Author: has written 210 posts for this blog.

tigtog blogs a lot elsewhere, but here on Feministe she mostly does the tech support and feeds the giraffe. tigtog tweets in irregular flurries @vivsmythe.
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176 Responses

  1. Henry
    Henry February 15, 2013 at 6:14 pm |

    Ticker: Rep. reveals illegitimate child http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/?hpt=hp_t3

    It would be nice if the media stopped using words like illegitimate to describe children. Also if they did not assume every mixed gender relationship on Capitol Hill involves a sex scandal. I note the word “illegitimate” does not appear int he article, just the link headline so I’m not trashing the reporters, just whoever writes the headline links.

    1. mxe354
      mxe354 February 15, 2013 at 11:46 pm |

      I agree. And I really hate it when my dad calls my step-brother “illegitimate.”

    2. (BFing) Sarah
      (BFing) Sarah February 16, 2013 at 1:15 pm |

      Agree. I *HATE* that way of referring to people. Its like people think that its the “nice” way of saying “b*****d.” All people are equally “legitimate.”

      1. Tyris
        Tyris February 16, 2013 at 8:34 pm |

        We’d been planning to get a bit better known before doing anything more than gently implying multiplicity though pronoun use (it being a distraction from the site’s primary focus and all), but this comment was like a beacon.

        Nice though it would be if that were true, not all people are equally legitimate. Some of us aren’t legally recognised as people at all.

        1. Li
          Li February 17, 2013 at 11:52 am |

          Try committing a crime and see how fast the law recognises you as a person.

        2. Li
          Li February 17, 2013 at 11:55 am |

          Also I’m pretty sure that (BFing) Sarah was making a normative claim rather than a descriptive claim about every legal system ever anyway.

        3. Dee
          Dee February 17, 2013 at 3:52 pm |

          Tyris, I have absolutely no idea what you mean by your first paragraph. At all. In fact, I’m not entirely sure what you mean by your second either. What do you mean when you say, “Some of us aren’t legally recognised as people at all.” Like who?

          I think that what BFing Sarah means is that she believes that all people are equally “legitimate,” as opposed to some being “illegitimate” because their parents were not married at their birth. Its a pretty simple, no need to “imply” anything. She was agreeing with Henry’s above statement that the term is rude. I agree.

        4. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune February 17, 2013 at 4:15 pm |

          Um, Li and Dee, I think Tyris is saying that they’re a multiple, actually…

        5. SamBarge
          SamBarge February 17, 2013 at 5:37 pm |

          A multiple what?

        6. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune February 17, 2013 at 5:56 pm |

          Well, I wouldn’t presume to say for sure, but the only parsing of that comment I found is that Tyris is a multiple (a person with dissociative identity disorder). I could be way off base but I honestly don’t see how else the statement makes sense.

        7. Li
          Li February 17, 2013 at 6:08 pm |

          Yes, mac, I’m aware of that. Multiples are recognised as a person under the law. They’re not recognised as separate people, but that’s a different question. I’m actually pretty ok with the principle that you need to be independently embodied (ie, one brain = one person) for the law to recognise you as a person.

        8. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune February 17, 2013 at 6:30 pm |

          Yes, mac, I’m aware of that. Multiples are recognised as a person under the law. They’re not recognised as separate people, but that’s a different question.

          Sorry, I misinterpreted your statement. Yeah, I reckon one body=one person is a reasonable enough legal idea…though I can definitely see Tyris’ point about the social aspect of recognition.

        9. amblingalong
          amblingalong February 17, 2013 at 7:03 pm |

          Nice though it would be if that were true, not all people are equally legitimate. Some of us aren’t legally recognised as people at all.

          Of course you’re legally recognized as a person. You’re just don’t get to vote extra times.

        10. SamBarge
          SamBarge February 17, 2013 at 9:10 pm |

          Really? Is that a thing now? I thought Dissociative Identity Disorder wasn’t even universally accepted as a diagnoses and there’s a movement to acknowledge multiple identities as individual people with legal rights?

          Because that idea sounds like it’s fraught with problems.

        11. Odin
          Odin February 18, 2013 at 8:10 am |

          SamBarge, I think right now the movement is mostly trying to get people to recognize that multiplicity can be the normal, non-disordered state of being for some systems (system = 1 body) that doesn’t necessarily need curing — that some systems are more functional being allowed to live as a system rather than trying to “integrate” and become a single person.

          I’m guessing that’s what Tyris meant by not being recognized as legitimate people is the tendency for most people to assume there is only one real, original person for each system, and the rest of the members of the system need to stop existing for the sole reason that they are not the “original” person.

        12. Li
          Li February 18, 2013 at 10:56 am |

          Tyris said: “Some of us aren’t legally recognised as people at all.” [my emphasis]

          I don’t think we need to start projecting meanings other than what they actually said.

        13. Tyris
          Tyris February 18, 2013 at 6:32 pm |

          And that crackling sound was the conversation grounding itself. We did indeed use “legally” and mean it as exactly that, chiefly due to springboarding (inaccurately and unwisely, it would seem) off the word “legitimate.” However, as long as we’re talking about what was actually said, it was “recognised as people” – not as “a person,” which as you’ve pointed out we already are treated as. That was rather the point. One.

          We’ll readily accept that there are some areas where there is no need to treat separate people as such (for example, it wouldn’t make sense to claim extra food stamps for what’s still only one stomach), and some where finding the right answer is extremely tricky (the big shiny obvious one being criminal law. When one member of a system commits a crime, you’re faced with the impossible choice of incarcerating the innocent members along with them, or letting them off for the sake of the others. Neither is exactly a good solution). Other areas would lend themselves extremely easily to fraud (voting, for one. Contract law, for two).

          Most of the bits where legal recognition would actually make sense boil down to family law, except for the really big one: integration (“curing” a system by merging them into a single person) doesn’t count as murder.

          Odin’s not wrong, though (given that legal recognition can only follow on from social recognition; it wouldn’t ever work the other way around without some serious conspiracies). And, indeed, the majority of issues surrounding multiplicity are social ones, not legal ones (“then why did you post in the first place?”, you ask! “Um,” we reply. Didn’t expect to so completely derail a discussion on children born out of wedlock, won’t make that mistake again).

        14. Li
          Li February 18, 2013 at 7:49 pm |

          When one member of a system commits a crime, you’re faced with the impossible choice of incarcerating the innocent members along with them, or letting them off for the sake of the others. Neither is exactly a good solution).

          Actually, I’d doubt very much if the legal system would bother with guilt or innocence in the case of a part of a system committing a crime. It’s far more likely the whole system would be found incompetent.

          And the reason integration doesn’t count as murder is because death *is embodied*. If you don’t have an independent body (here, specifically meaning an independent brain), you can’t die, therefore cannot be murdered independently of the body you inhabit. The fact that at our present and futures selves might be radically different to our past selves doesn’t in and of itself qualify as murder.

        15. amblingalong
          amblingalong February 18, 2013 at 8:09 pm |

          Most of the bits where legal recognition would actually make sense boil down to family law, except for the really big one: integration (“curing” a system by merging them into a single person) doesn’t count as murder.

          Even if we presuppose that ‘multiples’ are in fact fully sentient independent consciousnesses (as opposed to a dissociative artifacts caused by a unconscious refusal/inability to accept certain thoughts/feelings as me/mine), that’s still a drastic misapplication of the word murder.

          If we wanted to make integration a crime, murder wouldn’t be it- there’s no phrase in criminal law to describe taking multiple people and turning them into one person. Merging three people into one is different from shooting two of them so you have one left. So yeah, murder isn’t the word.

          And those are some huge presuppositions, there. From a neurological standpoint, it seems more likely that ‘multiples’ are exactly what the phrase Dissociative Identity Disorder suggests- the result of extreme dissociation, that is, the sense that certain thoughts or feelings are ‘other’ or ‘not-me.’ That’s different from actually being host to another conscious being. The existence of integration itself is pretty good evidence for this, since the primary tool of integration is simple acceptance of all ideas/feelings/thoughts as me/mine. That doesn’t eliminate thoughts, it just reframes them.

          Frankly, speaking as if dissociative artifacts are real/conscious/sentient is as irresponsible as telling a person with schizophrenia that you also see their hallucinations. DID is a disorder along the same spectrum as DPD, DDIS, etc.

        16. amblingalong
          amblingalong February 18, 2013 at 8:11 pm |

          The fact that at our present and futures selves might be radically different to our past selves doesn’t in and of itself qualify as murder.

          Another good point. Going to sleep isn’t suicide; people who experience radical personality changes due to traumatic brain injury were not killed and reborn.

