Weekly Open Thread with Giraffe and Ostrich BFF

These two zoopals who can’t get enough of each other are this week’s Open Thread hosts. Please natter/chatter/vent/rant on anything* you like over this weekend and throughout the week.

A giraffe and an ostrich snuggle together on the grassy banks of a lake

Giraffe and ostrich snuggle by the lake | via dailydoseofcute.net

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?


Feministe’s Giraffe would like to remind you all that xe’s not a ban-monster, but rather a helpful guide to more productive discussions. Xe mostly passes out cluesticks, sometimes with a finger-wag or a mild scowl when laying down boundaries for particular discussions. It takes flagrant flouting of the commenting guidelines before anybody gets banned, so we ask commentors please to stop misrepresenting any call for a giraffe as if it is a call for a commentor to be banned entirely, rather than the far more likely call for a singular problematic comment to be inspected and some guidelines reiterated and reinforced.


* 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.

85 Responses to Weekly Open Thread with Giraffe and Ostrich BFF

  1. pheenobarbidoll says:

    So I became a grandmother at 40, and need to figure out a name. Suggestions?

    • H-naught says:

      Congratulations! For names, perhaps wait and see what the lucky grandbaby can/can’t say? What I called a family friend growing up was altered because I could only pronounce the name as ‘barf’ instead of what it really was.

    • Andie says:

      Like, a name for the grandchild or a name for said child to eventually call you?

      My kids have a Grandma, a Nanny, a Grammy and a Nana.

    • Chataya says:

      I’ve had a MawMaw, Nanna, Nanny, and Granny. My mother went by MeMe so she wouldn’t sound too old.

    • Karak says:

      My mom likes granny and grandad for her and my dad.

    • shfree says:

      For my brother’s kids and my sister’s daughter, she went by grandma, because I think that is what they told them to call her. She was fine with whatever, because she still goes by the goofy ass name my daughter gave her when she was like two. (My daughter is fifteen now) For me, we were kind of casual and formal at the same time, because they were grandma and grandpa instead of grandmother and grandfather, but they were by their last names to differentiate. We never ever called them Grandma Firstmame or Grandpa Firstname when we would have conversations about them with the immediate family, it was always Grandma Lastname or Grandpa Lastname. So I think it’s good that my mother goes by that goofy ass name, just like my father is going by Papa, as decided by my daughter, because otherwise it would be nigh impossible for me to refer to them as Grandma Firstname and Grandpa Firstname instead of Grandma Lastname and Grandpa Lastname, it is just that hardwired into me now.

      So I guess what I am saying is that it might be fun, as well as less loaded, to just wing it for now, and then when your granddaughter gets to talking age, let her come up with her own name for you.

    • Librarygoose says:

      Both my mom’s side and my dad’s side went with mommom and poppop.

  2. JetGirl says:

    I’ve been dragging all week, getting nothing done, even though I have a pile of work due in 10 days. I’m starting to think my home is infested with Dementors. Or psychic vampires. Even coffee isn’t working. Errgh.

  3. Ally S says:

    I’m moving onto another job – again, one that my dad helped me get since he’s working for the same company. I’ll get higher wages – wages fit for an average novice Ruby on Rails developer, which should be at least $20-25 an hour. So that’s nice. What’s not nice is that, in order to make me look professional, my dad will force me to get a haircut for the third time in a row. I argued with my dad about my hair again today – particular about how it’s not unprofessional in the tech industry – but I just have no way of persuading him. I even said to him, “Why are you trying to control my personal preferences?” to which he responded with “Your feelings about this don’t matter! It’s not like I’m calling you names or hurting you somehow.”

    And just when my hair is at its thickest and longest ever. I’ll be getting the haircut this Friday. Until then, I’ll enjoy this hair while it lasts. On a positive note, at least this money I’ll be earning will help me move out – so that he’ll never be able to force me to cut my hair again. I’ll let it go past my shoulders, and all he’ll be able to do is scold me.

