minimum standard

It’s Official! Senator Rand Paul Just Introduced His Obamacare Replacement Act!

“The bill would remove parts of the Affordable Care Act including the individual mandate and minimum standards for care.”

Written by Bob Bryan for Business Insider:

Sen. Rand Paul, the libertarian-leaning Republican and one-time presidential candidate, introduced his own version of a replacement for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), better known as Obamacare.

The bill, named “The Obamacare Replacement Act,” would eliminate a number of provisions from Obamacare including the individual mandate and minimums on coverage standards. …

Additionally, the bill would provide every American with a tax credit worth up to $5,000 for contributions to a health savings account (HSA) to put towards health insurance and other healthcare costs.

“Getting government out of the American people’s way and putting them back in charge of their own health care decisions will deliver a strong, efficient system that doesn’t force them to empty out their pockets to cover their medical bills,” said Paul, an ophthalmologist, in a press release announcing the bill.

Paul, however, also said that the repeal of the ACA should not move forward without a replacement ready to go.

“There is no excuse for waiting to craft an alternative until after we repeal Obamacare, and the Obamacare Replacement Act charts a new path forward that will insure the most people possible at the lowest price,” said the release.

Read the entire article here.

  • person: shows me basic human decency and bare-minimum levels of respect
  • me: omg they're so nice 😄 and lovely ☺ and kind 😊 and wonderful 🤗 and just completely unproblematic ❤ you'll love them they're a ray of sunshine 💛 that brightens up my day 💜
9

Every single day 22 veterans commit suicide, and more than 1,000 veterans attempt suicide every month. There is an epidemic in the military community of post-traumatic stress that leads to suicide, the breakdown in families, and homelessness. Over half a million Iraq and Afghanistan veterans suffer from PTSD or depression, and most only receive the minimum standard of care.” - Scarlett Johansson in support of Operation Warrior Shield.

Do you want to talk about how underpaid teachers are?

fandomsandfeminism:

life-grips:

fandomsandfeminism:

I get paid $44,000 a year, give or take, which is actually higher than many districts in my area. 

Assume, for a moment, that my job was…just babysitting. (It’s not, of course, but let’s assume.) And Let’s assume that I’m a REALLY REALLY cheap babysitter. Let’s say I charge $5 an hour per kid. Below minimum wage. 

Let’s ASSUME that I’m only at school from 8am to 4pm. (I’m not. I’m really there from 7 to at LEAST 5, sometimes later, but we’ll assume.) So 8 hours a day, per kid. 

Let’s ASSUME that I have an average of 25 kids in my room at a time. (I don’t. Last year my largest class was 29 students. The Science teachers regularly had in the mid 30s. But we’re assuming)

Let’s say that the only days I actually get paid are days when there are children in the classroom- 180. (Not including staff development or summer training or work I do on the weekends.) 

$5 and hour X 8 hours a  day x 25 kids at a time x 180 days in a year = $180,000

If I got paid $5 per hour per kid to baby sit, I should get $180,000.

I get $44,000. 

Be nice to your teachers. 

THIS shit is important. Reform this, not minimum wage

No. Reform BOTH. Put everyone on a basic universal income system. Raise the standard of living for everyone. 

What does a quality clinical psychology graduate program look like?

I’ve gotten a lot of asks about how to tell which programs- mostly clinical psych, but I think other sorts of mental health clinician training programs -are high quality programs, with training in evidence-based practice, with focus in both clinical work and research, that will lead to most students gaining the skills they need for their careers. And on the flip side, how to tell if a program is not so high quality. Thanks to the anons and @the-e-r for sending in their questions!

So here is a list to consider when evaluating a potential program. I think this will most highly apply when looking at clinical psychology and probably counseling psychology doctoral programs, but for other sorts of programs many things will also apply. 

  • Is the program accredited? 
    • APA-accreditation is the minimum standard. You need this to get many jobs, and it will be very difficult to get licensed without it. 
  • Is the program funded? If so, how?
    • If the program is a doctoral program and it is not funded, that is a huge red flag. I would discount it immediately. Master’s programs are often unfunded. How a doctoral program is funded will give you an indication of what the program’s priorities are and how it’s connected- is it mostly teaching? research? clinical practicum? a mix? 