        17. Odin
          Odin February 18, 2013 at 9:27 pm |

          Whoah there, amglingalong. We can talk about why it’s not feasible to count integration as legal murder without going so far as to suggest that not only are all multiples deluded and incorrect, but that it’s irresponsible and morally wrong to respect their identities. 0_o

          I mean, you could’ve just pointed out that since many multiple systems experience flux at some point (gaining a new member or losing an old one), it would be impossible to prove to a court of law that the disappearance of a system member wasn’t part of the natural flux of the system. That seems to be a fundamental barrier to recognizing legal murder of system members, and it doesn’t even require using the DMV to shit on people’s identities.

        18. Caperton
          Caperton February 18, 2013 at 10:08 pm | *

          Amblingalong, it would be nice of you to not put quotation marks around multiples.

        19. amblingalong
          amblingalong February 19, 2013 at 7:27 am |

          Amblingalong, it would be nice of you to not put quotation marks around multiples.

          but that it’s irresponsible and morally wrong to respect their identities.

          Alright, the link to my response is here:

          http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2013/02/18/spillover-1/#comment-605926

        20. amblingalong
          amblingalong February 19, 2013 at 9:16 am |

          So my posts both here and in the spillover thread were deleted without comment, explanation or even admonishment. I’d be very interested to learn by whom, and why.

        21. amblingalong
          amblingalong February 19, 2013 at 9:17 am |

          Nvm, I was just logged out and didn’t see the moderation tag. Can things be retroactively added to moderation?

        22. Caperton
          Caperton February 19, 2013 at 10:25 am | *

          Amblingalong, your comments were temporarily sidelined because I hadn’t had a chance to look them over and make sure your continued discussion of the topic hadn’t contradicted any instructions from moderators. I’m up, I’ve checked them over, they’re approved, and free conversation at the spillover thread is encouraged.

  2. Librarygoose
    Librarygoose February 15, 2013 at 7:31 pm |

    I’m watching Elementary (I think I’m in Sherlock withdrawal) and I can’t stand the Joan Watson was never a soldier. The rest of the show isn’t that grating and I’ve always loved Johnny Lee Miller but the non-soldier thing bothers me so much. I think it’s because she’s so helpless in the show and I’ve always hated bumbling Watson and it just rankles me so much that gender-bent Watson can’t also be badass. Like Watson should be.

    1. Aydan
      Aydan February 15, 2013 at 7:42 pm |

      I’ve personally been really pleased with the way they made her super-competent without turning her into an action hero. It would have been nice to see a female!soldier!Watson, yes, but I think they’ve done a pretty good job of portraying her as someone who was successful in a male-dominated occupation, who doesn’t take nonsense from anyone, including Holmes, and who doesn’t lose her head in a crisis.

      1. Librarygoose
        Librarygoose February 15, 2013 at 7:51 pm |

        She does handle herself. I like her and the Watson in the show is most assuredly not the Watson I thought I’d see, which is a good thing. But I am still so annoyed that she has to have Sherlock decide she needs to learn to defend herself.

        I think it’s mostly I wanted to see how the writers would handle a female soldier. Of course they chose to erase it instead.

    2. SophiaBlue
      SophiaBlue February 15, 2013 at 7:45 pm |

      I never watched Elementary or any of the other Sherlock Holmes shows on right now, but I always wished they would make a show with a female Holmes.

      1. dawnofthenerds
        dawnofthenerds February 15, 2013 at 8:36 pm |

        *mild spoilers for latest Doctor Who Christmas Special*

        In the Doctor Who universe, Holmes and Watson are based on a lesbian couple, one of whom is a lizard woman from the dawn of time. They don’t have all that much screen time, and they are written by Moffatt, but they’re still pretty damn awesome.

        1. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune February 15, 2013 at 9:23 pm |

          JennyxVastra forever! *grin*

      2. Fat Steve
        Fat Steve February 17, 2013 at 1:50 am |

        I never watched Elementary or any of the other Sherlock Holmes shows on right now, but I always wished they would make a show with a female Holmes.

        Try the Swedish/Danish co-production Bron/The Bridge. The female detective is very Holmes like.

    3. macavitykitsune
      macavitykitsune February 15, 2013 at 9:13 pm |

      I’m watching Elementary (I think I’m in Sherlock withdrawal) and I can’t stand the Joan Watson was never a soldier.

      WTF. Way to totally undercut a character’s motivations/personality/life-changing events. Right, so portraying a woman as Watson is some sort of victory of gender equality…except she doesn’t get to do half the things, or have half the experiences that canon Watson does, because that would just be sooooo unthinkable for women. Because no US soldiers of the female persuasion ever got wounded in battle, or were army medics, or anything of the sort, amirite?

      Honestly, you could take the doctor out of Watson and still have more of the character intact than if you take the ex-soldier out of Watson. I just GAH.

      I love me some genderswitches (though I’m [redacted]ly uncomfortable with half-genderswitches because it just reads as “let’s straight this up so we can have the hawt sexing” to me, which is probably why I’m never going to watch Elementary). But you know….do the damn switches right, or don’t do them at all.

      (end queer feminist ragemachine input)

      1. Aydan
        Aydan February 15, 2013 at 10:03 pm |

        For what it’s worth, the writers have been pretty clear in interviews about making and keeping Watson’s and Holmes’s relationship solidly platonic, and the show has played it exclusively that way so far. (It’s a big part of why I watch the show, so I hope they keep it that way!)

      2. DouglasG
        DouglasG February 17, 2013 at 12:55 pm |

        [Honestly, you could take the doctor out of Watson and still have more of the character intact than if you take the ex-soldier out of Watson. I just GAH.]

        Really? It’s been more than a while since I’ve read them in depth, but I don’t recall getting that impression from the books. The one thing that irritated me about Sherlock was their making JW into almost an action hero or at least sidekick thereof, though to some extent it just seemed to be the price of adaptation (and a less grating one than the most recent makeover given to Marianne Dashwood).

        Perhaps over the years I’ve let some of Hastings (also a former soldier) colour my perception of Watson. Usually, though, I just conclude that Miss Marple had the right idea.

        1. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune February 17, 2013 at 1:19 pm |

          Eh, it’s not the action-hero background, it’s the… way Watson’s character was shaped by his experiences. The PTSD and the injury and all of it. Besides, Watson’s medical experiences are really fairly unimportant next to Holmes’ expertise. Sure, he backs Holmes’ deductions up, but Holmes was doing just fine without a labcoat sidekick before Watson turned up and he doesn’t really need somebody to confirm cause of death or whatever. No, it’s the fact that Watson can understand Holmes’ obsessive nature, and the weird broken spaces in him, and Watson’s hunger for new experiences, strange experiences, for adventure, for the rush and the danger of it. That’s the part that really complements Holmes and that really draws him to both adventuring with Holmes and chronicling it. So…it makes more sense to me that the ex-soldier part of Watson’s personality is way more important than the doctor part of him.

        2. Librarygoose
          Librarygoose February 17, 2013 at 1:33 pm |

          Watson’s hunger for new experiences, strange experiences, for adventure, for the rush and the danger of it.

          This is what I think is the most important thing about Watson, too. Why else would the character stay with Sherlock? Fortunately the Lucy Liu Watson has this but it’s more like she’s just finding it in the show, opposed to needing to keep it there. My problem is still how they took a worldly Watson and made the character dependent on Sherlock for building what I already thought of as “Watson”.

        3. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune February 17, 2013 at 1:46 pm |

          This is what I think is the most important thing about Watson, too. Why else would the character stay with Sherlock?

          Reason #1 it annoyed the shit out of me that they based House and Wilson’s relationship on Holmes and Watson: House doesn’t do that for Wilson! So it just doesn’t make sense, and the restructuring that occurs separates the characters so thoroughly that it simply isn’t the same dynamic; it’s a lot more destructive and pointlessly angsty on Wilson’s part.

          (unrelated rant lol)

  3. SophiaBlue
    SophiaBlue February 15, 2013 at 8:45 pm |

    Between one of the other students in my poetry class writing a poem where someone being transgender was treated as a big shocking twist and being stuck in my grandmother’s house listening to her and my aunt have completely pig-ignorant discussions about race, this has been an exciting* week for me!

    *”exciting” here means “I’m going to knock a hole in my desk with my head,” obviously.

    1. PrettyAmiable
      PrettyAmiable February 16, 2013 at 4:57 pm |

      Do you get to discuss poems out loud in that class? I feel like it would have been awesome if you were like, “Nice ending. Never saw you being so blatant about your transphobia coming. Really did not expect that level of bigotry. Quite the twist.”

      One of my bosses this week kept saying sexist AND racist things to get a rise out of me, so I feel you. (“How is it racist for me to call a Japanese person ‘Korean’ when people call me ‘XYZ Western European nationality’ is not?”). The irony was he was totally cool with me calling him a bigot, just not racist.

      1. Mike
        Mike February 16, 2013 at 7:11 pm |

        Hey! Let’s not be mean here…It takes a lot of guts to read your bigoted poetry in front of a class

      2. SophiaBlue
        SophiaBlue February 16, 2013 at 8:06 pm |

        That WOULD have been awesome, but sadly I’m too non-confrontational in face-to-face interactions to do anything quite like that. I did try to push back against him, though.