    • Tony says:

      In my experience, dress culture varies widely. At my first job at a tech company, I was by far the most formally attired person there in my khakis and dress shirt, even though I met some pretty famous people, Bill Clinton included. At my most recent job, still working in tech but at a law firm, I was told that I wasn’t dressing up to their standards, even though I never see clients.

      • Donna L says:

        Tony, you do understand that Ally is a trans woman living with a father to whom she isn’t out, and that your comment really has nothing to do with her situation?

      • Tony says:

        Sorry, Ally and Donna. Of course I understand that she’s a trans woman. I do think there’s a tech company culture angle to this that her father also doesn’t understand, but I realize now that I took a relatively tangential part of her post and used it to make a post mostly about myself, a cis guy. Sorry for that.

      • Ally S says:

        No offense taken here, Tony!

    • Tony says:

      But yeah, I suspect hair is the same. Ironically, my experience has been that the better the company is on the tech side, the less formal the appearance requirements are.

      • Ally S says:

        I’ve been told this as well. I’m sure my dad doesn’t care though since I suspect his real reason is that he doesn’t want me to look feminine. He’s very heterosexist and cissexist.

    • DannyChameleon says:

      I empathize.

    • victoria says:

      I’m really sorry your dad is doing this again. But you’re right, keep saving your money and keep visualizing that day when you can move out. And congrats on the job!

  4. ::dies of giraffe and ostrich cute::

    Twelve days and the back of my multicoloured jacket is done! I’m nineteen rows into the first front, and very pleased to find the method I’m trying to attach the front strips (brain fart on what they’re called – not lapels, they go all the way down) is working. They’re in the dark brown wool I’m using for the edges and collar, which is much softer than the omigodscratchy mohair of the coloured parts. I’m knitting them as I go with the colours, just winding the different yarns round each other at the changeover. Much less hassle than knitting all the coloured stuff then having to start picking up stitches to do the brown stip separately.

    • ch says:

      Buttonband? That’s what I tend to call the knitted on (or knitted and then sewn on) front strip on any cardigan I knit, even if there’s no actual buttons involved.

    • 47 rows of knitting done on the jacket front this weekend!

    • 43 rows since yesterday morning – 124 in all. If I keep this up, I might get it finished next week.

      (Why yes, this is my knitting diary, why do you ask?)

      :P

      • trees says:

        That sounds like a lot of knitting! What’s you stitch count, and gauge or needle size?

      • Stitch count I have NO idea, because it’s reducing every fourth row and I’m not on speaking terms with arithmetic. ;) The front started at 140 wide and is down to 88, where it’ll be for a while to allow for the drop-sleeve seam.

        The needles are 6mm and the gauge is, ah, variable.

        I’m amazed how fast it’s gone. I think part of the reason is that multicoloured yarn takes away the potential monotony of a mass of stocking stitch, if that makes any sense. It’s fun watching the stripes form; they’re quite random.

      • trees says:

        Ever wish you had a knitting machine for those large swaths of stockinette? Is this the Noro project? I love, love, love Noro, but a jumper’s worth of it must cost a fortune. Is it also pricey ’round your parts?

      • Never really thought about a knitting machine (just as well, I’ve too much clutter already). Yes, this is the Noro project. It’s AUD $9.90 a ball, which isn’t as bad as some prices I’ve seen online. What does it cost where you are?

      • trees says:

        All wool worsted weight, 10 bucks a ball (USD). Silk Garden is a bit more.

      • Pricier than here, then, and moreso since your dollar’s higher than ours at present.

        It’s less than I thought it might be for this jacket. It took five balls for the back and looks like it’ll be less than three for each front; I’m guessing the sleeves will be one and a bit, since the drop seams take up a fair slab of the sleeve part anyway. I already had the Adorn brown I’m using for the edges, so no extra cost there. Assuming it’s maybe twelve balls at most, that’s a smidgen under $120 for the Noro. Not bad when you think of how much a long hand-knit would cost in the shops *shudder*. I’m not counting the time as labour, because it’s not taking time out from other things I’d be doing. I get slabs done on the train, and while watching listening to telly at night.

