liveonearth: (Default)
I read this morning about a doctor who went mad and shot people in a hospital. As a doctor myself, I know that docs have terrible stresses trying to deal with a corrupt medical-industrial system that impairs our ability to help people regain their health. Then I went to look at the NY times article, here: He's richly melanated, that is to say, he has lived a life of fear because of his skin color. I infer from his violence that he may have been guilty of the accusation--sexual misconduct. He was a man, and he was angry enough to shoot others and hopeless enough to set himself on fire and shoot himself. He did not see any way out. He knew he would not receive compassion.

What people forget when they demonize any group of humans is that they are human. Dark skinned people. Doctors. Men. Gun owners. Murderers. Whatever group. All humans share the same basic needs. When those needs are not met, we have the same basic emotions. Driven hard enough, any of us could become dangerous. Hitler had reasons. The Arabs that flew airplanes into buildings had reasons. No one is pure evil, we are simply human and if tortured we can lash out, or become cunning.

My hope that that everyone who reads this will take a deep breath or three and think about the kind of pain that drives a person to such horrors. My hope is that compassion will rise in spite of the poisonous atmosphere of shame and blame that dominates our political world. We all deserve an opportunity to be free from fear, long enough to find our centers and our hearts and reach out into the world from that place. It will take a lot of us finding compassion to heal these wounds.
liveonearth: (moon)


Maya Angelou, 1928 - 2014

You may write me down in history

With your bitter, twisted lies,

You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?

Why are you beset with gloom?

‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells

Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,

With the certainty of tides,

Just like hopes springing high,

Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?

Bowed head and lowered eyes?

Shoulders falling down like teardrops,

Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?

Don’t you take it awful hard

‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines

Diggin’ in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,

You may cut me with your eyes,

You may kill me with your hatefulness,

But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?

Does it come as a surprise

That I dance like I’ve got diamonds

At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame

I rise

Up from a past that’s rooted in pain

I rise

I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,

Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear

I rise

Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear

I rise

Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,

I am the dream and the hope of the slave.

I rise

I rise

I rise.

liveonearth: (monkey NO)

Desperation is not pretty.  What is also not pretty is his father's attempts to defend him, as if rape were not a crime.  A young man who thinks it is OK to screw an unconscious woman behind a dumpster is likely capable of other atrocities, and deserves the full impact of the law, including the lifelong stigma of being a registered sex offender.

“We saw that she was not moving, while he was moving a lot,” Arndt said in Swedish.“So we stopped and thought, ‘This is very strange.’”

liveonearth: (moon)
Check out the photo of this convicted rapist who did it again and got convicted again.
Handsome, eh?

What does it tell you?
What it tells me )
liveonearth: (moon)
I'm happy to read that California colleges are adopting this new standard which says that in order to not be rape, sexual interaction may occur when both partners are conscious and actively consenting. I hope that this new standard is widely adopted and eventually becomes law for the nation, not just a few colleges.

My partner points out that it does not remove the possibility of a "he said she said" standoff in court, and this is true. It requires education, so that everyone knows that it is the standard, and support such that all persons feel empowered to say "no" when they want to.

What this standard does, in my mind at least, is raise the bar ever so slightly for aggressors seeking sex. It removes the defense "She didn't say no" from play. I have been appalled to see that a raped woman cannot get justice unless she gets hurt. If she is not injured, and does not have ejaculate on her, then the court could find "no evidence" that she was raped. Requiring that a woman be injured or that there be witnesses who heard her screaming "no" before you believe that she was raped is a terrible baseline, but in practicality it plays out this way. This is why even in our supposedly open culture most raped women do not seek legal recourse. It's not worth it.

I would like to believe that a good lawyer or judge can elicit signs of the truth from a person even when they are trying to hide it. I would like to think that attentive jurors will instinctively know when someone is lying. Perhaps I am too idealistic about our court system, and it malfunctions more than it functions.