        One problem was that he didn’t outright state that the character was a transgender woman. There were enough tropes and stereotypes that I have little doubt that’s what he was going for, but it was ambiguous enough that he could probably have just denied it if I pushed him too hard.

  4. dawnofthenerds
    dawnofthenerds February 15, 2013 at 8:55 pm |

    IT’S READING WEEK!!!!! *collapses into bed*

    I actually managed to schedule my homework so I don’t have much to do this week, and I can actually take a break. No thanks to my stupid ass university, where grad students aren’t actually entitled to a reading week. It’s just most of my courses are combined with undergrads, so I get one on a technicality.

    1. macavitykitsune
      macavitykitsune February 15, 2013 at 9:07 pm |

      Holy fuck, reading week. I’m so glad it’s here. Now I can coddle my sick and catch up on housework and I even have some manga I’m hoping to read. (I’ll get to them, no doubt; I’m a pretty fast reader.)

      1. dawnofthenerds
        dawnofthenerds February 15, 2013 at 11:37 pm |

        I just got a stack of reworked greek myths from the library (Like the Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood, and Atalanta and the Arcadian Beast by Jane Yolen and Richard Harris). And I finally have enough free time to start A Memory of Light. It’s going to be a damn good week.

        1. shigekuni
          shigekuni February 16, 2013 at 10:13 am |

          OOOOH. I’m trying to manage my mental/financial problems enough to catch up to ‘Memory’. Almost finished with ‘Gathering’ and I am so glad Sanderson is writing better women than Jordan did.

        2. Tim
          Tim February 16, 2013 at 4:19 pm |

          There is an actual Thing, called the Penelopiad, and it is by Margaret Atwood?!??!!! I am so gonna have to check that out, right now.

        3. Computer Soldier Porygon
          Computer Soldier Porygon February 16, 2013 at 6:04 pm |

          Hold the fucking phone! If I do not read this Penelopiad thing this weekend, I will surely die.

      2. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune February 16, 2013 at 3:10 pm |

        I placed a hold on A Memory of Light… and I’m fifth in line. D:

      3. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune February 16, 2013 at 7:56 pm |

        Erg, Margaret Atwood. I’ve never read anything by her, but she falls into one of my pet peeves really hard (i.e. “I’m not a science fiction writer! No way no how I would never be one of those loser sf writers! …why yes I will totally take a Hugo Award for my novel! BUT I AM NOT A SCIENCE FICTION WRITER HDU WAAAH). I’ve quit reading several authors on that point, and I encountered this bullshit from her before I read any of her books, so I just…didn’t start. And probably won’t ever. I just…own your genre, or don’t write in it. Some of the most brilliantly written works I’ve ever read were science fiction or fantasy or romantic comedies (PG Wodehouse, Robin Hobb, Guy Kay, I’m looking at you). And it displeases me when people shit all over my favourite things while two-facedly accepting compliments and awards only achieved by using the tools of those favourite things.

        1. EG
          EG February 16, 2013 at 8:03 pm |

          Agreed. Also, I thought The Penelopiad was facile.

        2. SophiaBlue
          SophiaBlue February 16, 2013 at 8:09 pm |

          Word

        3. Computer Soldier Porygon
          Computer Soldier Porygon February 17, 2013 at 12:59 pm |

          She’s completely annoying and a a mondo hypocrite, often! AND YET, really like some of her books.

    2. Shadowesque
      Shadowesque February 15, 2013 at 9:47 pm |

      What’s a reading week?

      1. dawnofthenerds
        dawnofthenerds February 15, 2013 at 11:34 pm |

        Sarcasm or serious question? Because most of the time I can’t tell. And yes, this one is a serious question XD

        1. Shadowesque
          Shadowesque February 16, 2013 at 12:30 pm |

          Serious question. I haven’t heard of that before.

        2. Li
          Li February 16, 2013 at 2:08 pm |

          It’s a non-classtime week in a university or college semester, typically about halfway through.

        3. dawnofthenerds
          dawnofthenerds February 16, 2013 at 4:19 pm |

          In Canada anyway, Reading Week is a week off college classes that is usually the third week in February. They put it in place because second semester doesn’t have many long weekends, and they noticed that student suicides were spiking in late February because of all the stress. We now get that week off. Teachers usually end up giving out a lot of homework right after, so it’s usually more of a chance to catch up than a real break, but it’s still pretty awesome to have.

      2. Bonn
        Bonn February 16, 2013 at 2:42 pm |

        Thank you for asking that … never had one of those at my first school and certainly don’t have one here.

  5. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll February 15, 2013 at 9:58 pm |
    1. Andie
      Andie February 16, 2013 at 12:21 pm |

      Ugh, that was gross. Nice to see how pretty much no fucks are given about the health of woman with a possible drug problem.

    2. (BFing) Sarah
      (BFing) Sarah February 16, 2013 at 1:26 pm |

      “My lawyer has advised me from the very beginning when I hired her that this was a special case. I feel that if I need to take this all the way to the Supreme Court for fathers to have rights to their unborn children, absolutely I will take it all the way to the Supreme Court. I will do whatever I have to do,”

      ???!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!???????? Please, dear-baby-Jesus-that-I-don’t-believe-in, tell me this is not real [closing eyes and shaking my head side to side in disbelief]!

      What the hell does he want them to do? Tie her up and keep her confined for the duration of the pregnancy so that he can “protect” his “unborn child”? I’m sorry, but he probably knew that she struggled with addiction prior to having sex with her…what did he think was going to be the result? That the “PREGnantOMGfetusesHAVEspecialMAGIKALaddictioncuringpower” fairies would make it so she all of a sudden did not want to use any longer? See, now my anger is making me go in places where it shouldn’t go like wondering whether he pressured her to carry the pregnancy to term. And, you know, its actually not that easy to find space in a rehab for a person who is pregnant, where I live at least. She is not just an incubator for his baby! She is a person, too! UGH!!

      And I also love how the article continues to refer to him as the “unborn child’s father” but she is called out by name. Nice. She’s not a “mother” she is apparently just Beam, the Incubator.

      1. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune February 16, 2013 at 3:16 pm |

        Yes, and not to mention, if she detoxes at this point she’s going to do more harm to the goddamn fetus, so what is his big fucking wailing about anyway?

        And if the parole officers were interested in doing something to protect this fetus, they’d have intervened five months ago when this sperm donor first took his abloobloo to them, so they don’t even have the saran-wrap ass-covering of Good Intentions. At this point it’s just a whole whackload of people getting together to punish this poor woman.

        1. pheenobarbidoll
          pheenobarbidoll February 16, 2013 at 9:17 pm |

          yep.

  6. Brennan
    Brennan February 15, 2013 at 9:59 pm |

    For all my fellow wanna-be-writers out there, here is a thing that can give you motivation (and kittens!).

    My Great American Novel remains untouched, but at least I got a fanfic out of it. Also, eighteen kittens. ;)

  7. mxe354
    mxe354 February 15, 2013 at 11:39 pm |

    I did my driver license test today. I was performing almost perfectly until I reached one intersection at which I almost turned left in front of a vehicle coming from the right. The examiner had to yell at me to stop, and because she had to intervene, she failed my test. At least she was very nice and I only made one mistake (albeit a critical one).

    Aside from that, I’ve just been on a Judas Priest listening-spree, listening to the album Painkiller more than any other album because I simply must. I’m also playing Phantasy Star II and Strider on my Genesis for the sake of nostalgia. And tomorrow I’ll be hanging out with one of my long-time online friends whom I’ve never met in person before.

    It’s been an okay week, worsening mental health notwithstanding.

    1. mxe354
      mxe354 February 15, 2013 at 11:40 pm |

      It’s been an okay week, worsening mental health notwithstanding.

      That was very poorly phrased. I meant to say that my week would be pretty ordinary and tolerable if it weren’t for my worsening mental state.

      1. PeggyLuWho
        PeggyLuWho February 16, 2013 at 1:20 am |

        Not sure if you saw this on the other thread where we were talking about it, but here’s that referral I said I’d get you:

        Maureen Johnston
        http://www.maureenjohnston.com
        408-871-9180

        1. mxe354
          mxe354 February 16, 2013 at 1:26 am |

          Thank you so much!

    2. Donna L
      Donna L February 16, 2013 at 12:07 am |

      I did my driver license test today. I was performing almost perfectly until I reached one intersection at which I almost turned left in front of a vehicle coming from the right. The examiner had to yell at me to stop, and because she had to intervene, she failed my test. At least she was very nice and I only made one mistake (albeit a critical one).

      Mxe, almost every single person I know failed their driving test at least once before passing it. I certainly did, when I first took it when I was 19 — I managed to hit the car in front of me as I was pulling out of the parking space at the beginning! Probably the quickest failure in history. But even I passed it the next time. And I’m sure you will too.

