Weekly Open Thread with knitting Hepburns

This week’s threadcrafting hosts are two famous Hepburns. Please natter/chatter/vent/rant on anything you like* over this weekend and throughout the week.

Katharine Hepburn sits cross-legged on a bench knitting (on the set of Bringing Up Baby)

K. Hepburn knitting on the set of *Bringing Up Baby* (1938)

Audrey Hepburn sits in a folding chair in the middle of an empty plain, wearing period costume and knitting

A. Hepburn knitting on the set of *The Unforgiven* (1959)




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:
* There is no off-topic on the Weekly Open Thread, but consider whether your comment would be on-topic on any recent thread and thus better belongs there.
* If your comment touches on topics known to generally result in thread-jacking, you will be expected to take the discussion to #spillover instead of overshadowing the social/circuit-breaking aspects of this thread.


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About tigtog

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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190 Responses to Weekly Open Thread with knitting Hepburns

  1. Why is feminism shunned by so many young women these days? Why is it considered such a bad thing? I really find it hard to understand…

    • EG says:

      Well, I don’t know that it’s shunned any more these days than it was twenty or forty years ago. It’s always been a movement largely derided by the mainstream, which, by definition, includes most people. Does anybody have stats on percentages of women identifying as feminists today as compared to thirty or forty years ago?

      • matlun says:

        Here in Sweden basically everyone identified as feminist 15 years ago, but the figures are much less today. And yet the actual positions of people have not changed (much). What has changed is the public perception of what feminism is.

        No stats, but perhaps relevant.

        (Btw, here it is by no means “shunned”. Still a clear decrease)

      • Lisa says:

        Because now you’re considered enlightened if you spout some nonsense about being “egalitarian.”

        It’s just the same internalized oppression. How dare I, as a young woman, think that my problems/issues deserve attention over other things?

    • matlun says:

      I would say it is a problem more with the label than the substance. Young women today do demand equal rights.

      Basically, feminism has a PR problem. The most controversial voices get much more media attention, and this defines what people associate with the label.

    • Mel says:

      Are you really saying this? There are so many amazing young women doing great things for feminism. Maybe check out Feministing some time, the F word, Shameless? All great blogs with young writers.

      Here are more links, take the time to support some young feminists, go to events they hold, read their blogs.

      http://www.sparksummit.com/2013/03/05/where-are-young-feminists-right-here/
      http://www.salon.com/2010/04/20/next_generation_abortion/

    • conser says:

      I think those who don’t call themselves feminists do so because of flaws they see within the feminist movement(s). They feel they have different goals, methods of reaching them, don’t feel that aspects of feminism speak for all women, etc. Particularly of note, however, are the historically problematic aspects of feminism, such as racism, transphobia, etc., that have caused some to separate themselves from ‘feminism’ without separating themselves from gender equality.

  2. Regular Commentorizor says:

    So, I’m thinking I might need to change my name on here. Its my real name and I just introduced some family and work people to the site, which is good (even though they are kind of lukewarm about it), but now I feel like I can’t really “speak” freely under my current name. I’m concerned that they will know its me and I don’t really want them to know my views on religion, how I would definitely have an abortion if I got pregnant again anytime soon, and I haven’t told any of them about my sexual assault (and don’t want to). I’m actually already a little worried they will read through old stuff and “find” me. This is cowardly, isn’t it? Seriously. Tell me if it is. Is it totally against internet law/common decency to change your name on a site? I’m so paranoid. I should just be honest with them but…no. Not ready to do that and potentially put my spouse under fire, too (the religion thing is a Big Deal for his fam). I should have thought of this.

    • EG says:

      I don’t think it’s paranoid at all. You are perfectly right to want to control how much of yourself you disclose to the people around you; there’s nothing wrong with that, as far as I can see. Nothing cowardly about it, really. You’re the best judge of what reactions you are ready and willing to handle, and whether or not these are discussions worth getting into.

      • tigtog says:

        Regular Commentorizor, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to change the name you use to comment on a site for all sorts of reasons. The only reasons that would be wrong are sockpuppeting/morphing-troll reasons, and these do not apply to simply wanting to keep your offline and online lives separated.

        If I might suggest that you create a different webmail address just for commenting on blogs, and start out again with that? That way your old comments and your new comments will have a different avatar.

  3. Librarygoose says:

    I hate reading articles about Ann Coulter, but not just because I hate Ann Coulter. I fucking wish I could just read an article about what horrible bullshit Ann spouts and hate on her properly. But I always end up raging in the comment sections because of the transphobic assholery that happens. They’re all, “How dare she say women can’t do that! I bet she’s really a dude!” guffaw guffaw. How much do they not read what they are writing? It must take the most shallow thought process.

    • GallingGalla says:

      Unfortunately, this is what I’ve come to expect from too many self-identified progressives (especially men). But it’s sickening.

    • Nico says:

      Heh. Yeah. The deployment of transphobia to smear Ann Coulter is always annoying. Especially as it usually comes from the presumably progressive left. Though not exclusively: Andrew Sullivan, a outlier himself in many ways, used to (not sure it he still does) never miss an opportunity to label Ann a drag queen. A shallow thought process indeed.