        I’m really looking forward to wearing this, as long as it doesn’t prove impossibly scratchy and need lining! It’ll go with/clash with everything I own. :D

      • trees says:

        Sounds awesome! Promise to post pics. I’m picturing Joseph’s coat of many colors, which is a perfectly good excuse to post the Dolly Parton video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZlgDQbvo9I

      • Dolly is marvellous! I shall listen to her tonight (no sound at work).

        I’m planning to out-Joseph Joseph in this coat. My boss is already calling it the Josephina coat. I shall certainly post pics!

    • The right front of the jacket is done – six days to do it. I’m 25 rows into the left front. Yess!!!

  5. bookshopcat says:

    I wish I had better news for the folks who commented on my hunt for a health care provider, but so far it’s gone about how I expected, with the added stress of learning that my caseworker has let my benefits get within a week and a half of being cut off before informing me of the situation. Yesterday I went to a walk-in clinic whose receptionist assured me that the doctors there would be able to help me out and, well…

    Content note for cissexism, ableism, and general douchebaggery applies to the next three paragraphs.

    He referred to me as “a transgender” when my status finally came up, told me I “didn’t look trans” and then asked me why on earth I was taking testosterone if I was trans (LOL WHUT R TRANZ MENZ I DUN GEDDIT), tried to bolster his credibility by claiming to have trans patients, and both shat himself and insisted on framing me as “born a girl” when I explained in small and simple words that I was a guy of the transsexual persuasion.

    He also lectured me about being on disability for extended periods as well as the supposed damage done “identifying as disabled” (though we didn’t discuss my self-identification or his inherent prejudice at any point), and finished up by telling me that if he were my GP, he’d tell me to just go out and get a job instead of relying on a government program. According to him, being on EIA is much worse for me than living from paycheck to paycheck when my inability to function means being fired every couple of weeks. (“You mean you can’t even hold down a job washing dishes?” is a direct quote, and text really doesn’t convey how incredulous the question was.) Informing him that I don’t have a savings account to cushion me in that sort of lifestyle just encouraged him to repeat himself.

    At no point did I mention my autism-spectrum condition and how that affects my employability… there was no way I was getting into that with anyone like him.

    The day did improve a bit, though. After that fiasco I stopped by the clinic where my therapist works, where one of the marvelous receptionists who’ve known me for the best part of a decade shuffled my Friday appointment to Monday morning and told me that there might be a way for me to get a GP there now that they’re taking new patients again. Officially I’m ineligible under the current intake criteria, but it sounds like they might be willing to bend the rules a bit because my situation’s so precarious.

    And now I’m going to stop worrying about it- Monday is a long way off, after all- and hit the road with the dogs. The weather’s lovely and my housesitting gig involves a border collie and an AmStaff terrier mix who were under-exercised while I was recovering from a bad cold earlier this week. I’m much more a cat person than a dog person, but they’re a pair of handsome, charming devils and good company on a long walk.

  6. Canada refuses to review policies on First Nations women.

    Yay.

    • dawnofthenerds says:

      Because telling a UN committee interested in human rights violations to stuff it is totes a good sign, eh? /sarcasm/

    • PrettyAmiable says:

      Random but related question – do we know why it was those four countries who stood up for aboriginal rights? Is it considered in poor taste for the US (for example, as Canada’s closest trading partner) to say something, or is it just too hypocritical? (Granted, the other, more realistic, option is probably somewhere between “the US doesn’t see anything wrong with mistreating a native population” and “don’t we put our hands into enough shit anyway?”).

      • Willemina says:

        Those are the four members highlighted in the lede by the author of the piece, who recommended reviews of violence against aboriginal women and institution of a nationwide action plan.

