Weekly Open Thread with Moon Rabbit

This week’s open thread is hosted by a Japanese Moon Rabbit wall hanging. Please natter/chatter/vent/rant on anything* you like over this weekend and throughout the week.

A blue and offwhite patterned Japanese wall hanging - a rabbit sits beneath a stand of bamboo and gazes up at the moon

Moon, Rabbit and Bamboo: a Japanese wall hanging deriving from the common folk tale of the Moon Rabbit

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

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

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106 comments for “Weekly Open Thread with Moon Rabbit

  1. April 12, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    I had an inspiring time in church at our rally for marriage equality. Rhode Island is the only New England state that has not yet legalized same-sex marriage. However, public opinion is with us and it’s looking good.

  2. April 12, 2013 at 8:28 pm

    Firstly the rabbit in the moon makes far more sense to me than the man. When we lived in Taiwan they have the same imagery, and the lovely story of the lovers separated and reunited by the rainbow.

    I am still buzzing from the sex workers university, i got back back on Tuesday, and am thinking so much about the importance of community and safe spaces. I suppose that is why I like this blog so much, as i have a sense of both…it is I think one of the wonders of the internet that those of us who might have been totally isolated in a previous age might reach out now over the interweb.

    That said, nothing is as awesome as saying something and knowing the people around you, in a real life space do not judge, and more than that get you!

    Sorry as I said I am still buzzing :)

  3. eilish
    April 12, 2013 at 8:28 pm

    I am never going to read anything with Emily Bazelon’s byline at Slate ever again.
    Don’t call girls “sluts” is a message I would like to see heeded.
    Don’t call rape “sex” is another one.

    I’m so disgusted.

    • matlun
      April 13, 2013 at 4:38 am

      Are you talking about her articles about the Canadian case of sexting and shaming leading to suicide? I am surprised about your reaction since I thought they were pretty good (though obviously horrifying due to the subject).

      The articles in question: 1 2 [TW: sex crime leading to suicide]

      • hotpot
        April 13, 2013 at 4:01 pm

        Uh, I’ve been seeing that story everywhere but I still can’t even bring myself to read about it. I’m pretty sensitive and I hit my quota of depressive news already for the week. On the other hand, I’ll probably force myself to read about this just to stay informed about what’s going on.

      • Becky
        April 14, 2013 at 12:28 am

        [trigger warning: rape and suicide]
        It wasn’t a case of sexting and shaming leading to suicide. It was a case of rape, victim-blaming and shaming leading to suicide. But Bazelon refers to her rape as: “A girl had sex that she felt awful about.” And then ends the column with: “We have to get kids talking about how sexting affects their lives” – which, I guess, but boys taking pictures of a girl’s rape and spreading them around is really, really not sexting.

      • PrettyAmiable
        April 14, 2013 at 10:45 am

        This, this, this. Reducing it to something that sounds consensual is a huge part of the problem, and something that irritates the hell out of me.

      • matlun
        April 14, 2013 at 1:50 pm

        Honest question as a non-native English speaker: Does “sexting” imply consent?

        I know that it is often used for consensual sending of photos, but can it be applied in this case also when the photos were taken and distributed without consent? I did not read this word as inappropriate because I did not get the association that sexting is consensual.

      • jemima 101
        April 14, 2013 at 2:15 pm

        In the Uk.it implies consent.Sexting is the exchange of texts or picture sFor the media to use it in this case shows their normal contempt and victim blaming

      • matlun
        April 14, 2013 at 4:03 pm

        For the media to use it in this case shows their normal contempt and victim blaming

        That I find unjust. From the text the meaning is clear, even if it was the wrong word to use.

        The quote

        The malicious sexting and the slut-shaming causes serious damage and has to stop—how can we make that happen?

        is pretty much a summary of the article. Yes, she discusses the case from a specific angle, but as I said I did not find it a horrible article.

        The other point with her saying that we know for certain that at least it was “sex she felt awful about” (vs that it was definitely rape) is a difference in meaning, so that is different.

      • April 14, 2013 at 7:16 pm

        yeah, except by using terms like sexting either she is trying to be down with the kids, and does not have a clue,or deliberately thinks consent doesnt matter.

        I was actually meaning the media in general but do think it applies to this report as well, since use of the term carries a sex negative asking for it idea.

      • PrettyAmiable
        April 14, 2013 at 6:30 pm

        I’m not the foremost expert on linguistics, but I’ve literally never seen “sexting” used to describe something nonconsensual (US English speaker here). I don’t know if there’s an appropriate term for people who send photos of other people without their consent (and especially of their rape) other than “acting like giant shitbags.” I really dislike that this phenomenon is becoming so common that we need a term for it.

        Maybe it’s sufficient to leave it at shaming the rape victim? That’s the point of it, after all.

      • matlun
        April 15, 2013 at 9:33 am

        Maybe it’s sufficient to leave it at shaming the rape victim? That’s the point of it, after all.

