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Archive for the 'Personal Essays' Category

Mitt Romney’s Insightful Hurricane Sandy Comments

Posted in Editorials, Personal Essays on November 2nd, 2012

I feel like one of the luckiest women alive. Adam and I got through Sandy in our apartment. We didn’t lose power or water, even the cable and internet stayed on the whole time. There were several downed trees in our neighborhood, but none hit our building or our car. Our families have also fared well, even though they lost some services, they are not in any danger. Public transportation is slowly coming back and we’ve been able to get to our jobs after a few days of telecommuting.

On Wednesday, I was driving through part of Long Island to check on family, and drop off some supplies at a food bank I heard was running low. I was listening to NPR and I heard Mitt Romney say,

We come together in times like this and we want to make sure that they have a speedy and quick recovery from their financial and in many cases, personal loss.

I started laughing and crying at the same time. I’m glad I was stopped at one of the few working stop lights in Nassau County because I think I might have lost control of the car otherwise.

financial and in many cases, personal loss.”

Dozens of people are dead. And Mitt Romney is hoping we recover from our financial loss before he even mentions those killed, or the people running out of food, water, gas, and prescription medicine. There’s a water treatment plant that serves 500,000 people that’s teetering on the edge of shutting down. But, hey! Mitt Romney is sorry for your financial loss! Doesn’t that make you feel better?

P.S. If you live on Long Island or in Queens and you want to help, here’s some places I know that need it:

Long Island Cares of Freeport Food Pantry at 84 Pine Street in Freeport needs baby diapers, infant formula, cereal, fruit cups, fruit juice, and other kinds of ready to eat food (granola bars, cans or pouches of tuna fish, peanut butter, crackers, etc). They are open Monday – Friday 8am – 4pm also this Saturday 11/3 and Sunday 11/4 only, they will be open from 9am – 12 noon.

Powhatan Democratic Club in Astoria

Donate: blankets, shirts, socks, sweaters, jackets, sneakers, Non-Perishable Food (such as Canned Soup, Canned Food)

Drop-off location: Powhatan Democratic Club 41-05 Newtown Road, Astoria Friday night 6:30pm-8:30pm
Saturday 1:30pm-4:30pm Sunday 12pm-3pm

The Merrick Fire Department is having a food/clothing drive for everyone in need. If you have items to donate you can go to: Friendship Firehouse, 2075 Meadowbrook Road, Merrick every day between 9 am and 9 pm.

Why I’m Donating to The Family Place

Posted in Editorials, Links, Personal Essays on October 16th, 2012

Note: This is modified from my post in /r/RedditBomb

I’ve spent a lot of time in the past few weeks trying to clean up Reddit, but it’s important to make an impact in real life also. When I heard about Redditors making donations to Violent Acrez to help support his disabled wife after being fired because he was outed, I was shocked, but I knew that his supporters aren’t the only people who can make a difference.

We can have a debate about doxxing and whether or not what Adrian Chen’s article was appropriate (my take = doxxing bad, Chen = not doxxing = good). We even disagree with Violent Acrez employer’s decision to fire him for his online activities, or feel conflicted about how this article has impacted Michael Brutsch’s life (I’m kind of disturbed by the amount of schadenfreude I am experiencing) without also supporting the things he said and did on Reddit. The now defunct /r/jailbait (which he created), /r/creepshots (which, as he insists, he only moderated!) and the still going /r/beatingwomen (which he also created) contribute to a culture of misogyny and violence against women.

So as a symbol of my opposition to Violent Acrez’ legacy, I’m going to make a donation to The Family Place, a women’s shelter in Dallas, Texas – and I hope you will too. If you would like, send me a tweet, email, comment or PM on Reddit and let me know how much you donated so we can keep track of our collective impact.

The Family Place is the largest family violence service provider in the Dallas area reaching out to thousands of victims of family violence each year with award-winning programs that keep women and children safe. Since 1978, our mission to end the epidemic of family violence has remained constant. We believe that intervention, emergency shelter, and crisis counseling for all victims—women, children and men—will save lives and that transitional housing and case management will transform lives for the better.

