To The People Who Love to Opinionate on Not Medicating a Mental Illness

Fuck you.

Fuck you and your sanctimonious crap about how you believe psychiatric drugs aren’t good for us, and we shouldn’t take them, because we’ll be oh-so-much-better.


You know, I really wish more people cheered for the medicine, and fewer acted like it was a personal failure and a potential death sentence to take psychiatric meds. Because I’d still have a mother if she’d listened to her first and best psychiatrists, rather than the assholes who told her she could and should do without the drugs.

As it stands, I have a shell of what used to be my mom, living in residential care and never able to leave it. There’s nothing left of the person I adored. Just an echo. Her mind would still be intact if she’d stayed on her drugs. She didn’t, and now she’s gone.

So fuck you, assholes who burble about how the drugs are harming us. Fuck you, people who shake their heads and cluck their tongues and judge. I will be flipping you off with one hand while happily taking my medication with the other. I don’t want to end up like her.

I know our current drugs aren’t a perfect solution, and that they sometimes lose their effectiveness as our bodies change, and we need to adjust them. I know they won’t always keep the depression and anxiety away. But they mitigate it. I’ve reached the stage where I’ll have to be on them for the rest of my life if I want to live with my mind mostly intact, and I’m good with that. I’ve watched them help other people I love, watched them return people to life who had nearly left it, and I love them for that. I’m glad we have something. Because I know what unmedicated serious mental illness looks like, and it’s horrific.

So fuck you, with your “I stopped taking meds and now I feel so much better!” My mother fell for your schtick, and she felt great – right up until the last of her lithium and antipsychotics cleared her system, and the suicidal depression and nasty voices came back, until paranoia paralyzed her and made her terrified of everyone and everything. My mother kept falling for your bullshit, and each time, a bit more of her slipped away until she couldn’t come back. You might have a mild enough case of whatever it is you were taking pills for that you just needed the temporary boost and can now do without. Or you may be in that honeymoon period before your mind collapses in on itself again. I don’t care, to be honest. I just want you to fuck off, and leave those of us who have decided we don’t want to risk going on a one-way trip down the wrong road the hell alone.

Don’t start that bullshit with me unless you have overwhelming scientific evidence of a better way to treat mental illness. You don’t have it now. And if you try to wave some fuckwad’s pop psychology book of bullshit in my face as proof, I may do something very Not Nice.

Then again, I might be able to contain myself. As long as I’m on my medication, it’s easier to keep my temper around sanctimonious assholes like you.

Image is a finger touching a cat's nose. Caption says, "My grumpy button. Ur pushin it."

Oh, Sochi, No!

Good job, Russia. Arresting the first openly trans* legislator in Europe for waving a “Gay is OK” flag is fantastic PR. I’m sure all the people in the world who love to persecute LGBTQ people are salivating over you right now. Those of us who are actually decent human beings, on the other hand, aren’t at all impressed.

But, actually, thank you for showing your true colors. I’d prefer you actually treat LGBTQ people like people, with the right to live and love and share this planet with us without fear, but if you’re going to be bigoted assholes, own it. Do it by arresting a trans woman for waving an innocuous flag. Not just any trans woman, mind you, but go for broke and arrest a famous one. Make sure the world sits up and takes notice.

Photograph of Vladi in profile, holding a rainbow umbrella.

Vladi Luxuria. Photo by Stefano Bolognini via Wikimedia Commons.

But I have to ask: Doesn’t it just seem a little foolish to strut your bigoted stuff in front of an audience of millions?

But then, Sochi’s been rather foolish from the beginning. Every Olympics has its problems – it’s not easy to build what basically amounts to a city in a few years, and get it right. There’s so much involved that mistakes are inevitable. But Sochi’s something special.

RQ, who knows a lot more about modern Russia than I do, had this to say about the buildings and tracks: “They probably look good on paper, but the Russian reality is even worse than the Latvian one (purposely missed rivets, cheaper materials, etc., because when you take so much for yourself, you just can’t afford all the fancy-pants materials in their proper amounts!).” Which is rather terrifying, when you think of all the building codes meant for fire, seismic and other sorts of safeties that were probably roundly ignored. Here’s hoping there’s no major disasters in the closing days of the Olympics. But considering Russia’s record on human rights and their current enthusiasm for persecuting homosexual folk, I’m rooting for an endless stream of the following mostly-minor mishaps. I do love some egg on totalitarian face.