    • Donna L says:

      I find this so infuriating. As if there aren’t enough ways to be negative about her words and actions. It’s no different from the awful things people on the other side of the spectrum used to say about Janet Reno. The creepiest thing for me personally was a few years ago when I came across a fictional “history” someone had concocted on the Internet about Ann Coulter’s purported life “before” her so-called “sex change,” and the last name they gave her fictional male self happened to be my last name, spelled exactly like I spell it, which is quite unusual. I got pretty upset, thinking that maybe it wasn’t a coincidence and that it was somehow directed at me by someone who knew me. Unlikely, but still an unpleasant thought.

      • Donna L says:

        By spectrum, I mean the political spectrum, of course.

      • Librarygoose says:

        the last name they gave her fictional male self happened to be my last name, spelled exactly like I spell it

        Whoa. That’s strange. I don’t blame you for being nervous and weirded out. That would unnerve me too.

        As if there aren’t enough ways to be negative about her words and actions

        Exactly, Ann Coulter says horrible things, believes vicious untruths, and exudes hate and fear like hell’s air freshener. There is plenty to hate. People claiming superiority over her “neandertal” views and in the same breath using her looks and questioning her gender identity to shame her drives me up a wall.

      • exudes hate and fear like hell’s air freshener

        Lucifer objects to this unjust characterisation of the scent of hell, I’m sure.

      • Librarygoose says:

        I messed up those second block quotes.

      • Librarygoose says:

        Both the quotes. I’m so tired.

      • tigtog says:

        Fixed by the admin pixie, Librarygoose!

  4. Mr K finally did it: after all our joking around about him being a cat, how he should totally wear a tail sometime … he did. He wrote about it in Serious and Silly. Very Silly yesterday.

    Now I just have to do a picture for it …

    • tomek says:

      this man have very cool facial hair! like a french.
      when in college i had the sideburns like wolverine. but no longer :(

    • RichardVW says:

      I don’t think that I’m in your website’s anticipated demographic, but there’s definitely something that I find captivating about that place. Thank you for sharing.

  5. FashionablyEvil says:

    Tigtog, I do so enjoy the photos you choose for the open threads. They always make me smile.

    • GallingGalla says:

      Seconded.

      • tigtog says:

        Apologies for taking ages to respond – I read these on my phone, where I hate typing for blog comments.

        I’m glad you like the pics – it is a pleasant diversion to go looking for them each week.

  6. shfree says:

    Oh my word, you all, the entire Book of Kells is online now. How am I going to get anything done when I’m too busy getting my Medieval Art geek on and just zooming in on all that illuminated text???

  7. mxe354 says:

    So today my father forced me to get a haircut. He made it so short that I no longer want to look at myself in the mirror. I wrote about it a bit more in my journal.

    My so-called long hair was one of the few things that alleviated my dysphoria, and now it’s gone. So yeah, not a good week for me.

    • PrettyAmiable says:

      I am so sorry. I can imagine how important it is to connect your appearance to your identity, and it hurts to know you’ve had that piece of you violated. Hugs if you’re up for them and want them.

    • Fuckfuckfuck. Mxe, I’m so, so sorry.

    • EG says:

      I’m so sorry, mxe. That must be a terrible feeling.

    • mxe354 says:

      Also, now that many people notice that my hair is significantly shorter, they constantly tell me that I look “handsome” and that short hair suits me. And then there’s my sympathetic brother, who, in an effort to console me, told me a short haircut suits me as a girl.

      Oh, and my father has told me that he doesn’t want me to grow long hair until I graduate from college i.e. 2 years from now. I’m quite comfortable with calling him an asshole these days.

      • they constantly tell me that I look “handsome” and that short hair suits me.

        Are….are they even looking at you??!?! I mean, no seriously. o_O People, get thineselves to an ophthalmologist stat. Long hair suits your face way better.

      • mxe354 says:

        Thank you! I wish more people weren’t averse to my long hair. I only know four people in real life who don’t mind my hair when it’s long.

        You ought to see the reactions I get when I tell some people that I want my hair to go slightly past my shoulders.

      • mxe354 says:

        Update: my youngest step-sister is another person who liked my long hair. I just wish she knew I was trans*. I really hope she doesn’t grow up to be as bigoted as her conservative family members. I’m trying my best to steer her away from gender essentialism, but that’s a lot easier said than done.

      • Yonah says:

        I completely agree, and there’s not even a need to downplay the length of the long haircut, it looked great and the shape was just right. Can’t underestimate the importance of shape. You’ll get back there soon!

      • mxe354 says:

        The shape was fine, I guess, but I wasn’t satisfied with that length in the slightest. I simply yearn for what I lack, even though it wasn’t much to begin with.

    • Librarygoose says:

      Fuck, that sucks.

    • Li says:

      Oh mxe that’s completely awful.

    • Donna L says:

      I’m so very sorry, mxe. That’s so awful, to have that taken away from you. (I remember how much I always hated the short haircuts I had as a child, and how much I wanted to grow my hair — but never had the courage to, even when I was old enough that I could have, because I was so afraid of somehow giving away my shameful secret.) I wish there were some way you could escape from the situation you’re in, without having to wait so long.

    • Nico says:

      Oh god mxe, it breaks my heart to read that. I’m so sorry. I know too well how deep that cuts. Please try to stay strong and hold on. We need you. xo

    • That really sucks, I’m sorry.