In 2011, we provided 11,826 clients with more than 187,547 service hours. When families are in our care, we work to meet all of their needs. At our Safe Campus, we feed more than 50 kids every day, providing meals and after-school snacks—that’s 18,250 after-school snacks a year! We go through more than 3,000 tubes of toothpaste and 3,600 bottles of shampoo each year.

We couldn’t meet the great need without help from the entire community. Few things have the power to change the shape of our world more than the act of giving.

Donate Here

Project Panda: Updates

Posted in Links, Personal Essays on October 10th, 2012

Today was a huge day on Reddit.

Last night, a new Reddit Moderator had an extensive conversation with Shit Reddit Says members. Both on the thread announcing his new job, and over at the SRS Busines subreddit.

I woke up this morning to find that ViolentAcrez, creator of /r/jailbait and moderator of /r/CreepShots deleted his account. There is a rumor that this is because Gawker media is or was planning to write a story about him.

Around lunchtime (Eastern Standard Lunchtime) /r/Creepshots suddenly went private. There are claims that this happened because the subreddit’s creator “CreeperComforts” was coerced into doing so. I really don’t know what to make of this statement. It’s possible that it is exactly what it appears to be, or it could be a false flag attack.

Later in the afternoon, Jezebel published an article detailing the work of an anonymous women who is releasing personal information about men who posted to /r/creepshots. The website is a Tumblr called “Predditors.”

Then, sometime after I ate dinner and watched an episode of Doctor Who, /r/Creepshots was banned.

This doesn’t mean that Project Panda/Reddit Bomb is over. Reddit has not changed its policy to ban creepshots, and subreddits encouraging violence against women still exist. Already, many subreddits for creepshots have popped up and are filling up with posts and members.

The reason I’m a part of this project is because creep shots support rape culture. The men who are doing this say that there is nothing wrong with what they do, because if the woman is over 18, and they are not photographing her underwear, they are not breaking any laws. Furthermore, the argument goes, if a woman is out in public she should expect it.

It would be ridiculous to object to men looking at women, and I would never suggest it! I wouldn’t even object to men looking at pictures of beautiful sexy women on the internet! There’s dozens of places even on reddit itself where people post naked pictures of themselves for the whole world to admire. Go forth, and enjoy yourselves!

But, say the creepers,

“Creepshots are CANDID. If a person is posing for and/or aware that a picture is being taken, then it ceases to be candid and thus is no longer a creepshot. A creepshot captures the natural, raw sexiness of the subject without their vain attempts at putting on a show for the camera. That is the essence of the creepshot, that is what makes a true creepshot worth the effort and that is why this subreddit exists.

Actual text on now defunct /r/CreepShots sidebar.

To them, a woman’s consent is not wanted. Her participation spoils their fun. The entire creepshots mindset is the idea that a woman’s will means nothing, and that her body can and should be enjoyed without it. That’s rape culture. And that’s why I moderate /r/RedditBomb.

Update: This post has been edited since it was published. The “Predditors” Tumblr has been deleted.

Update 2: The Predditor Tumblr has been reinstated.

Update 3: A bunch of the creepshots subreddits have been shut down, but others still remain. Additionally, PIMA, who was a moderator of creepshots has been banned.

Update 4: Adrian Chen has published his piece revealing the identity of Violent Acrez.

Why I’m Taking Part In Project Panda: Reddit Bomb

Posted in Editorials, Personal Essays on September 25th, 2012

If you use Reddit, you might have seen me around “Shit Reddit Says” and the related subreddits, which we sometimes call “The Fempire.” SRS is a community of people dedicated to social justice, and the main way we do this is by calling out racist, sexist, homophobic, ableist, transphobic, classist, and otherwise generally shitty upvoted content on Reddit. The main subreddit is a place to both call attention to these comments and for people to mock them. SRS has its own sense of humor with lots of hyperbole and inside jokes about dildos and Lady Gaga, but it’s easy to catch on. Serious discussion takes place in the other forums.

