clevermynnie: (mask)
If Comedy Has No Lady Problem, Why Am I Getting So Many Rape Threats?: "I don't believe that previously non-raping audience members are going to take to the streets in a rape mob after hearing one rape joke. That's an absurd and insulting mischaracterization. But I do believe that comedy's current permissiveness around cavalier, cruel, victim-targeting rape jokes contributes to (that's contributes—not causes) a culture of young men who don't understand what it means to take this stuff seriously. And how did they try and prove me wrong? How did they try to demonstrate that comedy, in general, doesn't have issues with women?"

Anita Sarkeesian and the Trouble with Magic Bullets: "Anita Sarkeesian in particular has endured surprisingly well given the pressure on her to be the Most Perfect Feminist Games Critic. Of course, she has not been perfect; she has not managed to transform every single misogynist into a humanitarian soul, after all. But rather than lambaste her for that alleged shortcoming, I would rather emphasize that the public scrutiny of female videogame critics (and pro female gamers, and female game developers) creates a system that sets us up for failure."

Quote of the Day: "That has been the sacred covenant between the Republican Party and its straight, white, patriarchal, Christian supremacist base for a generation: Vote for us, and we'll protect you. And so they voted. And, in the process, they gave away their standard of living, their children's education, their jobs, their civil liberties, their national security, their environment, and their economy—all in exchange for the gossamer promise of a return to a time that never happened in a country that never really existed."

Number of the Day: "45%: The percentage of US respondents to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll who 'believe affirmative action programs are still needed to counteract the effects of discrimination against minorities, while an equal 45 percent feel the programs have gone too far and should be ended because they unfairly discriminate against whites.' That is so fucking depressing... Among the allegedly multiple "reasons for the trend" is the reason that will not be meaningfully included in any public discussion: The incredibly common practice of treating exceptions to marginalization as evidence there is no more need for affirmative action programs, while casually ignoring that often people who appear to be exceptions are only so because they benefited from affirmative action programs."

Pink/Blue: "I want to think more. I want to think harder. I want to be vexed by the children in my life because they are human beings, with all the glorious messy frustrating complexity that implies. I want them to defy simple patterns, because doing so means embracing potential and possibility. I want them to make their own scripts out of patches and shreds. I want them comfortable in a world where “boy” and “girl” aren’t narrow paths; in fact, a world where other paths, transgender or asexual or whatever, are also simply part of the landscape. I want them to surprise me. I want them to surprise themselves."

Brushes With Civility: "I question the line of thinking that posits that truth is the enemy of civility. Form and content are, I think, often inseparable. If we think of the tone of a statement as its form, and the the meaning of the message as its content, oftentimes, for instance, a comment that is racist is called racist not only because it is hurtful (form) but because it is also inaccurate (content). It is the inaccuracy of prejudiced statements is what causes the sting, not the truth of them. And, the hurtful nature of such statements is amplified precisely because they are inaccurate yet also marketed by its utterer as a 'politically incorrect truth that needs to be said.' Labels and the words we use can, and often do, actually distract from reality rather than describe it.

4 links about sexual assault in the military )
clevermynnie: (mask)
Some women want to stay home with children and feminism needs to make peace with that: "We will know we’re living in a world of equality not when just as many men as women are staying home making jam and looking after babies but when women can talk about their life making jam and looking after babies without everyone freaking the fuck out."

It’s Not Just About Delaying Gratification: "So in fact, the marshmallow task isn’t necessarily a measure of willpower, but also a measure of environmental stability, which ties into socioeconomical status, parenting type, and many other things, and it may be these variables that are contributing to success later in life."

Monáe And Badu, Legendary Rebels: "What I like most about the song are the questions that Monáe, who says she knows what it’s like to feel like the other, asks throughout the song; often starting with “Am I a freak?”"

Boilerplates 101: The Edgy Comic Response: "Comedians are social commentators—their job is to remark upon culture and its various absurdities and failures, and just because their objective is to make people laugh doesn't absolve them of the responsibility that any professional social commentator or critic with any integrity has, which is to expose, not entrench, the cultural narratives that are damaging to the marginalized, voiceless, and dispossessed."

Discussion Thread: Touching/Not Touching As Control: "One of the things I noted is how, as a fat woman, I get this from both angles: I am frequently touched without my consent as a woman because women's bodies are treated like public property. And as a fat person, I am frequently not touched—or it is made plain to me that touching me is HORRIBLE—by people whose job it is to touch me—healthcare providers, hairdressers, tailors, etc."

‘We Have Always Fought’: Challenging the ‘Women, Cattle and Slaves’ Narrative: "It’s easier to tell the same stories everyone else does. There’s no particular shame in it. It’s just that it’s lazy, which is just about the worst possible thing a spec fic writer can be. Oh, and it’s not true."
clevermynnie: (mask)
Structure and Justice: "Does structurelessness eliminate competition, abuses of power, and status hierarchies, or does it just drive them underground?"

A Short Post on Rape Prevention: "If your advice to a woman to avoid rape is to be the most modestly dressed, soberest and first to go home, you may as well add 'so the rapist will choose someone else'."

Dove, Nike and the perils of positive advertising: "Let us not forget that these are still corporations, though, and what they are aiming to do is sell us on their products by associating something more ineffable with them: an image, a sensibility, self-esteem, physical empowerment. The idea is that if that association between the ineffable and the concrete product becomes strong enough, we will become loyal customers."

On the Fixed State Ally Model vs. Process Model Ally Work: "Rather than imagining myself as A Good Ally, full-stop, I try to assess whether I have been an effective ally in specific instances and in specific ways. Did I speak up when I should have? Do I equally set off-limits any 'debate' of intrinsic humanity for all populations? Am I giving enough support to writers whose life experiences are fundamentally different than my own? Am I listening?"

Process Model Ally Work, Part Two: "One of the reasons I value the model of ally work as an ongoing process (an idea which I did not invent) is not only because I need to be aware of how I can leverage my privilege on behalf of people who don't share it, and vigilant about not trading on and exploiting my privilege, but also because I have to centralize an awareness that I am privileged in ways I don't see."

Empathy! How the fudge does it work? "I'd like to observe that this garbage argument is a natural outgrowth of narratives that wrench women's reproductive health from general healthcare and set it aside as some kind of special exception. He's fine with "being told" he's got to provide health insurance to his employees, but asking him to comprehensively fund women's healthcare is a step too far. Because he doesn't view women's reproductive care as a central part of women's health."
clevermynnie: (mask)
The Finkbeiner Test: "There’s still a gender gap in the sciences, with far fewer women than men in research jobs, and those women earning substantially less, but it doesn’t help when journalists treat every female scientist they profile as an archetype of perseverance... 'Campaigns to recognize outstanding female scientists have led to a recognizable genre of media coverage. Let’s call it “A lady who…” genre. You’ve seen these profiles, of course you have, because they’re everywhere. The hallmark of “A lady who…” profile is that it treats its subject’s sex as her most defining detail. She’s not just a great scientist, she’s a woman! And if she’s also a wife and a mother, those roles get emphasized too.' Aschwanden cited a few examples littered with phrases like, “she is married, has two children and has been able to keep up with her research,” and proposed that, as a means of avoiding such gratuitous gender profiles, reporters adopt a simple, seven-part test."

