Lots of unfinished posts.


I’m clearing out my drafts by making this post. I had a lot of posts I started and never finished:

It hurts to watch adults on Facebook criticize teenagers for protesting for gun control. Because inevitably, it’s baby boomers who suggest that bullying is the real problem with mass shootings – which ignores the fact that while bullying is a major issue in schools, the fact that only young men are behind mass shootings suggests there’s a lot more at work there. That it isn’t just about trying to befriend the outcasts, it’s about adults giving boys and young men better tools for dealing with their rage. If we teach all children that it’s okay to talk about feelings, to cry, to find safe outlets to deal with their rage (like writing or artwork and THERAPY)… that will go a long way towards stopping this violence. Because most of the time it’s a boy who had no outlet to deal with being bullied, their feelings of entitlement or on occasion, how to deal with being dumped. And frankly, the common denominator for all of these is that it was boys with no outlet, but ready access to guns. (By the way, you can work on removing child access to guns AND improve anti-bullying programs. Out here, a lot of school districts are implementing them primarily in elementary schools, since that’s when kids are the most malleable. It doesn’t mean schools aren’t serious about changing things, they just don’t have the budgets to really shake things up at all levels)


Why Hockey is For Everyone… isn’t.


Note: Despite the tone, I wouldn’t be this harsh if I didn’t love the sport. My two favorite teams are both called out, because I think they could do better.

We’re entering Hockey is For Everyone month. This is the second year of the NHL’s initiative for inclusivity. To highlight disabled players, women’s hockey as well as LGBT inclusivity by hosting You Can Play nights.

Last year saw mostly merchandise put out by the NHL – t-shirts that boasted Hockey is For Everyone, as well as pride flavored shirts for every single team. I don’t recall seeing if any of that merchandise benefited any specific charities (not even You Can Play). Compare that with the Washington Capital’s run of Pride logo shirts that directly benefited You Can Play.

Every team was assigned a You Can Play night, and encouraged to create other nights. You Can Play, if you aren’t familiar, is an organization that sets out to show that LGBT athletes should be welcome in any sport. If you can play, you can play. More on them in a moment.

For each night, most teams put up their rainbow flavored logo, invited LGBT youth groups – and for those who have NWHL teams nearby, invited players who represented inclusivity. Like Harrison Browne, or female players who identify as being bi or lesbians. They put pride tape (special stick tape that when applied correctly looks like a rainbow) on the sticks they used during warmups, wore special jerseys – that were all auctioned off to either benefit You Can Play or a local LGBT youth organization.

Most teams made a nice effort, even if some questioned their choices of YCP Ambassador (like the Canadiens’ pick of Andrew Shaw – who had only recently been fined for using derogatory language towards gays. Or this year’s pick of Tyler Seguin for the Dallas Stars, since he’s had a history of homophobic jokes on Twitter- though he has come a long way, so it’ll be interesting to see how he handles this).

Actually, 29 of the then 30 teams did something for YCP month, except for the Dallas Stars. Their day came and went, and nothing. Even the Golden Knights, who at the time were nothing more than a Twitter account and a signed prospect, had announced a partnership with LGBT groups in Las Vegas.

Which is great. But like so many awareness months, things came and went, and that was the end of it. No push to sign minority players. No extra push to help women’s hockey – with the exception of the Penguins, who hosted the NWHL All-Star game and promoted the heck out of it, and the Buffalo Sabres and New Jersey Devils who recently announced partnerships with their local NWHL teams.

Very little was done on the part of the NHL to censure Ryan Getzlaf for using a homophobic slur during the playoffs. The NHLPA noted that it was the maximum he could be fined, but YCP and the NHLPA didn’t suggest that fines be increased. In fact, the number of fans who dismissed it as being part of the game, or tried to say it wasn’t homophobic to call an official a cock sucker… well, it was depressing.

Fact: if you use it as an insult, it’s homophobic. Otherwise, it’s just a description of someone who performs fellatio, and why would that be an insult? But if using it as an insult, you’re implying there’s something wrong with a guy performing the act.

