Weekly Open Thread with Pool Eagle

This poolside osprey has dropped by to host this weeks Open Thread. Please natter/chatter/vent/rant on anything* you like over this weekend and throughout the week.

Eagle @ pool

Eagle @ pool by Mister.Tee, shared on Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

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?

*NB: for anyone looking for discussion of Ani DiFranco’s Righteous Retreat Fail here on Feministe, it’s happening in comments on this thread. (And now on Caperton’s thread about the racist plantation party.)

* 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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64 comments for “Weekly Open Thread with Pool Eagle

  1. trees
    December 27, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    Thanks for starting the new thread.

    #stopblamingwhitewomenweneedunity is a thing on twitter. Trudy at gradient lair talks about it in this post: Requiring Accountability For Racism and White Supremacy Is Not “Bashing” White Feminists

    • PrettyAmiable
      December 27, 2013 at 6:58 pm

      Great link – thank you for sharing. Sometimes I’m so thankful that I have nothing to do with twitter, but then other times I’m deeply aware that saying that is kind of “head in the sand.”

      • December 27, 2013 at 7:09 pm

        I dip in and out of Twitter, and tend to use it to signalboost links of interest rather than have conversations, but I do find some of the conversations other people have on the platform extremely interesting and valuable, especially when they generate discussions beyond Twitter. There’s nothing like Twitter for brainstorming around an issue and getting traction for broader discussion of many points raised by traditionally marginalised stakeholders, but it’s a jumping-off point rather than a destination for activism (eta: a point which active tweeters are far more aware of than non-tweeters give them credit for, and is exactly why they’re using Twitter to bring wider attention to issues they work for offline).

      • trees
        December 27, 2013 at 7:23 pm

        Yeah, I’m not on twitter either, I only come across these things secondhand through blog mentions. Although, there looks to be at least some super interesting things happening there, like that recent #NotYourAsianSidekick. I particularly enjoyed the black twitter coverage of Paula Deen: The Very Best Tweets From Twitter’s #PaulasBestDishes Hashtag, and ‘Paula’s Best Dishes’: Delicious Satire

      • trees
        December 27, 2013 at 7:32 pm

        …just reread some of those Paula Deen tweets, freakin’ hilarious!!!!!!!!!!!

      • gratuitous_violet
        December 27, 2013 at 7:52 pm

        Black twitter > rest of twitter.

    • December 27, 2013 at 7:09 pm

      the head of a giraffe against a bright blue sky: its mouth is pursed sideways
      [Moderator note - ORIGINAL COMMENT CONTENT HAS BEEN DISEMVOWELLED FOR MULTIPLE STOUSHBAIT NON SEQUITURS ARISING FROM APPARENTLY NOT ACTUALLY READING THE LINKED POST]W dn’t rlly nd nty n th fmnst mvmnt. Wht th rgnzd lft (nd fmnsm) nds, mr thn nythng, s fr vryn whs cmmttd t dng nthng bt ntrnt ctvsm t lv. Dsgstng, msgynst sht lk tht lnk r prm xmpls f ths.

      • trees
        December 27, 2013 at 7:47 pm

        Is this reference to the link at gradient lair, or to Wilde-Blavatsky’s original HuffPo UK article?

    • molly
      December 28, 2013 at 3:21 pm

      Using the term white feminists as a sneer has to stop if feminism is to be intersectional.

      • December 28, 2013 at 4:54 pm

        Who do you see using the term ‘white feminists’ as a sneer rather than as a description? Also, are you sure you fully understand what intersectional analysis of social oppression is all about?

      • December 28, 2013 at 5:15 pm

        OK agreed entirely. But is it being used as a sneer when feminists who are white act from white privilege/are racist, or when feminists happen to be white and exist in the world? Because there’s a difference, and while I’d happily fight for the right of white feminists to exist and have their non-racist opinions and whatnot, I’m not going to waste my time/energy being cuddly-soft to racist dickbags who happen to be white feminists.

      • trees
        December 28, 2013 at 5:15 pm

        Using the term white feminists as a sneer has to stop if feminism is to be intersectional.

        I disagree that the term is used as a pejorative. What term do you think more appropriate?

      • December 28, 2013 at 7:07 pm

        The point of intersectionality is not to protect white feminists from criticism.

      • December 28, 2013 at 9:59 pm

        Thank you, white dude.

        But I agree with trees.

      • pheenobarbidoll
        December 28, 2013 at 10:56 pm

        Lols @ white = pejorative.

      • trees
        December 29, 2013 at 9:32 am

        Lols @ white = pejorative.

        So very, very true. This stinks of persecution delusion.

