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The Justice League Covers: Caitlyn Jenner

Caitlyn

Inspired by a very brave friend who came out as transgender on Facebook today, I can no longer keep my silence.

 

Since the release of the most recent Vanity Fair cover on Monday, June 1st, social media has been concentrated with emphatic and vehement opinions, posts, blogs and articles regarding the transformation from a “he,” Bruce Jenner, to a “she,” Caitlyn Jenner. I’ve tried terribly hard to keep my opinions on the subject to myself so not to invite debate and attract people who disagree with my opinions, to leave mean and hateful comments on my Favebook. I’ve decided people can attack and disagree with me, but I’m not going to allow those people to keep me from sharing how I feel about these issues. I can no longer keep my silence. I’ve never been that person; that woman.

 

Since the announcement of Jenner’s transformation surfaced the media, I’ve had many, many mixed emotions, feelings and opinions. I made it a point to read and listen to others opinions and came across a post by blogger, Matt Walsh, on The Blaze (http://www.theblaze.com/…/calling-bruce-jenner-a-woman-is-…/). Walsh acknowledged and argued a very interesting point about feminism and how Caitlyn Jenner being called a woman, not only takes away from what feminism stands for, but it demeans what a woman stands for. He made some interesting and at moments, valid, points about why women should essentially be down right angry that this person who’s actually a man, is being described as “beautiful,” “brave” and “an inspiration.” He believes she – he- is none of these things.

 

Further, he also said it was a disgrace to what feminism really means because feminism isn’t about looking a certain way and being called a woman because you put on masacara and a bra before walking out the door, it’s about establishing equality among men and woman and defying social norms of what makes a man, a man and a woman, a woman. As a young woman who considers herself to be a feminist, I could not have disagreed more with this man. Here’s why: Feminism means different things to different people, especially women. I don’t think the only definition of feminism is equality for people, specifically among genders.

 

For me, feminism means feeling empowered by and embracing who you are, regardless your gender, sex, race, etc, and having as much of the same opportunities as everyone else. Gloria Steinem is and has been for quite some time, a woman I admire and aspire to be more like. She was, and still is, the face of the Equal Rights Movement in the 70s and 80s. She’s absolutely stunning. She’s fashion forward. She wears makeup and does her hair. She’s by our society’s standards, a feminine woman. I could list hundreds and hundreds of similar women to prove my point but I don’t need to do that.

 

As a feminist, I’m not offended or angry that Caitlyn Jenner underwent multiple surgeries, changed her wardrobe, learned how to apply makeup and do her hair. Bravo. Those are hard things to master and it looks like she did it with grace and style. If that’s what makes her feel beautiful, confident and happy and she’s not hurting anyone by doing it, then I tip my hat to her and wish her all the best in the next chapter of her life. Changing one’s appearance is absolutely irrelevant from feminism and it frustrates me when people confuse the two. It would be impossible, in my opinion, to find the perfect feminist if being a feminist meant that men and women must act alike to be treated alike. It’s just not realistic.

 

The irony is, Walsh acknowledged that men could never know or understand women and even recognized the uniqueness and special qualities that only women possess. If he really believes that, then why argue that being a feminist means that women and men find equality in how they look and act. It’s a contradiction and made absolutely no sense to me. Even as I’m writing this, I’m finding it difficult to find the right language to use to point out this misconception and contradiction of feminism. Does feminism teach and value equality among genders? Absolutely, yes and I won’t argue that. Do looks, surgeries and makeup have anything to do with that? Absolutely not. If Walsh’s definition is based soley around equality among genders then riddle me this: should Caitlyn Jenner not be allowed equal opportunities at happiness even if it means changing her physical features?

 

Woman have been getting breast implants, tummy tucks, nose jobs, hair extensions, fake tans, fake nails and the list goes on, for years. Those women aren’t under the scrutiny of Walsh or so many other Americans so why should Jenner or any other transgenders be? If you don’t understand something, ask questions. Try to understand. Try to broaden your perspective and knowledge. No one said even after asking questions, you’ll understand or agree or even accept it, but at the very least treat others how you want to be treated.