Speaking of, if you haven’t seen them already, do check out these posts on the disastrous state of unreadiness that greeted people arriving for the Olympics. Toxic facewater and missing floors and absent elevators attempting to swallow athletes whole, oh, my.

You know, I like the geology around Sochi quite a lot. But I wouldn’t give you a pint of piss for a trip to Russia.

An Atheist at the Grand Canyon

Ah. I see someone’s living in a fantasy world. Via Steven Newton at the NCSE blog, I’ve learned that Time Magazine has a wretchedly ridiculous article up entitled “Why There Are No Atheists at the Grand Canyon.” Now, I know editors sometimes affix inaccurate and frankly absurd titles to perfectly good articles, but this one appears to be stoopid all the way down. Steven quotes the author, Jeffrey Kluger, as saying, ““there’s nothing quite like nature—with its ability to elicit feelings of jaw-dropping awe—to make you contemplate the idea of a higher power.”

I can’t bring myself to click on the damned thing. It’s for the same reason I don’t click on links to articles proclaiming the discovery of Bigfoot and other such nonsense. I know it’s nonsense, and I’m busy.

How do I know Jeffrey Kluger is full of the brown, sticky, and stinky end product of bull digestion? Because I have photographic evidence of an atheist at the Grand Canyon:

An atheist, namely moi, at the Grand Canyon. I'm standing on a lovely white bit of the Kaibab Limestone, with the whole layer-cake vista of the Canyon behind me. You can tell I'm an atheist because I am standing with a jaunty hand on my hip, rather than kneeling in awe-filled reverance. Photo courtesy Cujo359.

An atheist, namely moi, at the Grand Canyon. Photo courtesy Cujo359.

Actually, there were two of us there that day: myself, and Cujo. We were atheists then, and are atheists now. I do remember salivating heavily over all those lovely rocks, and being captivated by all that natural beauty, but not for one moment did it make me “contemplate a higher power.” The only time I did so was when I contemptuously contemplated the imagined existence thereof when I found a creationist book infesting the science section at one of the gift shops, and dropped it in disgust.

Seeing incredible natural sights like these are part of what made me an atheist. The gods many of my fellow humans currently babble about don’t seem like they could design something like this with a supercomputer and a tutor with 14 billion years in the business. And science had a bit to say about how this got here (hint: nowhere will you find a genuine scientist proclaiming god did it in the scientific literature). What geologists had pieced together and are still discovering is a fuck of a lot more interesting that any dull tingle in the human religious imagination.

I’ll tell you something: nature used to be pretty, and sometimes made me feel all numinous and tingly and stuff, but until I became an atheist, it didn’t have the power “to elicit feelings of jaw-dropping awe.” I mean, seriously, I was bored with the Grand Canyon until I gave up religion, folks. Big fat fucking hole in the ground, seen it once seen a thousand times etc. Now, I look into that chasm and see billions of years stacked up and cut through. I see nearly half the age of the earth, right there at my feet. And this is real. You might imagine you’re touching gods or something, there, Jeffrey, but I’m laying my hand on a rock and I’m touching ancient oceans. I’m touching worlds that were and will never be again. I’m a part of that saga of eons, and I know that rock and I are both made of star-stuff, and I know that none of this was ever here by divine fiat, but because from the Big Bang to the dawn of this day, things happened. The universe managed this all on its own, with no help from a divine mind, and it could’ve spun itself out in any one of a billion trillion ways, but this way happened to happen, and here we are, and it’s marvelous. And the really incredible thing, the thing that leaves me speechless with astonished delight, is the fact that we jumped-up apes are just smart enough to figure it out, all on our own.

Your gods are paltry and poor compared to that.

So yes, just as there are atheists in foxholes, there are atheists at the Grand Canyon. Sorry you missed us! We were there the whole time. You just probably couldn’t see us with that god muck fogging up your glasses.

