Weekly Open Thread with a ropy Orangutan

This week’s threadloving host is the cutest baby orangutan chewing a swing rope. Please natter/chatter/vent/rant on anything you like* over this weekend and throughout the week.

A small ape with orange fur sits in a grassy area chewing a thick white rope that is hanging down from above her

Image Credit: unknown photographer. One unverified source calls this baby ‘Osiria’.

e.g. What have you been up to? What would you rather be up to? What’s been awesome/awful?
Reading? Watching? Making? Meeting?
What has [insert awesome inspiration/fave fansquee/guilty pleasure/dastardly ne’er-do-well/threat to all civilised life on the planet du jour] been up to?

* Netiquette footnotes:
(i) if a recent thread is still actively discussing a topic of interest to you, please add your on-topic contribution there; let the Weekend Open Thread be a refuge from that topic for right now. Off-topic tangents from recent threads are welcome here unless…
(ii) if your off-topic tangent from a recent thread is within the zone of known stoush-magnet topics, take it to #spillover instead please, so that any potential splash damage can be better contained.

Similar Posts (automatically generated):

121 comments for “Weekly Open Thread with a ropy Orangutan

  1. March 1, 2013 at 6:34 pm

    Erm. Update on earlier remarks re: a teacher I thought at the time was being trans-erasing. She’s not; she has made remarks since that I figured out meant she was stating, if very ham-handedly, that we were not going to look at a theory from the POV of a non-binary approach until we got to critiques of it. -_- So that’s reassuring at least.

    In other news, I’m fucking exhausted and sick and I woke up this morning to preachiness about Health(TM) in a place where I’m used to not seeing that shit, so I’m pissed off to boot.

    • H-nought
      March 1, 2013 at 11:17 pm

      I hope you feel better!
      Last week I talked about reading the Lions of Al-Rassan, which you gushed about – I finished it a couple days ago and wow, you were right. I LOVED it; I definitely have a new author to explore. : D

      • March 2, 2013 at 1:52 am

        Hee, I’m glad you liked it! ^__^ And thank you!

    • March 1, 2013 at 11:30 pm

      Get well soon! And I’m glad to hear that your teacher isn’t transphobic.

      • March 2, 2013 at 1:53 am

        Thanks, mxe. ^__^ And I’m glad too!

      • Lolagirl
        March 2, 2013 at 12:53 pm

        Hope you’re feeling better soon too, Mac!

        We’ve had the flu working its way through the house this past week, so far I and one of the twins have gone down with it. Thankfully, the almost 3yo got his flu vax this past fall, so I don’t think he’ll be getting sick, and the 1yo’s been nursing like crazy and I’ve let him in hopes that it keep him from getting sick too.

        *must remember to get everyone in for flu vaxes on time next fall…

  2. amblingalong
    March 1, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    Hope you feel better Macavity! All the hazmat-suited-up-hugs you want.

    Realized yesterday that I was refusing to read an awesome blog because I totally misunderstood what their name was referring to. Feeling very stupid.

    (For those who are curious, I assumed that Tiger Beatdown was a reference to Tiger Woods being beaten by his wife as a sort of go-girl-power moment. I was clearly too old and out of touch to know about the teen magazine).

    • March 2, 2013 at 2:02 am

      ^__^ Thank you, ambling! And I’m not contagiously sick, haha.

  3. March 1, 2013 at 10:10 pm

    Apparently my dad thinks I look like a hippy just because my hair is longer than usual – it’s not even down to my shoulders and he’s already calling it “hippy hair.” He also explicitly told me that it annoys him. When I backed myself up by saying “Well, the prophet Muhammad had hair down to his shoulders,”* he was like, “But he also LISTENED TO HIS PARENTS AND PRAYED FIVE TIMES A DAY.” Things that I generally don’t do, although I do tend to listen to my mom much more since she’s loving and accepting of me.

    Oh, and I’m looking for jobs. Particularly sales associate positions at random stores like Home Depot and Macy’s. Not the best job in the world, but anything benign that conduces to my goal of moving out is a good thing in my book.

    *I’m not a Muslim anymore, but I have to pretend that I’m trying to follow Islamic rules in front of my religious family members and so I can appeal to them for my own sake.

    • March 1, 2013 at 10:50 pm

      mxe, that must be grim. Good luck with the job search.

    • amblingalong
      March 2, 2013 at 2:17 am

      Good luck finding a job Mxe; I’d hire you!

    • GallingGalla
      March 2, 2013 at 1:35 pm

      Your dad’s ragging on you about your hair? Oh, that’s too much. I’m sorry you have to put up with things like that.

      Good luck on your job search!

    • Donna L
      March 2, 2013 at 2:50 pm

      I’m really sorry you have to deal with that, mxe. Continued good luck on your job search. Also, I hope I’m not overstepping my bounds by asking, but weren’t you also hoping to go to college away from home, and get away from your father’s gender policing that way?

      • March 2, 2013 at 9:57 pm

        Also, I hope I’m not overstepping my bounds by asking, but weren’t you also hoping to go to college away from home, and get away from your father’s gender policing that way?

        No worries! I’m fine with most questions asked in good faith.

        Anyway, yes, I do want to go to college far away from my father. Not only do I need to get away from him, but I also need to get away from all of my religious family members. Every single one of them, to my knowledge, is averse to anyone who is non-heterosexual, trans*, or an ex-Muslim.

        The jobs I’m applying to are very close to where I live, but I need them as temporary jobs – it’s not like I can afford to move away right now.

