Weekly Open Thread with R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

Sock it to me sock it to me, Aretha! This week the iconic song from the Queen of Soul is hosting our Open Thread. Please natter/chatter/vent/rant on anything* you like over this weekend and throughout the week.

Aretha Franklin – Respect (1967)
h/t to Mother Jones for reminding me of the awesome – 10 Awesome Girl-Power Songs—Just Because

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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About tigtog

tigtog blogs a lot elsewhere, but here on Feministe she mostly does the tech support and feeds the giraffe. tigtog tweets in irregular flurries @vivsmythe.
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135 Responses to Weekly Open Thread with R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

  1. Emma Hawkes says:

    I wish I could say that I’ve done amazing things this week, but I have mostly watched an awful lot of Olympic events. I blame the terrible February weather for this decision!

    Don’t get me wrong, I’ve also written some articles, volunteered and been reading an interesting story called Annabel about an intersexed child growing up in Newfoundland (fiction).

    But still that t.v. has been blaring Olympic fever way too much…and yet I don’t turn it off….

  2. EG says:

    Ha. Just this week I took my godson to visit my father when this song came on the radio. I was dancing with my godson and my father and I were both singing along to it when we got to a line on which we disagreed.

    I stopped. “What did you just say?” I asked him.

    “What?” he said.

    “Did you just say something about ‘problems’?”

    “Yeah,” he said. “Forgive me my problems when I get home.”

    “No, Dad,” I said. “Give me my propers when I get home. Give me my props. She’s not asking for forgiveness in this song–she’s demanding respect. Hence the title.”

    He went into this whole song and dance about how that would be anachronistic and I was importing my generation’s slang back in time blah blah blah.

    “Dad,” I said. “Just because white people did not become widely aware of a piece of black slang until the ’90s doesn’t mean it didn’t exist before then.”

    “I’m googling it,” he said.

    After five minutes I looked over. “How’s that googling going?”

    “Fine,” he said. “You were right.” Then he went into some nonsense about how the Otis Redding version didn’t even have that line, so clearly that had been what he was thinking of.

    Heh. My father hates to be wrong.

  3. Fat Steve says:

    Yesterday I spent an hour with my feet in these plastic booties containing a viscous liquid after reading this review on xojane…


    I am looking forward to the results! :)

    • Computer Soldier Porygon says:

      I did that! Because I read the same article, haha. It was super gross but also cool and reeeeally satisfying.

  4. Donna L says:

    I’m repeating a comment I posted earlier today in the previous open thread — a response to Fat Steve’s comment about Julie Burchill’s horribly transphobic and racist piece in the Spectator, that her being so annoying “makes her easy to dismiss.” I’m not trying to be hard on Fate Steve, but the idea that Burchill is “easy to dismiss” kind of bothers me. So I said:

    makes her easy to dismiss

    Fat Steve, I know you’re trying to be supportive. You do understand, I hope, that Burchill and those like her may be easy for you to dismiss, but aren’t so easy for me, and Ally, and others like us, to dismiss? Since we are her direct targets? Of course I know (rationally) that she’s a vicious, horrible excuse for a human being, and that every word she says — including “and” and “the” — is a lie or absurd or both. (Like her idea that by vilifying trans women and making racist comments she’s somehow upholding working-class socialist principles against the wealthy. Because everybody knows that being a trans woman is typically an indulgence of the idle rich, right?)

    But that doesn’t make what she says (and others say) easy to dismiss emotionally. When you grow up and spend your life immersed in a pervasively and virulently transphobic world, with little or no support from anyone, and few if any positive role models (at least before the Internet), it’s not so easy (no matter how hard or for how many years you work at it, and no matter how much acceptance you may eventually find) to escape internalized transphobia — all of which makes you very vulnerable, and makes it very difficult to dismiss and laugh off external transphobia, even when it’s as ludicrous as Burchill’s. It’s the old “one negative comment = ten positive ones” theory, at least in terms of emotional effect. It’s worse, of course, when the negativity comes from someone you know, whether it’s Ally’s father or, even after all these years, my father’s wife. But even the Burchills and Bindels and Brennans of the world can have an effect.

    Also, as Sophia Blue pointed out, maybe Burchill would be easier to dismiss if a mainstream paper like the Spectator didn’t give her a platform to spew her loathsomeness.

