I’ve been in a ranting mood all day. And it’s time to rant so I stop obsessing about it all. Here we go.
Sexism in the Olympics
This started pissing me off, specifically yesterday. There’s a big kerfuffle with the Olympics, specifically a swimmer from China named Ye Shiwen. See, she swam good in the 400 Individual Medley. So good, in fact, she beat the American Male Gold Medal winning swimmer Ryan Lochte on the last 50m freestyle leg of the event. So, naturally, she must be doping.
What the hell? People jumped to this assumption because she’s a female. Who beat a man. Because no woman could ever beat a man at something sportsy, right? Bull shit. It’s sexism. Flat out. Now people are saying hey, look, she did way better than she ever did before. And now since she passed the doping test, well, there are ways around that of course and no one believes the doping tests. Keep on moving the goalposts.
Now, is anyone asking if Ryan Lochte, who set the world record, is doping because he can swim faster than me? No. This is sexism in action. People are demanding she do the impossible – she prove a negative – “Prove to us you didn’t dope.” And why is all this attention on this poor 16, SIXTEEN, year old? Because she beat a man.
Earlier today I was checking the NBC Olympics site to see who was medaling that day, and an American won the Womans Road Timed Trial in cycling. So I clicked on the name to see who won. And then clicked on her little profile page on NBC Olympics. Her name is Kristin Armstrong. And she won the gold medal last year in the same race. And after noticing her age (almost 40! You go.) I checked out the little 3 bullet points which I assume NBC thinks are the most important things to know about her. The second point? “Is not Lance Armstrong’s ex-wife.” That’s right, this two time Gold Medal Winning American athlete who is a year shy of 40….the most important thing to know about her? She’s not Lance Armstrong’s ex wife. More bullshit sexism.
Racism rears its ugly head in Atlanta, of all places. Shock.
Yesterday we had a big election in Georgia which most others across the nation probably could care less about, but it got ugly. It was a vote on whether there should be a 1 cent sales tax and use the funds for transportation projects. Called TSPLOST (Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax. I won’t be repeating that.) Atlanta metro is widely known for our craptacular traffic, indeed, businesses have not relocated to Atlanta metro because of it. It’s terrible. So they split the state into these regions and have the regions come up with transportation projects, and come together to fund them through a 1 cent sales tax. It was doomed from the start, although it shockingly passed in a couple regions across Georgia. But it bombed badly in Atlanta.
Why? About a billion reasons. But lets face it, there’s just no way a tax would get approved in Tea Party Happy Northern Suburbs of Atlanta. Not a chance. And some groups like the Sierra Club, all probable 52 members in Georgia, came out against it because there wasn’t enough rail, and the NAACP in Dekalb came out against it because no rail for South Dekalb. South Dekalb county certainly deserves a rail line, and ought to have one. And I certainly wish the plan had more rail, but come on people, this was the best shot we had at getting any rail. IT’S GEORGIA. Wake up. Now the GOP Governor and GOP Legislature will decided it all in Georgia, and there’s no shot in hell any rail will be passed. That was just a dumb political move. But that’s now why I’m angry. I’m angry because even if those groups had on board, even WITH major businesses in Atlanta that were pushing it, it still had no shot in hell.
And why? I present to you, this quote, from this article in the AJC, posted last night after the vote was called.
“Deeper insecurities were at play as well. A poll conducted by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution last year found that 42 percent of respondents believed new mass transit brings crime.”
My head exploded at this. It’s racism rearing its ugly head in just a different form. White flight. It’s why Cobb doesn’t have MARTA – afraid of black people. That’s right – people are going to take the subway and steal your TV and, uh, carry it back on the subway. What utter and total horse shit. It’s because the Northern Suburbs, where I live and work, are afraid of black people. It’s bullshit racism, and it deserves to be labeled as such. A rail system is never going to happen in Metro Atlanta as long as there’s that sort of racist attitudes in a ring surrounding Atlanta. This quote still infuriates me, and for fear of dropping dead of a stroke before I finish ranting about everything I want to rant about, I’m moving on to a different topic.
Homophobia and Chik-fulla-Hate
Ok, before today I didn’t care much about the Chik-Fil-A flap. Yes, bad Kinsi, but I just didn’t. But after today, LOOK OUT I’m never shopping there again. I don’t really know how big of a story this is elsewhere, but in Atlanta, its all everywhere because this is where Chik-fil-A and Bigotry both have their homes.
I don’t care what Cathy said. I don’t. He does have every right to say whatever stupid things he wants. What I take issue with are the donations Chik-Fil-A made as a company towards anti-equality groups. I’m not going to shop there so my money can be used to directly deny me rights.
This whole Freedom of Speech issue is likewise bullshit. That’s not why most folks are angry, and now why I’m angry. It’s the donations made under the Chik-Fil-A name. And look how it’s Freedom of Speech issues when defending Chik-fil-A, but folks calling for protests apparently don’t have that right. And believe you me, this would not have been a big deal if it hadn’t been an election in about two months that social conservatives are freaked out about. Stop being pawns in their political games and buying into this Freedom of Speech argument.
But nothing says southern hospitality like people lining up at the doors to deny you rights! Way to go. I’m never eating at Chik-fil-A again after today, whereas before today I probably would have after I eventually forgotten about it. Suffice to say, I’ll never be able to forget this. And go read this article about Gay Employees at Chik-Fil-A. I can sympathize.
Also, on this homophobia front, turns out one of my students? Fan of Santorum. And Bachman because her parents are. And it’s clearly because of social issues because there’s no other reason anyone would ever support them. I had to bite my tongue since it’s most likely anti-gay at play. I hate not being able to be out at my job. It’s not like I want to march through my company in a tutu, I just want to be able to Not. Be. Afraid. Of. Being. Fired. Please, can we pass a national ENDA somehow? If I’m sad about anything instead of being angry about it, it’s this. Sigh.
And to add to my general feelings of rage? A car hit mine. While I had been parked, inside the lines. For five hours. Happened at work, and suddenly while I’m finishing up teaching some SAT Critical Reading some cops come in and asked if I was me. Uh. Yes. And then told me a car hit mine. Gave the kids some work to do and followed the good cops outside and sure enough, it was nothing like I had feared. Yes, some ass hit my car and bolted – a hit and run – but there’s just a couple dents and big black marks but it’s totally drivable and all and honestly, I bet the damage runs even with my deductible. Still, we’ll see how this whole process goes. Insurance stuff in process – first time I had to deal with this since I’ve owned my own car.
Now, the bright spots in this day of rage?
Lets start with the car. There was a witness. The witness got a pic of the car (no license) and a description of a driver. The witness went door to door in the strip mall, looking for me, the owner of the car, while the police were en route. (The front desk people didn’t know I drive a Camry, well, they do now.) He stayed the half hour it took for the police to find me (after they ran my tag and went door to door asking for me by name) and that’s just pretty great. He looked to be about 23ish. Good kid. So we’ll see if they catch the guys – doubtful with no plate – but still, they know it was a tan pickup truck at least. Thanks witness. Wish I had asked for your name and taken you out for a drink in retrospect. The cops were ALSO quite nice, and turns out the cop I know that works for the city in question is actually these cops’ supervisor. Small world.
And I’ve seen all kinds of straight friends posting how outraged they were about Chik-Fulla-Hate today. Including some folks from back in high school. And seeing, reading, their anger and sorrow today helped make a crappy day quite a bit better.
So, there we go. Hopefully tomorrow will now be rant free as I hopefully got it all out of my system.