Feast of Fools vs April Fools

Ok, needing to clear something up since I’ve kind of been having my feed spammed by the ever sexy Clopin Trouillefou (Please, by all means keep up the pictures, I can’t get enough of them!).

The Feast of Fools, made popular by Disney’s “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” is NOT the same holiday as April Fools day.  Clopin actually gives you the date in the movie!

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The Feast of Fools falls generally around the beginning of January (I have seen dates range from the first to the sixth of January).  According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, “A celebration marked by much license and buffoonery, which in many parts of Europe, and particularly in France, during the later middle ages took place every year on or about the feast of the Circumcision (1 Jan.)“ (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06132a.htm)

As Clopin says in HoND, it is a “Topsy Turvey day!”

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April Fools Day on the other hand, is on April 1st and well…it’s history is quite a bit murkier than the Feast of Fools.  “The earliest recorded association between 1 April and foolishness can be found in Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales (1392). Some writers suggest that the restoration of 1 January as New Year’s Day in the 16th century was responsible for the creation of the holiday, but this theory does not explain earlier references.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/April_Fools%27_Day)

But either way, keep those sexy Clopin pics coming!  

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Chicago and Crime

I wrote this a while back and even made a video on it. I figure enough time has passed to put up the article version.

Because of the constant usage of Chicago and the murder rates reported, I have done some research and wish to bring light to the events in Chicago. Donald Trump tweeted about it, but like a typical toddler, his attention is now focused on something shiny and so it is up to us citizens and immigrants to keep the story going.

Several people requested that I look into the data regarding violence, murder, and chaos in Chicago. According to them and many other sources, 2016 is considered the bloodiest year in Chicago in anyone’s memory, and they were wondering what might have been the cause of this.

Some quick facts before I start to establish context. I will be linking many articles below for you to view at your leisure on the facts, statistics, and data available.

  • Chicago is the third largest city in the United states.
  • From January 1st to June 1st of 2016, there were 316 homicides in Chicago. No other city in the US broke the 300 mark.
  • New York, which is the largest city in the United States, with a population three times as big as Chicago, only had 161 homicides during the same time period.
  • Looking at the raw data, the numbers look horrifying, especially since by the end of 2016 Chicago had recorded over 762 homicides, with the Chicago Tribune marking the number at 784, which was up 57% from the previous year. Add that to the recorded incidence involving shootings and deaths, which tallied around 3,550, it could look like Chicago is an all out warzone.
  • The bulk of the incidents occurred in only five of the cities 22 police districts, specifically on the south and west sides. Those areas are predominantly black areas, all listed as “poor”, and are known to be areas where gangs are most active. If we look at just the sheer number of victims, no other city even comes close. Pretty much everyone who was killed in Chicago in 2016, approximately 93%, was shot to death.
  • On a per capita basis though, which is generally x per 100,000 people, the shooting epidemic in Chicago is not quite as severe as the violence in many of the other large cities in the United States.

Quoting from The Trace, “The absolute numbers are helpful putting it in a context that people understand, but with the rates, you get the true scope of the problem in the way it impacts people’s lives,” John Pfaff, a professor of law at Fordham Law School, told The Trace. “People don’t care about the absolute numbers, they care about their risk, and the rates tell that risk.”

Chicago’s homicide rate over the last five years was 16.4 per 100,000 residents. In St. Louis and New Orleans, the homicide rate from 2010 to 2015 was three times as high, on average.

I will link the rest of the article from the Trace at the end of the post.

But these numbers do not answer the question of why Chicago is seeing the surge in violence, nor does it answer why people are viewing 2016 as the bloodiest year in memory. Facts and figures are great for a starting point, but now we must delve into the the why of it all.

I have spent several hours going through newspapers ranging from far left leaning to far right leaning, as well as the FBI crime databases and the public database provided by the Chicago police to try to figure out what could be causing this spike.

So what were my conclusions after all of our research? While gang violence does appear to be a major contributor, as does poverty and racial segregation…there is something more going on here. It’s almost like Chicago has become a perfect example of what happens when many different reasons converge into one large area. Almost like how rape culture doesn’t exist all at once in the real world, but we see pieces of it that all add up to what is rape culture…here we see all of the pieces that add up to our culture of violence sitting neatly in one city.