      • December 28, 2013 at 11:13 pm

        I think people will stop saying white feminists with a sneer when certain white feminists stop giving people reason to sneer (not checking privilege and otherwise racist fuckwittery)

      • Donna L
        December 28, 2013 at 11:47 pm

        Or maybe they’ll stop when white feminists like ani defranco stop doing things like scheduling “feminist retreats” at former slave plantations, owned by right-wing billionaires, that perpetuate the myth of benevolent slave owners? And then completely ignore the criticisms?

      • December 29, 2013 at 7:13 pm
      • December 28, 2013 at 11:49 pm

        Yeah, I heard about that. Rarely has so much classy been so abandoned so thoroughly.

      • pheenobarbidoll
        December 29, 2013 at 12:13 am

        Here’s linkage to the event and to the lovely response -http://www.forharriet.com/2013/12/dear-ani-difranco-supporters-you-cannot.html

      • December 29, 2013 at 12:22 am

        All conferences by desi feminists now to be held in the Black Hole of Calcutta!

      • someGuy
        December 29, 2013 at 12:33 am

        @pheeno: Thanks for the link but wow. Just wow. I used to enjoy her music, but yuck. And I’ve seen that tactic before–a fake POC pops in the middle of a debate to serve as a mouthpiece for white supremacist arguments. Always sounds bogus.

      • EG
        December 29, 2013 at 9:09 am

        Holy shit. That is all I have to say. What is even going through someone’s head when they choose to host anything at a former plantation?

      • trees
        December 29, 2013 at 9:30 am

        And I’ve seen that tactic before–a fake POC pops in the middle of a debate to serve as a mouthpiece for white supremacist arguments. Always sounds bogus.

        Mouth just dropped at that LaQueeta Jones character. That is so not Black English, and such an offensive parody. And of course the creator had to bring MLK into the mix.

      • shfree
        December 29, 2013 at 3:37 pm

        That sock puppeting has got to be one of the most offensive things I’ve seen in a long time. I just don’t even. And fuck Ani DiFranco.

      • Donna L
        December 29, 2013 at 7:35 pm

        The reaction to the apology — which was less an apology than a lecture, it seemed to me — has not been favorable. To put it kindly.

      • trees
        December 29, 2013 at 9:19 pm

        Not sure that qualifies as an apology. This is my favorite line:

        i entreat you to refocus your concerns and comments on this matter with positive energy and allow us now to work together towards common ground and healing.

        I certainly agree with this sentiment:

        for myself, i believe that one cannot draw a line around the nottoway plantation and say “racism reached it’s depths of wrongness here” and then point to the other side of that line and say “but not here”. i know that any building built before 1860 in the South and many after, were built on the backs of slaves.

        but she just pulled this out of her ass:

        later, when i found out it was to be held at a resort on a former plantation, I thought to myself, “whoa”… i imagined instead that the setting would become a participant in the event. this was doubtless to be a gathering of progressive and engaged people, so i imagined a dialogue would emerge organically over the four days about the issue of where we were.

      • shfree
        December 29, 2013 at 9:25 pm

        Yeah, that lecture was totally unnecessary and fucked up. She does not get to tell WOC what to be upset about wrt racism, she is not the one who gets to draw their lines for them.

      • PrettyAmiable
        December 29, 2013 at 9:26 pm

        so i imagined a dialogue would emerge organically over the four days about the issue of where we were.

        This is my least favorite quote. I don’t know much about Ani DiFranco other than what I just read (PS, this Weekly Thread seems to be all about things I know nothing about), but if she spent half a second reading the comments threads on some mainstream feminist sites, she’d see how offended her fans are that she might be called racist for the event, or at least be called out for unchecked white privilege. Doesn’t sound ideal for organic discussion of intersectional feminist issues.

        I do kind of respect that she straight up canceled the event.

      • pheenobarbidoll
        December 29, 2013 at 10:03 pm

        Part of white privilege is that you get to explain your intent in great fucking detail, which is supposed to serve as an apology. So poc know how very wrong we are about racism.

      • gratuitous_violet
        December 29, 2013 at 1:18 am


        Oh wait. You’re being serious. Let me laugh even harder.


        In all seriousness, once “white feminism” ceases to be such a handy shorthand for “white supremacist bullshit,” it won’t be a problem anymore. And it ain’t the meeeeeeeeean critics on twitter that are responsible for that making that shift happen.

      • Sue
        December 30, 2013 at 10:15 am

        Reading “white feminist” I can’t help think of how we decry the media usage of “black man” for MOC and “man” for white man. So white feminists are simply being described for who they are. Yes with a sneer, but after this scenario- it is a well deserved sneer. And white feminists could use the opportunity for some personal growth to feed into systemic growth, or they could keep finding reasons to be unhappy.

        I’m unhappy (I’m a white feminist) but I’m unhappy this happened and I’m unhappy how so many white women responded and I’m unhappy about the “apology” not because I have to endure some of the fallout personally. I’ll certainly survive and to suggest otherwise is frustrating.

