Survivor games and the Wheaton Rule (TRIGGER WARNING: DISCUSSION OF RAPE)

The reason I mention Wil Wheaton is that Wheaton’s Rule is very simple. “Don’t be a dick.” That’s pretty simple, right? So why are so many people incapable of grasping the concept?

Case in point: A member of a forum to which I belong recently made a comment describing being scammed by a mechanic as rape. This was triggering to me and to others, because it felt as if the most horrible experiences of our lives were being reduced to the level of being overcharged for a fan belt. When a couple of people said so, this person went on a rant about how our being triggered and hurt by it was our fault, because she was a survivor too, and it didn’t bother her. To this I respond: FUCK that noise! Just because it doesn’t trigger you doesn’t mean it’s not a trigger. It just means that it isn’t one of yours. To say that no one should be offended or hurt by something just because she didn’t see it as hurtful was incredibly self-absorbed, and to argue for the right to trigger others with her careless speech was completely out of line. When you step on someone’s toes, you say, “I’m sorry for stepping on you.” You don’t say “I have the right to put my foot there, and FUCK YOU if it hurts your toes.” There’s no such thing as the sacred right to say offensive things to others without being called out for it. Sorry, wrong number, wrong planet.

If you’ve survived and continued to have a reasonably normal life, more power to you. I know firsthand how hard that is. I still have those godsawful memory-nightmares in which I live through it all over again. And yes, I am triggered and deeply upset when people throw around the word “rape” like it wasn’t the most painful thing that has ever happened to me. And I don’t think I should have to apologize for that–I did nothing wrong, despite the way the rape culture in which we live likes to blame the victims, and I have fought like hell to get to the point where I am, where I can have male friends,  where I no longer get a knot of panic in my stomach every time there’s a man between me and the nearest exit. I remember with perfect clarity what it was like to have someone I had trusted throw me down and force himself on me while I fought and screamed and begged him to stop. Yeah, getting overcharged by the mechanic is totally just like that.

Don’t be a dick.

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Back to the drawing board…and the dark ages

I’m so depressed. The passage of Amendment One wounded me in a way I never thought a vote could. I mean, I’m not a child. I know that not everyone is going to agree with me politically, and I’m OK with that. The difference is that I didn’t see Amendment One as political. It’s about basic human dignity, and I don’t think anyone has the right to legislate for or against human rights.

I feel betrayed, not just by the fact that I live in a place where such a measure would pass, but by the number of people who didn’t know or didn’t care that it was on the ballot. By the people who are registered to vote, heard it discussed on a regular basis, and just didn’t get off their backsides and go vote. I feel betrayed by the poll workers who tried to turn me away because of an error in my registration, where it hadn’t been updated since I moved back to the area in 2010, even though I had submitted the appropriate form, who demanded to see my ID even though ID is NOT required in North Carolina, who after I threw a fit about it, made me pull up a copy of my cellphone bill because it’s the only bill I have in my own name to serve as legally unnecessary “proof” of my residence. If I weren’t so unafraid of being seen as a bitch, I wouldn’t have been allowed to vote.

I’m angry that people’s basic human rights are up for debate. This shouldn’t have even been a question. It’s none of my business, none of yours, certainly none of the government’s, who a stranger chooses to marry, as long as both are consenting adults. I hope that the courts of this state and the nation are more reasonable than the bigots who won this election.

Single Card Draw: Knight of Pentacles (No, J., Not Tentacles!) As Significator

I was attempting to explain to my friend J. the other night about significator cards (a card in the reading that is chosen as a symbol of the seeker), and why he would be the Knight of Pentacles. (It was interesting–at first he misread the name of the suit as tentacles, which is an ENTIRELY different subject and an entirely different–hopefully imaginary–deck!) It wasn’t easy, as explaining the esoteric often isn’t, so I decided to follow up with a posting about the Knight of Pentacles.

Knight of Pentacles from Ciro Marchetti's Gilded Tarot

Also called the Knight of Coins or the Prince of Disks, the Knight of Pentacles, when he represents a person, is a down-to-earth, ultimately practical man, usually between the ages of 18-35. The Pentacles suit represents the earth signs: Taurus (fixed earth, and my friend’s sign), Virgo (mutable earth, my rising sign) and Capricorn.

In Qabalistic thought, the Knight of Pentacles is the Air above the Earth of Assiah. (“Yeah, whatever that means.” Well, hold on a second, let me break it down.) Each court card has not only the element to which its suit belongs, but also the element to which its rank (page or knave/knight/queen/king in most decks; princess/prince/queen/knight in Crowley’s Thoth deck and its variants) belongs. The knight in RWS decks is an air card belonging to the suit of earth. In terms of the meaning of the card, that means that the person the card describes has the creativity associated with Air, the ideas to improve things, but that the Earth element means that he is slow, methodical, a guy who takes his time to make a decision. He automatically reduces every problem to its barest essentials, and with that air influence thrown in, Knights of Pentacles can have a tendency toward “nerd rage” as they get frustrated with the inability of others to grasp what seems logical to them. A good fictional example would be the character of Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory.