You Just Need to Step In Line

I never understood the need for stepping in line or blind loyalty. My most treasured friends aren’t the ones who just back me up; they are the ones that question me. They don’t just tell me I’m right because they think that’s what being a good friend is. They tell me the truth because they know that’s what being a friend is. My friends don’t just step in line and nor do I.

That’s what makes this whole thing with Liz Cheney so amazing and appalling to me. Do I agree with her politics? Not usually. Do I think that she should be punished for not bowing down? No. This is freaking America. The land of the “free”. A good politician doesn’t bow down to the president (or former) because of their standing in the party. A good politician questions the things that they don’t support. They are supposed to challenge the president. They are supposed to challenge each other. Politics shouldn’t be about stepping in line and following the “Supreme Leader”… because this is America, not an absolute monarchy or dictatorship. I would have more trust in a politician that questions their party’s leader than I would one that just bows down and kisses the ring.

This is why our country is in such trouble right now. Both sides have their blind loyalists that refuse to see what’s really going on. They don’t care that they are further isolating the Independents, the ones who actually think freely, because those are wild cards. Instead, they decide to focus their efforts on brainwashing the ones that they can into blind loyalty and enjoying that rabid base of followers. It’s been effective so far because no one seems to care that this is going on. They just eat the pebbles of food offered by “their party” and think that they are perfection and the answer to all of our problems. But they’re not the answer. Because they don’t want to be the answer. Being the answer is not quite as profitable.

A point that I keep mentioning is this: they don’t care about you. Why blindly follow a political group that would so quickly sell you out to their donors? That’s why I don’t follow a political party. They just want their cushy no term limits jobs where they can just make a fortune and do nothing all day but bicker about how the other party is the party of obstructionists. And that’s what they get paid for. Not to do their jobs and make the lives of the American people who put their trust them better.

Stop stepping in line. Stop blindly following political parties and politicians that actually don’t care about you. They want the power and money, not to improve your lives. Start fighting for things like making them work for the minimum wage that they want us to work for. Fight for term limits. Hell, I’d say even get rid of the 2-party system. Because what we have right now just isn’t working.

The One Time You Were Rooting for a Blackface Scandal

I’ll be the first to admit my overall disdain with about 99% of all “news” personalities. I’m not a fan of anyone on MSNBC. Definitely not a fan of most people on Fox News. The only reason I default to CNN is because they are the least annoying. Meaning, I can make it through most segments with eyerolls of disgust rather than getting enraged at watching what is unfolding in front of me. Don’t tell me any one of them are any less biased than the other. Because I don’t buy it. They all have their agenda that they are paid to push on the viewers. I’m just not dumb enough to buy what any of them are selling. As someone who has aspired to stick to journalistic integrity, when I’m not writing an opinion piece like my blog, I can see the big picture of both sides. My nasty habit of being able to effectively play devil’s advocate is something that definitely pisses off my husband. But it’s a necessary skill if you are going to write something unbiased.

…which definitely won’t be the case today. Because I’ve mentioned a few times on my blog my particular disdain with someone who is so far right that… I don’t even know where I’m going with it. The fact that so many people blindly follow this wildly incapable toddler amazes me.

Recently, social media (particularly left leaning sites) latched onto a commentary by Tucker Carlson complaining that someone stole a yearbook or something and he was obviously getting ahead of the story. I, for one, never thought I would be rooting for a blackface scandal. Maybe that would be the one thing that took down this mediocre “personality” (can you even be a personality if you lack one that didn’t buy you?). I waited, eagerly anticipating it. Not because I thought that his fans would care that he did blackface. Not that I thought that someone like him would care or understand why blackface isn’t great. But because maybe, just maybe, I wouldn’t have to hear about him again.

Then the Twitter trend #TuckerYearbook happened and I was so excited. I jumped on that, ready to gleefully see that beautiful display of racism. Would he fully dedicate to it as Justin Trudeau did, with full body blackface? Would it just be a dark face? Would he go super racist old school with the blackface everywhere but around his eyes and mouth? I couldn’t wait. Until, it wasn’t a blackface scandal at all.

