flat rate fee

anonymous asked:

Gyms? How to set up a membership, any tricks to get a discount that you know of, what to do when you're there, how not to feel awkward, dealing with creepy guys, etc?

Finding Mr. Right

1. Set your priorities. Before doing any legwork (ahaha) decide what YOU are looking for in your gym. Here are some things to consider:

  • How far are you willing to travel?
  • What workouts are you looking to do?
  • What time do you want to exercise? 
  • What is your gym budget?

2. Start researching. Once you have your baseline wants and needs decided, start doing some research on your local area gyms. Now that you’ve already decided what you’re looking for, it’ll be easy to cross of gyms that don’t fit your criteria. Try to find at least three venues that appeal to you.

3. Free trial/discounted trial. Nowadays, most gyms offer free trials or discounted trials. This gives you an opportunity to scope out any amenities or disadvantages while getting a cheap workout. If you are nervous about going to a new gym alone, convince a friend to go with you. Don’t sign a contract until you’ve sampled the goods! I’d also advise you to cross any gyms off your list that won’t give you a trial.

4. Ask about fees. During your free trial, consult with a gym employee and find out exactly what you will pay as a new member. Don’t get a ballpark amount, have them calculate the exact expense. If they can’t give you an exact expense, run. Ask:

  • Are there any discounts that you’re eligible for? Are there student discounts?
  • Are there different bundles that the gym offers, or is it a flat rate?
  • Are there extra fees like equipment fees or locker fees?
  • Is there a rewards program?

5. Decision time. After sampling different gyms in your locale, decide on the gym that best fits your needs. Is price more important than distance? Is there a gym that is close and cheap?

Creating Your Routine

1. Research. Dig around on the interwebs and check out different workouts. Do you care more about core strength or building muscle? Do you want to increase your mile speed or your endurance? Ask your fit looking friends or coworkers what workouts they enjoy.

2. Trial session. During your free or discounted trial, try out some of the different machines. If you are unsure of how a machine works, ask an employee so that you don’t inadvertently hurt yourself. Observe the environment around you. Is it calm? Welcoming? Productive?

3. Plan it. After researching and trying things out, come up with a fitness plan. In my experience, it’s more effective to plan out every moment of your workout so that you don’t give yourself any time to twiddle your thumbs. Make sure to alternate exercises and to allow yourself fifteen minutes to warm up.

4. Try it out! After registering at a gym, try out your new routine. Allow yourself the space to tweak anything that doesn’t feel right. It’s okay to start slow, be confident that you will eventually build all the strength and skills that you desire. It’s more important to leave feeling proud of yourself and excited to come back than it is to go home feeling miserable and upset. 

5. Set a goal. Set a goal for several months down the road, based on what skills you would like to improve. Choose a specific day, and decide to treat yourself on said day if you accomplish said goal. The goal can be as simple as going to the gym twice a week, or as complicated as losing five pounds. Just make sure to properly reward yourself at the end of that time, a small incentive to keep you going!

Doing Your Own Thing

1. Bring your tunes. Make yourself a Barney Stimpson “All Rise” mix to get yourself pumped for your workout. The right music can set the tone for productivity! This will also deter strange men from talking to you, and if they try, just ignore them and pretend you can’t hear them or that you can’t speak English.

2. Buddy up. The buddy system is a great way to help motivate you to keep returning to the gym. Find a willing friend or coworker (key word is willing here, don’t assume that this will be the one time that you friend who always bails comes through because I promise you they won’t) and sign up with them. This can also help you feel more comfortable in your surroundings. 

3. Gather your materials. Don’t drop big bucks on gym accessories before you’ve even solidified your routine. Newbies do not always make the most informed purchasing decisions! Use a pair of old sweatpants and a ratty shirt and workout in these until you know what feels good for your body. Maybe your reward at the end of a couple months is upgrading to new materials? Always, always, always bring plenty of water!

4. Safe. A gym is a place for you to feel safe and productive. If somebody is bothering you, talk to a staff member about it ASAP. If the problem persists, talk to a manager about getting a refund and move to a more comfortable space. It’s not worth spending money on something that makes you feel uneasy, there are lots of other gyms out there that will offer you the peace of mind. You can’t expect results without peace of mind.

5. Remember. The gym is a place to get motivated! Everyone there is in the same position that you are in, and nobody is going to waste their money by focusing on you instead of their workout. Stay present, care about yourself, and do others the same courtesy that you want done to you!

PS: Most colleges have gym facilities that are absolutely free for students! Don’t assume that just because its your college that it’s not a “real gym”. Try it out! Hope this helps!

