Dream Journal 7/16/16 | Murder At A Concert

As they shoved me into the back of the cruiser, the others moved to the lawn, and started shouting and protesting my arrest, but the police did not care.

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I was waiting backstage, holding my clarinet, getting ready to go out on stage to perform with people from my childhood and high school years. I recognized several people from high school, some from middle school, and some from district music festivals, even though we were all adults, and I hadn’t seen any of them in eight or more years. Continue reading “Dream Journal 7/16/16 | Murder At A Concert”

Never Feed the Fucking Trolls

PSA: Just because something is not YOUR problem, does not mean it is not an important problem for others.

WARNING: Strong language.

Hello, friends. I have a general rule for myself when it comes to dealing with internet trolls: DO NOT interact with them. Don’t. Just don’t do it. Lately, I have been having a hard time abiding by this rule. With the current state of politics and the presidential race, as well as the women’s rights movement (International Women’s Day was just a few days ago), various LGBT rights movements, and other pro-equality movements going on, our nation has become a nation divided in the ugliest of ways. I am very upfront with my political and moral views, and most of you know than I am an Agnostic Atheist, who believes in equality for everyone. I am not only an LGBT ally, but also a Pansexual woman, and member of the community. I am also a feminist, and a Liberal. I don’t really care if you dislike me for those reasons, because your close-mindedness does not effect me, and I don’t want you in my life if you choose to judge me based on those facts. For just these reasons alone, I have been judged very critically by complete strangers who know absolutely nothing about me, and who throw wild generalizations at me, and that isn’t fair.

I have been called everything from a libtard, feminazi, fag lover, and so much more… all because I believe in basic, human rights and equality for everyone, which apparently, is an awful thing. Who knew?

For the last several days, I have been engaged in a handful of online comment wars, spanning across Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter. Sometimes, I am guilty of being a bit of an instigator, but more often than not, I simply voiced my appreciation on a topic. I am not a troll. I do not scour the web in search of things that I wholly disagree with with every fiber of my being, just to jump into the comment section and spew ignorance and hatred on the subject. I also rarely skim through comments in search of someone who supports said topic, just to call them names and trash their opinions. I don’t make a habit of fucking attacking people on a personal level just because I disagree with something they say on the internet.

Apparently, I am a minority when it comes to this sort of behavior, because people online are fucking assholes. Shocking, I know!

Recently, an LGBT/equality page that I follow on Facebook posted the following picture:

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This graphic was posted on International Women’s Day, and while it did received a ton of praise from the LGBT community and its allies, it also received a lot of backlash from a lot of people who knew very little on the subject, and really had nothing of value to input other than “Fuck Caitlyn Jenner!” or “Until you’ve had a child you’re not REALLY a woman.”, both of which have nothing to do with what was said. The latter isn’t even a correct statement.

I posted the following two comments beneath the photo:

comments

Both comments received more positive feedback than negative, but there were a few people that had apparently just had a bad day, and wanted to tear everyone on this page apart for no reason. There were even a few commenters that were clearly fake accounts, created for the sole purpose of trying to hurt other people who disagreed with their views. Others had nothing of value to say other than calling me ridiculous names, or paraphrasing the Bible in all caps, WHICH AS WE ALL KNOW MAKES YOU SOUND SO MUCH MORE INTELLIGENT.

Why? WHY? What could you possibly get out of doing something like that? You are about as unlikely to change my way of thinking as I am to change yours, and that’s why I don’t waste my fucking time.

On a day that was for celebrating ALL women, there were feminists who wanted nothing more than to point out how they felt that trans women weren’t women, and gave them no support at all. There were civil rights activists, and #BlackLivesMatter activists, talking about how trans people, as well as the LGBT community in general, did not deserve rights, let alone to be recognized in a holiday. This lead me into several, one-sided, heated “debates” (I can’t even really call them that, because only one side had anything logical to contribute) across all of my social media platforms, that I let get to me. I couldn’t stop.

I let these trolling, immature, ignorant, terrible people get to me. I broke my own rule. And boy, did it get me fired up.

How can people actually think like that? It is 2016! How can you still have so much hate in your heart that you think it is okay to hurt people like that? I’m not even a member of the trans community, but as a woman who has struggled with her sexual identity for many years, I can certainly tell you how hard it is to KNOW that you one thing, but have everyone around you tell you that you aren’t, for a whole list of bullshit reasons. What if you were black, and people told you that you weren’t black enough, because of your eye or hair color? Telling you that you weren’t what you KNEW you were, what you were meant to be, because you didn’t look like it on the outside? That would hurt. You would be stuck feeling like you don’t belong on either side of the tracks, and it would tear you apart.

