Being Transgender Isn't the Problem. We Are.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016 by Meg   •   Filed under General

Transgender identity, as a broad term, is the idea that some people do not conform consistently or unambiguously to the typical (or accepted) notions of “male” or “female”. When we hear the term, it is often used to describe someone like Caitlyn Jenner whose gender identity (sense of themselves as male or female) or gender expression differs from that usually associated with their birth sex. However, not everyone whose appearance or behavior is gender atypical will identify as a transgendered. Tim Curry in The Rocky Horror Picture Show isn’t necessarily transgender just because he loves women’s lingerie. He could just be a proud dude in panties.

But the issue is far beyond dressing a certain way or acting a certain way. The transgendered population is under attack at every turn due to forces they cannot control. I mean, why are we so worried about where people can pee for fuck’s sake?

Gender identity, like sexuality, exists on a spectrum. And as a society, we disregard anyone who doesn’t fit into these little tiny boxes of “normal.” We label them as mentally ill. We try to take away their inherent human rights. And that is a huge part of what triggers depression and anxiety and suicide in misunderstood and persecuted populations. 

In short, being transgender isn’t the problem. We are....  continue reading

South Carolina, Self Regulation and That Child Beating A$$hole

Thursday, October 29, 2015 by Meg   •   Filed under General


South Carolina....just fucking no.

I worked for quite some time with at-risk children in a school setting. School was skipped, homework left incomplete, and defiance, aggression and “back-talk” abounded. Did the kids’ smart mouths and disrespectful attitudes ever make me want to hit them?

Hell to the no. Because I’m a fucking grownup with fully-developed self-regulation skills. And because there are always reasons for negative behaviors. Seeing only the behavior without considering its underlying cause is a short-sighted and ignorant way to handle the situation.

When I see the teenager on the now infamous video, I see a girl in pain. How about we discuss the fact that she was in foster care due to issues at home? That she was asked to leave because she glanced at her cell phone (and apologized for it at the time)? That her “defiance” was her stating that she had done nothing wrong? (Another girl agreed, and was also arrested.) Does it matter that the officer in question had a history of violent behavior? Does any of that matter?

The sad fact is, to many, the circumstances leading up to her beating do not matter. And when I see people disregard this, I see broken people. I see deep-rooted issues. I see the little children they used to be hearing, “Don’t whine, there’s no excuse for that behavior.” I see dysfunction in the masses.

This girl needs help, not violent repercussions. Not abuse. And in the video I saw, the officer was most certainly abusive. Violent. Scary. The adolescent brain is a little unstable and labile as a rule. But the cop is not a child. He showed a gross lack of self-regulation. He lost control. He himself is broken, very likely another victim in the ongoing cycle of abuse endorsed by our society. He needs serious help, not high fives....  continue reading

Romanticizing Mental Illness, Kurt Cobain and Posterboys for Teen Angst

Tuesday, August 25, 2015 by Meg   •   Filed under General

What happens when we emulate the behaviors of our favorite rock stars? 

The Nirvana Age was a prime example of the romanticization of mental illness, and one that stands out as particularly poignant to me as a child of this era.  Kurt Cobain spoke to us because we were broken too, the epitome of teen angst. He was an example of what a little bullied child could aspire to. He was proof that even a troubled little boy whose parents shuttled him from one home to another could find love in legions of fans. We heard his brokenness, saw his success and aspired to overcome as he had. 

But he hadn’t. And instead of acknowledging that this guy needed help, high school students embraced Smells Like Teen Spirit as their anthem. Like Robin Williams, we saw only what we wanted to in Kurt Cobain.

And we were wrong....  continue reading

"Don't Wear That!" The Evolutionary Roots of Daisy Dukes, Victim Blaming and Patriarchy

Monday, August 17, 2015 by Meg   •   Filed under General

“Hey, Harry, put on longer shorts. You don’t want the neighbors talking.”  

“John, why don’t you wear a sweater over your tee-shirt?”

“Kyle, are you really wearing your ‘fuck me’ heels to the office? You’ll never be taken seriously dressing like that.”

We’ve got a lot of sexual baggage, ladies, and some of it revolves around what we wear. We are overtly, and subtly, told that our clothing choices can lead to attacks, to pain, to shame. Because our bodies are not a normal part of our existence. They are ticking time bombs. We must keep our sexuality under wraps, lest we get what we deserve; just this month a Virginia university demanded a rape victim provide a list of her past sexual partners. What in the actual fuck? 

MEN! Amiright, ladies?!? 

But, sexism and elements of fear and blame are also furthered by well-meaning women. And we don’t even realize we’re doing it. Without addressing our own role in the perpetuation of some of these elements, we are unlikely to be able to enforce real change, particularly in a culture where these elements are so ingrained that they are essentially invisible. ...  continue reading

Is Racism a Mental Illness? Either Way, Screw Dylann Roof

Monday, June 22, 2015 by Meg   •   Filed under General

Dylann Roof. Holy shit.

In the last week I have watched the media scramble to attribute the murders of nine innocent people to anything but racism. 

“It was an attack against religion, not blacks.”

“He was mentally ill. This isn’t a race issue.”

Yeah, it’s not like Roof flat out said, “I want to hurt black people.” Because if something like that happened, you’d look like a tool, Fox and Friends. 

Facepalm.

There is a fine line between what we consider psychological disorder and personality (more here). Roof was, and is, a racist motherfucker. But is he also mentally ill? 

I’m not talking about the lack of empathy it takes to gun down innocents in cold blood. I’m wondering whether racism, in and of itself, should be considered a mental illness. And this, my friends, is a complex question....  continue reading

Transraciality And Why Rachel Dolezal Is A F*cking Liar

Friday, June 19, 2015 by Meg   •   Filed under General

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard about Rachel Dolezal, the white woman who climbed the ranks of the NAACP while posing as a black women. 

Now, maybe she is actually ill enough to believe that she’s black. Such is the nature of delusions, though an interview with a delusional individual would have gone more like:

Interviewer: “Are you African American?”

Delusional white person: “Hell yes I am!” 

And not: 

Interviewer: “Are you African American?”

Dolezal: (eye twitch, mouth stiffening) “I don’t understand the question.” 

You understood, lady. You might be a liar, but you aren’t stupid.

Let us put aside the fake father she put on social media. Let us ignore her dark-skinned brother she tried to pass of as her child. Let us also put aside the fact that Dolezal sued Howard University because she felt that African American students were given preference over her. She didn’t claim “but…I identify as black.” She said, “You discriminated against me because I am white.” Maybe it was true. The judge didn’t think so.

I would guess, based on what I know of her history, that she has a diagnosable condition, brought on by abuse and a severely dysfunctional early environment. There is also evidence that her parents outed her as white to discredit her as a witness against another family member who is currently accused of sexual assault. And I suspect that there is a part of her that feels justified in lying based on her experience with Howard. She can further justify her actions by acknowledging that she may not have been accepted had she applied to the NAACP as a white woman, and that regardless of how she got the job, she has done some first-rate work with the organization. Because of this, her stepping aside may or may not even be the best thing for all involved. But that’s not the issue at hand, is it? That’s not where our focus is as a nation. People want to know whether transraciality is really a thing, like transsexuality is a thing. 

Um, no. At least not the way Dolezal wants it to be.  ...  continue reading