        From Ireland:

        Develop a comprehensive national action plan for addressing violence against indigenous women, and, also, give due consideration to an independent national enquiry into missing indigenous women

        Digging through the UPR Working Group Report there were a few more countries that raised the issue of aboriginal rights including Switzerland, Norway, Slovenia, Slovakia, New Zealand, and Iran (these are mentioned in the article) by recommending a review and action plan. The DPRK, Ireland, Sierra Leone, Germany, Cape Verde, Bulgaria, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Indonesia, Trinidad and Tobago, the Vatican, Republic of Korea, Namibia, Honduras, India, Estonia, Finland, Togo, the UK, Montenegro, and Australia all made recommendation(s) relating to aboriginal issues most of which were accepted. About 10 out of the 40 rejected recommendations were all the same one (nationwide action plan).

        The US recommended:

        -Ensure parity of funding and services between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities.

        -Expand services and support to prevent violence and discrimination against Aboriginal women and girls

        I always get so cynical reading UN stuff. Sure the envoy from the DPRK is sooper concerned about human rights violations in another country. Oh yeah the US is all over the idea that services need to be on even footing for native communities. Uzbekistan is worried about police brutality in Canada, ORLY? Makes me kind of wish for WWIII.

      • Becky says:

        It wasn’t just those 4 countries – as Willemenia points out, there are other countries who also recommended a national review of aboriginal issues in Canada. But the press is focusing on those 4 – it reads to me like an attempt to discredit the recommendation by focusing on the fact that some of the countries recommending it are worse when it comes to human rights. Which is infuriating.

      • Yes. It made me incredibly angry to read that presentation of it. Besides, whether or not Cuba has a shitty human rights record has fuck-all to do with their critique of Canada. For example, I don’t have a million dollars, but I can freely advise all millionaires that setting their money on fire is a bad decision.

      • PrettyAmiable says:

        Really? Part of the reason I get so mad that the US insists on morally policing countries has to do with our own human rights record. Granted, I suppose if we used that metric, no one could criticize anyone for anything.

        And thank you all for highlighting the other countries involved – it is pretty shitty that the press framed it in such a way as to discredit the criticism.

  7. emily says:

    I finally heard Robin Thicke’s song Blurred Lines (yeah, I live under a rock and don’t consume much culture that was made after the 1990s). I think I heard it in the most inappropriate venue ever: the waiting room of an OB/GYN’s office. But it shouldn’t be surprising to me that the office of an OB/GYN is not free from rape culture. I went to high school with the son of an OB/GYN, who with his friends gang raped two girls.

    • Andie says:

      That fucking song. It came on the radio and because I was driving so not paying attention to lyrics, just the rhythm, and grooving along… so I says to my daughter “who is this? I like it.” And she says it’s Robin Thicke and I was like “aww fuck.” Just utterly disappointed. Because if you take out the horrible rapey lyrics, it’s got a great melody.

      It’s like Fire all over again. Stupid rapey songs.

      • emily says:

        I don’t think I know the song “Fire.” Maybe that’s for the best. But what frustrates me most is the denial that “Blurred Lines” is rapey. It uses some of the same language as “Sex Type Thing,” which was intentionally rapey so as to attempt to send an anti-rape message. But when Robin Thicke sings it, suddenly it’s not rapey?

      • Andie says:

        It’s an older song.. I think Bruce Springsteen wrote it.. He at least recorded it, so did the Pointer Sisters. But yeah, if you Google the lyrics, it’s pretty gross.

    • Tangential, but am I the only person who gets tired of the whole “lives under a rock” thing about anyone who isn’t absorbed in popular US culture? Even when it’s used self-deprecatingly, it really says that pop music or games or TV or whatever are THE things that everyone should be fascinated by and know about.

