Weekly Open Thread with Tweeting from Space

A photo tweeted from the International Space Station by astronaut Karen L. Nyberg ‏(@AstroKarenN) is this week’s Open Thread host. Please natter/chatter/vent/rant on anything* you like over this weekend and throughout the week.

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


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


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About tigtog

tigtog blogs a lot elsewhere, but here on Feministe she mostly does the tech support and feeds the giraffe. tigtog tweets in irregular flurries @vivsmythe.
This entry was posted in Life, Politics, Popular Culture, The Cultural Canon and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

65 Responses to Weekly Open Thread with Tweeting from Space

  1. EG says:

    I need a thread on the gutting of the VRA. I was so upset I couldn’t even feel any joy over the end of DoMA. Not even 50 years since Goodman, Schwerner and Chaney were lynched–really lynched, not what conservative assholes call “lynching.” And how many of those states moved to restrict voting how many hours after the ruling? I feel like so much of what was fought for and won with good men and women bleeding and dying was just rolled back and thrown out.

  2. Fat Steve says:

    Is this what society has come to?

  3. Alexandra says:

    I am very, very angry about the fact that TheAtlantic.com is giving Hugo Schwyzer a platform. Given The Atlantic’s long history of preferring anti-feminist “feminist” columnists like Christina Hoff Summers et al, and the way they seem to court controversy in their new “Sexes” section of the website, I am inclined to think that the people in charge of publishing Schwyzer’s columns online know exactly who and what he is.

    It frustrates me because there are some writers in “Sexes” whom I like (Noah Baumbach), and Ta-Nehisi Coates’s excellent blog is over at TheAtlantic.com.

    • Lolagirl says:

      If only they would take the opportunity to let Coates take down Schwyzer.

      Because I would definitely tune in for that, and I think, hope? Coates would be all over it. Otherwise, this just counts as another mark against The Atlantic in my mind, which has become no better that the NYT with its constant retreading of the battle of the sexes/mommies as standard ploy for generating readership.

      Yuck

    • Ally S says:

      I think it’s almost hilarious that they actually take writers like Christina Hoff Sommers seriously and consider them to be respectable critics. All I needed to do to confirm my suspicion that she is intellectually bankrupt and dishonest was to read her criticism of the Mary P. Koss sexual victimization survey.

      But of course she’s anti-feminist woman, so obviously her views trump everything feminist women say. Because obviously the analyses and criticisms of anti-feminists are flawless.

      • Ally S says:

        “Because obviously the analyses and criticisms of anti-feminists are flawless.”

        By that, I’m specifically referring to the analyses and criticisms that anti-feminists make. Just wanted to clarify.

    • Willard says:

      Because there’s an xkcd or SMBC for everything:

      NSFW
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGArqoF0TpQ

      I think there’s a Mr Show sketch about the Expert Truck and all the wonderfully nonsensical support you can get for pennies on the dollar.

  4. snorkellingfish says:

    I’ve jumped into a couple of threads before and lurked for longer, but I’ve been a bit shy to introduce myself here. So, um, hi everyone!

    It’s been a strange couple of weeks for me. I’ve practically finished my double-degree in creative writing and law and now only have six months of post-grad study and 60 days of practical experience to go before I’m eligible to be admitted to practice as a lawyer. I don’t feel anywhere near competent or grown up enough for that. I really wanted more of a break after finishing a really busy session two weeks ago, but I’ll be starting my post-grad on Monday.

    I thought I’d be happy when prop 8 and DOMA were overruled or when Australia first got a Prime Minister supporting marriage equality, but I feel surprisingly despondent. I’m pissed that Australia’s first female Prime Minister has been replaced in part because the misogyny thrown her way made her too unpopular for her own party to deal with. I’m pissed that she was never really given a chance. I’m pissed that the misogynists will feel that they’ve won. My frustration as a woman seems to have overpowered the happiness I was expecting to feel as a gay person, especially since both victories to gay rights were bittersweet: I’m disappointed (though not surprised) that the US Supreme Court dismissed the prop 8 appeal on procedural grounds rather than really deciding the merits of the case and I can’t help but see Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd as a bit disingenuous in his support of marriage equality given that he’s previously used the issue for political points without actually supporting supporting our rights. (Also, as EG rightly mentioned above, the VRA decision was fucked up.)

    • Donna L says:

      Welcome!

    • dawnofthenerds says:

      Hello there! I know how you feel on the whole ‘grown up? What grown up?’ front. I’m starting to think that ‘growing up’ is some grand conspiracy where no one actually is, we all just pretend to be.