  • Is the program attached to a university? If so, what kind?
    • If the program is “free standing,” aka not attached to any regular university, that’s also a huge red flag. I would recommend not applying to any of those schools. Although the particular school a program is attached to will not necessarily tell you how good the program itself is (like- PGSP-Stanford is okay but not funded and not as good as you would assume given it’s quasi-association with Stanford) but it gives you a starting reference point, particularly regarding the faculty and resources available to the program. 

  • How many students are admitted per year?
    • A quality clinical/counseling program typically admits between 5-15 people a year (sometimes but rarely less). Greater than that would be a red flag to me for any doctoral program, I would not consider a program that regularly admits 20 or more. (My guess is that this would vary depending on the master’s program).

  • What is the attrition rate?
    • Attrition is the number of students leaving the program for any reason, and should be listed on the program’s website. It can be tough since we’re talking such small class sizes- like if the program admits 8 and 2 leave, that’s 25%, which sounds big but may not be meaningful. So look at patterns over time. Are people often leaving? Does at least one person, or particularly, multiple people, leaving from every class admitted? That could indicate several red flags- a) they are cutting people after year 1 or 2 (and plan to do so), which is bad for you (and I just disagree with that practice); 2) students are leaving because the program is bad or at least one of the faculty are bad to work with; 3) the program is not good at selecting students to admit (and so picks students with bad fit or who aren’t ready or some other thing) and then might be doing a bad job helping those students. High attrition is a yellow flag, for me- something to investigate.

  • What’s the graduation rate?
    • This is the flip-side of attrition- you want people who are admitted to be largely successfully getting through that program and getting to a job. 

  • How many graduates get pass the EPPP and get licensed?
    • Nearly every graduate of a doctoral clinical or counseling program should successfully get licensed. It’s really pretty rare that a clinical/counseling psychologist would not need or want to get licensed (even if they are researchers), and if the rate is low it usually means a) the program is bad in general or b) the program is very research focused and fails students in the clinical area. 

  • What is the internship match rate? (For APA-accredited programs?) How does the program support students to get an internship?
    • You want an APA-accredited match rate of at least 90%. I would throw out all the programs with less than 85% (and really be very cautious until you get to 90-95%- most of the good programs are at least the low 90s). You want students who are matching on their first round, to internships that meet their training goals. The program should be helping students to achieve this by helping them find good internships, put together their materials, practice for interviews, etc. 

  • Where do graduates go after graduation- both short term (like postdoc) and long term? How does the program help students get where they want to go?
    • Graduates of a good program should leave the program with a job, in their field, in their speciality, that they want. Do not accept a program where people end up in bullshit jobs after 3-7 (or more!) years of post-college education. Make sure some of these graduates are doing the kinds of things you think you might want to do. 

  • How does mentorship work?
    • There are multiple kinds of mentorship models in doctoral programs. Most quality clinical and counseling psychology doctoral programs have students matched to a mentor from the beginning, that they will work with throughout grad school. That’s a green flag. It’s not necessarily bad if the program has another mentorship model, but there needs to be some kind of model. Some of the low quality schools have basically no mentorship model, which makes it hard to conduct research, develop as a professional and make networking connections. 
  • What does a typical week look like for a student?
    • Talk to the program, and to individual students, about what typical weeks are like. This will give you an idea, again, about what the program’s priorities are for students. How much research time? How much clinical time? How diverse is it- do students get to create their own schedules to achieve their own goals? Is one teaching because they want to be a professor at a liberal arts school while the other is doing an extra practica at a school because they have a interest in development? That’s a green flag. If students are overworked and not getting to the things that matter to them- that’s a red flag. If they are spending a lot of time doing clinical work but not a lot of time getting clinical training- that’s a red flag. 
  • What is the practica and who does the clinical training?
    • In a quality school, clinical practica should be diverse. Students should train in multiple settings with multiple populations under multiple supervisors. They should learn multiple techniques, and those techniques should be evidence-based. They should be able to clearly explain how to they train their students and why. It’s a red flag if students are only in the department clinic. It’s a red flag if training is mostly or entirely disconnected from the department. It’s a yellow flag if faculty do none of the clinical training- it can sometimes indicate the faculty are totally research focused, which can impair the connection between science and practice. 

