Category Archives: Rants

Support Matters

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I’ve been looking through old photos recently, and they’ve gotten me thinking about the relationship I have with my father. Our personalities often clashed when I was growing up, and in all honesty, we didn’t get along very well. I didn’t particularly care when he moved out, and with regards to our relationship, I’m a lot happier now.

The thing is, my dad just wasn’t very supportive. He had a good relationship with Tara. She was athletic, and a good swimmer, and enjoyed cycling. But my dad just couldn’t accept that I wasn’t like that. I preferred reading and writing and drawing and singing, to going outdoors and playing sports. But according to him, those weren’t valid interests. He tried to push me with my swimming, and criticised me when I never got any better. Not being very good with confrontation, the only way I could bring myself to tell him my feelings about this was to write him a letter – which he promptly tore up in front of me.

Even now that I’m an adult, he still hasn’t gotten much better. He continually grills into me for not having a job (as though I can control the employment market) or a drivers license (as though his teaching wasn’t what scared me off). And funnily enough, those are the only two things he ever asks me about every few months when I see him. Oh, and one other question – whether or not I have a boyfriend yet. Except for the last time I saw him, when he followed that by asking if I have a girlfriend. Which brings me to my next point.

My dad is a huge homophobe. He goes on about how being gay is unnatural and a disorder, and that he could cure it if he had enough money. Whenever Tara or I call him out for it, he says (and I paraphrase) “[he] can’t possibly be a homophobe because [he’s] not scared of gay people, [he] just think[s] there’s something wrong with them, and anyway [he has] gay friends”. Fine dad, you’re being heterosexist. Whatever you decide to call it, it’s incredibly bigoted. Tara once asked him what he would do if she were gay. He scoffed and told her (and I actually quote this time, not just paraphrase) “don’t be stupid, you’re not gay”. He was right, Tara isn’t gay, but that’s completely beside the point. What if she was gay, and his bigoted attitude was preventing her from safely coming out? What if I was gay, and she was trying to test the waters for me? I’m fairly sure the only reason he asked if I had a girlfriend that time was to appear tolerant with my aunt and uncle in the car, as my female cousin recently revealed to them that she has a girlfriend.

If I ever have children, I am going to try my best to be the most supportive parent possible. It doesn’t matter whether they want to swim, or run, or dance, or sing, or act, or write, or draw. It doesn’t matter whether they like men, or women, or everyone, or no-one. It doesn’t matter whether they are a boy, or a girl, or something else, or none of the above. It doesn’t matter whether they want to be a teacher, or a doctor, or a lawyer, or an actor, or a nurse, or a dancer, or a bartender. The only thing that does matter is how they treat people, whether it be other people or themselves. I vow to accept my children for who they are, because I know only too well how much it hurts when even the small things go unsupported.

Aliens vs. Gods

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I’m not sure if I’ve posted anything about religion on here before, but just in case I haven’t, I am an atheist. Sometimes when religious people want to force their beliefs onto me, they try and bring up aliens, and question how I can believe in those and not believe in gods.

Aliens are beings from elsewhere in the same universe. That universe is incredibly vast. Believing in aliens is just a matter of probability. It’s logical. In the case of aliens, not believing is the less logical option. In fact, it’s pretty damn egotistical to think that we are the only life in this vast universe.

Gods, on the other hand, operate on a different realm of being. To believe in gods, we don’t just have to look far away; We have to believe that there is a whole different universe intersecting with ours that we can’t see or otherwise interact with. And then we have to believe that there are beings in that universe who care enough about us to create us and then continue to watch over us. Furthermore, we have to believe that we were the only ones they created, and that we are important enough amongst them to have been the cause of infighting. Therefore, in the case of gods, it is belief that is egotistical.

In short, believing in aliens is logical, and not believing is egotistical, whereas believing in gods is egotistical, and not believing is logical.

A is for Asexual

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LGBT is an acronym most people have heard of. LGBTQ is less well-known, but still pretty recognisable. LGBTQI is not so well-known. LGBTQIA even less so. But despite the fact that the more letters there are in the acronym, the more people don’t know what it means, letters still keep getting added, in order to be inclusive of as many identities as possible. And although it’s a slow process, they are becoming more and more recognisable.