    • Li says:

      I thought I’d be happy when prop 8 and DOMA were overruled or when Australia first got a Prime Minister supporting marriage equality, but I feel surprisingly despondent. I’m pissed that Australia’s first female Prime Minister has been replaced in part because the misogyny thrown her way made her too unpopular for her own party to deal with.

      I was in way too much of a foul mood from the spill to celebrate the DOMA or prop 8 rulings, so I know exactly where you’re coming from. Julia Gillard was hugely dignified in defeat as well, which just deepened the feelings of injustice when put in contrast against Kevin Rudd’s lemonface for the last three years.

  5. I’m happy to have finished a huge knitting project – a long jumper (that’s a sweater, USians!) for my hairdresser, for actual money.

    Here she is wearing it.

    She tells me she’s wearing it with a big fancy belt, leggings and black knee boots to a party tonight. I hope she takes pics!

  6. Ally S says:

    I have recently contacted someone in the Bay Area who is willing to help me out in case I need to run away from home. Her colleagues apparently are willing to let me couch-surf for a short while at their respective place(s) until I’m under safer circumstances i.e. either my trans*-friendly family members offer to take me in or I start living on my own somehow.

    I still feel anxious about the possibility of actually having to run away because doing so will make life much more difficult for me temporarily. I mean, I’d definitely fear being tracked down, knowing how some of my family members are, and I can only imagine how emotionally disturbed I’d be in such a situation. And I want to make this plan a last-resort one. But now I feel relieved knowing that I have at least one plan for the worst case scenario.

    My plan for coming out to my religious family members is still to wait until I’ve moved out, but I don’t know what will happen before that. My circumstances can change very suddenly if I slip up somehow, and currently I’m vulnerable to all sorts of coercive measures from some of my religious elders in case they happen to find out earlier than I hope. And there’s certainly a chance of that happening, with the way things are going for me these days.

    P.S: In case it’s unclear, Ally S is Aaliyah.

    • Aaliyah (Ally? How would you like to be called?), I’m glad you have a backup plan for if you get outed somehow, and have to leave your home. I know having a backup plan like that made me feel a hell of a lot better when I was worried about that (though as it turns out, I was worried about nothing, really). I do hope you will be safe and that you will be able to come out to your family at your own convenience.

      Hugs if you want ’em.

      • Ally S says:

        Thanks Mac. I never seriously considered the possibility of moving out until recently. And unfortunately, when I really think about it, it’s highly likely because the very least I’ll probably face are attempts to “cure” me by sending me to mullahs, forcing me to see an anti-trans* psychiatrist, further restricting my freedom, etc. And with the way things are currently, I can avoid that only by running away. I wish I could try to reason with them, but that would probably be fruitless in the end. If I talk nicely, they’ll ignore me; if I stand up to them and push back, they’ll lash out via threats that are far from empty.

        I do prefer to be called Aaliyah (although I certainly don’t mind being called “Ally”); I only changed my username because I don’t want to my first name as a username anymore. I mean, this one isn’t radically different as it’s just my nickname + my surname initial, but still, at least it’s a bit different. =P Anyway, if it’s easier to call me by my current username, feel free to do that.

      • Yeah, I don’t think any of the things you outlined are at all unlikely. In fact, I reckon some of them are pretty much a given if they can coerce you into them at all (the mullahs at the very least). D:

        Thanks! I reckon I’ll go with Aaliyah, it’s a pretty name ^__^

      • Ally S says:

        Thanks! Almost everyone I’ve come out to like that name as well. Initially I was expecting people go like “Why are you naming yourself after a singer?” But I suppose no one really cares enough to ask that.

      • I prefer Aaliyah too, without knowing anything about anyone of that name – but I’ve been using Ally for the camouflage reason you mentioned. Aaliyah’s a lovely name.

  7. I won some awards! ^__^ I got letters in the mail and was all O.O and went to check, but yep, they were addressed to me all right. Two are writing-based awards, and one’s for general academic excellence. I’m very warm and fuzzy about it.

    Now to get to my obscenely long list for summer reading… wurghflurgle. (Just kidding, I’m bouncy as fuck, I just need the weather to stop being springlike and the air pressure to even out.) In the meantime, I have 20-odd books for light crunchy reading from the library, which suits me just fine; I’m kind of excited to read Make Room! Make Room!, since a) Harry Harrison and b) Soylent Green (which I’ve never seen, but still).

