Archive | July, 2014

These Shocking Photos Show The Scars You Can’t Normally See. And They’re Horrifying.

22 Jul

This is more powerful than I thought. Wow.

Kindness Blog

Words have meaning, and they possess the power to change the world.  They can inspire us to do amazing things, or to commit the most  horrible acts.  It’s up to everyone to understand they are responsible for wielding that awesome power.  Because words cut the deepest, and yet leave no marks, they can truly be the most devastating form of abuse.

PhotographerRichard Johnson, who has himself suffered from the worst kind of verbal abuse, created a series of photos to illustrate their incredibly harmful effect.  These images, created for theWeapon of Choice Project, are important because they remind us that the terms we throw out in moments of anger or frustration can be just as damaging as physical abuse.

CAUTION!: The photos below feature victims and strong terms of emotional, sexual and verbal abuse.

Weapon of Choice

We presented each participant in the Weapon of Choice project with a list of hurtful words, and…

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The First Time You Are Dehumanized

22 Jul

This post includes crude language that is not intended to be used lightly nor in a joking manner. The crude language used in this post is meant to express feelings and educate people on the problem that is dehumanization, misogyny, and racism. This post is written by an extremely angsty feminist who was recently called a cunt. In this post I will not be censoring words that are otherwise known to be extremely offensive and politically incorrect. This post is not for children nor for people who think words like “cunt” are okay.

 

The first time you are dehumanized, you more than likely aren’t aware of the phenomena that is dehumanization. The first time you are dehumanized, you become aware of the fact that there are people in this world who still revert to old-school tactics of racism and misogyny. For some, the first time you are dehumanized, you become aware of the labels that are sharply thrown at you and label yourself as a crusader in anti-racism, sexism and misogynistic thinking. For me, the first time you are called cunt, you become inspired to write an angsty blog post about it because the person who called you such names isn’t educated enough to read a blog, none the less understand that some things just aren’t “A-Okay”.

There are some words that I choose to not put into my vocabulary. Many people tell me I’m a “spaz” or a “prude” (okay, let’s look up the definition of prude) because I choose not to say words like retard, nigger and cunt or partake in use phrases involving “that’s so gay” or “you’re a fag”. I have no shame in telling the people I’m around to not use certain words around me because I do find it highly offensive and if you’re going to use words that are extremely offensive to me, you’re clearly not going to be around me for much longer. The hardest part about choosing not to use certain words and try to remain as politically correct as possible is quite a double-edged sword. At my age, I am looked at by adults (i’ll be one in six days so ha) as a “feisty teenager” who is still undereducated about the world. By my peers, I’m looked at as an “uptight bitch” who can’t “be chill”. For me, I feel better about myself because I have a core set of beliefs that I like to uphold. Everyone has beliefs, right?

Before I dive right in, let’s define some words and terms that will more than likely be used frequently through the post.

de·hu·man·ize

verb \(ˌ)dē-ˈhyü-mə-ˌnīz, (ˌ)dē-ˈyü-\

: to treat (someone) as though he or she is not a human being

mi·sog·y·ny

noun \mə-ˈsä-jə-nē\

:  a hatred of women

cunt

noun \ˈkənt\

1 usually obscene :  the female genital organs; also :  sexual intercourse with a woman
2 usually disparaging & obscene

fem·i·nism

\ˈfe-mə-ˌni-zəm\

: the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities

: organized activity in support of women’s rights and interests

Now that we have some terms defined, let’s dive right into the problem at hand. THE WORD CUNT, USED IN A NEGATIVE MANNER (is there a manner in which it isn’t negative?), IS NOT OKAY.  There are many words used in the English language that are commonly scrutinized, and understandably so, for their negative use and connotation. The question remains; why do we still use them? Why do we still use words that demean other people? Why do we use words that do nothing to benefit ourselves nor the other person? Now in the case of the word cunt, I choose to take a very…upfront approach towards the word. I do not think it is an appropriate word in any context. Many different types of groups identify themselves against the word, as well as for the word. Yes, I claim myself as a feminist. Why not? I think everyone should claim themselves as a feminist. Hell, I think everyone and their mother could claim themselves as a masculinist (that’s now a word). Do you know why I believe everyone should call themselves a feminist in some respect? Because as defined above, a feminist is someone who believes in equal treatment and representation of BOTH genders. Who doesn’t want that? As a feminist, I don’t believe that every male needs to be castrated and every male is a chauvinistic pig who thinks with his penis instead of his cerebral cortex. Contrary to popular belief, as a feminist, I don’t burn my bra (not all the time, at least) in a ceremonial manner. Now, that being said, as a feminist, I do not believe that the word “cunt” should be used in place of other degrading words. There are many arguments out there discussing the fact that the word cunt has historical roots that simply refer to the vagina. While that’s all fine and dandy, why must we continue to use the word cunt in place of vagina? If that is the context in which you are using the word, of course. Now, when using the word cunt towards a woman, you have to look at what is trying to be accomplished. If someone decided to call me a cunt, I would have to ask myself this: are they calling me a cunt in place of slut, bitch, whore, etc. OR are they truly saying that I am a 17th century slang word for a vagina? Chances are, they are not calling the latter. So, why is it so offensive to be called a 17th century slang word? The same reason it is offensive and not okay to call someone a nigger. Words change and evolve over time. If you look of the history of African-Americans and the terms they have been referred to over the years, you see an evolution that has gotten worse and worse over time. What started out as Negro, evolved to negre from modern French times to later be used as negress and finally, nigger was established and further used as a derogatory term by early Americans. The word started out as niger, a latin term meaning black, and evolved to nigger, which is now used as an attempt to define and entire race as means of dehumanization. Someone please explain to me how that is okay? So when we look at words like cunt, the same process applies. What started out as a slang word for female genitalia is now being used to describe a woman who is seen “disrespecting” someone or something, not conforming to social norms or acting in a way that someone would otherwise not agree with. So let’s ask ourselves…is the word cunt being used to attack my character because I am an old-time vagina? No. Cunt is being used because there is no other word that can compare in terms of demeaning a woman. Now, as a disclaimer, I am NOT saying that men do not face other types of discrimination with words. As well, I am not saying that other races and ethnicities do not face discrimination with words. What I am saying is that out of all the types of social problems, what discrimination is brought into light the most?