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Goods Information:

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<FC Priority Sales>

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<Regular sales>

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Trans cr; Min @ bts-trans

Rachel Moran speaks at FemiFest 2014

Here’s the text of her speech:

First of all I’d like to talk a little bit about what Radical Feminism means to me in the context of my work as an abolitionist activist, and also in an emotional sense, as a sex-trade survivor. Three years ago, when I began writing anonymous newspaper articles and blogging under the pseudonym FreeIrishWoman, I noticed pretty quickly that my words were shared amongst and disseminated by a particular group of feminists: Radical Feminists. Given that the recollections I described were the experiences of a homeless, socially-disowned, prostituted fifteen-year-old girl, I would have expected support from the feminist community, of all places. Just as well I wasn’t completely politically ignorant with regard to the divisions between those who describe themselves as feminists, otherwise it would have been a shock to discover that while my words and experiences were honoured and shared by Radical Feminists, they were widely ridiculed and had their authenticity relentlessly challenged by some of those who referred to themselves as Liberal Feminists.

Liberal feminism - which holds that anything a woman does can be empowering as long as she does it without a gun pointed to her head - had always sounded like a crock of crap to me anyway, so I cannot say I was terribly disappointed. I was wounded though; and above all, I was galled. It is both wounding and galling for me to know that there is a whole army of twenty-something, white, socially-privileged young women out there talking of prostitution as the very epitome of female empowerment. That they’ve made this assessment about an experience they’ve never had, while having spent years being educated in an effort to keep themselves out of the social class of women who most commonly have to experience it, and have decided it’s harmless, in spite of the tsunami of evidence that attests to its harm, is, to me, the most repulsive sort of hypocrisy.

Sometimes we who speak the truth about the global sex-trade find ourselves close to despair, crushed beneath the weight of the prevailing public view, steeped as it is in ignorance; both wilful and malignant, and in obliviousness, sometimes innocent in its nature, and when it is, all the more frustrating for it. We know the interests of patriarchy are served by the very existence of the global sex-trade and by the annihilation of the innumerable female lives snuffed out of existence within it. It is galling therefore, for all of us to listen to the Liberal Feminists toe the patriarchal line with the lie they buy for themselves and try to sell on to us that black is white, up is down, and imprisonment is liberating. Conflating consent with liberation is the business of those who do not know that oppression cannot operate without it. But the consent of oppression, consent under duress, is not true consent. The duress itself has morphed consent into a different shape and moved it away from its own nature. True sexual consent it not possible here. Sexual consent is beyond the laws of commerce; it is beyond sale and it is beyond purchase. Sexual abuse however, often has a price tag, and when it does, we call it prostitution.

I am tired of the ignorance of women who do not understand this, but is it surprising to anyone, really, that most of these women are, as I’ve said, young, white and privileged? I doubt that any of the women gathered here today are surprised by that, because, that the socially privileged are removed from the realities of the socially dispossessed is simply not surprising to any woman with a whit of political savvy.

But yes, I’ll own that we are tired and frustrated and pissed off, and with good reason. Each time we speak out, they do their best to shut us down. We’ve seen examples of this in recent weeks, as we do in all weeks. As I speak, there are fools running petitions against this conference from Edinburgh to Brighton and back again. The most genteel advice I could give these women would be to consult their dictionaries, and turn to the word feminist. Of course, unfortunately, I’d have to also advise them, in many cases, to disregard what they had found, since so many dictionaries frame feminism as a matter of sexual equality, which rather puts the cart before the horse. A woman who believes in the social, economic and political equality of the sexes is not a feminist, but a fantasist. We don’t live in that world; we don’t have equality, and, as Radical Feminists know, a prerequisite of equality is the dismantling of male supremacy. First, we must be liberated from it. Then, and only then, might we live our lives as equals.

The simple cruelty of the Liberal Feminist stance is something that also, apparently, escapes them. Their stance tells us sex-trade survivors that every rape we endured did not matter, that every sexual assault of every manner and variety were just occupational hazards, and that our gang-rapes would not have been gang-rapes had legislation just forced those men to use us one at a time. Well, I have news for them: flat rate brothels and gang-bang packages are all the rage in Germany now. For anyone who hasn’t heard these terms, a flat rate brothel is prostitutions answer to an all you can eat buffet. Men pay a one-off fee, a ‘flat rate’, and for this fee they can use the body, or bodies, of women for as long as they are humanly able, climaxing as many times as they want, or can. These are sometimes combined with gang-bang packages, whereby five or six or seven men arrive at the brothel together, pay their ‘flat rate’ and use the body of a woman until she can barely stand. I have had photographs forwarded to me from one such a scene from a German brothel. The girl being used by a half dozen men was nineteen years old, and seven months pregnant. This is the true face of the regulated sex-trade that Liberal Feminists fight for.

