Was the Louisiana movie theater shooting a hate Crime against Women

Tragedy struck a Lafayette, LA movie theater on the evening of Thursday, July 23rd 2015, when a gunman, John Russell “Rusty” Houser, opened fire during a screening of “Trainwreck”He fired 20 shots and hit 11 people, some multiple times, before turning the gun on himself and ending his own life.  Two women, Jillian Johnson, 33, and Mayci Breaux, 21, were killed in the shooting spree.

This event comes almost exactly three years after James Holmes opened fire on a movie theater in Aurora, CO during a screening of “The Dark Knight Rises.” He was convicted on the day of the Louisiana shootings.  While there are obvious similarities between Holmes and Houser, these tragic cases are vastly different. In the three years since his actions in Aurora, Holmes has offered up little evidence of a motive. He wrote in his notebooks “‘The message is, there is no message.'” He wasn’t trying to prove anything or make a statement, he just wanted to commit a violent act.

Details about who Houser was are still coming out. While we will likely never hear his motive directly from him (save for notes or videos he may have left) we cannot rule out that this was a hate crime against women. According to The Washington Post,  he “inveighed against women’s rights, liberals and minorities.”  The New York Times describes him “as a man with a diffuse collection of troubles and grievances — personal, political and social — who had a particular anger for women…and a changing world.”

According to Calvin Floyd, who knew the shooter, Houser “‘had an issue with feminine rights. He was opposed to women having a say in anything.’” He attempted to control his adult daughter’s life, trying to halt her wedding and harassing her at her work place. The Times reports Houser had been accused of domestic violence and “believed that women should not work outside their homes.” His daughter and wife had to get a protective order against him.

Evidence suggests that what happened in Louisiana  was not a spontaneous act and that Houser had planned to escape. It’s probable that he purposefully chose this particular movie–which has a clear feminist bent, a modern chick flick rom-com, written by and starring a woman–and though he injured at least one man, it is likely not a coincidence that the two people he killed were women.

While the police are, as-of-yet unable to name a motive, there is a good deal of evidence to suggest he carried out these actions because of his hatred for women. It seems that, in light of this, we should be thinking of Houser not as the latest James Holmes, but the latest Elliot Rodger.

5 reasons you should totally be shaving with Olive Oil

If, like me,  you are a human being who shaves his/her/their legs/armpits/pubes/other you should throw out whatever foam, cream or gel you’re using and immediately switch to Olive Oil. I did it about 4 weeks ago and it’s the best and I am never going back and here’s why:

1. It works sooooo well. My legs are so damn smooth you have no idea. I have sensitive skim plagued by eczema and most shaving creams just made it worse. Even if you have normal leg skin, shaving products will dry you out and you’ll need to moisturize afterwards, right? Not if you use olive oil, hunny! Cause guess what, your legs are already so moisturized and slick from your shave.

2. It’s cheaper. A casual perusal of Amazon and Walgreens puts Skintimate shave gel between $.50 and $.98 per oz where as Olive oil is as low as $.34 per oz! Even some of the fancier ones that look like classy perfume only run $.41/oz. And you’re going to use that olive oil for so much else right? Economics!

3. Speaking of economics, in case you haven’t been paying attention, Greece is in a free fall, financially speaking. They got no monies. While their biggest income generator is by far tourism, we can’t all drop everything and head down to Mykonos to work on our tans right now, OK? But you know what we can do? Buy olive oil imported from, you guessed it, Greece.

4. Fuck. The. Woman. Tax. Listen, we’ve known for a while now that identical products (shaving products, deodorant, soap, shampoo etc) are priced higher for women than for men. There’s no reason for this other than things like the patriarchy and because they can (a man is much more likely to forgo purchasing a grooming product altogether because it’s too costly price or buy a cheaper (both in quality and in price) alternative because society doesn’t repeatedly tell him his value is based on his physical appearance). On the one hand, you could just buy men’s products (because they work just as well and cost less) or you can say Fuck You altogether and remove yourself, since most brands separate their products by gender and will get your dime no matter what.

5. You’ll smell like a salad. Ok maybe that’s not a perk but let’s face it, a lot of the shaving products out there (especially the ones for women) include olive extract, essential oils or something similar. You’re already using this stuff – in a weird sciency way I guess, kinda, it’s just been dressed up with colors and scents and aerosol cans (which are not great for the environment). You don’t need all that.

