Why do Cocks Still Dominate Cockpits?

In the past six months, I’ve been travelling by plane more often than I’ve flown in the entire rest of my life.

As I boarded my latest flight to San Fransisco from Portland, the realization finally confronted me head-on:

I’ve yet to encounter a single female pilot.

That seemed normal enough for a while. I don’t think it’s exactly a secret that men clearly dominate that particular industry…

I realize now, I just didn’t know quite how dismal this professional landscape looked at this point.

So my curiosity led me to the same place it leads most modern humans: I googled it.

“Why are there so few female airline pilots?” I asked.

I wasn’t expecting to learn anything uplifting (women are just silly if they enter these types of territory with optimism, although I hope that changes).

But it was considerably more depressing than I had hoped.

Bear in mind, this is coming from an eternal pessimist who is convinced the glass never started out with anything more than the half empty it is now.

I don’t want to focus on discouraging statistics because this post is certainly NOT about how underrepresented women currently are in the aviation industry.

Let’s suffice to say that most of my research sources seem to agree that women make up a measly five percent of all commercial airline pilots.

I know…that’s fucking terrible.

But the next natural thing for me to wonder was, “what is the fucking problem for women here?!”

The job isn’t super demanding physically or anything.

Women and men should have equal potential in something like aviation, right?

Sure appears that way to me.

But I guess I’d also like to see more female NASCAR drivers and don’t really understand why there aren’t more of those already.

To be clear, I am in NO way a fan of NASCAR. There is nothing wrong with being one, of course. But I am not.

Having made that clarification, lets get back to the serious lack of women pilots.

Most of us aren’t especially brilliant and we are almost always late to show up for the party when we arrive at questions like the ones I was currently seeking answers to.

In almost all cases, smarter people have beat us to wondering the same things and usually do more in the pursuit of answers than we will ever do ourselves as well.

So it came as no surprise to me that the British Airways’s Future Pilots Programme had already done research in the hopes of identifying what was discouraging young girls from entering the aviation field.

Which leads us to what I personally feel is the saddest statistic in this entire story, by far: one fifth of respondants were NOT aware that women were allowed to have roles beyond cabin crew.

Read that a couple more times please. Let it sink in.

What the actual fuck? It’s 2017.

Epic fail, entire world.

So there is one lame as fuck reason to start the list, right?

Coming in at second place is the complete lack of female role models present in the industry currently.

Kind of a massive DERP, I know.

But it matters more than we may initially realize, so don’t brush past this.

When you have never seen someone like yourself in a certain role, what reason would you really have to think that it was a possibility for yourself?

Shocking answer: clearly you wouldn’t. As supported by the findings of this survey.

So that sucks.

But what about the creative world of cinema and fiction? Surely in realms where anything is possible, we would find more female pilots…right?

Apparently not.

I challenge you to name a single movie or TV show that features one, even in a minor role.

Fun trivia fact: In 1972, Yvonne Pope Sintes became Britain’s very first female pilot after working her way up the ranks from being a stewardess.

How was she greeted by her new male colleagues?

One of them told her that if women ever joined, he would resign.

I don’t know how she responded, but I know what I would have fucking said to the douchebag.

Probably something like, “it’s already happened dumbass, no one is going to miss you. So why are you still here, unless you’re not a man of your word?”

But like most men, I’m mouthy and obnoxious. And a little over the top.
Most other women, however, are less of these things.

And I commend them for it, even if I fail the same test.

I like that women tend to have more class and a certain type of dignity than is common among their male counterparts.

Who knows? Maybe someday I will even take a lesson from them and shut the fuck up for two seconds. I doubt it though.

And if those aren’t enough reasons to explain all of this, I’ve got one more for you.

Sunshine.co.uk (an online travel agent) conducted a survey that found that just over half of those questioned admitted to being less likely to trust female pilots.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I can’t think of anything that would be more inspiring than being told half of your passengers don’t think you can handle pressure or fly a plane as well as a man could.

Hell yes.

I’m starting to understand why the aviation landscape is making progress in gender balance at such blurring speeds and it’s no wonder why women are flocking to become pilots in today’s world.

Don’t you agree?

AirBnB Banned Me Because I’m a Sex Worker

A couple months ago, I signed up for AirBnB.

I was looking for a place to rent for one night for myself, a friend and my dog (Bub).

I provided all of the requested info to confirm my identity when setting up the account (photo ID, selfie, etc).

After browsing rentals, I found one that allowed pets and seemed perfect for our night at the coast.

Made the reservation and my card was charged.

The owner of the property messaged me via Airbnb to let me know the booking had come through and offering to accommodate any special requests I had.

