The Friend Zone

Unrequited attractions can suck, believe me, I know. But there’s a reason they aren’t with you. Maybe you haven’t had the guts to say something, maybe she just sees you as a friend(this is most likely in my experience). And hell, maybe she really is that manipulative basketcase you rant about.
But you aren’t owed crap. It’s not “get X relationship points and get what you want”.
And honestly, what’s so bad about people wanting to be friends with you? These situations can work out into good friendships that you’ll celebrate as much as you would a romance, again, speaking from experience here. Give it a chance.
I wouldn’t call it inherently bad if you want a romantic/sexual relationship or nothing, but if that’s what your feelings are, you need to 1) Actually say something about how you really feel, and 2) Accept it and step away if she’s not interested. Skip straight to 2) if you aren’t willing to do 1).
It’s not a fun situation, but speaking with a few decades experience on this planet, this is how you need to handle it if you want to be happy, and want to be the sort of person that can attract women(or men, or people in between and off the binary).
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Transgender children’s minds cannot be aligned with their body

Transgender children’s minds cannot be aligned with their body.

Yes, sometimes kids go through silly phases, but the research has been done and if providers are properly trained, gender dysphoria can be reliably differentiated from other issues.  I’m sure there are optimizations that could be made to the process- the article discusses debate over the ideal timing of puberty blockers, for instance- but it is solidly established that transgender kids exist and benefit from transitioning.

Conversion therapy and hoping they grow out of it do not help- hell, “do not help” is the *best case* for these options.  Transition does.  More pediatricians, parents, and everyone who is involved in child care need to know about this.  Even if not enough to diagnose it on their own, at least enough to know that it’s possible and worth calling a doctor(or specialist doctor, if already a doctor) if a child in their care starts showing signs.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer controversy

Racist jackasses going apeshit over a black stormtrooper.

While the EU was jettisoned for the purposes of the new movies storyline, it’s not like they can’t take a few elements from it that work, and expanding the recruiting pool of stormtroopers to normal humans is certainly one I’d see them taking.

The Battle of Endor was a crushing defeat. Thousands, at least, of the Empires most elite troops *gone*, with relatively minimal losses to the Rebellion. The scale of the victory would have given many more worlds hope, and pushed them to join the Rebel Alliance. The surviving Moffs would have had a serious problem- it’s unlikely they’d have ordered enough extra clones to serve as a hedge against a disaster on this scale. A little more than expected replacement as a “just in case” reserve, but this many more? Not likely, especially while devoting the resources to build a new Death Star that is much larger than the old one.

The Empire would need tens of thousands of new troops RIGHT NOW to replace their losses and deal with an expanded rebellion. There’s just no way that waiting for clones to mature would ever work- they’d have to take normal humans. It’s the only chance they possibly have to win the war, and likely the only chance they’d have of preserving enough strength to negotiate a peace that lets them still exist.  Hell, just managing internal issues on worlds that don’t defect would require many more troops in the wake of the death of Emperor Palpatine and the redemption/death of Darth Vader.

Given this… why wouldn’t they grab a black guy? The Empire was speciesist, but racist within humanity, there isn’t much evidence. Even if they are racist within humanity, they need bodies and grabbing a black guy to throw into the front lines as cannon fodder sounds like the exact thing racist assholes would do when they need bodies for the army.

Also- we don’t actually know that this guy is a stormtrooper.  He’s wearing the armor, but so did Han and Luke.  This could be a controversy over something that actually isn’t true.  Part of me wants the racists angry by this being an actual stormtrooper, part of me wants them to feel stupid when it isn’t.  Not sure which I want more.

The Five Defends Chris Rock’s 9/11 Jokes: We’re Not the ‘Comedy Police’ | Mediaite

The Five Defends Chris Rock’s 9/11 Jokes: We’re Not the ‘Comedy Police’ | Mediaite.

I’m OK with the way Chris Rock handled this.  His jokes expressed some empathy with the victims, laid bare his own fears, and criticized the trend of commercializing holidays.  I don’t think any topic should be automatically off limits to comedy no matter the context, though some, like terrorist attacks, certainly need to be handled carefully or you’re going to be ridiculously offensive.  I think he handled it well.