      • March 2, 2013 at 10:08 pm

        hey mxe,

        Just want to let you know I’ve been reading your updates, and… how far were you thinking of moving? There seem to be more resources in SF for trans youth than most other places, right? I know the US varies widely on this, and I don’t have details on how much and where, so…

      • March 2, 2013 at 10:33 pm

        Yup, SF definitely has a lot of helpful resources. Lyon-Martin Health Services is a good example of a trans*-friendly health organization in SF. The cost of living in SF seems outrageous, though, so I need to move somewhere else, even if I end up going to SFSU, which is, of course, in SF (although I won’t apply to SFSU until this fall for various reasons).

        Fortunately, there are plenty of other trans*-friendly places here in California. My current city is one of them, but of course, that’s where my religious family currently lives as well.

        I’m not sure where I’ll move, but hopefully it’ll be at least an hour away from this place (by car). The reason I’m unsure is that I have yet to find out whether I’ve been admitted into Cal or UCSC. I won’t know until May. If I get admitted into either one of those schools, though I’ll try to move to Berkeley or Santa Cruz, respectively. I’ll either live by myself (meaning either literally alone or with a non-familial roommate) or with my brother (who happens to be one of my most supportive allies) and possibly one of my cousins. I’m a bit worried about living with that cousin, however, as he might be turn out to be intolerant despite the fact that he seems to be among the nicest of my religious cousins. So I hope that I either live with just my brother or no family member at all.

        Eventually, I want to see if I can move out of California. Perhaps I’ll move to somewhere in Oregon or Washington, like Portland, OR. I’m fond of the West Coast due to the generally liberal atmosphere there (although, like every other place on the planet, it’s still far from perfect and not as liberal as some may think).

      • March 3, 2013 at 2:19 am

        I have my BA from SFSU, and I am currently doing post-grad stuff through Cal Extension, so if you have any questions, lemme know. I lived in the east bay all throughout my time at SF State, which is a lot cheaper than The City Proper. Commuting is doable via BART.

        I *heart* Oakland.

      • March 3, 2013 at 9:57 am


        Living in the East Bay sounds convenient for sure, but I’m not comfortable with living in some city like Oakland – maybe I’m misinformed, but I’ve heard that it’s rife with crime. So is another major East Bay city, Richmond. Do you know any place on the East Bay that might be less rife with crime but still convenient to live in (i.e. a place from which I can use the BART regularly)? I was thinking about some place near San Ramon where I can easily reach the Walnut Creek station, but I’m not sure if that’s a good choice.

      • March 3, 2013 at 5:10 pm

        There’s no denying that Oakland has higher crime rates than places like Walnut Creek or San Ramon, but like so many other urban cities and towns, it varies greatly from neighborhood to neighborhood. For example, Temescal (where all the hip young kids are moving in) is pretty nice and safe, and Rockridge is straight up posh. And then there’s Fruitvale. I live in Korea Town/Pill Hill which is in between the safety of Temescal and Fruitvale. It may be worth noting that I have lived in Oakland, Richmond, and I grew up in the town at the end of the BART line with the unfortunate name and reputation that lends itself to having the nickname Gun Point, so it’s possible that I’m just used to a certain level of, shall we say, grit.

        On the flip side, you couldn’t pay me to live amongst the Fox News watching, NRA dues paying, Republican Party card carrying, Bible thumping, patriarchy denying, racist, homophobic, transphobic lot that populate the suburbs. I have done some work in Walnut Creek, and know quite a few LGBT folks and allies in the area, so I’m not saying that it’s completely devoid of anyone who isn’t a conservative asshat, but they are the majority. Actually Walnut Creek is supposed to be a bastion of reasonability in the area, but so many frat boy types. ::shudder::

        So, I guess what I’m trying to say is, there’s always going to be some kind of trade off, and you just have to weigh the pros and cons and figure it out for yourself.

        Just don’t move to Concord or Bay Point, though.

  4. March 2, 2013 at 12:08 am

    I was supposed to be running a 5K tomorrow morning, but my stupid tendonitis is not going to let that happen.

    I am going to sit here and watch all the Dawson’s Creek episodes on Netflix that I want.

    I’m hella boring.

    • DouglasG
      March 2, 2013 at 10:57 am

      Eh, there are more boring things. Is there a Dawson’s Creek Drinking Game? From what I remember of the series, there ought to be.

      I’m hoping to finish the weekend having gotten through the eighth set of Midsomer Murders. Half the fun with a British mystery series is recognizing the performers and piecing together other series roles they’ve had.

      • March 2, 2013 at 2:54 pm

        Take a shot every time Dawson’s a misogynistic little creep.
        Take a shot every time Pacey reacts like a human being and is treated like the Worst Evar for it.
        Take a shot whenever Dawson acts like he owns all the vaginas around him.

        Every time a female character is allowed to have a moment of sexual authenticity without immediate punishment…check yourself into a hospital for a concussion and related hallucinations.

      • March 3, 2013 at 2:13 am

        Every time a female character is allowed to have a moment of sexual authenticity without immediate punishment…check yourself into a hospital for a concussion and related hallucinations.

        Oh Mac, have I mentioned this week that I love you?

        Having finished off Dawson, I’m thinking I can either revisit Buffy again or Doctor Who again or 30 Rock, which I have never seen.

        I haven’t been sitting in front of the TV all weekend. I did go to Ikea and Target earlier.

      • DouglasG
        March 3, 2013 at 7:39 am

        How many male leads of US series aren’t misogynistic creeps? (I think I’ve only followed one or perhaps two US series since, and not regularly, thus would not know if this aspect has improved.)