      1. mxe354
        mxe354 February 16, 2013 at 2:18 am |

        Oh, dear. That sounds awful! What I did was just as (if not more) dangerous. I’m sure I’ll pass it next time because all I really need to work on is my sense of awareness while driving, which I’m already working on. I can be careless at times, and it was my carelessness that almost caused that severe accident.

        1. Angie unduplicated
          Angie unduplicated February 16, 2013 at 11:36 am |

          Drivers’ license offices are, I believe, designed to turn their occupants into either malevolent humanoids or nervous meltdowns. The Old Gal had to transfer from another state and retest, in the Boss Man’s megatruck with him watching. The height of the Redneck’s Revenge made it impossible to see half or more of the parallel-parking pylons, the space was set up for a compact and not for Southern MachoMania, and the afternoon sun was in my eyes. I ran over pilons as if they earned me free games. The tester insisted that I take the driving test anyway, whereupon I discovered that the speedometer was not working at all and I held my breath the entire time in fear that the tester would notice.
          Failed the parallel park, passed driving.
          Gaming, I hear, is good for driving skills. See if you can find some good games involving either driving or multiple problems/targets on one screen. Old lady says: The AARP Safe Driving Course is on sale for $5 this month with a coupon code, and it is useful even for younger drivers. We love ya, next time youll pass them

        2. PeggyLuWho
          PeggyLuWho February 17, 2013 at 5:23 pm |

          When I got my driver’s license in California a million years ago when I was 16, they didn’t require paralel parking. Is that still the same?

        3. ch
          ch February 18, 2013 at 9:58 pm |

          PeggyLu, I got my CA driver’s license in 2003ish and didn’t have to parallel park, either. (I still don’t know how to, really, and living in LA it’s a really useful skill…)

      2. wanttobeanon
        wanttobeanon February 17, 2013 at 7:59 am |

        This. I failed four things my first time: parking on a hill, parallel parking, the K-turn, and for “attention,” because I was nervous to get started and put the car in Drive before the man giving me the test was fully in the car and buckled. I was lucky and privileged enough to be able to take a couple of private driving lessons, and passed the second time. It’s demoralizing but really, so many people flop the first time.

    3. Barnacle Strumpet
      Barnacle Strumpet February 16, 2013 at 6:35 pm |

      Maybe you could take it in a different town. Down here, there are certain towns that are known to be very, very easy to pass in (i.e they have a population of about 500, zip in traffic, and one stoplight if that)

  8. Schmorgluck
    Schmorgluck February 16, 2013 at 2:50 am |

    What follows may seem a little odd, but…

    I just learned that my closest friend turned unable to allow anyone’s head to her crotch because of her ex’s telling her that her pussy stank, about two years ago when they were together. Since then, she can’t allow anyone’s face near her pussy, on the basis that it (allegedly) stinks. She even aknowledges it’s irrational. Yet she can’t help it. She used to enjoy being given cunnilingus. She can’t anymore.

    I’d so very much like to help her overcome this, but I’ve got no idea how. For one thing, I have my own social anxiety issues. I may be projecting too much, but I tend to think her issue is also of social anxiety kind. And probably just one manifestation of a more general condition. I’m not sure. But it’s still a condition. And I don’t know how. Advising her to seek professional help over this single issue doesn’t seem like a possibility right now.

    Anyone heard of a similar issue? Any advice?

    1. Anonymous Internet Person
      Anonymous Internet Person February 16, 2013 at 12:42 pm |

      I’m not even a little bit qualified to answer this, but maybe recommending some sort of placebo would help? Something like ‘Relactogel’ (I think that’s what it’s called) or a similar ph-correcting treatment won’t do any harm if there’s nothing wrong with her vagina, but in my experience, does change the smell a little bit, albeit temporarily.

      It’d treat the symptom (real or imagined) not the cause, but maybe it would help her get over her discomfort?

  9. matlun
    matlun February 16, 2013 at 6:30 am |

    It might be worth pointing out that if there is in fact a bad smell, that is typically not caused by poor hygiene. In fact, one possible cause for actual stink is excessive washing.

    Perhaps trying to take the shame out of the problem could help at least a little?

    1. Angie unduplicated
      Angie unduplicated February 16, 2013 at 11:40 am |

      A certain microorganism causes fish smell. It can be treated.
      Anyone with sinus trouble knows that it can cause a foul smell in the nostrils. The problem may be his, not hers.
      Finally, he could have been a malicious a$$hole whose behaviour stunk.
      She can always bend over, run a finger through the garden, and take a sniff. I think she’s been lied to, but YMMV.

      1. Schmorgluck
        Schmorgluck February 16, 2013 at 12:30 pm |

        Heh, you ninja’d me on the finger thing. And yeah, I wouldn’t put it past him that your latter theory is correct: I know him, and he can be quite a jerk at times. I can just imagine at which moment he must have said it for her to end up traumatized like that.

        Even if he wasn’t lying, I suspect he hasn’t been half as gentle about it as he should have been.

    2. Schmorgluck
      Schmorgluck February 16, 2013 at 12:16 pm |

      Thing is, there’s no factual indication that there actually is a bad smell. Even she recognises it. But she’s stuck with this anxiety. I’m not even sure checking it out herself using her fingers would actually help. It could be worth the try, though. The idea didn’t cross my mind when we discussed the issue (I thought of it by reading about feminine hygiene on the-clitoris.com a hour ago), but I’ll try to bring it out when I get a chance.

      I’m not sure shame really plays a significant role. She’s never shown any tendancy to be shameful of her body. She sometimes complains of having a bit too much junk in her belly (which may be true, but not morbidly so), but she’s otherwise quite comfortable with her naturally chunky* figure.
      She’s got an overall healthy sex life, and isn’t really shy about it. But I can just imagine the puzzlement of her lovers when she exclaims “no” to their heading down.
      Heck, I don’t even have to imagine: we’ve had a fling that lasted but one night before we decided it was awkward (and ended up closer friends than ever), and that same thing happened to me. I didn’t ask her why at the moment out of politeness, and later brushed it off as either her already having second thought about us, her simply not liking it, or my having poor sense of timing. Learning the truth relieved me of that last anguishing theory, but makes me sad. And angry at her ex.

      * English is not my primary language and I’ve been struggling to find a factual adjective that doesn’t come up as pejorative. I hope I chose the right one.

      1. Tim
        Tim February 16, 2013 at 4:39 pm |

        I am wondering if your friend has, as far as you know, seems to have any tendencies toward obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) or many have been actually diagnosed with it? The main reasons I think it might be a possibility is that you describe her feelings as anxiety about the situation and also that she says she knows it is irrational.

        Sometimes OCD anxieties can develop quite suddenly, even when the person may not have previously realized any OCD issues, perhaps out of a seemingly minor event. And I don’t think this event sounds so minor. Depending on the details of how exactly everything took place and what was said (which we don’t need or want to know, of course), it sounds like that ex is a really vicious jerk.

        If she can afford it and can find the right one, it might help her to discuss it with a therapist. I know that second part is always a crapshoot. If not, there are resources and articles out there on how to work on anxieties (I was given some good ones when I was diagnosed with OCD and could try to dig them up and post links if you want). A sympathetic sex partner might be able to help if she is willing to trust them with knowing about the problem. DIY therapy can have its risks, too I suppose.

        I really feel for your friend. That ex sounds like a creep!

        1. Schmorgluck
          Schmorgluck February 19, 2013 at 4:18 pm |

          To be honest, by using the word “anxiety” to describe her reaction I might be kinda projecting my own issues (social anxiety disorders) or, if one feels generous, using the best approximation within my area of experience. We discussed it a little more on saturday night, but since we weren’t alone (and were too tipsy to put much thought in it) it hasn’t been much.

          We discussed it tonight by SMS too. It seems she doesn’t think much about that issue unless the specific trigger of a guy going down on her is involved. I don’t know much about OCD (apart from the minor ones I had as a teen, like many people), but it seems to me that it’s not quite how they work. For one thing, it didn’t occur to her that a guy who’d have fingered her would most likely notice if there were a stink from her vulva, just by smelling his own fingers. And, huh, well, I pointed it out to her. As someone who… Damn, I know she can’t read English, but I’m wary of finishing those sentences.

          Anyway, I told her that she may need professional help for that issue if it stays. This being in France, she can afford it, and as for finding a good therapist, I plan on asking her if she has good communication with her gynecologist, who in turn might point her to someone good for her.

          When I told her about her possible need for therapy, however, she said finding a lover she trusts and who treats her well could do the trick. Which makes sense but raises two issues: shouldn’t even her one-night-stand lovers fit this definition anyway as a general principle? And what about me back then? I don’t have an excess of pride but, well, ouchie anyway?

