Author: has written 210 posts for this blog.

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

  1. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
    The Kittehs' Unpaid Help September 28, 2013 at 3:46 am |

    How cool! I saw these faux Bayeux pics for the first time while doing a picture search. Some of them are really funny.

    1. Willemina
      Willemina September 28, 2013 at 4:16 am |

      This put me in mind of Eddie Izzard’s weavers at Hastings bit (they were the papparazi of the times).

      1. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
        The Kittehs' Unpaid Help September 28, 2013 at 7:40 pm |

        Haven’t heard that, but it sounds hilarious!

        1. bookshopcat
          bookshopcat September 28, 2013 at 8:55 pm |

          I couldn’t find a clip of it, but it starts at 34:00 here:

        2. bookshopcat
          bookshopcat September 28, 2013 at 8:58 pm |

          Damn, my link got et… let me try that again.

          [link fixed by mod elves]

        3. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
          The Kittehs' Unpaid Help September 28, 2013 at 11:20 pm |

          Thank ‘ee!

        4. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
          The Kittehs' Unpaid Help September 28, 2013 at 11:21 pm |

          Oh drat – the vid won’t play in Australia. Never mind, I’ll find it somewhere.

  2. Ally S
    Ally S September 28, 2013 at 4:09 am |

    [Content note: dysphoria, depression, trans*-misogyny]

    My hair is so short that some people probably have trouble recognizing me. I have this fear that, if someone from the internet saw me in real life, they would laugh at me because I look and sound so masculine. I have the same fear about meeting someone offline who likes me as a friend, only to snicker and distance hirself from me when ze hears me say “I’m transgender.”

    I was at school today (just stared my quarter at UCSC) and I had a very masculine appearance: loose-fitting dark jeans, a dark red t-shirt, and short hair (my dad made me get it cut yesterday evening).* And of course I spoke to everyone with my same old, loud masculine voice. I have this fear that, even when I try to make friends at UCSC, people are just going to see me as this strange young man who looks very slightly femme and acts awkwardly around most people. Like I’ll never be able to present myself as the person I really am to others on campus. Maybe I’m silly for worrying so much about what other people think, but all of this is really wearing me down. I already want the next two years at school to be over soon. I’ll try to make these two years as pleasant as possible, but I doubt I can do much until I’m out of this damn house.

    I’m sorry if I’m sounding dramatic or something – I just need to vent.

    *I know that’s not a masculine appearance to everyone, but I’m talking about my personal perceptions here.

    1. Willemina
      Willemina September 28, 2013 at 4:24 am |

      Can’t type anything super cogent at the moment, but know that the conversion rate for all internet and jedi hugs is 1:1 to the real world.

    2. trees
      trees September 28, 2013 at 8:46 am |

      Thirding Willemina’s jedi hugs if you want them.

      Would it be possible to wear a cute tam at school until your hair grows out? How about headbands, scarfs and other hair accessories? Could you keep an item or two at school (sweater, shoes, etc.) that you really love and feel comfortable wearing? How do you feel about clip on earrings? Super short hair can be super chic and sophisticated.

    3. GallingGalla
      GallingGalla September 28, 2013 at 11:11 am |

      Also sending you hugs if you want them. I hope that you can make some friends at school.

    4. EG
      EG September 28, 2013 at 12:10 pm |

      I’m thinking of you, Ally. I wish I could send you something other than moral support.

      Hey, is that possible? Is there a PO Box or a school address where we could send you little things that you can’t get for yourself while under your father’s eye? That maybe you could keep somewhere at school, or with a sympathetic friend?

      1. Ally S
        Ally S September 29, 2013 at 6:00 pm |

        Perhaps I could send it to such an address, and I know someone who might be willing to keep the stuff for me (although I can do that at home, too – I just need to be extra careful).

        As for your offer to send stuff to me, that’s very nice of you, but I may have to decline that offer. Part of me just feels bad about people buying things for me, and I don’t really know why. But I still really appreciate your gesture anyway. =]

    5. Bagelsan
      Bagelsan September 28, 2013 at 5:30 pm |

      I want to reassure you that the things your dad makes you do (cut your hair, etc.) totally don’t reflect on your identity as a person in my book. You’re a really lovely young woman, and such a thoughtful sweetheart to everyone, and just because you’ll be rocking the short Audrey Hepburn hair doesn’t mean shit about your gender.