        In this case it seems the point was that the boys saw her as a trophy and not a person. The photo was released for bragging purposes with absolutely no consideration for the victim at all.

        Which may be even more depressing than if shaming was the purpose, IMO. It says something about the culture that this kind of behavior from the boys can be seen as something to brag about, while the victim was bullied and shunned by her peers.

  4. April 12, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    That Moon Rabbit hanging is beautiful.

    I saw this old clip of The Real Energiser Bunny today, so had to share!


  5. April 12, 2013 at 9:09 pm

    I mustered up the courage to buy some cute headbands for myself today from CVS. A grey one and a multicolor-ish one. Rather strange place to go to for hair accessories, but I thought it wouldn’t hurt to see if I could find headbands there. Anyway, I came home and my brother told me I looked stupid when he saw me wearing it. He’s not transphobic, but his remark made me feel pretty bad. Now I don’t want to wear them outside – even in front of trans*-friendly people – because I’m anxious about ridicule. At least not for a while.

    As he said, I do think it’ll look better with long hair – my hair is a bit poofy ATM – but I wish he reacted more nicely. He did apologize and say it was “just a joke,” but that didn’t make me feel better. I love my brother, but sometimes he can be pretty insensitive.

    • khw
      April 12, 2013 at 11:39 pm

      I love small headbands! I usually buy the packets of five or six

      If you’re still not feeling too sure, wait a while to your hair is a little longer, but I’m sure they’ll look great

      And people can be unpleasant sadly, virtual hugs (if you want them!)

    • A4
      April 13, 2013 at 12:01 am

      That sucks about your brother. It’s ridiculous how offhand statements like that by family member can linger. I remember insults that I’m sure my brother has forgotten saying long ago.

    • April 13, 2013 at 4:25 am

      Good on you for getting them, Aaliyah!

      And boo to your brother for acting like a jerk.

    • GallingGalla
      April 13, 2013 at 8:13 am

      Yay for headbands!

      Seconding the boo to your brother.

    • PrettyAmiable
      April 13, 2013 at 10:31 am

      DId you like the way you looked before you talked to him?

      • April 13, 2013 at 12:27 pm

        I was slightly uncomfortable with it at first (only because I put it on the wrong way), but I felt way worse after he commented on it because of his attitude. Now even when I put it on properly I’m very self-conscious.

      • PrettyAmiable
        April 14, 2013 at 10:50 am

        I’m really sorry you didn’t get to form your own opinion first :( My brother tends towards the insensitive and I think he’s surprised by the lasting effect some of his words have had on me, but that doesn’t make them less impactful. I’m glad to hear in your comment below that he’s usually supportive, but I can kind of see how that would make this even more difficult to process.

        Hugs, if you want them, Aaliyah.

    • EG
      April 13, 2013 at 4:03 pm

      I’m so sorry that the family who support you are so much farther away than the family you live with, and who don’t. I hope that soon that will be reversed. You deserve to find pleasure in your appearance and presentation.

      • April 13, 2013 at 9:04 pm

        Don’t get me wrong – my brother is one of the most supportive people I know. I just wish he were more sensitive and empathized with me more.

      • April 13, 2013 at 9:04 pm

        Don’t get me wrong – my brother is one of the most supportive people I know. I just wish he were more sensitive and empathized with me more.

    • Computer Soldier Porygon
      April 13, 2013 at 5:57 pm

      I bet you look hella cute! I love headbands (on other people). I have been thinking about getting into them but I’m SUCH a creature of habit when it comes to my hair and styling it (or, you know, not styling it or doing anything to it at all, basically…)

  6. pheenobarbidoll
    April 12, 2013 at 10:27 pm

    I doubt this will make as much news as Annette, but this woman was amazing.


    Maria Tallchief, a daughter of an Oklahoma oil family who grew up on an Indian reservation, found her way to New York and became one of the most brilliant American ballerinas of the 20th century, died on Thursday in Chicago. She was 88.

    This annoys the piss outta me though

    A former wife of the choreographer George Balanchine, Ms. Tallchief

    • Librarygoose
      April 12, 2013 at 10:30 pm

      Yeah, sure she was accomplished or whatever. But how good was her cooking?

    • April 12, 2013 at 10:35 pm

      Maria Tallchief’s dead? ;_;

      RIP. She was amazing.

      • pheenobarbidoll
        April 12, 2013 at 10:50 pm

        Her birthday was the day before mine, and her heritage is close to mine so I always daydreamed that she was a relative and I had inherited the dancing gene…(I soooooo did not. I have the grace of a walrus on tequila lol)

      • pheenobarbidoll
        April 12, 2013 at 10:58 pm
      • Computer Soldier Porygon
        April 13, 2013 at 5:58 pm

        “walrus on tequila” absolutely describes my dancing style… drunk walrus flopping all over the club~~~

      • EG
        April 13, 2013 at 4:04 pm

        Yes, she really was.