But problems arise when people don’t know what the letters mean. The biggest culprit of this is the letter A. There is an incredible number of allies who claim that the A is their letter. What’s even more astounding is the number of LGBT+ groups that seem to agree with them. Now this is problematic for a number of reasons:

1. Ally is not a minority identity. It’s not really an identity at all as far as the actual LGBT+ identities are concerned. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, asexual, pansexual… They relate to sexual orientation. Trans, intersex… They relate to sex and gender. But being an ally is nothing like that. Allies have just made the decision to be decent human beings.

2. When allies claim the A as their own, it contributes to the erasure of several already fairly unknown identities, the most prominent being asexual. Allies are there to support the LGBT+ community. Pulling out the rug from under asexual, agender, and aromantic people and stepping on their faces is not very supportive.

3. It’s a goddamn paradox! Including allies in the LGBT+ acronym means that they are a part of that community. But ally by definition is a supportive third party. How can people be allies of the LGBT+ community if they’re already a part of it? Exactly, they can’t. It goes against the entire definition of the word ally. But if adding allies to the acronym removes their allyness and they disappear from the acronym in a puff of logic, then they’d just become allies again! Do people not learn this from theories of time travel? Paradoxes are bad. Stop. Making. Them.

I Finally Believe in the Sexualisation of Women

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As a woman, I never really noticed the sexual objectification my gender experiences daily. Until last night. My Omi was visiting from interstate, so we went out to Copacabana, which is a Latin themed restaurant with a show. When the dancers came out, the men were wearing baggy pants and tank tops. The women were wearing underwear. When they brought audience members on stage, the man was taught some stretches and how to cartwheel. The woman was the butt of a rape joke and taught to dance provocatively. To all those feminists I have dismissed in the past for exaggerating sexualisation – I’m sorry. I believe you now.

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I already posted this on Tumblr, but since this is my main blog, I didn’t like the idea of something being posted elsewhere with no record of it here. So sorry to anyone who happens to read both this blog and my Tumblr (which won’t be many, if any, as I only have like four followers on Tumblr), but there will probably be a lot of double posts like this.

Life is Bullshit

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First, you’re born. You spend a year as a blob, not knowing how to communicate or even move properly. Then you have about three years of fun before you have to start school. Where you’re then stuck for the next thirteen years. After that, you might decide to go to university to try and get a good job at the end of it. So that’s three years of stressful fun (or fun stress, however you decide to word it) there. And then when you’ve finally finished that, you realise that don’t want to work in that field anymore. In fact, you don’t want to work in any field. You just want to have fun and travel. Or maybe settle down in a foreign country and work in a bookstore. But to do that you’ll need money, and to get money you’ll need a job. So you look for jobs. Only they all require either qualifications or experience. So how the fuck are you supposed to get a job when you need experience to get a job that gives you experience?! And if you do somehow manage to get a job, you have to keep working and working for the rest of your life so that you’ll have enough money to live it. Only you won’t actually be able to live it, because you’ll be too busy working. Life is bullshit.

Game of Thrones is NOT Sexist!

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Anyone who knows me and/or reads my blog knows that I despise people who find racism and/or sexism in everything they see. I find it absolutely ridiculous, and in all honesty, the practice itself is far more racist/sexist than the things it claims to be are.

Now, I am a huge fan of a Song of Ice and Fire (AKA Game of Thrones). But alas, even the genius that is George RR Martin cannot escape the scrutiny of those crazy ism-hunters. I have heard people say it is racist for depicting the foreigners as savages. I have heard people say it is sexist for depicting the women as inferior, or the badass women as ugly or plain (which apparently implies that ‘real’ women can’t be badass). Well to them I say “Pf! Stop picking and choosing things to pay attention to that fit your obsession with discrimination, and start appreciating the series as a whole, for what it is.

