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55 Responses

  1. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve January 14, 2014 at 3:19 pm |

    Good work, and I do think your narrator has upped his game (I’m not just saying that to get out of a promise ;P – my offer still stands!)

    1. Echo Zen
      Echo Zen January 15, 2014 at 5:48 pm |

      It’s funny you should say the narrator sounds better already, because this was before he really got his act together for the sixth episode and put “more conviction” into the recordings! Well, something I personally dislike is how he still sounds like an authoritative Voice of God, rather than a vlog personality with a human touch, a la Laci Green. Part of it is we can’t students’ faces, but it’s also the detached, impersonal format of the vlog, which is still not to my liking. I plan to discuss that when I upload and post their seventh episode…

      (BTW, since you do this for a living, I have a question. For the sixth and seventh episodes, we used dynamic range compression to even out the volume of all the narrator’s words. It did help to make the narration easier to edit, but I frankly thought it would make every syllable the same volume, which didn’t happen — some phrases are 1.5 or 3.0 decibels louder or softer than the rest of the sentence, and I’m sure all my settings are right. Do you have the same issue with your own compressor, or are such deviations the norm even after running recordings through a compressor?)

      1. Fat Steve
        Fat Steve January 15, 2014 at 6:10 pm |

        (BTW, since you do this for a living, I have a question. For the sixth and seventh episodes, we used dynamic range compression to even out the volume of all the narrator’s words. It did help to make the narration easier to edit, but I frankly thought it would make every syllable the same volume, which didn’t happen — some phrases are 1.5 or 3.0 decibels louder or softer than the rest of the sentence, and I’m sure all my settings are right. Do you have the same issue with your own compressor, or are such deviations the norm even after running recordings through a compressor?)

        Theoretically a compressor should make everything the same volume, but you’re fighting against a loss of quality, so yeah, you always have to balance between dynamics and clarity. I

        1. Fat Steve
          Fat Steve January 15, 2014 at 6:13 pm |

          oops…posted that too soon…

          I was saying…if it’s >3db and you’re using a software based compressor plug in, I would say that sounds like an acceptable range. If you’re using a rack mounted dedicated compressor that costs upward of a grand with a noise gate and limiter, then you might have an issue with quality.

        2. Echo Zen
          Echo Zen January 15, 2014 at 6:37 pm |

          Whew, glad I’m not hearing things or just plain incompetent — these are the kinds of questions I can’t answer through Google because they’re too specialised. And yes, we’re using a cheap, imperfect software compressor, which at the moment sounds preferable to a perfect hardware solution that costs $1,000 US!

  2. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune January 14, 2014 at 3:26 pm |

    >_> As part of that 15-times-people (I think I’ve watched 2/6 at this point), I’d like to say that it’s not your vlog, I just can’t handle watching stuff on my laptop most of the time since it’s too close to my face, and at that distance it’s ridiculously easy for even small flashy things to set off headaches for me.

    1. Chataya
      Chataya January 14, 2014 at 3:50 pm |

      I don’t have speakers on my computer, and I can read faster than most narration is done. So ditto, it’s not the blog, just my preference.

      1. sidhe3141
        sidhe3141 January 15, 2014 at 8:27 pm |

        Yeah. Unless the video is about music or there’s an important visual illustration, I usually just go with a transcript because it’s both faster and sticks better with me; and even with the exceptions I like having subtitles.

    2. SophiaBlue
      SophiaBlue January 14, 2014 at 4:14 pm |

      For me I just prefer reading transcripts to watching videos in general. I can process the information easier through reading, and I think hearing voices I’m not familiar with in a video makes me very slightly anxious.

      1. EG
        EG January 15, 2014 at 1:19 am |

        Ditto. I really am not a fan of videos in general.

    3. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
      The Kittehs' Unpaid Help January 14, 2014 at 8:03 pm |

      I don’t have sound at work, which is where I do most of my internet stuff, but I don’t much care for watching videos anyway.

      Except when they’re of kitties, naturally. Even then I don’t bother with sound when I’m at home.