Family Man Who Invented Relativity and Made Great Chili Dies: Writing a profile of a male scientist the way profiles of female scientists are often written shows just how silly the genre has gotten. "He made sure he shopped for groceries every night on the way home from work, took the garbage out, and hand washed the antimacassars. But to his step daughters he was just Dad. ”He was always there for us,” said his step daughter and first cousin once removed Margo. Albert Einstein, who died on Tuesday, had another life at work, where he sometimes slipped away to peck at projects like showing that atoms really exist."

Well, That's Me Told: "I know that if Senator Rob Portman, or any other privileged straight person, has been able to live to the ripe old age of 57 without ever being personally moved by seeing and hearing and feeling down to your bones how the institutional oppression of queer USians renders them second-class citizens and affects their lives in big and small ways every day of their lives, that is not an accident. That is a life of detached privilege by design."

Responses To The Steubenville Verdict Reveal Rape Culture: "Yesterday two juvenile men were convicted of rape, one was convicted of distributing a nude photo of a minor. The response by a segment of society reflects rape culture: ”an environment in which rape is prevalent and in which sexual violence against women is normalized and excused in the media and popular culture”. Below are a series of concrete examples."

New poll finds the majority of women voters consider themselves feminists: "A poll commissioned by Ms. conducted just after the election found that 55 percent of women voters and 30 percent of men voters consider themselves feminists... In fact, white women as a whole are considerably less likely than black and Latina women to claim the label, which is in line with the voting differences I’ve noted before. And which perhaps helps to explain why much of the media continues to act as if feminists are unicorns these days."

And Then This Happened: "I know, in most cases, it is really is a "small but vocal group" of any community who engages in silencing and intimidation. But of the "large but silent group" of all these communities, who supposedly don't agree with the hostile disgorgements of the "small but vocal group," the people most likely to speak up do so primarily to defend themselves, to distance themselves from that "small but vocal group," to oblige me to reassure them that I know there is a "large but silent group" who is totally on my side, even though their silence indicates otherwise. They reach out to me, while I'm navigating the expected bile of typical garbage nightmares, in order to seek my assistance in salving their own discomfort of affiliation. Which is exactly as unwelcome as it sounds. "Hey, the rest of us aren't like those knuckleheads!" is not a comfort. It is a way of obliging me to concede that simply not being a dirtbag is sufficient action to consider themselves my ally. I will not concede that. Because it isn't."
clevermynnie: (mask)
Why Gender Equality Stalled: "Today the main barriers to further progress toward gender equity no longer lie in people’s personal attitudes and relationships. Instead, structural impediments prevent people from acting on their egalitarian values, forcing men and women into personal accommodations and rationalizations that do not reflect their preferences. The gender revolution is not in a stall. It has hit a wall."

So The President Gave A Speech Last Night: "'We know our economy is stronger when our wives, mothers, and daughters can live their lives free from discrimination in the workplace, and free from the fear of domestic violence.' That framing is garbage. It is reductive, it is misogynist, it is alienating, it defines women by their relationships to other people, it suggests that Obama is speaking to The Men of America about their 'wives, mothers, and daughters' and not speaking to those wives, mothers, daughters, and any women who are none of those things and/or do not define themselves that way. It is infuriating to continually hear my President use that framing."

Feeling At Risk vs. Being At Risk: "It is valid to be fearful of home invasions in a high-crime area. It is valid to be fearful after receiving death threats. It is valid to be fearful after having survived trauma. But fear of hypothetical harm is not a valid justification for killing. Which is something about which we all seem to agree, when it's someone other than a white, straight, cis man doing the killing. In fact, when it's someone other than a white, straight, cis man doing the killing, we seem to have an unreasonably high threshold for what constitutes self-defense. Funny how that works: The more privileged the shooter, the more inclined we are to define the crime by his intent. The less privileged the shooter, the more inclined we are to define the crime by hir victim's (claimed or presumed) intent."

Launder That Fat Away, Ladies!: "So, there is a study going around the internet which makes the totally-fresh and completely-new claim that American women are fat because we spend all day working at desk jobs and all night watching television to unwind, as opposed to fifty years ago when life was just like Leave It To Beaver and women never worked outside the home and spent all day wrestling with forty-pound vacuum cleaners... I want to take a moment to note how truly contemptible I find the suggestion that activities which can destroy womens' bodies and which have been traditionally used by a misogynist society as a tool to oppress women and prevent them from gaining financial independence, social support networks, and meaningful work -- You can't hold a job, honey, because then how would the house get clean? -- should be held up to the reader as something that women have a responsibility to do in order to become more attractive and more healthy and above all more socially acceptable to the larger community."

Fuck The Pope: "This is important: Women are not a niche group. The extent to which the Catholic establishment marginalizes, silences, and attempts control women is so widespread and brazen I'm almost impressed. They've certainly got moxie! When the Vatican conspires to block a global agreement on action to end gender-based violence—asserting that certain nations' religions, customs, and traditions should be valid excuses for disregarding women's basic human rights—what they are saying is, 'You do not deserve human rights because you are not fully human. We own you and we will do what we want with you.' Religion is not a bad thing. Catholicism is not a bad thing. But the social and political policies of the dude supposedly in charge of Catholicism, well, that's another matter."

What Is Your Feminism?: "If your “feminism” isn’t about cultural critique (unto cultural demolition) or policy analysis and instead focuses on individuals’ (typically cis women of privilege unless you’re talking about — and over — poor people) behaviors rather than the hierarchies and systems which confine individuals and falsely constrains their behavior, then it isn’t any feminism I can recognize."
clevermynnie: (mask)
Science Gender Gap Data by Country: "The US is one of the countries where boys do the best comparatively, but it’s interesting to see the many countries and regions where girls actually come out ahead. And the global average actually sees girls outperforming boys on this specific science test! But aptitude at a young age doesn’t necessarily translate to closing the gender gap at higher career levels if there is a strong cultural prejudice, and of course the country-by-country variation implies that culture is an important component here."

A Thing About Disablist Language: "The point is that it was enough for me to stop using disablist slurs because they undermine the safe space. (And they're rather self-defeating and self-loathing, to boot. So there's that.) But the more distance I get from relying on disablist language—and the more I am forced to say what I really mean, that Mitt Romney (for example) is not crazy, but indecent and cruel and privileged—the more I realize how progressive pundits' reliance on disablist language is not merely hurtful or alienating, but counterproductive."

Third World Problems: "Here’s a First World problem: the inability to see that others are as fully complex and as keen on technology and pleasure as you are. One event that illustrated the gap between the Africa of conjecture and the real Africa was the BlackBerry outage of a few weeks ago. Who would have thought Research In Motion’s technical issues would cause so much annoyance and inconvenience in a place like Lagos? But of course it did, because people don’t wake up with “poor African” pasted on their foreheads. They live as citizens of the modern world."

The Truth About Little Women Carrying Big Wounded Men in Combat: "American troops are trained to use the fireman's carry, which is a way of sort of slinging a dude over your shoulder, as seen in the GIF at right. It's shockingly easy. It's so easy that in instructional YouTubes, the carried sometimes laugh with surprise. Earlier this month, on vacation, I ran in circles while fireman-carrying my (admittedly indie-rock thin) 6'2" male friend on a Miami beach, because it was funny. There are tons of YouTubes of women carrying men this way."

Gender Traditionalist Misandry, Again: "The more I see gender traditionalists and gender complementarists opining on gender, often with the help of their un-scientific religious or pseudo-scientified evopsych beliefs, the more I see that of course gender traditionalists think men are innate predators. They just don't tend recognize their own misandry because they also quite often believe that men are entitled to be predatory, violent, and aggressive because they also often think that male violence, when Properly Channeled, serves the important function of protecting women, children, and society. To them, the world is often divided into two classes of men, Good Protector Men and Evil Violent Men, failing to recognize that some men can be protective of "their" women while violent toward others, or other variations of people not being completely, 100% Good or Evil."