        Pretty much totally agreed on Dawson, though I’d particularize it to his insufferable idealism. And I definitely recall his acting as if he owned all the women.

        At least they didn’t punish the religious grandmother when she behaved like a human being. She and Pacey were the only characters whom I can recall as providing positive surprises.

        Fantastic last point. Almost any hope I had for the series died when they just let Dawson will his mother into complete repentance and his parents became the ideal saccharine couple.

      • March 3, 2013 at 5:15 pm

        My main reason for watching the show is the boner I’ve got going for Josh Jackson. Maybe I should give Fringe another shot.

  5. Radiant Sophia
    March 2, 2013 at 3:06 am

    I’m (more or less) coping with being out of the hospital, and back home, but it’s really, really, hard.

    (I wrote a bunch of stuff here, but then deleted it)

    My roommate is inhumanly patient with me. I can’t help but feel undeserving, and that I am a burden, but If I think about it too hard, I’ll end up back in the hospital.

    • March 2, 2013 at 3:22 am

      Convalescing can be really stressful, Radiant Sophia. I understand how you could feel guilty/undeserving about how much help others are giving you right now. But I’m sure that you’re the sort of person who will pay it forward in the future when you can to somebody else who needs help that you are able to give, so try and think about how good it will be when you’re able to be on that side of this sort of exchange in the future, and just concentrate on letting your body heal right now.

    • March 2, 2013 at 11:30 am

      *HUGS* if you want ’em.

    • Donna L
      March 2, 2013 at 3:26 pm

      I’m sorry you’ve been having a difficult time, Sophia. I hope it gets easier as time goes by and your convalescence continues. From my own experience, that tends to happen.

  6. Miss S
    March 2, 2013 at 3:21 am

    Did Jill have anything on Black History Month? I mean, did she do anything to highlight the women of the civil rights movement? I meant to ask but I’ve been at my parents.

  7. AMM
    March 2, 2013 at 7:57 am

    Did anyone see Silver Linings Playbook? I couldn’t help thinking about that film when I read the post by the person with bipolar.

    One big question that occurred to me while watching the film was: is the main character (Pat Jr.) typicall of people with bipolar? Or is he an extreme example, chosen to make a good film?

    I don’t know about people with bipolar in general, but I would not feel safe having someone like Pat Jr. anywhere near me, not even as he was at the end of the film, and I can’t help wondering how many people would.

    What I found almost (?) triggering in the film was the way that Pat Jr. resembled my ex-wife. While she is not bipolar and her behavior was not as extreme, she had the same lack of boundaries, the same lack of limits on her behavior, and the same conviction that her delusions about other people and herself are the truth and people who disagree are just plain wrong.

    According to the film, lots of people aren’t bothered that much by that kind of behavior — Pat Jr.’s family, his friends, Tiffany, and even to some extent his ex-wife seemed mostly OK with it. But I couldn’t live with it, myself.

    • miga
      March 4, 2013 at 11:05 am

      I dunno. Most people with mental illness are more of a danger to themselves than others. My mom is bipolar and so am I, and while the film really resonated with me neither my mom nor I are physically violent – though my mom did get pretty scary when she was off her meds. You’ve gotta keep in mind that the way this guy was raised probably had a lot to do with how he acts out. His dad (who most likely has OCD combined with something else) seems to deal with his feelings similarly.

  8. EG
    March 2, 2013 at 9:19 am

    Something has to happen to make this semester better but I don’t know what. I can’t stand being a zombie for Fridays and most of Saturdays trying to recover.

    A shitload of enraging things happened in my life this week, none of which I can really talk out of school about. And I’m drained.

    • Donna L
      March 2, 2013 at 2:53 pm

      I’m so sorry — I somehow missed this earlier. You deserve to rest all day on Saturdays if that’s what’s necessary. I tend to do that myself!

  9. A4
    March 2, 2013 at 10:02 am

    I got a small raise and a bonus this week, which I was surprised and happy about. I think I am going to get my own computer, since right now the only computer I have is the laptop my company gives me for work.

    My left hamstring which was strained in the course of healing from surgery a year ago is rapidly improving with physical therapy. It’s been a long time healing from ankle surgery, but I’ve learned so many things that I truly feel that the surgery changed my life for the better in more ways than just fixing my peroneal brevis tendon.

    I haven’t been speaking much with my siblings, and for the most part it’s been very freeing, except when I miss my two year old niece. Passover is coming up though, and the whole family will probably get together for the seders and I will probably have to go. Nothing like getting drunk on an empty stomach to foster learning and togetherness.

  10. March 2, 2013 at 10:45 am

    Laundry and more laundry today. Making spaghetti sauce as well

    Warning: weight talk

    Went to the not-so-local Goodwill in search of pants. My philosophy of “Not gonna change my body, just gonna change my pants” would be much easier to adhere to if I could find decent jeans at a decent price in my size. It’s a bit triggery and gets me all diet-thinking, which is somethind i don’t want to engage in. However, I found some half-decent stretch jeans and some pretty bitchin’ dress pants for work.

    The boy and I are planning a cross country trip with the kiddos (ontario to b.c. and back) so last night we went and started pricing stuff to get the kids all outfitted for any potential camping along the way (or camping outside of this trip). Good backpacks and tents ans sleeping bags are expensive :(

    • GraceGrace
      March 3, 2013 at 1:42 am

      Ontario to BC?! Let me know if you need any suggestions of good places in BC if you’ve never been in my neck of the woods before!! Sounds like an exciting trip!