You don’t need to shave your legs either. You’re beautiful and perfect in all your hairy splendor. But if you CHOOSE to shave your legs, as I do, I highly recommend switching to Olive Oil. You probably have some in your kitchen already. If you hate it, you can always go back.

What Salon got so incredibly backwards about Anal Sex

Salon.com recently posted a piece by Marilyn Friedman called How Anal Sex Ruined My Relationship. I read it (via Alternet who reposted it) because I was expecting a liberal, thought provoking, nuanced approach to modern relationships and what the implications are for opening your brown eye. What I got was the same rehashed trite bullshit about anal that we’ve been saying for decades.

The protagonist/author, Marilyn, begins as a 26 year old so desperate to get married she’ll do anything to trick a man into dating her, by following the advice of her well maintained, blonde,  big-butted sister (whom she describes as a gold digger), and then continues to do anything to keep said man. Marilyn ends up as someone who finds love and marriage (thank god!) with someone she doesn’t have to change for or, gasp, do anal with.

Listen, most women who engage in sex with men will, at some point, likely be propositioned with anal sex. Those who do it aren’t immoral sluts who will never keep a man thanks to their dirty dirty assholes, as Friedman would have us believe. They’re women who like anal, or like trying new things or are willing to try something to please a partner (because give and take are part of relationships). Those who choose not to engage in anal sex aren’t better or more deserving, they’re just people who chose not to and that’s fine too.

But all the fucking moralizing about anal and dating that Friedman shoves into this piece would have you thinking the exact opposite. She paints herself as an eager beaver who will completely change herself or go against her instincts for a man. While she luckily learns to snap out of it eventually (good), consenting to anal freely and without coercion is not the same as dropping a load of money because you’re so desperate to impress a man.

The whole thing stunk of sex negativity and an idea that any woman who engages in anal is only doing it to keep her man pleased, when everyone knows (according to Friedman) that he doesn’t give you a ring after you give him your O-ring.

I expected better from you, Salon. And certainly better from you, Alternet.

And for fucks sake, if you’re going to have anal sex, clean out your fucking asshole. Your shit literally ruined that relationship.

77%

Last night I went to a Dr. Who Themed bar in my neighborhood called The Way Station. I’ve been there a number of times before but last night it was by far the MOST crowded I have ever seen. It was a promotional event, in honor of the disparity in wages between men and women (women make 77¢ for every $1 a man makes in an equivalent position when adjusted for location/experience etc) and it being 7/7, women only paid 77% of their  bar tabs. A cracker jack PR team ensured the event got plenty of coverage beforehand and I saw at least one satellite truck parked across the street last night to catch up everyone who didn’t hear about it already.

And did I mention it was packed? Shoulder to shoulder for the 2+ hours I was there with some friends and my partner. It was a sweaty, disgusting mess but it was also great. Look at the buying power of women! Isn’t this wage gap thing thing ridiculous?! It is and the promotion was obviously a success, but unfortunately, it missed a huge glaring issue: that number 77% (sometimes rounded down to 75%) actually only applies when we consider white women as compared to white men.

Chalkboard Outside The Way Station last night.
Chalkboard Outside The Way Station last night.

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Transcendent Drag Performance

Last Thursday – July 2nd, I went to the greatest drag performance I have literally every been to.

I cannot share pictures because the basement of the venue we were at (which is where the performance took place) wasn’t exactly up to code. Instead, allow me to paint you a word picture

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It’s south Brooklyn, the night before Independence Day (observed) so none of us have to go to work the following day. The show starts at 9, but I get there at 10. A few minutes later my friend shows up and we realize the show is downstairs. We slink down wooden steps to what feels like your friend’s dad’s basement, except it’s crammed with 30+ Brooklyn Queers and allies on wooden benches and pressed up against walls watching a 6 ft tall drag queen on a rickety wooden stage (platform, really as it was only about 8 inches off the ground) lip-syncing her heart out to Lady Gaga’s “Yoü and I” in which she shouts out Nebraska half a dozen times. On the eve of America’s birthday, 6 days after gay marriage is legalized, we’re watching a drag queen perform 50 Songs for 50 States. That was number 7.

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