TIL of the “Tiffany Problem”. Tiffany is a medieval name—short for Theophania—from the 12th century. Authors can’t use it in historical or fantasy fiction, however, because the name looks too modern. This is an example of how reality is sometimes too unrealistic.


“Authors can’t use it in fantasy fiction, eh? We’ll see about that…”

–Terry Pratchett, probably

Try to implement anything but a conservative’s sixth grade education level of medieval or Victorian times and you will butt into this. all. the. time. 

There was a literaly fad in the 1890′s for nipple rings for all genders(and NO, it was NOT under the mistaken belief that it would help breastfeeding–there’s LOTS of doctors’ writing at the time telling people to STOP and that they thought it would ruin the breast’s ability to breastfeed well, etc). It was straight up because the Victorians were freaks, okay
Imagine trying to make a Victorian character with nipple rings. IMAGINE THE ACCUSATIONS OF GROSS HISTORICAL INACCURACY

people just really, REALLY have entrenched ideas of what people in the past were like

tell them the vikings were clean, had a complex democratic legal system, respected women, had freeform rap battles, and had child support payments? theyd call you a liar

tell them that chopsticks became popular in china during the bronze age because street food vendors were all the rage and they wanted to have disposable eating utensils? theyll say youre making that up

tell them native americans had a trade network stretching from canada to peru and built sacred mounds bigger then the pyramids of giza? you are some SJW twisting facts

ancient egypt had circular saws, debt cards, and eye surgery? are you high?

our misconception of medieval peasants being illiterate and living in poverty in one room mud huts being their own creation as part of a century long tax aversion scam? you stole that from the game of thrones reject bin

iron age india had stone telescopes, air conditioning, and the number 0 along with all ‘arabic’ numbers including algebra and calculus? i understand some of those words.

romans had accurate maps detailing vacation travel times along with a star rating for hotels along the way, fast food restaurants, swiss army knives, black soldiers in brittany, traded with china, and that soldiers wrote thank-you notes when their parents sent them underwear in the mail? but they thought the earth was flat!

ancient bronze age mesopotamia had pedantic complaints sent to merchants about crappy goods, comedic performances, and transgender/nobinary representation? what are you smoking?

Adding my personal favorite: people in medieval Europe took baths.

India had ways of processing iron for weatherproofing that we still can’t match 1600 years later.

Truth is stranger than fiction, and history is weirder than you think.

this post gets better every time it comes across my dash. To provide some more: those Romans also had vending machines, automated puppet plays, doors that opened to the sound of horns when you lit a fire in front of them, and working steam engines. All invented by one dude, Hero of Alexandria.

People generally want to think that the Dark Ages is the sum of the entire history of the world.

Charlemagne had a frigging PET ELEPHANT, sent as a present by the Caliph over in Bahgdad.

Emperor Frederick II. (around 1200) crossed the Alps with his own private zoo, including giraffes, in order to impress and dazzle his Germanic subjects, and it frigging worked. He also introduced legislation that a doctor was not allowed to also sell medicine (to prevent obvious charlatanery), but had to write a recipe for an apothecary to then redeem, which is a system STILL IN USE in Germany and other countries. He spoke several language, was tolerant towards his Muslim subjects in southern Italy (you read that correctly) and was opposed to trial by combat on reasons of it being unfair and irrational. Oh, and he wrote a book on ornithology. 

Ancient Persians knew how to make frozen desserts even in summer, thus basically being the inventors of ice cream.

Medieval monks had an efficient way of testing for pregnacy (by pouring the urine of a woman on a toad, which, if the woman was pregnant, would change colour…).




I think for mental illness in particular, most good advice comes from a place of empathy. If you know the brainspace someone is in, you can recognize which things are going to be actively unhelpful and which might help. even if all you can do is say “yep, that thing! that thing sucks!” that’s often really valuable by itself.

And mental illness brainstates are weird, and complicated, and hard to understand if you’ve never experienced them. “I just don’t see any point in being alive” is very hard to make sense of if you haven’t been depressed. (Some people are unusually good at it, though I expect many of them have actually themselves experienced undiagnosed depression too.)

I think the thing people are trying to get at with the ‘neurotypical Karen’ complaint is advice that doesn’t seem to come from a place of empathy, advice generated by someone who fundamentally doesn’t get what is going on in your head and which is accordingly telling you to pull strings that aren’t even there or strings you’ve been pointlessly tugging on for years.

