jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

That “but” poisons the whole phrase, because it neatly proves that whoever is saying it? They don’t love you at all. They might like you, but they don’t love you. They might love what you can do for them (or perhaps to them), but they don’t love you. That’s because love is uncontrollable; it is accepting of flaws, because it has no choice. Love is tolerant of mistakes, because it can’t do otherwise. To love someone, truly love them, is to be unable to let anything else in the way.

Maybe they did love you once, but the moment you hear that “but…” it’s a sign: it’s over. Whatever feelings they had for you are gone, and now they’re using your feelings to their advantage.

Because that “but” always leads to a request. Cut your hair. Change your clothes. Stop hanging out with your friends.

Change yourself into what I want you to be.

Because I’m the one who’s important.

-- Why Does He Stay With Her? by YorkNecromancer

The linked article is actually about the Ruinous Powers of Chaos in the Warhammer 40,000 setting. ^^; But as you can see, the author is pretty committed to making them work narratively ... and in the process, wrote the most frightening depiction of them that I've ever seen. Because the author put into words very well what causes abuse, and what the nature of evil is.

Content note: A couple of questionable (but non-explicit) visual metaphors that could be considered sexual harassment, detailed descriptions of intimate partner abuse, and dudebro(s) being dudebro(s) down in the comments.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

The other day, an evil man named Boyd Packer died.

(EDIT: Corrected some things after re-reading quotes, and changed the description of this person's legacy.)

He was one of the highest leaders of the Mormon church, called an apostle. Apostles are appointed to their positions for life, and he spent most of his tenure saying hateful things to captive audiences.

In 2010, he gave a talk in worldwide General Conference where he said God would never make someone gay. The line was edited out when his talk was published in print and online, but not soon enough to keep the rate of LGBT suicides in the state of Utah from spiking right afterwards.

When I was a young adult, I was given a pamphlet that was a printout of one of his talks, in which he condemned people for masturbating and said that it was okay to deck gay people who come on to you. Partly because of this man's words, I hated myself for more than a decade, and came very close to taking my life.

He called gays, feminists, and intellectuals the enemies of the Mormon church, and famously declared in a talk to church educators that "some things which are true are not useful." I feel like that sums up his legacy. The things he proclaimed as true are already being thrown out by the institutional Mormon church, because they are not very useful in making them look good. In fact, they make them look pretty damned awful, to anyone with a conscience and even a basic understanding of how words affect others.

I'm glad he lived long enough to see his victims turn the tables on him, and win.

If you want a more vivid look at how I felt because of this man, read this story.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

Yesterday, I got stranded a long way from home with no way back.

Content note: A longish story about the hidden costs of being poor, the inhumaneness of "personal responsibility" teachings, and how [personal profile] jewelfox learned to be mean to herself from her abusive family of origin. Contains swearing, transphobia, and poverty-shaming.

Read more... )

I'm not writing this because I bear a strong grudge that I haven't let go of (although that may be part of it). I'm writing this because this is stuff that has really affected me, and has changed how I see myself whether I want it to or not.

My family of choice, my real loved ones, don't see what I did as unreasonable, and don't want me to see myself as "irresponsible" and a "burden." I don't want to see myself that way, either. So I have to deconstruct why I feel that way, so that I can maybe move past it.

I hope that this helps someone else, who needs to do the same thing. I hope you can learn to value yourself as a person.





* Willful ignorance is the defining trait of religious and political conservatism, as near as I can tell. It is also the defining trait of evil alignment, IMO.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

... is especially meaningful for us.

You can view it here, if you don't care about spoilers or have already read the rest of the comic from the beginning. It contains a Wham Line as part of a Wham Episode, that'll change the way you see one of the major story arcs.

If you don't want to trawl through six years' worth of comics to get the meaning behind this, though, we've written an explanation that's as non-spoiler-y as possible behind the cut.

Explanation )

Why is this meaningful?

(Content note: Homophobia and religious abuse)

The Mormon church promised us everything. Godhood, creating our own worlds, and having an "eternal family," that being how they refer to spiritual hostage taking. If you don't have a straight Mormon temple marriage with kids, and stay a temple-worthy Mormon the rest of your life, you get nothing. Just the same crap clouds-and-harps heaven the non-Mormon peons get, which they basically see as hell, because God splits you up from your loved ones forever when he sends you there.

When I realized I couldn't support the Mormon church, it wasn't because I thought it wasn't true. It was because I couldn't be part of the bullying anymore. None of the rewards meant anything if I had to hurt other people to get them. And I was, by supporting these terrible people who hurt LGBTAQ innocents. Who I knew weren't doing the work of any god that I wanted to worship.

I may be too cynical to be Good-aligned, but I am not Evil-aligned. And that doesn't mean I "have a good heart" like the innocent killer, Ender, or like how my parents of origin see themselves. It means I stop doing something when I find out that it's hurting people, and try to make up for it. Instead of denying my victims' hurt, and trying to bully them into shutting up about it.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

That's the most commonly rendered version of Google's motto, which most people invoke ironically these days as they point out the latest evil thing Google did. But you can do a lot of evil stuff without ever seeing yourself as evil. And if you're measuring how good you are by how evil someone else is, you get to be one of those people who wants a cookie for not being as terrible as someone else.

I personally feel that if you are alive, then you deserve to be alive, by default and until proven otherwise. I believe that "kindness is goodness;" that you are a good person just for being the kind of person you are, and that if anyone says otherwise or tries to prevent you from being yourself then they are being unkind to you.

I believe that some people are damaged, disabled, marginalized, or ill. I believe they deserve to exist, and to participate fully in society. I think it is the responsibility of abled people to accommodate them. I believe in solidarity with these people, and in giving up privilege or inconveniencing myself in order to keep them from having to do without things that they need or that I take for granted. I believe this is best done not through individual acts, but as a society, so that the responsibility is spread out and so that they do not need to beg.

I believe that some people are dangerous, including (but not limited to) carnivores, narcissists, and white European Americans. I don't believe that being dangerous means that a person is evil or must be destroyed. I believe there are ways to coexist, that do not have to involve harming innocents. But I believe that the burden is on the most dangerous people to find those ways, not on their victims. And I sympathize with those who resist them.

I believe that Chaotic Neutral is the best D&D alignment, because I feel it encompasses (or can encompass) all of the above. I believe you don't have to be "good" to be kind to others and empathize with them. I believe that the concept of "good" is overrated, and is often used to cover for dangerous people's actions, or to condemn those who resist them as "evil."

If "good" exists objectively, it is willing self-sacrifice on behalf of another. I don't feel that it's needed in order to be kind to others, because I feel that most people are naturally kind (or at least not dangerous) so long as their needs are met. But I do feel that kindness -- both in the sense of being yourself, and respecting the rights of others to do the same -- is a prerequisite for the kind of self-sacrifice that is helpful.

Otherwise, you end up seeing self-sacrifice as good in and of itself. You don't trust people who don't give up enough of themselves for "the greater good." And you give your all for other people, who you then expect to do the same for others, until there's no kindness left in the universe because everyone's trying so hard to be "good."

Or at least, to appear good. Which is much easier.

About us

~ Fox | Gem | Rei ~

We tell stories, paint minis, collect identity words, and share them all with our readers. If something we write helps you, let us know.

~ She / her ~

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