    • Brennan
      April 13, 2013 at 12:03 am

      I’m glad you linked to that NYT article. The one I found on NPR was quite *headdesk* inducing. It made no mention of her Native American heritage except for vague references to “breaking barriers.” And it linked to a video that was supposedly all about her . . . and it turned out to be mostly clips of her talking about Balanchine and his sooper awsum choreography skills.

      Also, what’s up with this trope of dancers as “muses”? Can you picture a modern composer claiming Yo-Yo Ma as a “muse”? Don’t we kind of undermine the skill and professionalism of the performer when we label her (it always seems to be “her”) just a channel for the choreographer’s inspiration?

    • Alexandra
      April 13, 2013 at 2:22 am

      Oh no :-(

      She was an amazing, amazing lady. Graceful in mind and body and dance. One of Ballanchine’s great dancers: though I’m no admirer of the man’s personal life, he really transformed the art and American dance in particular.


  7. thinksnake
    April 12, 2013 at 11:50 pm

    I’ve decided to try to move from NewStart (unemployment benefits) to the Disability Support Pension. This will involve ridiculous amounts of bureaucracy and medical appointments and crap, but I’m hoping it will be worth it. Thankfully have a lot of support from my own medical/counselling people and from friends.

    • April 13, 2013 at 4:29 am

      Good luck, thinksnake! Disability would at least pay a bit more than NewStart, though they’re still busy adding hoops for people on that payment to jump through, aren’t they? (I worked at Centrelink a looong time ago.)

  8. Li
    April 12, 2013 at 11:55 pm

    I spent last night playing a number of video games made by trans women. One of them, Lim, by Merritt Kopas, is one of the best explorations of violence I’ve seen.

    (There’s no gore in the game as its graphics are abstracted, but it does contain flashing lights and shaking for those of you with disabilities triggered by those things, and I found it amazing but highly stressful.)

    • konkonsn
      April 13, 2013 at 8:13 pm

      It’s interesting how glitches can sometimes add to a game (at least I think they’re glitches and not intentional).

      I was silly and didn’t read the instructions at first, so I went through the first two areas without blending in, and nobody actually attacked. But at the end of the second area, the last brown square attacked. And even though the first two in that area ignored me, as soon as the one came after me, the other two started to as well.

      At another part, one of the blue squares made it through the cutoff barrier and chased me into the next area, and I thought, “Oh shit! It’s gonna keep following me until the end of this game!” It didn’t, but still, that thought.

    • Willard
      April 14, 2013 at 4:23 am

      I got bashed so hard in one of the first blue rooms I ended up outside the wall. As shitty as it was in the maze, it’s empty outside…

    • Donna L
      April 14, 2013 at 5:18 am

      So this is actually a video game about being trans and being attacked if you don’t blend in? It sounds rather traumatic. I’ve never played a video game, but if I ever did, I don’t think it would be that one.

      • Li
        April 14, 2013 at 9:14 am

        Kopas describes it as “[a] game about violence” and as I said it’s abstracted in terms of graphics but the metaphorical references to transness are fairly strong, yes. I have only limited exposure to being gender policed and even then it still made me very very anxious. Which is to say: playing Lim is absolutely not a pleasant experience even if I think it can be a useful one for people who don’t face the kinds of systematic violence/risk it represents and like most other potentially triggering material it’s perfectly valid to skip it.

        There’s an article by Samantha Allen at the Border House blog that discusses using Lim alongside two other games to teach students about transphobia if people are interested in something in a text rather than game format. (which is how I found Lim in the first place.)

      • Willard
        April 14, 2013 at 3:52 pm

        Like Li said, it’s very abstracted and as such relies a lot on what the player brings to it. That said, it can be pretty powerful for just being a bunch of vibrating multicolored boxes depending on your state of mind going in.

  9. April 13, 2013 at 2:22 am

    Also, I have something to ask. Hopefully someone trans* can help me here.

    Although I have gender dysphoria at this age, when I was going through puberty, I didn’t feel like I had any gender dysphoria – I just felt distanced from my assigned maleness. I didn’t even have any body feelings (but now I do). Is there anyone else who’s had similar experiences?

    • April 13, 2013 at 12:23 pm

      No worries. I think I have my answer. I need keep in mind that there isn’t only one correct trans* narrative.

    • GallingGalla
      April 13, 2013 at 7:58 pm

      Actually, I sort of did have a similar experience, just that it was before puberty. I felt like not-a-boy and was disinterested in my body (as opposed to dysphoric). However, puberty terrified me, and when it hit, I did become dysphoric.

  10. Alexandra
    April 13, 2013 at 2:33 am

    The past few weeks have been incredibly hard. I live with family, and one of my family members has been relapsing into alcoholism. Meanwhile, I’m volunteering at a needle exchange, and multiple professors have decided to assign work related to alcoholism or addiction issues generally. I started tearing up multiple times this evening at the needle exchange because it is just TOO MUCH — I grew up learning to put the needs of addicts before my own all the damn time, and now I’m trying to be of service (to admittedly marginalized and oppressed communities) to drug addicts.