But of course, there aren’t just ‘healthy brains’ and ‘broken brains’, and different broken brains can have different strings. And so even when mentally ill people are talking to each other, they’re often going to be giving advice that lands flat because it’s referencing a different kind of problem. 

And – mentally ill people need to talk to each other. It’s where practically all the good advice is. The more there is out there, the better we can do. So we have to have a way of saying ‘that advice is for a different brain’ without saying ‘that advice is for a whole, healthy brain, which you must have’ or ‘it’s bad to try to come up with advice based on your own experiences’ or ‘if you are wrong about relating your experiences to someone’s, you did something bad’.

Obviously, don’t give specific strangers unsolicited mental health advice. But sharing your tactics, your ideas, the strings you’ve pulled successfully, the strings that you can’t figure out how to deal with? That’s important. We need it.

being autistic really highlights this issue. i’ve gotten a lot of very kind, empathetic, thoughtful advice from people who are simply running a different OS from the one my brain is running.

Reminded of the time I got yelled at for responding to a thread that ended with something approximately “why would you ever suggest meditation for ruminative anxiety oh my god” with a comment summing up like “actually I have ruminative anxiety and I’ve found traditional meditation useful for learning to stop the spiral before it gets bad by redirecting my brain to stop thinking for a while and then start up again on something not anxiety-inducing”. 

I even! Acknowledged! that this might not work for everyone and that if someone’s tried meditating and it just left them with too much brain space for Anxiety to happen in, they should stop doing that thing and try something else! But that maybe don’t assume that it’s terrible for everyone with similar anxiety types just because ONE PERSON had a bad experience! 

Like my dudes there is a difference between responding to someone saying “meditation was a really bad option for me and I wish neurotypical people would stop suggesting it” directly with “but meditation is good tho” (not the thing I did) and responding to someone responding to that OP with “oh my god why would anyone ever think that meditation could possibly be useful for that specific problem” with “I have that specific problem and have found it useful, here’s how it’s helped, that’s probably why people think it’s a good idea to suggest” (what I was at least trying to do). 






Boozhoo (hello), my name is Ken, I am a disabled Ojibwe artist from northern Wisconsin. I am writing this post because I am having a hard time making ends meet and any donations I could possibly receive at this time would be greatly appreciated. Recent events have left my bank account depleted and my cupboards bare, I have some food but it will not last and I still do not know how I will cover all the utility bills.

I do have PayPal, that is really the best way to donate at this time, the email I use for that is:, or you can click here.

The utility bill for September is in and I definitely do not have the funds to cover it this month, any help is greatly appreciated.

On top of everything I am still short $80 for the utility bill

$40 short

On letting go and being friends.



jicklet replied to your post “A review that turns into a rant.”

This means a lot to me. I’ve lost a lot of, well, what I thought were friendships with dudes due to the not moving on thing. You’ve got a good attitude about it, Froggy.

Sadly, this lesson took me way too long to learn. I was influenced by peers and society to think of every friendship with a woman as a potential romantic entanglement. It wasn’t until my late 20s that I realized how toxic and ridiculous that attitude was. 

When you view everything through that romantic lens, it taints the friendship. You stop trying to bond normally and everything turns into strategizing. 

“Maybe if I think of more flattering compliments.” 
“Maybe if I give unexpected gifts.”

I had this notion that continued effort could win hearts. I had seen it in movies and TV shows. My friends even told me that I should keep trying. Perhaps I could wear her down and magically she would see me in a different light. 

If you persist you can win your prize! 

But people aren’t prizes. 
You can’t exchange your Nice Guy™ points for romantic rewards. 
And feelings of attraction rarely change. 

I wish more young people understood that attraction is a fickle thing. Much of it takes place in that stubborn lizard brain. The feeling is either there or not. One look. One conversation can be all it takes to decide. 

Yes, sometimes people can take a bit longer to warm up. 

But not that long. 

Once someone has a decent perception of who you are as a person… if they aren’t feeling that biz in their brain and bits… move on. 

(I know not everyone feels things in their bits, but it was good alliteration and I couldn’t help myself.)

And maybe give some serious consideration to friendship. Real friendship. If for one second you think “Aww, man. I’m in the stupid friendzone!”… that isn’t real. Friendship is not a substandard consolation prize. If you feel that way, kindly punch yourself in the face, apologize for being a buttmunch, and excuse yourself from their life. 