Unfollowing Bora

I see Bora’s decided he’s spent enough time in the penalty box, and has returned to the social media world. This move was classic: mention you moved your blog from Scientific American, but fail to mention why, as if sexually harassing several women is just a minor whoops you needn’t bring up, then paste on a butthurt addendum saying you had no idea you should apologize again. That, combined with the fact he’s so pleased to have his balls lovingly sucked in public by his good buddy Anton Zuiker and assorted harassment-denying hangers-on, tells me he hasn’t learned a damned thing.

you_are_doing_it_wrongMy worst fears are thus confirmed, much to my utter and complete lack of surprise: he isn’t a man who realizes he fucked up and will do everything necessary to make amends. No, he’s a predator who’s too bloody stupid to move on to a fresh victim pool.

I’ve nothing more to say to him. There’s a smidgeon of residual appreciation rattling around for his having been the one to offer me a blog on SciAm, but his actions have definitely shrunk it. I’m still trying to scrub his stink off the walls over there, and while I’m reasonably certain I got the job by virtue of SciAm wanting another geosciences writer and me being one with the free time to do it, plus the friends to push me forward,* he’s made many other women wonder if he gave their careers a boost because he believed in them or because they gave him trouser-tingles.** That infuriates me, and his actions throughout this long saga of wrong have left me disinclined to ever welcome him back. He could have left bridges intact and possibly in crossing condition when he apologized, resigned his positions, and left. He burned them to molecules by traipsing back the way he did, as if the turning of a calendar page had made it all better.


Like Physioproffe says,

Key to demonstrating true contrition is making the following clear to those who have been wronged: (1) I respect your right to have no dealings with me, now or ever; (2) my efforts at making amends are driven not by my selfish interest in regaining the rights, privileges, and power I have lost as a consequence of my violations of trust; (3) I embrace the fact that no matter what I do, trust may never be restored, yet I still make amends and demonstrate my trustworthiness on an ongoing sustained basis.

None of which Bora has done by strutting back the way he has, demanding his victims tell him what to do if people feel he hasn’t done enough. Fuck that noise. That’s a predator’s actions, and have nothing to do with a desire to make things right.

I’ve got nothing much more to say about him that Martin Robbins hasn’t already said in a guest post on Janet Stemwedel’s excellent blog, but one thing there gave the old synapses a jog:

The three women who spoke out suddenly find themselves thrust by Bora into the unwanted position of public judge, jury and executioner, dragged into the middle of his personal redemption drama, and put under enormous public pressure by someone who remains a key community figure with 20,000+ Twitter followers. [emphasis added]

That made me realize I hadn’t unfollowed the rat bastard when he scuttled away in disgrace. I’ve remedied that, and invite you to join me. Unollow him on Twitter, uncircle him on G+, unfriend him on Facebook – clear him out of your social media feeds if, like me, you’d rather not let a predator think he can return to the flock as if all is well. If you’re in charge of conferences, don’t invite him to participate in any capacity; don’t hire him for jobs within the community; don’t offer him support or credibility. Don’t let him step into his old shoes as if nothing had happened and he won’t return to his old victimizing ways. It’s clear from his behavior that he hasn’t learned a damned thing, and will continue not to learn if we accept him back with open arms.

The only way we’re going to get through to these predatory fuckheads – or at the very least, remove their social capital in order to limit the damage they can do – is by excising them from our communities like a cancer. Show them the consequences of their actions is serious and long-lasting. Yes, even if they’re as seemingly nice and useful as Bora. Yes, even if we loved them a lot (and if they were our blogfathers), and still wish they hadn’t turned out to be such awful gits. Yes, even if they accepted some penalties, proffered a bit of an apology, and faded out of sight for a short while. Until they can demonstrate beyond reasonable doubt that they understand the gravity of their actions and are fully committed to never offending again, they need to be locked firmly out. And if we decide never to let them back in, well, them’s the tough breaks when someone’s chosen to shatter trust. Too bloody bad.

We have plenty of talent to draw on. We don’t need the predators. For the sake of the community, we need to stop letting them back in.