I found a well produced piece by NPR’s “All Things Considered” that offers a lot of insight and thought as to the why behind the crime spike, and we recommend that you either read the transcript, or listen to the audio file. They are provided below in the description. The guests offer opinions of segregation, children with nothing to do, fetal alcohol exposure, lack of faith based communities, poverty, the drug trade, and many other reasons.

Reverend Jesse Jackson was the main speaker on the piece and he stated that the problem is both social and political. In his own words, “It encumbers on racial disparities which should be abhorrent and is, in fact, illegal. You look at the impact of poverty. People who often have fewer aspirations, they think they can’t make it, their spirits are broken, they are perplexed.”

Another issue is that people, especially in the government are treating Chicago as if it is its own entity and not part of a larger state or country. Budget cuts mean less money for those in need or for services, which can lead to fewer people being able to find or get to work, leading to those people becoming unemployed and having to find some way to make money…even if it means using violence. The Reverend Jesse Jackson refers to the impact of poverty as a weapon of mass destruction, and brings up racial and gender disparities as adding to the larger issue of crime and violence.

He states that people are crying out for help, but are not being heard. This is concerning, because as one can see throughout history, when those on the bottom cry out for help but are ignored, it is only a matter of time before things can turn violent. They try to get attention through peace, but when that doesn’t’ work, they turn to what does bring attention…violence. It’s problematic though, because it doesn’t bring the right type of attention needed to fix the problem, and often just makes the problem worse.

As I stated earlier, most of the violence is happening in the south and west areas of the city, and those tend to be the most impoverished and gang ridden areas of the city. According to the Chicago Tribune, “Two of the city’s historically most violent police districts — Harrison and Englewood — account for fully one-fourth of the homicides and shooting incidents.”

There is no one answer to what is driving the violence. From all of the sources I have read, however, some main causes keep popping up.

Gang conflicts
Drug conflicts
Poverty
and Race issues

Another issue that for a while added to the problem was an agreement that the police in Chicago had made with the ACLU. The agreement was that the police would record contact cards for all street stops, since the ACLU had claimed the police had been disproportionately targeting minorities for their questioning and searches.

Apparently the police didn’t like the new forms and complained that they were too time consuming to fill out. After new forms were made that were a simplified version of the original form, police began to notice that there was some progress in slowing the pace of the rising violence. The rise was still there, but it was down to 29% in March as opposed to 75% in January and 126% in February.

The police play into another issue regarding crime rates in Chicago, and that has to do with the lack of trust communities have towards those who are supposed to uphold the law. Distrust in authority can lead to people attempting to take matters of justice into their own hands, especially if the authorities have been shown to be racially biased or even violent towards minorities.

While I wish I could have found the silver bullet for the reason behind the rise in violence in Chicago, I do feel confident that my results at least can help shed light on a very real and frightening problem here in the United States. Guns do play a major role in the violence being carried out, and while sensible gun laws would help in many ways, I have seen the pushback that occurs when people think that someone might be stepping on their second amendment rights.

Guns play a major role, as do gang violence, poverty, and racial tension. The lack of trust in the police and the general anger towards how the police are essentially protecting the corrupt members of the force over the people the corrupt cops are victimizing adds to the tension.

To me, it’s horrifying and absolutely insane how common gun violence is here, and I’m speaking as someone who learned how to use a gun before I was eight. While researching this topic, I was thrown face first into just how bad it can be here in the United States when it comes to gun violence. I am not sure exactly what can be done to fix the problems in Chicago, but I do agree with The Reverend Jesse Jackson that we need to bring national attention to the problem. We do so when it comes to mass shootings, or violent murders elsewhere in the country, but when it comes to Chicago…oh well, just another day am I right?

The problem is only going to get worse if things aren’t fixed, and because of how many causes there are for this problem, it will take much more than a band aid to fix the issue. I suggest that those of you with followers on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and elsewhere work to raise awareness of this issue. Bring it into the light, make it visible. Put aside your differences with people and even if it’s just for a short time, work towards raising awareness of this problem before it gets worse. Together we can work to fix a problem that alone we could not.