  11. March 2, 2013 at 11:25 am

    Oh, have also been watching Revolution. It’s kind of cool.. A good number of strong, take-no-shit female characters and an interesting dystopian type plot. There’s some interesting gender dynamics.. The youngest girl is a bit of an idealist, and it gets her in trouble sometimes, but I like how she isn’t Always being rescued – sometimes her instincts are bang on. I also like the way it looks at power dynamics, before and after the blackout, especially with Aaron’s character who is grappling with what he sees as a complete loss of his own power and having to redefine that.

  12. GallingGalla
    March 2, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    I’ve completed the third book of The Wheel of Time (which I was pointed to by an open thread of about a month ago). I’m wondering if it’s worth it to continue the series. I feel like all the interesting situations have been layed out by now, and what is there that could justify eleven more books?

    • SamLL
      March 2, 2013 at 7:44 pm

      I don’t know about the books after Jordan died and Sanderson took over, but up until that, no, it is 100% not worth it unless you are a bloody-minded completionist. One of Jordan’s books includes the only book I have ever seen on Amazon with over 1000 reviews and a 1.8 star average, in which apparently actual nothing happened. (I quit like 2 books before then.) Eject now, while you still can!

      • GallingGalla
        March 2, 2013 at 10:55 pm

        A Song of Ice and Fire, maybe?

      • March 2, 2013 at 11:07 pm

        George Rapey Rape Martin? >_>Avoid if you have issues with that. I personally don’t so much, but unless I’m getting you mixed up with someone and you’re okay with violent/non-consensual sex scenes, you’re probably not going to enjoy it much.

        Personally, I’ve quite enjoyed Wheel of Time. But then I like my books bulky as hell. *grin*

      • March 2, 2013 at 11:08 pm

        Er, and Sanderson’s writing is better. Period. >_> I’m about to be hunted down in public for saying that, but it’s an unfortunate fact.

      • GallingGalla
        March 3, 2013 at 7:55 am

        George Rapey Rape Martin?

        Forgot about that. Thank you for reminding me. There’s been discussions a while back on Feministe, if I’m remembering correctly, about the dude. Yeah, I don’t like non-consensual sex scenes with 13-yo girls … D: D: – could spoil the experience for me.

      • March 3, 2013 at 12:39 pm

        non-consensual sex scenes with 13-yo girls

        Ick. I will never understand why so many people like rape scenes in movies. They’re so horrifying and disgusting that it’s nearly impossible for me to imagine someone actually saying how good or bad it is. As if there can actually be a “well-done” rape scene. It just makes me sick thinking about it.

      • March 3, 2013 at 12:53 pm

        As if there can actually be a “well-done” rape scene.

        Actually, I would argue that it is possible. By which I mean, if a rape scene were to accurately convey the horror and the nauseating powerlessness of being hurt that way, it would be well-done.

        I have seen very few well-done rape scenes.

      • March 3, 2013 at 1:06 pm

        By which I mean, if a rape scene were to accurately convey the horror and the nauseating powerlessness of being hurt that way, it would be well-done.

        I see what you mean. I guess I’m just voicing my personal aversion to all rape scenes – regardless of the context. I can’t even watch critically-acclaimed movies like A Clockwork Orange and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo simply because I’ve heard that there are rape scenes in those movies.

        I would say that rape scenes are triggering for me, but I feel uncomfortable saying that since I’m not a rape survivor nor do I know anyone close to me who is a rape survivor.

      • March 3, 2013 at 1:07 pm

        To clarify: the reason I’d be inclined to say that I find such scenes triggering is that I’ve seen them before and, every time I watched them, I got extremely anxious and disturbed. Sometimes my anxiety lasted for weeks.

      • EG
        March 3, 2013 at 1:32 pm

        I’m the same way, mxe. I’ve even avoided seeing important movies, like Boys Don’t Cry, because for my own emotional health, I need not to be watching filmed rape scenes.

      • March 3, 2013 at 2:00 pm

        Oh dear, I had no idea there was a rape scene in that movie. I’m very glad I didn’t watch that with my mom when I was at her place a while back. (When I was there, she wanted to watch all sorts of trans*-related movies with me.)

      • Li
        March 3, 2013 at 2:02 pm

        Boys Don’t Cry (along with Mysterious Skin) is one of those films I am glad I have seen but never want to watch again.

      • GallingGalla
        March 3, 2013 at 2:25 pm

        I went ahead and bought book 4. I’m not looking forward to slogging through 10, though, so I suppose wikipedia will save me there … damn me being a bloody completionist ! :D (and also lover of lo-o-o-ong books)

        mxe, I did manage to get through Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (book and the Swedish movie both, haven’t seen the USian film), but the rape scene was really hard to take. I pretty much have to blot that part of the book out of my memory.

      • Donna L
        March 3, 2013 at 8:54 pm

        Li, I feel the same way. I thought Boys Don’t Cry — which I watched on DVD some years ago — was very well-done, but so harrowing (obviously, primarily with respect to the rape and murder, but in other ways as well) that it was extremely difficult to watch, and I don’t think I could ever do so again. I had to close my eyes for parts of it.

    • Denise Winters
      March 3, 2013 at 8:40 am

      Finish it, finish it, finish it, finish it (I say in a dalek voice). I absolutely loved the series. However, I will warn that after book 3 or 4 it switches from sword and sorcery to mostly political intrigue and military tactics with a bit of magical goings on thrown in. I enjoyed seven even, and 7-10 are perhaps the slow points. I would argue only 10 is that boring and that’s because it is just a bunch of side characters reacting to something the main characters did during book 9. It is literally the side protagonists sitting around wondering what is going on to draw so much attention. You could even just wikipedia 10 and be the better off for skipping it.