Yes, I was called a cunt. There is much debate within the feminist community, and in many other communities, in fact, about reclaiming the word cunt. While I cannot say whether it is right or wrong, I can question it. I’m all for being a sassy independent woman and taking charge of my body and being proud of it. Yes. I have a vagina. I am proud of having a vagina and although it bugs me from month to month, I am not ashamed of myself nor my body parts. Being proud of my vagina does not mean I am proud enough to “reclaim” a word that has such a negative connotation and begin renaming my vagina, my cunt. That is not okay with me. If it is okay with other women, own it and be proud. But for me, I shall stick to vagina and will continue to crusade for cutting out the c-word.

Could I have chosen to sit back and act like it didn’t happen, that I didn’t get called a cunt? Yes. Could I have chosen to not speak my mind about it? Yes. Could I choose not to post a picture of the instance in which I was called a cunt? Well, I could but where the hell is the fun in that?

I asked a simple question. I asked someone to please stop disrespecting me publicly via social media in a way that was demeaning to me and it showed my face in the act where people could openly see that it was myself who was being disrespected. I asked a male to stop disrespecting me and so in return, I am a cunt? It doesn’t matter what the background story is. It doesn’t matter who the person is. What matters is that people still think that calling a woman a cunt is an acceptable form of insult. Can I handle being called a bitch? Yes. Can I handle being called a slut, whore, skank, etc.? Yes. Can I handle being called a cunt? No. Here’s why. I don’t like to glimpse into my past, but I believe that if I can help other people, then I am helping myself.  I learned at a very young age what it is like to be controlled by the likes of a male. I was in a physically and emotionally toxic relationship that I experienced way too young and I will experience the repercussions of that experience for the rest of my life. I remember the first time I was told no. I remember the first time I wasn’t allowed to leave the house and I remember the first time I learned how to correctly ask permission. I remember the first time I was told to go back and change my outfit because I looked like a slut. I vividly remember the first time I was hit because I didn’t respond to a question in an appropriate manner. I remember being held so tight on a leash that I began to fear for what would happen if I were to unclip my collar. I remember what it felt like to pick myself and leave that leash behind and from that moment on, I promised myself I would never allow myself to be controlled by another man or put myself into a situation of control. I promised I would never let another pea-brained man tell me who or what I am. Back that up. A man does not call a woman a cunt. An uneducated child calls a woman a cunt.  Any man who believes it is okay to call a woman a cunt is not worthy of my time, my attention or my love. As well, any woman who thinks it is okay to call another woman a cunt has lost my respect. Out of all the words in the english language, why choose that one?

The first time you are dehumanized, you realize it is wrong. The second time you are dehumanized, you do something about it. The first time you are called a nigger, fag, cracker, cunt and countless other derogatory terms, you take it in. The second time you are a called a nigger, fag, cracker, cunt and countless other derogatory terms, you let it all out.

I’m Feeling Really ******* Sad

14 Jul

Coming up with a good title to a post is always the hardest part. Because the process usually goes something like…

*type type type* Everyone is Dicks. *type type type* My Period is making me write this. *type type type* My Vagina is Holding Me Hostage.

So all in all, I end up surrendering to my vagina and make a more suitable title. In this instance, there was nothing I could possible say that wasn’t banned by public broadcasting and most censorship regulations. That being said, there was nothing that I could possibly say that wasn’t NC-17 rated. For those of you not familiar with your MPAA ratings, look it up.