    I am having intense feelings lately that I am an impostor – that I do not have the right to be a pre-medical student, that I do not have the right to be anything but a psychiatric patient, a victim. A person on the “wrong side” of all of the barriers. And so now that I’m sitting on the other side of the desk and taking on the “helper” role, I feel all the time like someone is going to show up and point their finger at me and shout, “You cannot be here! You are mentally ill! You are a patient! You have no place among the sane and able-minded!”

    It seems like every day someone makes a crack about bipolar disorder and I have to laugh along. I tutor biology, and some of the students I tutor were making jokes about the weather being “seriously bipolar, fucking crazy man.”

    I’m in the headspace where all I can focus on are my weaknesses, and not my successes. On Tuesday, I got a bonus at work, the highest score in my chemistry class on a lab practical, and got elected president of a pre-med society. And yet I came home and all I could think about was how I hadn’t scored as highly as I’d wanted to on a Nutrition exam (only an A-!) and how my mother was probably drunk and whether I would have to take care of her. I’m putting in 16 hour days, I don’t have weekends off any longer, and my back and head ache constantly, 24 hours a day. And all the time I’m trying to put on a normal facade.

    It just… it seems unfair. I’m not meaning to brag, but I know I am unusually gifted academically. And I also know I have about ten times as much shit in my life as most of the college students around me. I wonder what I would have accomplished by now if I didn’t have to deal with all this crap. I miss living on campus, I miss having nothing more serious to worry about than my homework and whether or not I had something to wear to the party on Saturday. I miss being innocent. I miss not being terrified that the next setback would lead to mental deterioration and yet another failure.

    I’m sorry to gripe :/ There is a lot in my life that is wonderful and good, and I have a lot of privileges that others around me don’t enjoy – I’m white and come from a middle class family, and many of my classmates are women of color and do not come from money. I know other people struggle.

    • April 13, 2013 at 7:15 am

      Huge and massive hugs… i hope writing it all out helped, i know it does for me.

    • EG
      April 13, 2013 at 4:12 pm

      I’m sorry to hear how hard things are being right now. It sounds like you’re in one of life’s real valleys. And you have a right to feel negatively about it–being white and middle class doesn’t mean that your emotional pain doesn’t count, or that life is never hard. I know you know that intellectually, but so often there’s an “except for me” clause in my mind and the minds of so many women I know: “Of course depression is a real illness [except for me; I’m just being lazy],” “Of course you need to get enough food/sleep to work well [except for me; I should work perfectly well like a machine no matter what].” That kind of thing. So I just wanted to say it as an outsider.

      What you’re dealing with would be hard for anybody; I hope you’re able to find ways of taking care of yourself. You deserve and need care as well. I send you moral support.

      • April 14, 2013 at 11:15 am

        Seconded at high (belated) speed!

    • khw
      April 13, 2013 at 11:13 pm

      Wow, it sounds like you REALLY needed to get that out.

      I wish you hugs (if you want them) and all that you may need to get through this safely.

    • (BFing) Sarah
      April 13, 2013 at 11:26 pm

      I’m sorry you are going through all of this and feeling this way right now, Alexandra. :( Dealing with the relapse of a loved one is so draining and just…awful. I’m so so sorry. And adding all of that to school? That is a lot to handle. Its okay to complain and be upset. You have the right to feel how you feel and you have the right to express it.

      I just want to say I had a good friend in college (he was also pre med) that used to say that all of us that had dealt with some shit in our lives were much more interesting than those people who had easy paths from the get go. His mother was (is) an addict (only recently in recovery in college) and he had gone to an inner city school and had a pretty tough time growing up. He ended up getting awesome grades in college and great scores on the MCAT. He is now in his surgical residency after graduating from Yale Med. You can do this. You know you can do this. You DO belong as a pre med student and your life experiences make you the perfect person to be on the other side of that desk! You may be more likely to know where people are coming from and you will be less likely to judge them. We need people like you in medicine. Keep it up! You’ve got this! :)

    • Alexandra
      April 14, 2013 at 11:05 pm

      Thank you to everyone who wrote. I feel a bit better today than I did a few days ago, although it is still often hard. I was reading this afternoon about Karpman’s Drama Triangle, and it was revelatory – I don’t know how I haven’t heard of it before in all my years of therapy, but it pretty exactly explains the patterns in my family, and why they have been so hard for me to escape after internalizing them as a child.

      Life is going to be a long road of undoing. Thank god that’s not all there is to life!

  11. April 13, 2013 at 4:03 am

    Content Warning – abusive language

    What I wanted to say:

    “Fuck you, you worthless piece of misogynistic sack of shit. Who the fuck do you think you are that you think you get to fucking use that fucking language with me? And that I’m fucking supposed to feel sorry for you? Because you had to deal with a person that was difficult, and your life wasn’t easy? Who the fuck do you think I am that you think that it’s okay to say that shit to me? That I’m just going to sit here and list to this fucking bullshit? That I’m going to take it? Fuck you! You don’t know shit, you worthless sack of dog shit lame ass excuse for a miserable dog shit sucking human being! Do you expect me to feel sorry for you? Get over your fucking self, and when you’re done, go fuck yourself, you worthless motherfucker.”