    • PeggyLuWho says:

      This might be horribly ignorant, and please tell me if it is. Is a hairpiece an option? When you’re not with your family?

      Sorry if that’s a dumb suggestion.

      • mxe354 says:

        It doesn’t bother me. I have a wig, but it doesn’t suit me very well. When I chose it, I chose it out of haste because I was so anxious about being seen as trans* that I just wanted to get my shopping over with. Consequently, I picked one that doesn’t suit me.

        It’s light brown, kind of wavy at the bottom, and goes down to my shoulders. I need one that’s black, less wavy, and goes slightly past my shoulders. But unfortunately I literally have just one dollar in my wallet, so I can’t buy another wig for quite some time.

      • Computer Soldier Porygon says:

        Could you dye it black? I have never had a wig that wasn’t cheap cheap cheap and candy-colored but I’m pretty sure there are ways to color even synthetic wigs.

      • mxe354 says:

        I could do that, but I don’t even have enough money for black dye. So I’ll just have to wait until I start to make money.

    • matlun says:

      That sounds just horrible. I can only imagine how little you needed your bodily autonomy violated on top of an already shitty situation.

      I do hope you succeed in moving out and that your situation gets better soon.

    • GallingGalla says:

      mxe, I’m so so sorry. What a cruel thing for your father to do. I hope you can escape that situation soon. My thoughts are with you.

      • Angie unduplicated says:

        They want you to be a mirror of their own selves, probably. Might point that out, if you don’t think they’d try to turn you into a carpet and stomp you down. The imprisoned have all of their hair cut off. You can sell a mirror and use it for getaway money, educate yourself from what you see of others in it. Take the college deal and use it for a red-hot escape plan.

    • Hrovitnir says:

      :( I’m sorry. That’s so awful.

    • shfree says:

      Damn, what a hateful thing to do. I’m so sorry you are going through all this.

    • mxe, that sucks. And your father called that long hair? Does he go around with his eyes closed? Yeah, I know he’s thinking men’s hair, but that’s not long hair on men. This isn’t the flipping 1950s.

      I really hope you can get cash coming in and get away from this jackass soon.

    • ks says:

      I know I don’t comment here often, but I’m a pretty regular lurker, and I’m really sorry about that. Your dad’s an asshole. But I’m glad you at least have some people in your family who accept you.

    • khw says:

      I’ll just add my voice to say that I’m sorry too

    • Emolee says:

      So sorry, mxe. You should get to choose what happens to your body.

  8. PrettyAmiable says:

    1. I am wasted.
    2. I am on a diet. This is bullshit. Fuck body pressures that I can’t seem to escape. Pretty sure my enormous lack of carbs and protein is driving this wastey-facedness.
    3. I think I just realized I have a massive crush on my best friend. This is also bullshit for the obvious, in addition to the presence of an existing girlfriend.

    I am feeling very boooooo about my exceedingly first world problems. But also my eyes are rolling out of my head because they’re bugging me at all.

  9. Ruth says:

    Is it really sad that I’m sitting here peering at the pictures, trying to figure out if they’re knitting English or continental style? I think they’re both English, though the pale yarn is harder to see.

    I’m knitting a shrug at the moment, cable pattern in dk, but it’s got halfway up the first sleeve and, well, I’m bored. I’ve started something else to relax, but I’m worried if I put the shrug down I’ll never get round to starting it again, and it’s got my 4mm dpns in it.

    Knitting is my happy place.

    • Librarygoose says:

      I wish I could knit but I have a lot of trouble learning things with my hands. It just never translates well whether the instructions are written or if someone physically shows me. How did you learn?

      • Mr Rabbit says:

        Librarygoose, there are lots of youtube videos. I prefer these for new techniques as diagrams and instructions alone don’t work for me.

        Maybe try combining a how to knit book with the videos. Also, try knitting groups in your area. Depending where you live, there might be a couple.

        There’s also the awesome knitting (and crocheting, weaving) website, http://www.ravelry.com, with lots of groups, forums, free and paid patterns. There’s even a feminist group on there.

      • Ruth says:

        I just had a book, but Mr Rabbit is right, there are lots of youtube videos, and the great thing about them is you can watch them as many times as you need to, where teachers can get impatient. But if anyone new turns up to my knitting group, there’s always someone willing to show them the basics, lend them some needles, whatever.

    • Mr Rabbit says:

      Pretty sure they’re both doing right handed English. I’m a left handed (sometimes known as a mirror knitter) English knitter.

  10. Nico says:

    Why is feminism shunned by so many young women these days? Why is it considered such a bad thing? I really find it hard to understand…

    I think one reason is that digital-era feminism carries a lot of 2nd and early 3rd wave baggage and theory that might be better kept in the archives, and definitely updated and re-theorized. Yet at the same time, feminism has lost the kind of focus that brought about the 2nd wave’s biggest scores (and whose taken-for granted status is behind much of the appearance of feminism being passe.) Lacking focus, it inevitably lacks a compelling message.

    Another huge part of the problem (and directly related to messaging) is that feminism has always had and still has a fucked up dysfunctional relationship to popular culture and representations of gender and sexuality, and that has left it unable to effectively operate in a modern media context. This is frustrating, and really scandalous, given how much energy feminism devotes to pop culture, and even more so given how central sex and gender representation theory is to feminist analysis, which has been cruising for decades on “objectification” and “gaze” (and so on) theories that were pretty thin to begin with. I don’t think feminism can begin digging out of its rut until it deals with this.