It has been claimed, in the midst of the campaigns against this conference, that I am endangering the lives of women in prostitution. It is telling how the depths of their incomprehension is revealed by the very charges they level against me. There was only one group of people who were ever responsible for endangering my life when I was in prostitution, and they most certainly were not abolitionists; they were sex-buying men; the same sex-buying men whose dicks will never be sucked by the Liberal Feminists who defend and uphold the rights of those men, to have their dicks sucked by other women; economically disenfranchised, educationally disadvantaged, socially deprived and racially marginalised women.

So where do we go, with our frustrations? And what do we do, with the anger that is so inevitable here, such an intrinsic human reaction to the injustice of telling the truth and being called a liar. The first thing I would say is take heart: this situation will not last forever. It is precisely the hypocrisy of the Liberal Feminist stance which will be its undoing. The doctrine that says ‘empowerment can be found in these experiences (which we will fight tooth and nail to avoid for ourselves)’ has a shelf life. That type of nonsense has a sell-by date. However popular it might be, for however long, such doctrine is doomed to exposure – Emperor’s New Clothes style.

I have been profoundly comforted these last years (and especially this last eighteen months, since my book, Paid For, was published) not only by the truths that were accepted from me, but by the truths that were told by so many other women, most of whom did not have to have lived these realities to acknowledge them. I have been comforted to see, in country after country, abolitionist movements spring up where none had existed before, or become strengthened where they had been floundering, and everywhere I have seen the strengthening of abolitionism I have seen a strong overlap between the abolitionist movement and the Radical Feminist movement, or, at the very least, a strong adherence in abolitionism to Radical Feminist principles.

The reality is that Radical Feminists are on the right side of history here, and they are the only feminists who get the full picture, and the reasons why it exists. Socialist Feminists have my respect, but they don’t have the whole picture here. Prostitution does not exist as a consequence of women’s economic disenfranchisement. Poverty is a supporting factor. Not a reason. Supporting factors are not reasons. They are simply supporting factors. Prostitution exists for only one reason; that reason is male demand. No amount of poverty would be capable of creating prostitution if it were not for male demand.

I have come here today to ask for the support of every woman in this room in fighting this scourge that weighs almost exclusively on girls and women. We need to fight this, not by ripping at the leaves, nor hacking at the branches, nor even cutting this off at the trunk; we need to rip it up by the roots. As daunting as this task seems, we already have the tools to do it. We are not, thankfully, totally bamboozled like the liberals, nor are we hobbled in our understanding like the socialists. We know that prostitution is both a consequence and good evidence of the subordination of women, and it is from the standpoint of this understanding that we can dismantle it. It is very important that we never give an inch in this fight. We must never concede to the tactics of the pro-prostitution lobby, the first of which is to pretend that prostitution is not a moral issue. Let me say in front of you and in front of the world: You can be damn sure that prostitution is a moral issue, as human rights always are.

Abolitionists, the pro-prostitution lobby contend, are engaged in a ‘moral crusade’ to rid the world of prostitution. Crusade, here, is a pejorative term, and it is linked with morality in order that some of its contemptuous derision will rub off. Morality itself, we are told, is negative, ill-founded and, well, wrong. The straight-up foolishness of asserting that discerning between right and wrong is itself wrong apparently escapes some people.

I am tired of hearing people frame abolitionist arguments by beginning ‘I am not a moralist, but…’ We are all moralists, unless we are psychopaths, and since when was morality a dirty word? Here’s the answer to that: morality has been a dirty word since it suited certain people that we look the other way and pretend that morality is null and void here; and you will find, time and again, that people who espouse that position are defending something which is very plainly wrong, hence their absolute insistence that morality shouldn’t get a look in.

There is also the nonsense claim that those who oppose prostitution do so necessarily from a religious standpoint, as though there were any shortage of ethical atheists in the world. The moral principles that govern or influence conduct often have no basis other than our own innate sense of what is or is not harmful human behaviour. Prostitution is damaging to the human psyche on every conceivable level; it is exactly its harmful, degrading nature that gives rise to the instant sense of objection we feel when we imagine prostitution as a feature in the lives of the women we love.

So let us stand firm on these points: That prostitution exists because of the male demand for it, and that we know damn well and will not be shaken in our assertion that it is flat-out wrong. There is a reason we are fought so consistently on these points; the reason is our opponents know we can win on them.

Let me repeat that I have come here today to ask for the support of every woman in this room in fighting prostitution. Please hear this as a call to action. Across Europe, our politicians are beginning to discuss prostitution more frequently, and just this February the European Parliament voted by an overwhelming majority to adopt the Honeyball report, which calls for a Europe wide adoption of the Nordic Model. When your politicians speak out, please support them by letters both public and private. When they do not, please encourage them to do so. When you see abolitionist campaigns spring up – and you will see more of them; the abolitionist movement is growing – please lend your time and your energy and your voice.