    What I actually said:

    “I stopped listening, and lost all respect for you when you said that word.”

    When and where and who:

    A couple of hours ago, at the pub across the street from my home, I ran into a guy who works at my website. This is a guy who presents himself as the liberal sensitive hipster type.

    And he was complaining about how my department makes his life difficult, and about a co-worker of mine (whose name he could not remember) and whom he referred to, repeatedly, as “that stupid fucking c***”

    Not how I wanted to start my weekend. And I’d been getting some awesome writing done before he walked in. Now I’m drunk and pissed off.

    • PrettyAmiable
      April 13, 2013 at 10:38 am

      FWIW, if I was on the receiving end of what you actually said, I’d feel like I got my shit handed to me. Good for you.

      • April 13, 2013 at 11:09 pm

        Thank you. I really kind of lost my cool with him even more after that. He was on this woe is me trend. I get that work sucks, especially if you’re in customer support and only ever deal with pissed off people all day long, but seriously, that’s no excuse, and if anyone wants to gain and keep my sympathy, that’s no way to go about it.

  12. steven
    April 13, 2013 at 9:11 am

    i’m a white male and i hate my privilege. the only thing i complain about is patriarchy and racism.

    • April 13, 2013 at 10:55 am

      Umm…I also have these privileges (as well as straight and cis privileges) and I don’t like having them anymore than you do and I’m stuck with them whether I want them or not (again like you). But they’re far from the only things I dislike and speak out about; which kind of makes me wonder what the point of your post was.

      Note: for some reason, an image of the Cookie Monster doing what he does best has just entered my head.

      • April 13, 2013 at 1:08 pm

        so glad that wasn’t just me then :)

        I am white,physically abled, born in the rich west, born in a country with socialised medicine, the list of privileges is almost unending! My question is so what?

      • April 13, 2013 at 4:02 pm

        X2 jemima101

        Having privilege isn’t a fault in and of itself. It just means that you need to try extra hard not to be an asshole to people who don’t share those same privileges. Don’t let the lens of your privilege blind you to other people’s lived experiences.

      • April 13, 2013 at 6:03 pm

        I was explaining the idea of privilege to my eldest son (13) recently, to me it is an active concept, the point is to be aware of it and therefore understand how you may oppress/silence others. It only has any point as a starting place for looking at your behaviour and understanding why your world view may be different from others.

      • steven
        April 13, 2013 at 11:25 pm

        i was just letting off some steam. sometimes as a privileged white man i don’t feel like i do enough. i get frustrated.

  13. TomSims
    April 13, 2013 at 10:08 am

    I have to thank Jill and the other moderators for their fairness. I’ve had all but maybe 1 or 2 of my posts published. In fact I have to say this site as well as some other feminists’ sites I’ve visited have been much more fair minded than the one and only MRA site I ever visited. After a few posts I was banned, presumably for not having source links to validate what I posted. I’m used to posting at an opinion poll site since 2007, where there is almost unlimited freedom to post whatever.

    I’ve also learned a great deal and got to interact with people I never would have had it not been for this site. So forget about the old saying “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” , because this old dog has learned quite a few.

  14. April 13, 2013 at 10:37 am

    A few months ago, I returned to Toronto – the city I grew up in – after seventeen years of life on the wet coast, aka “lotus land”. I was a little disappointed to learn that in the city where the SlutWalk was born, the founders announced that there wasn’t going to be one this spring, due to their busier schedules. Something I can totally understand. But they did make it clear that the door was not shut on the possibility of having one later this year and it’s definitely not stopping permanently. They also said they are always in need of volunteers – even more than the last two years. I’m sending them an email later today because this is something I feel a need to be involved in; even if it’s just in a minor, non-visible supporting capacity (In fact, I think it would be better for a few reasons)

    Also it was on the SWTO’s official website where I read some good news – that rates of rape and sexual assaults in Vancouver dropped by about 10% as a result of the ‘Don’t Be That Guy’ campaign.

    I have to admit, I was always secretly a little bit skeptical about these sorts of awareness and education campaigns. I wondered if they were for the most part just preaching to the choir, or were the guys who needed to hear this message actually getting it. These results suggest to me that indeed some of them might be. But of course the work is from over and it’s all the more reason for people – especially guys – to get involved.

    • April 13, 2013 at 6:19 pm

      We have a simular “don’t be that guy” campaign in the UK, “If you could see yourself”. The first time i saw it I honestly cheered! Instead of more victim blaming, dont go out, don’t drink, don’t exist campaigns it put responsibility where it lies.

      Excellent to hear it is having such an impact, I hope the same will happen here.

      TW rape/sexual assault.