All the yearbook showed was what any sane person could already see: he was a racist homophobe that never quite grew out of the awkward teenage phase. (Which explains all of the angst we currently see from him.) I mean. Was that a shock? Blackface… blackface takes people down. Admittedly being a racist homophobe when most people can obviously see that already? That’s not earth-shattering journalism. That’s clickbait that raises your hopes for something really good, but only tricking you into clicking 20 pages to see why “Blue is the coolest color.” (It is.)

Call me when we see him in blackface. Otherwise, maybe he’ll just say something so awful that even the people who still somehow watch him will walk away and he can go into Alex Jones oblivion.

It’s All Fun and Games Until They Come Home Republican

The point of the title is shock factor. That offensive commentary that people will either dismiss without reading, hate read assuming I mean it, or love read because they assume I mean it. The other day, a good friend of mine posted a meme on social media, which said something along the lines of “I don’t care if my kid is gay or trans or whatever. But let them come home Republican…” I laughed. I laughed because I would have laughed even if the other part of the meme replaced “Republican” with “Democrat”. The joys of being a lowly independent in the middle of the bickering.

But at the core of the meme, I don’t agree with the message. Now if my kid came home an alt-righter conspiracy nut that follows Q, I’d have some issues with that. I’d still love the kid, but holy Jesus, would I not be happy about it. But coming home Republican? Just do you, bruh. At the core of my principles is to just let people be. If they aren’t hurting anyone else and following the law, I honestly don’t care. I don’t care who you love and want to marry. I don’t care if you think getting an abortion is the right choice for you. I’m not gay nor would I have an abortion. Just because I don’t feel morally right about having an abortion, that doesn’t mean my beliefs should be pushed onto others. I’m pro others to have that choice. I’m straight, that doesn’t mean everyone else should be. People just gotta live their lives. What consenting adults do in the privacy of their home is their business, not mine.

I don’t care if someone is a Republican as long as they don’t push that belief system on me. I don’t care if someone is a Democrat, as long as they don’t push that belief system on me. I don’t care what religion you are, you can see the pattern here, as long as they don’t push that belief system on me. There’s enough crap going on in the world than worrying about which side of the aisle the other person is on. Though, I would argue that the fact that people take sides of the aisle is at the very core of the problems today. Why does it always have to be an “Us vs. Them” argument?

I remember one time, someone asked me if I was a Democrat or a Republican. I replied, “Neither. I like to think I’m somewhere in the middle.” The person laughed at me, saying it was because I couldn’t make a decision and wanted to stay neutral, as if because I was a woman that I didn’t have my own opinion. I responded back, “No, it’s because I realize that both sides have great points. When you can see things from another perspective, you’ll see the solutions are always somewhere in the middle.” He laughed at me again, completely dismissing my statement. He said that I had to choose a side.

Why do I have to choose a side? Why are there even sides to choose? Why can’t we just be what we are without having to put labels on it, so that people can organize us into pretty little boxes together? I’ve been very vocal about my opinions about abolishing a two-party system. I think that there should be more candidates debating than just the Republican or Democrats. Up until this last election, I’ve never even voted for a major party candidate. (I still don’t regret my choice, yet.) I’ve also consistently pointed out that they like us better divided because without us coming together, the extremes on both sides are better able to control us and how we think.

We could let this stay the way it is. We could continue bickering for no reason because we are the only ones who lose by doing this. America is the only thing that loses.

When You Just Want to Lash Out

I live in a neighborhood like many others. You have some great neighbors and then you have those inconsiderate ones who make your life miserable. Like say, for instance, they park their car illegally blocking a sidewalk and impeding on your driveway against a yellow curb and leave their car there for days on end. Then cops drive by said illegally parked car and do nothing. Then you can’t call the cops because your neighbors tend to get aggressive and make the neighborhood feel unsafe if you cross their ability to do whatever the hell they want. I’ve already made that mistake once. As my youngest son nearly fell into the car, since it blocks the sidewalk we and the other neighborhood kids use to get to and from school/bus stops, my oldest said “It’s kinda of a cool looking car. It would be a shame if someone towed it.” I narrowed my eyes, angrily, as dealing with people blocking the driveway and sidewalk for the past 4 months wasn’t annoying enough (expletive alert, and there will probably be a few more), my response was: “It’d be a shame if someone smashed their fucking tail lights.”