And re: You Can Play, the fact that they didn’t take stronger action with Getzlaf and the fact that they’re headed by allies now, not LGBT athletes? It suggests that they’re an ally organization and won’t take the stance needed to make change.

When NFL athletes took a knee to protest police violence, team after team in the NHL put out statements that they hoped players wouldn’t be political on the ice. The Penguins announced that they would be visiting Trump in the White House, despite the fact that his entire platform went against the Declaration of Principles that they and the entire NHL just said were important. While playing for the Lightning, JT Brown put out a statement in support of protests and protested himself… and was threatened by fans. (He’s been traded to the Ducks, and hopefully they’re more supportive)

And in the very recent All-Star game in Tampa, the NHL invited Kid Rock to perform – citing him being a fan of the Detroit Red Wings, but ignoring the fact that he’s a performer who performed with Confederate flags in the background, and who has made transphobic statements recently. Not to mention that he very publicly supported Trump – who ran on a platform of racist statements, homophobic agendas, and general ignorance.

Hockey might be for everyone, but the NHL has done little more than come up with some slick merchandise. They don’t have clear guidelines set up for how to punish players who’ve been accused of domestic violence (in fact, there’s ongoing concern that Slava Voynov who had pled no contest to a misdemeanor DV charge will be courted by NHL teams now that his suspension is nearly up- currently, he’s banned from the NHL until after the 2018 Olympics).

The fact that Patrick Kane continues to be the face of the NHL, despite being accused of assaulting a cab driver and being accused of rape. (As is the case with many high profile sexual assault cases, the victim stopped wanting to cooperate with prosecutors and police – so the case was dropped. Why? Because of how high profile the case was, it was having a negative impact on herself and her family. Which doesn’t mean he didn’t do it. It meant she had to put her own safety first.)

They haven’t set up programs to reach out to minority players to give them the same inroads to the sport that white players already have. Even if there are are so few black players in the NHL that there’s essentially one black player per team. There are fewer Latino players. And even fewer Asian players – though the NHL’s interest in Chinese money might change that in the future.

So far as women’s hockey, despite there being teams nearby, nobody has stepped up to help the struggling CWHL teams and the other two NWHL teams (in Boston and Connecticut) – when it would take so very little effort from the NHL teams to ensure that women’s professional hockey thrives.

Is there hope? The Dallas Stars were the only pro sports team to speak out against the Texas Legislature’s proposed ban of transgender people from public bathrooms. Only months after they did nothing about their You Can Play date. But that’s just a first step. In order to make sure that hockey IS for everyone, the NHL and all their teams need to stand up and make changes. Until they do, it’s just a PR bandage.

(Updated: I should note that the NWHL and CWHL are both far more inclusive. They do have some issues regarding players from racial minorities – but both leagues have policies that allow transgender players to play.)

Why the NYT missed the point. Twice.


The New York Times ran a profile on a Nazi from Ohio. I won’t link it, but you’ve probably read it. It’s a “thought provoking” look. Yes, I quoted that with an eyeroll.

It’s drivel, from beginning to end. Sure it mentions some of the gross beliefs he has, but the entire article points out that he might think white people are better, but he doesn’t look down his nose at interracial couples. Look at his pop culture flavored tattoos! And all his cats. He’s just like us.

As if we should be surprised that Nazis are just like us. To every person of color out there, it’s hardly a surprise that a racist can seem normal. Some of the most racist comments came from people that shocked me. It wasn’t the skinheads, it was the women who we saw all the time at the school. The teacher I thought I trusted. Every POC has stories like this. Heck, most people read anecdotes during school about how Nazis weren’t just villainous monsters – they were neighbors and every day people.

But we love trying to humanize monsters. There’s this mistaken idea that if we understand them, we might be able to catch them. It’s why you see profiles of white shooters or white serial killers, talking about their quirky habits. Like, if we see them as people, somehow we’ll reconcile the rest. People of Color don’t get that luxury, by the way. Even POC victims are vilified, their humanity stripped away. But… that isn’t what this post is about.