      As for your schoolmates, I’m cis so I can’t speak from personal experience, but a young man at my former women’s college actually transitioned halfway through his junior year and people were generally perfectly alright with it; he became the first undergrad to officially graduate as a man and the other students dealt with it fine. Just because you enter college one way doesn’t mean you can’t change, or that people won’t catch up if you change your presentation. In fact, college is designed for change — if you don’t walk out of college wiser and comfier in your own skin than you entered you might be doing higher education wrong! :p

  3. bookshopcat
    bookshopcat September 28, 2013 at 9:34 am |

    Many thanks to everyone who commented on my last open thread comment, and may I say that I’m pleased to report some good news at last; as of yesterday, I have an EIA paperwork appointment Tuesday morning at a clinic where my former GP teaches! With any luck, the forms will be processed within the next two weeks.

    This is especially good because I’ve had to spend the equivalent of four and a half months’ rent on vet bills for one of my cats in the last month. Happily, she came through today’s surgery all right and I’m now confident that she doesn’t have any lurking dental conditions that are about to result in nasty surprises! (Sadly, it *did* result in the tom cat- her best friend- freaking right out when I brought her back afterwards because both she and the carrier smelled of the vet’s office and he was having none of that terrifying bullshit in *his* territory, thank you very much.)

    1. Willemina
      Willemina September 28, 2013 at 1:33 pm |

      Yay for the good news and congrats on your cat’s health. Those bills are killer though.

    2. Hrovitnir
      Hrovitnir September 29, 2013 at 3:03 pm |

      Congratulations on the good news! I’m glad your kitty’s going well. <3 Funny about the smell; I never thought about it, since I got all my pets post working at a vet so I *always* smell funny. :D

  4. Tyris
    Tyris September 28, 2013 at 10:43 am |

    Moment of lucidity! We’re using this one to say hi, we’re not dead, just being sabotaged by neurochemistry.

    Also to note that married couples in the UK are to get a £200 tax break. Not sure what ol’ Dave is trying to accomplish there…

    1. WestEndGirl
      WestEndGirl September 28, 2013 at 2:45 pm |

      Also to note that married couples in the UK are to get a £200 tax break. Not sure what ol’ Dave is trying to accomplish there…

      Yes, particularly since it’s only open to marriages with a stay-at-home parent or one part-time worker – not where both partners work. It’s almost like he is designing the policy to fit straight, married couples….[gendered slur redacted].

      1. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
        The Kittehs' Unpaid Help September 28, 2013 at 7:42 pm |

        Is “[gendered slur redacted]” a combination of two very nasty gendered slurs? It reads like it, and if so, please don’t use it.

        1. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
          The Kittehs' Unpaid Help September 28, 2013 at 11:23 pm |

          Thanks, tigtog. Hadn’t seen that one before, and I could done without having seen it then.

          Isn’t it stupid to use misogynist slurs on a feminist website? Shows how ingrained it all is.

        2. WestEndGirl
          WestEndGirl September 29, 2013 at 10:41 am |

          I would very much prefer it if US-ian and other non-British Feminists do not impose their view on the use of British English.

          Far from being gendered in the UK, tw*t is used entirely interchangeably with other male genitalia-based insults by men and women alike. And c*nt is used in a totally different manner to that in the US, it’s used on TV quite regularly after the 9pm watershed, affectionately among male and female friends as punctuation. I could go on, but the cultural gap is likely to wide to bridge in this case.

          Certainly, I love the assumption that all English usage must be the same globally. Frankly, I find it quite amusing that a site, which allows direct personal insults and outright bullying in many cases, chooses to censor and assume usage for a made-up British English word (c.early 2000s) which had to be looked up in order to check that it is offensive when actually it’s not misogynist in the least and was coined by a British Feminist journalist. With all the issues on here from racism to classism, please don’t add cultural imperialism to your impressive roster.

        3. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune September 29, 2013 at 11:10 am |

          OMG a Brit complaining about cultural imperialism! MY DAY IS MADE.

        4. Donna L
          Donna L September 29, 2013 at 11:52 am |

          The links don’t exactly support the claim that nobody in the UK considers those words to be offensive.

          Even if it were so, I would remain unimpressed. If the “n” word or the “f****t” word or the “t****y” word were considered fine and dandy to use in the UK, would that make it OK to use those words here, where you know that the readership is predominantly from the US? I suspect that I would know better than to use the word fanny to refer to the rear end on a predominantly UK website.

          However, I can’t see the word tw*t without thinking of one of the few literary anecdotes I know — the famous incident of Robert Browning’s reference to an “old nun’s tw*t” in his poem Pippa Passes, apparently in the belief that a tw*t was a kind of headgear. (I thought that it might be OK to mention this here, since this is, after all, a hat blog.)

        5. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune September 29, 2013 at 12:04 pm |

          Also, I just wanted to say:

          a made-up British English word

          …yes? It’s made up? So are all the others. That’s how language works. I really tried not to say this but I guess I have wrong side of bed issues this morning.