 

The last point I have to touch on is all the posts I’ve read from people who are Christians and fear how to discuss these issues with their children. I am a Christian but I don’t have children so my opinion may mean little to a lot of people, but I’m going to share it anyway. While I understand it’s hard for one (as it was for me when I first learned about what it is to be transgender), to wrap their head around the idea of literally changing your body to be a different gender, try imagining someone taking you out of your body right now, and putting you into someone else’s body. How would you feel? Probably not good. I believe God made us in his own image and likeness. That means something different to different people.

 

To me, it means, God made us to be special. God made us to embrace who we are. God made us with free will. God made us the way he wanted and liked. Please ask yourself, even if you don’t agree with what Jenner did – from a Christian stand point- would God want you to accept and love that person any less? According to the Word, the answer is no. In addition, because I do believe the Lord made us in His image and likeness, perhaps that image and likeness evolves over time into things we never expected. Perhaps God’s image of us isn’t purely physically, it was the image and likeness of one’s soul, not their body.

 

While there are many who believe (including Walsh) it’s not mentally, physically, genetically or anatomically possible to change your gender, for some people, a gender is how one feels inside, not their physical makeup. There’s no actual way to know how another thinks and feels unless you’re that person. Period. I know it’s difficult for a lot of people to accept and understand that there are people in his world who are utterly lost and confused about who they are, but aren’t we all, just in different ways?

 

There are a lot of people who will have read this and have nothing but terrible and hateful things to say to me and to them I say, that’s okay. We are all entitled to our opinions and we should voice them. All the time, voice them because ignorance will continue to live on and thrive if we don’t talk about these hard and controversial issues.

 

Walsh said in his post that there’s a high suicide rate among transgenders post surgery because they often regret it. I want to know if they regretted it because they missed who they were/how they looked before, or because it was too hard living their lives out in the open, being who they were when people like Walsh write hateful and misguided posts about them. I’m confident you would be depressed to, Mr. Walsh. Let people be who they are. You don’t have to like it or even agree with it but just let them be.

 

All that truly matters is our soul. Our character and how we treat others. Do we help the poor and feed the hungry? Do we help those in need and even when it’s inconvenient or financially hard to do? Do we sacrifice for others? Are we kind and thoughtful? Are we caring, loving and gentle to others? Are we honest? Are we forgiving? Are we compassionate? These are the characteristics that make up the only genetic makeup that truly matters about who are.

 

Do I think it was brave what Caitlyn Jenner did? Yes. She knew she would be attacked, hated and misunderstood by thousands of people and she stayed true to who she feels she is and was honest with herself along with the rest of he world. In turn, I fully believe there are other people in this world who have felt the same way Jenner did and felt inspired and hope was restored in their lives. If no one is getting hurt, then we should be able to live our lives in peace, without feeling disdain and constant judgment from others.

 

Let’s be kind to each other. Let’s be sincere and genuine. Let’s be thoughtful and generous. Let’s be open-minded and accepting. Let’s be understanding and compassionate. Let’s grow together and remember that we’re only here for a short while and we all seek the same things while on Earth: happiness and acceptance.Caitlyn

– Katie Vandaveer

Words Don’t Do It Justice: YOU are Forty Thousand Strong on our 2nd Anniversary

Just a reminder where we started.

Just a reminder where we started.

Words Don’t Do It Justice

“It was all a dream.

I used read word up magazine.”

I could keep going with that, but really I don’t feel like quoting too much of anyone else today. So let me address this with the style most comforting.

When this all began it was an idea.

The thought that we could give the world something in this blog that would be read by our friends, maybe a few co-workers and classmates. And every once in a while I’d get to deal with the issues I have to face on a daily basis by just ranting into a text window for 30 minutes to an hour and let the world read. Certainly if we accomplished that I would have called this a successful idea and when the view dwindled I’d close it up and say I had a good time.

