Author: has written 204 posts for this blog.

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

  1. Nancy Green
    Nancy Green April 5, 2013 at 6:37 pm |

    For no particular reason woke up thinking about Sea Monkeys aka dehydrated brine shrimp. One of the weird things they sold off the back page of comic books.

    1. miga
      miga April 6, 2013 at 2:15 am |

      I used to have those! I loved my little sea-monkeys….until my cousin overfed them one day and my little sister knocked their tank over when she was running through the house :( Poor little shrimpies…

    2. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
      The Kittehs' Unpaid Help April 7, 2013 at 12:48 am |

      Remember the bizarre pictures they used to illustrate those ads? Glad I never got any, I’d have been seriously disappointed. :)

      1. Niall
        Niall April 8, 2013 at 9:37 am |

        That’s the same picture I saw that made me want them too. My dad went into a pet shop with me to ask about them and the guy there told me they were a rip off; and that they were so small you’d need a microscope to see them.

        On the subject of Ads in comic books, I also remember those “Go with Captain O” ads that enticed you to sell a certain amount of greeting cards (or something like that) and depending on how many you sold, you could claim a whole range of little prizes. I remember I really wanted those X-Ray glasses – gullible ten year old kid that I was, I thought they would actually work!

        1. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
          The Kittehs' Unpaid Help April 8, 2013 at 10:11 pm |

          I wanted the Xray specs too!

          Lucky for me the comics were all American, I couldn’t have thrown any money at them if I’d tried. (I’m in Oz.)

          :D

        2. Donna L
          Donna L April 8, 2013 at 10:14 pm |

          I remember those! You mean they were lying?

    3. Nahida
      Nahida April 7, 2013 at 4:04 pm |

      I had those when I was really little and tried to grow them but there was no one around to help me and I ended up putting too much of their food into the little cup and drowning them. I was so sad I cried for hours. And I wouldn’t let my mom throw it out for days until it began to smell questionably like the dead sea.

  2. Kitty
    Kitty April 5, 2013 at 8:34 pm |

    I have two vocabulary questions that I’ve been wondering about and I’m not quite sure how to google the answers (it’s like looking something up in a dictionary if you don’t know how to spell it!). Maybe someone here might know.

    The first thing I want to know is what the…umbrella term, I guess, for cis and trans is. In other words, male and female, for instance, are examples of genders. Straight and bisexual are examples of sexual orientations. Cis and trans are examples of _____? What word fills in the blank? Wikipedia says “gender identities” but that doesn’t seem right to me at all.

    The second word I’m looking for is the word for discrimination specifically against people who don’t fit the gender binary (so not against cis OR trans people who firmly identify as male or female).

    Can anyone help?

    1. Barnacle Strumpet
      Barnacle Strumpet April 5, 2013 at 9:07 pm |

      Gender identities is what comes to mind for me, but I can see where they could not fit… after all, they aren’t gender identities, they’re categories one is put into based on one’s gender identity… of course, coursework isn’t always looking for the most accurate answer.

      Binarism is the only specific one-word term I know of for discrimination against non-binary people.

      1. Li
        Li April 6, 2013 at 12:09 am |

        I would go for something along the lines of “gender identity status”, but that’s obviously a somewhat vague term even if it’s strictly more accurate than just “gender identity”.

    2. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
      The Kittehs' Unpaid Help April 7, 2013 at 12:49 am |

      The only word that came to mind for me was so broad as to be useless – “people”!

  3. Barnacle Strumpet
    Barnacle Strumpet April 5, 2013 at 9:12 pm |

    I went to take my driving test this week, hoping to pass the driving part… and failed the written part, so I didn’t even get that far :P

    Because how long your license is suspended if you get a DUI (
    I’m especially pissed about that question because I don’t even drink), and how long your license is suspended if you get 8 points against your license, is just SO relevant to me driving safely to work every day.

    Not that I recognize the authority of the state to grant or refuse me driving privileges, but try telling that to a cop…

    1. Past my expiration date
      Past my expiration date April 6, 2013 at 7:33 am |

      Not that I recognize the authority of the state to grant or refuse me driving privileges, but try telling that to a cop…

      Given that driving is a privilege (as you say), and not a right, who if not the state would have the authority to grant or refuse it?

      1. Barnacle Strumpet
        Barnacle Strumpet April 6, 2013 at 12:02 pm |

        I don’t recognize the authority of state over any area or activity.

        Although I think driving can be considered a right, insomuch as it’s a part of the natural right that any human has to move about and act in any way physically possible.

        1. Donna L
          Donna L April 6, 2013 at 12:11 pm |

          I guess you’re against drunk driving laws, too. And if a 6-year old is able to reach the steering wheels and pedals, hey, it’s all good.

        2. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune April 6, 2013 at 12:26 pm |

          Although I think driving can be considered a right

          No. What? No.

          Not that I recognize the authority of the state to grant or refuse me driving privileges

          I will accept that as long as you…never drive on a road the state built? I guess?

        3. Barnacle Strumpet
          Barnacle Strumpet April 6, 2013 at 12:53 pm |

          Well Donna, you see, there’s this thing called capitalism. And in it, cars cost LOTS of money, so people generally guard their cars against use by children; they use these funny things called “locks”. Although I’m sure your oh-so-logical response to this will be that most 6-year olds will just swagger a few miles down the road with $25,000 in their pocket and buy a car. /eyeroll.

          Mac: well I do have my own road… sadly, it does not run parallel to my work route )':

        4. Past my expiration date
          Past my expiration date April 6, 2013 at 1:01 pm |

          Well Donna, you see, there’s this thing called capitalism. And in it, cars cost LOTS of money, so people generally guard their cars against use by children

          And they also (because getting in a wreck is expensive!) drive carefully, never exceed the speed limit, come to a complete stop at all stop signs, stop at all red lights, stop for pedestrians in crosswalks, remember to turn on the headlights and the windshield wipers, never use a cell phone while driving, and never drive unless they are fully alert and unimpaired.

          Oh, wait.

        5. Andie
          Andie April 6, 2013 at 1:01 pm |

          Driving isn’t a right. Being able to transport yourself is a right but no one is entitled to the mode of their choice.

          Kind of like that free speech thing.. You have the right to speak, but no one is obligated to give you a platform to be heard.

        6. SophiaBlue
          SophiaBlue April 6, 2013 at 1:07 pm |

          Well Donna, you see, there’s this thing called capitalism. And in it, cars cost LOTS of money, so people generally guard their cars against use by children; they use these funny things called “locks”. Although I’m sure your oh-so-logical response to this will be that most 6-year olds will just swagger a few miles down the road with $25,000 in their pocket and buy a car. /eyeroll.

          Because people letting their kids drive the car, or driving drunk, or driving while texting, obviously never happens since humans are so rational and always consider the consequences of their actions /double eyeroll

          Look, this isn’t hard. You don’t get to drive two tons of metal near pedestrians at 65 miles an hour without some kind of regulation.

        7. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune April 6, 2013 at 1:14 pm |

          Mac: well I do have my own road… sadly, it does not run parallel to my work route )’:

          Well, speaking as someone who used to trundle her motorcycle, and then her dad’s car, all over our private road… I don’t see why that’s a problem. That’s how I learned to drive.

          so people generally guard their cars against use by children; they use these funny things called “locks”.

          Yes. Human rights violations all around!

          Look, cars are heavy machinery. I wouldn’t tell someone they totally have the right to operate a cargo plane without being able to qualify for a license. Not even if that was the only available job in the economy, and without it they’d starve. Why? Because basic human decency demands that if you can’t learn the rules, you stay away from the machinery.

          I’ve got a driver’s license in India, I know how to drive, but I never do, because my anxiety makes me a road hazard in the event of anything unexpected happening. This isn’t a government-enforced position, I’m still medically fit to drive; this is me exercising said basic human decency. If I want to take pointless risks, I’ll play Russian roulette; at least that way the worst that I could do to others is bleed all over them.

        8. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
          The Kittehs' Unpaid Help April 7, 2013 at 12:54 am |

          Speaking as a non-driver, I’m bloody glad the state has some control over who gets behind the wheel of those potential killing machines, y’know.

        9. pheenobarbidoll
          pheenobarbidoll April 8, 2013 at 1:37 am |

          Most 6 year olds aren’t out buying plan b either.

      2. Barnacle Strumpet
        Barnacle Strumpet April 6, 2013 at 1:30 pm |

        You know, I’m usually the first one to roll my eyes whenever someone says something along the lines of “feminists have no sense of humour”, but given that I’ve gotten 7 responses that are serious/semi-serious arguments to what was intended as a little anarchist joke…

        Unless y’all are better dead-pan snarkers than I thought. In which case, you got me.

        1. matlun
          matlun April 6, 2013 at 2:04 pm |

          I can sometimes be the type of person to exclaim that feminsts “do not have a sense of humour” (when I am in a bad mood), but I did not read your comment as joke either.

          To subtle for all of us, perhaps?

        2. Past my expiration date
          Past my expiration date April 6, 2013 at 7:14 pm |

          It was intended as a little anarchist joke. It was evidently not perceived as a little anarchist joke. So either feminists don’t have a sense of humor, or…

        3. Willard
          Willard April 6, 2013 at 8:50 pm |

          Anarchists aren’t funny?

        4. PeggyLuWho
          PeggyLuWho April 6, 2013 at 11:55 pm |

          Uh, intent isn’t magic…?

        5. whistlewren
          whistlewren April 7, 2013 at 1:12 am |

          For the record, most of the regular commenters here have made me snort my coffee in a giggle fit at one time or another. They also just have happen to quite frequently be smart and logical. Oops.

    2. Calioak
      Calioak April 7, 2013 at 2:59 pm |

      I the answer depends in what state you’re in. The drivers handbook for the starr should tell you. 15 years ago I almost failed the written part to get my permit for the same reason. Back then it was a year in California, not sure what it is now.

  4. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune April 5, 2013 at 10:52 pm |

    Reading up on Adrienne Rich, because the article I have to present on on Monday revolves around her (which, fuck me, I did not know when I signed up for it!). HOLY FUCK SHE IS DISGUSTING.

    So far, my notes on her section consist of “Adrienne Rich is a fucking creepy fuck”. Which is a) accurate, b) not helpful. -_-

    Fuck I hate transphobes. Oh, and apparently the (white) second wave hasn’t said one word about lesbianism that doesn’t oog me out. WTF?