      • December 30, 2013 at 7:31 pm

        Well said, Sue.

  2. December 27, 2013 at 7:12 pm
  3. gratuitous_violet
    December 27, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    Welp, this Xmas week can finally be over.

    This week I’ve worked 40+ hrs, attended a grandparent’s deathbed and funeral, had to put down my childhood pet lab of 18 years, observed the 1 yr anniversary of my sister-in-law’s murder, and got my first grey hair.

    Thank god somebody brought me a bottle of single malt for Boxing Day.

    • trees
      December 27, 2013 at 7:53 pm

      Thank goodness the week in over indeed! Internet hugs if you want them.

    • December 27, 2013 at 7:54 pm

      All the Jedi hugs to you, gratuitous_violet. That’s a truly dreadful week.

    • shfree
      December 27, 2013 at 7:59 pm

      Ugh, and I thought my time was terrible. I’m so sorry.

      • gratuitous_violet
        December 27, 2013 at 8:13 pm

        hugs and all the internet ramen to you too shfree if you want them. I was just reading your post and thought “well fuck, at least I’m calling in sick on Monday!” That’s terrible that you’re stuck between self-care and screwing up other people’s days who may not actually deserve it.

      • December 27, 2013 at 9:06 pm

        Yeah, I was use about to complain about my Christmas (car battery died and had to skip out on Christmas with my family because everyone there was sick) but wow… Also sending Internet hugs if you need them.

    • December 30, 2013 at 10:44 pm

      I have no words. I’m so, so sorry.

  4. shfree
    December 27, 2013 at 7:56 pm

    So, I’ve had two days off of work in a row, a rare thing for me, and what have I been doing? Why, I’ve been sick and miserable, my daughter has been out of state with her dad visiting his relatives, not calling me, and I would TOTALLY call in to work tomorrow, if I had any faith that my asshole assistant manager was going to show up. (I really, really hate to screw over co-workers, and I’m pretty sure we are already going to be down a person because of vacation scheduling)

    I’m cranky, and there is no one here to make ramen for me. :(

  5. Tyris
    December 27, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    Today has been a really weird day for motor feedback. Tyr’ika woke up with pain in all the major antagonistic muscle pairs to the point where picking up a pen was strenuous… we’ll leave it to your imaginations as to what cycling to work was like.

    Then this afternoon left and right reversed themselves for no apparent reason.

    No idea what’s going on there. At this point we’re just waiting to see what happens tomorrow.

    • December 28, 2013 at 11:47 pm

      Ugh fuck you know I kind of understand what you’re talking about, from personal experience, so… sympathies. All the sympathies. And hugs if you want ’em.

  6. December 27, 2013 at 9:11 pm

    Missed my family Christmas because half of my sisters family was sick with a stomach bug that I did not want to catch.

    The boy and I have been marathoning MASH episodes. Still mostly like the show, but the sexual harassment of the nurses gets hard to watch (although it gets toned down in the second season).

    This weekend I get to meet my recently discovered cousin (my uncle found out this year that he has a daughter and two grand kids he never knew about) so I’m rather excited about that, as I didn’t have many first cousins growing up.

  7. December 28, 2013 at 2:02 am

    [Content note: fat-shaming, abuse]

    So I recently went to my 9-year-old sister’s honor roll ceremony at her school. The whole time she was on the stage with her fellow honor roll students, she covered part of her face with her certificate, and actually sat down half of the time.

    The reason? My dad keeps shaming her for being fat. He fat-shames both of my little sisters because they wear clothes two sizes larger than what’s typical for girls in their age range (e.g. the 9-year-old wears size 11 clothes). The reality is that my 9-year-old sister is just tall for her age (which explains why she was trying to sit down on stage – she didn’t want to appear tall). Even from the perspective that weight gain is always harmful, her body weight is what many people would consider “healthy.” My 8-year-old sister is rather short but she’s also okay for the same reason. Besides, both of them are strong and healthy regardless of how much they weigh. And while this technically isn’t relevant, they’re some of the most adorable kids I’ve ever known.

    Anyway, all of this is infuriating me, especially since my little sisters are overly self-conscious and self-loathing because of the body shaming. I wish I could do something, but I feel so burdened by stress these days that risking more confrontations with their parents is definitely going to hurt me. At the very least, once I leave I’ll leave them a letter telling them that their dad is wrong for fat-shaming them and that they’re worthy of love and respect no matter what they look like. I just hope the letter doesn’t sound trite or anything.

  8. December 29, 2013 at 1:08 am

    http://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/dec/23/book-bannings-rise-us-censorship Censorship rises in the US, and as always, books dealing with race and sexuality are the first on the chopping block. I’m still impressed that they tried to ban the diary of Anne Frank, though. Assholes must be getting pretty cocky to not mind being associated with the obvious anti-semitic factor in that. Honestly, I would feel uncomfortable teaching some of the contested texts, but it’s sure as fuck not for the reasons these creeps are.