If someone had just explained this to me at 15, I could have saved myself so much heartache. So much embarrassment. And there are probably some friends of mine who I put into uncomfortable situations that were completely unnecessary. I shouldn’t have needed 32 hints to understand. The fact that some of those women still talk to me decades later is a miracle. 

But the worst part is the regret. I ruined two very close friendships because I kept trying to create a spark that didn’t exist. 

And I wasted soooo… much… time. 

I didn’t even consider exploring other, more realistic options. I let potential romantic pairings slip away because I wouldn’t let go.

My brain got switched into angsty melodrama mode.

“She’s the one.”
“She’s my soulmate.”
“She just doesn’t know it yet!”

I’m so embarrassed to even admit I was like that. 

Eventually, I realized that once I dropped the romantic pretense, I got along better with the women in my life more than the men. It was a huge lightbulb moment. (And no, this isn’t a “grrr… men suck” deal. Those specific men at that time just sucked, okay?) I found my interactions with the women in my life more rewarding. It was so much easier to be emotional. It felt freeing to open up in that way. To talk about deeper things. To have more intimate conversations without any awkwardness. Even the hugs were better. Hugging men was always like… *pat pat* *release* and then no eye contact for ten seconds after hug completion. I had more fulfilling handshakes.  

My guy friendships all seemed to focus around pure geekery and my ability to make them laugh. Video games or sports or computers or the latest cool media franchise. I enjoyed talking about shared interests. I liked making people laugh. But then I’d talk about my depression or poor health and they’d get uncomfortable. If I wasn’t happy-fun-guy all the time they’d just nod and try to change the subject. As I got sicker, I didn’t have the energy to be “on” all the time. It was exhausting to try. 

Once I finally started accepting the women in my life as nothing more than friends, I found a source of emotional support that I really needed. And I was decent at returning that, so our friendships were more even. Mutually beneficial. I could be funny when I wanted to. I could be serious when I wanted to. I could be a shoulder to cry on. They could be a much needed hugging companion. And that was so much more important than trying to find a date. My body was falling apart and romance seemed so trivial. The women in my life took care of me. The men faded away.

Then I started being bothered with how my male friends talked about women. Bragging about sneakily watching girls in yoga pants work out. Talking about their significant others looks as if those were their only admirable features. Detailing sexual conquests as if they were recapping a sporting event. Asking me when I was going to “hit that” about my friends. Then making fun of me when I told them it wasn’t like that. 

As I got closer to women, the more I saw them as equals and well… human beings. I mean, I wasn’t very directly sexist or misogynistic in general. But I also never thought about sexism or misogyny even when it was right in front of me. My issues were more internalized. 

These conversations with men started really frustrating me. I found myself playing the part of “bro” and feeling scummy afterward. If that happened today I’m hoping I’d have the courage to say something. But I was just figuring this stuff out and was a bit of a chicken then. 

Ever since that lightbulb moment I’ve been much more open to just being friends with women. And I’m a bit pickier when befriending men. I know someone is probably going to read this and think I’m trashing all men. It’ll be the M&Ms all over again. All I can say is that these are anecdotal examples of my personal experiences. If people generalize beyond that scope, that is up to them. 

What’s the expression? 

Not all men? 
Some of my best friends are men! 
My father is a man!
My dog is a tiny furry man! 

All kidding aside… I think the quality of all my friendships (men/women/non-binary) has increased substantially since I had this epiphany. I just sought out more fulfilling relationships in general. 

I think I’ll end with a relevant story. 

I had a crush on my current best friend in the whole world. 

For about 3 days. 

We were exchanging Facebook messages. Getting to know each other. I thought she was cute. After a few days she mustered up her courage and let me know that she was gay. She feared that would be the end of our communications. In the past, many guys would just disappear once that bomb dropped. She worried it would be the same with me. 

Maybe 15 years ago that would have been me. I don’t know. 

But she was hilarious and talented and smart and adorable. Our conversational chemistry was incredibly in sync. Talking to her took almost no energy because everything came so naturally. And for someone with CFS, that is a rare delight. I don’t know if I have ever connected that strongly that quickly with anyone in my life. 

After that message, I immediately ended my crush and started our friendship. The easiest and best decision I’ve ever made. 

I was just like…
“You’re awesome! Let’s be friends!”
She was like “YAY!”
And I was like “YAY!”
And the rest is history. 

It’s been 5 years and we’re closer today than we’ve ever been. 