    1. EG
      EG April 5, 2013 at 11:20 pm |

      What of her stuff have you been reading? I remember when she died, we were trying to track down anything she may have said about trans people, but had little success.

      1. Donna L
        Donna L April 6, 2013 at 12:33 am |

        Yes, this was the thread, almost exactly one year ago:

        http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2012/03/28/rest-well-adrienne-rich/

        The connection with Janice Raymond (may her name be blotted out) — namely, the fact that Raymond profusely thanked Rich in the acknowledgements to The Transsexual Empire — certainly doesn’t speak well for Rich, and I have no doubt that she shared the attitudes of most of her second wave contemporaries, but I wasn’t able tot find anything particularly offensive that she herself had said on the subject. She seems, at least, to have been a lot less obsessed with the subject than many others.

        She did, however, have some remarkably awful things to say about gay men.

        1. EG
          EG April 6, 2013 at 12:57 am |

          Ah, yes. I remember that thread in more detail now. That was the thread in which my expressions of disappointment in her connection to Raymond were insufficient to please MadGastronomer, and so she deemed me an Enemy of the People.

          Good times.

      2. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune April 6, 2013 at 1:08 am |

        Well, I have to present on an article called “Unspeakable Differences”, which isn’t BY Rich (or I would have managed to switch it out, I did recognise the name), but which uses her theories an awful lot. There were some eyebrow-raising comments in there, which led me to look up her article on compulsory heterosexuality, and…suffice to say I have never been so squicked out by an argument that supports a thesis I can kind of get behind.

        1. Donna L
          Donna L April 6, 2013 at 1:14 am |

          I think that’s the one I read in which she seemed to think that most gay men spend their lives having anal sex with minors in public bathrooms.

        2. EG
          EG April 6, 2013 at 1:15 am |

          I remember having problems with that article, but I don’t remember it in much detail. I remember liking her point that women had been made taboo to other women, and that female competition had been normalized while women were expected to prioritize men in their emotional lives. But I also remember having a real problem with her subsuming all women who center their emotional lives on other women in the category “lesbian” regardless of the type of relationship we’re talking about–women who actually have the sex with other women face significantly different risks, systemic discrimination and disenfranchisement, and attacks than women who don’t.

          Am I remembering the right article?

        3. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune April 6, 2013 at 1:29 am |

          Yes, EG, you’re remembering correctly. Donna, I don’t know; I couldn’t finish reading the article after the bit about mothers who experience orgasm while nursing being part of the “lesbian continuum” because of it. I just… ew, way to see pedophilia where none (necessarily) exists! OMFG so much the squick. And yeah. There’s a big freakin’ difference between what women who actually have sex with other women experience, and the appropriative Lesbian Lite Lifestyle many second-wavers seemed enamoured of.

          And people wonder why I get angry with straight cis people telling me how queerer than moi they are.

        4. EG
          EG April 6, 2013 at 1:35 am |

          Rich was a lesbian, though. At least there’s that–she herself wasn’t doing the appropriating, though she was providing cover for it.

          And, Christ. I didn’t remember the “orgasm while nursing is a kind of lesbianism” nonsense. I wonder if half the problem is Freud (though they would’ve denied it)–so in some kind of bizarre counter to the cultural omnipresence of the Oedipal complex which naturalizes and prioritizes heterosexuality, a loving physical relationship between mother and infant daughter is figured as sexual because that’s how you know what’s important. And all the time, the underlying assumption that a loving, physical relationship between a parent and child is comparable to an adult relationship between lovers goes unquestioned.

        5. Donna L
          Donna L April 6, 2013 at 1:41 am |

          Wait, what if it happens with a baby boy? Is that part of the heterosexual continuum?

        6. DouglasG
          DouglasG April 6, 2013 at 9:51 am |

          I wondered that about the baby boys. I vaguely recall once working that up into a little fictional mindset in which it was taken for granted that at least the first two children of any union had to be girls. As it clearly couldn’t be the fault of the mother, any man who sired a son would be even more blameworthy than Catharine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn were held to be for giving birth to daughters. Sons would be at best handed over to a wet nurse or turned out with those of their fathers who escaped execution. Had I been able to come up with a good parallel for death from post-natal neglect, I could have produced a full history of Henrietta VIII that would have had a real 1980 flavour.

    2. DouglasG
      DouglasG April 6, 2013 at 12:18 am |

      Wow, that is bad luck, signing up for someone who turns out to be seriously disappointing.

      As for the second wave, I shouldn’t go quite so far as to say the second-wavers or the separatists delayed my becoming socially active, but I was reading quite a lot of them at the time of their peak or just after, when I was spending a lot of time in libraries. I don’t think it helped me much, but at least I had the good luck to miss the oogiest works.

      1. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune April 6, 2013 at 1:13 am |

        Urgh, yeah. If I’d known the article was going to centre on her stuff I would have dropped it like a hot potato. As it is, I’m squicked as fuck.

        If I’d been around for second-wave feminism, I would probably identify as non-feminist. fucking ew. I mean, I get their interests, but they’re so utterly divorced from what matters to me, and so many of the groups to which I belong, that I just wouldn’t be able to identify. Hell, I still feel conflicted about some things re: feminism.

  5. BabyRaptor
    BabyRaptor April 5, 2013 at 11:00 pm |

    That tree is amazing.

    Update on my situation, for those of you I was talking with last week. I pointed the boyfriend towards several of the articles that were linked. He read them and said that he “would need to think on it.” I’m content to either let him just think himself out or discuss it only if he brings it up at this point, because talking about it is still triggery.

    I’ve not been talking to the guy that was involved in the incident. (That sounds odd, but I’m trying to avoid trigger words.) For the most part, he’s been willing to respect my wishes to not have him around, but over the past couple days he’s been bugging me about whether or not the Plan B worked. All I can tell him thus far was that I had a truly horrible period about a week after taking it, nothing has happened yet this month, and that I’m still holding my breath. He’s not pleased about that, but there’s not much I can do.

    Also, you guys are the best. It helped me a ton to be able to vent about this last week, and the fact that ya’ll agreed with me was a big confidence booster. Thanks so much.

    1. PeggyLuWho
      PeggyLuWho April 7, 2013 at 12:02 am |

      I’ve often found that the period doesn’t come until after the negative EPT.

  6. moviemaedchen
    moviemaedchen April 6, 2013 at 12:11 am |

    Amazing tree. Very cool! A nice cheerful thing today which is good, since I am in a weird up-but-ambivalent mood.

    [Note for health and mental health stuff]
    So following on from last week’s post: I got into the doctor this week and explained what was going on with the fatigue and pain and all, and she ran a whole bunch of tests. We’re still waiting on a couple of them, but I got word today that some had come back. It’s not Lyme, thankfully (that one just scares me irrationally), but there is a vitamin deficiency (which wouldn’t necessarily be suspected from my diet, so something is going on) and a thyroid issue. Which are not terrible as potential illnesses go, and it’s definitely a relief to have a name and proof that something real is going on, it’s not me imagining it or just being ‘lazy’! Helps with the anxiety about it some, though the fact that this particular combo is often linked with autoimmune stuff is worrying me a bit right now.

    But I am a bit weirded out over the idea of potentially needing life-long medication, for reasons I can only partly articulate. Some of it is financial (OMG student loans and shitty US healthcare system and bills oh my!). Some of it is I think maybe discomfort with the idea of depending on something external in such a visceral way, and I don’t know what to make of that. I’m not sure there isn’t a touch of ableism there, which icks me especially because lately I’ve been working away at/becoming conscious of/avoiding that in particular. I also just don’t know what to *do* with the feeling.

    So, any thoughts anyone?

    1. EG
      EG April 6, 2013 at 12:31 am |

      Well, both my best friend and my mother have weird thyroid things (my mom’s is also linked to autoimmune stuff) that are quite manageable with medication, which has made all the difference for them. My experience going on meds for depression was that by the time I went on them, I was so miserable that I no longer cared about much, including being dependent on them, and that after going on them, I felt so much better that I didn’t care.

      But the way I understand my situation is that I’m always going to be dependent on medication. I was dependent on it before I went on it. My choice is either being dependent on it and not taking it, or being dependent on it and taking it, but not taking it won’t make my body not need it, if you see what I mean. It’ll just make me miserable.

      None of that helps with affording it. I will confess that with one of my hugely overpriced meds, I have been resorting to a reputable Canadian pharmacy that carries a generic equivalent. It cut my expenses for that drug from $1400 a year to $200. No joke.

      I’m glad to hear that at least a solution is possible for you. I know well that feeling of relief that you’re not just lazy or making things up.

      1. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
        The Kittehs' Unpaid Help April 7, 2013 at 1:16 am |

        “I will confess that with one of my hugely overpriced meds, I have been resorting to a reputable Canadian pharmacy that carries a generic equivalent. It cut my expenses for that drug from $1400 a year to $200. No joke.”

        Ouch on the prices. I just did a check to see if US or Canadian prices for Pristiq are any better than Aus ones – our prices are usually way higher than yours – and nearly fell off my chair. The pills are just over $1 each for me, which is pricey enough, but the prices listed in Canada and the US were three times that at least! Holy hell. And no generic versions yet, dammit.

        Seconding what moviemadchen said about your comment on beind dependent on drugs, whether you’re taking them or not – I don’t have the worries about being on meds except for the cost, but that is such a clear way of looking at it.

        1. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
          The Kittehs' Unpaid Help April 7, 2013 at 1:16 am |

          Ack, moviemaedchen, sorry.

    2. miga
      miga April 6, 2013 at 2:25 am |

      It took me about 4 years to get over the dislike of taking my meds. Even though I’ve been taking allergy medication for most of my life, medicine for my bipolar is different and more expensive and I need a prescription for it. I resent the fact that four little pills are the fence keeping me from jumping off a cliff, but withdrawal from psych meds is a) horrible and b) dangerous, so I never get too far from that fence. I’ve tried a few times and even though the day or two after you stop taking them you feel fine by the fourth or fifth life starts to spiral and you realize how much better off you were with them.
      It’s a tough process and you’ll probably accept it through learning the hard way. Everyone else in my family did with their meds (including my little sister who has immune problems too).