I am working with a group called SPACE International. SPACE stands for ‘Survivors of Prostitution-Abuse Calling for Enlightenment’. Our membership spans seven countries now and all of us have made the deeply painful sacrifice of speaking out publicly about our abuse in the sex-trade. We have friends and allies in several international organisations and we are gaining ground, but we cannot do this without the support of women in the general public. I encourage you to join RadFemUK and other groups like them, and to support their actions by sharing and disseminating their campaigns and materials. We need a groundswell of support from women, but maybe before that happens, we need to remind women that the bodies of their daughters would be just as welcome in the brothels and the red-light zones as ours ever were, should the circumstances of their lives ever happen to place them there.

Buying a firearm

I’ve gotten a lot of questions asking for advice for what models people should look into for different purposes and am working on getting some posts going about that, but realized a lot of people probably aren’t sure how to get started at all. So here goes! A short overview of what to expect the process to be like.

The first thing you need to do is check to see if you’re eligible to own a firearm in the country generally. If you’ve been convicted of a felony, hospitalized for mental health reasons against your will, have been convicted of domestic violence or some kinds of assault/battery, or have been declares by a judge to be unable to care for yourself, you will likely not be able to pass the FBI instant background check system (NICS) which most gun vendors use before selling firearms. Even in these cases there are some exceptions, based largely on where you live. For instance, not all states report forced hospitalizations to the FBI, meaning NICS does not have access to those records in every state. You also want to make sure you feel confident that you can be safe owning and operating one- if you think you’re likely to hurt yourself, I do not recommend buying a gun whether you pass a bg check or not.

The second thing to do is look up licensing requirements in your state and then meet them. Not every state requires a license to own a firearm, but many require a license to legally conceal one. In some places the wait time for getting your license is massive and in some it is relatively short. So you’ll want to get whatever applications you need together as soon as possible. In Illinois you need a license to own and another (absurdly expensive) license to carry concealed. Again, this stuff varies a lot by state.

Third you’ll want to do at least some research on what gun models you are interested in. The best research is going to a local gun range with a rental program and trying out several. For instance, the place where I usually shoot charges a low, flat rate fee for rentals that allows you to try out every rental gun they have if you want. It is a good way to understand how this particular gun works for you. Maybe it looks good online but feels odd in your hand, or maybe you thought you’d hate a certain way of using sights and it turns out you love it. This is the best kind of research you can do. After you’ve decided what model you want, you have a few options for buying.

  • Buying at a gun shop. The safest route in terms of quality and in terms of not meeting a guy in an alley and hoping to not get robbed. If you are buying used, they will have inspected the firearm already to ensure it’s at least in workable condition. Often their staff is very knowledgeable and ready to answer any questions you have because it’s their job to sell these things. They sometimes charge more for things than private sellers, but they also often have sales- my gun range runs new sales every two weeks. Overall a good option, but can be uncomfortable if you feel unsafe going into a store often filled with armed conservatives. Basically, you will walk into the store, ask to buy a particular model, and ask your questions. They will take your ID to run a background check (some states require two forms, look this up before you leave home) which comes up fine in 90 of cases. In some states there are wait periods before you can get the gun- in these cases you’ll pay, keep the receipt, and pick it up either 24 or 72 or however many hours later.
  • Buying from a private seller. Least safe option. This is just like craigslsit, but with guns. In fact, Armslist.com is the site I have used for this. If you have used CL, you know the drawbacks- people cancelling on you, promising you something then selling it, etc. All that good stuff, but also when you show up you are aware they have at least one gun. Not for the faint of heart. When you show up, you want to look for signs of wear (might post a link later) that indicate the gun is shoddy, or they have done poor repair work, etc. This option does have some benefits. For one thing, you get used stuff very cheaply. For another, you can haggle. There’s also the benefit of meeting someone in real life for it. What SHOULD happen is, you give them whatever documentation is needed in your state and fill out the appropriate paperwork, you give them cash, they give you a gun. I know I made this sound super dangerous because it is, but I’ve had good experiences with Armslist. I bought my first pistol off Armslist!
  • Buying online. This is how I bought my rifle. The way it works is, you pay for the firearm online. They ship it. BUT of course they don’t ship it to you- they ship to an FFL (a store with a license to sell firearms- you can look up FFLs in your area easily). It is that store’s job to then check your ID, run the instant background check, and then transfer the gun. Most places charge a transfer fee for this ranging from the reasonable, like $20, to the outrageous, like one store near me charging $75 for the service. It’s a good method. Sometimes you can even email the store your license and they’ll start the background check and (if applicable for your state) waiting period then. That way you show up, pay for cash, and leave quickly. Same as buying in person really.