*If I’d been his first choice, I’d be among the doubters right now, and likely triply-furious with an extra topping of rage.

**Having read their work, I’d like to observe at this point that all of them are outstanding writers. They have nothing to doubt when it comes to being among the best writers going. They unquestionably are.

New at Rosetta Stones: Wherein I’m #standingwithDNLee

So this thing happened where the editor of a sciencey sorta website *cough Biology Online cough* decided it would be hi-larious to call a black woman an urban whore for refusing to write for his shit for free. Punchline? She’s a SciAm blogger, and SciAm won’t stand with her.

I have a thing or dozen to say about that.

I’m ashamed to be a SciAm blogger right now. But I’m proud to be #standingwithDNLee.

In Solidarity With Students, I Present Jesus -n- Mo

The following photo would be enough to get me kicked out of just about any freshers’ fair in Britain:

Jesus -n- Mo

Jesus -n- Mo

So these are two lovely rocks from the Skykomish River, and I’ve named them Jesus and Mo because it seems many religious people have not yet learned to be reasonable adults. I know, I know, this comes as quite the shock to those of us in countries where the religious majorities are oh so sensible. But for those who have not yet learned that one group’s sacred thingies are other groups’ not-at-all sacred thingies, it seems random things will need to have the names of mythological folks plastered to them until the dumbfuckery stops.

Believers: I do know your prophets and messiahs are important to you. I remember a time, brief though it was, where seeing Jesus mocked was almost physically painful. But I knew I had no damned right to demand other people refrain from offending my religious sensibilities, just as I know now that I have no right to demand religious people refrain from criticizing my philosophies. You could pass out literature at a student fair saying that atheism is a terrible idea and name a kumquat Epicurus, if you like. That’s fine. You might annoy me, I might think you’re a douchebag, but while you’ve attacked ideas that have deep meaning for me, you haven’t attacked me. So it’s up to me to discuss these ideas with you, or avoid you, or counter your ideas with my own – but you’d howl if I got your ass removed from an open venue for being a shit, wouldn’t you?

You god-botherers are in the majority just now, and you’re able to play the thug, throwing out people who offend your sensibilities. But thuggish behavior won’t earn you any sympathy: it’ll just earn you a plethora of people finding ways around you, leaving you and your narrow world views behind.

And really, what weak-ass sort of god is threatened by having the name of one of their special favorites plastered to an inanimate object? Think about what you’re saying about your god/s when you pull shit like this.

All we’re hearing is that these beings, should they exist, aren’t in the least worthy of worship. Way to win converts.


For the background on this matter, see:

LSE pounces on non-existent “Islamophobia” again

Jesus and Mo respond

Chris and Abhishek report what happened at LSE yesterday

LSE Student Union gives its version

Act 2: what happened at LSE today

Reading University has banned its atheist society. Why? Because they named a pineapple Muhammad

Atheist society harassed by student union at LSE freshers’ fair

Republicons Determined to Protect America From Menace of Health Care

Ah, yes, because the last government shutdown went sooo well for the GOP, it appears they want to try, try again. In case you didn’t care about science or kids with cancer or needy families or the economy or any of that rot, consider this: no Prelude to a Catastrophe until this is over. Nope. On account of the USGS being less important than the Cons’ determination to shut down the government over more people being able to buy health insurance. Which means photos of the Mount St. Helens eruption are unavailable.

Oh, and do keep in mind: Obamacare is up and thriving. So the Cons are basically trying to prevent something from happening that’s already happened.

They’re terrified, of course. Because once people get a taste of being able to visit a doctor AND afford to eat all at once, it will become clear to the vast majority of folks that this health care thing is sweet indeed, and that Cons have been lying to them about how horrible it all is, and they’ll remember how determined the Cons were to prevent them from getting affordable care, and suddenly the GOP’s voter pool will dry up faster than a shallow puddle in the Arizona desert in July. During a historic heatwave. Which we will also be seeing more of, courtesy of the Cons. Fantastic.