        6. matlun
          matlun September 29, 2013 at 12:38 pm |

          The links don’t exactly support the claim that nobody in the UK considers those words to be offensive.

          Interestingly enough, the BBC has actually studied (pdf) the British public’s opinions on the offensiveness of these words.

          In this study, “cunt” was ranked by the British public as the single most offensive word, while “twat” was seen as far less serious, but still on the list ranked above a number of other insults.

          It is unclear what that says about the unknown redacted word above, so perhaps it is not very relevant, but there you have it…

        7. WestEndGirl
          WestEndGirl September 29, 2013 at 12:51 pm |

          …yes? It’s made up? So are all the others. That’s how language works. I really tried not to say this but I guess I have wrong side of bed issues this morning.

          Right, got it mackavitykitsune, a word coined in the last decade is exactly the same as words that have been used in Anglo-Saxon parlance for thousands of years which have their own, specific and historical contexts and impacts.

          To be honest, Feministe commentariat you are astonishingly wide of the mark on this. The idea that somehow I – as a British English speaker – should be censored in my use of an entirely unknown word to a US-ian audience, which was actually devised to be used in a non-genderised way, is truly remarkable.

        8. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune September 29, 2013 at 1:05 pm |

          Right, got it mackavitykitsune, a word coined in the last decade is exactly the same as words that have been used in Anglo-Saxon parlance for thousands of years which have their own, specific and historical contexts and impacts.

          Blog. Friendzone. Vlog. Youtube. Tumblr. Gmail. Facebook. I could go on, but it’d be tedious.

          The idea that somehow I – as a British English speaker – should be censored in my use of an entirely unknown word to a US-ian audience, which was actually devised to be used in a non-genderised way, is truly remarkable.

          1) Not an entirely USian audience
          2) You’re not special; I have to cut out Indian slang that would be considered slurs here all the time
          3) A combination of two words for female-associated genitalia is totally non-genderised? Pull the other one, it’s got bells on
          4) Not respecting the rules of a space that says “don’t use cusswords based on female genitalia” is going to get your cussword redacted
          5) Cry moar about cultural imperialism. I’m Indian; I collect British tears on cultural imperialism and dry it to make salt for my tequila shots. No really, please do cry moar. It’s almost as hilarious as when USians complain about people not knowing the nuances of their culture.

        9. EG
          EG September 29, 2013 at 1:07 pm |

          OMG a Brit complaining about cultural imperialism! MY DAY IS MADE.

          Right? Oh, poor thing. CRY MORE, West End Girl. CRY MORE. Your tears are delicious.

          a word coined in the last decade is exactly the same as words that have been used in Anglo-Saxon parlance for thousands of years which have their own, specific and historical contexts and impacts.

          Do tell, what is the difference? Are you claiming that word coined in the last decade doesn’t have its own specific and historical context and impact? Please explain to me this word hierarchy you imagine. How does it work? Does “saxophone” have to curtsey every time it sees an older word, like, say, “simple”?

        10. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune September 29, 2013 at 1:10 pm |

          Oh and I totally read all of your comments in Alison Steadman’s Mrs Bennet voice, jysk.

        11. WestEndGirl
          WestEndGirl September 29, 2013 at 2:44 pm |

          Oh dear, really? Resorting to personal insults again are we EG and mackavitykitsune? Making fun of people’s assumed accents is acceptable now is it?

          Speaking as mixed Jew (Syrian Mizrahi/Ashkenazi) whose family was busy being persecuted in other countries when the British Empire was was doing its best/worst, I’m actually laughing not crying at your faux-outrage. But you know, just erase my identity why don’t you? Thrillingly ironic given how quick you both are to call people out for erasing yours.

          As to:

          Are you claiming that word coined in the last decade doesn’t have its own specific and historical context and impact?

          Massively missing the point don’t you think? The point is that the word I used has its own, recent specific and historical context – which is not genderised. And I love the way that people who’ve never even seen the word before and don’t understand the context it’s used in, are continually claiming they know better about this context and meaning than someone whose culture it’s actually from.

        12. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune September 29, 2013 at 3:13 pm |

          Making fun of people’s assumed accents is acceptable now is it?

          Fair enough, I apologise for that.

          Speaking as mixed Jew (Syrian Mizrahi/Ashkenazi) whose family was busy being persecuted in other countries when the British Empire was was doing its best/worst, I’m actually laughing not crying at your faux-outrage. But you know, just erase my identity why don’t you? Thrillingly ironic given how quick you both are to call people out for erasing yours.