    3. Chataya
      Chataya April 6, 2013 at 11:35 am |

      I was diagnosed about a year ago with my own chronic health thing, but by that time I was so tired of the bone-deep ache and weariness that I did not care. I don’t think anyone in my family really gets it, though. They keep asking me if I still have to take my medicine, as if fibromyalgia is a temporary thing. Being dependent on expensive drugs for the rest of my life is not a pleasant thought, but I don’t really have much of a choice in the matter.

      1. wanttobeanon
        wanttobeanon April 6, 2013 at 12:15 pm |

        Oh god, this just reminded me of my poor mother-in-law, who used to be frequently asked by a couple of relatives if she ‘still’ had diabetes. Usually in the context of trying to get her to eat foods they’d made that she couldn’t eat, and even after her explaining a number of times that diabetes is not something that goes away. People can be amazingly clueless, or willfully clueless.

        On the plus side, in my MIL’s situation, they eventually (like after a couple of years) got it that she can’t eat sugars and carbs. Crossing my fingers that your fam eventually picks it up too.

        1. Chataya
          Chataya April 6, 2013 at 4:25 pm |

          The funny thing is that I have an aunt on my dad’s side with Crohn’s Disease and an uncle on my mother’s side with Type 1 diabetes. You’d think they’d get it.

        2. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
          The Kittehs' Unpaid Help April 7, 2013 at 1:02 am |

          I’m now thinking the next time my mum asks if my IBS has gone away, I might ask her the same thing about her diabetes. It might just get through. :/

        3. moviemaedchen
          moviemaedchen April 7, 2013 at 12:06 pm |

          Wow. Is it really that hard to grasp that some things don’t go away? I don’t get people sometimes. Sorry to hear you all have to put up with that! :(

      2. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune April 6, 2013 at 4:30 pm |

        They keep asking me if I still have to take my medicine, as if fibromyalgia is a temporary thing.

        Urrrggh. My mother finally stopped doing this. It coincided, mysteriously, with a significant improvement in our relationship. I feel your pain.

    4. moviemaedchen
      moviemaedchen April 6, 2013 at 5:34 pm |

      Thanks for the replies, everyone. Yeah, it’s just going to be getting used to it, I think.

      But the way I understand my situation is that I’m always going to be dependent on medication. I was dependent on it before I went on it. My choice is either being dependent on it and not taking it, or being dependent on it and taking it, but not taking it won’t make my body not need it, if you see what I mean. It’ll just make me miserable.

      This actually does really help, EG – thanks.

      We’ll see how it goes.

    5. Alexandra
      Alexandra April 7, 2013 at 7:18 pm |

      Resenting having to take lifelong medication is totally normal; I struggle with it every day. For me, what sucks is that it reinforces every day the way in which my illness makes me “separate”. Particularly because I’m taking meds for mental illness, I think, I find the act of taking my meds the most stigmatizing aspect of my daily life, far moreso than going to my pdoc/therapist.

  7. Donna L
    Donna L April 6, 2013 at 1:38 am |

    Sorry for the TMI, but damn, I haven’t felt this physically miserable in a while, and it’s probably my own fault. I’m not entirely sure if it’s a UTI or I’m just incredibly dehydrated, but it’s quite likely to be the latter, which happens to me every easily given my lack of a colon unless I drink lots of water all day, and today I forget to bring my usual two bottles of water to work (I left them on my kitchen counter, and also managed to leave my refrigerator door wide open all day!) and never had a chance to go buy more or drink anything else all day except for one can of soda. And hardly ate anything, either. So ever since I got home I’ve felt like I urgently have to go approximately every two minutes, and I didn’t even make it on time once, and it’s excruciatingly painful every time. I’ve been drinking a lot of water, but it hasn’t helped yet. So tonight may be one of those nights I end up bringing a pillow and blanket into the bathroom and sleeping on the floor. Not very comfortable, but I may not have a choice.

    (This kind of thing happens to me considerably more than it used to in olden days, for obvious reasons, but of course I was told to expect that. Although when it did happen back then, it was actually even more painful. Longer distance to travel and all that.)

    1. Aaliyah
      Aaliyah April 6, 2013 at 2:06 am |

      I’m sorry to hear that, Donna. I don’t fully understand the nature of your problem, so I won’t pretend that I do, but one thing that helps me at least feel less dehydrated is drinking anything with citrus in it (particularly a warm drink consisting of water, lemon juice, and honey – something my mother used to make for me when I was very young). Not sure why, but it usually makes me feel better when I’m dehydrated. I hope you get well soon.

    2. wanttobeanon
      wanttobeanon April 6, 2013 at 9:26 am |

      Oh my god ow. D: If it is a UTI, I swear strongly by those AZO tablets that turn your pee bright orange and numb the urethra and associated areas. You still need an antibiotic if it’s a bad infection, but at least for me, when I have those I don’t end up in tears after every frequent, agonizing, unproductive trip to the bathroom.

      But here’s hoping it’s just dehydration, because even though that sucks eggs, it’s easier to fix? I hope you feel better soon.

      1. PrettyAmiable
        PrettyAmiable April 6, 2013 at 2:26 pm |

        I had like three UTIs before I tried AZO – seriously, Donna, if it’s an option for you, definitely check it out. They’re fucking magic.

      2. Computer Soldier Porygon
        Computer Soldier Porygon April 6, 2013 at 8:43 pm |

        AZO AZO AZO. All the way.

    3. Angie unduplicated
      Angie unduplicated April 6, 2013 at 10:40 am |

      Old Southern remedy: buttermilk. It’s probiotic and replenishes both calcium and potassium. Give it a shake of black pepper, and some of us like a little onion or scallion chopped in it.

    4. Donna L
      Donna L April 6, 2013 at 12:21 pm |

      Thanks for all the good advice. I started feeling better by about 3 am, and am essentially OK now. Since I don’t think a UTI would magically go away that quickly, I guess it was just dehydration. I really need to be more careful to keep myself hydrated, given what happens when I don’t.

      1. Radiant Sophia
        Radiant Sophia April 6, 2013 at 10:25 pm |

        Glad you are feeling better, Donna.

      2. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
        The Kittehs' Unpaid Help April 7, 2013 at 1:21 am |

        Glad you’re feeling better, Donna, that’s a horrible thing to go through. I was going to suggest those elecrolyte powder thingies they sell at pharmacies, but if the ones I’ve had were typical, they’re only for emergencies, because they taste SO BAD it’s really hard to drink them. Angie unduplicated’s idea sounds much more palatable and easier to get!

      3. moviemaedchen
        moviemaedchen April 7, 2013 at 12:04 pm |

        Glad you are feeling better. Dehydration is not fun. :(

    5. macavitykitsune
      macavitykitsune April 6, 2013 at 1:18 pm |

      Hugs? I know your pain on a tiny scale…? I haven’t ever actually wound up sleeping in a bathroom but it’s been close. I know what you’re going through, though. Fuck. I’m sorry. And I’m so glad you’re better.

    6. PeggyLuWho
      PeggyLuWho April 7, 2013 at 12:07 am |

      FYI – Coconut water is extremely hydrating. I always keep a bottle in my emergency/sick/earthquake kit.

  8. Aaliyah
    Aaliyah April 6, 2013 at 1:59 am |

    I just came back from a horrible road trip to Yosemite National Park. Aside from being completely unorganized and full of crabbiness (for reasons too numerous to list here), I got into yet another argument with my father.

    Everyone was eating in the tent, and I was bothered about it because eating and drinking in the tents increases the risk of attracting bears and mice carrying the hantavirus (which is currently a serious issue in Yosemite). So I spoke up, urging everyone to either eat outside or eat in some room. And then my father walked up to me, asking me why I wasn’t eating my sandwich. Because I didn’t want to be yet another person dropping crumbs in the tent, I told him that I wanted to eat outside. Upon hearing that, he grabbed my sandwich and threw it out of my hand – right onto the floor of the tent.

    He then yelled at me and accused me of having a “psychological problem.” And everyone else was acting like I was just overly cautious. I know that catching a potentially lethal virus and being attacked by bears aren’t very common things, but I was extremely worried about the risks because the tent that we were eating in happened to be the one in which my grandparents and my 1-month-old cousin were staying in. My fears were made worse by the fact that, later that night, one of my little cousins (who is about 6 months old) was waking up the entire camp because of crying constantly for 4 hours into the night. He was in pain because he was suffering from gastrointestinal problems, which I believe are possible symptoms of hantavirus.

    So yeah, that was pretty much the worst road trip I’ve been on in years. And honestly, that’s just part of the terribleness. There’s also the fact that I had to sleep in frigid temperatures and the fact that my dysphoria made me miserable throughout the entire trip. Perhaps the excursion would have been more bearable if I had smoked with my brother prior to leaving for Yosemite, but I’m anxious about trying to act sober in front of family members.

    Also, I apologize if I’m constantly being negative in this thread. I do feel awful these days, but at least I’m going on Sunday to buy some women’s clothes at the thrift store (less likely to find nosy people there) and a new wig that suits me with the money I recently received from my relatives. I plan on getting one that’s down to my shoulders and slightly wavy.

    1. Willard
      Willard April 6, 2013 at 3:22 am |

      Stories like this make me glad to have little contact with my extended family.

      What little I know about hantavirus (from my mom’s concerns years ago when I told her I’d be keeping rats) there’s a decent lag time between when you contract the disease and when you become symptomatic. Good news for the lil’ guy, bad news if you’re still worrying about this in a week or so. Though iirc its the standard droppings/urine/saliva route of transmission so if you zipped up at night, kept your food in bear-safe containers and noticed no suspiciously gnawed holes in the tents I’d bring the alert status down a notch or two.

      Just got a nice(ish) kanekelon wig off of Amazon myself, haven’t had luck with thrift/resale shops in my area. That and a major squick about hair+other people’s hair in general.

      Yet another step in my gradual delurking.

      1. Willard
        Willard April 6, 2013 at 3:24 am |

        its

        GAAAAAH

        it’s

      2. Aaliyah
        Aaliyah April 6, 2013 at 7:07 am |

        Fortunately, we did end up following the safety precautions you mentioned. I’m just bothered by the fact that no one decided to listen to me until I also said that there’s a $5000 fine for eating and drinking in the tents.

        1. Donna L
          Donna L April 6, 2013 at 12:18 pm |

          I’m really, really sorry, Aaliyah. I so hope that you can avoid being in situations like this with your father in the future, as much as possible. It sounds like torture. (It actually makes me feel a little bit grateful that my father essentially ignored me when I was growing up, and ever since!) But good luck with the thrift store shopping!