I wouldn’t actually smash the tail lights, though I’m not sure it’s because I can’t afford the lawsuit or because despite this pent up rage that I have for my neighbors, I was brought up to not feed into these violent and aggressive impulses that I admittedly fantasize about. Such as, smashing an asshole’s tail lights because I’m tired of the B.S. It wouldn’t set a good example for them if I did anyways, and going to jail wouldn’t work for me.

Sometimes you want to lash out. (And I don’t mean to compare my situation to the one I’m about to address.) Sometimes it just becomes too much. You’re tired of seeing these things on the news. You’re haunted by imagery of a cop kneeling on the neck of a guy pleading for help. Criminal or not, that imagery is horrifying and unacceptable and I honestly understand why people are lashing out. They’ve had enough of this madness. I’ve had enough of it. Every time that I hear a story like that or an elderly Asian person just being a random target of a hate crime, I just want to lash out. I want to scream. I do have an urge to cause some destruction because it’s completely normal to want someone else to feel the pain and anger that you do. I don’t mean that I think it’s okay to set the world on fire. But, I mean, sometimes you just want to set the world on fire. Because maybe from those ashes, we can create something better than it was.

If you can’t tell the difference between a taser and a gun, which I imagine has such a significant weight difference, in the heat of the moment, maybe you just shouldn’t be a cop. If you think it’s okay to shoot to kill first and ask questions/answer them yourself later, you probably shouldn’t be a cop. This goes without saying, but if you have any ounce of racism or hate in your heart, you probably shouldn’t be a cop. If you don’t want your douchey Ford Mustang towed, maybe you shouldn’t be an ass and park it illegally. Actions have consequences, some far worse than others. And at some point, people need to pay the piper for their actions.

The point of all this is that sometimes people want to lash out. Sometimes this lashing out is worse than others, just because frustration has a nasty way of just building up until you inevitably just boil over. When people have been legitimately wronged, they can only take so much before they finally lash out. Sometimes it’s by writing angry words in the hopes of inspiring change. Sometimes it’s smashing things. Sometimes it’s taking those risks and actions that they didn’t think that they were capable of because they no longer care about the consequences. Because why should they care about the consequences when no one else seems to/enforces them?

It’s Been One Wild Year

It’s been about a year now since the world was set on fire. I mean, I guess I would argue that it was starting on this path of wildfire years ago, but this is when the dumpster fire first started. Schools started to close. Panic shopping started to be a thing. I remember at the beginning of this, when they said, “This will require everyone to work together to get through” my immediate thought was that we were screwed. We have to rely on other people to do the right thing and we can just be done with this? This will be Walking Dead by the end of the year.

It’s been a year, hasn’t it? Here’s what I’ve learned during that time.

  • When you rely on a community to come together and they do, magic happens. The schools came together to make sure the community was fed. Groups made food boxes for families hit hardest by the pandemic. It was incredible to see and gave me just a little bit of faith that humanity wasn’t too far gone quite yet.
  • Also, when you rely on a community to come together, you’re going to be very disappointed. “Masks kill!” runs rampant, preventing people from doing the very basic thing for themselves and their community to keep everyone safe. Then, a virus becomes a full-blown pandemic that kills over 530,000 people just in America alone.
  • Stupidity does reign supreme and you just need a few idiots to ruin everything.
  • Logic is not people’s friend; nor are facts and science.
  • We can’t trust those in power to protect us because they don’t care about us.
  • Political and ideal divisions will literally kill people.
  • This went on far longer than it should have. It wasn’t that hard to just wear masks, people.
  • Teachers and nurses deserve far more credit than they get on a regular basis. (I didn’t just learn this because these are 2 professions I’ve always held in very high regard. Just for the time being at least, other people have started to realize that these professions are the backbone of our society.)
  • I was right to not go into teaching. I have such little patience for it that I would just lose my mind.
  • People are far more selfish than I ever thought that they could be. (See: “It wasn’t that hard to just wear masks, people.)