  • What are the faculty’s theoretical orientations? What is their training background? Their interests?
    • Who the faculty are will give you a sense of what they want the students to learn and to be as professionals. I tend to think a diversity of interests- research interests and clinical expertise -is important because it maximizes student access to resources. 

  • What kind of research resources are there in the program? What kind of expectations do they have for students?
    • A program that prioritizes research should have resources available to students to aid them in that, whether that’s personnel (stats experts, for example), materials (an fMRI or stats software) or money. 

  • What are typical topics for master’s theses and dissertations? Where is data collected? What kinds of resources are there for students to aid them in research?
    • By getting a sense of what’s usually done, you’ll know what the real resources are, and how prioritized research really is. If people are often doing undergrad surveys, then that’s a red flag. If people are doing complex research using a variety of procedures in a variety of populations- particularly clinical populations -that’s a huge green flag. But ask what’s available now, for you, given your interests, because access to resources and communities changes all the time. 

  • What conferences do students typically go to? Is there any funding for conferences?
    • Conferences that programs go to will give you a sense of their priorities and interests. Do they go to APA? ABCT? APS? Does each lab go to a speciality conference for their area? There isn’t necessarily a wrong answer, but a good program will be involved with at least one conference and it should line up with your interests. They should also pay you to go- that’s a green flag. 

  • What other sorts of training experiences does the program offer? (Outside of regular classes) Seminars? Clinical training? Do they have speciality “tracks” or “minors”? Do they have connections with other departments? Do they bring in speakers from other schools? Do they do professional development seminars?  
    • A quality program should offer other training and professional development experiences, although what those might be will vary. But sometimes low quality programs use things kinds of things- especially “minors” or similar things -to sell the idea that their program is better than others. Watch that carefully. Sometimes a program with a “minor” or whatever does a have special training experience, which is great- but a “minor” will not be recognized beyond a line on your CV, so take it as a training experience and not anything more. 
reuters.com
Chelsea Manning announces hunger strike over treatment in prison
U.S. soldier Chelsea Manning, serving a 35-year prison term for passing classified files to WikiLeaks, said on Friday that she would refuse to eat until given help for her gender dysphoria and "treated with dignity, respect and humanity" by the government.

“I need help. I needed help earlier this year. I was driven to suicide by the lack of care for my gender dysphoria that I have been desperate for. I didn’t get any. I still haven’t gotten any,” Manning said in a statement released by a spokeswoman.

“I am no longer asking. Now, I am demanding. As of 12:01 am Central Daylight Time on September 9, 2016, and until I am given minimum standards of dignity, respect, and humanity, I shall—refuse to voluntarily cut or shorten my hair in any way; consume any food or drink voluntarily, except for water and currently prescribed medications; and comply with all rules, regulations, laws, and orders that are not related to the two things I have mentioned,” Manning said.

According to Manning’s representatives, doctors have recommended that as part of her treatment for gender dysphoria the solider, who began hormone therapy in 2015, be allowed to follow “female hair grooming standards.” The government has refused.

Manning said in her statement that she was prepared mentally and emotionally to endure an indefinite hunger strike, even if it proved fatal.

“I expect that this ordeal will last for a long time. Quite possibly until my permanent incapacitation or death. I am ready for this,” she said.

“A DAY IN THE LIFE OF JOE REPUBLICAN AMERICAN:
Joe gets up at 6 a.m. and fills his coffeepot with water to prepare his morning coffee. The water is clean and good because some tree-hugging liberal fought for minimum water-quality standards.

