Weekly Open Thread with #DestroyTheJoint

Please natter/chatter/vent/rant on anything* you like over this weekend and throughout the week.

The current theme for our open thread “hosts” is highlighting women activists. Destroy The Joint is an Australian feminist community targeting misogyny and sexism via calls to action on Facebook and Twitter. Despite being derided by some as “hashtag feminism” and scolded that naming themselves after one notorious incident just gives the particular misogynist in question continued attention, Destroy The Joint is accumulating notches of successful campaigns on their tally-stick, and right now they are keeping our Immigration Minister in the media spotlight for his oversight fail with respect to detained asylum seekers being deprived of adequate access to menstrual products, by encouraging women all around the country to mail boxes of tampons and pads to his parliamentary office accompanied by polite but firm letters explaining why (hashtag #stopthetampons).

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

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

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93 comments for “Weekly Open Thread with #DestroyTheJoint

    • January 11, 2014 at 9:36 pm

      Bloody hell.

  1. January 11, 2014 at 1:06 am

    So since I’m going to come out to folks on Facebook, I made this as a draft for the message: http://mellowness.dreamwidth.org/30591.html

    Thoughts? I’m worried about it sounding too fluffed-up and detached. But I could be wrong.

    • January 11, 2014 at 1:22 am

      Aaliyah, that sounds pretty solid and sincere to me, not detached. The only thing I can think to say is that maybe you should give them your real name, if you’re comfortable with it? I know I would flounder and feel uncomfortable if someone came out to me as trans but I had no name to refer to them that didn’t misgender them. (Also, the sooner they can refer to you properly the better, right?)

      Oh, and! Since you’re going to be writing to a 101ish audience, maybe saying “is really female/a woman” instead of “identifies as female” might be better and clearer. (Is that problematic? I don’t feel like it is but I’m not trans…)

      Good luck!!!

      • January 11, 2014 at 1:44 am

        My main motivation for not providing my female name is that I kind of want to cut certain people out of my life if they’re going to be vicious and hateful towards me, and one way I can make that easier is to not tell them my female name unless they stop being hostile. Maybe my fear is unwarranted, though.

        Saying “is really female/a woman” sounds tempting especially since I’m much more comfortable personally with describing myself that way, and unlike the other phrasing it actually challenges the idea that my gender identity is abnormal. (Many cissexist people tend to have a problem with trans people saying they “identify” as a certain gender.) So I’ll consider it! Thanks for the suggestions.

      • Donna L
        January 11, 2014 at 2:38 am

        One thing you could do, Ally, is use a pseudonym for your female name, just for Facebook purposes, to protect your privacy. You could communicate privately with anyone whom you trust to know your real name.

      • January 11, 2014 at 2:49 am

        Re: point one – that makes perfect sense. Would giving them an “interim” name work? Something you’re never going to legally use, but a nickname?

        And yeah. Your gender is really quite normal. I always feel like people forget there are two definitions of normal – while being trans may not fit the definition of “occurs frequently”, it certainly fits the definition of “occurs naturally”! Trans women have been around literally forever afaict.

        Honestly, for the longest time (really, a very embarrassingly long time) I was very very confused by the terms “male-identified” and “female-identified”, because in my head, I understood “identified” to mean “assigned” (as in, “the raffle winner was identified as a tall black woman in her 40s”), and wondered why the hell a trans person would want to be associated with their “identified” gender when it wasn’t the right one. I only hope I didn’t misgender some random trans guy or chick while I was under that impression… “female-identified” still squicks me out for that reason, even now I know the truth. I dunno.

      • January 11, 2014 at 12:04 pm


        One thing you could do, Ally, is use a pseudonym for your female name, just for Facebook purposes, to protect your privacy. You could communicate privately with anyone whom you trust to know your real name.

        That’s a great idea. I have several pseudonyms I could use. ^_^ I could just use one of the female names I wanted to use before I picked this one I currently use.

      • January 11, 2014 at 9:34 pm

        If you reject me for who I am and abhor this news, that is up to you and I apologize.

        I would drop the apology. You haven’t done anything wrong or anything for which to apologise. If anything, this is more an “I’m sorry you feel that way” situation. You’ve no need to put yourself in the wrong with a preemptive apology. It’s just giving ammunition to anyone who does want to attack you, as if you’re admitting guilt.

