Small-Town Elitist

October 18, 2009

Food access and fighting obesity…

It seems lately everywhere I turn, people are discussing the disparities in access to food for people who struggle financially, and who have always struggled this way. I have especially been thinking about this subject since Susie Madrak of Crooks and Liars wrote about the subject of overweight and obese people being forced to pay more for health insurance.

Under the BMI, I am considered obese. Even though I am actually quite healthy, I still feel it’s important for me to take on my health. But, for quite a while, my finances, and the structure of my community in the San Joaquin Valley, have made things rough. For the longest time, I had no where to walk or jog for fitness where I felt safe to do so. Unfortunately, trying to do that in my neighborhood brings up attention I don’t want, from men I want nothing to do with (street harrassment). Joining a fitness club in town was not always financially possible, either.

Thankfully, in more recent times, our town has created a fitness center next to one of the public swimming pools. There, for $30 a month, or $2 per individual session, we can have access to treadmills, stationery bikes, weight training equipment, and other types of equipment. There’s the basketball court also, and of course the public swimming pool. It’s been a very positive development, and I love going there to exercise. And even though the center is used by both genders, I feel very comfortable using it.

Another new development, which I like, but need to pay attention to, is our town recently got its own Fresh & Easy market. I was wowed by the organic and/or vegan foods they had, which we’ve never had access to here. However, the Center for Food and Justice cautions people to pay attention to whether they are organic, and they challenge Fresh & Easy to build in more places where they desprately need better food, such as South Central Los Angeles. Like Season of the Bitch says, it’s still not that easy for people who need access to better foods, but at least I think this is a good start.

May 1, 2009

An Open Letter: Earth to Carrie Prejean!

Miss California USA, Carrie Prejean, as many people know quite well by now, has taken heat for her response to Perez Hilton’s question about whether she supports gay marriage.

It’s this following part of her response that has left me, as a bisexual woman, with a nasty taste in my mouth. Prejean said:

We live in a land that you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage and, you know what, in my country and my family I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman.

I hate to break it to you, Carrie, but while GLBT Americans may not be a part of your family, we *are* a part of this country. The USA does not revolve around you, and your prejudices. I imagine you may be among those who pride themselves for “loving the troops.” How then, do you feel when I tell you that an estimated 650,000 gay veterans of World War II have lived in a country where their brave and valuable service to this country in its time of crisis counted for nothing, and they did not have many of the same rights other WWII military men had upon their return, including marriage equality?

I’m guessing you may not have a reaction, simply because you probably had no idea that the GLBT community served its country bravely and honorably, and despite Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, still continues to till this very day.

As someone who was close to wearing the crown of Miss USA, you must realize that you are representing a vast group of Americans, including the GLBT community. No one has the right to dictate to you what your views on marriage equality are, no matter how bigotted and wrong-headed they may be, but you certainly could have answered the question a thousand times more graciously and gracefully than the alienating manner in which you did.

I hope that you realize these things before you step on the toes of your fellow Americans, who were defending their beliefs and principles long before you and I were even in diapers. Please rethink your shameful wording of your opinions.

Till then, I must say that as a lifelong Californian, and ex-evangelical, I won’t have a Miss California USA who I can be proud represents me until at least 2010.

Annaleigh W., the Small-Town Elitist, who will not give her full identity, simply because I don’t have the same rights as Carrie, including basic safety if my bisexuality were known by my neighbors.

P.S. – I recommend you check out a couple of these links.

April 11, 2009

What it really means when a lady’s priorities don’t match with the ones a Talk Radio dittohead’s chosen for her.

Early this morning, while out and about in town buying supplies for the bathroom and garden, I had one of those little experiences of sexism that arise in the life of a woman from time to time.

The city bus driver, though seemingly a nice man, is a Rush Limbaugh dittohead. And for whatever reason, he has decided to scrutinize and comment on my purchases when I am taking the route he is driving that day.

I had a garden planter among other items, and he asked, “You went into town just to get a bucket? You women and your shopping. No wonder nothing gets done at the house, no dinner, no lunch…”

Blech. How screwed up is it when someone talks to you in such an arrogant manner with some ridiculous preconcieved notion about what you ought to be doing, and what your priorities are supposed to be? Why should I have to stay home to please a bitter old man?

Unfortunately for Rush Limbaugh dittoheads of the male persuasion, my priorities right now and quite rich and full, and do not consist of being barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen.