    4. AMM
      AMM January 15, 2014 at 9:55 am |

      Count me as another reader who prefers transcripts to videos any day of the week. Transcripts I can read at my own pace, on any browser (or text editor), or even print out and read on the train. Videos I can only view at work (my browser at home doesn’t support them, assuming I even have the bandwidth to download them), and are hard to go back and re-read when you realize you must have missed something.

      My company sometimes insists on making us view videos for training or company announcements, and I never retain any of it. (Of course, this may be because there wasn’t any content to retain :-) )

      1. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
        The Kittehs' Unpaid Help January 15, 2014 at 10:10 pm |

        My company sometimes insists on making us view videos for training or company announcements, and I never retain any of it. (Of course, this may be because there wasn’t any content to retain :-) )

        Definitely the second option. ;)

    5. Jenna
      Jenna January 15, 2014 at 2:33 pm |

      I tend to read the transcripts rather than watch videos whenever I can, because the thing I am using for web surfing does not do videos reliably well. Things crash back to the home screen, etc.
      If the video is for entertainment, I will try(watching the dwarves sing Misty Mountain, or watching Elsa sing in Frozen) but, for information I prefer to read if a transcript is available.

    6. Echo Zen
      Echo Zen January 15, 2014 at 6:33 pm |

      Hmm, all this is immensely useful feedback for the crew. I’ve long suspected the audience here (versus, say, university students) is less able or willing to sit through videos, which still points to lack of a compelling reason to watch, even when speakers or browsers are working. And considering even I prefer transcripts to sitting through videos… it makes me question if a vlog is needed or useful for this project.

      I need to sit with the crew and seriously discuss what the vlog’s video (as opposed to narration) should be used for. Obviously information-driven feminists don’t need video when they can infer everything from transcripts (even if a video were to feature animated graphs or diagrams), so what else can it be used for? An idea I’ve toyed with is doing live commentaries, where we record ourselves talking sex whilst doing something geeky (playing games, etc). At the very least, there should be more connection between what we’re saying and what we’re doing/playing onscreen…

      Or we can go with The Kittehs’ Unpaid Help’s idea and film kittens instead of videogames for the next vlog episode. If enough people say they’d prefer that, I’ll do that next time. Yes, I’m serious.

      1. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
        The Kittehs' Unpaid Help January 15, 2014 at 10:12 pm |

        Or we can go with The Kittehs’ Unpaid Help’s idea and film kittens instead of videogames for the next vlog episode. If enough people say they’d prefer that, I’ll do that next time. Yes, I’m serious.

        Wouldn’t work. The naration would get lost in all the KITTENS! SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEE! and cat stories that would follow.

        I’m joking, but I suspect it really would happen!

    7. Nanani
      Nanani January 15, 2014 at 8:27 pm |

      Another transcript reader here, not to do with your content.

      I can read faster than any narrator can comprehensibly narrate, and skim for relevant information with text in a way that no current video technology allows, so read wins out over watch.

    8. DannyChameleon
      DannyChameleon January 15, 2014 at 8:47 pm |

      I read the transcripts, because I have no retention (seriously, none at all) when watching something, but I do when reading.

  3. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve January 14, 2014 at 3:43 pm |

    And regarding the content of the vlog itself, I have a friend who says she ‘lost her virginity with a finger,’ meaning her hymen broke from penetration by a finger. However she is the only person I’ve ever known to use the term in this way.

  4. ldouglas
    ldouglas January 14, 2014 at 4:27 pm |

    Great blog post! Um… I wish I had something more substantial to add, but nope, just really liked this one.

    1. Echo Zen
      Echo Zen January 15, 2014 at 7:08 pm |

      Coming from you, that’s high praise indeed. :-p

  5. Kate
    Kate January 14, 2014 at 7:33 pm |

    Just writing to say that as a deaf woman I really appreciate the transcripts. So few websites actually think to post transcripts that I’m always a little surprised–and quite gratified–when someone does. So coming from someone who doesn’t have much choice on the matter of videos and transcripts: Thanks.