  10. EG
    EG February 16, 2013 at 10:11 am |

    I thought that this article about single women deciding to become mothers in Vietnam was really interesting, for the way it linked the effect of war on women’s roles and agency.

  11. (BFing) Sarah
    (BFing) Sarah February 16, 2013 at 1:29 pm |

    Does anyone watch The Americans? I just started and I kind of love how they actually did some character development of a character of color last week! Woot! I feel like after watching The Walking Dead (and loving it, despite all its race fail), this was an especially welcome viewing experience for me.

  12. Chataya
    Chataya February 16, 2013 at 2:24 pm |

    I have a kitty snoring in my lap. Just thought I’d share that important news with y’all.

  13. de Pizan
    de Pizan February 16, 2013 at 2:58 pm |

    Trigger Warning for murder and domestic violence

    I’ve been completely disgusted and sickened by the coverage of the murder of Reeva Steenkamp by her boyfriend Oscar Pistorius. Per usual with an athlete/celebrity/politician/rich dude, the media coverage is 99% OH NO what about his career, his life, he was so inspiring/talented, and it’s such a tragedy his promising career is cut short; and then the horrible tasteless puns about her death (fucking Blade Gunner jokes); splashing photos of Steenkamp in a bikini next to the headlines about her murder because sex and violence go together like peanut butter and jelly; and oh people knew about the abuse charges, but we figured women make shit up you know, especially cause he’s famous and all. And only 1% coverage about the victim, and half of those are inevitably horrible, about her “vamping” (no, she was a model idiots); and how she was oddly complicated in that she was a model who cared about rape and violence against women (because what, models can’t think, or because women can’t care about more than one thing?); or how there’s a discrepancy about the age she said she was and the age the police gave for her, but don’t worry we’ll get to the bottom of that because hard journalism here.
    Maybe just one fucking time a woman dies/is raped/beaten at the hands of her boyfriend, we could actually get the focus on the real victim.

    1. Andie
      Andie February 16, 2013 at 5:35 pm |

      A. Lynn wrote a good post about how media coverage doesn’t seem to want to even use her NAME.. Like she wasn’t even a person in her own right.

      1. de Pizan
        de Pizan February 16, 2013 at 6:58 pm |

        Yes, absolutely. It’s how these women are further failed by how they are erased and silenced. Like when Kasandra Perkins was killed by Jovan Belcher a few months ago, and then he killed himself in front of his coach…the articles all seem fixated on how awful it was he committed suicide and how horrible for his coach to see that (yet very little about how awful it was that Perkins’ daughter was in the house when her mother was killed and how she was going to grow up without parents, or that Belcher’s mother was also there), and how the team was going to suffer. If they thought of Perkins at all, it seemed to be to find some way to blame her for “provoking” it.

    2. SlipperyWombat
      SlipperyWombat February 18, 2013 at 5:06 am |

      Maybe just one fucking time a woman dies/is raped/beaten at the hands of her boyfriend, we could actually get the focus on the real victim.

      But the only reason these events are being broadcast on a national/international level at all is because of the celebrity status of the men involved. Do you honestly think if Jennifer Aniston waxed some dude tomorrow the media would focus on the victim’s life and tragic end? No, it would be hundreds of hours of coverage devoted to JA because that is what sells.

      1. de Pizan
        de Pizan February 18, 2013 at 5:32 pm |

        I get that in a case with someone famous, that might be the main hook in selling a story; but it’s still possible to report on it and actually remember that there’s a victim, and that it is not the murderer/rapist. And that it’s also possible to report on it and not try to find ways to blame the victim, paint them in a bad light, or excuse what was done. Even in cases where the perpetrators aren’t celebrities (Steubenville, Cleveland TX, Duke lacrosse, etc), the coverage is still often focused on how it’s affecting the poor poor men who committed the crimes.

        1. SlipperyWombat
          SlipperyWombat February 19, 2013 at 2:37 am |

          I get that in a case with someone famous, that might be the main hook in selling a story; but it’s still possible to report on it and actually remember that there’s a victim, and that it is not the murderer/rapist. And that it’s also possible to report on it and not try to find ways to blame the victim, paint them in a bad light, or excuse what was done.

          And it is possible for FoxNews to be fair and balanced, I just wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for that to happen.

          I don’t disagree at all with what you are saying, I just think it is symptomatic of the mainstream media’s lowest common denominator level of discourse rather than any real attempt to erase women as victims. Think about mainstream representation of literally any subject you know a great deal about. Whether it is an industry you have worked in, a subject you researched in college, etc and consider how fantastically distorted and ridiculous the coverage is.

          Even in cases where the perpetrators aren’t celebrities (Steubenville, Cleveland TX, Duke lacrosse, etc), the coverage is still often focused on how it’s affecting the poor poor men who committed the crimes.

          As far as the Duke Lacrosse guys… You and I must have seen some very different coverage, cause those guys were getting crucified in the media when the story initially broke. It wasn’t until the accuser’s story began falling apart and serious allegations of prosecutorial conduct came out that they were viewed sypmathetically. And I am really unsure how bringing up a case of blatantly false rape allegations bolsters an argument for the erasure of female victims; I would tend to focus on cases where, you know, there actually was a victim. It isn’t like there is a shortage of the latter.

        2. de Pizan
          de Pizan February 19, 2013 at 10:29 pm |

          That was a horrible slip, I was misremembering another college athlete rape incident and got it confused with the Duke lacrosse one.
          I realize the media is terrible and distorted, but I really don’t think it’s asking for too much to say don’t write articles about an 11 year old girl who has been gang raped and describe her as a spider luring the boys into her web; or don’t write an article about a murder and act like the real crime here is if the woman was lying about her age; or don’t write an article about a murder and focus so solely on the murderer that the victim’s name goes unmentioned for almost the entire article. That feels like a pretty low bar to set.

  14. Miss S
    Miss S February 16, 2013 at 4:23 pm |

    So now I will bring up Christopher Dorner.

    One of the things that stood out to me were the comments from some people saying that “now he’s lost all credibility.” Does his killing spree really hurt his credibility? Does shooting someone mean all accusations you’ve made prior null and void? To me, it doesn’t. And I can’t think of anyone with less credibility than the LAPD, which makes me think that pretending he has no credibility is a way to avoid having the bigger discussion about race and police departments.

    I also saw comments defending them after they fired 50 rounds into a truck with two women. “They were nervous, they’re scared, etc.” Shouldn’t they be trained not to fire into cars without knowing who is in them? Hell, shouldn’t they be trained not to fire unless they’re being fired at?

    Any thoughts? I know I can’t be the only one with thoughts on this. :)

    1. Miss S
      Miss S February 16, 2013 at 4:27 pm |

      Also disturbing is that they seem to have terrible aim. I have no doubt that they were trying to kill him, but everyone the police fired at survived. When firing at the women in the truck, they managed to put bullet holes in nearby cars, doors, and roofs. When they finally had a visual on him, they still missed, and one officer was shot, another killed.

      How much weapons training do they receive? Because I know hunters who can hit a moving target better than they can hit a stationary one. It’s really unsettling that they don’t seem to have much training in when, where, why, and how to use a weapon. They also don’t seem to be well trained in how to react well under pressure, which is a major problem.

      It’s my understanding that the police don’t carry weapons everywhere (my sister said her French teacher told her that the police in France don’t) and I think it’s probably best if the police here don’t either.

      1. jacy
        jacy February 16, 2013 at 6:44 pm |

        trigger warning for gun violence

        ‘It’s my understanding that the police don’t carry weapons everywhere (my sister said her French teacher told her that the police in France don’t) and I think it’s probably best if the police here don’t either’
        I don’t comment here much but I’d like to say this probably isn’t quite true. In England everyone including the media likes to say the police don’t have guns here but I live in south london and I’ve seen a black man been shot by the police and concil estates where my freinds with the police have guns there aswell. The law is that the police get to pick and choose which areas they need to ‘protect themselves in’ so what happens in reality is that in posh areas the police arn’t armed but in ‘rough’ areas where more POC live they are. Don’t know whether this is true in france but I tend to side-eye anyone who says that the police arn’t armed in certain countries because what they really mean is the police arn’t armed for certain people in certain countries

        1. Tyris
          Tyris February 16, 2013 at 8:49 pm |

          Yeah, the French have their fair share of armed officers. The Gendarmerie Nationale is even technically a branch of the armed forces.

        2. GraceGrace
          GraceGrace February 16, 2013 at 9:50 pm |

          I’m a 20-year-old femaling who lives in Canada and I actually just took my firearms course this past weekend! My instructor was super informative about all sorts of things such as this. Interesting fact: in Canada, 80% of gun related incidents are suicides, whereas only 15% are murder. Which means that firearms owners are FAR more likely to kill themselves than anyone else!
          But back to the topic at hand: the police up here are BARELY trained on firearms safety (like a day of training, MAYBE), whereas to be a border guard, your firearms licence is a prerequisite! My boyfriend was at the range, putting ammunition in his pistol and a police officer walked in front of him, when the range was active. That’s something you could get kicked out of the range for… My boyfriend’s jaw just dropped. He couldn’t believe someone who’s supposed to protect people could do something like that.
          I guess I just wanted to point out the stupidity of cops, no matter where you are.