    Yeah, a PR problem to be sure.

    My favorite writer on sex, sexuality, and gender is Gayle Rubin, whose work I was not at all including in what I just said about the problems of second wave-era theory. Rubin made what I think is the single most insightful statement about feminism I’ve ever read, all in a single koan-like sentence that was itself fairly incidental to what she was actually writing about (mostly butch/femme lesbian roles and trans men.)

    “Feminism has often simply announced changes already in progress for which it has taken credit and for which it has been held responsible.”

    (From “Of Catamites and Kings,” 1992, collected in “Deviations: A Gayle Rubin Reader” and earlier in “The Persistent Desire: A Femme-Butch Reader,” ed. Joan Nestle. )

    I use that quote as a mental palate cleanser after a feminist blogosphere binge.

    I think it’s brilliantly zennish and analytically spot fucking on (as is most of the visionary Rubin’s largely overlooked work.)

    • Nico says:

      ouch…. sorry… that was meant to be a reply to an upthread comment.

    • mxe354 says:

      “objectification” and “gaze” (and so on) theories that were pretty thin to begin with.

      What theories exactly? This is pretty vague. And why do you think they are thin?

      • Nico says:

        Well, as far as what I was specifically referring to, I mean the set of ideas that deal with sexual objectification, the male gaze, what could be called the “images of women” analysis. That kind of thing.

        These ideas first emerged relatively early in the development of the media environment whose operations and influence they analyzed. They are also rooted in the early days of feminist influence, and so were (naturally) unable to incorporate, and didn’t really anticipate, the effects of that influence in their analysis.

        Some 30 and 40 years later, these ideas, in essentially original form, exist as core feminist principles, despite major changes in society/culture/etc, including the nature of media and its content, and decades of feminist influence.

        A pretty straight and unbroken line can be drawn from these ideas to the ideas and issues that today are identified with the feminist public image. If we’re looking for the reason why young women and even not so young women (including it should go without saying trans women) might reject the feminist ID — *even as they support feminist goals* — then we need to look at what feminism means and appears to mean in the everyday world.

        So for example, these ideas are the main reason, or are at least the main theoretical backdrop, for why fashion, makeup, clothing choice, and so on, became and remain (rightly or wrongly) feminist issues. When a social movement makes such everyday things into political issues (which always at least implies some moral-like judgment, or feels like it does), that movement will have a hard time getting people to sign up and wear its t shirts.

        So one reason people reject the feminist ID might be formulated as: Stereotypical feminism disapproves of stereotypical femininity.

        Fair or not and as infuriating as that might be, there’s nothing inexplicable about it, and it represents just one massive barrier between everyday people and feminist identification and therefore, the assumption seems to be, the realization of feminist goals.

  11. Librarygoose says:

    I am super excited for Neverwhere on radio 4. Makes me glad the internet exists.

    • Lisa says:

      Ohhh, man, that is exciting. I’ll have to see if I can’t find out where to find it in the U.S. I hope I can find it streaming somewhere.

      • Librarygoose says:

        You can stream their iplayer in the US.

      • Lisa says:

        Awesome, thanks. I love me some Neil Gaiman. Do you have a favorite story of his?

      • Librarygoose says:

        If I had to pick one it would be Neverwhere. Although his short The Problem of Susan is elevated because I could never stand what C.S Lewis did to her.

      • Computer Soldier Porygon says:

        What happened to Susan kept me up at night as a child. Haha, that sounds soooo dramatic but I was deeply, deeply bothered by it.

  12. Marksman2000 says:

    I quit smoking.

    And I am so happy I did, even though, oddly, I miss it sometimes. But the torturous urges are all but gone. Yay!

    • Hrovitnir says:

      Congratulations! I have all the sympathy for people quitting tobacco.

    • Computer Soldier Porygon says:

      Congratulations! I hope to join you there… oh, sooner rather than later. Hearing success stories is really encouraging. :)

      • Marksman2000 says:

        Thank you–all of you.

        It is tough, especially because I went cold turkey. No gum, no strips, no medication, nothing. Well, I did use Trident. I spend a lot of time reading and writing, so in my mind smoking pairs well with these activities. Thus, that did make it difficult. I wish I were an aerobics instructor instead of a writer. That’s a comical image, though: an aerobics instructor who needs to take a smoke break while the students keep working out and wondering what the hell’s going on.

        Other than the health benefits, I like that I extensively cleaned my entire house from carpet to ceiling, and it rid the place of most of the odor. Plus, I’m surprised and how much more money I have now. With all the new tobacco taxes and all, it’s an expensive habit–almost like a car payment or something.

      • Computer Soldier Porygon says:

        Oh yeah – people always tell me that I should take a break from doing the things that I most associate with smoking while I’m trying to quit. And I’m like… eating? Getting up in the morning? Walking to the bus stop? Reading? Tea/coffee?

        Anyway, I should be out of both cigarettes AND money for a while in the next few days, and then I’ll be temporarily boned anyway, smoking-wise. So maybe I can make that just… last.

