Monday, November 21, 2016

Art and Politics

I haven't posted anything in the last couple of weeks. While I could blame my efforts on getting Zombie Goddess ready for publishing and writing Sacrificed, that's not the entire truth.

I'm sure there are those who will mock me, saying I spent the time crying into my pillow because I'm a woman and the 19th Amendment will be revoked and etc. Those insults aren't the whole truth either.

The reason I didn't post is because I wasn't sure how the election outcome would affect my writing (I haven't been self-censoring, whew!) and my business (ironically it's up).

There's always going to be those who reject my work because my personal beliefs don't match theirs. I hate to inform the most recent haters, but this is nothing new. People I don't know are more vocal about their displeasure with me, but I really doubt you would have read my books before the election results.

If anything, I've seen people twist their hate, the hate deliberately flamed by the politicians this last election cycle, into self-defeating behavior. Even Kris Rusch, the most knowledgeable person blogging about writer business interests today and the most politically neutral of commentators, ran afoul of at least one reader. The topic was how a writer needs to plan for all scenarios, regardless of personal feelings.

That's being responsible on the business side. I've known too many people who've let their personal feelings get in the way of objective business decisions. You can't stop them, and I'm too old to try at this point.

But what about your art?

I hate to say this, but art has always been political. Art comments on the things we often dare not say aloud or even directly. Even something as simple as Star Trek: The Original Series was political. It often addressed the ongoing Vietnam War and the volatile race relations that were happening as it aired. And the other series of the time that played it safe by ignoring those very issues are no longer remembered, or if they are, they are considered relics of an unenlightened era.

Many people would find Alter Ego's books objectionable because they include polyamory and BDSM. Even the books under my own name would be questionable because of interreligious relationships (the Egyptian prince and Jewish-American princess in Blood Magick, which I swear, no one seems to get that's what happened in the damn book!), interracial relationships (fae and human in a future short story), differently-abled relationships (A Question of Balance) or even an older woman/younger man relationship (Blood Sacrifice).

Invariably, there are those people who are just in a pissy mood, and they decided they're going to take it out on everyone. It really doesn't matter what you do.

Over the weekend, the vice-president-elect Mike Pence attended Hamilton: An American Musical. The Pulitzer Prize-winning Broadway show, about the U.S.'s first secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton, is sold out three years in advance. (I know for sure because I tried to get tickets for 2019.)

At the close of the show Friday night, cast member Brandon Victor Dixon addressed Pence. Dixon also chided the audience for booing the vice-president elect. Yet, all the major news outlets and president-elect Trump are calling for the Hamilton cast to apologize, and they totally ignore Dixon's call for civility. I strongly suggest you watch video of the incident without the commentary and decide for yourself. The thing I find funny is Dixon plays...

...wait for it...


Yes, I have a very perverse sense of humor.

By the way, if you're totally offended by what happened at Friday night's show and you already bought your Hamilton tickets, I'd be more than happy to save your delicate sensibilities by taking them off your hands.

As a commenter on Facebook said, if the cast had said nothing, the Saturday headline would have been "Hamilton Cast Snubs V-P Elect".

For me, I just going to keep writing.

Instead of listening to Lady Gaga's new album ad nauseam for the last two weeks as I'm wont to do when she drops a new one, I've been pulling out a lot of hip-hop and rap I listened to in the '80's and early '90's. They were the protest acts of my generation, just like Bob Dylan was for the previous generation.

So to my fellow artists, keep writing what you're passionate about and kill the naysayers with kindness, the Hamilton way.

And we'll end today's ruminations with Above the Law's "Freedom of Speech":

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Monday, November 7, 2016

The Vagina Heard 'Round the World


Last week, another writer I know brought up the subject of the latest election crisis on her Facebook wall. It was discussed amicably between a few women. Then a male friend of hers makes a statement: "Just asking you ladies a question, and I'm no Trump fan, but if you're one of his accusers, why wouldn't you collect your payday at the time he supposedly assaulted you instead of waiting thirty years?"

So many things wrong with that statement... *headdesk*

Certain behavior is so ingrained in America that most men can't even begin to comprehend what it's like for women being constantly analyzed for your "fuckability".

I mean it is CONSTANT from the time you are born. Sadly, many of our older female relatives are complicit in this training. We're told "don't do X/do Y so boys will like you" BY OTHER WOMEN from the moment we comprehend the English language.

By the time puberty hits, we're already brainwashed for the next Great Divide--the Madonna/Whore classification. You're a good girl if you tell boys "No." You're a bad girl if you tell boys "Yes." And if you told the boy "No" and he did it anyway, well, it was your fault, of course.

By the way, if you fall into the last two classifications, you now have no worth as a human being to men.

Oh, wait, we had no worth anyway. We're just objects to be fucked or not fucked.

So going back to the last two classifications we were talking about...

The last two classifications women are the equivalent to those blow-up dolls you can get at adult stores. You know, the anatomically correct ones? Since you have to pay for those, then the only reason women would complain about you fucking them is because you didn't pay them, right?

Which leads to the friend of a friend on Facebook who literally cannot comprehend that women might be talking these alleged assaults for some reason other than money.