    2. PrettyAmiable
      PrettyAmiable February 16, 2013 at 4:43 pm |

      One of the things that stood out to me were the comments from some people saying that “now he’s lost all credibility.”

      Regarding what, racism in the LAPD? I hadn’t heard anyone say that firsthand, but I’m with you. I don’t see how his actions impact this observation. I think it’s one of those things where people like to deny racism exists, so they cling to anything they can to support the idea, no matter how flimsy it may be.

    3. EG
      EG February 16, 2013 at 6:20 pm |

      I hate those “they were nervous/scared” excuses. You know what? They’re cops. They need to be able to behave responsibly even when nervous or scared, because being nervous or scared is in the nature of their jobs.

      Will somebody link me to a good article/post overview of what went down? I was sick earlier this week and didn’t keep up, and now everybody but me seems to know all of what’s going on. Thanks.

      1. Andie
        Andie February 17, 2013 at 10:54 am |

        I have to wonder if what they were “nervous/scared” of is what might have been uncovered had they caught him alive.

      2. SlipperyWombat
        SlipperyWombat February 17, 2013 at 12:21 pm |

        I hate those “they were nervous/scared” excuses. You know what? They’re cops. They need to be able to behave responsibly even when nervous or scared, because being nervous or scared is in the nature of their jobs.

        This is really functionally impossible. When I was at Fort Bragg I met an E5 (sergeant) who was special forces and they had him doing desk work until his ETS date. He had deployed to Afghanistan and the first time he and his team came under fire he simply froze up and refused to go on further missions.

        To put this in perspective, in order to become SF in the first place this guy went through a metric f*ckton of grueling training, put thousands of rounds through various weapon systems, dozens of live and blank fire simulated missions/patrols, and extensive psychological testing. We are talking literally thousands of hours of combat-oriented training beyond what civilian LE’s get. And he was worthless…

        I am emphatically *not* defending the cops who shot up that truck or any other LAPD officer involved in the Dorner manhunt. I am simply saying that no amount of deadly force training – much less the pathetic amount civilian LE typically have – is going to prevent people from going into shock, going batshit, etc when bullets start flying.

        The vast majority of civilian LE never use their weapon in the line of duty and are only required to demosntrate basic proficiency with their weapon twice annually. Back when cops commonly carried revolvers mutiple dead officers were found with spent casings in their pockets after a shoot out. They were so ingrained with habits from the shooting range that they actually stopped to pick up their casings while under fire.

        Better deadly force training would improve outcomes overall, but where do departments get the funds for it? Lethal force is a tiny part of civilian LE and most departments are struggling just to meet payrolls at this point.

        1. EG
          EG February 17, 2013 at 12:48 pm |

          If they had frozen up, fine. If their response to being nervous/scared is to fire shitloads of bullets at innocent people, that’s just not acceptable. If we don’t know how to prevent that, then no guns for nervous/scared people. End of story.

        2. SlipperyWombat
          SlipperyWombat February 18, 2013 at 3:15 am |

          If they had frozen up, fine. If their response to being nervous/scared is to fire shitloads of bullets at innocent people, that’s just not acceptable. If we don’t know how to prevent that, then no guns for nervous/scared people. End of story.

          Despite the frequent depictions of LE personnel as people who spend most of their time shooting minorities for fun the reality is that most officers go their entire career without ever being involved in a shooting. So, how exactly do you propose we separate the “nervous/scared” people?

          Military and LE agencies the world over would love to know your foolproof method for predicting who will remain cool and collected in combat, because in several thousand years of training troops we haven’t developed one yet.

          On a more direct note related to Dorner specifically, I would suggest that anyone interested in the case take the time to read his manifesto. It is both fascinating and incredibly bizarre.

      3. Tim
        Tim February 17, 2013 at 12:52 pm |

        Wikipedia has an article up on him. It seems to be pretty detailed and well-footnoted. There is also a link in that article at the top to another one that is an overview of the whole thing. It does seem as if there is not that much mention in some of the accounts of the actual names of the dead. Here is one profile from a news channel.

      4. Tim
        Tim February 17, 2013 at 2:50 pm |

        There are also some posts over at The Smirking Chimp. As of today, you have to scroll down to the bottom of the first page and click “next” for the first one, and there should be more on that page (there is also a Ted Rall cartoon about halfway down on the first page — apologies at that mention for anyone who has problems with him). I haven’t read any of them in detail yet, but they are from writers that often have interesting perspectives on things.

    4. ch
      ch February 19, 2013 at 5:45 pm |

      I mean, I believe his allegations of racism in the police force, because they corroborate things I’ve heard from other sources. I think his allegations of another officer assaulting a mentally disabled suspect are, at the very least, plausible. I’m not sure whether the LAPD was right to terminate him, because I don’t know the details of it– but it does seem likely that he was terminated unfairly. I believe him when he says believable things, and I’m glad that the LAPD is at least pretending to take some of his allegations somewhat seriously (although I have little faith that they will admit to wrongdoing if they do find it). These things should be taken seriously, because they probably have truth to them.

      But the idea that someone who thought it was a good idea to go on a shooting spree to address these wrongs has any sort of personal credibility or trustworthiness is kind of chilling to me. And his manifesto is deeply disturbing in a lot of places. As a feminist and anti-racist (and a white woman, FWIW), I wish we were having more conversations about police racism, and I wish more people were taking seriously the allegations he made, but I also am super creeped out by how some people are making him some kind of standard-bearer for the idea of speaking truth to police racism (not saying you are, Miss S, but people definitely are). Even setting aside the murders, his manifesto gets pretty damn misogynist at points– I mean, here’s what he says about female LAPD officers:

      Those lesbian officers in supervising positions who go to work, day in day out, with the sole intent of attempting to prove your misandrist authority (not feminism) to degrade male officers. You are a high value target.

      Followed by another, equally creepy paragraph about Asians. (and I don’t think anyone here will deny that there’s sexism as well as racism in big city police departments).

      So, yeah, this whole case is really complicated and I don’t think modern media lends itself to this kind of moral complexity (most of the debates I’ve heard have been one side saying “well, he’s right, the police are racist!” and the other side saying “but he killed people!”. Well, yeah, both of these things are true. Where’s the debate there?).

      Also I agree that the LAPD’s behavior (shooting 2 women in a truck that was neither the same model nor even the same color as his!) has been abominable. And as I think you mentioned in the other thread, the lack of “maybe he’s mentally ill!” speculation in the media, compared to similar speculation about recent white mass shooters, is really interesting. Especially since, with his manifesto and all, Dorner really does fit the popular image of the mentally ill mass killer type in every aspect but his race. So it really says a lot about racism etc. that these speculations are not being made as much in his case.

  15. Tim
    Tim February 16, 2013 at 4:46 pm |

    What I have been doing/planning to do: sometime this evening, I am going to bake a white layer cake and put white powdered-sugar-butter frosting on it for a birthday cake for one of the regular Sunday Ryan’s group. Although I think it is going to be at Bonanza, because it is his birthday and that’s where he wants to go!

    I love to bake but have to have an “excuse” because I can’t have that stuff around the house for just the two of us because of my diabetes. I probably should not be baking at all, but I just can’t give it up.

  16. timberwraith
    timberwraith February 16, 2013 at 5:24 pm |

    I’ll say this because no other person has: that is a very fine picture of Russell Crowe. Wow.

  17. Andie
    Andie February 16, 2013 at 5:31 pm |

    I miss pennies already. It’s weird to have a concept of “one cent” but know that soon their may not be a way to tangibly represent that concept.

    Also, I feel for the cash-handling workers who are going to have a bitch of a time balancing their tills.

    1. Tyris
      Tyris February 16, 2013 at 8:52 pm |

      You could always keep a few back? We’ve got some old ha’pennies and farthings tucked away.

  18. Barnacle Strumpet
    Barnacle Strumpet February 16, 2013 at 6:31 pm |

    Now I’m trying to remember if Jack Aubrey ever canonly knits in the books; I just can’t remember and my e-reader is broken and so I can’t go check )':

  19. Donna L
    Donna L February 17, 2013 at 12:09 am |

    Not only is this thread showing up in that weird plain format other people have referred to, no matter how many times I refresh it, but I shows only the first ten comments or so, no matter what I try to do. Annoying!

    1. SophiaBlue
      SophiaBlue February 17, 2013 at 1:25 am |

      Huh, I’m not getting the plain format anymore, but it was only loading the first ten comments for awhile before I reloaded several times.