      And please ignore macavitykitsune’s blasphemy. They know not what they speak regarding Sanderson. Though, I might be tempted to agree on the basis of Sanderson’s other works, but I would likely never admit it in person.

      • March 3, 2013 at 1:00 pm

        You could even just wikipedia 10 and be the better off for skipping it.

        Yeah, I agree. I thought books 4-6 were pretty damn good because oh hey, character development, and then…slump. Slump of DOOM in books 9-10. And then my blasphemous statement, obviously ;)

        I haven’t read the last book yet (alas!) but I’m waiting anxiously. It looks like I’ll be able to get my hands on it right around finals (arrrrrgh!)

        No seriously arrrrrrgh!

    • shfree
      March 3, 2013 at 11:29 pm

      I don’t know how many books I had read, but I really got sick of the female main characters never being able to find dresses that weren’t too wide at the hips and too small at the bustline whenever they had to borrow things from minor or walk on characters.

  13. March 2, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    So this is kind of interesting: Chicago introduces sex Ed for kindergarten

    A few years ago similar curriculum was presented for Ontario, but got voted down, likely by people who hadn’t actually read the curriculum, but only read the news reports and were too busy pearl clutching to delve further.

    • EG
      March 2, 2013 at 7:00 pm

      That site will only show me the first page of the story. Am I doing something wrong?

      • March 2, 2013 at 7:16 pm

        Oh, jeez.. That might be a mobile version. I can try and find a better link.

      • March 2, 2013 at 8:37 pm
      • EG
        March 2, 2013 at 8:46 pm


        According to a district news release, younger learners will be taught about inappropriate touching and feelings….”I just don’t think it’s appropriate,” Melissa Diebold, a parent with children in the district, told MyFoxChicago.com. “They have no concept of anything like that at that stage in life.”

        1) This is the point of education: to teach people things they don’t already know.

        2) Believe me, Ms. Diebold, children have plenty of concepts about touching and feelings. Some of them need this.

      • Lolagirl
        March 2, 2013 at 9:26 pm

        Good grief, that quote is a headsmacker, EG.

        Of all the things CPS is doing these days, this seems like the most noncontroversial ever of all time.

      • March 3, 2013 at 1:09 am

        According to a district news release, younger learners will be taught about inappropriate touching and feelings….”I just don’t think it’s appropriate,” Melissa Diebold, a parent with children in the district, told MyFoxChicago.com. “They have no concept of anything like that at that stage in life.”

        Translation: Nah, I’m pretty comfortable with the fact that we live in a rape culture. So let’s be totally silent about inappropriate feelings and touching and so marginalize them further.

      • March 3, 2013 at 1:11 am

        Correction: by “them,” I’m referring to children.

      • yes
        March 3, 2013 at 6:34 am

        Marginalizing a problem is basically the same as solving it. Plus, it’s less embarrassing. Especially when you’re dealing with s-e-x.

      • March 3, 2013 at 9:41 am

        “Marginalizing a problem is basically the same as solving it.”

        Oh dear, this reminds me of how some people criticize anti-racists by quoting Morgan Freeman. Apparently saying that racism will go away once we stop talking about it is just the wisest fucking thing ever said in social justice. So many problems just vanish in the real world once they aren’t a part of social justice discourse!

      • March 4, 2013 at 11:46 am

        racism will go away once we stop talking about it = racism will stop being a thing that white people will have to think about and feel bad for if we stop talking about it

  14. Rachele
    March 2, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    I’m trying to start a business, and the bureaucratic hoops I have to jump through are bringing me down hard. Must. stay. positive.

    • SweetJess
      March 2, 2013 at 10:35 pm

      Good luck, and keep on keepin’ on! :) If you haven’t already, definitely look around for small business organizations/associations/networks in your area. Lots of local organizations like that are wonderfully supportive and helpful.

      • Rachele
        March 3, 2013 at 11:32 am

        I am waiting for my application for assistance to go through with a local business incubation center run by a group that does a huge portion of the homeless activism/aid around here, and I am very much looking forward to working with them. They help with paperwork, business planning, etc. as long as you agree to consider hiring people the charity is set up to assist or further their mission in some way. Good people. I am rather pleased that I’ll be making a difference in addition to finally building a livelihood for myself independent of my spouse, who has been the primary earner for most of our relationship.

      • March 3, 2013 at 11:39 am

        You can do it!

  15. Alexandra
    March 2, 2013 at 8:10 pm

    These pictures on the Atlantic from a women’s suffrage parade a hundred years ago today are beyond awesome:

    100 Years Ago, The 1913 Women’s Suffrage Parade

    This is also relevant because HATS.

    • Donna L
      March 2, 2013 at 9:11 pm

      Those photos are completely amazing.

      • Alexandra
        March 3, 2013 at 12:56 am

        Inez Milholland sounds like a total BAMF (lady in the Wonder Woman crown on the white horse named “Grey Dawn”.

        One of my prize possessions is a huge, beautiful book published in 1975 of primary source documents (letters, newspaper clippings, and photographs) of the British women’s suffrage movement, focusing on the radicals at the core of the WSPU. Such tremendous women.

    • SweetJess
      March 2, 2013 at 10:45 pm

      GAAHHHH SO COOL. Ovaries of STEEL.