Anyway, should you happen to not believe that the Cons are this bloody evil, just incredibly stupid, keep in mind that even Michele Bachmann, who makes many of the most reality-challenged of the Cons look positively coherent in comparison, knows what the reality here is. What they’re selling to the ignorant masses is pure bullshit. They’re perfectly aware that their party is pooped if the hoodwinked manage to get a peek outside the blinders.

This, my darlings, is why people who opt to let Cons win in order to punish Democrats for not being Democrat enough infuriate me. Granted, it would be nice to push the Dems toward being actually progressive, rather than Republican Lite. However, comma, with an opposition party that, were it a person, would have been diagnosed as a psychopath and bundled off to prison for crimes against humanity long before now, there’s no fucking way I will play that sort of chicken. Don’t like it? Stop letting Cons win.

I do hope this shutdown gets the attention of all the fuckheads who’ve gone round thinking the Cons aren’t actively evil. It’s time to cut the tumor out of the body politic.Vote these douchenozzles out.

Those of you who would rather vote Republican have many fine choices. Don’t be deceived by the Ds after their names. Where the fuck did you think all the reasonable Republicans went? It sure as shit wasn’t the Bahamas.

My Carpet: A Fable

Your carpet is old and disgusting. It’s worn and torn, stained and strained. It’s filled with the remains of hairball-hurfing episodes, and smells distressingly of elderly cat urine. Babies break out in a dermatologist-defying rash whenever they crawl over it. The miasma arising from it may be causing a new sort of breathing disorder. Its indeterminate orangey-gray hue with the super-villain-creating toxic-sludge colored spots drains your happiness right out, and is probably contributing to your family’s assorted mood disorders.

“Aftermath” by A National Acrobat on Flickr

But you shouldn’t replace it. Nossir. Yes, you are suffering; yes, you could buy a new carpet and a college education with the money you are spending on doctor’s bills and air fresheners. But a person must have principles. It’s very silly and selfish of you to want a new carpet when there are people in other countries who endure the agony of living on dirt floors. No new carpet for you until everyone in the world has a carpet!

How dare you complain about what the dog did to the carpet while you were away when some people don’t even have a dog, much less a carpet?!

You are a terrible, selfish person, and every decent person should shun you. You are diluting the meaning of carpet-deprivation. You should be ashamed.

Please excuse me now – there’s a sale on carpet at Home Depot, and I’ve got to go. Well, of course, I won’t tolerate the occasional stain on my own carpet, and that color is so last year. What, why are you calling me a hypocrite? I don’t complain to the world about how awful my carpet is!


(Inspired by this bit o’ nonsense, which stands in for all of the “Dear Muslima” and “But there are starving children in Africa!” nonsense.)

Dr. Phil’s Rape Culture Goggles

Another day, another clueless dude* asking a dumbshit question about rape.

“If a girl is drunk, is it OK to have sex with her? Reply yes or no to @drphil #teensaccused” Screen cap courtesy

I heaved a weary sigh when I got the Change.Org email inviting me to sign the petition advising Dr. Phil that a) answer’s no, you dumbshit**; b) apologize; and c) air a show that advises viewers not to rape people, no, not even if they’re drunk. Not surprised? I’m having a heart attack from not surprised. Dude sods up topic of sexual assault, news at midnight because who’s gonna stay up for this predictable bullshit?

Thing is, Dr. Phil’s not only a dumbshit, he’s a terribly influential one. Oprah merely mentioning she liked a book would send her fans phoning every bookstore in the country with requests for it five seconds later. This is her pet shrink. I’ve no doubt a large contingent of the country believes rainbows shine out of his arse and that every nugget he excretes is pure genius, because Oprah likes him. He’s not just a symptom of rape culture: he’s one of it’s most powerful enablers.