With his first swallow of coffee, he takes his daily medication. His medications are safe to take because some stupid commie liberal fought to insure their safety and that they work as advertised.

All but $10 of his medications are paid for by his employer’s medical plan because some liberal union workers fought their employers for paid medical insurance - now Joe gets it too.

He prepares his morning breakfast, bacon and eggs. Joe’s bacon is safe to eat because some girly-man liberal fought for laws to regulate the meat packing industry.

In the morning shower, Joe reaches for his shampoo. His bottle is properly labeled with each ingredient and its amount in the total contents because some crybaby liberal fought for his right to know what he was putting on his body and how much it contained.

Joe dresses, walks outside and takes a deep breath. The air he breathes is clean because some environmentalist wacko liberal fought for laws to stop industries from polluting our air. He walks to the subway station for his government-subsidized ride to work. It saves him considerable money in parking and transportation fees because some fancy-pants liberal fought for affordable public transportation, which gives everyone the opportunity to be a contributor.

Joe begins his work day. He has a good job with excellent pay, medical benefits, retirement, paid holidays and vacation because some lazy liberal union members fought and died for these working standards. Joes employer pays these standards because Joe’s employer doesn’t want his employees to call the union.

If Joe is hurt on the job or becomes unemployed, he’ll get a worker compensation or unemployment check because some stupid liberal didn’t think he should lose his home because of his temporary misfortune.

It’s noontime and Joe needs to make a bank deposit so he can pay some bills. Joe’s deposit is federally insured by the FSLIC because some godless liberal wanted to protect Joe’s money from unscrupulous bankers who ruined the banking system before the Great Depression.

Joe has to pay his Fannie Mae-underwritten mortgage and his below-market federal student loan because some elitist liberal decided that Joe and the government would be better off if he was educated and earned more money over his lifetime.

Joe is home from work. He plans to visit his father this evening at his farm home in the country. He gets in his car for the drive. His car is among the safest in the world because some America-hating liberal fought for car safety standards. He arrives at his boyhood home. His was the third generation to live in the house financed by Farmers’ Home Administration because bankers didn’t want to make rural loans. The house didn’t have electricity until some big-government liberal stuck his nose where it didn’t belong and demanded rural electrification.

He is happy to see his father, who is now retired. His father lives on Social Security and a union pension because some wine-drinking, cheese-eating liberal made sure he could take care of himself so Joe wouldn’t have to.

Joe gets back in his car for the ride home, and turns on a radio talk show. The radio host keeps saying that liberals are bad and conservatives are good. He doesn’t mention that the beloved Republicans have fought against every protection and benefit Joe enjoys throughout his day.

Joe agrees: "We don’t need those big-government liberals ruining our lives! After all, I’m a self-made man who believes everyone should take care of themselves, just like I have.”

—  The wilds of the internet, ca. 1995
Urrrghh.

Bare minimum = gold standard advocates claiming “the tub is the hide that’s how snakes like it they spend 99% of their time hiding in the wild so its proven to be the best way of keeping them for their whole liveess!!”  people drive up the friggin’ wall… 

I have been trying to comment on it a bit if the opportunity to politely educate presents itself.  Below is a comment I can edit as needed and paste to facebook when people say stupid things like “ snakes dont have much brain so enrichment is just for the keeper”.  Hoping this will saves me some aggro having a reference post for my future arguing.  

If anybody else gets into a similar debate and wants to paste this or link to my main enrichment post or whatever please feel free! Share the post below far and wide if you ever think it might help… 

  http://rainbowsnakes.tumblr.com/post/119229812584/environmental-enrichment-for-reptiles-what-why


————————–Long facebook comment essay———————-

The belief that reptiles are purely instinctive “robot-like” creatures is outdated. Many scientific studies have demonstrated that the cognitive abilities of reptiles and fish is much more advanced than we thought. Reptiles and fish can learn, exhibit behavioural plasticity, have spatial memory abilities and exhibit a spectrum of “personalities”. 