Articles cited:
“Chicago Isn’t Even Close to Being the Gun Violence Capital of the United States”
https://www.thetrace.org/2016/10/chicago-gun-violence-per-capita-rate/

“NPR: Examining The Reasons For Chicago’s Violence”
http://www.npr.org/2016/09/03/492549546/examining-the-reasons-for-chicagos-violence

Articles and data used in my research:

“Chicago’s murder rate soars 72% in 2016; shootings up more than 88%”
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2016/04/01/murders-shootings-soar-chicago-through-first-three-months-2016/82507210/

“How Violence in Chicago Compares to Other Cities”
http://abcnews.go.com/US/violence-chicago-compares-cities/story?id=41722813

“Chicago records 762 homicides in 2016, up 57 percent from previous year”
http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/01/01/1-chicagos-bloodiest-years-ends-with-762-homicides.html

“Chicago saw more 2016 murders than NYC, LA combined”
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/chicago-murders-shootings-2016-more-than-new-york-city-los-angeles-combined/

“Chicago homicides”
http://crime.chicagotribune.com/chicago/homicides

Chicago Police Department ClearMap Crime Summary
http://gis.chicagopolice.org/clearmap_crime_sums/startpage.htm

“10 shootings a day: Complex causes of Chicago’s spiking violence”
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-chicago-shootings-violence-2016-met-20160630-story.html

“Editorial: What’s behind Chicago’s surge in violence?”
http://www.chicagotribune.com/g00/news/opinion/editorials/ct-chicago-crime-increase-causes-edit-0118-md-20170117-story.html

“Why Crime Is So High in Certain Chicago Neighborhoods”
http://www.chicagomag.com/city-life/August-2014/What-Correlates-With-Crime-in-Chicago-Pt-2/

“Chicago’s Murder Problem”
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/05/18/us/chicago-murder-problem.html?ref=oembed

“Why 2016 Has Been Chicago’s Bloodiest Year in Almost Two Decades”
http://www.newsweek.com/2016/12/23/chicago-gangs-violence-murder-rate-532034.html

Why telling someone “don’t get raped” only adds to the problem.

I grew up with the constant feeling of hyper vigilance and fear of being attacked. Not because I lived in a crime filled area, or because I was in a war zone, but because of what I was taught as a young child and young adult.

Women and trans men are raised with the notion that it is up to them to prevent their sexual assaults.

We’re told that men will attack us and rape us if we’re not careful, so we have to take extra precautions and always be on the look out for the evil rapist in the shadows. Unfortunately, we’re more likely to be sexually assaulted by someone we know and are close to than the evil stranger waiting in a dark alley. Not that that stops people from putting a gigantic grocery list of things we’re expected to do at all times, even if some of those things are contradictory to one another.

We’re essentially conditioned to believe that we are the only ones who can prevent our rapes, and that it is our fault if we were raped because we just weren’t vigilant enough. We’re told that teaching people to not rape won’t work, and that rapists will always be rapists, so it’s up to us to prevent our rapes.

I was raped in 2002, and when I went forward to report it, I was told I was lying because I didn’t match the proper victim profile. Even family members have told me that I’m lying because I’m willing to speak up and speak out about my rape.

Please note, this article is not saying that you shouldn’t be aware of your surroundings and take steps to remain safe. This article points out that time and time again, it is the VICTIM who is required to take all the steps to prevent their sexual assault, and if they don’t take every step, they are blamed in some way for their assault.

What we are telling cis women, trans women, trans men, and in some ways cis men, is to basically be just slightly less rapeable than the person next to them.

So what I am doing today, is providing you with just a fraction of the things women and trans men are told from a young age in regards to rape. See how many of them you’ve heard, or have said/believed yourself.

-Never have your hands full

-Always carry something in your hand that can be used as a weapon (keys, “self defense” device, pencil, etc)

-If you are getting into your car, don’t put your stuff in first and then get in, get in and pull your stuff in with you.