      • emily says:

        I don’t know. But please note, I said both that I live under a rock and don’t pay attention to pop culture. ;)

        I don’t think it’s an apology for not caring about the latest song, tv show, movie, whatever. I mean it to say, no, I really haven’t turned on my radio in the past six months or been out to a place that would play the song. Even if we aren’t absorbed by something, I’m assuming a lot of people would still have heard of it.

      • I like the distinction! :D

        It just came to mind ‘cos that phrase gets used so often in the condescending “unless you’ve lived under a rock” blah blah, and that irks me no end.

        Told you it was tangential, so I’ll shut up now!

  8. Jamie says:

    CN: rape

    So I’m at The Nation and I see this headline: “Wikileaks Critiques New ‘Fifth Estate’ Film on Assange — And Provides Script”.

    So what I’m assuming is that the film lionizes Assange and the WikiLeaks people are like, “FFS, he’s not The Chosen One! We did work, too, it wasn’t Assange doing everything! Here’s are behind-the-scenes dirt on his assholery, most of which you’ve probably guessed at.”

    But I’m dumb and forgot that The Internet Left != 1%-y Hollywood, which obviously is gonna give a different spin on Wikileaks and Assange. And then here’s the OP (sorry for the lengthy quote, but I want to give the true flavor):

    I’ve written about the film since shooting began, and covered Assange’s early critique. At that point he had not seen the script but didn’t like the whole notion of basing it partly on ex-comrade Daniel Domscheit-Berg’s super-critical book. Then Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays Assange, offered some kind words about WikiLeaks, and some said WikiLeaks would come off okay.

    I haven’t seen it so I can’t weigh in just now. But WikiLeaks, in a new Web posting, says they’ve obtained various scripts including what they say was the near-final one–and claim friends saw it in Toronto and noted a late change or two. So in any case they are, they say, basing their full critique on the finished film, more or less. They even publishws a script (see link that follows).

    Read the details here. Besides claiming inaccuracies about WikiLeaks and DDB and his role and deeds, there’s this:

    * Julian Assange was never in a cult, but THE FIFTH ESTATE claims that he was.

    * Julian Assange does not dye or bleach his hair white, as claimed in the film.

    * While these interpolations may serve to enhance the dramatic narrative of the film, or to build an enigmatic or interesting central character, they have the effect of further falsely mythologizing a living person as sinister and duplicitous.

    Now, don’t get me wrong. I think Wikileaks has done good work. I think Assange has done good work. Portraying him as a cartoon villain is wrong.

    That said: this guy is probably a rapist. DO I GIVE A FLYING FUCK ABOUT HIS HAIR DYE? Jesus flipping Christ on a bicycle. Is there any mention of this in the OP? Nope.

    It really makes me mad the way this guy doesn’t mention the fact that he’s probably a rapist, the way Greenwald doesn’t mention it… I just feel like the guys that are interested in this topic just quietly assume it was a CIA set-up and go on and keep upholding rape culture this way.

    • Bagelsan says:

      I’m sad about the very existence of that whole damn movie, because I like Cumberbatch but Assange is a creep. SHERLOCK NO.

  9. Andie says:

    I just went through a box of books that belonged to my grandfather when he was in his early teens to mid-20’s. I was gifted them as my mom cleaned out my grandmothers place (you may recall she had a bad fall a few months back.. Well, she’s sold her house and found a new place about a 20 minute WALK from my parents place, as opposed to a 25 minute drive).

    It was really cool looking through them. My grandfather was an avid reader and it was cool reading the inscriptions from my great-grandmother and great-aunt, and my grandfathers cousin. There was one that was a library book that at one point had been signed out in October of 1924. So neat.

    In other news, does anyone know how to get the mildew smell out of really old 60+ books?

    • Willemina says:

      BIG tub of kitty litter, small tub of books. Little tub goes in the big one, seal it up and let it sit. A couple of days to a week should do the job if it’s just mildewy smell. If the pages are mildewed themselves you’ll have to clean them up. Idk about that though, only ever had to deal with smelly stuff.