Women Are Brave: "If we expand the traditional definitions of bravery to include that which requires courage based on a circumstance of potential harm, all the women who publicly disclose concealable identities in public spaces where they may risk retributive harassment, physical abuse, employment insecurity, familial estrangement, community ostracization, or face other meaningful consequence are brave: The women who come out; the women who transition; the women who identify as feminists, womanists, atheists, survivors; multiracial women who can pass as white; women with invisible disabilities, including and especially mental illness; women who have had abortions; women who provide abortions. That is hardly a comprehensive list, because it takes gumption just to walk out every day into a world that hates you."
clevermynnie: (mask)
Women in Tech and Empathy Work: "I was struck by Ms. Grant’s articulation of customer-facing and intra-company work as “emotional labour.” That phrase helps me put my finger on something that’s bugged me as long as I’ve worked in tech, which is the way women are frequently cast as caregivers in the workplace — and how the work associated with that aspect of their roles is valued (or not) and compensated (or not) compared to the work performed primarily by men (i.e. coding and other heavily technical labour)."

It takes a village to silence street harassment: "If I had a nickel for every time a dude tells me to smile while I’m walking down street to the store, train, work, school… Lord, I could fund a Super PAC called “stop telling women to smile because you don’t have any clue on how to engage them,” then launch a successful messaging campaign and lobby to stop uber conservatives from curtailing reproductive rights of American women. If only I had saved all those nickels."

On Politically Correct, Again: "To me, these strongly negative reactions to this woman's critique really speak to how the term "politically correct" is a massive use of projection. The truth is not that people who think critically about how entertainment reinforces stereotypes and oppressions just go around getting all offended at stuff without even thinking about it, reacting solely on how our self-centered, solipsistic emotions react. The truth is that that's exactly what uncritical fanboy fonts of unexamined privilege do whenever they're told their favorite things might be alienating or offensive to other people."

Roe at 40: "The promise to the nation’s girls and women that we have the same chance to succeed as their male cohorts, that we are free, and that we are equal, cannot and will never be fulfilled as long as women and other people with uteri are not given agency over their own bodies. Control over our reproduction, over when and if we choose to reproduce, is an essential piece of girls’ and women’s opportunity, freedom, and equality."

Thinking About the Steubenville Rape and Raising a Son: "Nodianos’s words are telling, because for too long we’ve been teaching our sons to think of the consequences of rape within a familial context (i.e. “Imagine if it were your wife/daughter/mother”) and it’s clear that this method of education is a complete and total failure. Boys shouldn’t be taught that only women to whom they are genetically bound are worthy of being treated as human beings because, in part, that implies those who are not family are subhuman and therefore deserving of their own victimization."

How Dare You Call Me A *ist: "But behaviour is never a fully accurate reflection of character. None of us is perfectly enlightened. We all have unexamined and not fully examined attitudes which pepper our vocabularies with cliched phrases and gestures we use from habit rather than deep consideration. Bad habits we engage in unthinkingly don’t necessarily make us generally bad people or even generally thoughtless people, but this tends to be the reaction to having those bad habits challenged as marginalising behaviours – that the challenger is calling us a bad person."
clevermynnie: (mask)
Most of our choices, as women, are looked upon with scorn: "No matter what women do, there will be some segment of society casting that behaviour as some combination of being too selfish, too submissive, too lazy, too bossy, too weak, too shrill, too self-sacrificing, too emotional, too cold, too unrealistic etc; very often these judgements are fundamentally contradictory and applied inconsistently, but the one thing they do have in common as a trope is that Women Are Doing It Wrong. In particular, a behaviour that might have been very much encouraged and expected and approved of when a woman is at one particular stage of life will be held up at a later stage in life as the exact reason why women who complied with that expectation cannot now expect to have access to certain opportunities offered to men at an equivalent stage of life."

To Forgive Without an Apology?: "In my experience, a sincere apology or a request for forgiveness has often facilitated my willingness to forgive others. I also know that when I have made mistakes and apologized, people have seemed more willing to forgive me. Yet, I'm not entirely sure what it means to forgive those who harm unapologetically."

Fresh starts, clean slates, and you: "The popular custom of new year’s dieting is an example of the impulse capitalized upon and expanded into a collective tradition, heavy on religious and moral symbolism, but expressed in reassuringly crisp scientific prose, complete with numerical, damn near economic, accounting mechanisms. They allow you to reimagine yourself not as an animal who lives and dies, eats and shits, who is lustful and afraid, full of inconveniently dark and unknowable recesses, both physical and psychological, but rather as a modern biochemical machine, a neatly-labeled schematic on white paper whose mysteries are laid bare, housing a ghost of pure spirit and light who condescends to eat only as an impatient concession to physical necessity, and who therefore dines on distilled biochemistry garnished with the most forward-thinking evolutionary rationalizations."

Our Absurd Fear of Fat: "How did we get into this absurd situation? That is a long and complex story. Over the past century, Americans have become increasingly obsessed with the supposed desirability of thinness, as thinness has become both a marker for upper-class status and a reflection of beauty ideals that bring a kind of privilege."

The Problem With The Big Bang Theory: "When Big Bang came along it claimed to be heralding a new age of 'geek chic', nerd culture was cool and mainstream television wanted a piece of the pie (or should that be pi?). Here was a programme whose main ensemble was made up of four highly intelligent scientists who love science fiction, fantasy and gaming. Here was a show with nerd protagonists aimed at the mainstream. We were finally getting some representation. Except that we’re not. At least not any more. And here’s my issue, here’s why The Big Bang Theory makes me feel uncomfortable. We aren’t laughing with Leonard, Sheldon, Raj and Howard. We’re laughing at them."

Apocalypse Now: "I can’t decide what’s worse, the bizarrely ludicrous narcissism of thinking that anyone on the internet actually gave a shit, or all the mental real estate that was scorched and burned because of years of these parasitic idiotic thoughts. Now, here’s a funny irony. Which is that people actually do care about your dreams. Just not the ones you think. Most of us have at least one person in our lives who might, in fact, be interested in our most meaningful experiences and desires. That person may even have generously, silently, indulgently tolerated your whiny self-criticism and self-excoriation with a sense of quiet puzzlement."
clevermynnie: (mask)
Historically Authentic Sexism in Fantasy. Let’s Unpack That. "It’s about history, and this notion that History Is Authentically Sexist... History is not a long series of centuries in which men did all the interesting/important things and women stayed home and twiddled their thumbs in between pushing out babies, making soup and dying in childbirth. History is actually a long series of centuries of men writing down what they thought was important and interesting, and FORGETTING TO WRITE ABOUT WOMEN. It’s also a long series of centuries of women’s work and women’s writing being actively denigrated by men."

Helpful Hints for Dudes, part 7: "That reflexive assumption, casually and incessantly expressed, that feminists are hostile (and violently so!) is one of the reasons I inserted the "no bad faith" clause into Shakesville's commenting policy. If someone can't approach me, or another contributor, or a fellow commenter, without the implication that feminists are violent tyrants who react vengefully to any expression of disagreement, that is not engaging with good faith. To put it politely."

