¬†I am a better person now for knowing what being an adult hospital patient means. ¬†It means being forced to sign things without being able to read them and having no understanding of what’s being done to you. ¬†Oh, and for some reason, you can never see your medical file. ¬†Doctors are really resistant to this for some reason, even though it belongs to you. ¬†I really want to stress that: ¬†YOUR MEDICAL FILE BELONGS TO YOU AND YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO SEE IT WHENEVER YOU WANT.