I've been living under a rock the past year or so, pissing my life away and playing with the next door neighbor's cat (who is a complete cutie pie by the way) but apparently during this hibernation period I have unfortunately missed out on the shit show that has become Justin Bieber's career.
Bieber is the only person I can think of whose music has actually gotten better, but the public perception of him has gotten worse.
Dude has peed on, fought, spit on, and basically pissed off every living human being on planet earth besides the Pope. And if he ever meets the Pope he'll probably demand they turn on some 2 Chainz in the Vatican and if they don't he'll take his shirt off in the middle of mass like “come at me bro.”
That's one of the pitfalls of unchecked youthful fame; your fucks given do not exist. But the latest saga in the Bieber breakdown comes all the way from our friends down under in wonderful Brazil. The land of beautiful beaches, big soccer matches, and bigger tabloid stories. Apparently, little Bieber took a trip to a local brothel, hired some prostitutes, and brought them back to his hotel for a little of the ol' ultra-violence.
Now, people's perception of prostitution is usually generally negative. Especially here in the States. For some reason, we feel like taking someone out on a date and spending money on them when you have no intention of doing anything besides having sex with them is somehow more moral and acceptable than a simple gentleman's agreement up front, but that's another debate.
Most people will judge Justin Bieber for buying sex. “Oh my god, how could he take advantage of those girls like that” you'll say. And then you'll go out to your local dive bar on ladies night where the alcohol is cheaper than the water and try to buy drinks for some girl you met 10 minutes ago in the hopes that the alcohol will make her forget that you're a loser and make her want to have sex with you.
Yes my friend, you are totally the moral superior in this situation.
Now I don't know much about Justin Bieber's sex life, but I do know a little bit about the general sex lives of famous people. People have this perception that famous people can just have sex with whoever they want, whenever they want. And technically, you're correct. But in practice, that's not a very good idea.
Having sex with someone puts you in an extremely vulnerable position. And if you're someone important, like a celebrity, or a politician, or an athlete, you can't run the chance of having casual sex with someone and them trying to get pregnant or taking pictures of you naked or trying to blackmail you. Remember that time that fan brought a paternity suit against Justin? Yeah, Justin learned his lesson from that one.
Unless you are trying to be in an actual relationship with someone, really famous people should not casually hook up with mere peasants. It will bite you in the ass sooner than later. In his situation your casual sex partners are pretty much contained to two categories: other people who are famous/important/have just as much to lose as you do, or sex workers. You don't pay a prostitute to have sex with you; you pay a prostitute to leave, and to not tell anyone.
Apparently, Mr. Bieber got hooked up with some severely bad prostitutes and he should ask for a refund, but usually this is the mindset behind famous people paying for sex. It's simply safer. The prostitute isn't going to get on Facebook and tell all her friends about how she slept with so and so and that he had a small penis, only lasted three strokes and cried afterwards. It would be on TMZ in an hour and she'd have a book deal the next day.
Let's not be so quick to judge people in Justin's situation simply because we cannot fathom a world where every personal bond or relationship formed has to be an astute business decision.
Honestly Biebs, I got your back. These peasants do not understand our struggle. Just spring for better prostitutes next time; this is what you get for trying to haggle down sex workers.
Plus celebrities react to Nigerian protests.
Young people across Nigeria have been pouring into the streets for the last two weeks to protest police brutality, specifically the controversial special police force known as the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
Tension came to a head on Tuesday when armed forces fired on protestors in Lagos, the biggest city in Nigeria, who were out past the state-mandated curfew. According to AP News, "Police also fired tear gas at one point, and smoke could be seen billowing from several areas in the city's center. Two private TV stations were forced off the air at least temporarily as their offices were burned."
Not all non-binary people prefer gender-neutral pronouns.
October 21, 2020 marks the third annual International Pronouns Day.
Created by an independent board and first observed in 2018, it's one of those small commemorative holidays that trends on Twitter in hopes of drawing attention to a pressing social issue, like International Women's Day (March 8th) or the ever so serious National Taco Day (October 4).
But Pronouns Day in particular "seeks to make respecting, sharing, and educating about personal pronouns commonplace." The organization's website further describes, "Referring to people by the pronouns they determine for themselves is basic to human dignity. Being referred to by the wrong pronouns particularly affects transgender and gender nonconforming people. Together, we can transform society to celebrate people's multiple, intersecting identities."
But in the words of nonbinary activist and Trevor Project's Head of Advocacy and Government Afairs, Sam Brenton, "Pronouns are hard." Never before have pronouns been scrutinized as closely as they are in 2019 for their power to (in)validate or accurately describe something as fluid as gender identity. In fact, it was only this year that the Merriam-Webster Dictionary expanded the definition of "they" "to refer to a single person whose gender identity is nonbinary" (thus codifying a long history in English language of using "they" to refer to a singular non-gendered entity).
‘Everyone has the responsibility to be respectful.’ — The @TrevorProject’s Sam Brinton is explaining why pronouns a… https://t.co/pMMO8KRvBR— NowThis (@NowThis)1571253180.0
But throwing an additional wrench in the works is the fact that not all non-binary people prefer gender-neutral pronouns.
Take me, for instance: Despite having female biology, I couldn't pass a lie detector test saying I'm a "woman." But my pragmatic, Puritan family is still endearingly confused by the idea of "liberal arts," let alone the notion of gender fluidity. And I'd rather share a communal language with them than do the emotional and mental labor of re-orienting their worldview for them. Plus, I have the privilege of passing as female without feeling too, too, terribly dysphoric (which non-binary people can definitely suffer from, despite not identifying as trans).
But enough about me, look at Queer Eye's beloved Jonathan Van Ness. While he's been outspoken about being genderqueer, gay, and HIV positive, he prefers he/him pronouns. "The older I get, the more I think that I'm nonbinary," Van Ness said. "I'm gender nonconforming. Like, some days I feel like a man, but then other days I feel like a woman." As he told Out magazine, he doesn't identify as a man, but he does prefer "he/him/his" pronouns. In his view, those pronouns don't detract from or contradict his non-binary identity, because gender is not about simple binaries between masculine and feminine identifiers. "Any opportunity I have to break down stereotypes of the binary, I am down for it, I'm here for it," he said. "I think that a lot of times gender is used to separate and divide. It's this social construct that I don't really feel like I fit into the way I used to."
On the other hand, last month non-binary singer Sam Smith announced that their preferred pronouns are "they/them." Smith posted to Instagram, "I've decided I am changing my pronouns to THEY/THEM ❤ after a lifetime of being at war with my gender I've decided to embrace myself for who I am, inside and out." People like Smith and Trevor Project's Sam Brenton simply feel more validated, seen, heard, and true to themselves with gender-neutral pronouns. Smith wrote, "I'm so excited and privileged to be surrounded by people that support me in this decision but I've been very nervous about announcing this because I care too much about what people think but f*ck it!"
Most importantly, as pretty much every non-binary person and activist is aware, changing cultural norms is hard. While LGBTQ+ activism is inspired and passionate and dedicated to expanding human rights to all gender identities, we all know that changing society's entire understanding of gender and pronoun usage is about slowly opening minds. As Smith wrote, "I understand there will be many mistakes and mis gendering but all I ask is you please please try. I hope you can see me like I see myself now. Thank you." Happy Pronouns Day to you/him/her/they/(f)aer/zim.