Forget the fact his staff took that tweet down and blurted to some news agencies that they didn’t really mean it like that. The way the question and hashtag are phrased virtually scream to wanna-be rapists, “Yeah, you tap that passed-out pussy, bro! Go forth with Dr. Phil’s blessing, my randy son.***” They tell victims that they totes deserve it if they’re so foolish as to consume a mildly alcoholic drink when not alone in a locked panic room while wearing a burka. I don’t believe that’s what he and his staff intended – I believe it was, in their minds, “a research post in preparation for a show.” Problem is, Dr. Phil and staff had their rape culture goggles firmly screwed to their eyeballs, and it’s terribly hard to see how awful your action is when you’re wearing those. Say it with me, now: Intent is not magic.****

Alexandra at Feministing did the hard work of explaning most all that was wrong with this short, shitty tweet, under the following headings:

1. The tweet perpetuates the idea that rape is blurry.

2. The question is too simple for the problem.

3. The question assumes all victims are women.

4. The tweet focused on offenders rather than survivors.

5. Dr. Phil is concerned with “can” rather than “should.”

If you’re wondering what’s so wrong about this rape tweet, begin there. Me, I’m going to explore what’s wrong with Dr. Phil’s reaction, and his approach to this “very serious” topic generally.

Let’s have a gander at Dr. Phil’s Twitter feed, shall we? Surely, the feed that started the outrage will have a fine apology to offer.

Screen cap of Dr. Phil's Twitter feed, covering August 19th to the 22nd. Notice a distinct lack of an apology, or indeed any mention of the problem tweet at all.

Screen cap of Dr. Phil’s Twitter feed, covering August 19th to the 22nd. Notice a distinct lack of an apology, or indeed any mention of the problem tweet at all.

Dr. Phil @DrPhil

(18 hours ago) Have you experienced abuse by a stepparent? How was it resolved? Reply to @drphil with #stepparentabuse

(15 hours ago) If you have info about missing 15-year-old Erica Lynn Parsons, please call the Rowan County Sheriff at 701-216-8700.

(20 August) How young is too young to have “the talk” with your kids – and why? Reply with @drphil #pregnanttween

(20 August) Children learn what they live. | #DrPhil

(20 August) Have you ever felt alienated from one parent by your other parent? Reply to @drphil with #parentalalienation

(20 August)  Have you experienced #parentalalienation? Do you know someone who has used their child against their partner during a divorce?

Or, not.


Dr. Phil homepage screen cap 1

Dr. Phil homepage screen cap 1

And 2

And 2


Erm, nope. Not a single mention on the front page. Dear, oh dear. And it doesn’t appear there’s a newsy sort o’ thing where we can get the latest word on how Dr. Phil Fucked Up and Intends to Fix It.

Let’s search for the word “rape” and see what happens.

Rape search results, page 1.

Rape search results, page 1.

Deary, deary me. Numero Uno, Be on the Show – Know Someone Accused of Statutory Rape? My. It’s a 404 now, but sounds awfully like it was an invitation to MRAs, “ephebophiles,” and other assorted assholes to whine about how unfair it is that Dude’s in jail – sure, he was 45 and she***** was 13, but she looked older! And she was, like, totally begging for it!

Rape culture goggles again, I’m afraid.

Campus Crisis“? Let’s have a look. “Know the safety tips and warning signs…” Judging from the promo video, it’s all about tips to the victims about how not to get raped. Yay, rape culture! Let’s have a look at these “Top 5 Safety Tips,” then, and see.

Okay: “Never Walk Home Alone, Limit Alcohol, No iPod or ATM at Night, Change Your Route and Routine, Give Someone Your Schedule”…. DingDingDingDingDing! We have a rape culture winner! Ladies (cuz you know they didn’t mean dudes), here’s how not to get raped by a stranger! And it’s all your fault if you get raped trying to have a normal life! And special bonus – here’s five ways to retraumatize yourself if you screw up – remember, no conviction, no rape! Remember, girls: it’s not date rape without proof of a date rape drug being used! Also, if his wee-wee didn’t get forcibly stuck in your vee-vee, you haven’t been raped, so quit whining! Whee, rape culture, woo!

Might I suggest a new set of tips?

Sexual Assault Prevention Tips. Really like number 10: DON'T ASSAULT PEOPLE.

Sexual Assault Prevention Tips. Really like number 10: DON’T ASSAULT PEOPLE. Via A Rape Survivor’s Blog.