          Huh? Jewish people can’t be British now? Or should I have magically known that you didn’t identify mainly as British given that you said you were a British feminist, and your actual handle is, you know, “WestendGirl”? I’m terribly sorry I took you for British.

          And… best/worst? Fuck RIGHT off. No, seriously, fuck right off with that. Your country currently profits off the shit you stole from mine, your pwecious British culture that you’re sooo intent on defending rose to prominence on the backs of dead and indentured Indans, and you’re talking about the “best/worst” of the British empire to me?

          Tell you what. You get to whine about how people just don’t understaaaand how special and completely not-gendered and totes not misogynistic British English is when it smushes two words for female-associated genitalia together as an insult, when you go live somewhere you’re not directly profiting off colonisation. Wherever the hell your family was in the 1800s, you’re sure as fuck in Britain now. Suck it the fuck up and deal with having to respect the rules of a space you’re in.

        13. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune September 29, 2013 at 3:16 pm |

          Oh and fuck you for suggesting my outrage at the goddamn British Empire (and it wasn’t outrage until your last comment, just amusement) is “faux”.

        14. EG
          EG September 29, 2013 at 5:52 pm |

          The context you’re using the word in is here, and here, it’s not welcome. I use plenty of gendered insults in my real life. But they’re not welcome here, so I edit NYC-culturally foul mouth. Why do you think you should get special treatment?

          And yeah, that wasn’t outrage. That was eye rolling. When I’m outraged, you’ll know, believe me.

          I’m not sure where I “personally insulted” you. Noting the irony of a Briton whining about cultural imperialism isn’t the equivalent of making fun of your hair.

        15. pheenobarbidoll
          pheenobarbidoll September 30, 2013 at 2:49 am |

          Oh shit. She just pulled the ” but I/ my family never killed any Indians!!!” square.

        16. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune September 30, 2013 at 3:02 am |

          Oh shit. She just pulled the ” but I/ my family never killed any Indians!!!” square.

          I LOLed. I did.

      2. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune September 28, 2013 at 8:06 pm |

        Right, because as we all know, no non-straight married couples ever have someone working part-time or, rainbows forbid, staying home for any reason! Nor is there any way that having one partner work part-time or stay home (which usually happens because of childcare, other caregiving, school or illness IME) disadvantages a couple financially, and so there is no possible reason for this tax break that doesn’t have to do with giving (whateverslurforstraightsyouused) a leg up in society.*

        *not that I’m doubting the break was fueled by heteronormativity, but seriously, can we not make bullshit assumptions.

        1. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune September 28, 2013 at 8:07 pm |

          General you, not you particular.

        2. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune September 28, 2013 at 9:29 pm |

          Ahhhh, okay. Sorry, WEG! I misread. And thanks, Tigtog!

        3. pheenobarbidoll
          pheenobarbidoll September 29, 2013 at 2:01 am |

          And now all I want to know is what the word was.

        4. Donna L
          Donna L September 29, 2013 at 2:20 am |

          Me too! I’ve been trying out various combinations in my head, but they all sound kind of ridiculous to me.

        5. Computer Soldier Porygon
          Computer Soldier Porygon September 29, 2013 at 6:19 am |

          Me too! I’ve been trying out various combinations in my head, but they all sound kind of ridiculous to me.

          I have a guess! And now I want to post it to see if I’m right which is probs way inappropriate

        6. trees
          trees September 29, 2013 at 6:50 am |

          I’m obsessed with trying to figure it out. So glad I’m not the only one.

        7. Fat Steve
          Fat Steve September 29, 2013 at 10:09 pm |

          For Donna, pheeno, trees and anyone else who is in suspense: The Word

        8. Computer Soldier Porygon
          Computer Soldier Porygon September 30, 2013 at 4:35 am |

          That was my guess! Well, I was between that and this one

          god I hope I did the link right

        9. Andie
          Andie September 30, 2013 at 10:01 pm |

          I have never in my life ever heard that word before.

      3. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
        The Kittehs' Unpaid Help September 29, 2013 at 5:35 pm |

        Pull your head in, WestEndGirl. I’m not USian, nor is tigtog, nor are plenty of users of this site. Your charming little portmanteau was all too recognisable as two words that are most definitely referring to women’s genitals. You’re speaking on an international site, not in an English pub. The second half of that word is one of the most vitriolic terms of abuse used in English, utterly hateful of women, and even if it’s become genderless in your neck of the woods (which I doubt), it hasn’t elsewhere. The first is stupid but also decidedly gendered to people outside your particular group.