But that isn’t what you did. And I say that isn’t what YOU did, because it is true. You are the reason this fun time didn’t turn into just another thing I used to do. YOU made it worth it to find Rufus, Ronin, Roddo, Rebellionista, Realistic Royalty, Princess Devy, Reign, The Revanchist, The Radical Ref, Carl McPhail, Xion, Driving Misty, Rhapsodic, Reason, Kudo, Rhythmic Journey, Revolution In A Jar, causeandeffect88, Bami O, Render Verdicts, Ruminated Thoughts, Keith Labell, Smooth Phuzion, Bree the V, TEH Bobbo, and all the people who wanted to commit but just didn’t have the time to write, be on the podcast, contribute music, or be interviewed.

That wasn’t just me plodding through on my own. That was you reading. That was you sharing. That was YOU telling the world our little corner of the internet was worth checking out. in the first year we did 3500 views. In 2 years we have done 40,000! Because of all of you. And now things are possible that weren’t not long ago. YOU made this happen. People asked me when I started what I expected. They asked me what I wanted. I just wanted people to listen to my thoughts sometimes. It was so simple back then. Now? Now I want the sky and everything beyond. lol just kidding.

Now I want to give you more of what you come here for. So covering Gaming, and other topics, We’re proud to announce that Nine To Five Gamer will be joining us run by Bami O. Look for the official page as well as forums soon. You’re going to read pieces from many of our alumni writers. And that long-awaited revamp/update to the site. I can’t promise you we’ll turn into a Super Villain run Huffington Post by tomorrow. Heck I can’t even promise that by next year. But I can promise we will keep hitting these hot topics with our cold analysis. I can promise we are committed to giving you what you came here for. And I can promise you I WILL NEVER FORGET what drives Words Don’t Do It Justice. Because what drives us is YOU!

My humanity wants to cry by my Super Villainy is smiling too hard and is too excited. Thank you all. THANK YOU. Every super fan. Every random reader Every casual person who checked us out a few times or just once. THANK YOU FOR ALL OF THIS FROM ALL OF US! We couldn’t have done all this without you. Words Do Not Do YOU Justice!

– THE Ruthless Wonder

The Justice League Covers Gamer Gate Pt. 2: The culture of infallibility that surrounds Anita Sarkeesian

Anita and the culture of shaming that shields Her

It’s common to just “silence” the opposition if they don’t agree with you.

A petition involving a well-known developer and Anita Sarkeesian began floating around the internet a few days ago. It was apparently about having Anita ousted from her role as an advisor on the development team that is currently working on ‘Mirrors Edge 2.’ “Alright,” I thought to myself. “What is she doing being an advisor on a videogame?” I decided to sign the petition. What I did not realize was that site would then post that link to my personal facebook. It wasn’t until I received my first comment that I realized what had happened.

“Ugh,” was the very first comment from a friend of mine, another person who has been well involved in covering the gaming industry. I remained silently amused and even contemplated removing the link because I didn’t want it to cause unnecessary drama. However, I went against my better judgment and allowed the post to stay up.

It wasn’t long before I received my first reproach, being sternly told about the good that Anita’s videos have done and how her videos had gotten a lot better since her first few. “Ok, fair enough,” I thought to myself. I went ahead and typed my response, detailing why I couldn’t get behind the idea of Anita working on videogames:

Nah, I can’t stand behind someone who tries to pass off opinion as fact, refuses to be open to discussion (there have been plenty of credible individuals who have plenty of counter arguments to her videos) and tries to pass off the actions of a few crazies as the representation of an entire diverse demographic of people, and play up the idea that all people who play games and happen to be against her rhetoric, are angry white men/boys/basement dwellers. The last time I checked, I’m neither of those things but the way Anita and people who follow her talk, you’d think that anyone that picks up a controller is basically just as she describes.

However you feel about Sarkeesian is moot to me. She isn’t the correct path to change, she’s the antithesis of it. The only way to even begin any kind of dialogue is the willingness to hear out both sides of an argument.

What Anita and her ilk have done is promote the silencing of any opposition by painting them under one broad brush and that’s far from fair and I don’t want someone like that to have anything to do with the games I play.

One line of the response I received was:

“That’s a shame. Even detestable people can sometimes have a valuable, unique point of view”

For some reason this struck a nerve with me. It seems to be the go-to thing to try and shame a person for not agreeing with Anita by automatically placing them with those who have proven themselves to be detestable. The culture of shaming anyone that doesn’t align themselves with Sarkeesian or her rhetoric is a clear sign of how close minded people on the other end have become.