    I also had the dubious privilege of reading a truly awful bit of idfic called “Some like it kilted” that was basically 400 pages of the author going “No srsly I am not fetishising Scots men at all even though I write all of them exactly alike, it’s all those OTHER American women who are silly shallow fetishisers”. It’s not often that I pull out the Racist Against White People card, but holy shit, that book. I was expecting it to be so bad it was awesome, but instead, it was just so bad it was horrible. It took me four days to read it (it would normally take me more like 5 hours to read 400 pages) because I had to regain consciousness from all the head-to-surfacing.

    • Ally S says:

      Congrats Mac! ^_^

      • Thanks, Ally!

        Oh, and the aurora is beautiful tonight above my house, dancing all across the sky, almost bright enough in places to blot out the stars. It’s so damn lovely. I cried like a baby and I’m not ashamed of it.

      • Ally S says:

        Dammit, I’m jelly. I never see auroras over my house. V_V

    • Willard says:

      “Some like it kilted”

      Ugh…that cover. I highly recommend some John Prebble to cleanse your soul of that crap. The Scots fetish is thankfully not one I’ve personally experienced, but I still wear bike shorts under my kilt to guard against grabby looky-loos.

      • John Prebble did some terrific books. The High Girders is my favourite (okay, I’ve only read that and his history of Scotland all the way through: the ones about Glencoe and the Clearances are too depressing).

      • Willard says:

        I’ve only read the three depressing ones, Culloden, Glencoe, and the Highland Clearances. I really should check out The High Girders, I remember seeing a chunk of the Tay Bridge when I was in Edinburgh, it was eerie seeing wrought iron looking like it had been torn by hand.

      • I dimly recall reading something by John Prebble once… I’ll have to check him out.

        I was actually in Glencoe about eight years ago (fuck me, eight years?), and it’s…eerie there. It doesn’t look different from anywhere else in Scotland, but I was creeped out before I even found out what had happened there. It’s a tragic story.

      • Andie says:

        I was in a coffee shop one time talking to a guy with a lot of interest in Scottish history. I told him about how I was descended from the Campbell’s and he went onto tell me about the Glencoe Massacre. Kind of weird having a stranger school you on your family history.

      • I saw the remains of the original bridge when I went through Dundee. I was on a coach tour and was terribly disappointed that they didn’t quote any of McGonagall’s poem, and him the Bard of Dundee and all!

      • Mac – yes, Glencoe got me that way when I was there. Not creeped out, and I knew the history, but I just started crying. Not sobbing or anything, just tears leaking out my eyes, without even any strong emotion. It was really strange, I’ve never been affected that way, and I’ve been to a fair few places where the history means a lot to me.

      • Oh, if anyone doesn’t know McGonagall’s work, his poem on the Tay Bridge Disaster can be found here.

        His poetry is of the “so bad it’s good” variety.

      • Willard says:

        Wow Kitteh, he’s certainly no Burns.

      • LOL he isn’t, is he?

        First time I read any of his work was excerpts from this one in The High Girders.

        … aaaaand I just found this on flicking through the book again. The Great McGonagall on the shiny new bridge (ie. the one that fell) and how it would soon recover the cost of building:

        … clear all expenses in a very short time;
        Because the thrifty housewives of Newport
        To Dundee will often resort,
        Which will be to them profit and sport,
        By bringing cheap tea, bread and ham
        And also some of Lipton’s ham.

        Priceless. :)

      • Willard says:

        It’s like a train wreck you can’t look away from (no pun intended). His “The Battle of Flodden Field” is an affront to Renaissance Scotland, and his ode to John Graham, 1st Marquis of Montrose, made me go back to the Great Montrose’s verse (which is a lot better) and Steeleye Spans’ “Montrose.”

        You’ve been a bad Kitteh, I don’t know if my soul can recover from the anguish it has been subjected to!

      • He wrote an ode to Montrose? Oh noooooooooo! I better not tell my mum about that, she had a major crush on Montrose for years.

        Oh, reverting to the subject of kilts, I just remembered I have this photo of someone truly cute in a kilt.

    • Congratulations, Mac!

      Also, fetishising Scots-in-kilts? I can get wanting to see a particular bloke in a kilt (hell, I’d love it if Mr K would wear one, but he’s not interested), but making it A Thing? Can’t quite wrap my head around that one.

  8. Andie says:

    My friend and I went to see the Headstones this week, which was awesome. You can read in my blog about how I got called out from the stage by Hugh Dillon, which was exciting as hell.

