standard bullshit

When my plus-sized or fat girlfriends tell me, “I wish I had a body like yours,” or “I don’t feel good in my body,” I don’t say, “Well, skinny-shaming hurts too and I also have low self-esteem.” Even though the latter is true, I don’t try to one-up my friends’ experiences and plights. I say, “You’re beautiful and your body is fine the way it is. Do what makes you happy but society’s beauty standards are bullshit. People who put down women because they’re larger are ignorant and they’re not telling the truth.” I assure and affirm them and am aware of my thin privilege. I may have low self-esteem and don’t think I’m very beautiful either but that’s irrelevant when talking about thin privilege, which I have. I really wish people who have light-skinned, thin or white privilege would stop one-upping dark-skinned, black and large bodies whenever they express low self-esteem due to correlating beauty privileges and standards. I get tired of hearing, “Well, one hurt isn’t worse than the other.”

So I’m working on the Kakashi’s Wish translation (the time travel comic) and there’s a part where Minato is quoting Hiruzen as saying that a Hokage has to consider every person in the village as his own family, which definitely comes from canon. I don’t believe canon ever calls Hiruzen out for his hypocrisy on this one, especially given that Boruto heavily relies on the theme of “Naruto the Hokage must put the village’s needs above his family’s wants”, but Hiruzen is such a hypocrite on this one.

Why do I say that? Because you can compare the treatment of Konohamaru, the Sandaime’s orphan grandson, to the other orphans in the series, and it’s not even close.

The reader first meets Konohamaru–who gets called “Honoured Grandson”–with his dedicated tutor Ebisu, who was in fact a tokubetsu jounin who specialized in teaching–in short, the person who Konoha considered to be the best teacher in all of Konoha. Ebisu got assigned to Konohamaru when he was just starting out at the academy, to teach him one-on-one. And sure, Konohamaru showed talent, but certainly less than Sasuke did; and one could easily argue that if Ebisu was going to have one-on-one time with anyone, it ought to have been Naruto, who was so massively underperforming considering the potential of his heritage and his chakra pool.

So Konohamaru, the Third’s grandson, got the best teacher in Konoha as his personal tutor, whereas other orphans didn’t get any tutor at all. Plus I will bet you a hundred thousand ryo that Konohamaru didn’t live alone, didn’t have to cook and clean for himself, and didn’t have to budget to be able to afford enough instant ramen to live.

“Everyone in Konoha is like my family”. Hiruzen could be such a great character because he’s such a flawed person, someone who 100% believes his own bullshit and who sincerely thinks he’s doing the right thing. His nickname of “the Professor” is too right because he’s honestly the worst of that kind of ivory tower stereotype that has these lofty ideals and believes in them so passionately but lacks the self-awareness to see how completely he’s failing these ideals in practice. He believes so hard that he’s Kindly Grandpa Hokage, but so many of the worst tragedies of the series are directly traceable to his actions or inactions.

Naruto the series came so close to giving some really powerful examples of how just intending to do the right thing is not enough (Itachi is an even more tragic example). The story shows so clearly how their choices massively backfired that I honestly forget sometimes that the story right to the end seems to think that the only thing that matters is that they were Good Guys Who Did the Right Thing. Don’t look any closer than that, don’t ask yourself if they did have other choices (even if they honestly didn’t perceive any), definitely don’t ask if some of the “wrong” choices wouldn’t have been more moral or had better results than the ones they actually took. (Would the death toll of innocents have truly been higher if Itachi had allied with his clan’s coup? If he had taken out Danzo and his sympathizers covertly to allow Hiruzen and the more moderate elements control? If he had attempted to whistleblow to Konoha at large all the fuckery that was going on? If he had decided “fuck you, fuck you, and especially fuck you, we’re out” and took li’l Sasuke and ran off to another country to open a dango and tomato stand? But I’m getting down a rabbit hole now. [Somebody write me an AU about Itachi and Li’l Sasuke’s Tomato ‘n’ Dango Shoppe.])

IDK if I should tag this hiruzen sarutobi or not? Does this count as character hate? IDK. If there are any Hiruzen fans who feel offended that this is tagged that, let me know and I will remove the tag and/or throw down with you about Hiruzen’s fuckboy-ness at your leisure.

The Swimsuit Double-Standard

I need some assistance here.

So me and my mom just got back from our local recreational park. She went to the swim center, as she does about four days a week, and I ventured off to look at the dog park and to battle the nearby pokemon gyms.

I returned to the swim center a half hour later, as had been agreed upon, to find my mother talking on the phone at the front desk, reduced to tears and seething with anger.

She had gone into the lap lanes as she usually did. She enjoys swimming, as she has a bad knee, and it is one of the few forms of exercise in which she can exclusively use her arms.