No one deserves to feel that way.

There are people who use sources like the Bible to back up their behavior, thinking that they are doing their god’s work in tearing down and hurting these people, because they disagree with how they live their lives, and that is WRONG. But even more wrong are the people who have absolutely no reason to hate these people, and choose to anyway.

Hatred is a choice.
Sexuality, gender dysphoria, and race are not.

If you want equality for women, or African Americans, or Latinos, but not for your brothers and sisters in the LGBT community, then you want privilege. Not equality. Those are not the same thing.

PSA: Just because something is not YOUR problem, does not mean it is not an important problem for others.

I’m so done. Back to my happy place.

Jan

[Just now, as I finish writing this, I am reading the comments beneath Ingrid Nilsen’s latest video on public bathrooms and gender identity, and it is honestly making me want to scream and rip my hair out. I fucking hate people.]

Daily Prompt 3/9/2016 | Women Not Objects

Inspired by today’s one-word Daily Prompt, I thought I would share with you this powerful video that I found on Facebook about the harm caused by the objectification of women. I found it through the 4th Trimester Bodies Project Facebook page (amazing group, check them out), who shared if from fellow Facebook group Women Not Objects.

In response to The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 3/9/2016 | Object

Hello, friends. As many of you may already know, yesterday was International Women’s Day (as well as National Free Pancake Day, which I forgot to take advantage of). I spent the entire day celebrating being a woman by falling into the trap of responding to trolling comments on articles that I stumbled upon, which is another blog post entirely.

I don’t understand why, on a day celebrating something, people feel the need to tear that thing apart in unnecessary, terrible ways. Why? I just don’t get it. I am emotionally exhausted, and honestly don’t have much more to say on the topic at this point that I haven’t already typed out 1,000 times in multiple comment sections.

Inspired by today’s one-word Daily Prompt, I thought I would share with you this powerful video that I found on Facebook about the harm caused by the objectification of women. I found it through the 4th Trimester Bodies Project Facebook page (amazing group, check them out), who shared if from fellow Facebook group Women Not Objects. Now, being a warrior for equality for all people, I wholly agree and recognize that men are also objectified in the media, but seeing as yesterday was International Women’s Day, I thought this video was appropriate to share.

Women are not objects. Women are people.

Thoughts?

Thanks for reading, friends.

Jan

Daily Prompt 2/4/2016 | Alone In A Crowded Room

The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 2/4/2016 | Naked with Black Socks

“Are you comfortable in front of people, or does the idea of public speaking make you want to hide in the bathroom? Why?”

My brain is complicated when it comes to my anxieties over people, and how I perform under pressure. Public speaking terrifies me. Speaking in a small group terrifies me. Speaking to someone one-on-one in a professional setting terrifies me, for example, if I am at an interview. Don’t even get me started on parties. I am a freaking turtle in her shell at parties. Despite my anxieties, I’m a pretty decent performer under pressure, especially when it comes to school. As long as I have something to focus on that is important to me, I’m usually able to able to conquer my anxieties, and come out on top… there is usually some sort of mini breakdown afterwards, but that is besides the point.

A good example of this is when I was a freshman in college. I was in an Environmental Sciences class, with mostly juniors and seniors, who were looking for easy science credits. I didn’t know anyone in the class, except for my then-boyfriend’s cousin, who really didn’t want anything to do with me. We were told to get into groups of four for group projects, and I just sat in the back, waiting for everyone to group up, so that I could join whoever was left.

The last 3 remaining were a group of girls, who I could tell right away felt that they had better things to do than be in the class. We introduced ourselves, and listened to the professor explain the project. Each group would pick a country out of a bowl, and we would have make a presentation on that country, including details about the economy, climate, religions, landmarks, etc. Each person in the group had to speak on a specific topic pertaining to the country, for 4-5 minutes, making the average group presentation about 16-20 minutes long. We would be presenting over the course of several days.

The entire time he spoke, I was sweating. I had never had to speak for more than 30-60 seconds in front of a group, and even then, it was usually a group of friends, or at least people I had known for a little while. My group seemed very disinterested, and I had a hard time getting their contact info so that we could work on our project together. They were all juniors and seniors, and none of them lived on campus, and when I suggested meeting in the library, they might as well have laughed in my face. Eventually, I convinced them that that was best, as I had no transportation off campus, and the library had a ton of resources for us to use.