There's nothing direct or simple about the way sexuality plays out in our culture and legal system. Messy is more the word for it. Within a relationship that has been sexual in the past, men do take advantage, and women do submit in order to not be hurt. That submission is not consent. For young men who have no partner, the situation is worse. I have read that many young American men today are angry at women because they cannot get the sex they want. One such young man took up a gun to express his anger. Intense desire is normal, but such anger is dangerous. Modern youth partake of online porn that gives them an unrealistic view of sex and does not educate them on the delicacies of dating or seduction. It is an unhealthy situation, and this standard does nothing to resolve it. Who is going to teach the young people how to talk to each other, to be respectful, and to flirt gracefully? I do not know. I only know that the social structures that used to educate us about proper mating behavior have fallen apart, and nothing has taken their place.

At least here raped women are not stoned to death, though I can comprehend how this would be better for the males in a patriarchal system. She can't complain if she's dead. At least in colleges in California, "yes means yes" is an excellent new dividing line between consent and submission or worse.
liveonearth: (blue skinned alien)

No, Virginia, there is not a Santa Claus, except in marketing and the media and in your imagination.

Earlier this week I attended a training on how to facilitate support groups for people who experience Extreme States, including hearing voices, seeing visions, and other experiences most commonly diagnosed as psychosis. We broke out many times into small groups to practice what we were learning. One time, when I was facilitating a small group, one of the women in the group started freaking a little bit and asking "Is she real?" of another person in the room. I calmly reassured her that yes, indeed, that person was real as far as I could tell.

This clip reminds me of that. This reality check is for the Republicans who thought that their version of reality was going to triumph on Tuesday. For a while I stopped listening to Rachel because I have libertarian sympathies and she was taking unfair potshots from a very partisan position. This time she's not being partisan. This time she's speaking about the basics of reality, of what is our consensual truth, except for a few tone-deaf and science-ignorant Republicans who have poisoned their entire party.
liveonearth: (moon)
It's scheduled to come out in May 2013, and this doc (Allen Frances, MD) asks the question: is the APA going to release it because it is needed and helpful and founded for psychiatric treatment? Or because they want the income from the release of a new book?? He has a good grasp on where the system fails and what needs to happen next. He'd like to see changes based in science, and is keenly aware of the degree to which psych diagnosis is inexact and the pathophysiology of these diseases uncertain.

You have to create a login to read here:

Here are his concerns that the current DSM-IV does not deal with:
20x autism rates (is everybody really autistic??)
20x childhood bipolar rates
3x ADHD rates
2x adult bipolar rates
"Misuse of the label "paraphilia NOS" to sanction the questionably constitutional involuntary commitment of rapists as a veiled form of preventive detention"

And here are the things he is worried will be stuffed prematurely into the DSM-V:
Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder
Minor neurocognitive disorder
Removing the bereavement exclusion for major depressive disorder (sadness not allowed!)
Lowered ADHD threshold (by raising the allowed age of onset to 12) (how does this work??)
Lowered threshold and poor reliability for generalized anxiety disorder
Combining substance abuse w substance dependence under "addictive disorders" (low reliability and unnecessary stigma)
A category for "behavioral addictions" that will promote "Internet addiction" as a NOS diagnosis. (Next: "addictions" to sex, shopping, work, golf, boating)
Pedophilia criteria wording that tries to sneak in hebephilia (preference for early pubescent teens) and invites forensic abuse
Making binge-eating a mental disorder
An unusable personality section that the APA Assembly voted unanimously to oppose
liveonearth: (sexy tits)

Women don't want the carved guy walking down the beach. But they want everything else. Many thanks to [ profile] hausfrauatu for pointing out THIS NY times story about sex research. It centers around researcher Meredith Chivers and her findings. Her study involved monitoring people's arousal while viewing video of various sex acts. Arousal was measured subjectively (self report) and objectively (genital physiology). Then the people's real and reported arousal levels were correlated, along with their reported sexual prefences. The findings were...well....INCREDIBLE. Yet credible. My head is reeling with the implications. Makes me want to go into sexual health...
text from which I will make my usual notes )
liveonearth: (Default)
Here in the US we desperately need to get on the ball and pass a law by which same sex couples can have all the same legal rights as religiously married couples. Seriously now folks. It's not about HOMOSEXUALITY, and it's not about MARRIAGE. It's about human rights. Asexual, monosexual, bisexual, trisexual, whatever any kind of people, even a-religious people should be permitted to join their fates in a legal way with the person (or persons!) of their choosing. That person should be the one contacted first when there is a need. Everyone deserves to have someone at their back. Period. (Shut up you pervs.) It is a crime that as a society we disallow some people's families.

