Monday, April 30, 2018

30 Days of De-Objectification: Wrap-Up

December 12, 1937 - August 21, 1974

30 Days of De-Objectification:

Back in 1981, there was a television show called Walking Tall, which was inspired by the life of Sheriff Buford Pusser. The real-life Sheriff Pusser fought corruption in McNairy County, Tennessee. He was due to portray himself in the sequel to the 1973 film about his life, but died under mysterious circumstances in a single-car accident. Many people believe that his vehicle was sabotaged.
One of the lines in the theme song for the television show was “sometimes right hurts you more than wrong.”
I was struggling with a lot of issues at that point in my life. I was sixteen years old and far from popular. I gave in to peer pressure in several instances because I wanted to be liked. Still, I tried to make sure that my core values didn’t change. I didn’t join in bullying kids who were even less popular than I was. I did, however, do some things that I’m not proud of, mostly minor acts of vandalism on school property.
I also allowed boys to do things to me that I really didn’t want to do, because I wanted to feel loved. Instead, I ended up feeling even worse about myself.
I haven’t had an easy life, and I haven’t always done the right thing. I’ve learned a lot of hard lessons.
Many years later, the line from the theme song of that short-lived television program that I loved still sticks with me. I still try to live by it, even though I’ll probably always fall short.
Doing what’s right isn’t easy, especially when you’re young and wanting to be accepted.
Sometimes the “cool” thing is the wrong thing.
Some people act like it’s cool to belittle other people for aspects of their appearance, such as their size and the clothes they wear.
Those who belittle others to make themselves feel big tend to be extremely insecure. They take their own self-doubts out on others. These are hardly people that should be emulated.
It seems to me that some people join in the trend of expressing lewd and objectifying thoughts about people like actors and musicians because those individuals don’t seem real to them.
They are real, no matter how remote they may seem to be.
Most people do not like being objectified.
I would be extremely creeped out if I were to discover that someone had been writing graphic sexual fantasies about me and perhaps pairing me with one of my associates in these fantasies.
It seems very disrespectful to me to objectify anyone, let alone someone markedly older than myself.
I’ve found people who are a good deal older than me attractive. I couldn’t imagine implying that these men were fodder for sexual fantasies, let alone broadcasting such fantasies for public consumption.
Nobody should be thought of as only a sex object, and people who have become vulnerable due to infirmity should be afforded special consideration in this regard. I say this as a person who is experiencing deteriorating physical health myself. The last thing I want is for someone to look at me and see nothing but a thing to be masturbated over.
I am unsure how anyone could fail to see it as anything but incredibly insulting to look at a picture of a person who accomplished a great deal in their life, and instead of thinking “I really admire what this person was able to do,” the viewer of the photograph thinks: “Damn, he was hot! I want him to ram his rod up my coal chute like a runaway mine cart!”
I sometimes wonder if younger people have been taught the concept of putting themselves in another person’s shoes.
Would the people objectifying older and dead musicians like to have others objectifying them in the same way?
“Your accomplishments are meaningless. Only your genitals matter.”
That’s pretty disgusting.
I’m fairly sure everything I’ve written in this series has made not one damn bit of difference.
I wrote it anyway, because, if intent means anything, I’d like to think it made a difference on some level to the people being objectified.
I want them to know that their accomplishments matter more than their sex appeal to me.

~The Cheese Hath Grated It~

Saturday, April 28, 2018

30 Days of De-Objectification: Fictional Free-For-All

Ship it good!

30 Days of De-Objectification:
Fictional Free-For-All

When it comes to fictional ships, I give not one single fuck what you ship.
Regardless of how much I may personally hate the ship, I will only crack wise if you are obnoxious with your ship, i.e. injecting it into every single Chuckdamn tag that ever existed.
That includes not putting your ship material (fics, manips, meta) into the general tag for the characters involved in the ship or the actors who play them or the show/movie the characters come from.
I mean it. The author of something I consider to be the grossest fictional ship in the world will not hear even the teeniest peep from me (unless they happen to have even better super hearing than the Super Family and can hear me groaning in agony) on their blog, so long as they haven’t splattered their gods-awful ship throughout every tag. If I happen to say something negative about the ship, it will be in a post of my own (or in agreement with someone else who hates the ship) and I will tag it as anti-whatever.
So, yes, even if the fic (or manip) involves the most graphic family orgy ever, I am not going to get into a twist about it if it involves only fictional characters. I may barf buckets over it on my own, but I’m not going to get into a flame war with the creator. It isn’t worth it.
Trust me, I have seen some things involving The Simpsons that you don’t ever want to see.
In my younger days, friends’ older brothers often had underground comics. Disney characters get up to some unbelievable things in those comics, believe me.
Sometimes the actual animators from kids’ cartoons create naughty stuff of their own behind the scenes.
Most of these people are not child molesters. They’re just blowing off steam with dirty jokes. Adult humor is a thing.
There are a few things that get under my skin.
1)      People acting like shipping fictional characters, including canonically biologically related characters and characters with a marked age gap, is equally as bad as real-world child molesting.
2)      People acting like shipping biologically related consenting adult characters in a similar age range is the same as shipping a child character (here I mean a pre-pubescent child, not a seventeen-year-old) with an adult character. Yes, both are fictional ships, and no actual child is being harmed, but there is not a direct comparison between these ships. They are apples and oranges.
3)      People screaming “PEDOPHILIA!!!11!!!1” whenever they don’t like what someone’s shipping.
4)      People shipping real people as if they were shipping fictional characters.