A Song of Ice and Fire is set in an alternate world, in a time period much like the Medieval era on Earth. And it’s a fairly well-known fact that women weren’t treated as men’s equals in the past. They were basically men’s property, and they certainly didn’t have the same career opportunities as women do now. So why should a fictional story set in a land similar to that era depict women as though they were from the 21st century? Hello? Anyone? I take it you’re all coming up blank right about now? Eeexactly. It shouldn’t. Although… A Song of Ice and Fire actually treats its women pretty damn well for that era. We’ve got the loving mother Catelyn who will do anything for her family. We’ve got the loving mother Cersei who will conspire like hell for hers. We’ve got the badass child assassin Arya on a slippery slope into chaos. We’ve got the pirate-like Asha who is married to her axe. We’ve got the priestess Melisandre, manipulating a king into following her path. We’ve got the Queen of Thorns Olenna, who is an absolute master at conspiring for power. We’ve got the Khaleesi Daenerys who is a favourite for the Iron Throne. We’ve got Brienne, who is one of the truest knights of Westeros, despite not being a knight. “But Brienne is ugly!” They say. “She can’t be an example of a feminist character! Brienne is ugly and therefore all badass women are ugly and and that means that real women cannot be badass because badass women are ugly and mannish and therefore only men can be badass!” Oh really? Firstly – have a raised eyebrow. Secondly – what’s wrong with masculine women? Thirdly – oh how bloody wrong you are. Because we’ve also got Dacey, a beautiful and elegant warror, Ygritte, a flame-haired wildling, and the fucking Sand Snakes. And what do you call Asha, Melisandre, and Daenerys, if not both feminine and badass?

Oh, and before I move on to the racism part of this, I would just like to have a quick word with all Sansa-haters. I don’t care if you hate her because she’s too weak and therefore not feminist enough. I don’t care if you hate her because she’s a whining bitch and should be doing more to help herself and her family. Whyever you hate her, just get the fuck over it. Okay, I admit it – I used to hate her too. But then her story got interesting, and she wasn’t just an antagonist to Arya anymore. And I realised something. In the beginning, when there wasn’t really much personal conflict, Sansa was just a normal tween girl. And later on, when she was caught up in everything, and either kept silent or lied about her feelings, she was just surviving. Sansa is a good character, a good female, and a smart, strong girl.

Now to the alleged racism. Here’s the thing – it doesn’t exist. You show me a bunch of savages from across the narrow sea? I show you a bunch of savages from beyond the wall. And then casually remind you about the not-so-local civilised folk from across that same sea, or down in Dorne.

Zazzle Schmazzle

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A while ago I bought some badges from Zazzle. I don’t think I’ll be doing that any longer.

A few months ago I tried to buy some more badges. Some of them were custom made by me – and yes, I admit I did use some images that may have been copyrighted, as they were from shows, films, or internet videos. So the order was inevitably cancelled due to copyright issues. However, I was a bit confused as to which specific badges caused the issues. I had ordered six custom badges, and four of them had not been approved. The images I used were a pokeball, a Tyrell flower, the word ‘friend!’ with two thumbs up, a pegacorn someone drew me in the style of a My Little Pony pony, a Toy Story alien, and the ‘I am a stegosaurus’ dinosaur. Now I had no way to check which badges were accepted or not. My best guess was that the accepted images were the pegacorn and either the thumbs up friend or the Tyrell flower. But of course, I wanted to make sure, so I could place another order without it being cancelled again. So I sent Zazzle an email. Here is a copy of the correspondence:

ME: Hi! I tried to order some badges the other day, and some of them were ones I customised myself. Because I was only getting them for myself, I didn’t realise any copyrights applied, so I apologise for the Toy Story and Pokemon badges. But I’m confused – it said two were accepted, and four were rejected, but I can’t figure out which, as the links aren’t working. It also seems odd, as I’m pretty sure less than four have copyrighted items in their designs. So could you please help me out, and let me know which specific designs were rejected and why? The order number was 131-56846567-9102810. Thanks so much!