        2. khw
          khw April 6, 2013 at 10:57 pm |

          I’m sorry you had such an unpleasant tim.

          Good luck shopping!

    2. Andie
      Andie April 6, 2013 at 8:14 am |

      I know nothing about Hantavirus, but since being with the boyfriend I’ve learned a lot about bears, and from my understanding you are absolutely right to not want to eat in the tent. People need to be careful about food when they’re camping, not just for their own safety, but for the bears as well. They go where they know there is food. I don’t know how it’s handled in Yosemite but in the national and provincial parks here, if a bear gets into the park and starts hanging around being a problem because people aren’t careful with their food and shit, eventually it has to be captured and destroyed. Because people.

      Reminds me though, of his idea to teach people bear safety by walking onto their campsites, taking and eating whatever food is left out and then telling them “Just think.. I could have been a bear!”

      1. Willard
        Willard April 6, 2013 at 8:55 pm |

        That is awesome!

        1. khw
          khw April 6, 2013 at 10:53 pm |

          Seconded!

      2. Caperton
        Caperton April 7, 2013 at 10:42 am | *

        Yeah, I do a lot of backpacking, and one of the big rules that’s been drummed into me from the very beginning is no food in the tent, ever, because bears. Cooking and eating are done outside, dishwater is tossed well away from the camp, all trash is burned and stored away, and at the end of the day all food — and even toothpaste — gets packed into a bear can or a bear bag and hung high up in a tree. When I was on a trip in the Smokies, we were sharing an AT shelter with, among other hikers, a man and his grandson, and the kid ate nothing but peanut butter sandwiches and left his jelly packets in the fire pit without burning them. That night, we got to see a bear. Who loved jelly. And we were really grateful that we were in a shelter with a chain-link fence across the front, and not a flimsy tent.

        In short: Aaliyah, it’s frustrating enough when people don’t take you seriously and you don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m so sorry your dad wouldn’t listen to you and was so unspeakably horrible to you, and I’m sorry you were cold, and I’m sorry you had such a crappy trip in general. Maybe you’ll get to go again someday with people who will treat you right.

    3. Barnacle Strumpet
      Barnacle Strumpet April 6, 2013 at 12:09 pm |

      Wow, your dad is hella rude… I can only imagine how much worse it must be to be trapped in a tent in the wilderness with him instead of a house.

      I’m glad the road trip is over for you. I hope your cousin is okay and your spirits revive soon.

      1. Tyris
        Tyris April 7, 2013 at 7:39 am |

        Mispredicted that first sentence was going to end “instead of a bear.”

        1. Barnacle Strumpet
          Barnacle Strumpet April 7, 2013 at 5:49 pm |

          That too :P

    4. macavitykitsune
      macavitykitsune April 6, 2013 at 12:41 pm |

      Your dad. Seriously. UGH. Hugs.

    5. PeggyLuWho
      PeggyLuWho April 7, 2013 at 12:14 am |

      Camping in Yosemite this time of year can’t be fun. It’s way too cold to be sleeping in a tent.

      1. Aaliyah
        Aaliyah April 7, 2013 at 12:50 am |

        It was terribly frigid. The temperature was around 30F in the middle of the night, and I had only four small blankets that were extremely thin.

        1. PeggyLuWho
          PeggyLuWho April 7, 2013 at 1:02 am |

          You’ve earned the right to five hot baths, as far as I’m concerned. Brrrrr.

        2. PeggyLuWho
          PeggyLuWho April 7, 2013 at 9:14 pm |

          Also, I hope you get to go back there under better circumstances, with someone or some someones who you can be yourself with, because it really is an awe inspiring, beautiful place, and I hate that you might have negative connotations surrounding Yosemite.

        3. Aaliyah
          Aaliyah April 7, 2013 at 11:31 pm |

          I’ve been to Yosemite about 4 times so far. And every trip has been full of problems. But perhaps I’ll enjoy it more if I go with fewer and more pleasant people. My brother has noted that Yosemite seems to be best for groups of friends, not families. And as someone familiar with Yosemite, I’m inclined to agree.

      2. Donna L
        Donna L April 8, 2013 at 12:37 am |

        I think I’d rather spend the night sleeping in Central Park. It’s very scenic, and at least there aren’t any bears!

    6. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
      The Kittehs' Unpaid Help April 7, 2013 at 1:26 am |

      Aaliyah, I’m so sorry you went through that. Is it just me, or is your father a grade-A asshole?

      I have to admit my first thought was “Why for the love of little apples a TENT at this time of year? The cabins aren’t expensive!” (Stayed in a four-room cabin in 2009 and it came to $40 each for four people.) Which may be totally not affordable for your family, but … a tent? After such a cold winter?

      Second thought was “Trust your old man to spoil going to somewhere as beautiful as Yosemite.”

  9. Aaliyah
    Aaliyah April 6, 2013 at 2:00 am |

    Oh dear, I used another email on accident. That Aaliyah is still me. >_>

  10. Andie
    Andie April 6, 2013 at 8:16 am |

    My broken butt is feeling much better this week. So much so that I’m probably going to cancel my physio appointment. I’m pretty damned grateful for this recovery since I have known people with sciatic injuries who suffer for months, if not years.

  11. Maria Smilios
    Maria Smilios April 6, 2013 at 9:37 am |

    Is anyone as horrified and revolted as I am that there is a school in Macon, GA that still has segregated proms, and I read if a “colored” kid shows up at the “Caucasian” prom, the “colored” kid would be escorted off the premises by police. Um…are we living in the same time period as these people?

    1. Angie unduplicated
      Angie unduplicated April 6, 2013 at 10:36 am |

      My HS prom was segregated. We were in one conference room of the municipal auditorium, and the colored HS had another. My date told me he could not dance, and no one else would dance with the girl with the big birthmark, so I went to the colored prom and invited some gentlemen to come to ours and dance with me. They did, a chaperone called me down, and I told her that I could have 20 white picketers and news media there within 30 minutes. The following Monday, the nice Jewish principal spent most of the day fielding requests to have me expelled. Jacksonville, FL 1968. Not bragging but I hated my HS, loved to dance, loved to get in their exclusionist faces. Georgia still has its Neolithic outposts.

      1. Maria Smilios
        Maria Smilios April 6, 2013 at 5:21 pm |

        Wow…good for you. This stuff just makes me so terribly sad. I know people are outraged about this, but was is distressing is that after the prom, things will return to the way the were–the school said this integrated prom will not be in lieu of the segregated proms.

    2. Radiant Sophia
      Radiant Sophia April 6, 2013 at 7:54 pm |

      I was transplanted to Iowa from Georgia in 1986. I was young, but my sister was in high school. One of the things that my parents had to wrap their heads around was that Iowa is socially integrated. We had PoC living in our neighborhood, who were at the 4th of July and Labor and Memorial day block parties!

      And high school proms. My sister had gone to her junior prom at a school where all social interaction was strictly segregated, even if classes weren’t. Her senior prom was at a school where such an arrangement would never be tolerated.

      So no, I am not in the least bit surprised.

    3. XtinaS
      XtinaS April 7, 2013 at 2:37 am |

      Um…are we living in the same time period as these people?

      Yes. Much to everyone’s dismay, there’s nothing all that special about 2013 with regards to this sort of shit going on.

  12. Andie
    Andie April 6, 2013 at 12:34 pm |

    I just got back from breakfast where some asshole decided he was entitled to make unsolicited comments about my teeth. Same shit i’ve been getting since i got adult teeth.

    I turned around and told him to fuck off.

    I hate people so much right now.

    1. PrettyAmiable
      PrettyAmiable April 6, 2013 at 2:29 pm |

      WTF is with strangers? I honestly cannot understand for the life of me why people do that. I’m sorry you had to deal with it.

  13. PeggyLuWho
    PeggyLuWho April 6, 2013 at 11:32 pm |

    I just got back from the hair salon. Step 1 of my latest donation complete.

    Pic 1 – Tumblr

    Pic 2 – WordPress

    1. khw
      khw April 7, 2013 at 1:29 pm |

      Love the short hair cut!

      1. Aaliyah
        Aaliyah April 7, 2013 at 1:54 pm |

        Seconded!

        1. PeggyLuWho
          PeggyLuWho April 7, 2013 at 9:05 pm |

          Awwwww, thanks! I do feel more spunky, and more than one person has said that I now look more like me.

  14. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
    The Kittehs' Unpaid Help April 7, 2013 at 1:30 am |

    Oh the joys of aging. I’ve joined the Hot Flashes and Night Sweats Club. Poop! I just hope I don’t get it like my sister did. Should have done what my mum did … stayed on the pill and sailed through! :P

  15. PeggyLuWho
    PeggyLuWho April 7, 2013 at 2:01 am |

    Pop quiz! I need a character name for an introverted high school junior who’s smarter than everyone around her. I’m tired of naming everyone ‘Emma’.

    1. XtinaS
      XtinaS April 7, 2013 at 2:38 am |

      Susan. Helen. Dana. Elizabeth.

    2. Aaliyah
      Aaliyah April 7, 2013 at 2:50 am |

      Angie? I don’t know why, but that sounds like a fitting name for an introverted nerd in my view.

      1. PeggyLuWho
        PeggyLuWho April 7, 2013 at 2:56 am |

        Excellent suggestions. Any last names?

        1. Aaliyah
          Aaliyah April 7, 2013 at 3:12 am |

          Rachels, Smith and Davis immediately come to mind. Might be very old-sounding though.

          I have way more Arabic names to suggest than English names (even though English is my native language). I could share some of those if you’re interested – some Arabic names are great.

        2. PeggyLuWho
          PeggyLuWho April 7, 2013 at 3:33 am |

          That might be cool. It’d definitely be a lot more different than Emma. I don’t know how I started using that name for everyone, but they’re always Emma. All the dudes are Bob or Tommy.

          Boring.

        3. Aaliyah
          Aaliyah April 7, 2013 at 4:33 am |

          Here are some female Arabic names that come to mind (with meanings).

