Content Notice: mentions of cissexism, genitals, and reproductive organs
Have you ever heard that defence people use, when accused of homophobia, “but I’m not afraid of gay people”?
I don’t think everyone who says something like that is wrong about themselves, or lying, but I do think that fear is one of the root causes of identity-based bigotry like homophobia and transphobia. As I explain, it will become clear why this phenomenon is specific to these forms of bigotry, even though the bigotry often manifests in the same harmful ways that all bigotry does: with anger, hatred, microaggressions, and violence.
Slight spoilers for: Pitch Black (2000), The Chronicles of Riddick (2004), Riddick (2013), The Maze Runner (2014), Into The Storm (2014), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014), and Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014). I’ll put a warning before more major spoilers.
So, I just saw some movies, and I noticed things while watching them. It’s hard not to, although it can make it difficult to enjoy them. The 2013 Riddick movie, for instance, I found more and more unpleasant to watch, until the ending that made me want to throw a tantrum. I liked the previous Riddick movies – Pitch Black (2000) and The Chronicles of Riddick (2004) – I enjoyed them, and I didn’t find them glaring problematic in their portrayals of women.
The way we identify faces is by looking at certain landmarks on the face, allowing us to recognise a face we’ve seen before and distinguish between different faces. Dogs have actually learnt to do this with human faces, using the correct landmarks to identify humans faces, and even learning how to read out emotions from our facial expressions. My point being that this is an easy thing that our brains do without any conscious input from us (at least for neurotypical people, neurodivergent children may need coaching or special programs to learn to identify faces better) and social animals that we have domesticated have learnt this skill as well. 
This is relevant, because the only underlying (evo-psych) explanation for racism that I’ve heard is that seeing a face that isn’t what we’re used to seeing (i.e. is different to the faces we learnt facial recognition on – someone who doesn’t look like our friends and family) might trigger some kind of “oh noes, danger” alarm in the back of our heads, as back when we lived in family groups or tribes, people who looked different would be from other groups/tribes, and might be trying to attack us.
I’ve spent 9 hours today battling with WordPress, because it insists on making everything difficult. I’ve spent hours trying to get a working contact form, because for some reason I don’t quite understand, I can’t send emails from a Gmail address to a Gmail address with them (and that was after heaps of screwing about to get forms that look and act how my boss wanted). And why oh why, WordPress, much you mess up the html I put in a page? And how are you merging two tags together? I don’t understand how that makes any sense at all.
Ugh, I’m so over this, I’m a developer, I hate using things that try to do the code for me. I don’t even like Dreamweaver because it changes my tags without asking! I did all my high school web projects in Text Editor instead, and was glaring daggers at the teacher when she made me do one in Dreamweaver.
A few days ago I saw my rheumatologist for bone scan results, expecting to be told there were things up with some of my joints, and maybe be prescribed a new anti-inflammatory, as the last two hadn’t made much difference. What I ended up finding out was that I’ve got a few things up with my joints/bones, but what’s probably been causing my increasingly numerous symptoms these last six months is the fact I have fibromyalgia.
I wasn’t completely blind-sided by this, since I’d looked up the symptoms days ago and myself, my partner, and the friend I complain about my symptoms to all agreed that sounded exactly like what was happening to me. One site in particular made at least part of me pretty certain, as their list of symptoms when fibromyalgia is aggravated covered the rest of my symptoms. The only things holding me back from being completely certain were that I don’t know what is defined as “widespread pain”, and when I tried pressing on the “tender/trigger points” they didn’t feel any more tender than usual (I would’ve used my partner as a comparison, but his pain tolerance is very different to mine). So I thought maybe I didn’t have it, or maybe I was pressing wrong, and went back to rolling my eyes at my partner suggesting a brain tumor as the cause.
This isn’t actually a very easy question to answer.
I have a lot of illnesses at the moment that can interfere with me getting things done, and particularly with anything involving much physical labour. I also have an awful memory for chores, and even chanting my to-do list as I go doesn’t guarantee I won’t forget something.
I started out today not feeling great, and having an hour before I had to start work that I decided to spend starting a post. It was just going to be a little rant about being tired and sick, and then I got a little side-tracked.
There have been a few things lately I’ve wanted to blog about, and work had me doing some WordPress stuff so getting back to this blog and pretty-ing it up has been on my mind. I’ve made minor improvements, but I’ll need to set aside a few hour to make a custom theme some time – I just can’t find a standard theme I like more than just doing my own thing, and CSS is fun (and no, that’s not sarcasm, I’m a nerd).
The first I heard about this story was a screencap of a tweet or Facebook comment that appeared to be part of a conversation about the shooting – it was someone claiming to have witnessed the shooting asserting that the victim hadn’t been committing a robbery and had been shoved by the cop with the car door. This sparked my interest, as it sounded like an unusual event, but I didn’t see any more about it until another snippet the following day. Eventually I started being able to piece together what had happened as more articles appeared about it, and I found out the victim’s name so that I could look for more.
I suck at sticking to writing quotas or writing in a journal or keeping up with a blog – I know this, but I’m always hopeful that this time I’ll stick with it, or at least get better at it. My goal for this was one post per week. I did three posts, each a week apart, and then life distracted me.
So what have I been doing that’s so distracting? Mostly lying in bed being sick and watching whatever show we’re currently on (I started this blog midway through Farscape, after that was SG-1, Star Trek Enterprise, then Digimon, but two episodes into Adventure 02 we’ve had to go back to Dragonball Z so I won’t be completely lost watching the new movie… and a few movies scattered in there, like some Resident Evil and about 5 Nightmare on Elm Streets). And a trip to the ER last week that was about as much fun as being made to wait around for 7 hours to be told they don’t know what’s wrong and to go home – OH WAIT that’s exactly what it was like.