I wrote them back thanking them and everything seemed to be set.

Until…

I went to login to my account to check on the address of the place I had booked, and couldn’t seem to find it where it should have been…there was also a weird notice at the top of screen when I logged in.

Something wasn’t right.

After some digging, I figured out what had happened.

AirBnB cancelled my reservation and terminated my account. They refused to explain why.

I got a standard email claiming I violated some bullshit rule, with a link to their terms of service.

After scanning it, I saw NOTHING applicable to me whatsoever.

But after some Googling, I discovered this story about another user having their account closed simply for being a sex worker.

Hmmm.

That could explain it now, couldn’t it?

Of course, you’d think that AirBnB would include this in their list of terms and conditions. But they don’t.

Just yet another case of corporations blatantly discriminating against sex workers and getting away with it.

They are certainly not alone…

LinkedIn doesn’t want sex workers to use their platform. Even if the type of sex work they engage in is legal.

They don’t care if you’re a prostitute who works legally in Nevada. You’re still not welcome there.

Paypal will ban your account for ANYTHING adult in nature, period. But to their credit, at least they specifically tell you that in their “Acceptable Use Policy.”

The Difference Between Opinions & Judgments

What is the difference between an opinion and a judgement?

According to the dictionary, not much.

In fact, the Google results suggest that the two terms are synonymous.

However, I disagree.

I believe there is a subtle difference which has great significance.

In response to the current political climate, I’ve done a lot of reflecting on what makes opinions different than judgements.

Opinions Are Personal

Opinions seek to govern our own lives in whatever arbitrary ways we prefer things

The way I see things, an opinion is something personal.

Opinions seek to govern our own lives in whatever arbitrary ways we prefer things.

For example, I don’t like kids.

Since I don’t care for children, I choose not to have any of them.

Makes sense, right?

I picked this particular opinion of mine for a reason.

Recently, I discovered a private Facebook group called “Childfree Chicks Confidential” and thought I might fit in, so I made a request to join.

It’s not often I meet anyone in person who has never had any kids of their own, so I thought the idea of joining a fairly large online community (group has over 6,000 members) sounded pretty cool.

And at first, it kind of was.

I posted a couple of memes I created which hadn’t been very popular on my own Facebook timeline, like this one:

I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I figured a joke like this one would be welcome in a group of other women who had decided not to have kids.

It was not only welcome, it ended up getting hundreds of likes and the volume of comments it received was almost too high for me to keep up with.

Needless to say, I had to turn off notifications for it after several hours. For the sake of sanity, that is.

When Opinions Turn Into Bashing

The more time I spent in this group, the more I started to notice how the overwhelming majority of women there used terms like “crotch goblins” and “breeders” to refer to kids and the people who have them.

Now…I don’t have a problem with making jokes like that.

If they are actually jokes.

I don’t understand people who get offended by jokes. The whole point of a joke is that it’s not a serious statement.

That’s why a joke can use racism, stereotypes, sexism or anything else that would otherwise be offensive.

Most of my jokes would make me upset if they were said seriously.

But the more posts I read in this group, the clearer it became that these women were not joking.

I began to sense their hostility towards anyone and everyone with children after a while, and I started to dislike the group because of it.

I mean, it’s listed as a “support group” and I imagine that the whole purpose of creating such a community is to talk about shared struggles and all of that.

So…if a bunch of women feel ostracized because of being childfree, doesn’t that mean they are doing the same exact thing that other people do to them when they start actively bashing on people who have kids?

Personally, I’d like to live in a world where people are treated with respect and we can appreciate our differences.

I have immense respect for my friends who happen to be loving parents. They have taken on a huge responsibility in life that I can’t even imagine taking on myself, so I commend them for all the hard work that goes into raising children.

I see nothing to be gained by tearing them down or trying to turn it into an “us against them” bunch of bullshit.

When I shared these thoughts in the group, the overwhelmingly negative responses I got were enough to sour the group completley for me.

I decided to leave.

Judgements Are Reserved for Others

Judgements seek to govern the lives of others, rather than our own.

Unlike opinions, which I consider personal, judgements are something we reserve for other people.

There is a reason you so often find the world “moral” right before it.

We can’t apply our judgements to ourselves because that would have to mean we did something that we believe is wrong for others to do.

Judgements seek to govern the lives of others, rather than our own.

They also seek to punish others for certain behaviors or actions.

A good universal example is an act like murder or rape.

Most people agree that such actions are morally wrong, and should therefore be punished.

Even I can say I agree with that.

I judge people who murder others just for personal satisfaction.

Here’s an example I don’t understand:

I was recently doing some research on statistics regarding attitudes towards the right to choose, and I discovered the contradiction seen above.