Back to the Nazis. I would argue that every white person has seen The Sound of Music at least once. A huge part of it deals with Liesl discovering that the nice young messenger she’s in love with, is actually a Nazi. And that he didn’t care enough for her to let her family go.

And everyone had to read the Diary of Anne Frank, where you read the heart wrenchingly normal diary of a girl, and then at the end the discussion of who turned the Franks in. All of whom were normal people, people they trusted.

When confronted, the NYT posted their response. Which just like the article itself, missed the boat. They said the writer and editors agonized over the tone. That they felt it was important for people to understand the creator of some of the movements.

But the piece itself didn’t even tackle what this group believed. It actually linked to Swastika armbands (though they’ve removed the link, since apparently they realized critics were right and that was in poor taste). There were no hard hitting questions to juxtapose the hatred against the banality of their day to day life.

How on earth are you supposed to believe that this was supposed to do anything other than paint a human face on hate, if you aren’t accurately representing his life… all aspects of it.

Sadly, this isn’t anything new for the New York Times. Back in the 30s, they did the same thing with Hitler. Talked about his quirks and interests. Not the hate he spoke of.

So, think piece writers – if you’re going to tackle a profile on a hateful person, make sure you have at least one POC involved. One person from a group that person actively hates, who can make sure you aren’t writing a puff piece. Otherwise, all you’re doing is normalizing hatred. Instead of pointing out how out of place it should be.

Edit: I’m embedding a tweet thread that raised another point about what the NYT piece missed – and completely misrepresented. It’s worth a read. If you didn’t read the piece (which I know, I didn’t link), they mention the podcast that the profiled man is part of. They refer to him as a white nationalist or a Nazi sympathizer. Never outright as simply a Nazi.

#MeToo: Exposing how deep rape culture goes.


This has been a couple of wonderful and terrible months – all because of the wave of victims coming forward to talk about their experiences being sexually harassed or assaulted. (Content and Trigger warnings for discussion of sexual harassment, sexual assault and misogynistic responses to accusations)

It is hard to share your story. So many people think it was easy for me to write or vlog about what happened to me, and every time I had to convince myself to share it. Especially the vlog. I didn’t want anyone to see my rage or my tears. I didn’t want to face the inevitable comments from people that I was just trying to make things worse for the other parties involved (which happens every time), but every time I wrote about it or vlogged about it, someone told me they were grateful I shared my story. Which is why I still do it. Because this does feel isolating. (So please, don’t talk to TheBoy or me about how I can’t move on or I’m trying to make their life miserable. I’m literally trying to help people.)

So I am joyful that women (and yes, men and enby’s) are coming forward, because I know how difficult it is.

But all through this, there have been a lot of ugly reactions. The men who wonder how they’ll ever be able to work or date in a world where women won’t put up with sexual harassment. (The answer: if you treat them like human beings, you’ll be fine) And everyone who suggests that victims are doing this for the attention, that they’re making up their accusations for their 15 minutes of fame. And very hurtful to me personally, every progressive white woman who stood by a white woman speaking her mind, who turned their back on any victim who was different than them. Oh, and people believing white women who come forward, while ignoring black women and black men (people largely ignore the accusations of Lupita Nyong’o against Harvey Weinstein or Terry Crews’ accusation against Adam Venit – heck, Wendy Williams tried to say Crews wasn’t brave. He is.). (more…)

Choices and Image Rehabilitation.


Last night on the Emmys, one of the most talked about moments was Sean Spicer coming out with a podium – ala Melissa McCarthy’s performance of him. The crowd at the Emmys was stunned, but it got laughs. And indeed, a lot of people found it funny online.

And heck, James Corden, tried to kiss him on the cheek afterwards.

But I wasn’t laughing. There’s a lot to be said about giving people second chances – but after Spicer left the administration, people were immediately downplaying his role in the White House. He was just the messenger, don’t you feel bad for him?


This is a man who tried to speak up for integrity prior to Trump being elected. I might not have agreed with him, but he had beliefs – and when offered a chance to stand behind the podium, ditched them to become a mouthpiece. He could have quit as soon as he realized he would be lying day in or day out. Instead he lied, hid in bushes (oh excuse me, NEAR bushes).