  6. tinfoil hattie
    tinfoil hattie January 14, 2014 at 10:39 pm |

    Aren’t “hymens” rather a myth? Or at least, not a consistent part of female anatomy?

    1. Donna L
      Donna L January 15, 2014 at 1:55 am |

      Well, I know I never had one!

      1. tinfoil hattie
        tinfoil hattie January 15, 2014 at 12:44 pm |

        Hee! And yet … still a fulfilled woman.

    2. macavitykitsune
      macavitykitsune January 15, 2014 at 2:31 am |

      I guess if I didn’t have a hymen, I had….some…thing….there? I dunno.

      1. tinfoil hattie
        tinfoil hattie January 15, 2014 at 12:45 pm |

        It was the crown of your most queenly vagina. See Scarleteen.

    3. Chataya
      Chataya January 15, 2014 at 8:03 am |

      The hymen as a mystical barrier guarding female virginity is a myth. It is an anatomical structure, but it’s a ring of tissue that thins and stretches during puberty and various activities. The whole bloody sheets thing is just another part of purity culture designed to punish women for having sex, it doesn’t have to happen.

      1. tinfoil hattie
        tinfoil hattie January 15, 2014 at 12:46 pm |

        Yup. Just another shame-weapon.

    4. EG
      EG January 15, 2014 at 8:38 am |

      I’m pretty sure I never had one. Or if I did, it’s still there, which seems unlikely.

    5. Li
      Li January 15, 2014 at 8:46 am |

      Scarletteen has an excellent write-up(with diagrams) on this point for anyone interested.

      1. tinfoil hattie
        tinfoil hattie January 15, 2014 at 12:44 pm |

        Thanks, Li! Excellent info. And I like “vaginal corona” much better!

        1. Fat Steve
          Fat Steve January 15, 2014 at 2:22 pm |

          …I like “vaginal corona” much better!

          Yes, it does seem unfair that ‘men’ has to be inserted even into a word describing that.

        2. Li
          Li January 15, 2014 at 6:04 pm |

          Yes, it does seem unfair that ‘men’ has to be inserted even into a word describing that.

          This is a derail, but hymen comes from the greek for membrane (and appears in terms like hymenoptera, the order of insects that includes ants and wasps). It has nothing etymologically to do with the English word “men” apart from using the letters.

      2. Donna L
        Donna L January 15, 2014 at 1:50 pm |

        For some reason, Scarleteen is blocked from access where I work. I’ll look at it tonight; I’m curious.

      3. Echo Zen
        Echo Zen January 15, 2014 at 7:07 pm |

        Perhaps your workplace frowns on informing girls about their dirty, sinful female sexuality. My local library seems to take the same position, based on their filters…

    6. Li
      Li January 15, 2014 at 6:44 pm |

      The whole “hymen breaking” thing is particularly ironic because penises *do* have a piece of tissue that can break during sex and which once broken stays broken – the frenulum.

      1. Donna L
        Donna L January 15, 2014 at 8:34 pm |

        Interesting. I’ve heard frenulum used for the ridge of tissue under one’s tongue, but never for that. I had no idea what part you meant until I looked it up in Wikipedia and saw a picture. It looks vaguely familiar, but I certainly never knew before that it even had a name!

        1. Fat Steve
          Fat Steve January 15, 2014 at 11:07 pm |

          didn’t that term come up during a circumcision discussion thread?

        2. kittehserf
          kittehserf January 16, 2014 at 3:52 am |

          I’ve heard of the frenulum but didn’t know it could break.

        3. Echo Zen
          Echo Zen January 16, 2014 at 7:00 am |

          Don’t ask why, but at first I read that as, “I’ve heard of feminism but didn’t know it could break.” (It’s 0400 in the morning in my timezone.)

        4. kittehserf
          kittehserf January 17, 2014 at 8:20 pm |

          4am is a very good reason, Echo Zen!