There are more important lessons that we learned here, far more important than that I learned to make bread and many other great recipes much like everyone else who spent quarantine mastering new cooking skills. The most important lessons should be just how great things can be when we just come together to make things happen. Communities that came together and supported each other through this crisis are the ones that thrived. The most selfish of those communities were hit the hardest. That should have been something that we take away and learn from so that we can become better as a society.

… I don’t have faith that will happen. But I suppose one can hope?

Let’s take what we learned from this year and strive to be better together.

United States of AMErica: One Nation, Under Oneself

Browsing through social media, a place that has caused me more anger than “real life”, I saw someone say that people don’t wear masks because we live in “AMErica”. I chuckled. It was a bit clever. I enjoyed it. But this idea stuck in my head, for all the wrong reasons. It made sense. It was witty because it was beyond true. We have become a country that is more concerned with our own self-serving purposes than helping our neighbors. It’s about selfies to show off “looked cute, might delete later” for the sole purpose of likes and compliments. It’s about taking a photo of you helping someone, when it was just a photo op without any real kindness or intention to help. Once the camera is off, they go back into their luxury cars proud of their “good deed” plastered all over social media.

Think about this for a minute: What issues have been caused by this “Me First” approach? I’ll go with the obvious one first: the pandemic. “But I don’t want to wear a mask. I’ll get asthma if I do and I searched around 20 different websites before I found the one unscrupulous medical ‘professional’ to prove I’m right! You’re all sheeple that are being controlled by the fear-mongering liberals. Don’t wear masks! Don’t follow guidelines!” Spoiler: I’m no medical expert, but they said the longer that people had this mindset and did whatever they wanted because it’s “Me, me, me”, the longer we stayed in this mess. This “Me First” policy has kept us in this situation where over a half a million people in America died and still following these same guidelines a year later. It just involved people doing something for the greater good to get over this quicker, but freedoms and liberties or something. Whatever. Me First.

In a lesser, but equally important context, the concept of offensiveness. When Dr. Seuss’ estate stopped publishing books that even the author himself said was racist (also key point here: the estate stopped publishing the books not the government), it suddenly became this “I don’t see how this can be offensive.” “I don’t find it offensive at all.” First of all, I didn’t even know those books existed until this happened and I’m willing to bet most of the outraged people didn’t either. Secondly, if an Asian person (like I don’t know, my husband) points out why it’s offensive, I believe him. When your kid is called “chinky” or won’t get played with because he’s “Chinese looking”, I understand why that imagery of Asian people is offensive. When I pointed this out on Facebook to someone who says “I’m not sure why an Asian guy wearing an Asian hat eating with chopsticks” is offensive and people still don’t get it, it’s because they don’t care to get it. Because the fact that it’s offensive to someone else is irrelevant to them. Because it’s “Me First”. They were told to be offended by people being offended and by golly, they are going to be loud and ignorant about it!

I don’t remember it being like this growing up. But now I realize why my heart gets happy when I see something on social media about how someone bought their coffee order for them or paid for their breakfast tab at a restaurant. It’s because at some point, we have become so numb and oblivious of this descent into selfishness and self-serving ideals that these stories of people just being decent-freaking-human beings is hero-worthy these days. These people are being kind, and are rightfully complimented for their anonymous good acts. Hilariously, the biggest people applauding these special moments are the people who seem to be mostly about “Me First”. Do as you say?

The point is, we can be better than this by listening. Maybe instead of just letting someone tell you “cancel culture” (hilarious note: think of all the banned books in predominately Republican states before ranting about cancel culture), maybe take some time to see maybe why someone finds it offensive. Because it matters to them. Even if it seems ridiculous to you, maybe there’s a valid reason that you didn’t consider. Maybe if medical professionals say “wearing a mask would end this thing”, you should just suck it up and wear a mask. Because freedom doesn’t mean that you get to tell everyone else to eff off because you don’t want to be told what to do. Imagine the crappy world we’d live in if that were the… oh.. wait.