So, one third of all Americans who claim to be “pro-choice” are also claiming to believe that abortion is immoral?

Sorry, that doesn’t work.

It’s perfectly fine to feel like abortion is not the right choice for you to make yourself.

But how are you going to claim that you support the right of other women to have one, while simultaneously judging them as immoral if they do?

Just because you don’t choose to do it doesn’t mean you have to think less of others who do.

In fact, thinking less of them means you DON’T support their choice when it’s different from the one you make.

I mean, let’s switch the action up to better illustrate this.

Would it make sense if one third of Americans who believe murdering others is immoral also claimed to support other people’s right to do it?

No, not really.

Making The Distinction Clear

So by now, you may be wondering how we can easily keep opinions from morphing into judgements.

This isn’t difficult.

Using the same example from earlier, I recently blogged about reasons I don’t want kids.

Do I scratch my head in response to everyone who decides to pop out four or twelve kids?

Absolutely.

I can’t imagine that, I’d probably hang myself with just one.

Do I feel the need to call them names on the internet or act all superior to them because we have a difference of opinion when it comes to kids?

Nope.

I recognize that my opinions are highly personal and don’t extend beyond my own preferences.

Their choices and opinions are every bit as valid as my own.

My Favorite Movies From 2016

My Favorite Movies From 2016

After getting arrested the day after Christmas, I’ve spent a lot of time laying low and avoiding arrest. I know it’s inevitable, but I’m not in any rush to be locked up in some awful cell full of cackling broads who never shut up.

Since my car ended up stranded down at the coast where my parents live for the first couple months of the year, I basically spent most of that time sleeping and watching movies.

I even managed to make myself get up and go to the theater a few times.

I don’t know if it was just me, but it sure seemed like 2016 was a good year for movies. Rather than writing an entire blog post for each of my favorites, I decided to just compile a short list of my top picks of the year.

Hidden Figures

I tend to fall instantly in love with movies about strong women who overcome huge obstacles and adversity on their quests to accomplish great things.

Which is why Million Dollar Baby is one of my absolute all time favorite movies.

We often see the stories of men and their achievements made into films, and I’m glad to see that more are now being made to tell the equally as amazing stories of women throughout history as well.

Hidden Figures introduced me to three very special women who I knew almost nothing about before going to see it in the theater.

I feel like it portrayed their struggles as female pioneers in the field of science in a very real and down-to-earth way. It managed to effectively capture just how challenging it is to be the smartest person in the room who also happens to be female.

Don’t shrug this off or dismiss it just because you are a guy, either.

Often their battles are fought in silence, they know that they are fortunate to have made it as far as they have at NASA and they don’t want to push their luck.

I also have a soft spot for stories about marginalized groups of people, and I was glad to see the theater as packed as it was for the showing I attended.

Don’t shrug this off or dismiss it just because you are a guy, either.

This is an important film for everyone to see.

In fact, Kevin Costner’s performance offers a very inspiring example of how to stand up for women in the workplace and become an advocate of feminism and equality.

Hacksaw Ridge

When I hear the term “conscientious objector,” I think of men who opposed war and resisted the draft during Vietnam.

It’s a concept I can relate to, as I would feel the same way.

However, I never would have guessed that any of these men would have been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.

How the hell does that happen?

Typically speaking, I wouldn’t exactly call myself a big fan of war movies.

However, I suppose it makes sense that I thoroughly loved Hacksaw Ridge considering that Mel Gibson directed one of my other favorite movies about war.

Braveheart, of course.

But Hacksaw Ridge is better, in my opinion.

Yes, it’s about the Vietnam War and to say it includes a lot of violence would be an understatement.

Anyone who has seen Gibson’s Passion of the Christ will already understand the level of physical brutality that can be expected.

But this true story of a man who went to war as a medic and without so much as a gun to protect himself from the enemy, was deeply moving.

Particularly since he is greeted by animosity at every turn throughout his journey. Not just from the enemy, but more often from his own side.

Nevertheless, he is determined to avoid compromising his beliefs and seems driven by an unshakable kind of faith that makes me almost envious.

Zootopia

I really wasn’t sure what to expect when I sat down to watch Zootopia. I hadn’t heard much about it, just knew there was a lot of buzz surrounding it.

But that’s typical for anything Disney, right?

For the record, I’m a hardcore Disney fan and I have been since I was a kid.

But make no mistake! Zootopia is JUST as much for adults as it is for children, in my opinion.

Not only did it turn me into a creepy weirdo who now has a huge crush on a fucking animated fox, but it made me laugh more than any movie has in a long time too.