An animals enclosure must have enough space and furnishings to allow it to express species specific natural behaviours such as Hiding, climbing, burrowing, swimming, basking ect where appropriate. This is known as “Environmental Enrichment” (EE).The benefits of EE for mammals is very well studied and more recent studies indicate that reptiles and fish benefit from EE in similar ways that mammals do. 

Being deprived of stimulation and environmental enrichment means animals will be less active leading to poorer muscle tone and greater risk of obesity and the associated health risks. It also negatively affects their neural and cognitive development,  and can result in chronic stress and greater susceptibility to stressful events. Stressed animals can become immuno-suppressed and have less resistance to disease. 

The reptile hobby needs to start realizing there is a huge difference between surviving and thriving in captivity. Just because an animal can survive with the bare basics and will eat, shed, poop and reproduce dose NOT mean it has good welfare. The problem with some racks or very small enclosures where the “enclosure acts as a giant hide” is the animal can only perform ONE of it normal behaviours (hiding) which is not adequate captive housing for any animal!  Allowing reptiles to express a RANGE of species specific natural behaviours is not some extra-curricula activity to make the keeper feel good. It is important to the physical and psychological well-being of the animal.  When the AR nuts and anti’s come for the hobby we need to be collectively striving for the highest standards of animal welfare possible. Not shrugging off all husbandry criticism with nonsensical and unscientific arguments such as “ snakes don’t like space..” 

Inadequately sized caging with nothing but a water bowl is a space, time and money saver for the keeper which compromises the animals welfare.    

Acceptable Minimum Pay Rate Standards for Freelance Japanese-English Game Translation

While we’re on the subject of freelance translator wages, I’d like to take the time to say that underpayment in Japanese-English game localization can be a serious issue, too, especially when you’re starting out as a freelancer. You’ll mostly see this happen with really small mobile game app development outlets, as most any other company that’s bigger knows better than to try and pull that. Anyway, as an example, I’ve seen numerous job ads for phone otome games and the like that will offer $1000 for 100,000 characters’ worth of Japanese text to translate.

That’s 1 cent per character. It can be tempting to take up that offer when you’re poor and ambitious and looking for experience (and boy, they’re willing to take most any comers desperate enough for it), but if you’re an aspiring translator and see something like that, don’t accept the work. 100,000 Japanese characters is a serious time investment (close to, if not a month for most translators) and you’re worth more than that. Don’t let employers trick you into thinking you’re worth that little even if you’re new and don’t have a credit to your name. If they can’t afford to pay you more fairly, that’s their problem, not yours. LOOK ELSEWHERE.

As such, if you’re starting out, 5 cents per Japanese character is the minimum you should seek, especially if you’re working through a third-party agency. It can see you through slow months if you don’t end up quite doing 100,000 characters in a given month. More is obviously ideal, especially if you have to pay a lot for rent and whatnot, but when you’re starting off in that position where you don’t have an official credit to your name, 5 cents per character is generally to be expected and can see you by as you work on networking and getting your first gigs.

Hope this helps any aspiring translators out there!

-Pepsi

“Vegans are supposed to be peaceful people who love everything and everyone.”

FALSE! Vegans are human beings, not saints. We get angry, upset, excited, frustrated, happy, sad, annoyed just like any other human being.

And no, you don’t have to love everyone and everything. You don’t even have to love animals to be vegan just like you don’t need to love your neighbour to not harm them. It’s the minimum standard of decency. Love is a strong word, you only love those whom you’re close to and share a special bond with - of course not everyone and everything - but that doesn’t make it OK to harm those whom you do not love.

On top of that, none of the definition of veganism states that vegans are supposed to be peaceful people who love everyone and everything - at least not the one by Donald Watson, the man who coined the term “vegan”.

And there are some people who say ‘Oh, vegans are rude, I’m not going vegan!’ - Well, veganism is NOT about humans. It’s about the animals. You go vegan because you know it’s wrong to harm animals, not because an angry vegan was rude to you. So saying that you are not going vegan because some vegan was rude to you is nothing but an excuse to not give up animal products.

theguardian.com
W-League to introduce player minimum wage standards: FFA boss

Football Federation Australia has signalled for the first time it wants to bring in a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) for W-League players

And the national women’s football league could expand in size and length if there’s the money to support it.