Today In Projection: "To hear Fox News and the GOP and the conservative evangelical crowd... American Christians are the most persecuted people on the planet. Yeah. Not so much. The report details the ways in which atheists are charged with crimes in countries where atheist or humanist views on religion are banned outright; in which atheists are compelled to lie about their beliefs in countries compelling identification with state-recognized religions; in which atheists are denied access and privileges that religious believers are not. And though many USians might imagine this happens only in "those countries, over there," the report notes that legal and cultural discrimination against atheists exists in the US, as well."

Black meteorologist fired for responding to negative comments about her hair: "Despite the fact that there is no cited policy that Lee violated, she was fired from her job. Her boss reports that the policy was not written down but was mentioned in a meeting that Lee did not attend... This story breaks just months after a white news anchor was championed for speaking out, on air, against an online bully who made insensitive and fat-shaming comments about her weight. She had the full support of her job, coworkers (which included her husband), and the general public."

Just Shut Up: "But consuming media critically is a skill, and in an age where media is more prevalent than ever before, it’s a skill worth having. It’s a skill worth having because you are going to continue to be exposed to media, and it is going to continue to attempt to manipulate you. It’s a skill worth having because it makes it less difficult to see people talking shit about things you like, not more. It’s a skill worth having because some of the shit being taught en masse by media is horrible scary damaging shit, and maybe you don’t think you’ve learned that horrible scary damaging shit, and maybe you don’t think you’re susceptible to that horrible scary damaging shit, and honestly? Maybe you haven’t. Maybe you’re not. I don’t know you. But I know that a classroom full of average southern Ohio state school students went silent in horror at the full realization of what Beauty and the Beast teaches kids too young to know better."

Why Talking About Character Gender Still Matters (Even Though It Shouldn't): "If you have an egalitarian view of gender but still find yourself surprised to see women portrayed as more than tokens or eye candy, this begs the question of why. If society has reached a point where gender doesn’t matter, as the aforementioned comments suggest, then why am I surprised by such scenes? The answer is that regardless of what I believe about gender (namely that we all deserve equal respect and opportunities, and that the notion of “boys versus girls” needs to die already), popular culture is telling me something different. It’s a bothersome dissonance, and the only way I know how to grok it is by putting narratives under the microscope. That’s not to say that the problem is with individual stories. On paper, there’s nothing wrong with an all-male cast, or a story that lacks prominent female characters. As isolated storytelling possibilities, those are perfectly valid. But in the context of a dominant trend that spans across media (that is, more than one medium) and genres, they warrant dissection. Nothing will change if we just ignore it and hope that the imbalance will correct itself. When has that ever worked?"

newtown

Dec. 19th, 2012 05:53 pm
clevermynnie: (mask)
This is not f-word friday, but a more general 'dammit people COME ON' Wednesday, in response to the school shooting at Newtown last week. It was utterly heartbreaking, but has also resulted in some of the most horrendous public policy arguments I've seen in a long time. My go-to resource here has been [livejournal.com profile] bex, who says what I am thinking but with more eloquence and more expertise:

If your fall-back argument is "but responsible gun owners!", then I want to know if you think "responsible gun owner" is something you ARE (an identity) or something you DO (a behavior). I think the gun rights debate in this country is hung up not just on the 2nd Amendment, but on this stubborn insistence on dividing humans into "good guys" and "bad guys." Guess what? Maybe 1% of the population, if that, could fit in those categories. The rest are just PEOPLE. People who make good decisions sometimes and bad decisions other times - "criminals" and "law-abiding citizens" alike. So when you sell a gun to someone, how do you know if he's a responsible gun owner? Maybe he is today, but will he be one tomorrow? Next year? Will he still be a responsible gun owner when he loses his job and slips into depression? Will he still be a responsible gun owner when his wife threatens to leave him and take the kids? Will he still be a responsible gun owner when the corporation where he has worked his whole life suddenly reveals they've been robbing the pension fund and now he has nothing? Responsible gun ownership is not an immutable characteristic of an individual, it is a BEHAVIOR, a choice, that is subject to change in certain circumstances. You are a responsible gun owner right up until the point that you're not. Refusing to restrict access to firearms for "responsible gun owners" is not a sound public policy, because it's not actionable.

And more [livejournal.com profile] bex, in a wonderful entry on mental health which is worth reading in its entirety, especially for the references: "But please, while you are blaming the mentally ill for gun violence, remember that a whooooole lot of gun violence is committed by very mentally-healthy individuals. Remember that many of your friends and family are probably "mentally ill" in some way, diagnosed or not. And remember that the failure of the mental health system is just one part of the problem here, just like the accessibility of firearms is one part of the problem, too. The solution to America's problem with gun violence will not be "fix mental health care" OR "less guns" - it will be both of these things and much, much more."

And of course, the most relevant stuff I've seen from around the web, where other people dissect the issue in ways I found useful:

Battleground America: A detailed history of gun control and the gun lobby in America, written after the killing of Trayvon Martin.

The NRA’s war on gun science: 'Over the past two decades, the NRA has not only been able to stop gun control laws, but even debate on the subject. The Centers for Disease Control funds research into the causes of death in the United States, including firearms — or at least it used to. In 1996, after various studies funded by the agency found that guns can be dangerous, the gun lobby mobilized to punish the agency. First, Republicans tried to eliminate entirely the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, the bureau responsible for the research. When that failed, Rep. Jay Dickey, a Republican from Arkansas, successfully pushed through an amendment that stripped $2.6 million from the CDC’s budget (the amount it had spent on gun research in the previous year) and outlawed research on gun control with a provision that reads: “None of the funds made available for injury prevention and control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may be used to advocate or promote gun control.”'

A Broader Based Response to Shootings: "Such events could help move us toward constructive actions that will result in a safer and more just world -- or they could push us toward counter-productive and costly actions that simply respond to the particulars of the last horrific event. I will make the case that a narrow focus on stopping mass shootings is less likely to produce beneficial changes than a broader-based effort to reduce homicide and other violence. We can and should take steps to prevent mass shootings, of course, but these rare and terrible crimes are like rare and terrible diseases -- and a strategy to address them is best considered within the context of more common and deadlier threats to population health."

Twelve facts about guns and mass shootings in the United States : "When we first collected much of this data, it was after the Aurora, Colo. shootings, and the air was thick with calls to avoid “politicizing” the tragedy. That is code, essentially, for “don’t talk about reforming our gun control laws.” Let’s be clear: That is a form of politicization. When political actors construct a political argument that threatens political consequences if other political actors pursue a certain political outcome, that is, almost by definition, a politicization of the issue. It’s just a form of politicization favoring those who prefer the status quo to stricter gun control laws."

In Pursuit of Doing Something Meaningful: "I am totally and unreservedly in support universal access to comprehensive psychiatric care. I believe universal healthcare to be a human right. But mental healthcare reform is not necessarily, forgive the turn of phrase, the magic bullet some imagine it to be. Centering the discussion around mental healthcare—whether it's advocating for better psych care services, or advocating for background checks on all gun purchases—is ultimately just another way of eliding what the real and forever problem is: Anyone outside of law enforcement or the military having access to guns that are designed for nothing but the murder of other human beings. That is the subject about which we need to have a meaningful discussion. And it is the primary subject we continue to studiously avoid.