My most recent relationship was with a man who insisted that we were both young, and that we ought to just enjoy ourselves. For him, that meant partying for the most part. I am not really a party person. Not in the sense that most people my age think of as parties. I quite like the idea of private entertaining for a few friends, having a nice meal and connecting and reconnecting with friends at a time when the bustle of life can make that difficult. It’s because of our diverging priorities that the relationship didn’t last. So I went back to being happily single and working the things that do command my time and concern.

Hmm, let’s see, what are my priorities, in no specific order?

I’m an artist, craftsperson, and business owner. That means I’m in the middle of preparing for a debut with an out of state boutique soon, and am hoping to arrange more consignment deals in other locales, while creating my works and filling orders placed directly with me. I’m also in the process of setting up a tent studio in my backyard.

I’m a college student, which means that I have been hustling for financial aid and preparing for an upcoming full load of courses covering many different areas, such as Spanish, and Shakespeare.

I’m someone’s adult daughter, which means that I am caregiving for my mother right now, and will probably be so for the foreseeable future as she is having health difficulties and has no one else to keep an eye on her and make sure she’s getting to a doctor except for moi.

I’m a member of an extended family, which means loving and supporting dozens of uncles, aunts, cousins, you name it. It means babysitting occasionally. It means going to Sunday dinners, to birthdays, to weddings, to funerals, or sometimes just cuz. It means caring for babies, and reassuring a sleepless child that she’ll be just fine.

I’m a pet parent of four little animals, including two dogs with special needs who also require attentive care and lots of TLC, having come from abusive situations prior to living with me.

I’m an activist, which means that I have been working hard on a library fundraiser for an endangered library, am hoping to resume volunteering at my local library, and am long overdue to resume updating my website for fellow rape and sexual abuse survivors, which has been helping survivors and their loved ones for over 9 years now.

I’m a friend, which means listening to long venting sessions and emphathizing, the need to get away and enjoy myself with others, and trying to crochet summer baby blankets for a pregnant friend.

I’m someone with responsibilies to the environment, which means gardening, making jewelry with recycled materials, and trying to figure out how to reduce my carbon footprint.

I’m a person with a physical body, which means getting up at 6 am to head to the community center to work out, studying the food pyramid, and yes, preparing meals that are good for me and for my loved ones who will be eating my food.

I’m an intellectual seeker, which means I have to have my nose in several books at one time, that I have to have debate and discussion with others, and that I have to have, gasp, a thought life!

I’m a spiritual seeker, which means learning about the earth and the spirit realm through a variety of ways, be it books, prayer, meditation, or just feeling the wind outside.

I managed to accomplish all of these things at different stages of my life despite having debilitating depression and post-traumatic stress disorder for many years, and you can bet I am doing all these things now and more, as I have reached a state of wellness.

And now the Rush Limbaugh dittoheads of the world want to tell me I get nothing done around my house?

September 15, 2008

Time for another edition of catch-up linkage.

Yesterday’s intended linkage:

This link is scary, Fundamentalist Christians, I suppose of the reconstructionist or dominionist type, are praying for John McCain to be elected president, then die in office. Scary! h/t to MOMocrats.

Christian Liberal asks a simple question, would you rather have more wars or universal health care?

Season of the Bitch shares some thoughts about love.

Marcella at abyss2hope writes about how a father’s internet monitoring software provided crucial evidence in the case against the man who sexually abused his daughter.

Racialicious links to a Salon.com article about some small-town folks’ racist and bigoted attitudes towards Obama. Come on Middle America, you’re making “small-town folks” synonymous with “small-minded folks!” *facepalm*

Crooks and Liars writes about how GOP concern over Hurricane Gustav was a sham, and the treatment of Hurricane Ike by the Republican Party proves it.

Rachel writes about the lack of diversity amongst television political pundits. She also makes the intriguing observation that when we see African-American or Latino pundits, they tend to be conservative…

Feministe offers up some truthiness to combat the McCain campaign’s lies.

White Trash Academic talks about what it was like to grow up poor, white, and in a trailer park.

Today’s linkage:

Marcella at abyss2hope shares more info about Sarah Palin and Wasila Alaska’s callous policy of charging rape victims for their own rape kits…

White Trash Academic has a weird news post of her own, check it out!

Michelle writes about Dick Armey’s being an apologist for the “Bubba vote,” aka, rural American racists…

Reappropriate writes about the sexism of gamers.

Crooks and Liars reports on do-do bird Jonah Goldberg pulling the POW card to explain McCain’s computer illiteracy and accuses Obama of ableism. Okaaaaay Jonah, that’s the ticket… *raises eyebrow*

Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez writes about how some Latinas feel about Sarah Palin and this election.

Feministe analyzes the racism and sexism present in the offerings of Halloween costumes every season.

MOMocrats has an update on Troopergate.

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