  16. March 2, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    Donna, I was just wondering how you and your son are going after that creep hassled him last week. I hope you both had a better week this week.

    • Donna L
      March 4, 2013 at 2:37 am

      Thanks, Tigtog. He’s pretty much OK about it at this point. I think I’m more upset than he is, and may have been from the beginning, but he really doesn’t want me to bring it up anymore.

  17. SweetJess
    March 2, 2013 at 10:40 pm

    It was my birthday this past week, and it was unexpectedly awesome! School/work/internship/home have all been really shitty, and things in my emotional brain have been bad, and I usually don’t like birthdays, but my boyfriend made this one AMAZING and I’m actually feeling kind of hopeful about life, the universe, and everything :D

    Also, going to be at some of my university’s women’s history month events this week (I hope). Most of them look great, but one is hosted by a sorority and is about how to dress and what your clothes say about you. I’m *hoping* it won’t be as bad as it sounds, but it could transform me into my alter ego feminist rage monster. I’ll report back :P

  18. March 3, 2013 at 2:25 am

    Query! I have been ready to hump anything that moved since getting a Mirena in December. Has anyone else had this experience?

  19. Miss S
    March 3, 2013 at 3:05 am

    I have been having trouble getting the whole website or certain pages to load from my parents computer. I asked last night, and no one answered so…. did anyone who writes here do any posts for Black History month? If not, I would really like to know why. Earlier this month I didn’t see any, and then at some point I was having trouble accessing the site.

    If this site can devote time to every other marginalized group, you can certainly devote a post to black women (and men) who fought for Civil Rights. Especially during Black History Month.

    • Li
      March 3, 2013 at 6:09 am

      There weren’t any posts on Black History Month that I can remember seeing and I can’t find any going back through/searching the posts.

      • March 3, 2013 at 6:21 am

        No, there were no Black History Month posts. There was a post for MLK day in January.

  20. Li
    March 3, 2013 at 6:15 am

    I find myself yet again having to have the discussion about why blackface is always racist after a NSW community organisation ran an event featuring a drag performer in blackface. Fortunately substantial internet yelling managed to extract a more adequate response than the initial “it’s unfortunate that the perspective [that the performance was racist] was able to be formed” nonpology but I’m just completely exhausted by the whole thing. I want to be able to properly engage but I’m just so angry and tired that I can’t summon the energy to handhold any more people through the process of figuring this shit out.

    • March 3, 2013 at 12:12 pm

      I understand your frustration. I’ve experienced this myself. I have limited patience when trying to explain 101 stuff to people who don’t get it and seem to be willfully obtuse.

    • PrettyAmiable
      March 3, 2013 at 12:13 pm

      Can I just say – I don’t get why this is always an argument. What exactly is at stake for people who claim it’s not racist? Why is blackface so fucking important to them?

      • March 3, 2013 at 12:57 pm

        I suspect that it’s because it challenges their own worldview, and thus would require them to re-examine their own privilege and long standing assumptions. When people hear the word ‘racism’ they often think of the more obvious and overt forms of it and people like neo-Nazis who represent the more violent expressions of racial hatred. It’s much more difficult for most white people to acknowledge the more common, subtle forms of it, because their privilege makes them oblivious to it.

        Besides, anyone who doesn’t understand why blackface is racist is very ignorant of history and more specifically how minstrel shows came to be as a form of popular entertainment.

      • Li
        March 3, 2013 at 1:03 pm

        I think Chris Hall nails it in this blog post on a blackface performer being booked to perform at the Portland Eagle [content note that there are images of both blackface and yellowface at that link as well as a video of the former].

        One thing that makes it impossible to discuss racism in queer and kinky communities is that white liberals have crafted their own mythology of racism. Breach this mythology, and you can be dismissed as being “too P.C.” or “hysterical.” The mythology comes in two parts: First, racism is something that uneducated, poor people living in the South do. It’s segregated water fountains and Bull Conner turning the water hoses on black people, and comes from living in trailer parks and listening to too much country music.

        The second part is that the solution to racism is to ignore race. Again and again, in discussing the Shirley Q. Liquor and Burning Angel situations, people tried to affect “race neutral” perspectives. After I posted a link to one of the first commentaries on the Eagle, an old friend replied, asking why it was racist for an actor to create a character of another race. To even ask the question that way, of course, requires that you ignore over 100 years of blackface and yellowface performances as staples of white supremacist policies. And yet, variations on that question came up again and again. The Eagle’s original response is an excellent example: All history and modern reality is tossed out the window to ask why people don’t get angry that the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence wear pancake makeup.

        I think people defend blackface because if they don’t they might actually have to start thinking about other ways racism manifests in their communities.

      • EG
        March 3, 2013 at 10:13 pm

        I feel the same way about white people who claim that they’re “not allowed” to say “n*****” (i.e. they can, of course, say it, but not without everybody else thinking they’re a bunch of racist assholes). I just…wonder why they want to fling that word around. And I then I realize that I don’t wonder at all.

  21. speedbudget
    March 3, 2013 at 11:39 am

    Just dropping by to say I am watching Jill on #nerdland right now, and I’m loving the discussion.

  22. Donna L
    March 4, 2013 at 2:52 am

    Can I just say that even though it’s been nearly 8 years now since I transitioned, and I probably should have figured out a way by now not to let this get to me, I still find it very demoralizing that every time I get together with my father and his wife, she manages to use the wrong pronouns for me? Repeatedly? In the middle of a restaurant this time, practically at the top of her lungs, because my father was having hearing aid trouble? (“Can you hear him? Can you hear him? Would it be better if he sat next to you,” etc.?) I wanted to sink into the floor.