The Real Problem is That You’re Shocked

All last week, all we kept hearing about is Ted Cruz went on vacation. Honestly, I was more offended at the amount of people who harped on this for so long. Not because what he did was acceptable for a person on the (partially) tax payer dime, who should be working for the people. But because they were seemingly shocked that he doesn’t care about the people he’s supposed to work for. In fact, I think any time that people are shocked that _____ (insert politician here) didn’t do something with the best interests of the people in mind, I’m shocked that people don’t pay enough attention. Or, they are just complaining for the sake of complaining. I take my normal stance on things like this: I would respect him more for standing his ground and just staying on vacation rather than feigning a sense of duty because people were mean on social media.

This isn’t a point about arguing whether or not Ted Cruz did the right thing or anything about a specific politician. (Though, I mean, fine for your family to go but as a politician, you have a duty to your constituents to at least pretend to care.) The point is that people are somehow shocked that politicians don’t care about them. They care about the people who pay them the most; the corporations and lobby groups. We are nothing to them, unless we are rich donors that have some significant problem that money can easily buy away. That makes me wonder then: are we the problem or are they? I would argue that we are the problem.

Politicians shouldn’t be politicians because they want riches and power; they should have a sense of duty and commitment to their constituents. You know, the people who have voted for them because they believed that they were going to do the right thing. Because they believed that this person was going to help make a positive impact on not just their family, but their community or even society as a whole. Or, they just voted for that letter next to their name, because they are ride or die with whatever group they are associated with regardless of their actual beliefs.

I would argue that we are the problem because as a collective society, we are the ones who keep voting these people into power. We are the ones who care more about political affiliations than principles. We are the ones saying that this behavior is acceptable every time that we ignore things like, I don’t know so I’m pulling this out of nowhere, inciting an insurrection and allowing people to continue to believe a lie just to get votes. We are the ones who ignore their misdeeds because “blue no matter who” or “red or we dead” (I don’t know, there’s got to be some saying for them but I just don’t know it.) We are the ones who do not expect more from our elected officials, at any level really.

I would also argue that at this point, we are too far gone. People have drawn their lines in the sand and don’t care about anything else. As long as those people dig in, certain that there are only 2 belief systems and that it’s us vs. them, we’re screwed. Our only hope is that the future generations learn the lessons from us, that most of the time the answer is somewhere right in the middle. That political extremism and making enemies with people just because their ideals are a little different are the real problems. We need to be more accepting. We need to listen, even when we think we are right. Because, the other person also thinks that they are right. And most of the time the answer is somewhere in the middle.

To Impeach or Not to Impeach: Part 2?

I will admit, I wasn’t entirely a fan of the first impeachment proceedings. Did he do what they said? I argued this point way back when I wrote about the first impeachment. I argued that it didn’t matter if he did; he wouldn’t be convicted because it was a relatively minor offense and the Republicans would never actually convict. I argued that it was a waste of time and tax payer money. No one would take it seriously, especially since up to that point people were calling for his impeachment before he even took his oath. Did I like him and think he should have been elected? No, I thought he was a criminal and at least as questionable as Hilary was, so I believed neither had any business being in office. But, to root for his failure was to root for America to fail and I just couldn’t get behind that idea.

Now, we are coming upon a second impeachment trial. Do I still think it’s a waste of time? In a way, yes. Unless people grow a spine, he’s not going to be convicted. Party before country is the new belief that these politicians have, where they worship their leader and never question anything. I wasn’t raised that way. And I absolutely think he should be convicted this time, whereas last time I wasn’t really sure what to think. Whether or not I believe that he incited the capital riots during that rally, his behaviors leading up to that point were enough to have me sold. Instead of peddling lies, he could have took the loss like a man. Not like my kid who doesn’t want to admit that he ate the last of my Flamin’ Hot Doritos, going with the “deny, deny, deny” approach. I get it; no one wants to admit failure. But at what cost?

In this case, the cost was our potential freedom.

We have an election process in place, one that even his own judges said was valid and not illegitimate. There was no fix or fraud. The only difference is that more people had the ability to vote due to the ability to mail in their ballots. I have skipped “minor” elections as my polling place is 2 miles away from my home because it was too much of a hassle to get there and park where there’s hardly any parking. It just isn’t worth it. I didn’t vote in our mayoral race for that reason. I’m not here to argue about whether or not they should continue allowing it to be easier for people like me to vote. (Spoiler: every legal American has the right to legally vote.)