      One of the ads, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WIX9oREk8Fw

  15. GallingGalla
    April 13, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    I’ve gone AWOL on commenting here because my dad just died (on April 4th). He had heart failure, kidney failure, and diabetes, and his health was declining in the last few months. He was 86.

    My relationship with him was fraught. I nearly disowned my parents over their reaction to my coming out as trans 6 years ago; the only thing that stopped me from doing so was their age. My dad mellowed, especially after my mom died four years ago, but still did not get trans issues at all and thought of me as his son – but he accepted my (future) plans to have surgery and offered his house as a place to recover. Nevertheless, I did love him and felt bad for all of the health problems he was dealing with. I was basically his only support system, as he had pretty much cut off all his friendships after mom died. (I’ve no clue why.)

    I’ve had to do so much with his estate (I’m the executor) that I haven’t been able to process my grief. So tears, or waves of anxiety, just well up at random times.

    My sister came in from across the country for a week. She’s considerably worse than my dad regarding trans. I can’t talk about it with her *at all* without getting into her calling me disgusting, etc. So I’m basically in the closet with her – despite my having a female name (which at least she calls me). Unfortunately, I have to put up with this at least until the estate is settled, because I just don’t need arguments and fighting on top of the stress I’m already under.

    Uggh. Sorry to dump, but that’s where I’m at. My presence here in the comment threads may be limited for a while.

    • April 13, 2013 at 3:56 pm

      I’m sorry for your loss. I have to wonder if sometimes it’s much harder losing a parent when there are conflicts that are unresolved or the relationship was fraught.

      At any rate, Internet hugs if you want them

    • EG
      April 13, 2013 at 4:00 pm

      I’m so sorry, Galla, for the loss of your father, for the lack of his whole-hearted support, and for the upcoming misery of having to deal with your sister. Is there any way to fob any of that off on a lawyer?

      It’s hard to lose someone, and having had a conflicted relationship with them doesn’t make it any easier. I’m thinking of you and hoping you have a good support system in place for this very difficult time.

    • Donna L
      April 13, 2013 at 4:34 pm

      I’m so sorry for your loss, and everything else you’re having to deal with, Galla. My own father turns 93 on Sunday, and has been having a lot of health problems since around Thanksgiving, so I’ve been feeling pretty anxious myself about what’s going to happen. Especially since my sister and I aren’t really in touch right now, and neither she nor my father’s wife seems willing to make the effort to use the correct pronouns for me, pretty much ever. So I think I understand what you’re going through.

    • April 13, 2013 at 4:37 pm

      So sorry for your loss and the lack of support from your sister

    • GallingGalla
      April 13, 2013 at 4:54 pm

      Thanks, everybody, I appreciate your thoughts.

    • Computer Soldier Porygon
      April 13, 2013 at 6:01 pm

      I’m so sorry for your loss. That’s so much to deal with and I’m sorry your sister isn’t there for you in every way.

    • April 13, 2013 at 6:14 pm

      GallingGalla, so sorry to learn of your loss. I’m dealing with the imminent loss of my mother at the moment – she was admitted to the hospice for palliative care on Monday. My father has Alzheimer’s and we have to tell him over and over again what’s happening, which is emotionally horrifying. My siblings and I don’t have any huge horrible conflicts between us, but we’ve each got various habits that rub each other the wrong way, and we each have a difficult history with my father in one way or another which we have very different ways of dealing with, and which I anticipate only getting more difficult once my mum passes, because she’s the glue that holds our family together.

      Families can be really hard.

      • khw
        April 13, 2013 at 11:33 pm

        My uncle (who was a kind of third parent to me when I was younger) developed Alzheimer’s a couple of years ago. It’s a slow mental death prior to the physical one. He feel over (possible stroke?) at the end of October and, happily, passed over with my dad and his wife with him.

        What really hurt was that said wife had done a marvelous job in isolating him from us (especially from me and another cousin he was especially good to) and so, for over, say, 15 years, he was a pretty absent figure in my life.

        My grieving has been tinged with the regret of missing out on the time when his brain was working; it is hard to describe the constant passive-aggressive, swiping comments that the women in question would make to pretty much everyone but my father.

        Oh, she decided to ‘allow’ my dad to help her out one day a week so she could have a day off with her friends.

        I’ve been trying to let go of the negative feelings about this. It’s pretty hard.

        So, to get to the point after rambling on:

        @Tigtog, families are hard. I’m sorry to read about your mother and father. The small experience I had in dealing with my uncle would leave me bawling my eyes out each time I saw him. All I can say is that I’m sending big, virtual hugs.

        @GallingGalla, I am so sorry for your loss. It is so hard to lose someone with, to use the cliché, ‘unfinished business.’ I’m sorry that your sister isn’t being supportive and that you can’t share your pain with her without complications and unneeded judgement. I hope you can continue to heal and send you my best wishes and virtual hugs.