Zootopia is JUST as much for adults as it is for children

Would you believe me if I told you a Disney movie includes a blatant reference to Breaking Bad?

Yeah, I would have called bullshit on that too.

But we would have been wrong!

If you are like me, then you’re probably a compassionate person who cares about equality and social progress.

But maybe you shake your head a bit over college kids who are offended by every joke they hear and hide in “safe spaces” to avoid the real world.

If so, you will LOVE Zootopia.

It mocks the level of insanity we’ve reached in modern society perfectly while cleverly weaving it into something safe for all ages.

Deadpool

I also wouldn’t necessarily call myself a big fan of movies based on comic books. Which makes sense, since I was never a fan of comic books themselves!

But there is the rare exception when it comes to movies.

I liked the very first X-Men movie. Of course, that seems like it was a fucking long time ago now. Because I guess it was.

Since then, there have been so many of them that it feels like things are just getting stupid, at least to me.

Add him to my list of fictional crushes before I forget, please.

Aaaand then I watched Deadpool.

While comic book movies aren’t usually my favorite, I’m a sucker for anything with good action.

In fact, good action combined with a compelling revenge story is my absolute favorite.

This is why Kill Bill Volumes 1 & 2 are among my all time favorites.

So as soon as Ryan Reynold’s started talking in the opening scene of Deadpool, I was sold.

Add him to my list of fictional crushes before I forget, please.

I guess it’s probably his manic, fast-paced and profanity-laden style of narrating the story. Or perhaps his consistent sarcasm and self-deprecating sense of humor.

Then again, it might have been how secure he seems when it comes to his sexuality…and by that, I mean how ambiguous it manages to remain.

Okay, so it’s EVERYTHING about him that I loved.

Yeah, that’s what I meant.

Manchester by the Sea

All I can say is “WOW!”

I saved Manchester by the Sea for the end of this list, since it may very well be my favorite of the bunch.

This might be the closest thing to the male equivalent of your standard “chick flick” drama. You know, sort of like a Terms of Endearment for dudes (but a much better movie, in my opinion).

I have to say, the first half of the movie is kind of surreal. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a film that captures the awkwardness of everday life the way this one does.

Not to mention, I can’t remember the last time I laughed AND cried so much within the same two hours, while watching movies or doing anything else.

This movie deals with a lot of tough situations and you’ll want to have a box of Kleenex nearby, trust me.

I think it’s safe to say that this role will be the one Casey Affleck is remembered for. And for good reason.

So which movies from 2016 are your favorites? Which ones do I need to watch that I haven’t seen yet? Share in the comments.

Why Donald Trump is Actually the Perfect President

perfect president

Once I had recovered from the initial shock and personal devastation of the 2016 Presidential election, I spent an entire afternoon writing down all of my thoughts and feelings surrounding it.

It wasn’t easy.

I had to keep taking breaks to make sure I didn’t lose my mind.

While I managed to ramble on for more than 2,800 words, I did say everything I have to say about politics.

But that was written back in late November, before Trump had even invaded the White House.

Now that we have survived the first few months of President Chump, I have realized how glad I actually am that he won.

Let me explain why.

I Care Even Less About Him

Before he decided to run for President, Donald Trump was just a stupid sounding name on a long list of rich, old and white douchebags I had filed away somewhere in my memory.

In other words, I didn’t give one speck of a fuck about him whatsoever.

I had never watched an episode of his dumbfuck show The Apprentice.

I had never tried to read any of the books he paid other people to write so that he could claim to be an “author.”

I hadn’t even suffered through watching any of his interviews or speeches.

He was invisible to me because 1) I have good taste and 2) I had ZERO interest in hearing anything he had to say.

When he began his campaign, he became easy joke material and I got a few good laughs at his expense.

But the only way I could have found him LESS interesting than I had before, was if he won the election.

Now that he has, I’ll never have to see him or hear from him again.

Making America Great Again

I’m sure that Southern plantation owners weren’t doing cartwheels after the end of the American Civil War.

They’d just spent five long years getting their asses kicked, only to lose both the war and their slaves to a bunch of assholes who said owning them wasn’t allowed anymore.

If one of them had ran for President after Lincoln, I’ll bet they would have used the same tagline Trump did for their campaign!

They would have understood how America had been so much greater before those damn Yankees started meddling in their affairs.

Those damn Yankees!

First, they tried to take away their slaves. Who the fuck did they think they were, exactly?

Then they dragged the Confederacy into a fucking WAR over it and those bastards won.

You have to understand that for this group of people, America became LESS great for them after slaves were finally freed.

You have to understand that for this group of people, America became LESS great for them after slaves were finally freed.