W-League chiefs, players – through Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) – and W-League clubs have established a new taskforce to find a pathway to professionalism.

I thought I found it this time,
I really did;
But once I received it the qualifications needed ,
Didn’t even exceeded the minimum standards;
And my standards are low ,
I mean really low;
Just to be able to wear something so fragile on my sleeve is enough for me
But who am I besides someone with low standards aiming sky high for the right image that appeals to the eye
No joke I repeat myself once again
I thought I found it this Time, I really did
What I was looking for was the devil himself standing about yae high and yae big
God forbid I laid my eyes and hands on the fruit of the forbidden
Our truths covered by so much lust for another that was hidden Until reality happened
I then realized that what I was looking for might not always be perfect but it’s better than having something than nothing because
Nothing is ever enough when what you are looking for isn’t what you really wanted
—  Titled “Nothing From Something” submission #186  from

Guess how many hours of training you need to get your manicurist license in New Hampshire? 300.

And to be allowed to carry concealed, loaded guns in public? If the gun lobby gets its way: ZERO.

State-by-state, the gun lobby is working to weaken and eventually eliminate minimum standards to carry concealed weapons in public. But we won’t let them erode public safety laws without a fight!

usatoday.com
USA TODAY exclusive: Hundreds allege Donald Trump doesn’t pay his bills
Donald Trump casts himself as a protector of workers, but a USA TODAY Network investigation found hundreds – carpenters, dishwashers, painters, even his own lawyers – who say he didn’t pay them for their work.

During the Atlantic City casino boom in the 1980s, Philadelphia cabinet-builder Edward Friel Jr. landed a $400,000 contract to build the bases for slot machines, registration desks, bars and other cabinets at Harrah’s at Trump Plaza.

The family cabinetry business, founded in the 1940s by Edward’s father, finished its work in 1984 and submitted its final bill to the general contractor for the Trump Organization, the resort’s builder.

Edward’s son, Paul, who was the firm’s accountant, still remembers the amount of that bill more than 30 years later: $83,600. The reason: the money never came. “That began the demise of the Edward J. Friel Company… which has been around since my grandfather,” he said.

Donald Trump often portrays himself as a savior of the working class who will “protect your job.” But a USA TODAY NETWORK analysis found he has been involved in more than 3,500 lawsuits over the past three decades — and a large number of those involve ordinary Americans, like the Friels, who say Trump or his companies have refused to pay them.

At least 60 lawsuits, along with hundreds of liens, judgments, and other government filings reviewed by the USA TODAY NETWORK, document people who have accused Trump and his businesses of failing to pay them for their work. Among them: a dishwasher in Florida. A glass company in New Jersey. A carpet company. A plumber. Painters. Forty-eight waiters. Dozens of bartenders and other hourly workers at his resorts and clubs, coast to coast. Real estate brokers who sold his properties. And, ironically, several law firms that once represented him in these suits and others.

Trump’s companies have also been cited for 24 violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act since 2005 for failing to pay overtime or minimum wage, according to U.S. Department of Labor data. That includes 21 citations against the defunct Trump Plaza in Atlantic City and three against the also out-of-business Trump Mortgage LLC in New York. Both cases were resolved by the companies agreeing to pay back wages.

In addition to the lawsuits, the review found more than 200 mechanic’s liens — filed by contractors and employees against Trump, his companies or his properties claiming they were owed money for their work — since the 1980s. The liens range from a $75,000 claim by a Plainview, N.Y., air conditioning and heating company to a $1 million claim from the president of a New York City real estate banking firm. On just one project, Trump’s Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City, records released by the New Jersey Casino Control Commission in 1990 show that at least 253 subcontractors weren’t paid in full or on time, including workers who installed walls, chandeliers and plumbing.