        Would you call a USian man of colour “boy” because it isn’t racist in UK (or Australian, for that matter) English? I’m betting you wouldn’t, because you’d have a bit of respect for your audience. How come the same doesn’t apply here?

        1. Fat Steve
          Fat Steve September 30, 2013 at 1:02 am |

          Pull your head in, WestEndGirl. I’m not USian, nor is tigtog, nor are plenty of users of this site. Your charming little portmanteau was all too recognisable as two words that are most definitely referring to women’s genitals.

          Though the same could be said for ‘twit,’ I did think it was an odd addendum to make on a comment to a feminist website. Having said that, I think it’s fairly obvious that WEG wasn’t using the word in an anti-woman context (as she was talking about a man,) she just wasn’t taking into account the anti-woman roots of the word (and her defense of the word isn’t helping win many people over.)

        2. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune September 30, 2013 at 1:43 am |

          I think it’s fairly obvious that WEG wasn’t using the word in an anti-woman context

          Oh, I see. I guess if I called a non-Jewish person on this site a slur for a Jewish man because I was pissed off at them, you would totally not be offended at all, since I “wasn’t using it in an anti-Semitic context”?

        3. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune September 30, 2013 at 2:10 am |

          Heh, I actually didn’t know that was an insult! I only know of the one for sure. (I’m also pretty sure I was called “dothead” a few times before I realised it was a slur and I didn’t pick up on having to be offended – ah, ESLness strikes at the worst times.) But yeah. I don’t approve of that sort of insult-transference; I don’t think saying “that’s gay” is morally neutral either, or using “don’t be a girl” at a man. Maybe I’m oversensitive. I dunno.

        4. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
          The Kittehs' Unpaid Help September 30, 2013 at 2:55 am |

          That won’t wash, Steve. The point of those slurs is that being compared to female genitalia or called by those names is the ultimate put-down for a man. The second word in the portmanteau is about the harshest word of contempt and loathing in our language, and it’s totally fixed in misogyny. So no, a wannabe-cutesy combination doesn’t cut it as being not directed at women.

        5. Fat Steve
          Fat Steve September 30, 2013 at 8:43 am |

          Oh, I see. I guess if I called a non-Jewish person on this site a slur for a Jewish man because I was pissed off at them, you would totally not be offended at all, since I “wasn’t using it in an anti-Semitic context”?

          No, I wouldn’t. If it was a completely innocent context, for example, if the person was from a foreign country and his/her name was ‘Hebe’ or ‘Ju’ or something similar. I don’t have a problem with Tottenham Hotspur supporters referring to themselves as Yid. I should also note that I didn’t say that WEG was being completely inoffensive.

          However, the idea that I am somehow going to be more sensitive to Anti-Semitism than misogyny is a tad offensive.

        6. Fat Steve
          Fat Steve September 30, 2013 at 8:45 am |

          [*edited to correct name of football club]

          FYI: The correct name is Totenham Hotspur FC, not Tottenham Hotspurs FC.

        7. Fat Steve
          Fat Steve September 30, 2013 at 8:46 am |

          Ugh, I spelled Tottenham wrong when correcting your pluralization of Hotspur!

        8. Donna L
          Donna L September 30, 2013 at 9:10 am |

          I don’t have a problem with Tottenham Hotspur supporters referring to themselves as Yid.

          Really? Well, I do. It’s no different from people who defend the use of the nickname for the Washington professional football team by saying it’s a “compliment.” Yid is a historically anti-Semitic term, in England and elsewhere, when used by people who aren’t Jewish themselves. (The fact that etymologically, the term derives from the Yiddish and German words for “Jew,” doesn’t matter one bit.)

          Plus, did you read the article? Did you read about what fans of other teams do with that nickname? Still not problematic to you?

        9. Fat Steve
          Fat Steve September 30, 2013 at 9:32 am |

          Really? Well, I do. It’s no different from people who defend the use of the nickname for the Washington professional football team by saying it’s a “compliment.” Yid is a historically anti-Semitic term, in England and elsewhere, when used by people who aren’t Jewish themselves. (The fact that etymologically, the term derives from the Yiddish and German words for “Jew,” doesn’t matter one bit.)

          Plus, did you read the article? Did you read about what fans of other teams do with that nickname? Still not problematic to you?

          Donna,

          I said I don’t have a problem with THFC fans ‘referring to themselves as Yids.’ (I have a problem with them for supporting Sp*rs, but that’s another matter.) Opposing fans using that term is a totally different story, Sp*rs fans using that term in any other way than referring to themselves is a totally different story. I agree with Baddiel’s math that only a small percentage of Sp*rs supporters are Jewish, but every Jew I know that supports the club proudly self applies the term.