      • January 12, 2014 at 11:17 am

        I would drop the apology. You haven’t done anything wrong or anything for which to apologise. If anything, this is more an “I’m sorry you feel that way” situation. You’ve no need to put yourself in the wrong with a preemptive apology. It’s just giving ammunition to anyone who does want to attack you, as if you’re admitting guilt.

        Ok, that makes sense. I’ll just say “I’m sorry if I’ve hurt any of your feelings” or something to that effect. I’m a very self-loathing, apologetic person, but for something as important as this I need to approach things differently for my sake.

      • January 12, 2014 at 5:21 pm

        Exactly, Ally. I’ve seen how apologetic you are about lots of things; even if one is just lacking self-confidence, rather than self-loathing, it’s a flipping hard habit to break.

        I’m not sure I’d even go for “I’m sorry if I’ve hurt any of your feelings.” To me, it still implies you’ve done something. You haven’t: you’re a woman, and if their ignorance about trans gender people, or worse, ignorance plus bigotry, upsets them, that still isn’t your doing. They’d react that way to any other family member telling them the same thing, I imagine. Perhaps “I’m sorry if this hurts your feelings/distresses you” or however you want to word it. You’re not responsible for their reactions.

      • January 12, 2014 at 8:38 pm

        This is actually a good time for a good old fashioned non-pology, if you really want to leave an apology line in there.. “I’m sorry if your feelings are hurt or if you are uncomfortable hearing this news.”

        Or hell, if you wanna be sassy you could hashtag it #sorrynotsorry

        But seriously, I agree with everyone here who says that you have NOTHING to apologize for.

      • January 13, 2014 at 1:57 pm

        I was thinking of the great notpology too, Andie! :)

      • January 14, 2014 at 3:58 am

        I don’t think I have it in me to make a nonpology. Granted, I hate the fact that they’re most likely unwilling to accept me for who I am. But the only people who are close to me are family members. I’m attached to almost every family member I know. They’re the only reason I don’t feel completely lonely. And if I give them a nonpology, I will risk severing family relationships because they will see it as an act of enmity (even if that’s not what I intend), and that will be devastating for me. It’s hard enough for me to deal with all of the vitriol from the family for escaping and coming out – being unapologetic about it is sure to be even more devastating for me, cathartic benefits notwithstanding.

      • January 14, 2014 at 5:18 am

        I don’t think you need to be apologetic or nonpologetic, Ally. You can express regret that you know that your choices will cause some of your relatives some distress without taking personal responsibility for that distress, because it is their learned attitudes that are responsible for their distress, not actually you doing the best you can to make a life for yourself that causes *you* the least distress.

        Perhaps something like this? I realise that many of you will find my choices distressing and hard to understand. I regret that you may feel this distress, but this direction in life now is the only one that I know that can free me from my own distress, so I must pursue it, and I hope that you can nonetheless wish the best for me as I work towards a more complete and genuine life for myself.

      • EG
        January 14, 2014 at 8:19 am

        Ally, I hope someday–and not someday long from now–you are able to value other people as they value you; in other words, you care so much about these people that you’re willing to apologize for what you need to do to live a reasonable life; you’re willing to apologize for escaping abuse and living as the person you are. But they, in their turn, heap vitriol upon you for doing those things. They don’t value the relationship the way you do. I hope soon you have people in your life who know how to value your kindness and love and reciprocate in kind, and who support you when you take steps to make your life better. You’ll get there, I think. And then I hope you are able to distance yourself from the people who couldn’t do that.

      • January 15, 2014 at 4:44 am

        Seconding what tigtog and EG said.

      • khw
        January 15, 2014 at 5:17 am


        I’ve not been actively commenting in the last while.

        Good luck with your coming out on FB. I really hope it goes well for you and that your friends and family will give you the support you deserve.

        I say this in good faith as a cis woman who has never had any experience of doing what you are planning to do.

        My best wishes to you.

      • khw
        January 15, 2014 at 5:19 am

        I’m so sorry, I am using a different computer than I normally do, I wasn’t trying to mangle your name.