Had he admitted that he lost and that the election was fair, this entire situation could have been avoided. We wouldn’t have our nation’s capital barricaded like a war zone as the National Guard, FBI, capital police, and local police walking around as if everyone is the enemy looking to take down the core of our democracy. They wouldn’t want to see everything burn. They would just sulk away as those who claimed Hilary was robbed did when Trump was sworn in. Did they complain afterwards? Yes, but I didn’t think they were going to ever try to kill political rivals. They were just whiny people that spent their energy complaining.

But he didn’t. Then, you could potentially argue that his tweets and his rallies after this point only dumped gasoline on this fire. Did his rally prior to the vote certification inspire an insurrection or was it a combination of everything prior to that and then the rally was the final straw? Was this all planned out? I think so. I honestly think so.

But it doesn’t matter. Because facts don’t matter to his dedicated believers, those who look at President Trump as a messiah. It doesn’t matter that the election wasn’t actually fraudulent; they were told it was therefore it was. The Republican senators have a choice to follow suit, keeping their votes safe and secure by staying in line with their messiah whether they are actually believers or not. Or, they could stand up for what’s right. To put the country ahead of the party. And until politicians start putting America first rather than their party, this country will never get better. They are governing for all of us and it’s about time that both parties start remembering that.

It’s Like Beating a Dead Horse

Last week, I wrote about a city councilman who… well… you can catch up here. There are some interesting things that have come up, which I’ll detail with both disgust and sarcasm later on. As well as a further explanation of, not that most level-headed people need it, why what he said was so awful.

The first point is this: there’s nothing the city can do about it. There is no way to remove him from office, or any other corrupt politician in office. This might have been mere oversight, but in 2005 our mayor was in legal trouble for taking bribes and was later convicted. Spoiler: there was nothing that they could do with him except let him finish his term.

You would think, and I could be absolutely wrong and even viewed as unintelligent for thinking this, that they would have said “Well, that was quite the predicament. Maybe we should fix that so we don’t have to deal with it again.” Apparently not. It’s been 15 years and apparently asking for critical thinking skills for local politicians is a big ask here.

But Brianne, why is what he said so bad? Apologists for this city councilman said that he was just saying that women need to be more accountable for their actions that may be contributory to their harassment or assault. Maybe women shouldn’t put themselves in a risky situation.

Where is there a safe spot? Where can I expect not to get raped or harassed? Let me know what this rape-free zone is and what the dress code is, because the other women of the city/country/world and myself would love to know.

Here’s what I do know, as a female. I know that I was told to walk around with keys in my hand, so if I were attacked I could fight back. I know my brother taught me self-defense when I was a teenager, just in case. I know I was given the speeches of going out in groups and never going out by myself. I grew up being told how unsafe the world was for me. I was lectured about my clothing, and how I was showing too much cleavage or my jeans were too tight/too low.

The implications of these lessons were clear: I needed to be careful, be suspicious, and dress like a nun to not get assaulted, while I don’t know any guy that was given any lecture about consent. Why? Maybe it’s because good people just know how not to assault people. The idea that women have some contributory negligence when they get assaulted is disgusting. And if you defend that notion, you are disgusting.

Why is it always on women? Why do we have to think about whether we are going to put on the outfit we will be assaulted in? Why do we have to stay home because we can’t find anyone to grab a drink with? I don’t get it. Maybe I’m just dumb. Maybe I’m naive to think that women just have as much right as men to live our lives how we want to and grab a drink by themselves at the bar because no one else wanted to. I’ve always wanted a daughter, but there’s a part of me that’s relieved that I don’t have to bring her up in a world where if she were assaulted, the first question would be some version of “What did you do to cause this?”