Did it become greater for African Americans who were no longer slaves?

The obvious answer is yes, but it’s not like everything was suddenly fine for everyone the moment that happened.

Freedom isn’t the same thing as equality, or even equal freedoms.

But without basic freedom, the Civil Rights Movement could never have taken place later on.

Fast forward to today, and I think most enlightened people would agree that abolishing slavery made the country a better place for MORE PEOPLE.

Sort of like…oh, I don’t know, the Affordable Care Act!

While being far from ironed out or perfect, the goal was to make healthcare a right of all citizens.

You know, like every other major first-world country on the fucking planet.

Will this right come at a certain cost?

You better believe it will! It ISN’T gonna be cheap.

Doctor visits, surgeries, cancer treatments and trips to the emergency room are fucking EXPENSIVE in the US.

Way too expensive for most of us to pay, unfortunately.

A doctor’s salary can’t be paid by anyone living in poverty.

The people who can afford to pay a doctor his salary are the people in the same income bracket!

People like…Donald Trump!

The only problem is that Donald Trump didn’t become a billionaire by helping poor people pay the medical bills that ensured their future poverty.

Why the hell should he suddenly be required to pay more for other people AND for his own healthcare?!

I’m sure the idea sounds very un-American to a man who makes fortunes by scamming people out of their savings with shady promises of becoming as “successful” as he is!

Letting Me Off The Hook

After election night, it felt like my soul had literally been crushed.

Now that several months have passed, I feel relieved.

If Hillary Clinton had won (OR if our votes mattered), I’d probably have to continue following politics more closely or keep tabs on the news like a goddamn grownup.

And that thought scares me.

You might think that’s silly, but…

To me, the perfect illustration of silliness would be a bunch of morons over the age of thirty who somehow manage to convince themselves that the things they do have a measureable effect on ANYTHING in this world.

Because the fact is, they don’t.

It doesn’t matter if you vote or not. It literally means nothing.

It doesn’t matter if you vote or not. It literally means nothing.

Period.

It doesn’t matter if you join protesters and march in some kind of “solidarity.”

Pipelines will still be built, women won’t be treated equally and #NotMyPresident doesn’t declare Portland, OR a sovereign nation (no matter how long it trends on Twitter).

When I was thirteen years old, it was easy to stay in touch with this reality. Everyone knows that you can’t do shit about anything when you’re a kid.

What I don’t understand is why they think that changes as adults!

He Validates My Life Choices

In case you don’t know me very well, let’s make something crystal clear: my choices in life have NOT been “popular.”

Whenever possible, I choose to reject just about everything that most people blindly accept as being a requirement in society.

The greatest advantage I had in doing this was my complete lack of fucking concern for the opinions others have about me and the things I do.

Most people try to find a suitable path in life within the systems that currently exist (which we are born into and often can’t control).

They work hard, go to college and pay their taxes so that they can buy a house and enjoy a certain quality of life.

That’s fine, but the only problem is that they often end up with a FALSE sense of ownership and security.

If you get fired and lose your job, it was never really YOURS to begin with.

It belonged to your employer, who took it back.

In the end, you have no rights of ownership over it.

After being fired, you don’t have the money to make your mortgage payment for a few consecutive months.

If the bank forecloses on it, that means you didn’t own it to begin with.

THEY did.

Owning a home or having a successful career in a given field ONLY works when you play by the rules of OTHER people.

Owning a home or having a successful career in a given field ONLY works when you play by the rules of OTHER people.

If you break them, you lose the things that you thought belonged to you.

Because, in reality, nothing belongs to you.

Over the past several years, I’ve read dozens of stories in the news about successful people posting their personal opinions on Facebook and then losing their jobs and ending up with nothing as a result.

Which means that even when you DO play by the rules and put in the work for the success you enjoy, having thoughts of your own and sharing them with the world is NOT okay.

You aren’t allowed to share opinions on Facebook and keep your job. Unless they are widely shared by society, of course.

Anything too far from the norm will leave you on the “fringe” and likely cost you your station in life.

Personally? I think that’s complete bullshit.

But most people think my version of life is too “extreme.”

They shake their heads at my choices to abuse drugs and get paid for sex.

Both are illegal and people are too scared to break the laws which prohibit them.

Now that a madman is trying to run the country and take away everyone’s rights to basically everything, I’ll bet the idea of rejecting society and government doesn’t seem so fucking “extreme” to a lot of those same people now.

How could it?

If Trump and his cronies manage to make abortion illegal, will it stop you from getting one if you need to?

If your answer was “no” then my suggestion is to say it LOUDER and remember which set of rules you live by: theirs or YOUR OWN?