Monday, October 27, 2008

So, I'm about six weeks into my brand-spanking-new dream job, and while I really do love it, it can be incredibly depressing.  I'm the volunteer coordinator for a victim advocacy organization, and we see everything.  Literally.  Every single police report made in the county comes across our desks, and it can be frightening.  My coworkers and I have worked with victims of some of the most horrific crimes imaginable.  We respond to crises 24 hours a day, and we help people through the criminal justice process afterward.  Because of how much we see, the staff is made up of some very compassionate people, but some of the other agencies we work with are not.

This is what truly blows my mind.  There are attorney's that tell our DV victims that they don't take DV cases, because they don't understand why the victims keep going back.  There was one particularly egregious case in which an attorney told a sexual assault victim that her case was being declined, because, "Sometimes sex hurts.  That doesn't mean you were raped."  One of the foremost detectives in our law enforcement agency speaks incredibly articulately about the dynamics present in DV situations, and especially about how traditional gender roles and beliefs in them are many times present in such situations, and then in the same breath, speaks about how he is a "good Christian," who believes that he is the head of his wife.  How do these people work so close to such violence, and not see how they enable, contribute, and at the very least, how they do nothing to help stop it?

I  have moments when I am so heartbroken.  Listening to the stories our clients tell us.  Seeing their shame and humiliation on top of their feelings of betrayal and visceral pain, shame and humiliation given them, not by their abusers or attackers, but by the very people in the system who claim to work to help them.

I know change is slow, but sometimes it's so painfully slow that it knocks the wind out of my chest.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I Got A Grownup Job! (and other updates)

It's been a very long time since I've posted, and I feel bad, because I don't even have anything important to post.  I've been very busy this summer, mostly with visiting family in Indianapolis.  Mr. KMP and I spent a lot of time traveling between Indy, his parents, and Michigan, so we were exhausted when we got home.  
My grandmother gave us a fig tree to plant in Mr. KMP's parent's yard a while back, and we found that it is doing quite nicely!  I was surprised, because there was so much flooding in Indiana, I thought most of the plants would have been destroyed.  This fig tree is a trooper!
We also had a great time in Michigan.  Walloon is one of my favorite places in the world, and it was really nice to get out on the water with Maggie (she's the one in the life vest.)

After we got settled back in Flagstaff, my brother and sister came out to visit.  We went to the Grand Canyon and ate a massive amount of Jelly Bellies and watched Ren & Stimpy and Daria.  It was lovely!  

More recently though, I quite my job at Starbucks, and got a position at Victim/Witness Services for Coconino County.  I'm their new Volunteer Program Coordinator, and I love it.  Now that I don't have crazy hours (and I'm winding up my Masters...!!!), I should have more time to write, and given my new job, I'll have a different perspective on issues where I was previously doing a lot of speculating.  I hope everyone else had a great summer!

Friday, April 18, 2008


Happy Anniversary to Cara at the Curvature!

Equal Pay Day!

Blog for Fair Pay
It's Blog for Equal Pay Day, and there's already a lot of information going up all over my favorite blogs about the actual law on pay discrimination, negotiation techniques, general musing, etc. It's hard to see what I could add to the topic, so I've made a really little list of some places that might help you to find out what you should be making. I think one of the biggest barriers to pay equity (besides, oh, asshole employers), is that people are discouraged from talking about their respective pay rates. It's very difficult to find out what other people where you work make! Even if there isn't a company gag rule on salary comparison, many people feel that it's rude and an invasion of privacy to be asked.

So! Here are a couple websites that I hope will help!

From the Bureau of Labor Statistics
Job Star
Salary Scout
Economic Research Institute

Thursday, April 17, 2008

White Privilege and Responsibility, Pt. 1

It's amazing how much this topic has come up in my life lately. I mentioned in the previous post that I ended up talking about white privilege and responsibility at a recent dinner party, and just last night at work, responsibility was the watchword again. A coworker of mine is in a same-sex relationship, and she said that she can't be angry anymore. That if she spends all of her time fighting people who treat her as though she is something horrible, fighting people who want to keep her from being able to enjoy the rights that those in opposite-sex relationships enjoy, fighting people who would stamp her out of existence if they could, then all she will do is be angry all the time and it would destroy her. This came up, because I was talking about it being a responsibility to confront "isms" when they meet you, and I then had to clarify. It is not the responsibility of the oppressed group to do the confronting. They hold up that end every day by simply being who they are. It is the responsibility of the group in power to speak up and stand up. Silence is alliance. Pure and simple.

Today, Brownfemipower posted this, which I think sums up my feelings on the Marcotte debacle:

white feminists bear a responsibility (that they are NOT accepting and in fact are actively rejecting) to negotiate power and create spaces (while working alongside or a step behind marginalized communities) in which power is de-centralized

Of the blogs that I love, very, very few of them have responded in a way that I think comes close to addressing the issue here. Feministing has to be my favorite blog ever, and I was crestfallen at the response by the bloggers over there. By continuing to focus on plagiarism, which was never, ever, the issue, they dodge any real responsibility. Is Marcotte a plagiarist? No. Was that the problem? No. Anyone who paid attention to what BFP was saying would know the issue was responsibility and feminist community. We failed her. Miserably. And now there is one less brilliant feminist in the world. We turned our backs on a woman who needed us, choosing instead to give Marcotte a pass. I understand that Marcotte with the same publisher as a lot of feminist bloggers. I understand that she's a colleague. But, why wasn't BFP a colleague?