A little while later one of the female life guards came over and very politely asked her to confirm that she was in a swimsuit. Keep in mind, that this

is what my mom was wearing at the pool. I was with her when she bought that swimsuit. The both of us are G-cup (if you think that’s too much information, get over it) and beyond, so finding one piece suits is difficult or extremely expensive. And because of the size the swimsuit needs to be more like a bra, because it functions in essentially the same ways. As for board shorts, they’re swim trunks, and clearly don’t show too much skin.

The lifeguard assures my mom she was just making sure, and then walked away just as politely as she had approached.

Then, a few minutes later, comes the swim center manager. Herb Poe. 

He proceeds to be very condescending and imperious, asking my mother, again, if she is in fact wearing a swimsuit, how she can prove it, how does he know that she isn’t lying, all while looking her up and down like something in a bakery window. At this point my mom was humiliated. She gives up on swimming laps now and walks to the life guard office and asks if anyone wants to check the tag on her swimsuit.

And they laugh at her. She goes to the front desk and the woman there laughs at her as well. When she decides to call their supervisor, she discovers HERB POE IS THE MANAGER they try to hide her behind the desk and she refused. 

That was when I got back. I am furious. It took everything in me not to jump the woman behind the desk, who clearly couldn’t care less what was happening.

There are, everyday, men, young and old, who come to the pool in speedos that leave far too little to the imagination, and this old fart has the audacity to single my mother out. It’s clear enough what happened here.

So if any of my followers want to help here is the number to the center itself:

(240) 777-4995

And here is the number of the Parks Department Director:

 Gabriel Albornoz:    240-777-6800

Call the center. Ask them about swimsuit standards. There are no rules against two piece swimsuits, so ask them how they are going to guarantee that the life guard manager isn’t going to look at them like a piece of meat and kick them out . This goes for guys too. Be ridiculous. “Well ma’am my one piece swimsuit does show my arms, so how will he know that it is actually a swimsuit.” “But how will can the manager be sure that I’m not wearing shorts instead of trunks?” Inundate them. Waste their time.

And please, call the Director and make them aware of what is happening there. Ask them how the double standard is permission to harrass women. Ask them why they aren’t doing anything to stop it. Make sure they can’t ignore this. 

Please reblog this and spread the word. 

4

   Jontron, my ex idol. Now immature and ironic child that says calling someone a waste of air trolling. :) Also ironic how he gets upset about people objecting or expressing their opinion by saying “I’m just saying my opinion?!?!” indeed, and it’s just the other persons opinion too, you aren’t in an echo chamber, and you aren’t in a safe space JT. I mean damn, he even attacked SKY for the most harmless jest in all caps.

You know what pisses me off the most about the whole “cage-free”, “humanely raised”, “free range”, etc. trend that’s been picking up steam lately? The fact that people just believe it.

The only reason these labels even exist in the first place is because activists exposed the abuse that is rampant in the industry. This presented a big problem to animal farmers, but do you think they were just going to pack up and go home? Hell no! They’re gonna keep that gravy train right on a-rollin’. So they get their friends in high places to make up bullshit standards for labels like “humane” and “cage free” that they can slap on their products, so they can deceive gullible idiots into continuing to give them money for essentially the same amount of torture, and jack up the prices to boot because they’re “better”.

They don’t care about the well-being of animals, they just care that they got caught, and they’re trying to save face. How can people possibly think that these animal farmers wouldn’t gladly lie to their faces again given the chance, which they continue to do?

Why do American Christians:

  • adore and worship Mary for her modesty and virginity,
  • act fascinated by the religious habit of nuns, and seek to sexualize it
  • applaud a resurgence in the fashion and obedience to the word of their God when women wear kerchiefs and chapel veils during mass… 

but, Muslim American women and men observing hijab are anti-American terrorists because of it?

Please, explain. I’ll wait.

If you blame Rosita for playing a part in Olivia’s death, but don’t blame Daryl for playing a part in Glenn’s death, then we need to have a talk. We really do, because these kinds of double standards shouldn’t exist. But then again, y’all will let Daryl get away with literally everything before you admit that he fucked up.

desi women have it so rough to navigate their world in regards to sex and sexuality. like they’re told all the time at home to be pure virginal sexless beings who are one day expected to become heteronormative obedient wives bearing children. they’re not even supposed to look at movies where people kiss but are apparently expected to sleep with a stranger sometime in their future.

then once they’re out of the house, they’re constantly harassed, exotified, and pressured into doing things they don’t want to do, made to feel inferior for being sexually conservative, shamed for listening to their “old-fashioned” elders, relics of some ancient time when women didn’t wear miniskirts and tank tops.

they’re discouraged from befriending young women with a reputation that all the aunties gossip about, women that desperately could use friendship and companionship, often women who have been abused and manipulated from a young age. they’re told to sneer at anyone who doesn’t fit into the heterosexual cisnormative ideal. they’re “protected” from any often vital information about sex education or about their own bodies.

it is so frustrating to realize there is literally no way to have any sort of sexual agency in our world, that every single choice we make is scrutinized and criticized and politicized. 

If I could somehow pay to have one SU headcanon confirmed as canon

it would probably be “Pearl inherited leadership of the Crystal Gems from Rose, and verbally, in explicit terms, abdicated that role to Garnet.”