  2. January 11, 2014 at 11:52 am

    I seriously, seriously cannot stop hate-reading Adele Wilde-Blavatsky’s Twitter. (I’ve mentally dubbed her Vile-Blabatsky.) The woman is awful. I think I need help.

    • Tyris
      January 11, 2014 at 2:32 pm

      LeechBlock is a browser add-on that stops you from visiting sites that suck away your time (we use it to keep from spending more than half an hour on TVTropes), but it works just as well to block other things. You could get it and set it to block anything with https://twitter.com/lionfaceddakini in the URL for any length of time between any hours on all days.

      • khw
        January 15, 2014 at 5:22 am

        LeachBlock sounds great; I’m trying to find out the name of the chrome equivalent?

        (seeing as I have the attention span of a goldfish and the personal discipline of – oooooooh shiny!)

        Does anybody know?

        Thank you!

    • Computer Soldier Porygon
      January 11, 2014 at 5:28 pm



    • Safiya Outlines
      January 12, 2014 at 8:46 pm

      I’ve just had a look it is a Vortex of Utter Vileness, worse then I ever thought possible.

      And she really, really, is properly racist.

  3. Disorder
    January 11, 2014 at 5:32 pm

    Just found this post about eating disorders. Kind of a unique post since the author never becomes “super skinny.”


    Also just thinking about how when ever eating disorders are talked about the big issue that always comes up is how the culture pressures women to be thin. But then it seems like no one talks about the shaming and criticism that women disorders are subjected to. So it’s like, be magically thin, but you better not have an eating disorder cause that cheating.

    • January 12, 2014 at 4:10 pm

      yep. I spent most of my late teenage/early adulthood with disordered eating, verging at times on an active ED. I had to work it out essentially alone, because my family actively cheered me on when I ate badly or kept myself hungry because I would lose weight that way. (I never lost weight except by eating properly and getting sleep, but they didn’t notice that.) They thought they were doing the right thing for me – Hell, so did I – but it was awful. It could easily have been so much worse, it could have been an actual disease instead of just social pressure and anxiety, and I’m always grateful it wasn’t.

  4. January 12, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    Six years today since the first time I called Louis “my husband” – and got a “ma femme!” and bearhug in response (he’d been thinking of us as married for a few months already).

    We had a lovely celebration at Home yesternight, just the two of us (well, if you ignore ten cats and nine dogs).

    • GayDahlia
      January 12, 2014 at 7:26 pm

      Happy Anniversary!

    • Chataya
      January 13, 2014 at 10:48 am

      Happy anniversary!

    • January 13, 2014 at 1:59 pm

      Thank you both! :)

  5. January 13, 2014 at 2:25 pm

    So, I just lost friends over calling out a fandom thing as racist (in the privacy of a locked and filtered post on my journal). Woohoo. Good fucking riddance, I guess. Less happy about how it’s going to affect mutual friends, but… well.

    • DouglasG
      January 15, 2014 at 8:48 pm

      … well, indeed. I hope the friends in common don’t come in for much undeserved unpleasantness.

      I’m probably due for a similar post myself; it’s been a while now.

  6. January 13, 2014 at 5:32 pm

    York University is being called to the carpet for allowing a student out of a group assignment because his religion doesn’t allow for him to work with women (it’s an online course, but the group project required group members to meet in person). The professor originally denied him accommodation because sexism, but was pressured by the university to make the accomodation, because religious freedom.

    They’ve made accommodations for long distance students taking the course who can’t meet with their group for geographical reasons. On the other hand, this student has taken in-class courses before, which I assume had women in them. In addition, when the professor turned down the students request, the student was fine with it, in an “i figured i’d ask” kind of way, but the university told the professor he had to accommodate the student anyway.

    I’m not sure how I feel about this. York is arguing that the accomodation doesn’t cause any undue hardship to other students but the prof, as others, is arguing that accommodating this student sets a precedent and sends a shitty message to the women attending York about their status in the university. I’m leaning more to the professors side of things, but I wanted to get some other opinions.


    • January 13, 2014 at 5:38 pm

      Fuck any religious rule that prohibits humans from interacting humans on basis of group identity. That’s sexist shit right there.