          But, hey, just because I don’t have a problem with it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t. I don’t want you to think I’m criticizing your getting offended. I’m just saying that it doesn’t offend me. Oddly enough, I used the THFC example responding to Mac, before I had noticed that tigtog had linked to the story.

        10. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune September 30, 2013 at 10:53 am |

          If it was a completely innocent context, for example, if the person was from a foreign country and his/her name was ‘Hebe’ or ‘Ju’ or something similar.

          But that’s not what I”m talking about. I’m talking about, say, calling Hugo Schwyzer (whose ethnicity/ancestral religion I’m not sure of) a “fucking Jew-boy” in order to insult him. Which is basically what WEG did.

          However, the idea that I am somehow going to be more sensitive to Anti-Semitism than misogyny is a tad offensive.

          Be offended, then. Too bad. It’s not unreasonable for someone on an axis of privilege to be that way; I know I’m less sensitive to transphobia than homophobia, because it doesn’t affect me directly. If you want to take it personally in the face of fairly obvious evidence that people in general don’t understand marginalisations they don’t have as well as the ones they do, go right ahead and be an ass about it.

        11. Donna L
          Donna L September 30, 2013 at 10:56 am |

          Mac, please don’t even suggest that HS might be Jewish! That’s all we need. He’s a self-identified Christian. It’s not a Jewish name — German does not equal Jewish.

        12. EG
          EG September 30, 2013 at 11:07 am |

          Not just Christian, I believe, but high WASP, if I’m remembering correctly from a thread a year or two ago where he waxed eloquent about how at his family gatherings nobody talks loudly or dances or eats spicy food, unlike those ethnic types.

        13. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune September 30, 2013 at 11:16 am |

          @Donna and EG I know Judaism goes through the mother in most cases so I didn’t want to assume he wasn’t even partially Jewish, given his mother could have changed her name. I’m glad he isn’t, though; y’all have enough of a bad rep for no reason without him being in there.

          Ugh, oh, right, that essay of his. I remember now.

        14. trees
          trees September 30, 2013 at 12:31 pm |

          He identifies as Jewish, through his father’s family, and is a follower of Phillip Berg’s Kabalah Centre.

        15. Donna L
          Donna L September 30, 2013 at 12:55 pm |

          Oh for God’s sake. Since when? This must be something new, right?

          I should also point out that if by the Kabalah Centre you mean what I think you mean, that has nothing to do with Judaism and isn’t a part of it. Seriously.

        16. trees
          trees September 30, 2013 at 12:58 pm |

          Oh for God’s sake. Since when? This must be something new, right?

          I don’t think it’s so new.

          I should also point out that if by the Kabalah Centre you mean what I think you mean, that has nothing to do with Judaism and isn’t a part of it. Seriously.

          I hear ya.

        17. EG
          EG September 30, 2013 at 1:24 pm |

          Ugh. Have we not suffered enough?

        18. Donna L
          Donna L September 30, 2013 at 1:41 pm |

          Yes, it is recent, and at least as of earlier this year, he still says he’s not actually Jewish.

          I’ve seen someone describe his excitement about his “rediscovery” of his Jewish roots (it seems that his father was half-Jewish) as somewhat fetishistic, and the following description makes me think that they were not far wrong:

          http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/in-frozen-ukraine-a-non-jew-draws-warmth-from-the-souls-of-the-tzaddikim/

          On a freezing January Shabbat morning, 200 students of Kabbalah from 15 different countries prayed and danced and sang in the historic (many would say holy) city of Medzhybizh, Ukraine. As I put on my tallit and recited the Shacharit prayers, I let myself ride on the waves of spiritual excitement that seemed to shake the tiny, crowded room. I felt a long way from California, and an even longer way from the Anglican vestryman I was not so long ago.

          The Kabbalah Centre, originally founded by Yehuda Ashlag in Jerusalem in 1922, is often represented in American and Israeli media as a money-grubbing cult, shamelessly peddling for profit a watered-down version of a complex mystical tradition.

          I wonder why?

          He goes on to say:


          I am not a Jew. My father’s family was, however, and part of this trip was about connecting to my distant paternal heritage. Go back far enough on his side, and it’s all Ashkenazim from small villages in what are now Poland, the Czech Republic, and the Ukraine.

          I think I’ve mentioned that I’ve run into a number of Gentiles who did not grow up with any kind of Jewish cultural tradition who talk about their Jewish heritage in the same kind of near-ecstatic, boastful way, not so different from people who talk about finding out that they had a great-grandmother who was a Cherokee princess. Schwyzer actually mentions the stereotyped Jewish equivalent (I’m descended from rabbis!), saying “One great-great-great- grandfather was a rabbi’s son named Shimon, and he served as a judge on a beit din in his little shtetl.” Of course!