    • pheenobarbidoll
      December 29, 2013 at 8:56 am

      Ever notice how truth telling about Christianity is labelled anti Christian? The NDN books always get the anti Christian label when banning is brought up. Talk about Christians beating the snot out of you and its anti Christian. -eye roll-

      • December 29, 2013 at 2:56 pm

        Yeah, I was pretty fucking angry about that, too. It wasn’t as brazen as the Anne Frank deal, but it’ll go less challenged, after all. Fuck Christian supremacy.

  9. Denise Winters
    December 29, 2013 at 10:59 am

    Just found out about # on Twitter, which appears to be led by TERFs. I rolled my eyes so very hard but am glad I at least decided to hate-read some of the tweets because I found a link to a post that sums up quite nicely just some of the problems with the concept: [link]

    Yet, the myth of shared female experience prevails. It gets used by certain groups, including Michigan Women’s Music Festival, to exclude trans* women because they presumably don’t have all the parts necessary to participate in this “universal” female experience that doesn’t actually exist anyway. The idea that cis women who attend this festival have a shared experience of womanhood–an experience that stretches like a rainbow bridge across race, sexuality, (dis)ability and economic class–that is so certain that no one without a vagina could possibly understand any of it is, frankly, absurd.

    • Denise Winters
      December 29, 2013 at 11:00 am

      Well, messed up that link and quote. The quote is from a blog post on Black Girl Dangerous, called “The Myth of Shared Female Experience.”

      [mod note: edited your link back in - the first half of it was there, but without anchor text and a closing tag it was invisible to normal readers]

      • trees
        December 29, 2013 at 11:35 am

        Thank you so much for posting that link. What particular hashtag is this about? #sharedgirlhood?

    • Donna L
      December 29, 2013 at 2:03 pm

      That quotation isn’t an entirely accurate representation of how those people think. It doesn’t really have that much to do with whether someone has a vagina, or how long they’ve had it. They’re no more accepting of a trans woman who has one than one who hasn’t. So the “no penises on The Land” battle-cry is essentially a red herring. If you’ve ever had one, that negates everything else. Even if you transitioned when you were five years old. “Shared girlhood” notwithstanding. And even if you were born without one, but have XY chromosomes — like women with certain intersex conditions — you’re still a man. (According to Germaine Greer.)

      Of course, they try to get around some of that by saying that trans women’s vaginas aren’t “real.” As I’ve mentioned before, they commonly refer to them as (1) surgical wounds, (2) surgical fuckholes, and/or (3) second assholes.

      By the way, if anybody knows Roz Kaveney, on twitter or from her writing or otherwise, please consider lending her support against the vicious attacks by the notorious Gallus Mag in the last day or so.

      • December 29, 2013 at 2:54 pm

        Honestly, my 0.02 re: shared girlhood would be to feel sad that trans women never got to just enjoy being girls (even the ones who transitioned young would have faced so much shit cis girls wouldn’t) and to actively include them in it to help with a sense of community and making up for stolen opportunities for Just Being A Girl And Having Fun (I’m not explaining it well, sorry, I just woke up). And even if the point of shared girlhood is a sort of trauma bond (a thing that leaves me leery at best), well fuck, it’s not like trans girls don’t feel that trauma too! o_O I have to say this is pretty baffling, wtf.

  10. pheenobarbidoll
    December 29, 2013 at 1:48 pm
    • EG
      December 29, 2013 at 1:58 pm

      Thank you for the reminder, pheeno. I appreciate it.

      • PrettyAmiable
        December 29, 2013 at 9:29 pm

        Ditto. I also appreciate you linking to sites that are generally good sources of information for potential allies. A couple of years ago, I was not remotely aware of my privilege as a colonizer, but I’ve been very lucky to learn from your postings here.

  11. Sue
    December 29, 2013 at 10:05 pm

    Today is my 8th blogaversary! yeah! I celebrated with a nap.

    • December 31, 2013 at 9:02 pm

      That sounds like an excellent way to celebrate. The kitties would approve.

  12. December 31, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    Well, Christmas and New Year over at last. NYE is my least favourite time of year, but thank goodness, it was completely quiet here, apart from some midnight fireworks which sounded like rapid-fire farting. Now for a week off and let’s see if I can finish this knitting project.

  13. January 1, 2014 at 3:33 am

    Yay! Happy New Year, Feministe. ^_^ It’s 2014 here in San Jose. One of my New Years resolutions is to finally start living as myself. I’ll begin my transition once and for all, even if I can’t get HRT and SRS right away.

    I hope this year will be way less terrible and stressful for everyone else, too. You all deserve it.

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