    • ldouglas
      January 13, 2014 at 6:27 pm

      Sounds like that particular man is following a misogynistic religion, and I see not particular reason to coddle it or him.

    • shfree
      January 13, 2014 at 7:17 pm

      If someone’s religion’s tenets restricts them from interacting with a sizable portion of the population, (and I think that, oh, 51% is a sizable portion) it is on them to make sure their religious restrictions are met, not for the world around them to accommodate their precious needs.

    • Chataya
      January 14, 2014 at 9:14 am

      He can’t interact in public with women? I hope he doesn’t plan on leaving his house ever. The university is saying that this guy has more of a right to be a mysoginist than women have to be treated as human beings. Fuck that.

      • Chataya
        January 14, 2014 at 9:15 am

        Also the guy who compared this case to banning hijab and turbans is an asshole.

    • EG
      January 14, 2014 at 10:02 am

      This is bullshit. If you practice a religion, you have a right to do so in your personal life. You don’t have a right to go around demanding that the rest of the world cater to you.

      Christ. My personal belief system prohibits me from interacting with stupid assholes. Can I be exempt from every group project ever?

    • AMM
      January 14, 2014 at 2:49 pm

      FWIW, when I read about this on another blog (freethoughtblogs?), a number of commenters were skeptical that this was, in fact, a religious objection. The religion has AFAIK not been named, and even the more misogynistic religions don’t forbid men and women being in the same place. (E.g., that’s what the niqab and the burqa are for.)

      Of course, it might be a religion with only one member.

      • January 14, 2014 at 3:37 pm

        Anne Theriault at The Belle Jar proposed the possibility that the student was actually conducting his own little social experiment to see how far York would go to accommodate a ‘religious’ objection.

  7. pheenobarbidoll
    January 13, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    Still sick with cold. Maybe ebola. Or zombie virus. Either way, I failed to smell the smoke from the olive oil that dripped into the oven and was jarred from my zombified state by the smoke alarm. My dogs went nuts and either tried to trip me or prevent me from entering the kitchen. I landed on my ass, surrounded by hysterical dogs and 1 pissed off cat. Things were not improved by waving towel in front of alarm. The puppy ( german and anatolian shepherd mix..so huge) thought it was tug of war game. The mastiff decided that shoving me down and laying on me to protect me was called for, while the catahoula and corgi picked shriek barking in circles.

    • DannyChameleon
      January 15, 2014 at 9:03 pm

      I’m sorry you are still sick, and I hope you start feeling better. It has been my experience that puppies of the German shepherd or Labrador retriever variety will never pass on an opportunity to play tug-of-war.

  8. AMM
    January 14, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    I ran across a news article that mentioned Woody Allen’s getting the Golden Globes “lifetime achievement” award, and that Mia Farrow and his son both criticized him and the Golden Globes people. The Yahoo news story made it sound like Mia and son were cranks who just wanted to rain on his parade (rape apology, anyone?)

    I haven’t seen much about it on the blogosphere, though.

    After the way the Golden Globes people fawned on convicted child-rapist Roman Polanski, I can’t say I’m surprised about their honoring a child-rape apologist like Allen. Disgusted, but not surprised.

  9. someGuy
    January 14, 2014 at 9:09 pm

    Two nice things:


    CeCe McDonald is free.

    CeCe McDonald, a transgender woman imprisoned for fatally stabbing a man who attacked her, was released early from a Minnesota men’s prison today, BuzzFeed reports.

    McDonald, who became an international symbol for the transgender rights movement, served nineteen months of a forty-one-month sentence.

    “CeCe is doing well. She is in great spirits. She is happy to be free,” said Roxanne Anderson of the Trans Youth Support Network, who was in the car that picked McDonald up.

    The Nation article is here.


    Harry Belafonte challenges Phi Beta Sigma to join movement to stop oppression of women

    “My contribution as a new member of the fraternity is to sucker all of you into coming with me and man up and stand up. When the time comes, we will be in touch and you will be informed to join us in the this movement in the 21st century,” Belafonte told a crowd of more than 1,000 people. “Let us use this century to be the century where we say we started the mission to end the violence and oppression of women.”

    The Washington Post article is here.