      • khw
        April 13, 2013 at 11:34 pm

        arrgh, my uncle FELL over, sorry all

      • Alexandra
        April 14, 2013 at 11:11 pm

        Don’t necessarily rush to “let go” — it is often useful advice when given to people whose lives have become dominated by anger over events long past, but telling people to let go of legitimate anger that is still very fresh is just as destructive as allowing rage to fester. In my experience, not allowing myself to be angry when people behave badly toward me leads to internalized expressions of rage, and eventually to explosive anger down the line… this is of course personal, and I don’t know your situation.

    • April 13, 2013 at 9:00 pm

      I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. =[

      I can definitely relate in regards to your father. My father tends to be abusive, and I’ve always had a bad relationship with him. I also know that he will most likely react to my coming out as trans* with great hostility – I honestly don’t even know what to expect from him.

      And yet there are many things that make me proud of him (although none of them can possibly be enough to “make up” for his abusiveness). For instance, he, along with some of his colleagues, was once a part of an effort to help war refugees, most of whom were survivors from rape camps. And these days, he seems to be happier with me – he has been giving me a lot more compliments lately for making progress in learning about web development.

      And so I’m afraid of his reaction not only because of his intolerance, but also because he will be filled with disappointment. I know for a fact that he’ll be overcome with sadness because, despite all of what he’s done to me and the people I care about, I know he still loves me. He will most likely berate himself for not raising his “son” properly just because of me turning out to be trans*. I’m not ashamed of being trans*, but just thinking about much that will disappoint him is heartbreaking to me. After all, despite being extremely unpleasant throughout my entire childhood, he’s still my father, and I really, really don’t want my relationship with him to be torn apart by hatred. I still don’t know how or even if I’ll be able to cope with his reaction.

      Anyway, I don’t mean to make my comment sound like it’s only about me. I just wanted to say that I’m another person who’s in a similar situation i.e. you’re not alone. I hope things get better for you soon! And I hope you have other family members and/or friends to go to for support.

    • PrettyAmiable
      April 14, 2013 at 10:57 am

      My thoughts are with you, GG.

    • April 14, 2013 at 11:14 am

      So sorry for your loss, Galla.

    • tmc
      April 14, 2013 at 10:19 pm

      I’m so sorry for your loss.

  16. GallingGalla
    April 13, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    regarding trans

    Urrgh. S/b “regarding trans issues”.

  17. EG
    April 15, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    Just checking in to see if Boston-area folk are OK. I hope so.

    • April 15, 2013 at 4:32 pm

      yes, love and prayers to those who believe

    • April 15, 2013 at 5:23 pm

      Yes, please check in to let us know that you’re OK, Boston folks!

    • Donna L
      April 15, 2013 at 7:30 pm

      I didn’t hear about this until a couple of hours ago, because I was in meetings most of the day, but have been essentially non-functional since then. I’m kind of having flashbacks to what I saw on 9/11. Plus I lived for several years in that area. So upsetting.

      • Donna L
        April 15, 2013 at 7:39 pm

        And maybe it shouldn’t matter, but I am especially sad that one of the two killed was only 8 years old.

    • April 15, 2013 at 7:50 pm

      I hope everyone’s okay, too. I’m so sorry for everyone’s loss, and all the trauma and terror this causes. D:

      (Also, selfishly, my immediate thought was “Great, another evening of remembering 26/11”. Fuck. Though at least this death tolls is tiny.)

    • PrettyAmiable
      April 15, 2013 at 9:35 pm

      How do we even know? Ugh.

      Thoughts are with everyone in Boston. All of my friends are safe, AFAIK. Very thankful.

      One thing that does make me happy – Boston-area folks are lending out couches to marathon runners, and some runners made a point of going straight to the hospital to donate blood. Some people are shitheads, but I’m very thankful for those who are helping where they can.

  18. April 15, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    I just found out about this a few hours ago. Now it’s 100 injured and two dead.

    Adding my voice to those who are in the Boston area. Hope you’re OK.

  19. A4
    April 15, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    Today blew.

  20. Willard
    April 16, 2013 at 9:27 am

    I just love it when I stay up until some ungodly hour debugging simulation code that won’t give me reasonable results (there needs to be at least one complex root dammit) only to wake up, do my morning blog roll, then midway through realize I LEFT OUT THE NEGATIVE SIGNS IN THE DECLARATION MATRIX.

    Going to be a long week.

    • Donna L
      April 16, 2013 at 10:59 pm

      Ugh. But I’ll say this: if it’s really true that she had a habit of standing up to pee in that particular bathroom (and I have my doubts, since I’ve never known a trans woman to whom it would ever occur to do that in public, regardless of the state of their genitals), it was not a smart thing or a good thing to do. Not so much because she unnecessarily called attention to herself that way, but because it’s kind of a violation of common courtesy, and just not something people do in women’s rooms. It doesn’t make sense to me.