There is one other subject that is off the discussion menu—and that is the fact that mass killings are committed by men almost exclusively. Of the 62 mass murders carried out with firearms across the US since 1982, 61 of them were committed by men. Forty-four of the killers were white men. Every one of the men who picked up a gun—or multiple guns—and started shooting people was socialized in a patriarchal culture that encourages an aggressive masculinity one of the key expressions of which is meant to be violence. That is not incidental. And you can bet your ass that if there was an epidemic of mass slaughters committed by women, their gender would be mentioned. How we raise girls would be examined. It would be talked about. Womanhood would be on the discussion menu."
clevermynnie: (mask)
She Who Dies With the Most 'Likes' Wins?: "The truth is that we don’t need everyone to like us, we need a few people to love us. Because what’s better than being roundly liked is being fully known—an impossibility both professionally and personally if you’re so busy being likable that you forget to be yourself."

Superior Bigots In Need of Protections: "I do not grant the same benefit of the doubt to the adults who willfully and consciously reject women in leadership positions- whether secular or religions. Such people reject the class of all women from various positions, and they do so not because of the content of our character, intellect, or actual ability, but because we are women. Just women. And that, apparently, tells them all they need to know about our capabilities. This treatment of women, we are to believe, is still okay, moral, commonsensical, true, and righteous. In 2012."

ACLU Women in Combat Suit: A Guide For Gender Traditionalists: "And, accordingly, even though some financial op-ed reporter can't imagine his little girls ever wanting to serve in the military and seems to think that having daughters makes him a Gender Expert qualified to speak on all women's wants and competencies, the other funny thing is, women already are serving in combat roles. They just aren't getting credit for it."

More Decency, Please: "To assert that the decadent ones are those who opt out of childbearing because of the fucked-up world created by the optimism-hostile greed-fiends for whom Douthat carries water is not just a mendacious position to take; it's a profoundly indecent one."

The Ambition Myth: Debunking a Common Excuse for the Gender Wage Gap: "The gender wage gap drew a spotlight in the presidential campaign, as both sides duked it out for women's votes. But while we accept the gap's persistence, we're still guessing at its origins. One explanation, from both the right and the left, is that women are less ambitious -- either they make explicit choices to put family before work or their shrink from the opportunity to demand a higher salary or better job. This explanation seeks to explain the fact that many women are stalled in middle management and make up a pitiful percentage of America's C-suite... When researchers have studied the ambition gap, they've discovered something peculiar: It's not there. Women do ask for more. They just aren't rewarded for it."
clevermynnie: (mask)
Marriage is Broken. Here's How to Fix It. "Marriage is a legal contract, and contracts are the foundation of our civil society. But there is no reason why marriage should be a one-size-fits-all agreement. I propose a five-year renewable contract. This would give people the opportunity to renew, reassess, or release. A renewable contract doesn’t necessarily mean ending a relationship. This could be the chance to refresh existing marriages in conscious, attentive, lively ways."

Geek Masculinity and the Myth of the Fake Geek Girl: "At the same time, though, geek culture is a haven for guys who can't or don't want to fall in step with the set of cultural trappings and priorities of traditional manhood in America. At least in theory, geek culture fosters a more cerebral and less violent model of masculinity, supported by a complementary range of alternative values. But the social cost of that alternative model--chosen or imposed--is high, and it's often extorted violently--socially or physically. The fringe is a scary place to live, and it leaves you raw and defensive, eager to create your own approximation of a center. Instead of rejecting the rigid duality of the culture they're nominally breaking from, geek communities intensify it, distilled through the defensive bitterness that comes with marginalization. And so masculinity is policed incredibly aggressively in geek communities, as much as in any locker room or frat house."

When Men Are Too Emotional To Have A Rational Argument: "What I want to talk about is how emotional outbursts typically more associated with men (shouting, expressing anger openly) are given a pass in public discourse in a way that emotional outbursts typically more associated with women (crying, 'getting upset') are stigmatized. I wish to dispel the notion that women are 'more emotional.' I don’t think we are. I think that the emotions women stereotypically express are what men call 'emotions,' and the emotions that men typically express are somehow considered by men to be something else."

Woman dies after being refused medically necessary abortion: "Her death would have been avoided if she had been given an abortion when she asked for it — when it was clear she was miscarrying, and that non-intervention would put her at risk. But the fetus, which had no chance of survival, still had a heartbeat. Its right to life quite literally trumped hers."

The killing of Savita Halappanavar: "Understandably, we are angry. We are angry with the Catholic church for its stance on women's reproductive rights. We are angry with the Irish government for legislating against abortion. We are angry with the hospital for not saving a life, just so that an already doomed foetus could die slowly. We are angry with the pro-life campaigners who claim that banning abortion does not endanger women's lives. There is so much to be angry about that I feel that we are in danger of missing the wider context."

horrific

Nov. 15th, 2012 06:04 pm
clevermynnie: (al fresco)
I spent a lot of yesterday fixated on this news story. It's gruesome and displays a very unpleasant side of Ireland, so I'll put the rest of this behind a cut.

Read more... )
clevermynnie: (mask)
Sure, Obama Could Win, But Only With Votes That Don't Really Count: "So, to recap: If President Obama wins among Hispanic voters, African American voters, educated urban whites, and single women (who are obviously a mutually exclusive group from the previous categories, ahem)—and, although not mentioned here, the President will win among LGBTQI voters, Asian American and Pacific Islander voters, and Native American voters—that is not a broad mandate. Because a voting base that is authentically diverse, i.e. broad, is just so much garbage without the credibility conferred by the more heavily weighted votes of straight, white, cis, married, rural, working class men."

Overtly misogynistic Republicans get asses handed to them in election: "We hope you’ve enjoyed our coverage of some of the most gobmackingly uninformed bullshit the GOP has spouted regarding women, rape and pregnancy in recent months. Now for a little post-election follow-up."

Dad of the Year Changes Pronouns in The Wind Waker for his Daughter: "Mike Hoye has been playing through The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker with his daughter Maya and got tired of making the pronoun translations on the fly while reading the game’s text aloud to her. This was the motivation for creating a mod for the game that will automatically change all the pronouns to female... This is a pretty complicated mod to get set up and working, so I’m not recommending you all go out and try playing his version of the game unless you have a lot of time on your hands. But I still wanted to give kudos to a dad who recognizes that little girls want to be heroic and that it’s not aspirational to play male characters all the time."

Boys Do Cry: "I asked Iain if that was an important image to him—to see his male president cry openly. He said that it was, that it was a totally different model than "the strong silent type, the taciturn leader" to which he'd been exhorted to conform, even though it denies to men access to the entire spectrum of human emotion. A whole new model for men. A model in which strength is modeled by showing emotion, and by allowing your nation to see you show emotion. That seems like a pretty big deal."
clevermynnie: (mask)
Today's First Bad Study Popularization: "Getting the actual study costs 25 dollars and I need those for my chocolate-and-nectar budget, sorry. But I should note that there are very strong gendered stencils on how one answers questions of those types, and those stencils work in the direction of the results the study obtained. Or put in other terms, alternative explanations for the findings should be discussed, even in the popularizations but certainly in the study."

The Science of Racism: Radiolab's Treatment of Hmong Experience: "The aired story goes something like this: Hmong people say they were exposed to Yellow Rain, one Harvard scientist and ex-CIA American man believe that’s hogwash; Ronald Reagan used Yellow Rain and Hmong testimony to blame the Soviets for chemical warfare and thus justified America's own production of chemical warfare. Uncle Eng and I were featured as the Hmong people who were unwilling to accept the “Truth.” My cry at the end was interpreted by Robert as an effort to “monopolize” the story. They leave a moment of silence. Then the team talks about how we may have shown them how war causes pain, how Reagan’s justification for chemical warfare was a hugely important issue to the world -- if not for “the woman” -- because clearly she doesn’t care. There was no acknowledgement that Agent Orange and other chemicals had long been produced by the US government and used in Southeast Asia. The team left no room for science that questioned their own aims. Instead, they chose to end the show with hushed laughter."