It’s nice he can make fun of himself. Laugh at the situation – but we shouldn’t be laughing with him, normalizing the misinformation he spewed.

I’m sorry, did you forget that he tried to say Hitler didn’t use chemical weapons? I sure didn’t.

There is a road to image rehabilitation – but it shouldn’t be a metaphorical 5 minutes after stepping down off the public stage, just to increase social media comments about the broadcast.

I wouldn’t have thought that with all the anti-Trump jabs that this would be the audience to embrace “Spicey” so quickly. But then again, Hollywood is quick to forget a white man’s reputation. It’s rare that ill deeds hurt their career for very long. Heck, actors are lining up for Woody Allen’s next movie.

And yes, I fume about that too. There’s so much talent out there, that you don’t need to keep throwing money at abusive men. Yet, it keeps happening.

But back to Spicer. Would that joke have worked in any other way? Sure, if it had been Melissa McCarthy at the podium. It wouldn’t have actually been blessing Spicer with limelight, sending the message that he’s been absolved of his choices and decisions.

Hollywood, be smart. On a night where so many talented people of all races and genders were honored for smart, sharp work… it took away from how far we’ve come. And frankly, was several steps back.

Update 9/19: Jason Isaacs posted this to his Instagram, and well… I love him for it.

High Functioning, Chronically Ill


I live with Crohns. I am also ridiculously high functioning when sick – I always have been.

When I was first diagnosed with Crohns, it was because I had a really really low hemoglobin count that sent me to the hospital for a blood transfusion. Literally everyone was surprised that I was standing- yet, there I was, driving around town and taking my kids to school.

I spent a year with cramps and nausea – sitting in parking lots until it passed, because I had things to do and nobody else to have take care of it all.

The good part about being high-functioning is that things get done. The bad part? Literally everyone forgets how sick you are.

I’m not only high functioning with Crohns, but with my anxiety and depression. My brain makes lists of things that Have to Be Done, I Want to Get Done if I still have energy, and the Bonus Things to Do if I Still have energy.

So I go through my day, feeling the weight of everything with me, and people ask me “why are you sad?” “why are you in such a bad mood?” “why didn’t you do XYZ?” (when all I had energy for was getting to IJK) – and I almost always want to break down and cry, because… they forgot.

Somehow they forgot that I’m still sick, that my Crohns isn’t in remission. All because I’m good at sucking it up and doing what needs to be done.

Odds are, if I’m bitchy? I’m having a bad anxiety day. I’m in pain from Crohns or my bad back. Or, I’m just tired of repeating myself. If I didn’t get something done, it just wasn’t at the top of today’s priority list (or my brain was so fuzzy from anxiety it just slipped my mind).

But none of it goes away. It’s all still there.

Lot’s going on


There’s a lot going on in the world right, but I thought I’d share a couple of things.

The ACLU of California said that White Supremacist Violence is not free speech. The National ACLU said they agree with this statement, but will protect their speech until it turns violent. It’s a little disappointing- since in my opinion, hate speech is inherently violent. You don’t need to be wearing weapons for their words to harm others.

If you’ve heard people talking about “sheetcaking” and are lost, you missed Tina Fey’s appearance on the special edition of Weekend Update. This post is a pretty good summary of what the sketch was (and there’s an embedded video) and why it wasn’t funny.

I hadn’t seen it live, and I’d only seen reactions online. So I was pretty disappointed when I actually saw it. The linked post above sums up my thoughts pretty well.

Nick Spencer, the head writer for Marvel’s Secret Wars (and the man who made Steve Rogers be an agent of HYDRA all along), took to twitter to complain that people were missing the whole point of his story arc.

As a writer, I have to say that if you need to explain what the point of your story is? You’ve failed. Could this have been amazing? YES. But the problem with corrupting Captain America in the current political climate has been well established. It’s all too easy to pull out one issue, one image and turn it against its’ purpose. (And it’s succeeded, people spotted white supremacists wearing HYDRA shirts) The other problem is that this is happening in the main timeline for Marvel. Sure, things will change and fix it. That’s how comics work – but if you want to tell a political story like this, make it an AU storyline that’s not just reconned the second it’s over.