I also have a lot of trouble with all of the patting on the back that white feminist bloggers are getting for half-assed non-responses that were posted after the fact. BFP has pointed out that without community, there is no movement. When you don't stand by your fellow feminists, when you don't take on the responsibility to back the underdog, you collapse any sense of community there was, and you collapse the movement. I see here that we are repeating the same mistakes that we call earlier generations of feminists out on and it's heartbreaking and embarrassing. I can't imagine the level of betrayal felt.

If I haven't said it enough: Responsibility, Responsibility, Responsibility. If you have power. Any kind of power. And you don't use it to stand in solidarity with those who don't? You are a coward. You uphold racism. You perpetuate it. You reap the benefits of it. I'd like to echo Melissa McEwan here: You can't shirk this responsibility and be progressive. And you damn sure can't shirk this responsibility and be a feminist.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

White Privilege and Responsibility

Ooookay, so it's been months since my last post, and I have, like 4 people who ever read this blog, but I have stuff to say now, and I hope those 4 people will enjoy it. :-)

I'm going to be writing a few posts on race, b/c with the recent events in the feminist blogosphere concerning BFP and Amanda Marcotte and Seal Press and the WOC bloggers who are justifiably nonplussed by the kid gloves with which the situation is being handled by some of the big blogs, combined with Traister's recent article that really articulates some of my issues with the Obama campaign, to ABW's call for allied posts, and Jay Smooth's reaction to Alicia Keyes' comments, and a conversation I found myself having at dinner the other night (no link for that one, I'll be discussing it later), I just think it's important to be talking about this. I mean, holy cow that's a whole lot of linkage right there that's happened in the last few days!

So, I have to be getting to work right now, but I wanted to get these links up there so that any of you 4 (and I do love that I have even 4), who missed any of this can get caught up, and then discussion can begin.

See you soon,

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Stupid Question: Torture Edition

From the NYT:

If F.B.I. agents were able to get the detainees to talk without harsh interrogation methods, did the C.I.A. have to use them?

Answer: No.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Weim Fever

Mr. KMP is out of town for the week, and it's making me miss my puppies back home very much! I kept telling my parents that I was going to throw GrayC in the back of the truck, and they'd never know I'd taken her to Arizona with me. It gets lonely around the apartment by myself (which is perhaps why I decided to work a double tomorrow?), and wanted to post a video my dad made of our dogs since I can't have them here to snuggle me.

The lumpy one you see waddle by was Eva. She passed away the Thanksgiving before this most recent one, and she was the most awesome dog on earth. She was totally a feminist. You could just tell.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Once More With Feeling...

There is no such thing as "Grey Rape." The latest psychorapeapologistevilmythperpetuator is a young woman writing for the Campus Word, and her disgusting article can be read here. My response (which can also be read in the comments to the articles) was this:

Absolutely disgusting. There is nothing a woman can wear, nothing a woman can do, nothing a woman can say, and nothing a woman can drink that will ever, ever, ever excuse rape. If she says no, you stop. Not in a second, not when you're done, right then and there. You want to think she's a tease or a bitch? You're problem. Sex is not the same thing as rape. There is no blurry line. Unless you get enthusiastic consent, and maintain enthusiastic consent, do not proceed. The only people who are responsible for rape are rapists. You don't want to be accused of rape? Then don't rape. If she looks too drunk to stand, don't have sex with her. If she can hardly talk, don't have sex with her. If she looks like she's unconscious or falling asleep, do not have sex with her. If you do, it's rape, regardless of how you feel about it. If she changes her mind, and you continue, it's rape. If she stops and you don't, she stopped but you didn't, if she STOPS, but you DON'T, it is RAPE. It doesn't matter if she had your penis in her mouth two seconds ago. It doesn't matter that she went up to your room with you. It doesn't matter that she took off her own clothes. If she stops, and you don't, it's rape. Not sex. Rape.

While, for once, the comments section was taken over by people who actually know what they're talking about, I'm really interested in why women are so ready to blame other women for their victimizations. Is it because it's too scary to admit that if it can happen to her, then it could happen to you, too? Is it because they've bought the idea that women are worth less than men, and so what a man wants is what he gets? Or have they bought the myth that rape is sex? And that these women are tempting their fathers/brothers/uncles/husbands/boyfriends, and deserve punishment for it? What is it? Why is it so hard for some women to stand by each other? More importantly, how can we change that?

Settling In...

So, I'm finally in Arizona. Mr. KMP and I have mostly unpacked (mostly, b/c I own way too much stuff, and some will have to stay in boxes until we move again this spring), and I'm doing my very best to settle in. My new Starbucks is all sorts of crazy, I have to wear a headset for the drive-through (I never thought I'd have a job with a headset), and it's insanely busy, and I don't have any friends yet. And Mr. KMP is out of town for the week for work. So I'm by myself. And did I mention, I don't have friends yet? So with all this extra time on my hands, I'll hopefully be updating this page so much that the two readers I have will worry. :-)