    • DannyChameleon
      January 14, 2014 at 9:22 pm

      I’m sorry, but the phrase “man up” is just another symptom of toxic masculinity.

      • EG
        January 15, 2014 at 12:11 am

        Only if it’s constructed in opposition to womanhood. If it’s constructed in opposition to boyhood, then I disagree; it becomes another way of saying “be a fucking adult and take responsibility.”

      • January 15, 2014 at 12:24 am

        No, I’m going to have to agree with Danny here. this expresses why I feel that way, better than I can.

      • SophiaBlue
        January 15, 2014 at 12:55 am

        My problem with “man up” in this situation is that saying it makes it seem like men aren’t sexist, that sexism is only a problem little boys have. I recognize it’s talking about emotional maturity, but I don’t think maturity corresponds with healthy attitudes towards women that way.

      • EG
        January 15, 2014 at 1:05 am

        I just don’t see it that way, mac. The piece you link to also assumes that “man up” is and can only be constructed in opposition to woman. I have heard and read “woman up” (not from commercials, but all the better, really) and it’s definitely being constructed in opposition to girl (it’s pithier than “put on your big girl underpants and deal”).

        I find it to be a real problem when being a man is construed as inherently oppressive. Where does that leave grown male people? Should they not be men, or not wish to be?

      • EG
        January 15, 2014 at 1:07 am

        I think that’s what Belafonte is doing, though, Sophia–he’s trying to redefine male emotional maturity so that it inherently embraces healthy attitudes towards women. Is that true in a psychological sense? Maybe. I don’t know. But it can be true in terms of what we mean, culturally, when we talk about maturity.

      • January 15, 2014 at 1:16 am

        The piece you link to also assumes that “man up” is and can only be constructed in opposition to woman.

        Honestly, here’s the thing. 99% of the time I hear “man up”, it’s reinforcing toxic masculinity. 99% of the time I hear c*nt it’s reinforcing misogyny. I’m not going to argue that c*nt is totally ok and unproblematic because some women use it in a positive way, and for similar reasons, I’m not going to appreciate “man up” because once in a great while it’s used in a non-sexist sense. “Man up”, in the positive meaning, conveys nothing that “grow up” doesn’t – because all maturity is non-sexist, dare I say – so no, I don’t see the reason to use a term that is inherently gender-policing and often toxic where a perfectly non-gendered term will do the job.

        I have heard and read “woman up” (not from commercials, but all the better, really) and it’s definitely being constructed in opposition to girl

        Arghfuck you know, I’m glad you had those positive exposures, but literally every time I’ve ever heard “woman up” (as opposed to “put on your big girl panties” or whatever) it’s been an attempt to gender police and it makes me uncomfortable as fuck as an AFAB genderqueer person. This may be biasing my viewpoint horribly, I dunno.

      • SophiaBlue
        January 15, 2014 at 2:34 am

        I do see that’s what he’s trying to do, EG. To be clear, I don’t think this is the worst thing in the world, and I mostly support Belafonte.

        I just feel like the way he’s using “man up” is backwards? Like, the way to get a society where “man up” means a rejection of sexism rather than an embrace of a toxic construction of masculinity is not to act like that’s what it already means. To use mac’s example, it’s like a guy saying c*nt because he thinks if people use it a lot it will take the sting out of it (though not nearly as bad, of course). I dunno.

      • EG
        January 15, 2014 at 8:55 am

        I see using “man up” in this way as more similar to using “douchebag” as an insult. 95% of the time when it’s used, I doubt it’s being used the way I use it. As an insult, it stems from the idea that vaginas are icky and gross and so is anything associated with them. But I use it, and I think most people here use it in the sense that douches are bad for women, cause infections, and were pushed on us by misogynist notions of vaginas being dirty, and so they’re horrible unnecessary things and worthy of being used as insults.

        I do think that when a beer commercial uses “man up,” it’s probably toxic, but so is everything else a beer commercial uses. The problem there is beer commercials.

        I’ve honestly never heard “woman up” as gender policing. Seriously, I had no idea anyone ever used it that way. Just goes to show.