          Reem: white antelope, gazelle
          Layla: night beauty (very popular name)
          Rashida: rightly guided, mature
          Anisah: friendly
          Khalila: friend
          Amira: princess, empress
          Maryam: Arabic cognate of “Miriam”
          Munirah: shining
          Nasim: breeze
          Lamis: soft
          Hana: bliss
          Aisha: alive
          Hayfa: slender
          Inayah: caring

          Here are some nice male Arabic names:

          Waleed: youthful
          Rashid: rightly guided, mature
          Yasser: easy (as in, not burdened by anything significant)
          Saleh: righteous
          Karim: generous
          Faris: knight
          Khaled: eternal
          Khalil: friend
          Hisham: generous
          Ahmed: most commendable
          Asad: lion
          Malik: king

          And here are some gender-neutral Arabic names:

          Noor: light
          Farah: joy
          Malak: angel
          Amal: hope

          Just giving you an idea of the kind of Arabic names out there.

        4. PeggyLuWho
          PeggyLuWho April 7, 2013 at 4:38 am |

          Woah. Hero status achieved. Thank you so much, Aaliyah!

    3. Caperton
      Caperton April 7, 2013 at 2:45 pm | *

      When I’m stuck for character names, I’ll frequently go to lists of the top howevermany names from the year the character was born. It’s good for inspiration and helps me get an idea of what people that age might be named.

    4. Andie
      Andie April 7, 2013 at 6:04 pm |

      Wanna go French?

      Desroches
      Lesperance
      Fournier
      Pauze
      Ladoceur
      Robitaille
      Doucette
      Casganette
      Moreau

      For first names I just suggest baby name lists

      1. PeggyLuWho
        PeggyLuWho April 7, 2013 at 9:16 pm |

        I was being super lazy last night. I’ve done the baby list thing before, and once I found one that was something like the top ten baby names if you want your kid to grow up to be a professional athlete, and they had girls’ and boys’ name. it was pretty cool.

  16. Hannah
    Hannah April 7, 2013 at 5:39 am |

    I’m just lonely and isolated. I have been having bad mood swings like the days before my medication and i’m terrified I’ll scare my girlfriend away. I hate relationships. I hate how vulnerable they make you, especially when you’re crazy like me

    1. Caperton
      Caperton April 7, 2013 at 2:46 pm | *

      I’ve been there. I don’t have any advice at all, I’m afraid. I’ve just been there.

      1. Hannah
        Hannah April 7, 2013 at 7:10 pm |

        Thanks. Sometimes it’s nice just to be reminded that this isn’t that abnormal

    2. Alexandra
      Alexandra April 7, 2013 at 10:21 pm |

      In my experience, panicking is the worst thing you can do when you begin to feel symptoms of mental illness again. Something I’ve been able to do recently that is enormously helpful is just accept that I am going to have hours, days, or even weeks at a time where I am depressed and where my functioning is decreased. And when I say, “Oh, I’m depressed again,” and don’t panic, I am more able to do a little bit of work at a time.

      I have found mindfulness meditation incredibly helpful for dealing with both psychic and physical pain. The premise is that one allows oneself to be aware, without judgment, of one’s emotions and physical state, and that one accepts the pain without trying to deny it or alter it or ignore it. And in so doing, one becomes better able to function through the pain.

      1. EG
        EG April 7, 2013 at 10:29 pm |

        Seconded. I’m trying to take the same approach over the long term. I used to think, every time I adjusted my meds or something, “Now I’ve found the answer, and I’ll never be depressed again.” What ended up happening is that when depression started to creep up, I’d go into frantic denial, and it would have to get really bad before I’d accept it and get help. I’m trying a new approach now, a long-view approach of thinking to myself “I have a chronic, life-long, hereditary condition. I can’t cure it; I can just send it into remission. Right now it’s in remission, but it will flare up again, and when it does, I will address it and that period will pass. But I can’t pretend that it won’t happen again.”

        I don’t know if this will work better, but I think it’s worth trying.

        1. Alexandra
          Alexandra April 7, 2013 at 10:55 pm |

          Yes, this is exactly the attitude I’m taking. It also helps that I’m doing other things to live “in rhythm” with this illness – I allow myself to do less work for school when I feel stress and depression building up. I allow myself to take a day off even if I have work to do, if the tradeoff is that I won’t burn out three quarters of the way through the semester. I treat exercise and therapy as maintenance treatments (and not cures), and I try to accept the bipolar disorder as just a part of me, and not my defining feature or something to struggle against endlessly.

  17. Caperton
    Caperton April 7, 2013 at 2:37 pm | *

    I RODE RATTLESNAKE RIDGE. ON A BIKE. BECAUSE I AM AWESOME.

    1. A4
      A4 April 7, 2013 at 8:30 pm |

      What was it like?

      1. Caperton
        Caperton April 8, 2013 at 12:13 pm | *

        Exhausting. Somewhat painful at times. Exhilarating. It was both the longest and most technically difficult ride I’ve done so far, and despite the number of times I thought I was going to a) vomit, or b) skid off the edge of the mountain, I was giving myself mental high-fives all the way home. Occasionally, I gave myself actual high-fives.

        1. A4
          A4 April 8, 2013 at 2:01 pm |

          Coolness.

  18. Nahida
    Nahida April 7, 2013 at 4:02 pm |

    Holy crap, that tree is GORGEOUS.

  19. bookshopcat
    bookshopcat April 7, 2013 at 4:44 pm |

    I promised to post an update to last weekend’s story about trying to find safe and affordable housing while on disability, and this week there were a few positive developments on that front.

    As the result of my most recent session with my therapist, I’m going to meet with an advocate who works out of the same CHC. Apparently another one of my therapist’s clients has recently moved into a local rent-geared-to-income place that’s turned out to be quite decent, and if this advocate can help me get into a similar arrangement, my rent will drop by nearly a third instead of doubling or tripling.

    Bonus side effect: during this visit I’ll also be able to get the ball rolling on getting my sex marker changed. The foreign bureaucracy that controls my birth certificate technically allows it, but in practice, I’ve gotten the run-around to such a degree that I can’t keep pursuing it on my own. An advocate who’s got A) training in handling obstructive government employees, B) a letterhead with a clinic name on it, and C) a budget that allows for international correspondence will be far better suited to handling this nonsense than I am.

    Second housing thing: the friends who are looking out for my long-term interests have called for a meeting to start hammering things out. We’re still trying to arrange a time that works for all of our schedules, but it should happen within a week or two.

    1. Andie
      Andie April 7, 2013 at 5:54 pm |

      Geared-to-income is great if you get into a decent place. The unit I was in was wonderful. I hope you can get in! Good luck to you!

      1. bookshopcat
        bookshopcat April 8, 2013 at 3:54 pm |

        Thanks, Andie. On other fronts it’s been a rough week- mental health complications and possible new diagnoses ahoy!- so I’m trying as hard as possible to hang on to the positive stuff.

  20. Alexandra
    Alexandra April 7, 2013 at 7:10 pm |

    A month ago or so I wrote in an open thread about attending a training event for a harm reduction program where the program director spoke in a bigoted way about transgender clients (mostly trans women) of the program. I didn’t speak up then, but today I actually said something and we had a great and productive conversation about how the HIV/AIDS program can do a better job reaching out to the LGBT community broadly and trans women in particular. I am no expert and I’m not very involved in meatspace with LGBT work, but I hope I did something useful today.

    1. A4
      A4 April 7, 2013 at 8:32 pm |

      I am so relieved for you that it went well! So encouraging!

      You must have done a good job communicating.

      1. Alexandra
        Alexandra April 7, 2013 at 8:55 pm |

        What was sort of ironic is that I’ve been working myself up into a tizzy about not wanting to cause any conflict blahblahblah, but I had a talk online with a real-life acquaintance who is an LGBT youth activist, and she helped me figure out how to have the conversation. And then when I did, everyone else in the room started talking about how they’d been uncomfortable when they’d heard what I was objecting to. The person who’d said the objectionable stuff in the first place wasn’t in the room, but my supervisor said she’d bring my concerns up the chain of command, so I’m hopeful.

  21. A4
    A4 April 7, 2013 at 8:38 pm |

    I went back to gymnastics, did a bunch of awesome flips, and I maintained great alignment in my left leg! I will wipe you away, strained hamstring. You shall be but a fading muscle memory on cloudy days.

    I’ve been watching a lot of Downton Abbey, and reading a lot of Atlas Shrugged. Ayn Rand is not a good writer. It’s all lancing sunbeams and emotions that nobody can understand or find a reason for. Downton Abbey is really enjoyable just based on speech patterns alone.

  22. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll April 8, 2013 at 1:23 am |

    Been in almost constant pain for the past 5 days and seen to be living in a permanent state of phases 1 and 2 of a migraine when I’m not in pain. Mood swings, fine motor control issues, aphasia and memory problems..yay. My dad just had a hip replacement surgery and I’m the only one who will help my mom do the after care for him because my brother is a selfish meth addict who only cares about himself and his meth addict thief of a girlfriend. My 20 year old daughter decided to follow in my footsteps and is pregnant. The father is the laziest person on earth and won’t bother getting a decent paying job so I’m paying for Dr visits until Medicaid kicks in. This puts my finances in jeopardy which ratchets up my stress level to amazing levels. A friend is staying with us during his divorce and is competing with my daughter’s boyfriend for the lazy ass title. So life is shit right now.

    1. Alexandra
      Alexandra April 8, 2013 at 1:37 am |

      Oh, man, I’m sorry. Constant migraines are the worst. I had three weeks of constant migraine last fall and it nearly wrecked me; I pulled through though, despite some profoundly unhelpful family members.

      Take care of yourself while taking care of your father. My experience caring for my own father post surgery is that people dealing with pain can be horrible. My dad refused to take pain pills out of pride/fear of dependence, and was a holy terror while coping with the severe pain.

      1. pheenobarbidoll
        pheenobarbidoll April 8, 2013 at 2:00 am |

        Thankfully that’s not a thing I have to worry about. My dad has always been awesome and is pretty amusing to deal with. He almost died 2 years ago after a serious accident and he has an appreciation for what we do to take care of him. Tears up when he talks about it.

    2. A4
      A4 April 8, 2013 at 9:48 am |

      I can imagine your patience with dudely wisdom is at a minimum right now. Drug addiction is terrible and I’m sorry about your brother.

  23. tmc
    tmc April 8, 2013 at 7:42 am |

    I’m seeing someone new and I’m so excited and scared about it that I can hardly think of anything else. My husband and I have been poly since we started dating 8 years ago, but this is the first time that either of us has actually had any kind of romantic involvement with another person.