In the past, presumably in response the users of SRS and others (notably Anderson Cooper) Reddit has shut down /r/jailbait, a subreddit where people traded sexually suggestive pictures of teenage girls, and has articulated a “necessary change in policy” which states:

At reddit we care deeply about not imposing ours or anyone elses’ opinions on how people use the reddit platform. We are adamant about not limiting the ability to use the reddit platform even when we do not ourselves agree with or condone a specific use. We have very few rules here on reddit; no spamming, no cheating, no personal info, nothing illegal, and no interfering the site’s functions. Today we are adding another rule: No suggestive or sexual content featuring minors.

In the past, we have always dealt with content that might be child pornography along strict legal lines. We follow legal guidelines and reporting procedures outlined by NCMEC. We have taken all reports of illegal content seriously, and when warranted we made reports directly to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, who works directly with the FBI. When a situation is reported to us where a child might be abused or in danger, we make that report. Beyond these clear cut cases, there is a huge area of legally grey content, and our previous policy to deal with it on a case by case basis has become unsustainable. We have changed our policy because interpreting the vague and debated legal guidelines on a case by case basis has become a massive distraction and risks reddit being pulled in to legal quagmire.

As of today, we have banned all subreddits that focus on sexualization of children. Our goal is to be fair and consistent, so if you find a subreddit we may have missed, please message the admins. If you find specific content that meets this definition please message the moderators of the subreddit, and the admins.

We understand that this might make some of you worried about the slippery slope from banning one specific type of content to banning other types of content. We’re concerned about that too, and do not make this policy change lightly or without careful deliberation. We will tirelessly defend the right to freely share information on reddit in any way we can, even if it is offensive or discusses something that may be illegal. However, child pornography is a toxic and unique case for Internet communities, and we’re protecting reddit’s ability to operate by removing this threat. We remain committed to protecting reddit as an open platform.

However, much of this content still remains. There’s /r/creepshots, a forum where men post pictures focusing on women’s private areas that were taken in public, without the woman knowing. Some of these women appear to be underage. In addition, subreddits like /r/beatingwomen and /r/rapingwomen celebrate violence against women.

Project Panda: Reddit Bomb is an attempt to bring attention to the fact that these subreddits exist, and encourage Reddit to enforce its own policy.

Just as in Adam’s discussion of Big Think’s decision to hire Satoshi Kanazawa, it’s possible to support someone’s right to free speech without wanting to hand them a megaphone. I use Reddit, and I love it. I promote my blog there, I have met some great people, learned a ton about beer and even my hometown. But I feel uneasy being part of a community, no matter how big and varied that tolerates entire forums with hundreds of subscribers that encourage rape and brutal violence.

I decided to email companies that advertise on Reddit about my concerns. It’s a market based solution, and one was highly effective in getting Glenn Beck off of the airwaves without restricting anyone’s First Amendment Rights. So far, two of them have responded. Additionally, outrage over /r/creepshots has generated a ton of media coverage, including Jezebel, the Guardian, and the New York Daily News.

Reddit has made no official response yet, but already some of the subreddits in the initial press release have been taken down.

I have been made a moderator at /r/RedditBomb, the subreddit organizing this project. I’m excited to see what will happen next.

The Apathy Problem

Posted in Editorials, Personal Essays on June 25th, 2012

Darcy Burner said at Netroots Nation,

“I have exactly one ask for you between now and November, and that is: get women to vote.”

I got goosebumps because I knew I was being tasked with an awesome quest. But it’s also an incredibly difficult one. There are women in my life, intelligent, compassionate women who truly believe in progressive values. But whether or not they call themselves feminists or liberals, they also have the incorrect belief that everyone else thinks the way they do. A great example of this is Chelsea Handler’s “sexism is bullshit” comments. But I also see it in women with a lot less money and power than Handler.

A friend asks where I was on Saturday morning when the rest of the group had met for coffee. I explain that I was clinic escorting.

“What’s that?”

“Well, there are a lot of protesters at Planned Parenthood and I volunteer to be a part of a program to keep an eye on them, call security or the police if they break any laws, welcome the patients, and not let them get harassed or stopped from entering.”

“Oh…. Wait. People protest outside Planned Parenthood?”

“Yup. Sometimes they just quietly pray, but sometimes they are really obnoxious and nasty.”

“Huh… That’s so weird!”