Something I’ve often noticed is the willingness to shame anyone that doesn’t agree with Ms. Sarkeesian or any of the issues that she speaks of. While we know that disagreement is a common aspect in society, the problem becomes apparent when you’re not just disagreed with, but you’re shamed for disagreeing.

I felt like talking about this topic because I’ve noticed the ease of which people will dismiss you, especially if you happen to be on the other side of the Anita Sarkeesian/GamerGate argument and you’re not a woman-hating bastard.

Now let me get one thing straight. By “Other side,” I don’t include the sexists, the woman haters and those who argue in bad faith. I mean people who have valid critiques of Anita Sarkeesian and others like her. What I noticed from my petition post was the willingness of the people arguing for Anita to not even bother to ask what my own opinion on her were. Instead my post was met with “ugh” and Feminist Frequency videos. Not once was I asked, “Well why are you against Anita? Is there any particular reason why you don’t want her working on Mirrors Edge 2?” These questions weren’t even asked until I pointed out the fact that they were willing to automatically go in on the attack before even knowing what my reasoning was.

(Before I go further, I’d like to clarify my use of “status quo,” in reference to people like Anita and sites like Polygon)

This needs to stop, we’re seeing a culture of shame were you’re not allowed to speak in opposition of the status quo. People are too willing and eager to throw you into a camp with the rest of the “extremists” and throw away the key. Is that how progress in video games should be made? “Oh you don’t agree with Anita has to say? Well instead of asking you why you don’t, I’m going to assume that you’re one of the many extremists that just doesn’t want to hear what a woman has to say and therefore your opinion is now invalidated because of my assumption.” People are willing to do this instead of hearing one another out.

Both sides do this

Which prompted me to write this piece. I’ve steadily noticed the increased readiness for people to throw aside others thoughts and opinions. Like I said before, this a is a common thing in the real world, it happens, but when you’re trying to start a discussion on something like gender representation in videogames, how much better are you if you’re telling someone that happens to not agree with you to basically shut and be quiet?

It has become OK to excise, vilify and attack anyone that might disagree with the opinions of the status quo. Here in lies the problem: How can one expect any kind of discussion or progress, especially on one so polarizing as a gender discussion? Disagreement is one thing, but to shout one side down because you’ve automatically assumed that the reason they stand against you is because they hate women or they’re angry misogynistic bullies isn’t entirely fair. It’s the equivalent of those “Misogynistic bullies” who call anyone who talks about gender issues a “feminazi” or “white knight.” More often than not you’re going to hear about the misogynistic bullies before you hear about the abuse that those who have their own logical arguments receive from the “status quo.” What does this mean for a man or woman who wants to argue their point? You either throw up your hands, or forge ahead to make your point clear to those who want to throw you in with the Gamergate/anti women-in-games crowd and hope that those you are having the discussion with are at least open minded enough to hear you out.

 

Bami O

The Justice League Covers: Gamergate Part 1

In order to get a proper handle on Gamergate we wanted to enlist someone who can put things into perspective, and who could explain some of the things even we at WDDIJ didn’t truly understand. To do this THE Ruthless Wonder is joined by TEH Bobbo from Bobbo’s block.

 

 

TJLCovers Gamergate Part 1 with Bobbo<-Right click and select save link or save as to download

Music Courtesy of Smooth Phuzion.

WDDIJ Presents The Justice League: Elite Law Schools Can Do What They Want

Elite Law Schools Can Do What They Want

It’s my final year of law school and I had just finished my last final exam for the fall semester. Four exams filled with utter misery, confusing hypotheticals and might I add, law- professor- created exams with typos (and they say how important exams are). It was Friday night and I felt like I just got paid but I didn’t. I was completely exhausted from studying and working and working and studying.