    • Ally S says:

      [Content note: transmisogyny]

      The reason I find Burchill hard to dismiss is that she knows how to play upon the insecurities of trans women. It’s one thing to hear something that invalidates your experiences and denies who you are, such as misgendering. It’s another thing to hear something that gets under your skin and makes you feel worthless and contemptible, such as hearing “You’ll never be a woman no matter how much you change” or “You’re angry and aggressive just like a man” or “You’re just another self-entitled misogynist man.” Hearing similar things from Burchill makes me feel fearful, alone, and very self-loathing. We have always been told that we are despicable and unworthy of love and acceptance – to hear the same message from someone who also is emotionally manipulative towards us hurts even more. It also hurts when you are the target of the arrogance and cruelty that defines the attitude of these transmisogynist writers, kind of like beating someone who is already down. They are bullies, and just like all bullies any encounters with them are likely to be emotionally distressing.

    • Fat Steve says:

      Fat Steve, I know you’re trying to be supportive. You do understand, I hope, that Burchill and those like her may be easy for you to dismiss, but aren’t so easy for me, and Ally, and others like us, to dismiss?

      Sorry if I wasn’t clear and yes I was trying to be supportive. I meant that it was easy to dismiss her as a ridiculous person before she says anything but we shouldn’t dismiss what she’s saying as it gets repeated by people who aren’t so ridiculous. Like when Mel Gibson says anti-semitic stuff, on one hand you think ‘who’s gonna listen to what Mad Max says?” but on the other hand you start to wonder what people in actual power share his views.

      • Fat Steve says:

        …and yes I totally get how her words hurt. I also think it’s irresponsible for legitimate papers to publish her ravings on this topic. I acknowledge that she is a legitimate writer, and I understand why a newspaper or a magazine would give her a column, but there are plenty of things that an editor wouldn’t allow from even the most respected of writers.

      • Ally S says:

        Thanks for your clarification and your understanding. I appreciate it.

      • Donna L says:

        Yes, thanks — I really didn’t get what you were trying to say until you explained it.

    • gratuitous_violet says:

      Donna, thanks for bringing this one to the next open thread.

      The fact that opinions like these are published all over “respectable” journalistic outlets shows that Bindel, Burchill, et al are not considered “fringe” at all. And that’s the scary part. Burchill’s latest column in particular was just giving eloquent framing to the prejudices many people already have toward gender variant folks.

      Honestly, in the past few months I’ve felt like we’re living through the blogosphere crises of April 2008 again…with the oppressed pointing out that white feminists are stepping on their toes, and said white feminists just sticking their fingers in their ears and yelling out “Help, help, I’m being oppressed!”

      The fact that Burchill, Helen Lewis, et all get to complain about being “bullied” by others on Twitter in a national fucking publication never seems to sink in for them, does it?

      White mainstream feminism is like Groundhog Day. No matter how many times we have the conversation, we’re all always gonna wake up to the same shit every morning.

  5. Ally S says:

    Well, a mix of quite a few things has happened.

    [Content note: suicide, emotional abuse, self-harm]

    1. My dad’s transmisogyny has been getting worse. Several days ago he called me up and told me in the middle of the conversation that the stress of me coming out to him and taking a break from school is enough to make him want to commit suicide. Hearing that hurt me so badly I gained an urge to actually self-harm. Thankfully, my friends calmed me down and I made sure I had no way of hurting myself (no dangerous objects, etc.).

    He then had a long 3 hour conversation a few days later in which he accused me of being brainwashed and biased, even though he has been doing research on trans issues for 2 weeks and I have for more than 2 years. And just recently he sent me an email expressing concern about me being straight because homosexuality is a sin in Islam.

    2. I’m considering moving to Washington state some day, and I’ve been looking at quite a few cities close to Seattle since it’s a hotspot for the IT industry. I was considering Olympia until some friends discouraged me from that due to the supposedly terrible Olympia-Seattle commute. My eyes are currently on Everett, Seattle or Tacoma (I’ve heard it’s an queer-friendly and trans-friendly city) as they are all decently cheap. I’m trying to find rent less than $1000/month.

    3. I tried using foundation for the first time ever recently. My sister let me borrow hers and I applied it after using beard shadow concealer. It actually looked okay, although I may have to get a lighter tone when I get my own foundation. I’m going to make it the first image for my transition timeline, since I think it would be fun to make something like that. Image: http://i.imgur.com/yGp4Bfj.jpg Unfortunately, my bangs are now reaching the awkward length that is too short to style yet long enough to cover my eyes. Fortunately, that phase will pass soon.