An Open Letter to Congressman Paul Ryan: "I imagined being an old woman, watching my grown daughter die for want of adequate health care. Watching my daughter become homeless, as I sat in a nursing home unable to help. I imagined my son or my future daughter-in-law or grandchildren resenting or hating my daughter for requiring their care – or simply being unable to care for her. For the first time, I thought I might have to have an abortion. Not because I couldn't love my daughter. Because I already loved my daughter, and like all mothers, I wanted her to have a decent life."

SPECIAL BINDERS FULL OF WOMEN TIME!

The Difference Between Equity and Binders Full of Anybody: "Diversity is about variety, getting bodies with different genders and colors into the room. Equity is about how those bodies get in the door and what they are able to do in their posts. A diversity approach has gotten us to the point where Romney could get a binder full of women’s resumés. (Though, notably, the real credit goes to the group MassGAP, which pushed the governor’s office to hire more women in high-level posts.) An equity approach is what would have forced him to address the pay gap, which I bet all the women in those binders have experienced."

Binders full of women, and the Ledbetter Fair Pay act: "Kudos for Romney hiring a lot of women into these positions, even if he he had to be told. It’s too bad he felt the need to make it sound like his own idea when he wasn’t. He could’ve spoken of it as a teachable moment he’d experienced. But that leads to the second problem, which is that his response doesn’t address the question. He was asked what he would do to promote income equality between the genders. In the best light, his response could be interpreted as saying that he personally would make sure some of the people he’s in a position to hire were women. Given the power a president has to improve stuff like this (Obama signed the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act), 'Well, I went out of my way to hire some women one time in my long career!' is a non-answer."

And, this article is long but very worth reading.

Why Elites Fail: "In order for it to live up to its ideals, a meritocracy must comply with two principles. The first is the Principle of Difference, which holds that there is vast differentiation among people in their ability and that we should embrace this natural hierarchy and set ourselves the challenge of matching the hardest-working and most talented to the most difficult, important and remunerative tasks.

The second is the Principle of Mobility. Over time, there must be some continuous, competitive selection process that ensures performance is rewarded and failure punished. That is, the delegation of duties cannot simply be made once and then fixed in place over a career or between generations. People must be able to rise and fall along with their accomplishments and failures. When a slugger loses his swing, he should be benched; when a trader loses money, his bonus should be cut. At the broader social level, we hope that the talented children of the poor will ascend to positions of power and prestige while the mediocre sons of the wealthy will not be charged with life-and-death decisions. Over time, in other words, society will have mechanisms that act as a sort of pump, constantly ensuring that the talented and hard-working are propelled upward, while the mediocre trickle downward.

But this ideal, appealing as it may be, runs up against the reality of what I’ll call the Iron Law of Meritocracy. The Iron Law of Meritocracy states that eventually the inequality produced by a meritocratic system will grow large enough to subvert the mechanisms of mobility. Unequal outcomes make equal opportunity impossible. The Principle of Difference will come to overwhelm the Principle of Mobility. Those who are able to climb up the ladder will find ways to pull it up after them, or to selectively lower it down to allow their friends, allies and kin to scramble up. In other words: 'Who says meritocracy says oligarchy.'"
clevermynnie: (mask)
Why Lim is an incredible accomplishment: "Lim is a game about fitting in. It’s a metaphor constructed out of game mechanics – the playable character is a square that is able to take on the colour of the majority of surrounding squares – or it can just stay the same colour as it already is. It’s up to the player to choose. The level design takes the form of a labyrinth. When the protagonist is spotted not fitting in, it is attacked by the surrounding squares. There’s no depleting health, no chance of dying, but the attack is loud, uncomfortable (physically so, as the flashing and juttering of the screen causes motion sickness for many players) and makes it harder to move around the game space. The answer seems simple at first – just always blend in with your surroundings – but as the game progresses it turns out that this isn’t enough. Some spaces are mixed, and in those spaces you’re bound to be attacked. Some squares notice you looking different before you have the chance to change – by then it’s too late, and they attack you anyway... What’s really incredible about Lim is that it elegantly uses simple game mechanics and good level design to describe a phenomenon without putting language to it. This is a phenomenon that is immediately complicated by language. If it was presented as a game about ‘being trans’ then it would immediately set that ‘multivocal body’ as one thing or another."

The Kissing Sailor, or “The Selective Blindness of Rape Culture”: "Most of us are familiar with this picture. Captured in Times Square on V-J Day, 1945, it has become one of the most iconic photographs of American history, symbolizing the jubilation and exuberance felt throughout the country at the end of World War II... A few facts have come to light. Far from being a kiss between a loving couple, we learn that George and Greta were perfect strangers. We learn that George was drunk, and that Greta had no idea of his presence, until she was in his arms, with his lips on hers."

The Kissing Sailor, Part 2 – Debunking Misconceptions: "Our living in a rape culture doesn’t mean that everyone thinks rape is fantastic. What it does mean is a culture where rape and other forms of sexual violence are normalised, to be expected. It’s a culture where attitudes towards women’s bodies and attitudes towards perpetrators combine to tolerate and condone sexual violence, even while we pay lip service to the monstrosity of rape. It’s a culture where victims are criticised for their choice of clothing, their behaviour, and their sexual freedom, as though they are partly to blame for their fate."

Discussion starter: Reddit, Predditor, and outing bad behaviour: "Over the last week, there’s been several eruptions around Reddit. Recently, Samantha set up Predditors, which posts publicly available information about contributors to r/CreepShots, gathered from other sites linked to their Reddit pseudonym. It’s up and down: right now the first entry lists the full name, date of birth, employer, marital status and several photographs of one Eric Gore, Reddit username “ocbaud”, who submitted covert shots of women taken in his workplace. Jezebel posted about Predditors on October 10: How to Shut Down Reddit’s CreepShots Once and for All: Name Names. Predditors was temporarily closed by Tumblr shortly after, although at time of writing it is back with two profiles of Reddit users. In addition, on October 12, Gawker published Adrian Chen’s Unmasking Reddit’s Violentacrez, The Biggest Troll on the Web, identifying Reddit user Violentacrez, a moderator of r/CreepShots and several other subreddits hosting racist, misogynist and/or sexually abusive content, as Michael Brutsch, a computer programmer in Texas. Brutsch apparently moderated most of the subreddits out of a commitment to a “I believe that never deleting forums from Reddit is the only ethically correct way to run Reddit” version of free speech, but was more personally interested in r/CreepShots, regularly contributed content. Chen also describes a reasonably close working relationship between Reddit staff and Brutsch, who was active in training other moderators, and in identifying illegal content so that Reddit could remove it (that they don’t want to host)."

The Myth of Male Decline: "These books and the cultural anxiety they represent reflect, but exaggerate, a transformation in the distribution of power over the past half-century. Fifty years ago, every male American was entitled to what the sociologist R. W. Connell called a “patriarchal dividend” — a lifelong affirmative-action program for men. The size of that dividend varied according to race and class, but all men could count on women’s being excluded from the most desirable jobs and promotions in their line of work, so the average male high school graduate earned more than the average female college graduate working the same hours. At home, the patriarchal dividend gave husbands the right to decide where the family would live and to make unilateral financial decisions. Male privilege even trumped female consent to sex, so marital rape was not a crime. The curtailment of such male entitlements and the expansion of women’s legal and economic rights have transformed American life, but they have hardly produced a matriarchy. Indeed, in many arenas the progress of women has actually stalled over the past 15 years."