So naturally, after exams I went out for celebratory drinks with a fellow law student as we bitched and complained and drank whiskey until about 4 am on Saturday morning. I crashed and woke up at 11:00 am and looked over at the alarm clock and realized that I had missed the bus heading to the Justice for All March on Washington calling for justice for Mike Brown, Eric Garner and the countless other Black men who had been killed at the hands of police officers-of which has lead to zero indictments returned by State grand juries. As I opened my eyes, the first thought that came to my mind was: “ I really wish I would have gotten accepted to Harvard!”

For those of you who have been under a rock for the last several weeks, let me set the stage.
Columbia University Law School has allowed its students to reschedule their exams if they feel traumatized by the recent grand jury decisions in the Eric Garner and Michael Brown cases. According to the school’s interim dean, Robert E. Scott

“The grand juries’ determinations to return non-indictments in the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases have shaken the faith of some in the integrity of the grand jury system and in the law more generally,” Mr. Scott’s letter said. “For some law students, particularly, though not only, students of color, this chain of events is all the more profound as it threatens to undermine a sense that the law is a fundamental pillar of society designed to protect fairness, due process and equality.”

Once Harvard and Georgetown got a whiff of the news, they too, allowed their students to take exam extensions and the news sparked a rage among legal scholars, law students and legal social media went amok.

CONTROVERSIAL ALERT: THE ARGUMENTS PROCEED AS FOLLOWS!

Opponents of this policy say: Who do these students think they are by requesting an exam extension because they were so-called traumatized? I went to law school during heavy political tensions and I still took exams! And how does one measure “traumatization” in this matter? Is it based on race- Participation in protests? This is not fair!

Proponents say: Law School is (allegedly) designed to promote justice and create notions of fairness in grey areas of the law that are tainted with injustice. Law Schools have a duty to create social engineers and pioneers who have a primary goal of making the legal system operate more effectively and more efficiently. So why not?

So here is my humble opinion.

Clap. Clap. Clap. Clap. Cheers to Harvard and Columbia and Georgetown law schools who are attempting to make a legal education worth it again because 99% of law schools, like 99% of laws are not adjusting to the changing climate and people are getting pissed off!

Which Reminds Me.
***NewsFlash***
Law School Exams are No Longer Relevant

The hardest part about law school is getting in. The 2nd hardest part about law school is the first year. After that, law schools really need to relax the role of the final exam because it adds nothing greater to a law student’s life. It doesn’t make a better lawyer or even prepare students for the bar exam. It is set in place because law schools are not willing to transform their curriculum in a real and practical way so they continue to apply the same old traditional norms that are no longer applicable to modern day society.

Harvard and some of the other Elite schools have already taken a stance on the one exam grade issue and has eliminated grades altogether giving students a High Pass (HP); Pass (P); Low Pass (P) and Fail (F). Now, of course everyone wants the HP-but the message is clear that if you get into Harvard Law- Harvard Law has your back! Once a student is accepted to these Ivy League schools-there is a rebuttable presumption that the school’s name alone will carry them where they need to go-not how well they did on a Torts Exam.

Exams, arguably are for first year students and should be revisited after graduation but before the BAR exam. One does not NEED exam after exam to become an effective lawyer (or advocate or CEO or whatever other reasons people go to law school). But one NEEDS to advocate and stand for something-particularly justice.

Now, do I think that some students will totally exploit this opportunity arguing that they are apart of the so-called traumatized group, meanwhile are home buying more time to study? Of Course I do. But who cares-its Harvard-Its Columbia and-Its Georgetown! These are the students that will be the next Supreme Court Justices and heads of government anyway. They need to understand how the political climate changes the law and they need to be apart of the process. The future Obamas of the country will not remember exam questions when they are sitting in office but they will undoubtedly remember the day Darren Wilson was not indicted and the country proceeded in uproar. Exams, in such cases, are superfluous. They really don’t matter. I’m just jealous that I didn’t have that same opoportunity to postpone my exams but the applause remains. The Elite law schools just keep winning.

Community policing

A video was posted recently of community policing in action. And it was absolutely hilarious. I laughed until I cried and then shared it with my family and my online buddies. They too laughed hard and said so.

But when it was all over but the shouting I looked back at the video and thought a little more about what the video really showed. Let me illustrate the video.