    2. Tim
      Tim February 17, 2013 at 12:24 pm |

      Late last night, it was the regular format, but only showing about the first 20 or so of what was then 80 comments. All of the various blog commenting systems seem to have their little moments.

  20. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune February 17, 2013 at 1:09 am |

    …okay, seriously, WTF. I used to be able to get rid of the mobile view thing by waiting awhile and refreshing, but that doesn’t work anymore. And now it won’t load all of the page either. I know it’s not any of the mods’ fault, but is there some general complaint I can lodge to get this fixed? It’s really bugging me now. And this page layout really, really fucks with my vision for some reason (it’s all too white, I can’t tell who’s replying to what, which has caused issues already), so. Sorry, just venting/hoping for a solution, not intending to lay blame on anyone actually running this site.

  21. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune February 17, 2013 at 1:47 am |

    Okay, a PSA:

    1) Not all writers of slash fiction are opposed to gay rights in real life. This is a small minority that exists, but kindly stop strawmanning that they’re all that exists.

    2) Not all writers of slash fiction are straight cis white women. This is a section that exists, but kindly stop strawmanning that they’re all that exists. The vast majority of the women I personally know in fandom have been queer (either genderly or sexually) and many, many POC, and almost all feminist. (I acknowledge that my sample is from anime fandoms and may be skewed.)

    3) In my (many many) years of fannishness, I have encountered one (1) slash fangirl who opposed gay rights, and that not directly (someone ranted about her on a rant comm I was part of).

    4) In my like .5 years of having a shared okc account with my wife for reasons I’m not getting into here, we have been messaged by <10 men who were homophobes who STILL wanted to meet, at least one of whom refused to believe we were a couple even though we told him so AND told him to fuck off.

    So, in conclusion, until I get some concrete fucking statistics on this, I'm going to go ahead and assume that this is a bunch of (queer-erasing) gay dudes having quasi-misogynistic tantrums all over the internet, rather than a Gen-u-wine Phenomenon Of Homophobic Housewives or whatever the insulting trope is these days.

    1. Librarygoose
      Librarygoose February 17, 2013 at 12:35 pm |

      Whoa, the majority of slash writers I know are queer women and all of the writers support gay rights. This is from writers that range all over fandoms too.

      Has there been complaining about this? I haven’t read anything but if there is serious critique I’d like to read it.

      To the google!

  22. mxe354
    mxe354 February 17, 2013 at 3:04 pm |

    Hey everyone, I have something to ask.

    So I was on Facebook not too long ago, and I saw an absolutely disgusting image. It was an image of a man pinning down a woman by pinning down her wrists and holding them above her head. Accompanying that image was a list of rape prevention tips (that, of course, perpetuate rape culture narratives and put the blame on the victims). Both the image and the list were disturbing to me. I felt anxious and sick to my stomach when I saw it, and I don’t even suffer from triggers.

    You see, it was one of my female cousins who posted the image and its accompanying list (neither of which is hers since she just copied it from somewhere else). She comes from a conservative Christian family, and she herself seems to be conservative and religious.

    I want to tell her why the list and the image are very problematic. But I’m worried about whether telling her will make her feel unsafe and scared; people who accept rape culture narratives might see those narratives as benevolent and helpful, and so learning that they are not only wrong but also harmful to women might be very upsetting for them to hear. She also might react badly since I almost never talk to her (although there’s no conflict between us) and since the fact that I’m a “guy”* telling her about the rape culture could make her feel uncomfortable.

    So how should I go about telling her? I want to tell her regardless, but I don’t want to do so carelessly. And I understand that, at the end of the day, I can’t control anyone’s reactions, but I would appreciate some good advice for at least making sure that I minimize the impact of my message.

    *I haven’t come out to her yet about my transness.

    1. EG
      EG February 17, 2013 at 3:34 pm |

      Hmm. I think it’s a wonderful desire to want to correct your cousin’s no-doubt well-meaning post, and a mark of your righteousness, but I also want you to take care of yourself, and if correcting it is going to cause too much agita when I know you’ve already been feeling rather fragile, please know that it’s not on you to solve this problem, and that there’s no shame or blame in deciding you’re just not up to it.

      If you do decide to go ahead and take it on, I think keeping your affect friendly is key. Something like emailing her and saying “Wow, Cousin Fillinthename, I just saw the list you posted on facebook. That is one upsetting picture–I felt sick to my stomach, and it made me wonder what it would be like for someone who’s been assaulted to run across that. I know you would never want to hurt someone who’s already had to suffer like that, not in a million years, so I thought I’d drop you a heads-up about maybe doing something to get rid of the picture.

      “Anyway, I was thinking about the list, and I realized that it’s all tips about what women should do to avoid being raped, and that kind of sends the message that women can control rapists and I wish they could, but of course, if they could, there wouldn’t be any rape. Of course, it’s always good to be aware of your surroundings and do what you can to keep yourself safe, but it turns out that [fill in the myth] doesn’t actually have an effect–check out this study. I have a friend at school who was raped and she once told me [this may be a lie, but I think it’s a benevolent one] that when she sees lists like that she always feels like they’re blaming her for not having been smart enough or something. I hadn’t realized that and it was really food for thought, so I thought I’d pass it on, because like with the picture, I know you wouldn’t want to make somebody feel like that.”

      I don’t know if that would work, or if it reflects the way you and your cousin usually communicate, but what I think is key is to put you and her on the same side–allies who hate rape and don’t want to hurt women–and so you’re being helpful rather than corrective. That way, she’s far less likely to feel attacked, and so more likely both to take on board what you’re saying, and to respond without attacking you or feeling defensive.

      1. PeggyLuWho
        PeggyLuWho February 17, 2013 at 5:42 pm |

        I think it’s a wonderful desire to want to correct your cousin’s no-doubt well-meaning post, and a mark of your righteousness, but I also want you to take care of yourself, and if correcting it is going to cause too much agita when I know you’ve already been feeling rather fragile, please know that it’s not on you to solve this problem, and that there’s no shame or blame in deciding you’re just not up to it.

        I second this. I know for myself that it’s a thin line to tread, especially with family on Facehell. There have been times when I have spoken up about guns, rape culture, and healthcare, and in the end it just left me open to criticism that hit way too close to home. Being honest and true to yourself, wanting to be helpful, wanting to make the world a better place, and wanting to move society forward one small step at a time are all awesome things, but leaving yourself over exposed in the process might just leave you feeling raw and hurt, and may be too high a price to pay.

      2. mxe354
        mxe354 February 17, 2013 at 10:00 pm |

        Thanks for the advice everyone!

        I think it’s a wonderful desire to want to correct your cousin’s no-doubt well-meaning post, and a mark of your righteousness, but I also want you to take care of yourself, and if correcting it is going to cause too much agita[tion] when I know you’ve already been feeling rather fragile, please know that it’s not on you to solve this problem, and that there’s no shame or blame in deciding you’re just not up to it.

        That’s true. In truth, as much as I want to do it, I don’t know if I can handle anymore stress. Even just sending the message is enough to exacerbate my anxiety greatly. I definitely need to be more gentle with myself these days. So I’m not going to tell her.

        I just hope she learns about rape culture in a way that’s as peaceful as possible.

  23. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune February 17, 2013 at 3:45 pm |

    Uh, hey, unrelated, but does anyone know how Jadey’s doing? I haven’t seen her about in a while and her blog looks quiet too…

  24. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve February 17, 2013 at 4:25 pm |

    Ugggh, an incident happened this weekend which totally remind me why, though I am about as far from ‘the sanctimonious women’s studies set’ as you can get, I do feel more comfortable in the company of feminists.

    So my friend and I are out at this bar and there is another guy on her opposite side who tried to start a conversation with her, that she pretty much immediately shut down. I can’t imagine I had anything but a big smirk on my face because I knew she’d do that. He kept sort of looking over at her, which caused her to move closer and closer to me to the point where it looked like we were ‘together.’ Then the guy looks over again and apologizes to me for ‘hitting on my girl.’ Which apart from being a douchey thing to say, makes me uncomfortable as a married man as I don’t like to be in public with people thinking she’s my girlfriend but I also don’t want her to be unnecessarily bothered so I play along. I know it’s not the end of the world but it just ruined my mood for the night.

    Some people really suck.

    1. EG
      EG February 17, 2013 at 4:38 pm |

      I like how he owes you an apology because she’s “yours,” but it doesn’t occur to him that he owes her an apology for bothering her. Asshole. Him, not you.

      1. PeggyLuWho
        PeggyLuWho February 17, 2013 at 6:00 pm |

        Seriously. Boorch!