    On the downside, my friend was continually accosted all night by a drunk asshole and no amount of subtle meanness, hostility, accidentally stomping his feet or shoving him or outright telling the guy to back the fuck off would make an impact.

    Also I found out from said drunken asshole that this particular bar has pictures of women over the urinals.. GROSS. I’ve never been particularly fond of the place (it’s a huge country bar when it’s not doing live shows) but now I really really don’t want to go back, because EW.

    • GallingGalla says:

      this particular bar has pictures of women over the urinals.

      That is f-ing disgusting.

  9. Kierra says:

    I announced my pregnancy at work this week (and there was much rejoicing). But one of my coworkers has been acting weird/creepy ever since: staring at me across the lab, blatantly “checking out” my stomach during work-related conversations, mentioning that he “gets nervous around pregnant women”. I’m planning on having a conversation with him the next time it happens, which is going to be tricky because English isn’t his first language and I’m never sure how much of these types of issues are cultural differences. I suspect it’s going to be a long 6 months.

  10. TomSims says:

    My granddaughter wrecked her car last Sat on her way to her HS graduation party. She was uninjured. Now my son in law and I will have to get her a replacement car.

    And it looks like Alec Baldwin is showing everyone what an asshat he is again;

    http://www.tmz.com/2013/06/28/alec-baldwin-homophobic-twitter-rant-wife-james-gandolfini/?adid=hero2

  11. Roving Thundercloud says:

    Well, I’ve finally been “managed out of” my job, putting an end to a lot of hassle. To my surprise they are offering me a sort of severance package (insurance extension, eligibility for unemployment, references, maybe a month’s pay).

    We live paycheck-to-paycheck so it’s pretty terrifying, yet I feel free as a bird! I went down to the river for dragon boat [racing] practice today and felt all warrior-like. We paddled like fiends, took a break for swimming, and watched the ospreys diving for fish. Life is still good, even when it’s completely uncertain.

  12. dawnofthenerds says:

    A few months ago, I ranted a bit about having a god-awful professor, and I finally got my course schedule and I legitimately can’t take her class next year. It’s at the same time as a course I actually need, and that is taught by my adviser, who is awesomeness incarnate. I mean, I wasn’t going to take it anyway, but it’s nice to have a solid reason in case anyone gets nosy. I am entirely too honest for my own good, and I don’t want to end up badmouthing her to the wrong person and make enemies in my department. So, wheeeeee!

    I’m also in the process of re-calibrating how I process and experience my emotions, now that I realize I’ve probably been depressed for two years. Or more. Idk, I haven’t been a happy person in a long time, so it’s kinda hard to tell. I’m not in touch with my emotions AT ALL, so this is really difficult. I know it needs doing, but I’m not looking forward to really digging into my emotional landscape and experiencing it more fully right now because I’m pretty sure it’s a toxic mess. OTOH, I managed to find a therapist who is a) pretty awesome so far b) was available without much of a waiting list and c) covered entirely by my provincial health care. Yay Alberta!

  13. shfree says:

    Okay, so today it is mega super hot, it is my day off, my daughter got back from her camp over the weekend (which she spent with her dad) on Friday, so it has been over a week since I saw her. I work the rest of the week, and she is going out of town from Wednesday to Friday night, then leaving again for a week or so on Saturday morning. She is neither answering her phone or texts, and I am WICKED PISSED . I need to take one of the cats in to the vet in half an hour for her follow up, and the kid is STILL NOT HERE.

  14. LotusBecca says:

    I don’t post much on Feministe anymore. . .but I thought I’d give folks an update on how my life has been going because I believe some commenters perhaps would be interested.

    Anyway, my transition has been going well. I’ve now been on hormone replacement therapy for 10 months and have had 5 laser hair removal sessions on my face. I’m just now starting to “pass” as a cis woman occasionally. . .although it’s pretty hard to do that here in Portland. There are a lot of trans women in this city and consequently most cis people know what we look like and how to spot us. Luckily, however, I don’t have much interest in passing; the only reason I desire it, at all, is so I can avoid receiving transphobic street harassment.

    I still have a lot of emotional ups and downs. All and all, though, I’d say I’m the happiest I’ve ever been in my entire life! I have a lot of friends. I’m genuinely myself around them, and they like and accept me for who I am. I’m also more self-confident than I’ve ever been before. I have firm grip on who I am. . .not just in terms of my gender but also politically, emotionally, and spiritually. I’m even in better touch with which kinds of foods I like to eat! It’s pretty incredible.