    • 1. Your dad’s being a reactionary ass. God knows it’s hard for the desis to get used to the idea of not having kids who do School And Work Just Right (my parents responded to my decision to take an extra year to get my bachelor’s by worrying that employers wouldn’t want me for it!) but this is shite. LBR: your life will be way easier if you go back to school once you’re comfortable presenting as who you really are, and somewhat practiced at it. You’re making the right decision. And maybe it’s time to “hire” an email-reader and send his emails into a separate folder, so you don’t have to deal with it until you don’t want to.

      2. Sounds good? I don’t know much about Seattle except that it’s a nice gay- and trans-friendly city, and that the Olympia-Seattle commute is hell!

      3. You are a very cute girl ^__^

      • kittehserf says:

        3. You are a very cute girl ^__^

        Seconded. :)

      • Ally S says:

        Oh, you guys X3 Well thanks!

        Truth be told, I was really happy about myself that day. It wasn’t enough to completely get rid of my dysphoria, of course, but now I feel sad about not having foundation. I’ll try to get some for myself soon, but I’m still really scared of going into a store and buying makeup. Maybe I can try going into a store with my sister.

      • Ally S says:

        IDK, I don’t think I really have the choice to stop contacting him altogether. I’m getting a lot of family pressure from all sides, and it compels me to maintain interaction with him even though I’d rather just ignore him completely.

        One of the reasons I want to move by myself to some place like Seattle is that I need a space to grow and transition on my own. That way I could avoid the bulk of the family pressure, and I could be mostly free. Of course I’d go back to UCSC eventually, but it would be really nice to live in Seattle for about a year.

    • EG says:

      Ally, remember the control you have when you’re on the phone. At any point you can say “Dad, I cannot discuss this with you. Good-bye.” and hang up. Or you can just hang up. You do not have to subject yourself to these three-hour conversations. You can say “Dad, that’s a cruel thing to say to me, and if you continue saying things like that, I will hang up.” And then you can hang up if he doesn’t stop.

      The phone is a wonderful thing. It allows you to cut off a conversation at any moment. You’re not at your father’s mercy. If he can’t respect your needs, make sure that you do.

      • Ally S says:

        t gets worse if I hang up, unfortunately. If I do that he might scream and yell at me the next time I talk to him, and I’m not emotionally capable of handling his anger. I feel weak.

      • EG says:

        You’re not weak, Ally. You’ve been trapped in an unhealthy dynamic with an abusive parent for so long that you’re not yet comfortable changing the dynamic. That’s normal. I’ve seen friends and family through similar situations many times.

        Because of that, I have considerable experience with family members who don’t respect boundaries, who are emotionally abusive and narcissistic. The only way the teach them to respect boundaries is to keep reinforcing them. “Dad, that’s cruel, and I’m going to hang up now.” And you hang up. And next time you talk to him, he yells at you. Then you say “Dad, I can’t talk to you while you’re yelling at me. I’m going to hang up. You can call me back when you’re feeling calmer.” And you hang up. If he calls back before 24 hours have passed, you just don’t pick up. Rinse and repeat.

        It takes a while to teach them that you mean business, and it’s best if you can stay calm while you just inform them that their behavior is unacceptable, and then reinforce that by hanging up. Eventually, what the abusive person learns is that their abuse does not get the attention that constitutes positive reinforcement. And if they want your attention and interactions, they have to keep their behavior under control.

        A book that you might find helpful is Stop Walking on Eggshells: Taking Your Life Back When Someone You Love Has Borderline Personality Disorder. Whether or not borderline personality disorder is your father’s issue–and I’m not venturing an opinion there–it has good advice on how to manage difficult and abusive family members. It didn’t work with me, because reading it made me realize even more firmly that I’m not interested in managing my BPD family members; I just want them out of my life. But it doesn’t sound like that’s how you feel about your father right now. So management techniques are, I think, a good idea to help you take care of yourself.

        You can do this, Ally. You’re not weak. You’ve preserved your identity in the face of a very hostile world and family environment. You planned, organized, and succeed in getting away to an environment in which you can blossom. You just need the tools and techniques that will allow you to manage your father. You can do it. Ally, I have complete faith in you, not because I don’t know your flaws or that I don’t know how hard this is, but because I’ve seen people I love through this process.

    • Fat Steve says:

      He then had a long 3 hour conversation a few days later in which he accused me of being brainwashed and biased

      I would have said ‘Thanks for acknowledging that Dad, but I’m not going to let you do that to me anymore.” But EG’s non wise-ass response is probably much better advice.