          I can’t necessarily articulate very well what it is about all this that bothers me, but it does all seem so romanticized and exoticized somehow, as if he has no real conception of, or real interest in, what his ancestors’ lives were actually like.

        19. trees
          trees September 30, 2013 at 2:10 pm |

          Yes, it is recent, and at least as of earlier this year, he still says he’s not actually Jewish.

          So maybe this will be a part of his latest incarnation/brand.

          …not so different from people who talk about finding out that they had a great-grandmother who was a Cherokee princess.

          This never actually happens since there is no such thing. This exists purely in the world of fantasy.

        20. Donna L
          Donna L September 30, 2013 at 2:14 pm |

          I kind of assumed it wasn’t real. Not that that stops people from saying that kind of thing. (Of course, most tiny shtetls didn’t have their own rabbis and rabbinical courts, either.)

        21. trees
          trees September 30, 2013 at 2:18 pm |

          I can’t necessarily articulate very well what it is about all this that bothers me, but it does all seem so romanticized and exoticized somehow, as if he has no real conception of, or real interest in, what his ancestors’ lives were actually like.

          He could probably find a way to make respiratory inhalation a perversion.

        22. trees
          trees September 30, 2013 at 2:24 pm |

          I kind of assumed it wasn’t real. Not that that stops people from saying that kind of thing. (Of course, most tiny shtetls didn’t have their own rabbis and rabbinical courts, either.)

          It’s hard to imagine, but I suppose it’s possible that he’s full of shit about being Jewish, just as he is about everything else.

        23. Alara Rogers
          Alara Rogers October 2, 2013 at 1:12 pm |

          FatSteve, I don’t think “twit” is in fact a gendered slur or a portmanteau of anything. The only context I’ve ever heard it is either a synonym for air-headed, birdsong, nonsensical but frequent speech, or posts on Twitter. I’d be very surprised to hear it came from a word for genitalia, since it seems very closely related to the neutral onomonopoetic noun/verb for birdsong, “tweet” (and did long before Twitter more or less synonymized them.)

          The gendered slur you’re thinking of has an a, not an i. There may be some unconscious gendering of twit because of the association of air-headedness and nonsensical frequent speech with stereotypes of female behavior, but it’s not built into the meaning of the word, and in a British context I have most often heard “twit”, when it’s a noun, used to describe men who are supposedly stupid.

          (It’s possible that the word in question is in fact a portmanteau of twit and a nasty gendered slur, rather than two nasty gendered slurs, but given that the nasty gendered slurs in question are both references to the same thing, I think it’s more likely that it’s a portmanteau of gendered slurs and the resemblance to twit is coincidental.)

        24. Fat Steve
          Fat Steve October 2, 2013 at 1:59 pm |

          FatSteve, I don’t think “twit” is in fact a gendered slur or a portmanteau of anything. The only context I’ve ever heard it is either a synonym for air-headed, birdsong, nonsensical but frequent speech, or posts on Twitter. I’d be very surprised to hear it came from a word for genitalia, since it seems very closely related to the neutral onomonopoetic noun/verb for birdsong, “tweet” (and did long before Twitter more or less synonymized them.)

          The gendered slur you’re thinking of has an a, not an i. There may be some unconscious gendering of twit because of the association of air-headedness and nonsensical frequent speech with stereotypes of female behavior, but it’s not built into the meaning of the word, and in a British context I have most often heard “twit”, when it’s a noun, used to describe men who are supposedly stupid.

          (It’s possible that the word in question is in fact a portmanteau of twit and a nasty gendered slur, rather than two nasty gendered slurs, but given that the nasty gendered slurs in question are both references to the same thing, I think it’s more likely that it’s a portmanteau of gendered slurs and the resemblance to twit is coincidental.)

          Alara, you seem to have missed my point. Kitteh had never herd the term (redacted word) before, and was saying how anyone unfamiliar with the term would think it is a portmanteau of two words ‘referring to women’s genitals.’ I was agreeing with her, and acknowledging that she had good reaon to take offense, while also acknowledging that if someone had never heard the word ‘twit’ before, they also might think it was a portmanteau of two words that refer to women’s genitals, so I don’t think WEG meant to be offensive.

          In case it’s not clear, I’ll say it again. I think Kitteh was right to be offended by the term, I think it was right to redact the term. The only way I’m even slightly ‘disagreeing’ is offering my opinion that WEG didn’t mean to be misogynist, and that’s totally just being offered as an opinion, not as fact.