        Sophia, I think that using the phrase as though it means that is the only way to change the meaning, and that it’s different from a man using “c*nt” (which I do use from time to time, but that’s a different debate, and I don’t use it here, for obvious reasons) because it’s a man redefining masculinity, not “reclaiming” something that never applied to him to begin with. I think it is up to men to redefine masculinity into something non-harmful, and I like to see them doing it.

    • Donna L
      January 15, 2014 at 12:46 am

      I think Belafonte was using it in a very different way from what the writer you link to was criticizing — man as opposed to boy, rather than man as opposed to woman. I saw nothing wrong with it.

      And, by the way, I have heard people use “woman up.”

      • January 15, 2014 at 12:59 am

        And, by the way, I have heard people use “woman up.”

        I have literally never heard this except as an attempt at gender policing, so maybe I am way off here, but I really hate “woman up”.

      • pheenobarbidoll
        January 15, 2014 at 1:19 am

        Weird. I’ve never heard it used as gender policing, I’ve only heard women using it to describe acting like an adult.

      • DouglasG
        January 15, 2014 at 9:05 pm

        I can acknowledge that MU and WU are used at least occasionally in an adult/child sense, but I’ve had such a bad history being assaulted by the use of MU in a straight/@#$%^& sense that I shouldn’t cry any tears were either phrase to fall out of common practice.

        Recently, the phrase was instrumental to the introduction of a newcomer on a different site. A gay POC, he used MU in a clearly homophobic context, as, he informed us, he was used to using the phrase among friends. The surprise was that I wasn’t alone in objecting (or wondering at least why it was so important to use that particular phrase). Despite doubling down, he turned out to be generally a right-thinking person.

    • Donna L
      January 15, 2014 at 12:53 am

      I am so happy that CeCe McDonald was freed from prison. What a travesty it was to prosecute her in the first place. The excerpt from her blog, at that link, is great. I wish her all good things.

      • January 15, 2014 at 1:19 am

        I cheered and squeed when I heard! I’m so glad. And I hope she can get the emotional support she needs, professional or otherwise, to process all the awfulness she’s endured.

      • SophiaBlue
        January 15, 2014 at 2:53 am

        I’m so glad she’s out. So much about that case made me furious.

  10. SophiaBlue
    January 15, 2014 at 3:00 am

    I don’t know if people are aware of what’s happening to Jewlyes Gutierrez. You can read more about it here. The short version is that she’s a trans girl who has faced bullying for years, until finally she defended herself against three girls that attacked her, at which point she was suspended and charged with battery (the three attackers were suspended but not charged). Like the CeCe McDonald case, this seems to me to be a situation where a trans woman defending herself is considered a criminal offense. There’s a Change.org petition to drop the charges you can sign here.

    • EG
      January 15, 2014 at 9:01 am

      Thanks for posting this, Sophia. I did not know. Awful, just awful. Particularly because every person I know who was able to shut down bullies–including a trans friend of mine (she hadn’t transitioned at the time, but she was presenting as a very feminine boy–the school’s response to being approached about the bullying was to say “well, if he didn’t act like that, there wouldn’t be any trouble”)–did so by fighting back.

    • Donna L
      January 15, 2014 at 12:26 pm

      This article about the case at transadvocate.com is definitely worth reading: http://www.transadvocate.com/did-bias-lead-to-prosecution-of-bullied-hercules-trans-student.htm

      This part was extremely upsetting:

      Detective Putten refused to acknowledge that the student was transgender in the first place and continued to call the trans female a “he,” using male pronouns to refer to this transgender student.

      I made it very clear to Detective Putten that this was a transgender student. Detective Putten replied to me that the transgender person is listed as a male on school records, therefore she would refer to the transgender person as a male. I then went on to ask Detective Putten about why there’s not a hate crime being put on individuals [who attacked Gutierrez] and she stated to me that because [Gutierrez] is listed as a male, she did not identify [Gutierrez] as a transgender person and therefore [Gutierrez] would not be able to fall under hate crime [protections].

      Wonderful, right?

      I was lucky: I always fought back when I was being bullied, beginning when I was 11 in 7th grade, and managed never to get in trouble for it. Probably because I was always half the size (just over four feet tall at the beginning) of the person I was fighting, and sometimes ended up prevailing, so I was seen as “plucky,” or whatever faux-English, Tom Brown’s Schooldays-type terminology the faculty and administration thought in. (This was a school now notorious, in retrospect, for the pervasive child sexual abuse that went on there for decades.)