I’m gonna be completely honest here. I’m feeling under the weather lately. Which anyone who knows me would go, “well no shit shirlock, you live in Minnesota. Everyone is under the weather”. But, in true optimistic fashion, I must remain positive. I mean, my life is pretty great. I just got dumped via “the boys” saying “if you don’t dump her, we’re gonna be mad”, which means more time for the cats. All five of them. BOO. YA. Looks like I can’t afford to go to college, AKA more time to spend with the cats. DOUBLE BOO YA. I ordered a considerable amount of clothing via online shopping that is non-returnable for my then boyfriend AND THEN the day he dumped me, the shipment confirmed. At least I know my email is up and running, so that’s a big plus. The car accident left my back really messed up but on the bright side, my bumper now looks FANTASTIC. I got hemorrhoids from sitting in the car for 17 hours on the recent vacation I took and on the bright side… Okay, there is no bright side. There is no damn bright side to having a hemorrhoid. There is absolutely no bright side to having something so small and painful on your not-so-bright side. But hey, at least I’m not constipated.

You know, everyone always talks about how there’s always a bright side. Yes, life is an absolutely beautiful thing and there are generally bright sides to every situation in life, it just depends how you look at it. But, there a moments when life doesn’t always have a bright side. We’ve all been there at some point in our life; nothing is going right and there’s no point to anything. Anyone who says they haven’t ever felt that way is an L7 weenie. But when do you draw the line between not wanting to take the effort to find the bright side and not being able to find the bright side? I’m going to be completely honest, I’m sure you can guess the topic and I’m sure a lot of you are trying to click away as fast as possible because hey, who want’s to read about being really fucking sad? Well, we need to talk a bout being really fucking sad because even though it’s a topic people are trying to familiarize society with, it’s not talked about enough and it’s not accepted enough. First, we need to realize that the stigma of being “sad” or “really fucking sad” or “mentally ill” is never going to go away. No one is truly going to understand your shoes because no two shoes are exactly the same. Second, we need to realize that it’s time to stop being afraid to talk about it. We need to stop using “it” as a filler for technical terms. Yes, there are so many different programs and campaigns that try to educate people and teach those with mental illness to not be ashamed. But at the end of the day, people suffering from mental illness will always be ashamed. We will always feel lower than those who are not mentally ill. And do you know why  we will always feel lower than those not affected? Because we can’t help it. I love that today’s culture is trying to understand and appreciate people with mental illness, I really do, but how many of you with mental illness feel comfortable talking to people about what you’re dealing with? How many people feel safe enough to confide in someone and not feel scrutinized? How many out there can openly say, “Well, this new dose of Zoloft is really giving me the shits”,  without being looked at funny for being on Zoloft…not even the fact that we openly admit to having the shits. No wonder why people with depression have a hard time getting out of the funk…our medication leaves us with the shits and a half-limp dick (that’s for you my male friends).

I’m pretty open with the state of my brain. I’m pretty open with the fact that sometimes I can’t get out of bed because it is physically and emotionally painful. I’m extremely open with the fact that most days, I don’t answer telephone calls or text messages/social media notifications because the anxiety gives me heart palpitations enough to kick-start a lawnmower. Somedays, I don’t eat because the though of food makes me cringe and somedays, I can’t stop eating. I’m crabby, then I’m happy and then I’m stuck on the couch. I admit that I like to have control of my life and I don’t like change. I can’t handle fast-paced decisions and I don’t particularly enjoy hanging out with large crowds of people anymore. I wasn’t always like this though, and that’s the most mind-boggling fact of this entire ordeal. I never thought that I’d be the type of person to sit in bed all day, literally speaking. I never thought I’d be the type of person to instantly let a situation make me sad and cry instead of fighting back and staying strong, like I normally did. Being open with who I am doesn’t make it any easier, though. And as a disclaimer, who I am isn’t comprised of what I have. That is the most important part to remember when you’re dealing with any sort of mental illness. You are not your mental illness. You are not another statistic and you are not anything that you don’t want to be.

In times of crisis or trauma or just a straight up bad day, finding the bright side to any situation can be extremely hard because if you’re dealing with any sort of mental illness, there may not be an attainable bright side. I believe that the human mind is capable of SO many things and I think that people are capable of a lot of things. I have a strong belief in a sense of self and relying on your inner strength to get you through tough times, but I also know that sometimes, inner strength isn’t enough. I’ll be honest in saying that recently, thinking about the future is impossible. Thinking about continuing life like this and not being able to imagine tomorrow is exhausting. Not only is it a physical type of exhaustion, but my mind is tired. The pit in the bottom of my stomach has fell asleep and sits there weighing me down. I know deep down that i’ll get through this, because I always do, but it’s extremely hard. So before you think that there is always a bright side to everything, take a step back and realize that sometimes, bright sides are hidden by really stormy clouds.

Maisy's Mom

Dirty Diapers, Crafts and Soul Searching (But mostly diapers)

Just a dreaming teenage wallflower

If your dreams don't scare you, they aren't big enough

Matt on Not-WordPress

Stuff and things.