      • Marksman2000 says:

        Eating is the worst. Especially because I like hot and spicy food, which always goes great with a cigarette afterwards. Oh, and if alcohol is thrown in the mix, I’m puffing like a locomotive.

      • Radiant Sophia says:

        Once my medication/dosage/etc. issues are worked out, I’m quitting smoking. I’m going to do it. I’m going to stop smoking.

        Congrats to those who have.

    • Andie says:

      Congratulations! It’s tough but totally worth it!

    • Congratulations, that’s excellent!

    • EG says:

      Congratulations–that’s hard to kick. Sending you moral support.

  13. Andie says:

    I quit Facebook last week. And so far it’s been okay. It hasn’t cut down much on my Internet time but I spend a lot less time face-palming. I’m also rediscovering ways of communicating.. Like phones!

    This week my mother told me I seemed angry about a lot of things lately. I said I am, there’s a lot to be angry about. I also said that it’s my hope that talking about things that anger me will help make even tiny changes in the world around me and make it a better place.

    Work this week sucked. I booked one day off to spend with my kids over the march break and due to someone else’s inability to do their job properly I ended up spending most of it working from home. I was so mad, because I had booked that day specifically, thinking it would be the day I had the least to do. It was predicated on the assumption that this co-worker would have their shit together on time and that I wouldn’t end up cleaning up their mess. Thankfully our HR manager who is awesome caught wind of the fact that I ended up working three hours on my day off and declared that that day wouldn’t count as one of my vacay days. It’s frustrating though because this is not the first problem like this we’ve had with the person in question.

    • PeggyLuWho says:

      I quit Facebook last week. And so far it’s been okay. It hasn’t cut down much on my Internet time but I spend a lot less time face-palming. I’m also rediscovering ways of communicating.. Like phones!

      Me too! Isn’t it awesome and weird?

  14. Rant unrelated to all the things:

    If I never see another argument against marriage equality that says that gay couples shouldn’t get to marry because straight people ruined marriage (in so many words), it’ll be too soon. Like…if you think gay marriage is buying into oppression, have you considered not getting gay married? And if you think marriage is a tool of patriarchal oppression, how about trying to end straight marriage instead of stopping gay marriage?

    Oh, you and your fellow social justice warriors aren’t actually doing anything about ending straight marriage? Just ranting at gay couples?

    How…interesting.

    • DouglasG says:

      My variation on this theme comes from seeing posts by people who voted against marriage equality (and usually expressed themselves about doing so with great smugness) because the government has no business recognizing any marriage. And they’re going to stick to their guns, stand in the corner, stamp their feet and hold their breath until they turn blue or the government comes to its senses. This explains all the people passed out in the corner with blue faces.

      I’ve been fretting over the proper response to the Republican US Senator whose son’s coming out motivated him to change to a supportive position on marriage equality. What a tricky piece of progress.

      • This explains all the people passed out in the corner with blue faces.

        No shit.

        I’ve been fretting over the proper response to the Republican US Senator whose son’s coming out motivated him to change to a supportive position on marriage equality.

        My personal reaction to that was “congratulations! You have earned one (1) Marginally Less Shitty Republican Than The Average cookie! Go you! Woohoo! Whee!”

    • snorkellingfish says:

      I want to say something smart that adds to the conversation, but all I can do is nod along.

  15. I finally figured out one of the reasons I LOATHE one of my current professors. She goes on and on about how the stuff we’re doing is easy and obvious and it’s all really quite clear when we’re translating a dead afro-semitic language with no alphabet, no spaces between words, and precious little punctuation. How the fuck is any of that ever easy? And she is completely inconsistent in how she talks about assignments, giving more concrete details to some students than others, giving me a text 42 lines long and telling another student that a 28 line text is almost too long, and other such bullshit. She’s also incredibly ableist and is very reluctant to give extensions or excused absences even for chronic migraines and deaths in the family. Okay, I needed to rant about that.

    But on the more analytical note, whenever a teacher/professor tells a class that a concept is really quite easy, they’re gaslighting at least one of their students. Because there is nothing that is actually easy for everyone. There’s always going to be at least one student in the class who hears that it’s supposed to be easy from an authority figure and feel shamed and stupid for having a hard time with it.

    • Wow, douchebag alert. So sorry you’re dealing with this! Do you have any classes with her in the future?

      • I only have six more course to take in my degree, but there’s only four profs who will be teaching in my area of specialization in the department, including her. If I’m lucky, the other three will offer enough courses I won’t have to. If I’m not lucky (and I really haven’t been lately) then I will try to take a course slightly outside my specialty. It should work. I just don’t want to make it super obvious I’m avoiding her in case anyone else in the department makes life difficult for me. A couple of my classmates and I have regular meet ups where we do nothing but rage about how awful she is though, which is enormously helpful. Otherwise I’d probably still be second guessing myself, thinking it must be all in my head. Though “of course it is all in your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” (JK Rowling) is one of my favourite quotes, so maybe I’d have spotted it eventually. And thank you for the empathy. Life is not awesome right now and every little bit helps.

      • I only have six more course to take in my degree, but there’s only four profs who will be teaching in my area of specialization in the department, including her.

        I really, really hope you can avoid her. Here’s hoping the course schedule works out!