  7. Rhiannon
    Rhiannon January 15, 2014 at 1:44 am |

    True story: I’m an American living in Mexico and it is next to impossible to find tampons here because of the whole culturally Catholic sentiment that they’re not for Nice Girls.

    I don’t know if many people here actually believe that a virgin who uses tampons is no longer “pure” or if it’s just a general sentiment that penetration by anything but your husband’s sacred wang is bad and wrong, but the few times I managed to find the single dusty box of Tampax among the shelves and shelves of pads, I got such a stinkeye from the cashier that I was surprised they didn’t get on the overhead and announce “Price check on the Godless American Whore-plugs.”

    1. Andie
      Andie January 15, 2014 at 7:16 pm |

      I’m definitely going to refer to tampons as my Godless American Whore-Plugs from now on.

      1. EG
        EG January 15, 2014 at 9:06 pm |

        GAWP for short!

        1. DannyChameleon
          DannyChameleon January 15, 2014 at 9:11 pm |

          I love the image. This could totally be a song.

      2. Echo Zen
        Echo Zen January 15, 2014 at 9:09 pm |

        I think we just found a topic for a future vlog. :-p

    2. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
      The Kittehs' Unpaid Help January 15, 2014 at 8:41 pm |

      I am so going to mention my husband’s sacred wang to him tonight. His expression should be priceless.

    3. (BFing) Sarah
      (BFing) Sarah January 16, 2014 at 10:06 am |

      I know quite a few people (not Catholic, actually, but the children of immigrants) that see tampons as dirty and won’t use them. Not a virginity thing, but worried that germs will transfer and cause infection and whatnot. I feel like the fear that is put into you when you first start your period can really stay with you. If you are told that toilet germs that are on your fingers will give you an infection if you use a tampon, maybe that worry stays with you? I don’t know. I feel sad that so many people are missing out on the freedom of tampons. I don’t think I could function very well without…

      1. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune January 16, 2014 at 10:08 am |

        I was vaguely told as a teenager that tampons hurt to wear because they’re inserted. (Unlike penises which I was totally supposed to be able to handle Because Nature? wat?) Which is a crock of shit. Of course, it’s not a crock of shit for ME in particular, because I’m the lucky lucky person whose body reacts to tampons by cramping violently after a little while, but of course no one who told me that bullshit knew that about me, so…

      2. EG
        EG January 16, 2014 at 11:16 am |

        I was always told to wash my hands before putting one in. I figure that if that makes my hands safe enough to eat with…

      3. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
        The Kittehs' Unpaid Help January 16, 2014 at 6:52 pm |

        The couple of times I’ve tried tampons they hurt like blazes. I didn’t get any anti-tampon messages at all as a kid; indeed they told us how to use them at high school (and this was in the 1970s). I don’t miss not being able to use them. Yes, pads are a damn nuisance (more for me because 24/7 wearing pants causes chafing) but I’d never feel confident that a tampon wouldn’t leak anyway.

  8. AMM
    AMM January 15, 2014 at 9:46 am |

    Apropos of this:

    Anne Theriault has a post on virginity as social construct at her blog, The Belle Jar

    1. tinfoil hattie
      tinfoil hattie January 15, 2014 at 12:49 pm |

      What a great post. Thanks!

  9. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
    The Kittehs' Unpaid Help January 15, 2014 at 10:21 pm |

    The whole business of defining virginity made me think of how I’m in two minds about my own state (TMI about to happen, be warned!).

    In any earthly sense I’m virgin. For me, a couple of unsuccessful and goddamn painful attempts at using tampons don’t mean anything; neither does the horrible once-only, incompleted pap smear by a fucking douchecanoe of a doctor (“I didn’t think any woman in this country would be a virgin at your age” – I was 26). I have had no sexual contact with anyone, and minimal interest in masturbation, least of all involving penetration with anything.

    BUT

    My beloved lives in Spirit and I have ample and frequent memories of making love there. Those memories are of things as real and physical as anything that happens on this plane. So no, I don’t think of myself as virgin, not at all. (I don’t think it’s the sacred wang principle carrying over, either! :P )

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