On the other hand, thinking about the military, I think it is reasonable to extend some of the requirements of DADT to all servicepeople. Lust of all kinds should be on the downlow while on duty. Military service is not about getting laid. I know that packs of high testosterone men are a sexual liability, so figure out somehow to manage it, eh? There must be a way to let these men have healthy outlets to prevent them from embarrassing themselves and from raping anybody's daughter.
liveonearth: (Default)

Three times now men have been acquitted of rape charges because a jury or judge believed that a woman's pants could not be removed without her assistance. I'm skeptical. Maybe I should get some skinny jeans. I suspect they can be peeled off rapidly and forcibly once the buttocks are cleared, considering that the hips are so far above the top of the jeans. But on the other hand, there are plenty of unfair rape accusations made too, there should be repercussions for wrong accusations. Thank goodness we have the right to a jury of our peers! Too bad so many of our peers have gone stark raving mad.
liveonearth: (Default)
National Organization for Men Against Sexism

article by Jack Straton: What is Fair for Children of Abusive Men?

and on the Prevalence of Rape in the US
liveonearth: (Default)
Here find five links to youtube to follow a brilliant debate on the proposition "The Catholic Church is a force for good in the world." The Intelligence Squared debaters include Christopher Hitchens and Stephen Fry against the proposition, and Archbishop Onaiyekan and Ann Widdecombe attempting to defend it. Hitchens and Fry utterly devastate the Catholics, and I was frankly cracking up.
liveonearth: (Default)
In chemistry 360 I sit in the middle of the front row, between a wannabe veterinarian, and a wannabe doctor. The potential vet is a professional dog trainer named Monica. Sometimes she brings her canine to class. The dog wears a vest that says "Don't pet me, I'm a working dog". The dog lies behind her chair and does not move for the entire 50 minute class. I am convinced that Monica is really good at training canines. She competes with her dog Gritty in agility events around the west, and consistently places well, or wins.
Dog Petter )
liveonearth: (Default)
ACFAN = Arizona Child & Family Advocacy Network
CASA = Center Against Sexual Assault -- usually a couple of letters are tacked on the front (NACASA in Northern Arizona)
NACA = Native Americans for Community Action
GHB = a date rape drug -- gamma hydroxybutyric acid, made using floor stripper
DD = developmentally disabled. 25% of DD females are raped. Easy targets.
MDT = multi-disciplinary team
DPS = Department of Public Safety (highway patrol)
SANE = Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (4-6 hour long exams!)
SAFE = Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner (doc)
CPS = Child Protective Services
OP = Order of Protection
VOCA = vitims of Crime Association
VC = Victim Compensation
ED = Emergency Department
DR number = Police Report Number
VAV = Victim Advocate Volunteer (this is me)
ME = Medical Examiner
MADD = Mothers Against Drunk Drivers
PTSD = post traumatic stress disorder
COR = Conditions of Release, decided at time of Initial Appearance in court, within 24 hours of arrest
LE = law enforcement
DV = domestic violence (this one rolls from tongues without any awareness its's an acronym--like TV)
FPD = Flagstaff Police Department
CCSO = Coconino County Sheriff's Department
WPD = Williams Police Department
liveonearth: (Default)
An excellent example of a man who LOOKS like he has very high testosterone is the Duke Lacrosse player Ryan McFadyen. Check out his mug. (PHOTO disappeared from web)
Read more )


liveonearth: (Default)

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