And we will never speak of this again. Not because she’s lazy or wasn’t listening. It’s because in her worldview, what I just said was that I was trying to stop martians or microfungi from destroying the earth. The kind of misogyny that exists in our own community, or the power that Citizens United gave to the wealthy is something she doesn’t perceive or think about.

I have another friend, really caring and funny and ambitious as hell. But she doesn’t vote. She says that whoever wins or loses has no influence on her life. I tried to change her mind during the contraception debate.

Elizabeth: So here’s a great example of how the government impacts your life – right now Congress is having hearing about whether or not health insurance must cover contraception, but they aren’t allowing any women to testify

Friend: Isn’t that illegal, not allowing women to testify?

Elizabeth: No.The chairman of the committee can decide who will testify at the hearing.

Friend: Oh. But men should care about contraception too. So…

Elizabeth: Well, I don’t think the consequences of not using contraception are in any way equal

Friend: Maybe a decision like that will change social norms. If it’s not covered by insurance then maybe more women will start actually asking for money from their partners to cover half. That would probably be a good thing.

Elizabeth: Right now the law is that insurance must cover the pill in 28 states. In the other states, women are shit out of luck, and this is a response to that

Friend: Men too, indirectly. I think a law like that would be nice but I don’t expect it to be passed.

Elizabeth: That’s why you should vote!

Friend: If I got involved with politics it would take up too much of my life. I’d rather just not be bothered. It’s a lot of hassle/stress that you are inviting into your life.

Elizabeth: But the money you pay for birth control pill co-pay is a real impact on your life.

Friend: Yes but you choose your battles. If it cost like $1000 then yes it would be a problem but by the time it gets that far, many other people get involved anyway.

She pretty much quoted Ever After. “I used to think that if I cared about anything I’d have to care about everything and then I’d go stark raving mad!”

Why do I care about this? Because 39% of single women don’t vote.

I know that a record number of women voted in 2008, and we might break another record this year. But women did not vote in 2010, and that’s one of the reasons why our Congress and State Legislatures have been taken over by anti choice radicals. Even if women come out to vote in 2012, they must do so every year for real progress to be made.

It’s the reason Kirsten Gillibrand’s campaign created an entire project around getting women to vote. And it’s the reason Darcy Burner made it the point of her speech at Netroots Nation.

So how do we do it? How do we reach women who don’t read feminist blogs? PSAs during Major League Baseball and True Blood? Pamphlets in locker rooms and ladies bathrooms? Cocktail napkins at bars and coffee shops? And what should these messages say? How do we explain to women why they should do something they never do?

I’m not as discouraged about this as Adam is. I’m just completely baffled.

5 Activities for the Summer

Posted in Links, Personal Essays on May 29th, 2012

Memorial Day is the unofficial start of Summer, and the preferred time of year to take off some days for vacation, either for travel or just relaxation.

Now, of course, if you’re like me, the recession really has not “ended” for you, and you’re broke. Maybe you’re not broke, but just hate extravagance. If you’re not broke, and love extravagance, you’re probably a GOP bundler, and are confused as to why this site discusses OWS without links to McDonald’s applications. Just type “World News Daily” in your little search engine box and you should be fine.

So, let’s list some cheap things to do this summer.

1. Visit The Library. When I was a boy, my Mother would drop me off at the library most days of the week during the summer, and it was the best thing she could have done for me. It’s a place full of books and magazines with air conditioning. All it’s missing is a well-stocked bar.

2. Visit your nearest national park, and enjoy our national heritage before the Koch brothers buy it all up. .

3. Campaign for your Congressional candidate. It’s an election year, remember? Walking is great exercise, just be sure you have a sturdy pair of shoes. You can even canvass in a Tri-Corn hat, if you have one.

4. Visit a local museum. Just like your local library, no matter how bored you are, you cannot deny it… you love climate control. I live in New York State, and in NYC, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Cloisters are free, with merely a “recommended donation”.

5. Go see The Avengers. I know that costs money. I don’t care.

(Edited to make more sense, links are included in comment below because I am bad at the computing -Justin)

Ash Wednesday Thoughts

Posted in Personal Essays on February 22nd, 2012

If you follow me or my husband on twitter, you might have noticed that we were in Las Vegas for the long weekend. Today was our first day back in civilization. Waking up I felt a little bit jet lagged, but I survived.