Dissecting the cult of the curlbro: "The dichotomy is clear. If you are a woman and your arms are small and “toned,” you are Doing Femininity right. If you are a man and you have big biceps, you win a gold medal in the Masculinity Olympics. Fail to adhere to those standards, and you might as well ship yourself to the Island of Misfit Toys to live out the rest of your sexless days with all of the other unnatural freaks with arms that are all wrong for their gender. The sadly ironic thing is that the curlbro has more in common with the cardio queen than just about anyone else in the gym. In fact, I’d say the two are photo negatives of each other. Each one is so focused on making their body look a specific way – a way that is defined strictly according to their gender – that they completely ignore all of the things that actually make for a strong, healthy body. I mean, who cares if you have twenty inch biceps if you can’t run a mile or you can’t bend over at the waist. And big deal if you can fit into a size O but you can’t even open your own damn jar of pickles."
clevermynnie: (mask)
Why Lim is an incredible accomplishment: "Lim is a game about fitting in. It’s a metaphor constructed out of game mechanics – the playable character is a square that is able to take on the colour of the majority of surrounding squares – or it can just stay the same colour as it already is. It’s up to the player to choose. The level design takes the form of a labyrinth. When the protagonist is spotted not fitting in, it is attacked by the surrounding squares. There’s no depleting health, no chance of dying, but the attack is loud, uncomfortable (physically so, as the flashing and juttering of the screen causes motion sickness for many players) and makes it harder to move around the game space. The answer seems simple at first – just always blend in with your surroundings – but as the game progresses it turns out that this isn’t enough. Some spaces are mixed, and in those spaces you’re bound to be attacked. Some squares notice you looking different before you have the chance to change – by then it’s too late, and they attack you anyway... What’s really incredible about Lim is that it elegantly uses simple game mechanics and good level design to describe a phenomenon without putting language to it. This is a phenomenon that is immediately complicated by language. If it was presented as a game about ‘being trans’ then it would immediately set that ‘multivocal body’ as one thing or another."

The Kissing Sailor, or “The Selective Blindness of Rape Culture”: "Most of us are familiar with this picture. Captured in Times Square on V-J Day, 1945, it has become one of the most iconic photographs of American history, symbolizing the jubilation and exuberance felt throughout the country at the end of World War II... A few facts have come to light. Far from being a kiss between a loving couple, we learn that George and Greta were perfect strangers. We learn that George was drunk, and that Greta had no idea of his presence, until she was in his arms, with his lips on hers."

The Kissing Sailor, Part 2 – Debunking Misconceptions: "Our living in a rape culture doesn’t mean that everyone thinks rape is fantastic. What it does mean is a culture where rape and other forms of sexual violence are normalised, to be expected. It’s a culture where attitudes towards women’s bodies and attitudes towards perpetrators combine to tolerate and condone sexual violence, even while we pay lip service to the monstrosity of rape. It’s a culture where victims are criticised for their choice of clothing, their behaviour, and their sexual freedom, as though they are partly to blame for their fate."

Discussion starter: Reddit, Predditor, and outing bad behaviour: "Over the last week, there’s been several eruptions around Reddit. Recently, Samantha set up Predditors, which posts publicly available information about contributors to r/CreepShots, gathered from other sites linked to their Reddit pseudonym. It’s up and down: right now the first entry lists the full name, date of birth, employer, marital status and several photographs of one Eric Gore, Reddit username “ocbaud”, who submitted covert shots of women taken in his workplace. Jezebel posted about Predditors on October 10: How to Shut Down Reddit’s CreepShots Once and for All: Name Names. Predditors was temporarily closed by Tumblr shortly after, although at time of writing it is back with two profiles of Reddit users. In addition, on October 12, Gawker published Adrian Chen’s Unmasking Reddit’s Violentacrez, The Biggest Troll on the Web, identifying Reddit user Violentacrez, a moderator of r/CreepShots and several other subreddits hosting racist, misogynist and/or sexually abusive content, as Michael Brutsch, a computer programmer in Texas. Brutsch apparently moderated most of the subreddits out of a commitment to a “I believe that never deleting forums from Reddit is the only ethically correct way to run Reddit” version of free speech, but was more personally interested in r/CreepShots, regularly contributed content. Chen also describes a reasonably close working relationship between Reddit staff and Brutsch, who was active in training other moderators, and in identifying illegal content so that Reddit could remove it (that they don’t want to host)."

The Myth of Male Decline: "These books and the cultural anxiety they represent reflect, but exaggerate, a transformation in the distribution of power over the past half-century. Fifty years ago, every male American was entitled to what the sociologist R. W. Connell called a “patriarchal dividend” — a lifelong affirmative-action program for men. The size of that dividend varied according to race and class, but all men could count on women’s being excluded from the most desirable jobs and promotions in their line of work, so the average male high school graduate earned more than the average female college graduate working the same hours. At home, the patriarchal dividend gave husbands the right to decide where the family would live and to make unilateral financial decisions. Male privilege even trumped female consent to sex, so marital rape was not a crime. The curtailment of such male entitlements and the expansion of women’s legal and economic rights have transformed American life, but they have hardly produced a matriarchy. Indeed, in many arenas the progress of women has actually stalled over the past 15 years."

Dissecting the cult of the curlbro: "The dichotomy is clear. If you are a woman and your arms are small and “toned,” you are Doing Femininity right. If you are a man and you have big biceps, you win a gold medal in the Masculinity Olympics. Fail to adhere to those standards, and you might as well ship yourself to the Island of Misfit Toys to live out the rest of your sexless days with all of the other unnatural freaks with arms that are all wrong for their gender. The sadly ironic thing is that the curlbro has more in common with the cardio queen than just about anyone else in the gym. In fact, I’d say the two are photo negatives of each other. Each one is so focused on making their body look a specific way – a way that is defined strictly according to their gender – that they completely ignore all of the things that actually make for a strong, healthy body. I mean, who cares if you have twenty inch biceps if you can’t run a mile or you can’t bend over at the waist. And big deal if you can fit into a size O but you can’t even open your own damn jar of pickles."
clevermynnie: (mask)
I Am Not A Puzzle Box: "This is the metaphor I came up with then, to explain why I (and other women) get creeped out, and how behavior some men think is innocuous seems creepy or even threatening to the recipient: Some men see women as puzzle boxes. As far as they’re concerned, inside every woman, there’s a tasty Sex Treat™, and there’s some way to get it out. Some combination of words, of behaviors on the man’s part, some situation will pop that box open and the treat will be his!"

Beloved Community: "At first, I had grand plans. I was a believer in free speech, having not yet realized how the US' free speech paradigm largely functions to protect privilege, and I wasn't going to ban people. I thought that what was missing from other spaces was merely the managers' regular participation in comments. So that all voices could be heard, especially the voices typically marginalized in other progressive blog spaces, I was going to facilitate conversation and persuade people to engage with civility. Ha ha—did I say grand plans? I meant naïve plans."

Women, Education, And Trends In Childlessness: "Here’s where the really telling graph comes in. Though women with higher levels of education are less likely to have biological children than other types of women, the trend of increasing childlessness shown above doesn’t apply to them. In fact, women with master’s and PhDs in the most recent data are more likely to have children than their counterparts 14 years ago. In the first half of the 1990s, nearly one-in-three women with professional degrees did not have biological children; today it’s one-in-four. Childbearing among the most educated women, then, bucks the trend. It has gone up."