    I’d forgotten what it was like to date someone and have that NRE (new relationship energy) and how easy it is to get so anxious over stupid little things. Saturday, I texted him a couple times (the second one asking if I could spend the night at his place, which I had never done) and never heard back all day, even though we were supposed to go to a party together later that evening; I was just so anxious and couldn’t help wondering if I had freaked him out by asking to spend the night. It turned out my phone was malfunctioning without my realizing it and I wasn’t receiving or sending texts from a lot of folks, including him; he’d actually texted me multiple times throughout the day (and wasn’t getting my responses, so he was confused about my apparent silence as well), and when we finally connected and figured that out I was just so, so relieved.

    It’s also a very different sort of relationship because it is very strongly D/s both in and out of the bedroom. And I’m the D, which is something that is pretty freaking new to me, although it’s definitely what feels right for us. By comparison, my relationship with my husband is pretty vanilla (between each other) with the occasional power exchange thrown in for funsies.

    And I’ve recently recognized (with the new guy’s unwitting help) that I’m stone, and it’s actually been kind of a relief because I’ve been wondering for years and years whether I might belong somewhere on the ace spectrum because I’ve always had a LOT of sexual anxiety.

    I used to dread sex, REALLY dread it, regardless of who it was with, but people could never tell and my husband never knew until I told him a year or so ago. I know it sounds stupid (why have sex if I dread it?) but it wasn’t that I didn’t LIKE sex or didn’t WANT sex with those people, because I did! And it was (almost) always amazing and I was (almost) always super glad to have done it afterwards, but leading up to it I always had to fight the urge to flake out on whomever I’d made the date with (including my husband). But I still dreaded it, which I could not help, and I just made myself deal with it because I DID want it.

    But once I stopped having *receptive* sex (including with my husband), I figured out that no, I’m definitely a sexual person, I just don’t really want to be touched most of the time, and that’s okay too. It feels good to have figured it out; the anxiety I used to have before every single sexual encounter, even with my husband and established sexual partners, has just VANISHED and I’m kind of in awe that I spent the last 15 years just silently coping with that anxiety when I apparently didn’t have to.

    I don’t dread sexual encounters anymore; I tell everyone up front that I do not want to be touched or fucked, and we decide from there what kind of sex we’re going to have, or if there will be one at all. And I’m finally really REALLY enthusiastically consenting to sex for the first time in my life, no anxiety or dread whatsoever, and it just feels fucking AMAZING.

    1. EG
      EG April 8, 2013 at 12:25 pm |

      I’m really happy for you, tmc. I think you’re awesome, and you deserve to feel good!

      1. tmc
        tmc April 9, 2013 at 9:59 am |

        Thank you, EG. :-)

  24. thinksnake
    thinksnake April 8, 2013 at 10:58 am |

    So, there may well be a thread specifically for it, but I figured it might be worth pointing out that Margaret Thatcher died earlier today. Definitely an influential woman in recent history.

    And I’m already seeing heaps of ‘the Witch is dead’ posts. Bloody hell why misogyny why.

    1. thinksnake
      thinksnake April 8, 2013 at 11:17 am |

      She was horrible in so, so many ways I can’t even begin to say, but using her as an excuse for misogyny is really a bit much.

    2. EG
      EG April 8, 2013 at 11:44 am |

      What’s misogynist about “the witch is dead”? Witch is a gender-specific term most of the time, sure, but it’s not one that references womanhood as something dreadful.

      1. Li
        Li April 8, 2013 at 12:02 pm |

        Do you also apply this logic to “bitch”?

        1. EG
          EG April 8, 2013 at 12:09 pm |

          No. Bitch is used to condemn women for behaviors that are accepted in men, and also used to insult men for weakness. Witch implies meanness and power.

          Rhyming doesn’t mean that two words are comparable.

        2. Li
          Li April 8, 2013 at 12:28 pm |

          I’m not asking because they rhyme, I’m asking because I’m seeing them pop up to describe Thatcher at about the same frequency and coming from pretty much the same people.

        3. PeggyLuWho
          PeggyLuWho April 8, 2013 at 12:41 pm |

          I’d say with the historical context of labeling non-conforming women ‘witches’, I read it as a misogyny loaded term.

        4. EG
          EG April 8, 2013 at 5:54 pm |

          Meh. Any insult is going to be levelled most at people who are non-conforming. I don’t think it’s been used specifically for women who are non-conforming. I mean, I won’t use it around you all, because you don’t like it, but I really don’t hear it a misogynist insult.

        5. amblingalong
          amblingalong April 8, 2013 at 8:20 pm |

          I’d say with the historical context of labeling non-conforming women ‘witches’, I read it as a misogyny loaded term.

          That’s a shorter time period than you might think. For most of history, ‘witch’ was applied to nonconforming people of both genders; the Salem witch trials resulted in plenty of men being executed, for example, and the first people tried for witchcraft in the US were a husband and wife. Ditto in Europe.

          The use of ‘witch’ to refer exclusively to women is a 20th century creation, though there is the etymologically related wiche in Old English that was used synonymously with ‘crone,’ ‘hag,’ or ‘harpy’ in modern usage.

        6. Donna L
          Donna L April 8, 2013 at 8:43 pm |

          the Salem witch trials resulted in plenty of men being executed

          I think it was something like 13 women and 7 men, so 65% were women, and I believe that the substantial majority of people executed for witchcraft in early modern Europe were also women, although according to Wikipedia it was the other way round in a few countries.

          Obviously, though, none of this even counts the medieval (and later) persecutions and murders of Jews for the blood libel, desecrating the Host, and so on, which were clearly based, to a substantial extent, on the belief that these “practices” — as well as genuine Jewish rituals — were engaged in for magical purposes, including putting curses on Christians. Jewish physicians were highly valued, even when it was illegal for them to treat Christian patients, because it was believed that they knew magical cures. (Of course, if things went wrong for the patient, they were often accused of practicing magic of a different kind.)

          And it’s not like the Nazis didn’t play on these “folk” beliefs, as in this translated excerpt from Julius Streicher’s famous repetition of the blood libel in Der Stuermer in 1934:

          The suspicion under which the Jews are held is murder. They are charged with enticing Gentile children and Gentile adults, butchering them, and draining their blood. They are charged with mixing this blood into the unleavened bread baked for their masses, which is used to practice superstitious magic. They are charged with torturing their victims, especially the children, and during this torture they shout threats, curses, and cast spells against the Gentiles. This systematic murder has a special name. It is called Ritual Murder.

          The knowledge of Jewish ritual murder is thousands of years old. It is as old as the Jews themselves. The Gentiles have passed the knowledge of it from generation to generation, and it has been passed down to us through writings. It is known of throughout the nation. Knowledge of ritual murder can be found even in the most secluded rural villages. The grandfather tells his grandchildren, who pass it on to his children, and his children’s children, until we have inherited the knowledge today. . . .

          All nations have hurled this accusation against the Jews, and many great men have confirmed the accusation. Dr. Martin Luther writes in his book ‘On the Jews and their Lies’: “They stabbed and pierced the body of the young boy Simon of Trent. They have also murdered other children…The sun never did shine on a more bloodthirsty and revengeful people as they, who imagine themselves to be the people of God, and who desire to and think they must murder and crush the heathen.

          http://alphahistory.com/holocaust/streicher-jewish-ritual-murder-1934/

        7. amblingalong
          amblingalong April 8, 2013 at 8:49 pm |

          Dr. Martin Luther writes in his book ‘On the Jews and their Lies’: “They stabbed and pierced the body of the young boy Simon of Trent. They have also murdered other children…The sun never did shine on a more bloodthirsty and revengeful people as they, who imagine themselves to be the people of God, and who desire to and think they must murder and crush the heathen.

          I fucking hate how many people still think of ML as a paragon of virtue (and I was guilty of it myself, for too many years). He gets unbelievable PR for such a a rabid bigot.

        8. Donna L
          Donna L April 8, 2013 at 8:53 pm |

          I neglected, of course, to make my point, which is that such accusations of Jewish ritual magic and murder were made against Jewish men and women alike — the men might have been the ones accused of kidnapping and killing the children (or stealing the Host from a church to desecrate it), and performing their unspeakable magic rituals spoken in a strange tongue, but, naturally, their wives would be involved with the cooking. (I don’t know if there’s research on this, but I do wonder if the child-eating witch in Hansel and Gretel is based on anti-Jewish beliefs about Jews stealing Christian children and putting them in ovens. There’s little doubt that “Rumpelstiltskin” was intended to be “read” as a Jew.)

        9. amblingalong
          amblingalong April 8, 2013 at 9:20 pm |

          Sorry, it was my mistake- I got your point, and then was promptly distracted by the ML quote. That makes sense, and incidentally (if I haven’t said it before) I’m incredibly appreciate of how knowledge and willing to share that knowledge your are on this subject.

          I don’t know if there’s research on this, but I do wonder if the child-eating witch in Hansel and Gretel is based on anti-Jewish beliefs about Jews stealing Christian children and putting them in ovens. There’s little doubt that “Rumpelstiltskin” was intended to be “read” as a Jew.)

          I got the latter one, but hadn’t even though about the former; I do wonder, now. In the original Grimm collections there was also “The Jew In the Thornbush,” which is basically a collection of antisemitic tropes.

        10. amblingalong
          amblingalong April 8, 2013 at 9:22 pm |

          That should be “I’m incredibly appreciative of how knowledgeable and willing to share that knowledge you are on this subject.”

          No idea what happened there.

        11. EG
          EG April 8, 2013 at 9:29 pm |

          I think that “Hansel and Gretel” has become particularly significant in retrospect because of the part in which they push the witch into the oven. There is an excellent novel by Louise Murphy called The True Story of Hansel and Gretel that works with these resonances; in it, a Polish Jewish couple who had hidden send their starving children into the woods to save them from pursuing Nazis while they, the adults, continue on in order to draw the pursuers away from the spot where the children entered the woods. The children wander until they are taken in and protected by an old woman of Roma descent in a small village. It’s really a wonderful reworking of the fairy tale.

        12. Donna L
          Donna L April 8, 2013 at 9:44 pm |

          In the original Grimm collections there was also “The Jew In the Thornbush,” which is basically a collection of antisemitic tropes.

          That one’s a real classic! I’ve read a wonderful modern sequel to it in which the tables are turned.

        13. Donna L
          Donna L April 8, 2013 at 10:05 pm |

          There is an excellent novel by Louise Murphy called The True Story of Hansel and Gretel

          I’m really tempted to order it, because it sounds fascinating, but after reading some descriptions and reviews of it on amazon.com, I’m starting to wonder if it might be just too graphic and upsetting for me.