I dozed on the train, but walking out into the sunlight this morning in Manhattan I immediately was confronted with Catholics who were observing Ash Wednesday. It usually reminds me of when Rodney Dangerfield joke that every New Year’s he resolves not to ask his Catholic friends at the beginning of Lent, “Hey what’s that schmutz on your forehead?” Others on twitter were having similar fun.

Sometime in the early to mid nineties I noticed – in the NY metro area anyway – that Catholic priests stopped just gently pushing their thumbs into peoples foreheads to distribute ashes, and started making crosses. I am not sure if this was to add to emphasize that this was a Christian ritual, to make it more aesthetically pleasing or for some other reason, but every year I catch myself admiring people with perfectly symmetrical crosses on their faces.

It brings me back to when I was a very observant Catholic in college. Our campus chaplain would give the same sermon every year on Ash Wednesday called “Gettin’ Ashes.” He would print it in the bulletin, which I wish was still available online. But the heart of it was that receiving ashes was an outward symbol of an inner desire to change – the custom came from a time when people covered themselves in ashes to mourn but also to atone for wrongdoing. He said that we should not receive them if we did not intend to focus on spiritual growth throughout Lent. And then when the service was almost over, he would harken back to the Bible reading we had just heard,

Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven.

So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be praised by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard because of their many words.

And whenever you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that your fasting may be seen not by others but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

And he would tell us to wipe the ashes from our foreheads before we left the chapel, wiping the ashes from his own forehead. Usually people would gasp at this point and he would say “I know what your grandmother told you, she had good intentions. But ashes are not a badge, they aren’t a fashion statement. They represent what is inside you.” Then before the closing prayer – he would advise us that Lent is not a self improvement project, we shouldn’t give up sweets so we would look great on the beach during spring break. He only advised giving up smoking (for good) and doing more volunteer work. Then he would tell us that if any of us were working too hard and not getting out at all we should go to a concert by our university’s music department, consider that our ability to appreciate it was a holy gift, and that this would be a great way to observe Lent as well. Usually a few students would sneak out without wiping their ashes off, totally confused and visibly shaken. I wish I would have asked them what they were thinking, but it was never any one of my friends so I never did.

This sermon, which I heard four times in four years was extremely impactful in my decision to leave the church – I stopped observing Lent because after a while, I felt it didn’t help me much spiritually. Why should I receive ashes if I didn’t feel like making the 5 week commitment to be more pious? I experimented a few times with fasting on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday – combing my hair, washing my face and taking Advil for my fierce headache as advised in the Bible. But it didn’t make me feel close to God. It made me exhausted and grumpy.

This all came rushing back to me not this morning, but this past week, when meeting a (atheist) friend and her (Catholic) boyfriend for a meal, she asked him what he would be giving up for Lent. He told her and then she asked me what I would be giving up. We had spoken previously about my conversion to Unitarian Universalism and I told her and her beau much of what I wrote here. I do remember as a teenager sometimes spending Lent giving something up, praying more, going to church every Sunday and feeling so special on Easter Sunday. I still appreciate the joy of Easter as a UU – on a different level. I am grateful for all of the love in my life and the opportunities I have had for forgiveness, and appreciate the coming of spring. If I go to Mass with my family (which I have the past few years on Easter as we usually visit family out of town) I like seeing the children in their bright pastel outfits, excited about their chocolates from the Easter Bunny, and my Aunt’s priest usually gives a Homily I don’t find entirely objectionable. Then we do something fun in their town and have a wonderful meal as a family.

But Easter does not have the same anticipation it did when I observed Lent. I have often thought about how to bring it back – a way I could “do Lent” as a UU that would feel fulfilling and authentic. I tried one year giving $1 to all of the homeless people who asked me for money during Lent. But I have since redirected my giving elsewhere. I’ve searched the internet and read a few other UU blogs about this topic, but like this post, they offer more questions than answers. I suppose that’s a start.