  10. Safiya Outlines says:

    I really liked this Susan Faludi piece on the Lean In Movement: http://thebaffler.com/past/facebook_feminism_like_it_or_not

    *Klaxon for Lolagirl*

    • Donna L says:

      Great article. Reading about “Lean In” usually makes me want to barf.

    • Donna L says:

      Also: it’s Faludi, of course — just noting the typo. Maybe a moderator could fix.

    • GallingGalla says:

      God, Lean In and that whole culture makes me sick. It’s “feminism” (that is, how to join the white male club) for white upper-middle-class-to-wealthy cis abled women, the 1%, and screw the rest of us.

    • God, that article made me want to hurl. Ideally, hurl a clue at Sheryl Sandburg’s adamantium skull.

      Also, having brushed up against several of these scams in my life, LOL at people who are drunk enough on their own speshulness and snowflakeitude to fall for this ideology.

    • shfree says:

      I had seen that term before but never really paid any attention to it, or even tied it to feminism at all, just that stupid MSNBC ad campaign they had a few years back. It sounds repellent, though, and has absolutely no use for women in my job bracket, who only get raises according to the schedule outlined in our employee handbook, to the level according to how well we do in our evaluations. And there are thousands of us like that–working the low level service jobs for large scale employers, where the idea of even asking for a raise is just absurd, because that shit isn’t going to fly. Hell, we can get fired if we take a tip. And I make people sandwiches to order.

      So yeah, this idea of an individual change leading the movement and not calling employers to task, I call shenanigans. That implies that women are generally lazy, or shrinking violets, and you can’t be either if you are going to work a huge number of the jobs women end up having to do to survive.

    • Lolagirl says:

      “*Klaxon for Lolagirl*”

      I partly skimmed it, but I found this to be a very interesting article.

      But I…think I’m outta here (here being Feministe, that is.)

      I’m in a really bad place these days personally, and I just can’t with the harshness of the confrontation and other ins and outs that seem so intrinsic to this community. I don’t know what else to say. Thanks for the shout out, Safiya

      • trees says:

        @Lolagirl

        I was just thinking of you, and was just about to drop a note here inquiring about things. I’m sorry that you’re having such a rough go and feel unsupported here. I wish you well.

      • Donna L says:

        I’m sorry, Lolagirl, both about your father and how you’re feeling in general. I’ve always appreciated your comments, and will miss you if you decide to go. Take care of yourself, please.

      • Ditto. I’d love it if you stayed. And best wishes (horribly inadequate, I’m sorry) for the bereavement you’re dealing with.

      • EG says:

        I agree, though I’m late saying so. I’d miss you very much, Lolagirl, and I think you have a lot of important things to say. But I think you have to take care of yourself first during this upsetting time. I hope you are able to do that, and maybe when you’re feeling more at ease, you’ll be able to come back.

  11. Today in Articles That Make My Blood Boil. Ugh, what an asshole. I bet she can only communicate in Morse code because anything else would require her to take that silver spoon out of her mouth.

    • Donna L says:

      First-World problems?

    • GallingGalla says:

      OMG, I can’t even, with that post. Glad to know she’s happy to flaunt her 1%-er status in our faces.

    • shfree says:

      But Mac, her life is sooo haaaaard….she has to say all her suits are hand-me-downs, her life is just a web of lieeeeees. *wipes the tiniest tear ever*

    • trees says:

      That article reads like bragging to me.

    • moviemaedchen says:

      JFC that article. I can’t even find my Tiny Violin for her. Talk about condescending and self-absorbed…..

    • Tehanu says:

      Interesting website. Another article on it is by a lad named “Bernie B”: Dear Girls, Please Shave Your Pubic Hair. Sigh.

      Opening paragraph: “I will be attacked by feminists from the sole existence of this title. I will then be lynched by a crowd of angry protesters holding photos of Gloria Steinem, after they finish reading the whole thing.”

      Meh, why bother?