-If you are alone, don’t do anything that can distract you from your surroundings

-If you’re out and about, don’t listen to music with headphones or keep one ear off

-Don’t wear clothing that can provide “easy access”

-Certain types of clothing send the “wrong impression” (Halter tops, tube tops, belly shirts, spaghetti straps, short skirts/shorts, tight pants)

-Don’t wear shoes that you can’t run in safely (wear sensible shoes!)

-Don’t travel alone at night

-If you HAVE to travel alone at night, stay away from the buildings, walk in the street if you have to

-Lock your car doors the MOMENT you get in the car

-Do not do anything in your car such as making phone calls/checking items after you get in, this leaves the opportunity to be attacked

-Take self defense classes

-Shout “FIRE!” instead of “Rape” or “Help”

-Don’t fully face an unknown man if he approaches you and starts talking (keep your body positioned to “escape”), if you fully face him, you cut off some escape routes if he turns aggressive

-Don’t make eye contact with men you don’t know, this may be an invitation for them

-Travel in groups if you can

-If you can, travel with a man if you are going somewhere

-Don’t “look” like a target

-Don’t accept help from strangers, especially regarding cars or anything that could result in a kidnapping/rape (same with accepting help carrying groceries)

-Lock all your doors and windows, do not leave them open unless you have them blocked in some way (dowel, window locks)

-Install a security system

-Always let people know were you are at all times

-Don’t live alone

If you DO get assaulted: (These still make me sick)

-Try to resist, but if you can’t escape right away, become passive

-Do not resist if he has a weapon, be passive. When he is distracted with raping you, get the weapon away from him (he will probably discard it to have both hands on you) and then attempt to get away. Do not use the weapon on him.

-If you cannot do any of the above, and shouting for help won’t do anything LET HIM RAPE YOU and then when he is done, try to escape. (We were told our lives were more important, and that we could live through a rape)

For those who could drink:

-Don’t go out drinking, or if you do, do not leave your drink unattended

-Cover your drink with your hand when you’re not drinking

-Be the designated driver

-Go to clubs where it’s only women

-Don’t go clubbing

-Don’t drink more than one drink

-Don’t drink at all if you don’t know your alcohol limits

From my daughters:

-Don’t bathe regularly, if you are smelly they won’t want you

-Make yourself look ugly

-Be “slutty”, men don’t want to rape “used” women (holy fuck did this take years to deprogram)

-“I want to be a man, if I’m a man I can’t get hurt anymore”

In Defense of Anakin and Kylo

We often look at the villains or anti-heroes of movies as broken, flawed, or downright evil. The problem is we rarely look at what made them this way, if there could have been a way to prevent their fall. It took me a long time to realize the reasons two villains in the Star Wars universe spoke to me like they did, especially when I saw the reasons behind their fall. As someone who is neurodivergent and who has struggled with their emotions most of their life, one would think I’d latch on to the Jedi way of thinking, in fact that’s what most people wanted me to do. Emotional control, striving to better myself, the usual things people see when they think of the Jedi.

What they don’t see is the lack of positive reinforcement and the denial of care that is needed for people to thrive.

Continue reading In Defense of Anakin and Kylo

NO ONE OWES YOU SEX!

Due to the influx of people talking about people who have proclaimed themselves to be incels, the various views held by MGTOWs, PUAs, and others in the manosphere, I would like to state a few things and clear up some misconceptions. While this is mostly aimed as cis men, the statements and rules apply for EVERY HUMAN BEING!

First up:

No one owes you sex. I don’t care if you believe you need to ejaculate or you’ll die, that doesn’t mean someone owes you sex. If it’s really that bad, take matters into your own hand(s). This applies to cis people, trans people, enbys, and well….everyone. No one owes anyone else sex.

Now for the whole “friendzone” thing:

  • It doesn’t exist, stop blaming it for why you’re not getting a girlfriend or a sexual partner.
  • Being nice to someone =/= getting sex.
  • A person being polite to you =/= wanting to have sex with you.
  • If you’re only interested in being with someone because you want to have sex with them or to be romantically involved with them, BE UP FRONT ABOUT IT. It’s not the other person’s fault for thinking you just wanted to be their friend if you’re not up front with your motives.