1. Don’t put drugs in people’s drinks in order to control their behavior.

2. When you see someone walking by themselves, leave them alone!

3. If you pull over to help someone with car problems, remember not to assault them!

4. NEVER open an unlocked door or window uninvited.

5. If you are in an elevator and someone else gets in, DON’T ASSAULT THEM!

6. USE THE BUDDY SYSTEM! If you are not able to stop yourself from assaulting people, ask a friend to stay with you while you are in public.

7. Always be honest with people! Don’t pretend to be a caring friend in order to gain the trust of someone you want to assault. Consider telling them you plan to assault them. If you don’t communicate your intentions, the other person may take that as a sign that you do not plan to rape them.

8. Don’t forget: you can’t have sex with someone unless they are awake!

9. Carry a whistle! If you are worried you might assault someone “on accident” you can hand it to the person you are with, so they can blow it if you do.

10. Don’t assault people.

Rather more sensible advice, targeting the correct part of the population. Shame Dr. Phil doesn’t seem to know about it.

I can hardly bear to look further, but it’s like a gruesome accident scene. Let’s see what Dr. Phil’s got to say about Steubenville. I think I can already tell by the title – Football, Booze and Bad Behavior just screams “those naughty boys will be boys with some slutty girl” – but bennie of the doubtie, they’re always telling me.

Dr. Phil sez, “Where the hell are the adults in this situation? Why isn’t there supervision? Why do they feel so safe that they can talk about this so openly?” Way to go, Dr. Phil. Let’s parse what you’re saying: People have no responsibility not to rape – it’s up to Mommy and Daddy to stop them cuz boyz will be boyz, amirite? Oh, and the real problem is the fact the boys felt cool bragging about it – rapists naughty children should show some decorum.

Joyous. Dr. Phil’s on the same page as this prosecutor. Gee, I wonder why rape victims are reluctant to report?

And my gosh, those poor friends of the accused in the last few paragraphs! People are being meeean to them, just for standing by rapists their buddies! (Death threats, assuredly, are not okay no matter who they’re aimed at. Neither is erasing the victim and perpetuating rape culture, Dr. Phil.)

Looking through the rape search results, the impression is overwhelming that Dr. Phil is your typical male middle-American asshat. Male rape victims are almost completely erased, as if they couldn’t possibly exist. Rape is pretty much stranger rape, unless it was some dude actually drugging a chick he knows (alcohol doesn’t count), or someone like an evil relative or family friend preying on the kiddies. Date Rape = girl drank too much, boys couldn’t help themselves, guess you’ll know better next time, eh, sweetheart? Rape victims are responsible for protecting themselves against rape, but heaven forfend we tell rapists not to rape! And then he marvels at the number of college men who don’t think rape is rape? Oh, puh-leez.

Dr. Phil: you’re part of the reason people (not just men!) are unclear on the concept. You’re a huge part of the problem.


So, yeah. Well past time he did something to set that right.

Petition’s here. And do feel free to tweet Dr. Phil. The more people telling him this shit must stop, the better the chances he’ll realize it’s time to remove the rape goggles. Let’s hope he can do better than some skeptics we know.



*Sometimes dudette, but most often a certified dude.*


***Don’t talk to me about women also being capable of rape – talk to Dr. Phil.

**** Those hard-of-understanding people might also wish to try reading this succinct explanation as to why intent is not, in fact, magic.

*****I know, I know, but in Dr. Phil’s world, there is no xe, only she. And possibly he if the details are salacious and the teacher hot enough.


[notice] Hola, new commenters! Please do peruse the comment policy thoroughly before you expend valuable time sharing your thoughts. Or tl;dr: I reserve the right to drop asshats in the trash without a second glance. Bad behavior elsewhere will also get you instabanned here. Not an asshat or someone who’s been kicked out of other places for bad behavior? Then you’re probably cool. Thanks for reading![/notice]

Dear Survivors

This is the truth I’d like you to place in front of you right now, where you can see it: you survived. You did what you had to in order to survive the assault or abuse or other horrible thing that happened to you, changing your status from “one of the lucky ones” to “survivor.” You got through a situation that could have completely destroyed you. That alone is a triumph. May not feel like one, but you’re here and breathing because you found a way to survive.