          Then again, when I read Life and Fate by Vasily Grossman a year or so ago, I managed to get through the chapter which follows one of the characters (a Jewish woman who’s a physician) all the way to the gas chamber in an extermination camp, and puts the reader in her mind as she dies, holding and trying to soothe a young boy who had gravitated to her on the cattle car after his mother dies. If I can get through that, I can get through anything.

      2. Li
        Li April 8, 2013 at 12:12 pm |

        Also: Enough women I network with have expressed that they are experiencing the “ding dong” posts as microaggressive and sexist that I don’t actually really care about the ultimate semantic analysis on this point. That it’s being perpetrated predominantly by left men and that it’s clearly impacting many women I know and respect is sufficient for me.

        1. EG
          EG April 8, 2013 at 12:24 pm |

          I respect your support for the women you know. I experience it differently, and I don’t think the expression is tainted no matter the target or context.

        2. pheenobarbidoll
          pheenobarbidoll April 8, 2013 at 3:58 pm |

          I’d say with the historical context of labeling non-conforming women ‘witches’, I read it as a misogyny loaded term.

          This

          ding dong” posts as microaggressive and sexist that I don’t actually really care about the ultimate semantic analysis on this point.

          And this.

        3. A4
          A4 April 8, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
          I’d say with the historical context of labeling non-conforming women ‘witches’, I read it as a misogyny loaded term.

          This

          This

        4. Li
          Li April 8, 2013 at 7:20 pm |

          Unlike “ballerina” and “waitress,” however, “witch” is not only unnecessarily gendered, but it is also often used in a hateful way to denounce women who have stereotypically evil qualities. I think that’s sufficient.

          Or say, against women who have no particularly stereotypical evil qualities beyond being a woman in politics, like the current Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who is routinely referred to with that epithet. Most famously in a placard our delightful opposition leader stood in front of at an anti-carbon-price rally with the text “Ditch the Witch”.

        5. amblingalong
          amblingalong April 8, 2013 at 8:29 pm |

          Not in modern society, certainly. I know that there are still examples in certain countries of men being executed for “sorcery,” and women for witchcraft, but I agree that it doesn’t get used against men as a generalized insult. President Obama has been called just about every possible name, but I don’t think “he’s a sorcerer” or “he’s a wizard!” one of them.

          It doesn’t really impact the broader issue here, but I think it’s worth pointing out that I’ve read/seen a TON of racist comments/ depictions of Obama being a ‘witch doctor’ or a ‘shaman.’

          For example: http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/07/conservative_activist_forwards_racist_pic_showing.php

        6. amblingalong
          amblingalong April 8, 2013 at 8:31 pm |

          Whoops, sorry, the nesting on this thread has gotten torturous.

          Quote:

          According to one Myrtle Beach local, Bob Cramer, graphics of President Obama dressed as a witch doctor complete with a bone pierced through his nose are “not racist”.

          “Some people tell me it’s racist, but it’s not racist — it’s political” Cramer told the Palmetto Public Record.

      3. Aaliyah
        Aaliyah April 8, 2013 at 6:00 pm |

        Have you ever heard a man, in any context, being called a witch?

        1. Aaliyah
          Aaliyah April 8, 2013 at 6:00 pm |

          In a derogatory way, I mean.

        2. EG
          EG April 8, 2013 at 6:19 pm |

          I don’t think that’s sufficient, though, with respect to whether it’s a misogynist insult. The issue is, is the same behavior that is identified as witch-ness celebrated or censured in men. And I’m not sure.

          I’ve never heard a man called a “ballerina” or a “waitress,” but that doesn’t make them misogynist words. It makes them gendered words. Perhaps unnecessarily gendered, but that is not necessarily the same thing.

        3. trees
          trees April 8, 2013 at 6:48 pm |

          @EG

          I respect your support for the women you know. I experience it differently, and I don’t think the expression is tainted no matter the target or context.

          How do separate your semantic understanding from the context of the long and ugly history of the term “witch” being hurled at women as a justification for persecution, not to mention the slurring of traditional religions and lifeways.

        4. Aaliyah
          Aaliyah April 8, 2013 at 7:04 pm |

          I’ve never heard a man called a “ballerina” or a “waitress,” but that doesn’t make them misogynist words. It makes them gendered words. Perhaps unnecessarily gendered, but that is not necessarily the same thing.

          Unlike “ballerina” and “waitress,” however, “witch” is not only unnecessarily gendered, but it is also often used in a hateful way to denounce women who have stereotypically evil qualities. I think that’s sufficient.

        5. EG
          EG April 8, 2013 at 7:06 pm |

          Like, in literal witch hunts? I don’t. I do know that men and children were also accused and condemned in literal witch hunts.

          The pagans I know quite like the term “witch,” and I myself have always loved the power associated with the term. But unless you’re going to dismiss any reference to magic as the slurring of traditional beliefs and practices (and from the research I’ve done, this really was not what the women taken up in witch hunts had done to attract the attention of witch-hunters), I don’t see why “witch” should be singled out that way.

        6. EG
          EG April 8, 2013 at 7:12 pm |

          it is also often used in a hateful way to denounce women who have stereotypically evil qualities. I think that’s sufficient.

          I don’t. Of course it’s been used to denounce women who have stereotypically evil qualities–that’s what an insult is. But is what is supposed to be the evil denoted by “witch” gendered?

        7. Aaliyah
          Aaliyah April 8, 2013 at 7:18 pm |

          I do think it’s interesting, to say the least, that “witch” became so gendered a term that men almost always were referred to as warlocks or wizards instead, and that I’ve never heard nor read warlock/wizard used as an abusive epithet in the way that witch gets used. This phenomenon does strike me as reinforcing its misogynistic bias.

          Spot on. The word “witch” is never used in a derogatory way towards men.

        8. Li
          Li April 8, 2013 at 7:22 pm |

          Aack! Comment in wrong threaded response!

          Hopefully in the right thread this time:

          Or say, against women who have no particularly stereotypical evil qualities beyond being a woman in politics, like the current Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who is routinely referred to with that epithet. Most famously in a placard our delightful opposition leader stood in front of at an anti-carbon-price rally with the text “Ditch the Witch”.

        9. EG
          EG April 8, 2013 at 7:23 pm |

          I agree, tigtog, that it’s interesting that “magic-user” gets singled out as an insult that’s applicable to women, but men aren’t slurred on those grounds, at least not that I can think of. On the other hand, “bastard” is usually gendered male and even though being born out of wedlock hasn’t evolved into a slur directed at women, in reality, being born out of wedlock would have seriously fucked up a woman’s life chances too. I suppose the latter has to do with issues regarding inheritance, and women were going to inherit far less often than men. But why is the practice of magic so much more threatening/hateful in women than men? I bet there’s a book on this somewhere. Maybe Deborah Willis’s Malevolent Nurture, which I remember as being excellent, but which I haven’t read in fifteen years or so.

          Look, I’m not denying that “witch” is a gendered insult. But there’s a difference between gendered and misogynist. It just doesn’t strike me as anywhere near as implicated in hatred of a woman because she’s a woman or stereotypically feminine as “bitch” or “c***.”

        10. Aaliyah
          Aaliyah April 8, 2013 at 7:35 pm |

          Look, I’m not denying that “witch” is a gendered insult. But there’s a difference between gendered and misogynist. It just doesn’t strike me as anywhere near as implicated in hatred of a woman because she’s a woman or stereotypically feminine as “bitch” or “c***.”

          Surely a negative gendered word reserved for women alone is heavily biased against women i.e. misogynistic. Of course, it’s nothing like “bitch” or “c***,” but it’s still a problematic term that I would definitely receive negatively if someone used it for me or any other woman I know.

        11. trees
          trees April 8, 2013 at 7:36 pm |

          @EG

          Like, in literal witch hunts? I don’t. I do know that men and children were also accused and condemned in literal witch hunts.

          The pagans I know quite like the term “witch,” and I myself have always loved the power associated with the term. But unless you’re going to dismiss any reference to magic as the slurring of traditional beliefs and practices (and from the research I’ve done, this really was not what the women taken up in witch hunts had done to attract the attention of witch-hunters), I don’t see why “witch” should be singled out that way.

          No, not only literal witch hunts, I’m more referring to the far more invasive subtext of the smothering of women’s agency and traditional practices.

          Yes exactly, for me “witch” is much appropriately used as a neutral term for practitioners of northern European neo-paganism.

          But unless you’re going to dismiss any reference to magic as the slurring of traditional beliefs and practices

          I have no idea how I managed to communicate that notion; that is in no way related to what I posit.

        12. Donna L
          Donna L April 8, 2013 at 8:11 pm |

          I agree, tigtog, that it’s interesting that “magic-user” gets singled out as an insult that’s applicable to women, but men aren’t slurred on those grounds, at least not that I can think of.

          Not in modern society, certainly. I know that there are still examples in certain countries of men being executed for “sorcery,” and women for witchcraft, but I agree that it doesn’t get used against men as a generalized insult. President Obama has been called just about every possible name, but I don’t think “he’s a sorcerer” or “he’s a wizard!” one of them. Unless it was as a compliment, which is how “wizard” is usually used — pretty much exclusively for men I can’t think of examples of women being called “wizard” in a complimentary way.

        13. amblingalong
          amblingalong April 8, 2013 at 8:32 pm |

          President Obama has been called just about every possible name, but I don’t think “he’s a sorcerer” or “he’s a wizard!” one of them.

          It doesn’t really impact the broader issue here, but I think it’s worth pointing out that I’ve read/seen a TON of racist comments/ depictions of Obama being a ‘witch doctor’ or a ‘shaman.’

          (Sorry for the failed nesting)

        14. snorkellingfish
          snorkellingfish April 8, 2013 at 9:34 pm |

          Look, I’m not denying that “witch” is a gendered insult. But there’s a difference between gendered and misogynist. It just doesn’t strike me as anywhere near as implicated in hatred of a woman because she’s a woman or stereotypically feminine as “bitch” or “c***.”

          It’s funny, if a man does something screwed up, the language we use to criticise him will rarely refer to his maleness. An insult might refer to the fact that he’s oppressed on a different axis – for example, the racist stereotypes against Obama – or it might imply that he’s not manly. However, there don’t tend to be insults aimed at men that insult them for being men.