    Being misgendered sucks. Even after 8 years. No matter how much positive reinforcement I get in the rest of my life, and no matter how many times I’ve been told by people to whom I’ve disclosed my history that they have trouble even imagining me as anyone other than myself, it still makes me feel that she looks at me and sees a man. Especially because I keep reminding her and correcting her, and all I get is “Sorry — I try really hard, you know!” Talk about passive-aggressive. And if I dare to express annoyance, or presume to say something like “well, then you’re not trying hard enough, because everyone else in the world seems to manage” (which I did say one time a year or two ago), she gets furious, as if I’m the one being unspeakably rude.

    Even my father gets it right most of the time, or knows better than to use pronouns at all for me. And he’s going to be 93 next month. She’s close to 30 years younger than he is. What’s her excuse?

    It makes me not want to get together with my father, because there’s no way I could ever see him without her being there, and then I feel horribly guilty, especially recently, because he had a bad case of pneumonia a few months ago and still isn’t completely recovered.

    I have the worst headache right now.

    • March 4, 2013 at 3:09 am

      Donna, that sounds horrible. I agree, very rude.

    • Past my expiration date
      March 4, 2013 at 6:36 am

      What’s her excuse?

      She doesn’t wanna.

      I’m so sorry.:-(

    • March 4, 2013 at 8:25 am

      Ogod. Hugs.

    • March 4, 2013 at 10:45 am

      Grumble. Grumble. I hate dumb people. Grumble.

    • EG
      March 4, 2013 at 11:06 am

      I probably should have figured out a way by now not to let this get to me

      I can’t imagine what you could do to make this not hurt. Please don’t blame yourself for being hurt by your father’s wife’s self-centered transphobic cruelty.

      I wish there were a way that you could see him without her. Is she really so selfish that if you said you wanted to spend some time one on one with your own father that she would object? I think I can guess the answer. All love and support to you.

      • Donna L
        March 4, 2013 at 11:38 am

        Thank you, and everyone.

        At this point, I just don’t think it would be feasible as a practical matter to get together with him without her, unless it were at their apartment when she was out — but for good reason, she doesn’t like to leave him by himself, especially recently, and in any event I haven’t been invited there in years. (Which is kind of weird all by itself, since it’s the same apartment where I lived with my parents and sister from the time I was 4 until I was 24, except when I was away at college and law school.)

        And I realized yesterday that he can’t really go anywhere anymore by himself. He’s healthy now, and still basically in full possession of his mental faculties, but he’s lost so much weight and is so frail that he couldn’t even walk the two blocks from their apartment to the restaurant where we met; they had to take a taxi. And he can’t really get in or out of a taxi by himself. (He refuses to use a wheelchair or cane, but he walks so slowly it would have taken them about an hour to walk those two blocks even if he had the energy. And this is someone I used to go on all-day hikes with when we went away on vacation when I was young. Old age happens to all of us if we’re lucky, I guess. It’s just that as recently as six months ago, he was still going to his office just about every day, for the whole day.)

        I try to make light of the whole pronoun thing, and consider the source — I made a little over-under bet with my son ahead of time about how many times she would misgender me. He guessed two or fewer; I took more than two. Unfortunately, I won. And unfortunately, it still hurts. I know that it’s a lot harder for people to learn new pronouns than new names, because using pronouns for people can be very much a non-conscious, reflexive thing, and I know that trans people are supposed to be tolerant, and give people time, and not get upset, and be grateful to anyone who does manage to get things right, but it’s been almost 8 years now. Nobody else makes that kind of mistake with me anymore, ever. And in most of my life, I don’t even think much about my history on a day-to-day basis. I hardly remember what it was like not to be the way I am now. But when I’m with her, or even when I call my father and she picks up and I hear them talking in the background, I’m forced to remember. And it hurts.

    • GallingGalla
      March 4, 2013 at 12:05 pm

      Hugs if you want them, Donna. And I’m frowning at your father’s wife. She seems to be willfully resisting getting your pronouns right. Eight years is long enough for her to get it right.

      • trees
        March 4, 2013 at 5:13 pm

        She seems to be willfully resisting getting your pronouns right.

        Yeah, that’s what I was thinking.

        Donna L, that really fucking sucks. Tolerance and gratitude are sometimes overrated, certainly when patience goes unrecognized and unrewarded.

  23. chataya
    March 4, 2013 at 10:08 am

    Update from a few threads ago: My insurance approved my Mirena application! I have to pay quite a bit out of pocket, but my current (very cheap) pills would cost nearly twice as much over the lifetime of the IUD.

    I’m very excited, especially about the no periods til I’m 30 thing.

    • GraceGrace
      March 4, 2013 at 10:15 am

      Woohoo! Congrats! Anything less than full price is good… Considering up here in Canada it’s almost $400 :( I’m happy it worked out for you :)

      • March 4, 2013 at 10:43 am

        Congrats! I got mine in December, and I’ve had one period, but some spotting since. The spotting is getting better, though. Did you see my comment up thread about libido?

      • GraceGrace
        March 4, 2013 at 11:10 am

        Ooh no I didn’t. But now I have! I’d have to say mine has increased too! Not through the roof like it sounds like yours is, though. I got mine put in about 3 weeks ago and the cramps are the part that bother me because they come and go and I never expect them. The spotting is definitely slowing down though. I have insurance through my work and I was expecting to pay about $70 for mine… Only to be told I only had to pay $8!! Talk about relief :) do you just take Midol when you get cramps?