Here’s why:

1. It puts Garnet’s dynamism in the spotlight and gives her greater leeway to grow. The subtlety of the change Garnet has undergone over seasons 1-3 has drawn both praise and criticism. She’s under intense scrutiny both in-universe and metatextually: as the most stable (due to her essential nature) team member in the wake of Rose’s death, it falls to her to hold the family together as their relationships are rocked by grief and change, and as a Black-coded lesbian-coded character she’s held to so many bullshit double standards that she’s still drawn fandom wank even while providing wise and relatively unwavering support for Steven and the team. Saying that she was never supposed to be the leader doesn’t solve the second thing, but it ramps up the sympathy of the first–it gives the unbiased viewer a huge, concrete reason to say “cut her some slack!,” which means that her character can take more risks, make more mistakes, and be more relatable. It also makes the change she has undergone much more emotionally resonant in retrospect by giving us insight into the pressures placed on her: if Pearl asked her to do this because she knew Garnet would be more stable than herself, then she must remain stable at all costs, or she’s letting down a tremendous leap of faith on the part of someone she in all likelihood once looked up to.

2. It recontextualizes Pearl’s arc to consistently echo the show’s self-loving message. Here’s the thing: when you watch all the eps straight through without hiatuses or fandom discourse in between, it becomes pretty clear that Pearl’s character development is supposed to be more “fall of the team ace” than “purgatory of the team screwup.” But it does demand sympathetic assumption on the part of the viewer–the narrative, by virtue of Steven’s p.o.v., asks us to believe that Pearl’s done things right when it mattered in her life. IF the narrative were to explicitly show us/tell us about her making a responsible, conscious, swallow-pride decision about her own mental health, it would become clear that everything she does after that decision is done in a place of self-awareness and concern for the group. Simply put, it rebukes the notion that Pearl was ever selfish and replaces it with the notion that she was too selfless for too long. The moral of her story becomes an UNFLINCHING “don’t demand perfection from yourself while recovering from trauma, it’ll only bring out the worst in you”–a poignant, truthful, and necessary message. And, as an added bonus, one that could find intense parallels in Garnet’s arc! Which brings me to my next point:

3. It makes room in Pearl and Garnet’s dynamic for them to participate in each other’s healing and find common ground. A vivid reminder that Pearl is in fact the oldest and most experienced of the surviving Crystal Gems removes (for everyone, including Pearl herself) the expectation that Garnet must always, 100% of the time, be the wise and knowing guide for the rest of the team. I’m not saying Garnet shouldn’t be that, just that it shouldn’t be solely her responsibility–and sharing the role makes more space in the narrative for focus on Garnet’s needs. And what are Garnet’s needs? Well, the change she’s undergone so far has centered on her freedom to express herself under pressure, dealing with the anxiety of having to set an example, and the perceived need to prove the worthiness of her marginalized identity. Here’s the thing: Pearl has already gone through that, defying her preassigned role to fight in the war. But from Garnet’s perspective it’s always been a given that she was at Rose’s right hand–she’s probably never really thought about the similarities between their feelings, especially not now with their differences of experience driving such a wedge between them. The conclusion I’m taking this to is this: Garnet could use, and massively deserves, support, guidance, and care from Pearl in particular, and needs to know that SHE IS NOT ALONE. Pearl loves to draw on her rebel roots to build up the team, and has known and trusted Garnet for long enough to open up about her story–being a confidant and mentor to Garnet could be a way for her to get something positive out of her past. Not to mention the fact that A Leader relying on her for support again would help her stop slipping into old ideas of hierarchical valuation.

4. It shows Rose’s good intentions but also her short-sightedness. A confirmed switch in leadership just after Rose’s death reminds the fans of something they very easily forget: Rose had faith in Pearl, and Pearl built her identity on that. Please spare me your edgy theories about how Rose never existed and Pearl just made her up to cope with her loneliness for a second and take that as a given; none of her motivations make sense without that, the alternative is to just accept that Pearl is a badly-written character, which seems unlikely given that she’s one of the central group on a show full of well-written characters. However, the idea Pearl was left in charge in Rose’s absence highlights Rose’s largest character flaw: despite caring about and believing in the people around her, she didn’t understand them particularly well. For all her faith in Pearl’s ability to lead, she didn’t pick up on or take into account her self-doubt or the intensity of her grief. She also didn’t realize Garnet’s incredible potential as a leader, or take into account the team dynamic in her absence. Rose felt that what was so great about earthlings was that they changed; she says in “Greg the Babysitter” that she believes gems don’t change. But the Crystal Gems had changed since she first got to know them and continued to change once she was gone–it was this that escaped her notice.

Which brings me to the final point, and the one I’m going to let linger on you guys:

5. It means the first thing Pearl had to do after saying goodbye to Rose was contest Rose’s decision, possibly for the first time ever, and that has haunted her for the past 14 years.