      • EG
        January 15, 2014 at 9:10 pm

        Wow. If the school didn’t officially list me as “Jew,” I wonder if anti-semitic bullying wouldn’t count either. What bullshit.

  11. ldouglas
    January 15, 2014 at 9:04 am

    Is there a reason I’m stuck in perma-mod? I realize I’ve disagreed pretty vociferously with some posters at a few points, but I don’t think I’ve ever engaged in trolling or anything.

    • January 15, 2014 at 3:49 pm

      I can’t remember exactly. I think there may have been a time a while back when several commentors were being vociferous at each other and you were all placed into what was meant to be temporary premoderation, and perhaps you may simply have been overlooked when the others were taken off it. I’ll take you off it now and we’ll see how it goes.

  12. KittySnide
    January 16, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    oh honestly.
    Racism happening in London, ON. A young black woman was mocked, harassed, and ejected from her bus without warning or cause.

    According to Klumpenhouwer, the driver continued to mock her English, claiming he couldn’t understand what she was saying and that she was speaking incorrectly. Next, the driver told Klumpenhouwer he felt threatened by her, and told her to sit at the back of the bus.

    She’s reported the incident and it’s being “investigated”. Hopefully some of her fellow passengers will come forward to support her.

    • KittySnide
      January 16, 2014 at 12:00 pm
    • PrettyAmiable
      January 16, 2014 at 12:45 pm


      • PrettyAmiable
        January 16, 2014 at 12:47 pm

        Wait – is this US-centric? Because that was a part of what we did in the name of separate-but-equal. I can’t find if Canada had this law as well.

      • KittySnide
        January 16, 2014 at 1:05 pm

        I know Canada had some similar segregation practices: Viola Desmond has been called the “Canadian Rosa Parks” for her arrest for sitting in the whites-only section of a movie theatre in 1946. I’m not sure about the “back of the bus” laws for here.

        But even so! It’s blatant unapologetic racism to demand a black passenger sit at the back of a not-full bus, whether or not you’re in the country the law existed in. We’re next door to you, for pete’s sake.

      • KittySnide
        January 16, 2014 at 1:06 pm

        *as in, it’s not like the Rosa Parks story is that obscure. I’m guessing more Canadians are aware of Rosa Parks’ story than they are of Viola Desmond’s.

  13. January 16, 2014 at 1:27 pm


    Auditing rape victims? What in fucking fuck?!?!?!?!!!!

    Petition (US only afaict) here.

    • DannyChameleon
      January 16, 2014 at 1:51 pm

      In the US the fight has gone from trying to keep abortion legal to trying to keep abortion legal for victims of rape. And we are slowly losing that as well. Access to abortion and family planning is a joke here. It exists only theoretically. And the conservatives who pass these laws will not end their war until everyone with a vagina is dead or capitulates to the god-intended superiority of the rich, white cis-males who make the laws.

      Sorry if I am angry, I am not angry at you, I am just angry.

  14. anna_k
    January 16, 2014 at 5:32 pm

    I am currently working my way through volumes of Hilberg, Bauman, Judt, Snyder etc etc. It’s tough going in many ways, not least because of my unsettled views on how I can best approach academic study of those events.

    To clarify, I’ve studied them before in purely legal contexts, but I now have specific classes taking an interdisciplinary lens and I’m…uneasy, to say the least, about the approach of at least some sociology & psychology academics.

    I’d also appreciate it if anyone with the appropriate knowledge who feels so inclined could TTMLIS (talk to me like I’m stupid) on terminology: Holocaust vs. Shoah specifically. I’ve done some googling but I feel like I am missing a lot, as I’m not sure my googling has fully explained the clear split in terminology between different writers I’ve read.

    • TimmyTwinkles
      January 17, 2014 at 2:43 am

      Shoah is the Hebrew word for the Holocaust.

    • Donna L
      January 17, 2014 at 2:47 pm

      Not exactly, Timmy, although many people do use the two words interchangeably. Sometimes, Shoah is used to refer specifically to the murders of Jews, and Holocaust to refer to all victims of Nazi genocide, including both Jews and, primarily, Roma.