Again, when it comes to fictional ships, I shouldn’t have to explain for the 666 gazillionth time that fictional characters aren’t real. The authors of fictional ships see a dynamic between two characters and want to explore that dynamic. That doesn’t mean that the authors of ships like Anna/Elsa, Thorki, or Wincest want to have sex with their siblings. It means that they see a romantic and/or sexual dynamic between Anna and Elsa, Thor and Loki, or Sam and Dean Winchester.
It’s bloody rude to accuse people of wanting to have sex with their relatives or molest children just because they ship something you think is icky.
Also, for the 666 gazillionth time, a squick is not a trigger.
There are a lot of ships that squick me.
There have been many times when I’ve been reading a fic, thinking to myself, “hey, this is pretty good, well written, so creative,” and then suddenly…


Here’s what I don’t do.
If the fic is properly tagged, then it’s on me. And, as I said, 9.999999 times out of ten, my reaction is a squick, not an actual trigger. So, off I go to read something else, or write my own, because that’s what adults do. We don’t go whinging to the author of the squicky fic about what an icky, awful, baddy-bad baddie they are. We go on our way and find something more to our liking.
Sometimes people who write extremely bizarre sex stuff are working through something that happened to them. Think of how much worse it will make them feel to curse them out or accuse them of all sorts of awful things.
I, personally, have a lot of weird trust issues with most of the members of my family, and I do have a history of sexual assault, both in childhood and as an adult. For me, Sam and Dean represent a love against all odds in a life that has been very odd. They found with each other something that they couldn’t find with anyone else.
I would not want a romantic or sexual relationship with my real-life brother and fuck you if you think it’s funny or appropriate to imply that I would.
My brother and I are not Sam and Dean Winchester.
We are real people.
Sam and Dean Winchester are fictional characters.
My Sam and Dean don’t have to be your Sam and Dean.

~The Cheese Hath Grated It~

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

30 Days of De-Objectification: Yuck

Back when “Twilight” was a big thing, I was seriously embarrassed by the number of women in my age range gushing over Robert Pattinson, a man young enough to be their son. I didn’t think of their passion as “perverted,” per se, just inappropriate.
Pattinson was in his early twenties and seemed to have the emotional maturity to make an informed decision regarding whom he wanted to be in a romantic or sexual relationship with. That these women saw him as attractive wasn’t the concern. The red flag was the level of infatuation with a person from a different generation than their own.
I saw these women as wanting to have a “second chance” at what they thought their youth should have been. They were evidently dissatisfied with some aspect of their lives. Robert Pattinson (as Edward Cullen) represented something that they saw as glamorous or exciting. They wanted that glamour and excitement to take them away from lives they saw as unfulfilling.
The problem lies in the fact that they were projecting their unfulfilled needs onto Robert Pattinson, a real person, and it made him uncomfortable.
The obsessed fans didn’t care that their mania made Robert uncomfortable.
Robert Pattinson is not Edward Cullen.
People were angry with Robert when he made negative statements regarding Twilight and his character. He likely would not have made such statements were he not being bombarded with disturbing messages from overly enthusiastic fans.
Similarly, I am aware that much of the fascination with middle-aged and senior musicians by very young women has less to do with the musicians themselves than with the infatuated girls wanting something different and exciting in their lives. They see old photos of these men and marvel at what a glamorous and thrilling time that was.
This isn’t necessarily a problem if it is taken to the next level where the person identifies the point of dissatisfaction in their own life and strives to do something about it. However, neither the “Twilight Moms” (nor, in fact, the overly passionate Twilight fans in any age range) nor the “classic rock fandom” of Tumblr take the next step. Instead, they laser-focus their attention on the image of a person, never reasoning that the image is not the actual person.
I hope for Robert Pattinson’s sake that he has managed to escape Edward Cullen and his lustful and overly enthusiastic admirers.
I hope that the girls calling themselves “classic rock fans” become actual fans rather than drooling groupies fawning over an image.
An actual fan would never objectify their heroes.
Admiration and support of performers are positive attributes.
Obsession and objectification are, simply, yuck.