    • Tyris says:

      Our lecture notes are full of little scrawled “well, it ISN’T” and “wait, what?” next to things like “it should be obvious…” and “it naturally follows…”

      • Yeah. I want to be a prof someday, at a community college, not in academia proper, and I have made many mental notes this semester on HOW NOT TO TEACH. It’s been graaaaand

      • Honestly, if all college profs had a mandatory class on HOW NOT TO SCREW THIS SHIT UP before ever stepping into a class, more students might feel less shitty about life in general.

        Signed,
        Person who last term was literally Wiki-ing her way through a course because her teacher was conducting literal wharrgarbl lectures.

      • And the worst part is, I got higher grades for Wiki skillz than anyone else got for actually attending lectures and attempting to follow that prof and hir omgwtfbbq teaching style. I…you know, the grade looks real nice on my transcript, but I still would take a lower grade over having done that course.

      • Nomad says:

        This is my first year taching and that’s one of the things I fear most. I’ve been telling my students that things were easy, not in a “you’re stupid if you don’t get it” kind of way, but trying to say “it’s easier than you think and you can do it, even if you don’t believe you can”.

        Of course there are assholes out there teaching, but sometimes people are clueless of what’s going on in their student’s mind. Does your teacher know you guys are having a hard time?

      • Does your teacher know you guys are having a hard time?

        Personally, I didn’t really have a hard time in that course, which my grade on it reflects. (I also left feedback along the lines of “WTF, Prof”, so yes, mine does.) Mostly, I got by just fine because it was a class in my major and I’m pretty fucking good at the subject. But the whole time, I couldn’t help thinking how it would have been if that professor had been teaching me math, or physics, or economics, or something else I suck at, and how awful it would have been…and then remembering that there were a whole lot of students in my class who weren’t even in the arts program, and worrying how the hell they were going to hack it with this total lack of organised guidance.

      • Nomad, to me that sounds like a pretty good way to go about it, telling students that once they make that first real connection that it will all start falling into place. Because our classes aren’t lectures, we all just take turns translating in class, she knows exactly how well we’re understanding it, sometimes not very well, sometimes pretty good. But if someone makes a small mistake, like mistaking a stative for a participle, which is pretty easy to do, she is so condescending in how she tries to lead you to the correct answer. Also, I know a lot of us are going through some pretty rough life stuff extraneous to the class (migraines, deaths in the family, mental illnesses, raising a family) and she is very very reluctant to give anyone a break, and only does so with a great show of exasperation and how it’s suuuuuch a niiiice gesture on her part. I’ve had shitty teachers before, and I managed to learn just fine anyway, just because I’m pretty good at this whole school thing, but this is the first time I’ve had a prof who was a genuinely terrible human being on top of it all.

      • ks says:

        Nomad, that’s how I try to be with my students as well. I teach intro physics and it has a reputation for being a really difficult subject. And I know that the kind of thinking required for it can be difficult for lots of students, but I still firmly believe that it isn’t as hard as people seem to think it must be. What I’ve noticed, though, is that when students get over that mental block of thinking that a solution can’t be as simple as they fear it will be and that their attempts are, if not entirely correct, at least on the right track, they do much better and are lots less stressed about it. Except that when something turns out to be easier than they thought, I almost always get accused of giving them trick questions and trying to mess with them.

        But I will say, as someone who’s been teaching this for close to 10 years now and for whom it always came really easily as a student, the first few years I taught it I had the hardest time understanding why my students were having such a hard time with it, because it was obvious and simple and why couldn’t they understand. I’ve gotten much better with experience, but I still find myself sometimes wondering what the hell is going on in their heads.

  16. I don’t think I’ve ever been awake for 29 hours straight before.

    I had to work yesterday in my publishing company and last night for my paying job.
    And a job that should have taken 6 hours took 14 because our machines were programmed badly.

    My joints are actually hot to the touch from inflammation.

    On the positive side, Inkstained Succubus looks like a real publishing house and not just my private reprint label.

  17. Hannah says:

    I hate weekends. They make me think about my ex boyfriend and then I feel really lonely. My girlfriend still lives with her parents too so I can’t really crash there (Unless we get insane Canadian weather and I get stranded (best snow storm ever)) but I do see her tomorrow probably.

    I’ve basically just been really isolated and lonely feeling especially since one of my former BFFs ditched me to side with the ex boyfriend during the split and it makes me all paranoid that maybe she’d just been using me to get to him, which is really dumb to think because I know she actually ditched me because I was too crazy.

    So now I just feel like I need control over my life again so I want to get a new piercing or tattoo (probably piercing cuz it’s a bit cheaper), probably a naval piercing.

  18. Marius says:

    Is the wiki definition of gaslighting correct? If not, do you have sources that say otherwise? I always assumed that it was something that abusers did with/to their victims (although others can do that to victims too, cf. communities around a rape accusation will often be quick to come up with defensive versions of reality).

    • tigtog says:

      The wiki entry on Gaslighting strikes me as reasonable, but because of how wikipedia works, some more extensive usages and examinations of the term may not have made it past the edit wars.

      To me the crucial quality is that gaslighting is “an attempt to destroy another’s perception of reality” i.e. to make a person doubt the validity of their own perceptions. In intimate relationships that sort of manipulation is of course going to be abusive, but in a poker match the same sort of techniques are praised as “bluffing” the other players, and for a political strategist gaslighting the voting public is merely “the art of spin”.