    I guess the thing I’ve been focused on the most lately is my relationship with my girlfriend. I met her online a while ago, and she lives in Virginia, but she will be moving to Portland in a week! We’re very much in love, and I’m overjoyed that I’m soon be living in the same city as her! She is a cis lesbian (very strongly lesbian-identified–not queer). It’s been pretty challenging for me to accept that she’s attracted to me because at some level I believe there was no way a cis lesbian could ever find me attractive. But everyone has issues to work through. Our relationship overall is going very smoothly, and I’m excited to see where things lead with her!

    OK y’all. That’s it!

  15. Alliemma says:

    So today on Tumblr, user teamfreekickass is sponsoring “Genderfuck Tuesday”. All of his followers are submitting pictures of themselves dressing up as a different gender. It’s loads of fun.

  16. bookshopcat says:

    I’ve decided to conduct the move in stages so that everything what needs doing will get done and I won’t run myself into the ground. Tomorrow the cats and I will move in with a few essentials, then on Friday evening- once the painting’s done- we’ll bring in the aquarium and the rest of the essentials. Everything else will get sorted out once I’ve put the place in order a bit and built some shelving, etc. My annual five-day out-of-town volunteering gig starts a week from today, which means A) I can’t afford to be low on spoons then, and B) day-to-day necessities and my camping gear are really all I need to worry about for the next twelve days or so.

    And now I’m off for a walk; the next few days won’t leave me much chance to go rambling and I feel better when I’m averaging seven or eight miles a day. Staying inside on such a nice morning would be ridiculous.

  17. gratuitous_violet says:

    This weekend was my last weekend at SF Pride, for a variety of reasons. Everyone is familiar with the bigger cultural criticisms of it so I won’t get into it here (if I remember right, there was a good guest post about it here on Feministe a summer or two ago). I really need to vent about two things though:

    The white kids in ironic hipster Native American headdresses. I can handle teenagers using street parties as an excuse to do lots of stupid shit, but that ain’t one of them. Had I taken a shot every time I saw one I would have been escorted off by the paramedics before six pm.

    And the second thing was the shortsightedness of the fucking cleanup/safety system. My friends and I spent a long time trying to find a way to dispose of the sharps we found on the ground. The “public safety” people were too busy harassing young people of color to give a shit, the actual trash pickup was privately contracted out to a company that didn’t see fit to provide their workers with gloves, and every person we asked looked at us like we were speaking another language. Now, I’m not coming at this from a yuppie how-dare-there-be-needles place; I volunteered with the needle exchange in people’s park in Berkeley at one time. What I’m concerned about is that seemingly not a single person in charge of planning was willing to face the fact that there could and would be needles on the street. It’s FUCKING SF. But I guess the comfort of gentrifiers comes before practicality and actual safety; better to just ban sitting on the sidewalk.

  18. Hannah says:

    SO i had a pretty shitty week. Guy i know invited my rapist to a party I was at and my anxiety got so bad I had to leave. I hate that he hasn’t been stigmatized or sanctioned in any respect though I’m not surprised. It makes me feel like I’ve over reacted, like I should just move on with my life and not get triggered everytime I hear his name or see him.

    I also slept with my abusive ex boyfriend because I couldn’t think of a good reason not to. Apparently I didn’t think “i don’t want to” is not a good enough reason for me. WTF. I should know better than this. The girlfriend got the brunt of a serious emotional breakdown. She thinks he manipulated me into it. She probably has a point but I’m really uncomfortable admitting that even to myself.

    • tigtog says:

      Hannah, I don’t have anything much to offer in terms of advice, but I didn’t want your distress to go unacknowledged. That does sound like a really shitty and disturbing week.

      • Hannah says:

        Thank you. I haven’t gotten a lot of that from the people I’m supposed to trust so I am incredibly grateful.

  19. Li says:

    This is more a crowdsourcing request than anything else, but I’m attending a conference next week and I’m doing the training session for the Grievance collective and I’m looking for some short resources in the areas of conference harassment, intimate partner and sexual violence. Ideally they’d provide some guide to good responses by conference organisers or third parties in general (on IPV and sexual violence). It’s also a queer conference, so any queer specific content would be super useful as well, as a lot of the stuff I have at the moment is fairly heterocentric or focuses overwhelmingly on male perps with female victims.

    Help?

  20. qwerty says:

    Just came across yet another anti feminist blog

    http://www.occidentinvicta.com/

    Normally I wouldn’t waste my time with such nonsense, but what caught my eye was that this site has a white supremacist bent to it whereas one of the co-contributors is East Indian. Cognitive dissonance much?

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