~The Cheese Hath Grated It~

Senryu: Pinned Down

A voodoo doll, on display in the Louvre

Above everything
 Never let her think that she
 Has a chance to win


Pretty much what I think the Universe says about me.
Also works for Pepper, the main female protagonist in Team Netherworld's eternal WIP, Fetch.
The bad thing about having a blog with no audience is bleeding my heart out and no-one cares.
The good thing about having a blog with no audience is being able to bleed my heart out and no-one tells me I can't or shouldn't. 

Monday, April 23, 2018

30 Days of De-Objectification: Worthless

30 Days of De-Objectification:
Trigger Warning:
Discussion of sexual assault 
Mention of self-harm 

I am going to reveal something very personal.
Twenty going on twenty-one years ago, in the early morning hours of November 1, 1997, I was sexually assaulted by my ex-boyfriend.
I was in my early thirties, but I was very naïve. Even though I broke up with the guy because he had a very callous sense of humor and everything physical that happened with him had been coercive, I thought it was the right thing to do to remain friends with him. After all, I had broken up with him. So, I thought that we would start our new friendship with my taking him to a work friend’s Halloween party.
Not only was I very naïve, I also had untreated type 2 bipolar disorder, which would not be correctly diagnosed for another six years.
I took my son, who was seven years old at the time, with me because my co-worker had kids around his age.
I proceeded to get extremely drunk.
One of my other co-workers was flirting with me.
My ex-boyfriend became extremely angry.
To avoid having him start a fight, I took him out of there. I also did something which makes me flinch to remember to this day. I took my son with me over to my ex-husband’s parents’ house. I drove drunk with my child in the car. I didn’t know who I could call.
After dropping my son off with his grandparents, I went back to my apartment with my ex-boyfriend, so he could get his car. I went to bed fully clothed. I woke up undressed with him on top of me. I begged him to stop, but he didn’t. When he was done, he said “well, now we’re back together again.”
For the next year, I had panic attacks every twenty minutes for about five hours from the time I woke up. I didn’t want to go back to sleep because I knew it would start all over again when I woke up. Eventually, I would become too exhausted to stay awake, and the cycle repeated, every day, for the next 365 days.
I was falling apart. Nobody thought what I’d been through was “that bad,” because this bastard didn’t grab me and throw me on the ground or beat me up.
I felt like garbage. I felt worthless.
I was very vulnerable, and about six months after the event, I went to another co-worker’s party, where I became involved with one of the most predatory men I’d ever met. This creep expressed sympathy for what had happened, but he really just wanted sex. He took advantage of the fact that I was extremely vulnerable and my self-esteem was completely in the toilet. He would be affectionate towards me and then threaten to withdraw his “love” if I didn’t do what he demanded, which included watching a lot of pornography. He got a sick thrill out of my disgust over the bestiality videos he enjoyed watching. He eventually took up with another girlfriend and flaunted her in my face. He told me I was his “only girl,” but said he needed “a cheap piece of ass” too.
I ended up at his door one night with bloody wrists. I still have the scars.
Neither of these men saw me as human. I was a thing, an object. I was garbage.
Twenty years later, I still feel like I’ve been thrown in a sewer whenever I talk about it.
It is never right to look at another person and see an object rather than a human being.
It doesn’t make it better if you’re a girl objectifying a man.
There are some who will say “well, look what these guys did to you! We should turn the tables and have our revenge!”
I don’t believe that will make anything better.
I believe that objectification is never right.
I believe that it’s particularly awful to exploit and objectify vulnerable populations.
I took care of old and sick people for a lot of years.
I feel protective towards people in that population.
People who have lost their health and their ability to continue their careers should be honored, not objectified.
One of the residents at the retirement community I used to work at started hallucinating. One night she called me to her apartment in hysterics. She said that there were men who had come out of her closet and beat her. She said that these men told her that they were going to have sex with her. She said: “you’d think they could leave a seventy-five-year-old woman alone, wouldn’t you?”
These men in their sixties, seventies, and beyond don’t want to be objectified by teenage girls.
They have enough problems.
Don’t treat people like things to do with as you see fit.
Don’t deny others their worth.

~The Cheese Hath Grated It~