On to some anatomy education!:

  • Vulvas do not turn into “roast beef” due to sex, they don’t get “torn up”, become floppy, or have a sudden change in the labia minora (inner lips) and labia majora (outer lips).
  • The vulva is what you’re thinking about when you think of the lips (labia).
  • The vagina is internal, if you can see someone’s vagina “hanging out”, they need to see a doctor because that’s a prolapse.
  • The more sex or pelvic floor exercises someone does, the “tighter” they can make their vaginal muscles.
  • Learn what vaginal tenting is and it’s connection with “looseness”.
  • The vagina doesn’t get “stretched out” or made “loose” with sex, if you knew anything about how that area worked you’d know that.
  • The hymen isn’t something to be “broken” and is not a sign of virginity.

Moving on to the sexy times!:

  • Having a bigger penis =/= women and trans men enjoying sex more.
  • If you want your partner to enjoy sex, pay attention to their cues and responses.
  • Communicate with your partner before, during, and after sex.
  • If they say they’re not enjoying something, or you’re not enjoying something, speak up.
  • Sex should be enjoyable, and communication helps ensure that with your partner.
  • Most women and trans men do not orgasm from penetrative stimulation alone, they’re not broken, this is how the body works. Their main center for stimulation (like the head of your dick) is the clit.
  • Make friends with it, you’ll thank me later for that tip.
  • No one is a “sex god” their first time having sex.
  • Everyone, no matter how much porn they watch or how many times they “practice” with masturbation, will look silly their first few to several times having sex.
  • Be willing to take time to explore, learn, and communicate.

Up next, some common myths being spread around:

  • There is no “wall” that people hit at an arbitrary age. Stop claiming that women are the ones to hit this so called “wall” while men either never do or hit it so late in life it’s moot. If you’re convinced that a person is “used up” by a certain point, you need to go back to school and learn how bodies work. Yes, muscles can get weaker with age, doesn’t mean people get used up though.
  • Sexual Market Value is not real, and if you’re viewing people by a perceived value in regards to sex, you’re really missing out. It’s fine to have preferences, but the people you’re “grading” are human beings, not objects or property to be assigned a value.

NEWSFLASH! 

Virginity is a bullshit concept used to put “worth” on certain people and shame others.
There is no shame in being a “virgin” out of high school, or even into your 20s, 30s, and so on. Stop listening to people telling you your only worth is through sex!

Now for dealing with people turning you down:

  • If someone doesn’t want to have sex with you, that’s not an instant “you’re a bad person”, they just don’t want to have sex.
    If you continue to harass that person or coerce them into sex…you’re not a good person.
  • If someone wants to be friends with you and they are of the sex/gender you are attracted to, don’t assume that time spent with them will turn into them wanting to fuck you. Stop with this “friendzone” shit and stop placing people in the “fuckzone”.
  • No one owes you sex!

A little side note that is very important:

If you have no desire to have sex, then don’t feel ashamed! Asexual people exist! Don’t let people tell you that you’re less of a person just because you personally don’t want to have sex or don’t have any sexual attraction to people.

To the #incels specifically:

Appearance, dick size, and height don’t matter so much as your actions and how you treat people. Some of the best sex I ever had was with an obese man who had a 2″ dick. The reason was he took the time to make sure I was enjoying myself as well as him. Many of you who have shown your faces are more than conventionally attractive, it’s your actions and behavior that turn you ugly and make people not want you. Feeling that you are owed sex, and that anyone who turns you down is doing it specifically to spite you, only adds to your issues. People say no to sex, people have preferences, referring to women as below human beings or as things like femoids doesn’t help your case.

But above all…

NO ONE OWES ANYONE SEX!

DOESN’T MATTER HOW MUCH TIME YOU SPEND WITH THEM

DOESN’T MATTER HOW “NICE” YOU ARE

ACCEPT A FUCKING NO FOR AN ANSWER AND REMEMBER THAT THE WORLD DOESN’T FUCKING OWE YOU SEX.

If you made it this far and actually want to learn about the vulva, vagina, labia, and the rest, read up on the 10 more common myths and educate yourself.