The Name Game: Holiday Card Edition

Posted in Personal Essays on December 20th, 2011

A few years ago, I decided that I wasn’t going to change my last name if I ever got married. It was something that had always bothered me about marriage, and when I realized that I could get married without changing my name (Thanks Feminism!), the idea of marriage looked a lot more appealing.

My mother and I were having a conversation about my decision after Adam and I were engaged and I said, “I’m not changing my name. But if someone makes a mistake and accidentally calls me Mrs. Lee, then I won’t get offended. People make mistakes and it won’t be worth constantly getting bent out of shape for.” To which my mother responded “Well I certainly hope you wouldn’t get offended! It would be an honor to become Mrs. Lee!” An “honor” she knew I wasn’t going to receive.

All of my female friends who have gotten married have either hyphenated or changed their name. Some said they liked the tradition. But a few told me that “It’s just easier.” I don’t understand how hours of paper work and standing in line at bureaucratic offices and on hold is “just easier” than…doing nothing. But as Amanda Marcotte has written what “just easier” really means is that it’s easier to suck it up and do the paperwork than stand your ground and be seen as a castrating feminazi.

I’ve gotten a few pieces of mail addressed to Mrs. Adam Lee which is oddly unsettling even though I know it’s an archaic form of address – neither my first or last name is on the envelope, and yet it’s a communication meant for me.

Now that it’s our second holiday season as a married couple and we have sent out our second batch of holiday cards with return address labels that have both of our first and last names written on them clearly, Adam is getting frustrated that most cards are sent to “Mr. and Mrs. Adam Lee.” I really don’t care if it’s addressed that way to both of us, I just want to see the sparkly cards and see the pictures of people’s babies and pets. But this morning Adam remarked to me, “Is it worth sending out these cards if everyone just ignores you and erases your name?” I was like “Yeah! Glitter penguins! Duh!”

But I’m touched he’s offended on my behalf. Maybe I should gently remind people that I did not change my name. If I never tell anyone about it, aren’t I playing my own game of “it’s just easier?”

From The Mouths Of Babes

Posted in Personal Essays on July 25th, 2011

Greta Christina recently commented on facebook:

[I] Am very puzzled by the troll on my blog who thinks I’m a vegetarian dog owner. And who apparently thinks these would be bad things. ?!?!?

And it brought me back to the eighth grade. I was sitting in Art class. At my assigned table were two other girls I didn’t know well but were fairly neutral towards me and two boys who, for some reason had decided to pick on me. They bullied me while the two girls said nothing, for fear that they would become the targets next. They made comments about my clothes, or anything they could think of. I was a slightly awkward 13 year old, growing out my bangs and without much fashion sense, but my biggest crime, in retrospect is that as a new student that year I hadn’t yet found a stable group of friends to back me up. And I also had not learned how to project confidence and a “don’t fuck with me” vibe – my adolescent vulnerability was on my sleeve.

I was a part of my school’s Conservation Club – an extra curricular activity for young environmentalists with maybe 4 other kids but somehow the boys in my Art Class had found out about this and thought it was hilarious.

“Hey! Those acid wash jeans are sex-y!” he said mockingly.
“Shut up.” I thought I was being forceful, but it probably made the bulls-eye bigger.
“Do you know how you are going to end up? You’re probably going to never get married, because seriously, what man would want you? And you will be living in a big mansion, as President of Earth Day adopting Korean kids.” So much to unpack there. Sexism, racism, and more from some middle school jerk.
I thought about it. I knew the “forever single” was supposed to hurt my feelings, but I was more interested in his career prediction. President of Earth Day, I already knew, was not a real job, but it sounded pretty fucking cool.
“Ok, whatever.” I said. The bell was about to ring.

I’ve often thought back to that day and how much his insult(s) revealed the amount of toxic hatred our culture spews and is picked up by kids and teens. I thought of it the night before my wedding and laughed that he was so far wrong on two counts (My job is white-collar boring and administrative, and I have not yet see President of Earth Day on Monster.com). The mansion and Korean children have also not materialized.

So yes, Greta, trolls have a way of picking out stereotypes they feel represent the “worst” about a group and flinging them back at us in a way that both fails to insult and reveals a lot about their own warped ideas.