      • April 17, 2013 at 1:14 am

        Personally, I’m more baffled by how people even noticed she was standing up to pee. Like… these women, they’re terrified that a trans woman’s peeing in the bathroom, when THEY’RE the ones staring creepily under stalls to check whether people are standing or sitting? I mean, who’s the pervert here, in terms of objective actions?

        (That said, I totally share your gross-out re: the violation of norms.)

      • April 17, 2013 at 9:41 pm

        Yeah, I sort of agree. The most horrible stuff about that article were the lawmaker’s quotes at the end though.

        I can’t imagine what it has to be like to deal with these insane levels of open bigotry all the time.

        You have my full admiration.

    • Willard
      April 17, 2013 at 12:59 am

      The whole “dealing with the problem over several days,” line has me a bit suspicious. I go to the same grocery store daily (it has good bismarks) but having been in the bathrooms once I’ll never set foot in them again. Truck stops and supermarket chains…

      And yeah, the standing while urinating in a stall is weird. I think the only time I’ve even heard it in the guy’s room was at a bar, and again, you wouldn’t have wanted to sit on that thing anyway.

      • April 17, 2013 at 3:00 am

        That was my thought, and then in my experience you never return!

  21. A4
    April 16, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    So today I’m listening to the Boston Police, Fire and EMS Live Audio Feed (available here: http://www.broadcastify.com/listen/feed/6254/web) and I just a little while ago heard the following:

    One man reports a “Very suspicious” lady with dark hair and dark complexion “across from the limo pool” taking pictures wearing a “head covering” and a “burka type thing”.

    Another man responds to say “I’m headed there but no rush. She’s just taking pictures”

    After talking to the woman, someone reports that she was doing a photography project affiliated with the MFA, but that he told her she needs to be more careful in the future.

  22. April 16, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    I have a question, if the academics on here would be interested in answering: it looks like I can either go for the honours program, or get a minor in history. I want to do both pretty much equally (yay writing a big paper! yay having a broader focus!) but I actually have very little idea of what the cons of each are. I hadn’t considered this seriously, so. Any idea what the effort/commitments involved for each are, realistically? I need to keep my disabilities, etc, in mind, too, so.

    • EG
      April 16, 2013 at 6:47 pm

      Honestly, the requirements for each of those things vary so much depending on which school you’re at, and also vary a lot between countries, that it’s hard me to know what would be helpful. Can you give me a run-down of what each one would have you do? What does the honors program entail–is it a thesis only, or do you also have to take an exam or special classes? Is the history minor taking extra classes, or does it involve a specialty or some kind.

      I don’t mean to be a pain in the ass, but I don’t want to say something that turns out to be not accurate, you know?

      • April 16, 2013 at 6:57 pm

        Thanks for replying, EG!

        Well, they both essentially mean the same amount of courses (I have an exam, I believe, but no “extra” classes except for a seminar. And I’d need to take the same number of classes to graduate no matter which I did. The history minor does involve a specialty, but it’s one I can do fairly easily, since my history courses so far fall neatly into one of the two specialties the history dept. offers.

        Basically, for me, the pros are: honours = thesis and more work in a foreign language (French in my case). minor = no thesis (which means less work overall), more course flexibility, but…no opportunity to do a major project either.

        Though…I do plan on getting a master’s after this, but in education, not English. Would the honours work better for that, or the history minor?

      • EG
        April 17, 2013 at 11:33 am

        Hmm. Well, take what I say with a grain of salt, because I don’t know the differences between the US and Canadian systems, but I think it sounds like either one would be useful to you, and you should go with whichever one excites you most.

        Here’s what I think: in US elementary and high schools, teachers are often asked to pull double duty teaching English and social studies/history, or math and science (you know, I’m just assuming that if you’re getting a Master’s in ED, you want to teach…please tell me if I’ve already screwed up with that!), so having a history minor could benefit you that way.

        On the other hand, it would be good to get in practice writing a long paper, because that’s what you do in grad school, and usually you have to submit one as part of your application, so that would benefit you that way. Even though the field would be different, you’d get the practice in planning out, organizing, researching, structuring, and writing a 20+ page paper.

        So I think you could make either one work for you, and you should decide based on which one excites you the most.

      • April 17, 2013 at 11:55 am

        Thank you, EG. I’ll keep that info in mind. ^__^

  23. Lu
    April 18, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    According to Penny Arcade, I am probably a 15-40 year old male, and should just put up with seeing sexist ads on the internet…


    • April 18, 2013 at 9:12 pm

      FWIW – I work in online advertising, and I have to say the $5 CPM model he uses as an example is abysmally low. The site I work at goes as high as $40, and I couldn’t tell you the last time I worked on a buy that had a CPM that low.

      • April 18, 2013 at 9:19 pm

        Oh, FFS! Apparently if you have or want kids, you’re too much of a dumbass to turn on an ad blocker.

        People who read parenting blogs don’t often block ads, and are probably barely aware it’s a thing they can do. If you’re a 25 year old guy who has a job in IT, makes a good living, and reads a ton of blogs, odds are you’re blocking ads.

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