In the following weeks, I realized that I was the only one in my group taking the project seriously. I was also the only one showing up to meetings. I would sit in the library, usually alone, unless my boyfriend came down to help me, working on my portion of the project, which was about the environment. Specifically, I was talking about the pollution of the Ganges River, and the endangered Ganges River Dolphin (oh, we got India, in case I didn’t mention that). My boyfriend even helped me sew a beautiful sari, which I spoke briefly about in the introduction of my part. I reached out to the other girls several times, asking them if they needed help, or if they wanted to meet to rehearse our projects, but they blew me off.

Twice, I worked with one of the girls from the group, who was doing her report on Mother Theresa. Each time, she brought her young toddler son, and spent more time playing/chasing him around, than working. I ended up doing a chunk of the research, and writing half of her speech, for her. I was so frustrated, because this was a GROUP project, meaning we all would share a grade, and I was the only one doing anything.

The day of my group’s presentation arrived, and I was surprised that the other girls even showed up. The first one to present spoke about India’s economy, and her bit lasted just over 3 minutes. She had no visuals, or anything else to go along with it. We were the last group of the day to present, and no one was paying attention at all. The second girl spoke very briefly about pollution, as well as the environment, which irritated me, because that was not her topic. It was mine. The other girls even gave me a look as if to say, “Um, did you know about this?” Her bit lasted just a few minutes, and just like the first girl, she had no visuals to go along with her presentation.

Then came the girl doing Mother Theresa. About 5 seconds into her presentation, she turned to the teacher, said that she didn’t feel well, and quickly ran from the room. That got everyone’s attention, and all eyes turned to me. I now had to make up a ridiculous amount of time, thanks to the slack of the first 3 in my group. Luckily, I was pretty prepared. I introduced myself, and spoke about the sari that I wore, my voice trembling slightly. More people started paying attention, interested in the garb. Even though their eyes were on me, I was elsewhere, somewhere inside my head. I needed to do well, because I was not about to fail this after working so hard. I also had a slideshow presentation, which went along with my note cards, and a trifold display board with pictures and facts. I was prepared, and it felt good.

I ended up speaking for a total of 7 minutes. After the first minute or so, I felt completely in control, and everything else faded away. My presentation could have been even longer, but class ended. Afterwards, my group left without a word, and the professor asked to see me for his office hours later in the day. When I went to see him, he told me that he would be grading me separately from my group, as he could see that I was the only one who put in any effort. I nearly cried. I candidly told him how it had been so difficult to get any of them to work with me, and he completely understood.

I received an overall score of 93/100 for my project, and ended the school year with an A- in the class. I never spoke to the other girls again after that class ended. Honestly, that was probably my proudest moment that whole year.

Thank you for reading, friends.

Jan

Dream Journal 1/26/16

Future (2-3 years?).

Liam, now a blond toddler, and I were at the park with a group of other moms and kids. Liam was around 3 or 4 years old, and was running around the playground with several other kids. I was sitting at a picnic table with the four other women, and one of them was telling the group that she had caught her husband cheating on her, but he didn’t know that she knew about it. She was talking about how she wanted to get even with him, and that she wanted to find an attractive guy to cheat with, so that her husband would catch her. One of the other women told her that she could use her husband, as they were in an open relationship, and he probably wouldn’t mind.

The other two moms got up and left to get their children, visibly upset by the women’s discussion. I turned my head to watch the kids play, trying not to listen in on their private conversation. A few minutes later, I turned back, and they were passionately (and pretty aggressively) kissing each other, and one of them had removed their shirt. I quickly stood up and took several steps back. Once I vacated the picnic table, they quickly re-positioned, lying down over the spot I had just stood up from, and continued.

I looked around, slightly embarrassed, and saw other people starting to look in our direction. Several people were even moving closer. I kept backing away, and walked over to the playground to get my son. When I turned back around, a large crowd had formed around the picnic table, and were cheering the two ladies on loudly. I grabbed Liam’s hand and we walked away quickly, but the crowd kept growing and getting louder. We started to run, and cut across the baseball field to get to our car.

I could still see the crowd growing from across the park, and could see dollar bills, jewelry, and other expensive things, being thrown in the air. We drove away, and I asked Liam if he wanted to get lunch at Wendy’s. He told me he wanted to go to Jack In The Box, even though the closest one was hours away. I told him that we could go, as I hadn’t been in years, whipped the car around, and started speeding off in the opposite direction. I turned on the radio, and the One Direction song Story of My Life was playing. We sang together, joking about how much we really didn’t like One Direction, but the song was so catchy…

And then I woke up.