  5. Donna L
    Donna L September 28, 2013 at 3:22 pm |

    Instead of mentioning this on the next Shameless Self-Promotion Sunday thread — because it wouldn’t be self-promotion! — I’ll do so here.

    The latest from the Trans-Inclusive Feminism/Womanism blog. No debate, no compromise:

    http://tinyurl.com/m2lwlmx

    1. theLaplaceDemon
      theLaplaceDemon September 30, 2013 at 9:04 am |

      Thanks!

  6. Andie
    Andie September 28, 2013 at 4:44 pm |

    Have spent the bulk of the day hauling away the desecrated remains of my 60+ year old shed. Five dump trips, each a cab-full of old, rotted wood, broken vinyl siding and god only knows how many airborne toxins from the various animals that have probably taken up residence in the thing over the years.

    I would have liked to burn a lot of if, but my yard is fenced in and not big enough to have any space that is far enough from the fence, the tree and the house to burn anything safely, without it taking weeks of burning.

    I’m glad to see this thing go. It was a death-trap waiting to happen, not to mention it encroached onto not one, but two neighbors yards.

    The awesome part is that I put both the kids to work and was pleasantly surprised at how well they worked and how little whining there was. Granted, they knew they were getting paid, but still, it was nice to see them really put in an effort to help with such a big project.

  7. Ally S
    Ally S September 29, 2013 at 11:57 pm |

    On an old forum I frequent, my best friend was branded as a “whiny middle-class college kid” because she comes there to vent about her depression sometimes. And then when she got upset, she was ridiculed.

    She is going through so much pain right now, and numerous times she has talked about feeling suicidal and hating herself to the core, but some people are still tired of her coming to the forum to vent. Now she has decided to never say anything negative about her life there because she knows that many regular members there are annoyed at her.

    1. Ally S
      Ally S September 29, 2013 at 11:59 pm |

      Also, later on they said the same thing about me and two of my other friends: that we “whine” too much and need to stop sounding so negative all the time. I understand that suddenly barging into a conversation and talking about depression in one’s life can be bothersome, but none of us are doing that. All we do is talk about how we’re feeling.

    2. EG
      EG September 30, 2013 at 12:07 am |

      Depression is real suffering, true pain, Ally. And the stress you endure in not yet being able to live the life you deserve, one in which you can safely express and have recognized and respected your womanhood, is also true suffering. I am so sorry that these regular commenters are so callous and lacking in empathy that they cannot realize that. Please don’t let their ignorance and unkindness shake your confidence in your own perceptions and experiences.

      We’re all rooting for you, here. I feel safe in saying that.

    3. Lateef
      Lateef October 2, 2013 at 2:23 pm |

      Your friend should come over to Groupthink, where constant complaining is rampant and celebrated. I know, it sounds miserable, but it’s actually a very supportive, irreverent, feminist, and fun-loving community. Pretty safe for trans* folks, too.

      But what I’d really love is for EG to come to Groupthink. She’s the bomb, and I think she’d appreciate it.

  8. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve September 30, 2013 at 3:24 pm |

    I just discovered the most amazing product EVER! (Well, if you do as much walking as I do.)
    http://www.beautysage.com/products/foot-exfoliate-peel

  9. theLaplaceDemon
    theLaplaceDemon October 1, 2013 at 12:08 am |

    No work for me tomorrow. Thanks, House Republicans and Ted Cruz, I really needed all this anxiety :-/

  10. Alara Rogers
    Alara Rogers October 2, 2013 at 1:22 pm |

    I’m getting ready to start trying to sell some of my older fiction on Amazon Kindle, because hey, I have it lying around and why not? Even if it doesn’t sell well, it’ll sell better than it’s selling right now on my hard drive. :-)

    But *cover art!* OMG, it’s driving me insane! You absolutely cannot sell a book with crappy cover art, or no cover art, or a cover that’s just the title in big block text. And I am not an artist. I can *see* images in my head but my ability to render them, either via Photoshop or with my own hands, is pathetic. On the other hand I am also very, very picky, because I can see the images in my head.

    So somehow I’m going to have to figure out how to make some cover art…

  11. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable October 4, 2013 at 10:08 pm |

    I made the mistake of falling in love with my best friend, which led me to discover that he’s not my best friend at all since he used me for sex when he was getting over his ex.

    I told him we can’t be friends any more and I’m heartbroken. I’m more upset about losing my closest friend, I think. Maybe there’s something good in there, but I feel so alone and I hate all the things and I miss my friends from other cities.

    1. Andie
      Andie October 4, 2013 at 10:47 pm |

      All the hugs if you want them. Being in love with your best friend is weird and difficult enough without him being an epic douche about it.

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