And put it in the hands of someone who can handle the story. I have zero faith in Spencer based on the execution thus far.

Terms & Conditions, Right to Privacy and Freedom of Speech


There’s a lot going on in the world right now. The Daily Stormer, a White Supremacist site is now homeless on the internet after first GoDaddy terminated their hosting and then Google denied to host their domain as well. And the White House is trying to subpoena Dreamhost for the IP Addresses of people who visited a site designed to coordinate protests against 45.

And there’s a lot going on here – and I’ve seen some confusion how one person could be against a website saying no to Daily Stormer, yes to protecting private information…. and support free speech.

First, Freedom of Speech is that you are entitled to speak your opinion freely and the government cannot stop you. It gives you the right to assemble to protest, too. It’s not that you can speak your mind everywhere – private companies are private property. They can set their own terms.

Which is where I’m going with Daily Stormer. When you sign up for a domain name or web hosting, you agree to follow that company’s policies. And 100% there is something in there that you won’t be using that site to incite violence or commit crimes against others. The reason a lot of hate/fringe groups have websites is that they’re generally cautious not to cross the line of actually inciting violence. It’s all theoretical. (It’s gross, but that’s what happens) So, this particular site crossed a line and companies are saying no.

As they should.

Should we be terrified that the Administration is going after people who want to protest 45? Absolutely. Because one of the fundamental rights that we have in the US is the First Amendment. That we are allowed to speak out against the president, we are allowed to assemble, to protest. It’s part of our political freedom. And so long as people aren’t actively using that site to incite violence against the President and his Administration – they are legally protected.

You’ll notice, nobody’s subpoenaed for lists of white supremacists who visited certain websites. Yes, people have been posting pictures of people who were at Charlottesville hoping that they’ll be identified. Because these were men who showed up, showed their faces… and believed they were bulletproof enough to be able to go back to work after revealing themselves to be white supremacists/Nazis.

Compare that to people who protested Michael Brown’s shooting, and marched knowing that they would be arrested and possibly blacklisted from their work.

There’s a huge difference there. I’ve seen some people try to compare my response to the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville it with my defense of Black Lives Matters protests – but there’s a marked difference. A huge difference. The people in Charlottesville were there to express their hate. People at Black Lives Matter protests were asking to be respected and given the same protection that white citizens gets. Free speech comes with caveats. You aren’t allowed to say things that could bring harm to others – it’s why you can sue someone for libel. Because saying whatever you want can harm someone else. (And if you cannot see that the BLM protests were about protection – you need to reexamine your own personal biases)

Hate speech is not protected under the First Amendment. And spouting off Nazi rhetoric would certainly qualify as hate speech.

This is likely a rambly post, but I hope it at least clarifies what does/doesn’t count as protected – and why you should be terrified at what the White House is attempting right now.

#NoConfederate, bad ideas, and a lack of censorship


If you’ve been on Twitter the last two Sundays, you probably saw the hashtag #NoConfederate trending.

Confederate is the next show announced by HBO and the men behind Game of Thrones. (Well, the non GRR Martin guys behind the show) It aims to show an alternate universe where the South wasn’t defeated and slavery exists in modern times.

And people are upset. Both those who object to the show and those who think the objectors are trying to censor television.

Why object to the show? After all, The Man in the High Castle is on multiple seasons and discusses what might have happened if the Nazis won. Well, the difference there is that while there are still Nazis and white supremacists… by and large as a society we recognize that Nazis are bad.


Teen Vogue: Won’t Somebody Think of the Children


Bear with me. I just wanted to use that for a headline. And use this GIF


So Teen Vogue has recently become an awesome place for journalism, and published a guide on anal sex on their website. And let me tell you, parents from all over were upset. The general consensus was that they didn’t want their teens to have access to that information because, god forbid, they use it. (more…)