ZAZZLE: Thank you for your e-mail.
Information regarding copyrighted material can be found here: http://zazzle.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/87
A detailed description of Zazzle’s content policies is available at: http://zazzle.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/zazzle.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=143
Thanks for using Zazzle. If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Now I admit, I gave up on that pretty easy. But they had bounced me around for a while before I got that extremely generic and unhelpful reply, so I just thought “stuff ’em”. But then I got an email for $7 off orders above $7, so I thought “why not buy a few badges and pay only slightly more than shipping?”. So I put some badges in my cart, only to discover that the price of badges had risen over a dollar. Now, to most people, a dollar doesn’t seem like much. And in all honesty, it isn’t much. But for cheap products like badges, a price increase is never small. So I sent another email:

ME: Hi. A few months ago, I bought a bunch of badges, only for the order to be cancelled due to copyright. I sent two emails asking which designs they refused, but because no-one helped me, and only repeated the same thing over again, I gave up on the order. Today I received an email for $7 off an order, so I thought “why not try again?” only to discover that apparently badges are almost twice the price now! What is going on? Why are tiny little badges so expensive? I can buy them for as little as 20 cents elsewhere.

I was supposed to receive an answer within the next business day, but alas, I still have not received a response. However, I sent an unrelated email regarding a voucher not ten minutes later, and I received a reply for that almost immediately. This was almost two weeks ago, by the way. But anyway, I really wanted that damn pegacorn badge! So a couple of days ago, I sent another email. Only this time, it was a bit more heated. Now check this out:

ME: Hi. I was thinking of buying some badges, but after putting some in my cart, I realised something. A while ago, I tried to buy some badges, only to be told that some of the custom ones had not been accepted due to copyright. I emailed you and received a generic answer. I emailed you again and received a generic link. None of these addressed my question at all – I asked WHICH SPECIFIC items were not accepted, and you gave me a stupid unrelated link to Disney copyright. But anyway, after that, I gave up. Now I’m thinking of buying from you again, as you’re the only place I know of where I can design my own buttons. But there’s been an insane price hike. When I filled up my cart this time, I discovered that to buy items with a $5 discount + volume discount would cost me MORE than buying them without a discount last time I attempted to. That’s just ridiculous. I can buy badges for 20 freakin’ cents. So my question is, WHY has there been a price increase?

ZAZZLE: Each product on our site is posted by individual designers who control their own prices. Unfortunately, we can not adjust the prices that they have selected for their item.

ME: I know the difference between a price hike and natural price differences. The custom buttons are more expensive, as are buttons I had in my cart last time I attempted a purchase. I’m asking about the reasons behind the actual price hike, not the reason why some badges are more expensive than others.

ZAZZLE: We did not have a price hike. The only time prices would go up is if the designer changes their royalty.

ME: I’m afraid the website must be glitching then. Back when I made that order that got cancelled, a custom square badge cost $2.95 pre-discount, but now the same square badge would cost me $4.10 pre-discount…

ZAZZLE: When I go into your account and order the buttons from your last cancelled order- the price is the same:

Zazzle Email

ME: I’m going to repeat myself here:
“Back when I made that order that got cancelled, a custom square badge cost $2.95 pre-discount, but now the same square badge would cost me $4.10 pre-discount.”
Square. SQUARE. Not round. That round one that you used as an example? That was $2.20 pre-discount last time. Again, what are the reasons behind the price increase?

ZAZZLE: We did not have a price hike. The only time prices would go up is if the designer changes their royalty.
 I’m sorry but we do not have any other answer regarding the prices. Its a royalty issue outside out our control- designers have the right to change their royalty which changes the overall price.

ME: The badges in question were created by me. You have had a price increase. Please stop trying to avoid the question.

Now, I know you’re probably sitting there right now with your eyebrows floating ten feet above your head. And yes, I know I’m insane. But I have principles! And one of those principles is that no-one messes with my money. And stinging me several dollars for a tiny little badge, when I can get them around town for less than fifty cents, and when I have in fact bought the same badges for less – that, dear sir, is messing with my money. Oh, and by the way, that last email never got a response either.