      • matlun says:

        In their defense, the same site published counter arguments. For example this or this one, or this less serious one (not exactly a counter argument, but pretty funny IMO).

        It seems to be standard editorial level trolling. Ie knowingly publish highly controversial and/or stupid articles to get a lot of attention and clicks.

  12. Alara Rogers says:

    So I had this idea for a series of viral video anti-rape PSAs and I wondered if people here thought it would be worth pursuing.

    I was thinking of the analogy of sex = a dance, and it’s simply not dancing if one party does not want to dance. I’ve seen a lot of PSAs aimed at men about “don’t be that guy” and “it’s rape if she’s drunk” and things like that, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone do quite something like this.

    The idea is that each of the spots features two people, and vary the genders so that it’s not blatantly men vs women, because the audience it’s aimed at includes both. And in each case, one of the two invites the other to do something that normally needs two people. The examples I was thinking of were dancing, tennis and playing cards. In each case, the other person declines, and the reaction of the first is “I don’t care what you want, we’re going to do it anyway.” What follows is an absurd representation of what would happen if you tried to play cards with a guy who is asleep, dance with a person who is too drunk to stand up, or play tennis with someone against their will.

    The announcer then draws the analogy between sex and whatever the activity is, and points out that if only one person wants to participate in a two-person activity, it isn’t a fun activity anymore and it isn’t even the same activity.

    Wind up with some kind of satire of rape culture (for instance, the guy forced to play tennis can’t get the cops to take his complaint of being assaulted with tennis balls seriously because he was wearing tennis shoes; the guy who lost his car because while he was asleep the person playing cards with him bet it on his behalf and then won it keeps pointing out that he was asleep, and the person who took his car says he shouldn’t have come over to play cards and then fallen asleep if he didn’t expect to play cards; that kind of thing.)

    The idea is that instead of making the PSA obviously be about rape from the beginning — which may actively exclude people from the audience that absolutely need to hear the message, because lots of the kind of dudebros that justify rape culture are hostile to the notion that they should even care about rape culture — you draw an analogy, and you make it deliberately absurd and funny so people will share it with their friends even if they *are* dudebros who would normally reject an anti-rape PSA.

    The thing that concerns me is that my instinct tells me, if you *don’t* satirize the topic with humor, you will never reach the people who most need to hear the message. But if you do, well, the saying “rape is never funny” exists for a reason. I don’t want to be seen as trivializing rape culture or mocking survivors, but at the same time I feel you *need* to highlight the absurdity of the logical contradictions in rape culture with humor if you’re going to reach the people who are most likely to excuse and justify rape.

    My livejournal isn’t the place to ask about this because it’s mostly fandom, not social justice focused, so I don’t think most of my readers there know enough about the subject to understand the question. So I figured I would ask here. Do folks think this is a good idea? Bad idea?

  13. Shay'a'chern says:

    For the past few weeks I’ve been going to a group that strives to affirm diversity (specifically, glbt diversity). I’ve met some lovely people and I’m digging that quite a bit because I’m very social.

    Yesterday, during our meeting, everyone was criticizing someone who used to come to the meeting, a trans woman named Rebecca. From what I can understand, she treated a number of people rudely and was very dismissive of their help when they bought her food or gave her a place to stay since she was having conflicts with her parents. Eventually, this devolved into complaining about how she presented as a woman.

    Once that happened, I had alarms blaring in mind-caverns. I tried to gently, but firmly argue that they don’t get to decide what a trans woman should look like to should do to reaffirm her trans identity to the group at large. I was really disappointed, but, unfortunately not terribly surprised when Vanessa (who is also a trans woman) was also policing Rebecca’s presentation. I desperately wanted to convince them that this kind of behavior only reaffirms the systems that keep us oppressed and bickering amongst ourselves, but I didn’t have the words to express myself clearly enough.

    It was disheartening, but I’m not finished going yet. I’m going to keep going and keep pushing and hope that maybe I’ll be able to create and sustain a good dialogue.

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