The actions in total paint a portrait of Trump’s sprawling organization frequently failing to pay small businesses and individuals, then sometimes tying them up in court and other negotiations for years. In some cases, the Trump teams financially overpower and outlast much smaller opponents, draining their resources. Some just give up the fight, or settle for less; some have ended up in bankruptcy or out of business altogether.

Trump and his daughter Ivanka, in an interview with USA TODAY, shrugged off the lawsuits and other claims of non-payment. If a company or worker he hires isn’t paid fully, the Trumps said, it’s because The Trump Organization was unhappy with the work.

[…]

Similar cases have cropped up with Trump’s facilities in California and New York, where hourly workers, bartenders and wait staff have sued with a range of allegations from not letting workers take breaks to not passing along tips to servers. Trump’s company settled the California case, and the New York case is pending.

[…]

Trump frequently boasts that he will bring jobs back to America, including Tuesday in a primary-election night victory speech at his golf club in suburban New York City. “No matter who you are, we’re going to protect your job,” Trump said Tuesday. “Because let me tell you, our jobs are being stripped from our country like we’re babies.”

But the lawsuits show Trump’s organization wages Goliath vs David legal battles over small amounts of money that are negligible to the billionaire and his executives — but devastating to his much-smaller foes.

Trump Lawsuits, via USA Today:


This USA Today story should dispel the notion that Donald Trump is a “champion for the Working Class” and is in reality just another Mitt Romney who preys upon people.

Full Story here

It’s time to stop being impressed by what should be bare minimum standards
Respect, interest, and communication should be an expectation
Not a reason to see someone as your soul mate
When you know you deserve the best, only the best will peak your interest
The bare minimum will be a starting point
It’s the least you deserve

I think about Tumblr discourse a lot and one thing that bothers me is how cynical it is. I do understand cynicism, and I do understand not wanting to praise people for doing the bare minimum for standard decency, and I’ve been there. But it’s also important to understand that sometimes, that bare minimum is progress. It’s not enough, and it’s not coming fast enough. Never stop pushing for progress, but it’s also okay to acknowledge small victories.

I just think there’s sometimes an overwhelming tendency toward negativity, even about good news. It’s okay to be happy that a trans child has support from their family and that their story is getting respectful & positive media attention. It’s okay to be happy about a celebrity/celebrities speaking out against injustice or oppression. Yes, there’s more to be done, and I’m not saying that we need to be happy with these things alone, but it’s okay to celebrate the small victories even as we press for more.

I don’t look at TERF blogs very much these days, but when I do, it strikes me how much they are just this endless spiraling cycle of “SORRY I DON’T WANT TO TOUCH MEN, YOU JUST WANT ME TO HAVE TO DATE YOU, AND YOU DON’T GET TO CALL YOURSELF A LESBIAN UNLESS YOU MEET MY MINIMUM STANDARDS, IF YOU DISAGREE YOU’RE POLICING MY IDENTITY,” et cetera forever. Just endless spiral of them reacting to people reacting to them.

And sprinkled throughout there’s the “I’m tired.” posts. It’s always about how they’re tired of being treated, but when viewed in context of how they’re spending their energy, it’s really more: I’m tired of doing this.

No one’s making them do it, though. No one’s making them police other people’s identities. No one’s making them police community spaces. No one’s making them complain about who people date. No one’s making them take other people’s dating choices personally.

It’s something they’re doing to themselves, in an endless feedback spiral. 

And I don’t want to make it sound like they are the only or most important victims of their rhetoric, because they’re not. They are, however, their own worst enemies.

Like, no one would know that you would never date someone you thought had or had ever had a penis if you didn’t feel the need to say so when other people are talking about their dating experiences or relationship status. You don’t have to make it about you. You don’t have to make lesbianism a referendum on your preferences. You don’t have to make an identity or label that belongs to millions of women worldwide into a perfect model of yourself in order for the label or your use of it to be valid.

You could just be.

I’m not saying that life would be easy and all your problems would go away if you weren’t fighting this battle. But at least you wouldn’t be fighting this battle, this battle that no one else asked for and no one else wants to fight with you.