  19. M says:

    I wanted to ask if anyone can point me to a good source explaining what gaslighting is and what kind of behaviour gaslighting is connected with. When someone is making another person doubt an action they clearly remember that person doing, even if said action is not abusive, is it still gaslighting? If the action the person is denying is, for isntance, missing therapy appointments. It’s not just denial, it’s more of an elaborate attempt at making myself doubt my own memory of what happened. I have no actual proof that that person missed therapy except for what I remember and what I was told. And yet now I am being forced to reconsider what I knew, even though they don’t have actual proof that they attended therapy. I told them these are gaslighting tactics, to which they replied that gaslighting is not gaslighting unless it involves abusive behaviour being denied. And that I should revise my definition of gaslighting.

    • orangedesperado says:

      This site has a really good overview of abuse in relationships, and emphasizes that non-physical abuse (ie psychological abuse)is also actual abuse:

      http://abuseandrelationships.org/Content/The_Con/gaslighting.html

      There were a couple of huge threads about gaslighting here. Search the site and read all of the comments.

      Basically it sounds like your perceptions are being denied, and that another person is attempting to define your reality which certainly sounds like gaslighting.

  20. PeggyLuWho says:

    Two conversations I had yesterday:

    First I had to try to explain to a guy that the word ‘bitch’ is almost always misogynistic (unless you’re actually talking about breeding dogs). His argument was that it wasn’t because sometimes men call other men by it. I pointed out that that was an insult because it was saying that someone was like a woman. He insisted that it was because he was being called a dog, and gender had nothing to do with it. ::facepalm::

    Second, I tried to explain to another guy that him asking me if I got to go to college for free because I’m Native American is racist*. His argument was that it wasn’t because his friend who is 1/16th Cherokee got to go for free. ::facepalm::

    Why do I even try?

    *at least he didn’t ask me if I got into college because of my ethnicity, which is the most common racist ass thing that people say to me all the GD time.

    • Facepalm indeed. If it’s not gendered, why isn’t he calling other men dogs rather than bitches?

    • PeggyLuWho says:

      Not to go all ‘woe is me’ on all of you, but the last couple of weeks have been rough on me. I injured myself, so I’m not really able to exercise. Vigorous exercise is huge in helping me manage my PTSD. So, I’ve been dealing with a lot more symptoms than usual, a lot of stuck thoughts (like replaying arguments about why ‘bitch’ is a misogynistic term over and over in my head), hypervigilance, insomnia, and avoidance. Also, physical therapy is really triggering, what with the whole strangers having to grab my foot, leg, and hip and manipulate it, and the PTs are just not getting the whole ‘averse to touch’ thing. I keep alternating between wanting to scream and wanting to cry.

      I really wish I could just go for a run.

      • Hey, hugs if you want ’em, Peggy. I get the lack of exercise-pain-disability-lack of exercise loop, believe me. I hope you feel better soon.

      • PeggyLuWho says:

        Thank you. It is extremely nice to feel like at least one other person in the universe understands, and that I am not just some weirdo who’s over-reacting.

      • Emolee says:

        Peggy, I understand as well. Especially about “stuck thoughts” and physical therapy being triggering. I hope things get better for you.

      • PeggyLuWho says:

        And someone broke into our garage last night to steal 15 bicycles…including mine. Fuck. My. Life. #firstworldproblems

      • Oh, I get it too, if only on the mildest, mildest level – anxiety disorder that’s helped by gentle exercise, plus crapulous knee that needs an MRI done that means limiting the walking, equals stuck at home more and not able to exercise, equals more stress … nothing like PTSD, but a faint echo of knowing what you mean, so total hugs to you, Peggy, if you would like them. The whole thing turns into a vicious circle, the problems just feed each other.

      • PeggyLuWho says:

        Thanks for all the love and hugs everyone. I’m happy to report that I have been cleared to exercise, and I’m looking forward to returning to my routine.

  21. Caperton says:

    I have to get out a little rant: I had a job interview last week (my first in years and years), and it’s a digital media job, so pretty much all of my pertinent portfolio is online. And around 11:00, I’m giving things a final once-over before bed, and BLAM. Server failure. Crash, BADOOMSMASH, like a Mack truck. And when it comes back up, my site is like a Hieronymus Bosch painting. One of my databases has partitioned itself completely of its own volition, another one has popped up out of nowhere with a prefix I’ve never even seen before, there’s two satyrs riding a scorpion over in the corner, it’s chaos, and pretty much all of my data is scattered like a dust devil at a flea market. So I work literally all night putting things to rights(ish); the clock turns over 6:30, and I’m, like, “Well, I suppose I’d better stop doing this and start getting ready for work.” Caffeine and adrenaline get me through to my lunchtime interview, at which THEY DON’T EVEN ASK TO SEE MY WORK. All they wanted to do was talk, which is great and fairly low-pressure, but after 29 hours awake I wanted to grab them by the earlobes and drag them to the computer and say, “LOOK. LOOK AT IT. LOOK UPON MY WORKS, YE MIGHTY.” Which I didn’t do, because it seemed potentially career-limiting. And then when I got back to the office, I crashed, because I no longer had adrenaline to keep me going and caffeine wasn’t doing the job anymore. And when I got home in the evening, I slept for 12 hours. And now I halfway don’t care if I get the job, because I’ll always associate it with chaos and Moebius databases and Rockstar Recovery. (This is not true. I still want the job.)