But the fact that we even had that exchange is the reason I think we need to be teaching this to young people. Telling someone you are unavailable romantically should not even be a bomb that is dropped. It should be a low pressure FYI. 

I’m not saying you can’t be disappointed. Or that you should be able to instantly turn off feelings like a light switch. That takes time and experience. I’m also not saying you need to be friends with every person that rejects you. I’m just saying don’t pass up a good thing.

You can learn to move on. 

Once you accept the reality, it’s actually not that hard. And the more you do it, the easier it is to let go. 

You can just be friends. 

Once you abandon the romantic nonsense, you might even find a closer, more rewarding bond. 

This mindset changed my life and gave me a best friend. I feel like a less sucky person too.  

I highly recommend it. 


I will now patiently wait for angry messages from men who say I drank the feminist Kool-Aid and I’m saying all this just to attract women. Even though that is contrary to everything I just said and it has had a 0 percent success rate so far. (Not that I’m keeping track. It’s just that 0 is pretty easy to count to.)

Or that I’m white-knighting and trying to appear virtuous even though the things I’ve described are mostly the bare minimum for being a decent human and require no adulation. You shouldn’t expect a cookie for doing what is… well… expected.

Also, I’m not putting all women up on a pedestal either. I’ve encountered plenty of sucky women in my life. I just think sometimes men can have this layer of societally influenced suck that interferes with emotionally rewarding friendships. If that layer of suck was removed I think we’d all be better off. And happier. And maybe the hugs would be nicer. 

Yeah, I’m still gonna get messages. Oh well.

Now you’ve got me curious. What was the m&m’s debacle?


It’s a loooong story. So buckle up…

A few years ago an incel got mad and shot a bunch of people because women had rejected him. I wrote a post about it, white admittedly upset, and I talked about a defense strategy that many women use to try and stay safe. 

Essentially, some people will assume all men are dangerous until trust is earned. 

I used an analogy about poisoned M&Ms to illustrate this defense strategy. Someone took just the M&Ms quote out of context and made a fancy graphic with a link to my name at the bottom. 


People thought I was saying all men were monsters. Whereas I was actually saying some people need to believe all men are monsters in order to feel safe. Whether they are walking on a dark street at night. Drinking at a bar with strangers. Or in some cases just dealing with unknown men in their day to day lives. They put keys between their fingers just in case they need to Wolverine someone. I think many women, especially those with trauma, feel the need to think this way as a coping mechanism. 

I wasn’t necessarily saying all people should think this way. I was just pointing out that I understood why some might. The fact that many feel it is necessary not to trust men to feel safe means we as a society have some work to do. That point was lost in the graphic.

Whether it works or whether it is an ethically sound attitude… I’m sure that is a debate people will have for a long time. My post was not really for or against. I was just saying, “Here is a thing that exists. Here are some reasons why it exists.” At least, that was my intention.

I didn’t condone this graphic. I didn’t give permission for it to be made. I would never have allowed these words out into the world without the surrounding explanation in the original post. But that’s not really how the internet works. 

The out of context graphic was spread around like wildfire. It was on all the MRA themed subreddits. And a very popular woman who was sympathetic to the men’s rights cause made a video about it. She was a talking head on cable news. I think she had a fancy degree which supposedly gave her more credibility. The MRAs loved her because they could say, “This individual woman agrees with us! Clearly, we were right about everything all along.” 

In any case, she tore me a new one based solely on the out of context graphic. Now pretty much anyone in the man-o-sphere knew about me and I got hundreds and hundreds of angry messages. Many of them death threats. 

They doxxed me. They threatened to send pizzas to my house. One guy said he was going to send me maxi pads… which I thought was weird. I think it was supposed to be some kind of metaphor for how I was a “pussy.” Sick burn, I guess. 

It got pretty overwhelming and I had to have my assistant at the time screen all of my messages. I was usually pretty good about handling hate, but this passed my threshold of tolerance. 

To make matters worse, during a very anxious moment in the middle of all this, I got into an argument in my comments section. I was not thinking clearly and I victim blamed a man who was sexually assaulted. The second I hit “publish” I realized how shitty that was. I got so caught up in trying to win an argument that I went low instead of high. 

I freaked out and made matters even worserer by trying to delete my comment. Covering up my crime, so to speak. But since they were all watching me like a hawk, they quickly screencapped what I had said. 