That is why what he said was wrong. Do I think he should apologize? No. Because that would be disingenuous. I have more respect for someone sticking to their guns, as despicable as those guns are, than someone who feigned regret. But I don’t think we should forget about this. I don’t think his constituents should forget about this. And I think this is something that they should be reminded of throughout the year until the November elections, with the hope that they do the right thing of voting him out. The rest of the city should be appalled that someone like this is representing our city. That someone with these outdated and misogynistic ideals not only exists in 2020, but that he’s sitting in a position of power in the city. Someone who blames ignorance of being the only damn person who didn’t know rape and harassment was an issue. Someone who is glad he said what he said because now he is educated that sexual assault is a big deal and thanks to him, everyone now knows what a big deal it is. This great man, who now thanks to him the citizens of our city know that there is a problem and his big idea to solve it is to educate people on how not to harass or assault women. Or to educate women on what to wear or where to go to not get assaulted. Something like that.

It’s almost as if organizations like RAINN exist for a reason. So here’s a brief overview of how serious of a problem this is. All statistics are from RAINN.

  • In America, 1 out 6 women were the victims of completed rape or attempted rape.
  • By 1998, about 17.7 million American women were the victims of attempted or completed rape.
  • 1 out of 10 American men were also victims.

There are a few things that are important to know about these numbers. First of all, there are a lot of situations where these assaults go unreported so these statistics are a lot higher than they are. Why? Because of people like this councilman who want to put some of the blame on women, because they should’ve known better. Because people still view this as something that the victim should be ashamed of. It’s also important to know that not only women are victims, so it isn’t just a bunch of hysterical women trying to take down a guy who is “misunderstood”.

He wanted an education? I just gave him a great resource and important statistics. I don’t expect to change his mind, because people don’t often like to admit their errors or even care about silly things like facts. This isn’t for him. This is for the people of the city who deserve better than what he’s given them.

That Tiny Little Virus We’re Not to Speak Of

I do tend to shy away from things that I deem too personal or opportunistic. I write about things that I think need to be discussed. I try to offer insight and welcome commentary back. I share to tell a story, not to get sympathy or gain attention. I share a story to show empathy, to let readers know that there are other people out there that have been in their shoes. Especially now, when everything feels so isolating. Now more than ever, people need a voice that let’s them know that they aren’t alone and that while there are situations that are uniquely them, there are other people who can share a similar tale. That’s why I write.

You see stories of battling this virus on social media. You learn that people you knew but don’t really associate with had it. You see stories on the news or viral tales on social media about a tragedy or triumph surrounding this virus. Each time, it has an impact but yet it doesn’t really impact you. It’s a story that you read, like any other story. I stayed safe because I’m at risk. I had a girls’ night where I drank wine with my friends on Zoom because it’s important to take the necessary precautions. I’m not a particularly cautious person, some would say. I take logical approaches to everything, and even as “I throw caution to the wind” there is a calculation and a reason why I do everything I do no matter how impulsive it seems.

During this girls’ night, they told stories of the things they experienced as medical professionals. How, sure the virus won’t kill everyone, but the bigger problem is the after. There are so many unknowns about the long-term effects. That’s the problem with something so new.

The thing is though, that those are stories. You’re not the one who gets the news that a loved one is in the hospital with it. You just watch the story happen online and send your thoughts and prayers or whatever else feels right and socially acceptable to do. It’s completely different when you’re living as a spectator to it at a more personal level. It’s different when you’re the one mentally preparing for the worst to be ready while hoping for the best. It’s a tricky thing to navigate, watching your own family become statistics to something that could be avoided if people just did simple things like wearing a mask so that we could’ve been done with this months ago. If people were more cautious about sanitizing and cleaning everything. If people didn’t resist science and just say “it’s only a flu, no big”.

The reason that my family members will make it through is because of science. Because there are better medicines and treatments now. Not everyone was/is that fortunate. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t concerns for the damage this virus could do to their bodies after their recovery. It just means that they aren’t in the statistics that had the worst possible outcome.

So while people may laugh about how this virus is a joke, I won’t. While people may laugh because I’m afraid of some imagined political ploy, I’ll know that I did everything that I could to stay safe so that I could be around to watch my sons get married or hold my future grandchildren. I’m not afraid of a virus; I’m doing my part to ensure that my kids have their mother at their wedding and to hold my future grandchildren. So that others can live their lives.