      • chataya
        March 4, 2013 at 11:11 am

        I did! My sex drive is basically zero, so anything else would be an improvement!

      • chataya
        March 4, 2013 at 11:09 am

        Brace yourself : my copay is higher than that. Full price in the US is around $1000, my insurance is covering half.

        Thank you! I’m excited!

      • GraceGrace
        March 4, 2013 at 11:12 am

        WHAAAAAAT?! No! That is not cool, America!

      • GraceGrace
        March 4, 2013 at 11:18 am

        I highly suggest moving to Canada ;) I don’t know if you’ve heard, but we’re really friendly!

      • EG
        March 4, 2013 at 11:21 am

        I wanted Paragard for quite some time and couldn’t get it because I would have had to pay 800 bucks out of pocket and wait to be reimbursed, which is not possible for me. My alternative would have been to go to Planned Parenthood and pay 400 bucks which would not have been reimbursed, also not an option.

        I’m happy that things worked out better for you!

      • March 4, 2013 at 12:12 pm

        Mine was $700 total, and I’m expecting half of that to be reimbursed. You’d think the insurance company would cover the whole thing, considering how much less they’re out if I don’t get pregnant.

      • GraceGrace
        March 4, 2013 at 12:20 pm

        I always find that interesting… We’re the ones who’d have to deal with getting pregnant, and we’re the ones who have periods, but does insurance cover tampons?! NO! :( those things are darn expensive. Men don’t have to pay a $500~ copay to keep from getting pregnant. This really goes to show who chooses what’s covered under insurance….

      • March 4, 2013 at 1:06 pm

        Also, employers choose coverage levels. You’d think they’d want to have fewer women out on maternity leave, and would therefore cover all the birth control. Productivity and all.

      • GraceGrace
        March 4, 2013 at 1:22 pm

        Maybe that’s why my insurance covered almost all of mine… Because the majority of the people I work with are females. I count myself as very fortunate in that respect. And wouldn’t the employers want to keep you from getting pregnant at all costs? It’s a darn expensive thing to have a baby, especially in the US… And the cost of finding someone new, etc…. Your employers should be practically BEGGING to pay for your birth control!

      • March 4, 2013 at 1:28 pm

        Jar of free condoms in every employee bathroom!

      • GraceGrace
        March 4, 2013 at 1:46 pm

        I’m not quite sure that would accomplish the objective they would intend. They’d start questioning why everyone was avoiding each other after lunch….

      • March 4, 2013 at 1:55 pm

        Ha! “Excuse me…I have to go…write a memo…read an email…grr…uh…um…”

  24. Henry
    March 4, 2013 at 5:03 pm
  25. Alexandra
    March 5, 2013 at 3:34 am

    Hey, if folks are still reading this thread, I could use some advice/input —

    I attended training to begin volunteering at a needle exchange program in an area of town with a high concentration of homeless heroin users; there is also a high overlap between intravenous drug users and sex workers/prostituted women in the area.

    During training, the volunteer coordinator multiple times referred to trans folks as a third gender, and made a variety of off-color jokes and bigoted comments about trans people all being sex workers, etc. I didn’t say anything in the moment and I feel rotten about that, and I know it will come up again and I would like to be prepared so I don’t freeze and I can be an ally — it would be really shitty if a harm reduction program ended up further marginalizing some of the most vulnerable people the program is intended to serve, and I don’t want that to happen. It looks like Captain Awkward isn’t accepting letters (rats!) so I was hoping some folks here might have suggestions. My main question is whether I should initiate the conversation (“I wanted to say something about a conversation we had during training…”) or wait for the issue to come up again more organically.

    • March 5, 2013 at 4:04 am

      Thanks for asking the question, Alexandra. I don’t have any particular advice to offer, but I agree that the coordinator appears to have highly marginalising attitudes to both trans* people and sex workers, and that is horrendously problematic generally, but (as you say) specifically so for a harm reduction program.

    • A4
      March 5, 2013 at 9:18 am

      If you want to be an ally, you should initiate the conversation. If you wait for it to happen “organically” what you are really doing is waiting for more transphobia to happen without doing anything about it. Preferably you should initiate this conversation in public.

      There may be many factors about initiating a confrontation about a contentious topic with an authority figure in public that you find disconcerting, intimidating, or scary. This is why most people who might understand social justice are still not very good allies. Being an ally is difficult and can be dangerous in a variety of ways.

      Best of luck.

    • Emily
      March 5, 2013 at 9:57 am

      If you’re really anxious about initiating the conversation, is there someone like a volunteer rep that you could speak to? Alternatively, when I’ve delivered training we’ve agreed ground rules at the start, which usually include something along the lines of being respectful and non-judgemental. If you have those, perhaps you could use them to start the conversation – something like, I’m not sure what you’re saying fits into being respectful?

    • matlun
      March 5, 2013 at 11:36 am

      My advice: If you feel that strongly about it, that is a sign that you should initiate the conversation (even ignoring the larger, “objective” moral perspective).

      Of course this means initiating a conflict situation, but sometimes that is simply the right thing to do. Even if this may seem a small example: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing”

      Also: From a more selfish perspective, you will feel better about yourself afterwards (At least that is my experience. Take it for what it is worth)

      • EG
        March 5, 2013 at 2:01 pm

        Agreed on all counts. The next step is to think tactically. Do you have any colleagues/co-workers whom you can contact ahead of time to organize a group response, or whom you can ask to speak up in support of you when you speak up?

Comments are closed.