A white police officer on traffic watch (of a dirt road in the country, but whatever) had his dash camera on and witnessed a white male roll by on his riding lawnmower. The officer pulls from his spot, hits the lamps and sounds his siren ordering the man to stop. He complies. The man identified by the officer first as “man” then soon “Steve” was admonished for drinking and driving his mower. Steve replied he was on his way to the oyster shack. The officer said to cut off the engine, extinguish his cigarette, and empty his liquor bottle. Both of which Steve did before stumbling back onto the mower. The policemen repeatedly demanded Steve shut the engine back off. He ignored him and continued rolling. The policemen said, “You fittin’ ta git lit up, Steve” and then he tasered Steve who cried loudly shouting he thinks he crapped his pants. At which point Steve was taken into custody.

As I said, it was hilarious and I still laugh and think it’s funny as Hell. Honestly if it was a black man on the mower I’d laugh too. Yes, I am black. It’s the incident that’s funny to me and how poor Steve acted under the influence. Yes, the taser was justified because he himself could’ve been injured by reaching over a potentially spinning mower blade to forcibly shut off the engine so a non-lethal submission was justified. But there’s a lesson here.

I saw community policing in action and I liked it. I loved it. I want some of it. This policemen clearly knew personally Steve. He called him man. He addressed Steve by name and without needing to view his identification. He was confident enough in his relationship with the community he SERVES AND PROTECTS to use simple methods of submission rather than lethal force at first sight. The officer was not afraid of the community. He was part of the community. This, my friends, is what community policing is and should be.

Know your community. Serve your community. Don’t abuse authority in your community. Protect your community even from itself. This is the goal, or should be, of every law enforcement officer in America today.

So when I see community policing dismantled because the police have become eunuchs and afraid of their community I am devastated. I see police states in urban cities. I see Michael Browns and Tamir Rice and Edward Garners (shot for running away) so many others over and over and over again. These policemen are trained to be afraid. Not authorities. Taught to escalate before the suspect can. Rather than defuse the situation before the suspect goes ballistic. These policemen are asked to patrol not on foot or in squad cars, but in tanks and military style machinery. These officers are asked to enforce laws that are designed to create a fear of the law rather than respect for the law.

I’ve said before that decisions and choices made from a mentality of fear are guaranteed to net strange results.

I haven’t changed my mind. And I miss community policing.

Words Don’t Do It Justice: Breaking News

Just a reminder where we started.

Just a reminder where we started.

Over the weekend we were very close to an amazing achievement.

On Monday it was so tantalizingly close I was thinking of dropping a post just to help push it over after the Holidays Don’t Do It Justice post.

But Tuesday Night after Posts from Ruminated Thoughts and of course from THE Ruthless Wonder reacting to the decision by the Darren Wilson Grand Jury, we hit a milestone that if I’m honest I didn’t expect until 2015.

SO

On Behalf of the Weekends Don’t Do It Justice Writers Reason, Kudo, Xion, and Lucremo.

On Behalf of the Words Don’t Do It Justice Guest Bloggers, The Justice League.

On Behalf of the Words Don’t Do It Justice Alumni writers

On Behalf of the Keith Labell and Smooth Phuzion who provide music for The WDDIJcast and The WRATH of Ruthless.

On Behalf of Reign, The Revanchist, Ruminated thoughts, and Ronin

And on Behalf of 314 Publishing, Imperial Dreams Productions, and WORDS DON’T DO IT JUSTICE

THE Ruthless Wonder is proud to announce that as of November 25th, 2014 Words Don’t Do It Justice has reached 9,200 views!

ALL Because of YOU!

ALL Because of YOU! Photo edit credit: JohnHenry Balsa

And we have you to thank.

Every one of you who shares us with you friends on facebook and your followers on twitter.

Every one of you who comes back even on days when no one has posted just to see if something is dropping.

Every one of you who has stuck by us since my very first post to this very day.

Thank you for being our superfans.

Thank you for believing in us.

Words do no do you justice.

 

I could say it a thousand times and it wouldn’t be enough. But I’ll say it one more time.

We love you all.

Thank you!

THANK YOU!

THANK YOU! Photo Edit Credit: Steven Cockrell

– YOUR Ruthless Wonder