In 2014, the U.S. Department of Justice estimates that only 30% of sexual assaults are reported. Friends, both male and female, in criminal law and law enforcement have privately told me they believe far fewer sexual assaults are reported. They base this on the victims often backing out of filing charges or testifying in court.

Why do these women back out? Harrassment, by their attackers, by their attackers' friends and family, by total strangers in the community and across the country, and sometimes even their own family and friends.

Don't believe me? Read about rape of a Stuebenville High School girl. (If you can. Personally, it makes me nauseated.) Then explain to me how an unconscious person can object or agree to anything.

But who ultimately paid for the incident? She did. She was called a whore and told that she deserved it for getting drunk and passing out. Video and pictures of her rape were taken and distributed. And to top it off, the hacktivist Anonymous outed her first name. It doesn't take a whole lot from that to find out who she is.

By the way, please tell me what money this kid got out of her assault? I'd really like to know because her parents probably could use the cash for having to move the hell out that town during the housing crunch.

Not to mention her therapy.

Oh, wait, I forgot. She's a whore so her value is worthless, right? Just like the time your dogs got a hold of that blow-up doll and tore it to shreds.

But wait! If a woman says "No", she's safe, right?


Twenty-two years ago, I met DH. We fell in love and moved in together...

DING! DING! DING! You're a WHORE for living in SIN!

We were already engaged.

You're still a whore, though there's some chance at redemption. Assuming you actually get married.

*sigh* Anyway, seven months before our wedding, DH was diagnosed with cancer. I've been through this story before, so I'll cut to the sexual harassment. Shortly after the wedding, my supervisor told me my employment would be terminated if I didn't sleep with him.

With a really slimy smile, he said, "And I know how much you need this job with [DH] not working, and he can't possibly be doing his husbandly duties."

(For the record, if you're in a relationship with someone who wears a colostomy bag, the wearer needs to be on the bottom. Those bag clips HURT when you're stabbed by one.)

Needless to say, my "No" did not go over well. I reported him. It's a small town, so when the entire company was dragged into sexual harassment training, everyone knew who reported who and why.

Funny thing, I wasn't the one who said a word to anyone except HR. He'd already bitched to friends about my frigidity and how I only got married to cover up my lesbianism.

When DH got the job offer in Houston, I was ready to leave. But the crap didn't stop there.

Oh, no, sir-ee, it did not.

You see, after I came forward, other women did as well, and that former supervisor was given the chance to gracefully resign from the company. Because, you know, us guys have to look out for each other.

So roughly two years later, DH and his partners are doing business with another company, and guess who is working there?

Knowing everything that had happened to me, DH decides he can suck it up and deal with this asshole. Until said asshole starts lying about business-related matters.

After a couple weeks of asshole's shit, one of DH's partners asks to speak with him and asks for his side of the story about the problems. You see, DH is smarter than Asshole gave him credit for. DH kept a detailed record of every contact, who said what, and the result.

Partner: "This sounds personal."

DH: "It is. He's jealous that I've slept with Suzan and he hasn't. By the way, would you like a copy of all my contacts with him? And I'm sure Suzan would provide you with a copy of her documentation of his harassment."

Neither of us knows exactly what happened after DH's partner has a phone conversation with the CEO of the other business, but Asshole disappeared shortly afterward.

Did I get any money out of this whole escapade? No, nor do I want it. I just pray that no one else has  to go through that shit.

So why did I come forward immediately?

I'd like to say I was brave or I had principles. No, I was just pissed. P-I-S-S-E-D!

Pissed that he would try this. Pissed that I was already incredibly stressed out between law school, DH's treatment, the goddamn wedding, and my normal workload.

The same kind of pissed I felt when my mother would give me the "don't do X/do Y so boys will like you" shit fucking CONSTANTLY!

But that kid in Stuebenville wasn't given a choice.

And maybe Trump's accusers didn't feel they had a choice anymore either. Or maybe they were pissed like me. To have their alleged attacker seeking the highest office in the land? What the hell would happen if he won? I don't know why they came forward now, but I have yet to hear they actually are seeking money.

And if anyone has followed Trump's career, none of this can be a surprise. He's as addicted to the camera and attention as much as the Steubenville football players convicted of raping their classmate were. In both cases, their actions and words have been recorded for posterity.

In the end, I don't care what you think about my "fuckabilty". Just remember that if you try to back me into a corner, if you go anywhere near my pussy, you're gonna get clawed.

This is me getting shit off my chest, so this will be one of those rare times where I disable comments. I don't care who you're voting for or why. That's between you, your Deity, and your own damn social media.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Music I'm Listening to Right Now

I'm deep in NaNoWriMo so I need a little more Meghan Trainor to keep me going...

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Sword and Sorceress 31 Is Out!

My latest story is available today! (Print versions will be coming soon.)

"Pig-Headed" - Sword and Sorceress 31

With the examiner from the university on his way to administer her entrance exam, Talis is stressed beyond belief. Add to that, accidentally turning her brother into a farm animal and an ogre threatening to eat her best friend, Talis's day becomes a whole lot worse.

Amazon, all countries
Barnes & Noble

Tuesday, November 1, 2016