      I don’t really understand what you mean, Anna, about being “uneasy” about the approach of psychology and sociology academics to Holocaust studies.

      • anna_k
        January 17, 2014 at 4:22 pm

        Hey Donna L,

        Thank you for answering.

        I’ll write more later as I’m currently rushing to class, but in brief, my uneasiness is about people extrapolating various things about the nature of victimhood, the nature of “Jewish victimhood” specifically, whether there was a condition of how Jews “acted” as victims as opposed to other “classes” of persons (none of these ideas/terminology are mine or advocated by me!) and really broad cause/effect conclusions about the role of Jews vis-a-vis “aiding” Nazis in the final solution through the centralised administrative agencies which were forced on them.

        Basically a lot of stuff that (really REALLY broadly) i’d term victim-blaming, though that probably doesn’t cover or explain it all.

      • Donna L
        January 17, 2014 at 6:25 pm

        Anna, I’ve read stuff that engages in that sort of implicit victim-blaming as well, and completely despise it, given both general principles and my own background as someone whose mother was born in Berlin, was a child refugee without her parents, and lost most of her family.

    • January 17, 2014 at 3:27 pm

      I took a class on theory of collective trauma in the Holocaust, and I recall some writers preferring “Shoah” for theoretical reasons. My understandings was that said theorists objected to the semantic implications of the term “Holocaust” (“offering” “sacrifice”). I believe “Shoah” was preferred because it seemed to impose less meaning of the event. One of them might have been Agamben, but don’t quote me on that…

      I also once read a thesis by a younger scholar who claimed “Shoah” was preferred because it had a Hebrew and not Indo-European etymology, but that was literally the only place I had ever heard that explanation. I don’t know whether or not he’s right, or whether he was just being a polemical masters student.

      Disclaimer: I’m hardly well read in this area, and my academic area only tangentially intersects with a certain type of work on the Holocaust, so I have kind of a spotty knowledge of the literature on the subject.

      On the question of how to best (ethically) approach studying historical and collective traumas, esp. the Holocaust, you can find a lot of academic literature, although I don’t know how popular or available it is outside of academia.

      I hope I don’t sound too clinical in my discussion here. I have a lot of complicated feelings on all of this, but I did just want to let you know what I’ve encountered re: terminology.

      • anna_k
        January 17, 2014 at 4:23 pm

        No, thank you, that’s really helpful! Definitely not too clinical for me :)

  15. January 17, 2014 at 1:57 am

    Oh god. I forgot to book an accommodated exam. It’s on Tuesday. I can’t pass it if I don’t have accommodations. What the fuck am I thinking? I’m such a fucking fuckup. THis is the second time this year.

    • EG
      January 17, 2014 at 2:04 am

      Mac, please don’t beat yourself up. I don’t think you’re a fuck-up. I think you have a lot on your plate this term.

      Can you contact the professor and explain what happened? Is ze likely to be sympathetic? Maybe you can arrange a make-up exam with accommodations.

      • January 17, 2014 at 11:59 am

        Thank you so much, EG. >_> I talked it over with Disability Services, who were, as always, really very sweet. It’s fixed now.

      • Donna L
        January 17, 2014 at 2:41 pm

        I’m glad to hear it turned out OK, mac.

    • January 17, 2014 at 1:23 pm

      Content warning: Racism and egregious privilege denial

    • January 17, 2014 at 1:32 pm

      No white kid could walk into a school with a shirt that says that in reverse

      She’s absolutely right. That would be a lie on the kind of scale that provokes spontaneous combustion.

      • ldouglas
        January 17, 2014 at 2:01 pm

        I don’t even know what that hypothetical statement would say. Genuinely, I have no idea what Tittler thinks it would be.

    • DannyChameleon
      January 17, 2014 at 1:51 pm

      I’m actually very impressed by how this is being handled on all sides. In the US Tenelle Star would have been banned from school, not just her sweatshirt, and the decision would not have been reversed. Nobody would be investigating comments on social media unless someone had died.

    • pheenobarbidoll
      January 17, 2014 at 2:13 pm

      http://www.idlenomore.ca/got_land my shirt is on its way. Order or make one if you can.

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