I apologized first to the person I was arguing with. I did my best to let him know I was sincere. I then apologized to my audience for letting them down. Yes, I was overwhelmed and my anxiety was through the roof, but I knew I was better than that. 

For many of the MRAs, my apology was very much not accepted. The screencap made the rounds on all of the subreddits once again. They saw it as a pattern of behavior. Another barrage of death threats came flowing in. I think that is the point when they started threatening Otis. It took months before it all calmed down. 

And then, Donald Trump Jr. happened. 

It was during the election. Someone took my original out of context M&Ms analogy, changed it to Skittles, and made it about Muslims. The words I crafted to help explain the fears of the marginalized were twisted and then used against the marginalized. Don Jr. retweeted this Skittles thing and it went viral. 

Mike Huckabee started making the rounds on cable news using the Skittles thing. Though I think he changed it again to peanuts. And then all of those men who hated me came back to my inbox to tell me I’d be better off dead. 

“Look what you started!” 
“Are you happy now?” 
“You’ve given fuel to racists!”

First of all, I think them rubbing it in was disingenuous. From what I’ve seen of MRA forums, there is usually plenty of racism to be found there. I don’t think they cared about the harm to Muslims. I’m pretty sure they just saw an opportunity to make me feel bad because they knew I cared about… you know… people. 

And the idea that conservatives needed my help to be racist and xenophobic is laughable. If they hadn’t twisted my thing, I’m sure they would have used an equally despicable talking point to bolster their point of view. I don’t think my analogy was some magic bullet that was able to convince people they should suddenly be racist if they weren’t already. 

Soooo… yeah. 

The M&Ms thing stuck with me for a really long time. 

As far as regrets… 

I wish I had written that very first post with a cooler head. I was just so angry that this guy thought rejection justified a murderous rampage. I wasn’t mad at men per se, but I was certainly angry at how society has influenced male behavior. I think because I was angry I used the word “monsters” in my analogy. I think that was too strong to make my point. 

But again, I was never telling people to think of men as monsters. I was only trying to explain a tactic women use to feel safer. And that if we don’t address toxic masculinity and male entitlement, it’s going to be even harder for women to trust men going forward. 

I stand by that sentiment. I just wish I had worded things better. And I wish my analogy hadn’t been so easy to convert into something dark and hurtful. I thought I was so clever, but in my hubris, I didn’t see the possible ways my words could be twisted. I think I’ve learned from that. 

Lastly, I am truly sorry to that young man I victim blamed. I have plenty of excuses for that moment. Excuses others may see as fairly valid. But in the end, it was just hurtful and mean and I am disappointed that my mind so easily went to that place. I was not as enlightened as I believed I was. And I hope I have taken the necessary steps to make sure I don’t make that mistake again.






It breaks my heart.

Honestly if you follow me and you think what this officer did was ok, block and unfollow me

On top of tasing her, on top of blaming a fucking child for the very real lack of resources often faced by minority communities, this grown-ass man is gaslighting a little girl.

I didn’t want to do it.

It hurt me to do it.

You made me do it.

Fuck that man to the farthest reaches of hell, if you can’t handle a child without abusing her you need to get the fuck out of any job that puts one in your care for any goddamn reason.

Also, for some perspective, when I was working retail and minors got caught shoplifting (red-handed caught, mind you, literally shoving nail polish in their pockets in front of asset protection kind of caught) there were rules about how that shit got handled.

One of which was knowing that minors are fucking children and that you can’t use a goddamn motherfucking taser on one.

I’m usually not an eye-for-an-eye person, but I don’t feel any hesitation in admitting I hope someone tases that bastard until he begs for it to end.

Only to be told that we didn’t want to do it, he made us do it.

But not that it hurt our hearts because it sure as fuck wouldn’t.

Use the phrase “My understanding was…” instead of “I assumed…”



If you use the phrase “I assumed…”, you’ll be viewed as having hastily jumped to a conclusion based on insufficient evidence.

If you use the phrase “My understanding was…”, people will merely
think you misunderstood something, and will be far kinder to you (and in
instances where what you misunderstood was something they said, they
will often apologize, or fault themselves for not being more explicit).

This is especially useful in a professional/workplace environment.
Telling your supervisor you “assumed” something typically results in a
reprimand; saying “My understanding was…” will instead be attributed
to a miscommunication, or a lack of clarity in their original

I starting using this and it has avoided so many arguments 🙌🏾