    /rant

    • PeggyLuWho says:

      If you don’t get that job, they’re idiots who don’t deserve you, because you obviously care a lot about what you do to have gone through all that.

    • BBBShrewHarpy says:

      I wanted to grab them by the earlobes and drag them to the computer and say, “LOOK. LOOK AT IT. LOOK UPON MY WORKS, YE MIGHTY.” Which I didn’t do, because it seemed potentially career-limiting.

      I would have hired you in a heartbeat for that.

      • If only Monty Python had done a job interview sketch like that … I can imagine Cleese grabbing earlobes.

        Might serve him better than the abattoir flats he designed in the Architect Sketch. ;)

  22. Someday, I want to be able to get on Youtube and look up new Bollywood songs without winding up upset as fuck by comments on the posts, comments embedded in the videos, etc. Fuck, can we stop the Hindu-Muslim India-Pakistan shit already?

    (Though my rage at this is less than my rage at the Indians who serial-flame Pakistani music videos. WTF, you assholes, knock it off.)

  23. trees says:

    Steubenville verdict came in: both defendants were convicted.

  24. miga says:

    Hello! Forgive me if this comes out weird ( I’m writiing from my phone). I’d like to respectfully request an article on zerlina Maxwell. She was on fox news and said that “hey, maybe we should teach men not torape” and now she’s getting harrassed and death threats ands racist slurs thrown her way (she’s black ). Considering the article on quevenzane andbhm and the coverage of the Sandra fluke incitent last year, I think it’d be a wasted opportunity for feministe to stay quiet on this. Im not the most well versed in political blog posts and I admit I haven’t followed this story too coldly because of my internet connection tion issues, but if you are too busy I can write something for you. I am a little disappointed that nothing’s come up so far especially after the quvenszhane post, tfbhn- but iknow it’s not really myplace

  25. miga says:

    (yay! internet came back on! Here’s a more articulate version, please feel free to delete the earlier one)

    Hello, Feministe! I’d like to respectfully ask that you write an article (or even feature some articles) relating to Zerlina Maxwell , who spoke out on Hannity. They were talking about women and rape and gun control- she said that men should be taught not to rape. She got a LOT of backlash for that, not only on Hannity’s show but online- racist remarks, rape threats, and death threats

    *trigger warning below*

    “I hope you get raped and your throat slit! Maybe then you understand why white women have to be armed!”

    Still, she’s speaking out about it.

    Considering the article on Quvenzhane and BHM last week, and Femeniste’s earlier support of Sandra Fluke, I was expecting an article on Zerlina Maxwell- but none has come up yet. I’m a bit disappointed, but I know you guys are busy and it might have slipped through your filters, or there’s something in the works already. Also, it’s your blog and I don’t really have the right to tell you what to write or not write.

    My internet is on the fritz right now, I’m not the best blogger, and this is triggering work to me, but I would be willing to write about it for you if you’d like. I’m a WoC and a survivor if that info helps. I’d be willing to talk about it if it means her story gets told here and if I can stay anonymous.

    Thanks!

    • trees says:

      Yes! I thought maybe I had missed that post, but since there hasn’t already been some discussion here, I would love to see it started.

  26. Henry says:

    http://gawker.com/5990996/nypd-will-now-run-criminal-checks-on-domestic-abuse-victims

    Here’s a nice little tidbit about the new gentler NYPD…that’s one way to keep the stats low I guess.

  27. EG says:

    So, two bits of news:

    1) I finally, finally, finally, sent my manuscript into the publishers’ today! Hurray! It’s taken so long, I thought I would never get it done. I became so ill with anxiety that I almost hyperventilated and threw up after leaving the post office.

    2) A student has decided to go ballistically hostile over email because I took a couple days getting back to her about a non-urgent question that had been answered on her assignment sheet and on the course website. Apparently she thinks I’m supposed to be on call at her convenience. She is incorrect about this. And she needs to read her assignment sheet more carefully.

    • Lolagirl says:

      The epicnes of Dawkin’s fail is pretty astonishing, isn’t it?

      And the response from Shakesville was so spot on, I wish I could thank the writer in person for getting it and nailing Dawkins to the wall for his asshattery I hate it when idiots like him talk publicly about IVF, he’s like the last person on earth to be the intelligent and thouhtful public face of infertility and IVF.

    • RichardVW says:

      Wow…I don’t even…the cognitive dissonance…my head…

      …what?

      I must be an idiot, because my understanding of developmental biology and genetics says that Professor Oxford demonstrated some serious biological illiteracy there.

      The plus side for old Dick is that he’s doing an excellent job of demonstrating the fallibility of a being who is glorified by millions of sycophantic and scientifically illiterate lemmings.

  28. Angel H. says:

    Did anyone else find this as hilarious as I did?

    CPAC “Trump the Race Card” Event Goes Wrong

    Bravo, CPAC. Bravo. :-D

  29. Niall says:

    Speaking of race, for those that don’t know – today (March 21st) is the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. I’m a bit embarrassed to admit I didn’t know about it until earlier this week. At least I know now.

Comments are closed.