  25. PeggyLuWho
    PeggyLuWho February 17, 2013 at 5:52 pm |

    Started the weekend (and my staycation) with a couple of drinks at the usual after work watering hole with the co-workers. Explained to the young fella of the group why the “friendzone” is utter bullshit, and how if he doesn’t want to be platonic friends with a girl who he is attracted to, he should be honest with her and stop hanging out with her, and that if he doesn’t do that then he’s just being a passive agressive asshole. He took it pretty well, and said he’d like to talk more about it at another time. I like that guy. Also, requested that the guys stop using the word ‘cocksucker’ as pejorative, because they probably all didn’t mind having their cocks sucked, and therefore should view cocksuckers as really awesome people. They all agreed. This all lead me to feel really awesome about my co-workers in general.

    Got my hair done yesterday, and then went and saw the new Die Hard with my bestie last night. I like that they didn’t try to add some bullshit love story to the movie. It’s just your classic Stuff Blows Up flick. Dare I say it, though, some of John McClane’s catch phrases are getting a bit tired.

    Today, I slept in until almost 2 in the afternoon. Not really being as productive as I hoped I would be today, but eff it.

    Also, watching/listening to this on almost permarepeat. (and only really understanding a couple of sentences, because my Spanish is only so-so, so really hoping the lyrics aren’t horribly bigoted or something..please, please, please) – http://youtu.be/M0ZB7uILCGQ

    Finally, I really loved Gavin Newsom on Colbert the other night.

    1. PeggyLuWho
      PeggyLuWho February 17, 2013 at 5:54 pm |

      And if there was a half hour long video on youtube of just Russell Crowe knitting, I’d watch it.

      1. trees
        trees February 17, 2013 at 7:37 pm |

        I seriously doubt he’s a knitter; the way he’s holding the needles looks really strange. But this other famous guy seems to know what he’s doing: http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m3ey6jcWW01r3yanwo1_400.png

  26. Librarygoose
    Librarygoose February 17, 2013 at 11:36 pm |

    My 5 year old niece almost had a fist fight in the bookstore because a boy told her she couldn’t have any of the Batman* books.

    Her mom bought her two and explained why she can’t hit strangers in store even if they try to take shit out of her hands. She is allowed to yell**, which she is also skilled at.

    *she’s going through a phase.
    **that kid is a special kind of loud.

    1. macavitykitsune
      macavitykitsune February 18, 2013 at 12:02 am |

      Between this and the god-botherer-bothering, I like your niece more and more, just saying. I’m actually kind of a fan.

      1. PeggyLuWho
        PeggyLuWho February 18, 2013 at 12:52 am |

        Me too.

      2. Librarygoose
        Librarygoose February 18, 2013 at 12:57 am |

        There is a fan club you can join. You get a monthly newsletter with sage words such as, “I didn’t say sorry because I’m not.” and examples of one of a kind art like the rainbow colored black with clouds that were rainbow colored (“Is it beautiful, Aunt Goose?” “Fucking gorgeous, kiddo,” Aunt Goose dutifully replied.) And for a nominal fee you can get her autograph with the letters mostly the right way around.

        There are many members, mostly concentrated in her grandfather, who adores her to such a degree that he counts as several members.

  27. mxe354
    mxe354 February 17, 2013 at 11:45 pm |

    I just love this quote from Voltairine De Cleyre, an early anarcha-feminist.

    It has often been said to me, by women with decent masters [husbands], who had no idea of the outrages practiced on their less fortunate sisters, “Why don’t the wives leave?”

    Why don’t you run, when your feet are chained together? Why don’t you cry out when a gag is on your lips? Why don’t you raise your hands above your head when they are pinned fast to your sides? Why don’t you spend thousands of dollars when you haven’t a cent in your pocket? Why don’t you go to the seashore or the mountains, you fools scorching with city heat? If there is one thing more than another in this whole accursed tissue of false society, which makes me angry, it is the asinine stupidity which with the true phlegm of impenetrable dullness says, “Why don’t the women leave!” Will you tell me where they will go and what they shall do? When the State, the legislators, has given to itself, the politicians, the utter and absolute control of the opportunity to live; when, through this precious monopoly, already the market of labor is so overstocked that workmen and workwomen are cutting each others’ throats for the dear privilege of serving their lords; when girls are shipped from Boston to the south and north, shipped in carloads, like cattle, to fill the dives of New Orleans or the lumber-camp hells of my own state (Michigan), when seeing and hearing these things reported every day, the proper prudes exclaim, “Why don’t the women leave?,” they simply beggar the language of contempt.

    Source: http://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/voltairine-de-cleyre-sex-slavery

  28. Andie
    Andie February 18, 2013 at 9:12 am |

    It’s “Family Day” today and after three or four years I still can’t take this made up holiday seriously. (It’s a recently added statutory holiday for Ontario). I still feel like it should be called “We need a day off in February” day.

    What drives me nuts are the people that, upon being informed that I am working today, take on a look of shock and go “..but it’s Faaaaaaamily Daaaaaaay! What about your kids?!?”

    To which I usually reply “They’ll be at their dads.. You know… Their Faaaaamily.”

  29. Angel H.
    Angel H. February 19, 2013 at 9:39 am |

    I know technically it’s not the weekend anymore, but OMG! did anyone else hear about this?:

    After 148 years, Mississippi finally ratifies 13th Amendment, which banned slavery

    1. macavitykitsune
      macavitykitsune February 19, 2013 at 10:26 am |

      The liberators of the world, yo.

      (On a less bitter note, I’m glad it finally happened.)

      1. Angel H.
        Angel H. February 19, 2013 at 10:33 am |

        I just wonder how many white people are cursing their missed opportunity.

        1. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune February 19, 2013 at 12:56 pm |

          It’s not slavery, it’s guaranteed employment opportunity! Jeez, Angel, get with the modern lingo.

    2. EG
      EG February 19, 2013 at 10:51 am |
  30. Lolagirl
    Lolagirl February 19, 2013 at 3:03 pm |

    I seem to have found myself in a Facebook fight with an acquaintance posted this article about how parents these days are doing it all wrong. I don’t necessarily disagree with some of the criticism of helicopter parenting and the teaching risk aversion taken to an extreme. But the acquaintance is trying to use the article to make the point that people (like me) are raising boys to be p*****s because we insist on them wearing their seatbelts and don’t let them play with fire/broken glass/knives/whatever dangerous implement looks like fun.

    Of course he doesn’t get why it’s misogynistic to throw around that term, and that it’s homophobic to insist that boys be raised to be manly men. I’ve been holding my own, so far, and I consider it a huge accomplishment that I have resisted the urge to put the kids in their carseats (buckled in securely, and in accordance with the Illinois Motor Vehicle Code!) and go to his house to give him an earful in person.

    That is all.

    1. Past my expiration date
      Past my expiration date February 19, 2013 at 3:11 pm |

      It’s ok for girls to be buckled into car seats and not be allowed to play with fire/broken/glass/knives? Just not boys? Because that would turn them into girls? Or possibly cats?

      1. Lolagirl
        Lolagirl February 19, 2013 at 3:20 pm |

        Well of course, girls must be ladylike and sweet little things, at all times. Getting all maverick and not wearing their seatbelts/riding in a carseat or playing with dangerousness is not at all ladylike!

      2. Lolagirl
        Lolagirl February 19, 2013 at 3:31 pm |

        And to add to the irony of it all, Facebook acquaintance is CFBC. With the standard disclaimer that I fully support the that choice, I find it to be equal parts hilarious and horrifying to be told that I’m ruining my kids and turning them gay by someone who knows absolutely nothing about raising little kids.

        Head, desk.

        1. tomek
          tomek February 19, 2013 at 4:47 pm |

          i hope this does not sound sexist, but i do think its right to raise boys and girls in a different way , it has nothing to do with be ladylike or manliness or something. boys need a masculine influence in there lives. not crazy like playing with the broken glass, but just a masculine influence. if they dont have, what you get is like the men of today.

          girls however seem to be raised ok irregardles of man or woman influence.

    2. macavitykitsune
      macavitykitsune February 19, 2013 at 4:48 pm |

      Well, death by stupidity really IS the height of Traditional Masculinity, so I guess…train ‘em young and by the time they wrap their motorcycle around a tree they’ll know not to feel bad about it?

      …sometimes the way people raise boys makes me profoundly sad.

      1. Lolagirl
        Lolagirl February 19, 2013 at 5:15 pm |

        sometimes the way people raise boys makes me profoundly sad.

        Me too.

        I can’t even with people who cling so intently to strict gender roles and police them with such fierceness. Never mind how that messes with kids’ heads before they even get the chance to figure out what is actually in their heads to begin with. Call me kooky, call me a femin**e, I don’t really care, I just want to raise inquisitive, well-educated, well-adjusted, happy kids with a decent amount of integrity.

        1. Lolagirl
          Lolagirl February 19, 2013 at 5:26 pm |

          I don’t really care

          Well, I do care, but I seem to be failing to phrase anything with sufficient coherence right now because I’m so fracking angry. I’m just so sick of the small minded crap that still gets taken as gospel around these parts. How sad is it that picking my battles means letting the ad homs go in order to stay on point?

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