          In contrast, if we dislike a woman, so many of the insults we choose are designed to highlight her gender. If we want to imply that someone’s evil, there are lots of words to use that don’t refer to that person’s gender. However, too often, people fall back on gendered words like ‘witch’ when criticising a woman – implicitly linking the person’s purported evilness with their gender. (And, as Li said, it’s not just used against women who do stereotypically evil things – our Prime Minister was called a witch for putting a price on carbon.)

          Can you please trust those of us who do read it as a misogynistic insult to know what we’re talking about? There are plenty of ways to criticise Margaret Thatcher that don’t rely on gendered words.

        15. Radiant Sophia
          Radiant Sophia April 8, 2013 at 9:34 pm |

          Have you ever heard a man, in any context, being called a witch?

          Yes.

          In a derogatory way, I mean.

          Still yes. All of the time.

          It is used as a non-gendered insult by several local churches against their target-of-the-week that “needs to seek thee lord’s redemption”.

          That doesn’t make it any less misogynistic.

        16. EG
          EG April 9, 2013 at 9:56 am |

          Can you please trust those of us who do read it as a misogynistic insult to know what we’re talking about?

          I don’t believe I’ve ever implied that you don’t. Indeed, I told that Li that I respected his support for his friends who do, but that I don’t; I would’ve been happy to leave it there as a disagreement. But the fact that I don’t seems to be very upsetting to a number of people, who have asked me how I can’t. So, sure, I can trust you. But can you trust me to also know what I’m talking about?

          If we want to imply that someone’s evil, there are lots of words to use that don’t refer to that person’s gender.

          I don’t know about that. The terms for evil do tend to reference gender one way or another.

          There are plenty of ways to criticise Margaret Thatcher that don’t rely on gendered words.

          No shit. I’ve engaged in most of them.

          It’s funny, if a man does something screwed up, the language we use to criticise him will rarely refer to his maleness.

          Son of a bitch? Bastard? Prick? Dickhead? Schmuck?

        17. snorkellingfish
          snorkellingfish April 9, 2013 at 6:12 pm |

          I don’t believe I’ve ever implied that you don’t. Indeed, I told that Li that I respected his support for his friends who do, but that I don’t; I would’ve been happy to leave it there as a disagreement. But the fact that I don’t seems to be very upsetting to a number of people, who have asked me how I can’t. So, sure, I can trust you. But can you trust me to also know what I’m talking about?

          I feel like I should apologise – I was speaking out of a frustration that wasn’t really aimed at you and came on stronger than I should have.

          My first association when I think of people calling a real woman a witch is the one that Li and I both mentioned: the man who’s likely to be our next Prime Minister giving a speech in front of signs referring to Julia Gillard saying “ditch the witch” or calling her a male politician’s bitch. My reaction was very much coloured by my despair at the way politics in Australia is going – the more conservative party is expected to win big at the next election, and sexist judgments about the Prime Minister are part of that. And yet people continue to accuse anyone who points that out of “playing the gender card”.

          You’ve got nothing to do with that and I shouldn’t have let some of my frustration at things that don’t really have anything to do with this discussion show.

        18. PeggyLuWho
          PeggyLuWho April 9, 2013 at 11:12 pm |

          In the context which this whole thread started, which is in re: to Margaret Thatcher, no one was calling her a pagan. They were very much using witch as the acceptable print substitute of bitch. Yes, witch might mean a whole lot of other fucking shit, but no one was trying to conflate Thatcher with Glinda. They were calling her a bitch. They were just too chicken-shitted to use the word ‘bitch’.

          So yeah, your insistence that ‘witch’ is not a misogynistic term, when we’re clearly talking about it being used as a misogynistic slur?

          …Sounds like some ol’ gaslighting bullshit to me.

        19. Donna L
          Donna L April 9, 2013 at 11:51 pm |

          Son of a bitch? Bastard? Prick? Dickhead? Schmuck?

          In theory, I suppose a woman could be a “bastard” given the word’s literal meaning, but it’s almost never used that way. In fact, when someone was angry at me last year and called me a “bastard,” I was more hurt by what I perceived as the misgendering than I was by the fact that he was talking to me that way.

      4. A4
        A4 April 8, 2013 at 8:37 pm |

        Witch is the child friendly version of bitch. It’s used in the exact same context, except perhaps with an added wizard of OZ reference. The rhyming is actually very important in enabling this connection to be made.

        Add in the Disney witch and wizard context in which witches are evil single old women and wizards are good single old men and it becomes increasingly obvious that the insult of “witch!” has an entrenched misogyny in which the defining characteristic of the subject is a transgressive femeninity that results in transgressive humanity.

        What is this “it’s just an insult that happens to be gendered” bullshit? Is that a thing we’re supposed to take seriously? As if society doesn’t take every intersection of women and negativity and tie it into well established traditions of misogyny.

        Come now, EG.

        1. EG
          EG April 9, 2013 at 9:51 am |

          I think the added Oz reference makes a huge difference. That was the main referent for me, as a kid (it probably still is), and it adds a much more complicated, powerful valance, particularly because Oz introduces the figure of the good witch, and did so from the very first book, let alone the movie.

          And no, it’s not used in the same way “bitch” is. “Bitch” is used to denote weakness and subservience (“she’s my bitch”). “Witch” isn’t.

        2. EG
          EG April 9, 2013 at 10:19 am |

          As a follow-up to a comment in mod, two points:

          1) I think the childishness of “witch” is a big part of what makes it fall flat as a misogynist insult to me. It’s like calling somebody a poopface. “Shithead” may be an insult, but “poopface”? Really?

          2) The valance of “witch” is complex. They’re not always evil. Consider Baba Yaga and Mother Holle–terrifying and powerful, yes. But Baba Yaga helps Vasilissa and Mother Holle distributes gifts appropriately.

          Even in children’s literature, witches are as often presented with affection as not. Oz, of course, has a couple of very powerful good witches (and I would argue that the WW of the W is actually beloved as a villain, a la Darth Vader), and the popularity of Wicked has called into question any condemnation of the WW of the W anyway. Eleanor Estes’s The Witch Family presents witches as constituting a matriarchal family whose little-girl daughter is just like the reader, and the Worst Witch series does something similar. In Discworld, both adult and child, witches are heroes.

          “Witch” is multi-valent. And it’s possible, nay, probably, that people invoking the ding-dong song don’t mean to invoke that. But since most of this thread has been “how can you, EG, not find this misogynistic,” well, that’s how.

        3. A4
          A4 April 9, 2013 at 11:04 am |

          My confusion is not so much that you do not find witch to be a misogynist term. I also appreciate the neopagan use of it as well as the many examples of witches as powerful figures.

          I’m just surprised you don’t agree with the assessment that when people use witch as an insult to celebrate the death of a famous woman then they are definitely using it in a context of misogyny.

        4. EG
          EG April 9, 2013 at 5:35 pm |

          Because as we’re so fond of saying, intent isn’t magic, and when people use the word “witch,” they’re invoking all those different meanings, not just the sexist one they may think they’re invoking.

          And also because I think “misogyny” is a heavy term for such an ultimately mild insult. I probably wouldn’t have queried if it had been termed “sexist.”

  25. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune April 8, 2013 at 6:24 pm |

    Well, this has been a lovely week. Maybe next week I can get out of my house without weeping hysterically and shaking like a leaf. That’d be nice. But hey, at least I’m getting out.

    Coming up on six months of no self-harm, too. Which, I think, is something I can be genuinely proud of.

    1. EG
      EG April 8, 2013 at 6:46 pm |

      I’m sorry, Mac. I hope things look up soon, I really do. I’m sending you moral support.

    2. Donna L
      Donna L April 8, 2013 at 7:18 pm |

      I’m sorry that things have been so difficult for you, Mac. I’m sending you lots of good thoughts.

    3. Radiant Sophia
      Radiant Sophia April 9, 2013 at 1:54 am |

      I hope things get better for you. You are in my thoughts.

    4. Lolagirl
      Lolagirl April 9, 2013 at 1:23 pm |

      I’m sorry to hear you’re having a rough time, Mac. Hope it gets better, very soon.

    5. macavitykitsune
      macavitykitsune April 10, 2013 at 2:01 am |

      Thanks, guys.

      I just received news that I got into the university I applied to, so that’s calmed me down a lot! And for tonight, I have Val, anime, good coffee, pie and samosas. My life, it is good.

      1. EG
        EG April 11, 2013 at 11:53 am |

        Congratulations! That’s wonderful.

    6. DouglasG
      DouglasG April 11, 2013 at 10:43 am |

      As another self-harmer, I congratulate you on six months. I can well recall a time when that was a significant milestone.

  26. Nico
    Nico April 9, 2013 at 1:26 am |

    “The fairy godmother of women’s studies.”

    Mariam Chamberlain, Women’s Champion, Dies at 94

  27. Lolagirl
    Lolagirl April 9, 2013 at 1:34 pm |

    It’s mid-cycle election season here in Illinois, and I’m so fracking relieved that election day is finally here so that it will finally be OVER as of today. Our local little suburban electoral race for everything from the equivalent of local dog catcher to mayor has been ridiculously overheated for months now. Rumormongering and extreme politicing to such an extent that hatchet-job blogs and FB pages have been created. We’ve also gotten dozens of Robocalls in the last couple of weeks, with wild allegations and bald mistatements of facts recited with utter certitude in pretty much every one of them. All so that a small group of people can fight to the death over small-time and unpaid local, elected offices.

    I’ve never seen anything like it, even having lived in the Chicago area most of my life. It’s the most ridiculous and wacky political spectacle I’ve ever witnessed.

  28. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune April 10, 2013 at 9:31 pm |

    @A4,

    I thought about what you said. You’re right. I’ve been getting too judgmental and I’ve been a shitty person to communicate with for at least several weeks now, possibly all through my time here. I’m sorry. I could make excuses about my mental health, etc, but that’s not something I’d accept from someone else, and it’s stupid, evasive behaviour. I’m sorry to have been a pain, to you and anyone else I’ve hurt.

    1. macavitykitsune
      macavitykitsune April 10, 2013 at 9:39 pm |

      And please, I know the assumptions thing, but if anyone else has noticed anything rude or mean about my behaviour, please let me know. I want to fix this.

      1. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune April 10, 2013 at 9:42 pm |

        Fucksake. why am I on Open Thread? I meant #spillover. >.< Fuck.

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