That’s something other people don’t get to take away from you. Not ever.

Now. You may have noticed a contingent of shitwads who think your survival technique is something they get to judge, like this is some kind of Olympic sport where you get a score based on how flawless your performance was. They’ve generally never been there, done that, but they would’ve handled your situation totes different and you should have done x-y-z and not done a-b-c, just like they would. And they’ve never been in a situation like yours or really listened to people who came through similar, but they’re self-appointed experts in what you should have done then and should be doing now; how you, the survivor, should act and behave and feel.

Fuck ‘em.

And there are some survivors who’ve decided Their Way is the True and Only Way™. They went through this one similar thing once, and that has made them The World Experts in Surviving All The Shit®. They’ve got a list, and they tick off what you did wrong, clucking their tongues and murmuring in severe tones that You Are Not a True Survivor™.

Fuck them, too.

Survival isn’t one of Plato’s perfect Ideas, which all should emulate. There’s no one and only way of surviving. This isn’t a fucking contest. There is no standard set by a panel of Expert Survivors that you have to measure up to.

This little tree needs no one's approval, just a place to put down roots and fight to survive.

This little tree needs no one’s approval, just a place to put down roots and fight to survive.

You survived. That’s it. That’s the one fact that matters. The way you did it doesn’t invalidate that fact. No matter how you pulled it off – whether it was fighting like fury or not fighting at all; memorizing every detail or sending your mind to a safe place; screaming, staying silent, or cracking jokes – you made it. You did what you had to do. You did what was right for you, did the best you could, and now you’re here. The shitlords who think their opinions matter can go piss against a stiff wind in winter.

All right, and now you’re taking back your life. How you’re doing it isn’t any of their fucking business. They have zero say in your decisions. They don’t get to set the Gold Standard, no matter how much they think so. Their opinion has as much weight as a warm fart on Pluto. It matters about as much as whether someone had Grey Poupon or French’s mustard on the sandwich they ate before getting squashed by a semi. They don’t get to expect jack shit from you.

Fuck ‘em. Do it your way.

If you need to become a virtual hermit in order to cope, then that’s what you do. Maybe you visit a therapist twice a week. Maybe later, maybe never. Maybe you let yourself scream. Or cry. Or laugh. Or all of the above, simultaneously. Take self defense classes, or learn how to build things in bottles. Only venture out to coffee-shop poetry readings, or go clubbing. Hang out quietly in a back corner, or crowd surf. Never let another human being touch you, or go for all the touching you can get. Spend years working through the sexual issues you were left with by consulting a counselor, or going out and having as much sex as you can. Wear fourteen layers of clothing in summer, or go with virtually none. Take years to recover, or pretty much take it in stride. Treat the subject with utmost seriousness, or unleash every bit of black humor you can conjure. And etc., in any combination, any point(s) in the spectrum, at your own pace.

You get to decide what you need. You decide how you’ll react. You will go about this in a fashion unique to you, because you’re you, and no one has any right to tell you how you should and shouldn’t survive.

There is no Authentic Survivor™ to live up to. Other people may act like there is, but they speak from their sphincter. Those of us who aren’t dumbfuck judgmental assholes will tell them to flush it. Their opinion belongs in a cesspit, not society.

You just get on with the surviving, your way, all the way. Do what you need to do to take back what was stolen, as much as that’s possible. Do what it takes to reclaim your power. Proceed in any fashion necessary to make yourself reasonably whole. No one else gets to dictate the method and means of your survival.


Your fellow survivor,


A little tree that is attempting to thrive in very hostile conditions: the Big Obsidian Flow, Newberry Crater, Oregon. It's found its own way to survive.

A little tree that is attempting to thrive in very hostile conditions: the Big Obsidian Flow, Newberry Crater, Oregon. It’s found its own way to survive.


P.S. None of the above should be interpreted as deterring you from getting help should you need it. Genuine help is great! And you’ll know it when you see it, even if it takes you a little while to recognize it. Unhelpful arseclowns, on the other hand, should be fairly simple to spot, and you can do safely without their brand of “help.”