I can’t blame people who take a more negative view, though.

The Fox people I think were a bit too lenient, as if comedic intent automatically voids offensiveness.  It doesn’t.  I’ll give a comic a little more leeway- comedy, to be at its best, often has to push against boundaries.  But that doesn’t absolve a comic, it just gives them a little more of a chance to clarify/apologize/otherwise make things right when they step over the line than, say, a journalist might get.

The ISIS comments, though, do point to them maybe having a more nuanced view.  They didn’t get into it much, and i haven’t seen that segment, so I don’t have much thoughts on that.

Bathroom objections to transgender rights are bullshit

Thinking about the bathroom access objections to transgender rights- the idea that men would suddenly dress as women to access womens bathrooms and commit sexual assault.

One, there’s precious little evidence this happens often. I wouldn’t be shocked if it has, somewhere, but it’s clearly not remotely common.  If it was, I’d expect long lists of incidents to at least occasionally accompany said complaints.  It would be the most obvious piece of supporting evidence ever, but where is it?  No idea.

Two- If a man is such a crappy person that they would impersonate a woman for the purposes of sexual assault of actual women*… Would “You’re not allowed to use this bathroom” really stop them?  Maybe they’d spend a few more minutes on their makeup so they pass more easily, but that’s about it.  You cost them a couple bucks and five minutes of time but don’t actually protect women.  And, oh, you encourage them to work harder on passing, and I really fail to see how making rapists harder to spot could ever possibly help in stopping them**.

If the time and money you cost them is that big a deal, why don’t you, oh, I don’t know, actually prosecute rapists and send them to prison for a decent amount of time?  That actually stands a chance of helping.

Making this argument insincerely makes you a bigot.  Making it sincerely makes you a moron(and probably a bigot too).

 

*- “Actual women” should be read as inclusive of transwomen.
**- This does sound iffy to me on reading it back, that I’m sort of throwing transwomen under the bus with the hypothetical asshole impersonating a woman, that they should make it easy for others to identify them.  This is not my intent, my intent is to show the fractal wrongness of the bathroom argument by countering it from somewhat different angles, even some that start from a problematic spot.  I hope the surrounding context actually renders this footnote unnecessary, if not, I apologize.

Fox Panelist fails to apologize.

Fox Panelist Apologizes for Comments About Japanese Internment | Mediaite.

At most, he successfully made the point that profiling doesn’t automatically mean we lose a war.

I’m also wondering how he draws a parallel between what someone looks like, and an ideology. The example is horribly flawed, even if all he was trying to show that profiling isn’t a guaranteed war loss. Well, racism would make it work I suppose.

Not liking the apology. I’d have hoped for some explanation of how he came to select that particular example. If he’s not self aware enough to know where he went wrong, how can anyone trust that he won’t screw up like this again? To be fair, though, he did unambiguously state that the internment was wrong.

Bi: Notes for a Bisexual Revolution -Thoughts on further reading

Reading Bi: Notes for a Bisexual Revolution by Shiri Eisner. I’m still early in the book, and trying to withhold final judgement, but there have been a few points where I’m thinking “Fuck you, I’m not a weapon in your silly revolution”. Some of this may be more writing style than a criticism on the merits of her arguments, hence, the attempt to withhold final judgement until she’s had the whole book to make her case.

A more practical criticism is I’m not sure existing power structures are so far beyond hope that the solution is to get rid of them. Some, at least, I believe can be reformed while being left largely intact. Some need to go, yes, but the nuke it from orbit solution Eisner seems to advocate- I don’t think we’re at that point. Not yet at least. I haven’t seen any suggestion that she’s advocating violent revolution, which is good.

The criticism of some assimilationist trends in LGBT culture I don’t like. Should LGBT people be expected to fully assimilate into heterosexual society? Of course not. But while she doesn’t outright say so, some of her criticisms of this sound like an accusation that such LGBT people who do wish to take a more assimilationist stance are effectively traitors. Again, as with my first paragraph, some of this might be writing style or not having seen her full arguments being so early in the book, but I’m not too happy with how she’s been dismissing the desires of such people.