My Caddy Pledge: "To our national shame, voter suppression did not go away after the Voting Rights Act was passed in 1965. Hurdles like Voter ID, designed to hinder access the polls, are a current conservative tactic du jour. But I have a little project... I pledge to ask everyone I know whether they are registered to vote and what state they are registered to vote in. If they are registered in a Voter ID state, I’ll ask them if they have the required identification to vote. If they don’t have the required identification, I will help them obtain it."

Romney is wrong about 47% of Americans not paying income taxes: "To avoid paying federal income tax, you must earn under the “minimum filing requirement” which is roughly $10k/year for an individual (it varies; check the link for more info), and that’s just a small portion of the 47% we’re talking about. Everybody else in that 47% is paying their taxes, but at the end of the year they are getting back more than they put in because of personal deductions for themselves and their dependents. How does that work? Well, a lot of the 47% are pretty well-off, thanks to Republican tax cuts. That’s how it works."

The Innocence of White People: "There is no date on the calendar for me, as a white person, to demonstrate that I have properly reflected on slavery and the generations of inequality and naked white sadism between the slave era and our own unjust present; we could potentially have such a day, but often turn it into shallow self-congratulation. As a white person, I am not asked to consider the wanton murders of young black men by white cops or white civilians, or the white terrorism of shootings in gurudwaras, as directly relevant to my identity. Nor do I have a designated anniversary for reflection, as a straight man, on the horrifying statistics of rape or the ways in which heterosexism makes this country unsafe for so many. As a Muslim, however, people do expect me to show evidence of my soul-searching over a single event, and I am regularly instructed by popular media to imagine 9/11 as a cancer within my own self. Journalists ask me about Islam’s “crisis” as though it’s a private demon with whom I must personally wrestle every day; meanwhile, my whiteness remains untouched and unchallenged by the decade of hate crimes that have followed 9/11. Journalists don’t often ask whether “white tradition” can be reconciled to modern ideals of equality and pluralism, or whether the “straight male community” is capable of living peacefully in America."
clevermynnie: (mask)
I Am Not A Puzzle Box: "This is the metaphor I came up with then, to explain why I (and other women) get creeped out, and how behavior some men think is innocuous seems creepy or even threatening to the recipient: Some men see women as puzzle boxes. As far as they’re concerned, inside every woman, there’s a tasty Sex Treat™, and there’s some way to get it out. Some combination of words, of behaviors on the man’s part, some situation will pop that box open and the treat will be his!"

Beloved Community: "At first, I had grand plans. I was a believer in free speech, having not yet realized how the US' free speech paradigm largely functions to protect privilege, and I wasn't going to ban people. I thought that what was missing from other spaces was merely the managers' regular participation in comments. So that all voices could be heard, especially the voices typically marginalized in other progressive blog spaces, I was going to facilitate conversation and persuade people to engage with civility. Ha ha—did I say grand plans? I meant naïve plans."

Women, Education, And Trends In Childlessness: "Here’s where the really telling graph comes in. Though women with higher levels of education are less likely to have biological children than other types of women, the trend of increasing childlessness shown above doesn’t apply to them. In fact, women with master’s and PhDs in the most recent data are more likely to have children than their counterparts 14 years ago. In the first half of the 1990s, nearly one-in-three women with professional degrees did not have biological children; today it’s one-in-four. Childbearing among the most educated women, then, bucks the trend. It has gone up."

My Caddy Pledge: "To our national shame, voter suppression did not go away after the Voting Rights Act was passed in 1965. Hurdles like Voter ID, designed to hinder access the polls, are a current conservative tactic du jour. But I have a little project... I pledge to ask everyone I know whether they are registered to vote and what state they are registered to vote in. If they are registered in a Voter ID state, I’ll ask them if they have the required identification to vote. If they don’t have the required identification, I will help them obtain it."

Romney is wrong about 47% of Americans not paying income taxes: "To avoid paying federal income tax, you must earn under the “minimum filing requirement” which is roughly $10k/year for an individual (it varies; check the link for more info), and that’s just a small portion of the 47% we’re talking about. Everybody else in that 47% is paying their taxes, but at the end of the year they are getting back more than they put in because of personal deductions for themselves and their dependents. How does that work? Well, a lot of the 47% are pretty well-off, thanks to Republican tax cuts. That’s how it works."

The Innocence of White People: "There is no date on the calendar for me, as a white person, to demonstrate that I have properly reflected on slavery and the generations of inequality and naked white sadism between the slave era and our own unjust present; we could potentially have such a day, but often turn it into shallow self-congratulation. As a white person, I am not asked to consider the wanton murders of young black men by white cops or white civilians, or the white terrorism of shootings in gurudwaras, as directly relevant to my identity. Nor do I have a designated anniversary for reflection, as a straight man, on the horrifying statistics of rape or the ways in which heterosexism makes this country unsafe for so many. As a Muslim, however, people do expect me to show evidence of my soul-searching over a single event, and I am regularly instructed by popular media to imagine 9/11 as a cancer within my own self. Journalists ask me about Islam’s “crisis” as though it’s a private demon with whom I must personally wrestle every day; meanwhile, my whiteness remains untouched and unchallenged by the decade of hate crimes that have followed 9/11. Journalists don’t often ask whether “white tradition” can be reconciled to modern ideals of equality and pluralism, or whether the “straight male community” is capable of living peacefully in America."
clevermynnie: (mask)
Stereotypes in Toeshoes: "The ranks of ballet companies contain dancers of varied backgrounds; race-blind casting and interracial partnerships have been widespread for decades. Yet clichéd and sometimes offensive views of race remain alive and well across the art form. Several of the old ballets and a few of the new ones give us national and racial stereotypes that would be unshowable in a play or a movie. And yet they draw audiences."

About the DNC: Three Concerns: "Of course the Republicans are not going to talk about poverty. But the Democrats aren't, either. And if they don't, who will?"

A Note: "I hold in my head at the same time that President Obama supports policies that are detestable to me, especially with regard to foreign policy, and supports policies that are precious to me, especially with regard to domestic social justice."

The Political Awakening of a Republican: "I always imagined that I was full of heart, but it turned out that I was oblivious. Like so many Republicans, I had assumed that society’s “losers” had somehow earned their desserts. As I came to recognize that poverty is not earned or chosen or deserved, and that our use of force is far less precise than I had believed, I realized with a shock that I had effectively viewed whole swaths of the country and the world as second-class people."

Paul Frank Offends Every Native Person On The Planet With Fashion Night Out 'Dream Catchin’ Pow Wow': "Just looking at the flyer posted above was enough to send me into a cultural-appropriation Hulk rage. How clever, the font of the “Dream Catchin’” looks like teepees! How clever, the Paul Frank monkey is wearing warpaint and a sacred headdress! How clever, we put him in the center of a dream catcher, complete with pony beads and neon feathers!"

Paul Frank Powwow Party Update: Am I dreaming?: "There were some hints in the email that this wasn't going to be my typical dismissive conversation (they want to learn from their mistake?! They've taken steps to address the situation?!), so I was already feeling better about the whole thing going into the call... The phone call went so much better than I could have even imagined. Elie was gracious, sincere, and kind from the beginning, and truly apologetic. He took full responsibility for the event, and said he wanted to make sure that this was something that never happened again, and wanted to learn more so he could educate his staff and colleagues. We talked about the history of representations of Native people in the US, and I even got into the issues of power and privilege at play--and the whole time, he actually listened, and understood. Such a refreshing experience."

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