    • Computer Soldier Porygon says:

      You could definitely get a nice place for that price in Tacoma or Everett, but you can in Seattle too. It’s just a bit more looking if you want to stay central. Assuming you mean one beds and studios and not with roommates – cause if you want to get in with roommates, you’re golden. I live in Seattle so if you want to talk neighborhoods and stuff sometime, I am totally game.

      • Ally S says:

        Thanks for the offer! Someone else is already helping me out with that stuff, but I need or want a second opinion then I’ll contact you. ^_^

        Yeah, I’ve been thinking more about Seattle more because of its centrality. And it’s an IT hotstop, I’ve heard. Some people have told me to live in Bainbridge Island, but I’m not sure if I want to use the ferry to go to work and I haven’t been able to find any housing there via craigslist.

        I just wish I could get a job in time. I probably don’t have enough experience to work remotely, and if I get to Seattle/Tacoma/Everett/wherever in WA, how am I going to pay for things? It could take weeks to get a job, and I don’t know how good the job market is there. And if I stay with a roommate I’ll most likely end up being a freeloader until I find an actual job, which could take a while to find. In short I have no idea how to organize this work + paying for expenses thing. X_X I feel silly.

      • kathleenandjulio says:

        ALLY: I never comment here, but I read regularly, and I am a Seattle native. You don’t want to live on Bainbridge! It is rich suburbia for families! You would be happier in Seattle, especially in Capitol Hill/Central District neighborhoods, than you would be in Kitsap County…and for that matter, Everett or Tacoma. Living in Seattle is not so expensive that you can’t do it, especially if you’re open to sharing a house.

      • Ally S says:

        Yeah, Seattle is the city I’m looking at now. I couldn’t find any affordable housing in Bainbridge Island via craigslist.

    • Tyris says:

      beard shadow concealer

      This is a thing? If we walk into Boots which section will they be keeping it in?

    • TheWayfarer says:

      Ally, I haven’t ever commented before, but I’ve always enjoyed your posts, and I’ve appreciated you sharing your story with us here. I’m inspired to chime in only because I moved back to Seattle (where I grew up) a little over a year go, and have been utterly delighted to rediscover its delights.

      As you probably know, it’s an incredibly green city (both eco-friendly and full of real plants), with a pretty great progressive culture. Rents right in the city can be head-splodingly high, but I live just to the east in a suburb called Factoria, and stuff is way more affordable—plus it’s only a 15-20 minute commute!

      I work at a magnificently gay local newspaper and it’s been cool, through my job, to learn more every day about the weird, delightful corners of the city.

      Anyway, this is my long-winded way of saying that, if it works out, I think Seattle would be an awesome place for you. And if/when it does, I’d love to offer any help I can, whether it’s tips on our (FUBAR’d) public transit system or just a friendly face in a new place.

      • Ally S says:

        Hi and thanks for the help! ^_^ I’ve found a lot of nice cheap places via craigslist, but of course there are more expensive areas within Seattle as well. I’m aiming for rent $1000/month or less, FYI.

  6. pheenobarbidoll says:

    This is a must read for all the white commenters here, who like to interject their thoughts when poc are talking about racism. Especially those in the last open thread who felt the pressing need to whitesplain the law. http://jaythenerdkid.wordpress.com/2014/02/19/we-all-have-opinions-heres-why-i-dont-care-about-yours/ read this. And further, believe it.

    • Ally S says:

      Great article. Thanks for sharing.

    • That’s a good resource!

      • trees says:

        Good readin’; thanks for sharing this link! Another timely post at that site: A white woman walks into a bar. She claims it.

        It saddens me to see that so many white feminists refuse to embrace intersectionality. It saddens me and hurts me and makes me angry. It makes me wonder how insecure they must be in their power, if even the thought of sharing a stage with other people makes them blanch so. Mostly, it just makes me tired – tired of fighting, tired of being cast as a bully, tired of being pushed into the background mid-sentence so that someone who already has a platform a hundred times the size of mine can speak over me. One’s back can only be used as a stepping-stone on the way to a pedestal before it breaks, and mine, I fear, is close to breaking. I am very tired of being a rung on a white woman’s ladder to greater heights.

    • gratuitous_violet says:

      I love this piece and want to make it into wallpaper.

      “Can you teach me how to cook that?”

      “Yes, but my avó would have to kill you afterwards.”


      • gratuitous_violet says:

        sorry, I mixed up the posted article with one of the author’s related posts: 10 Things White People Need To Stop Saying To Me. Which was equally awesome.

      • kittehserf says:

        I just read that post too. I nearly died of cringing with embarrassment. I mean, ffs, Australian = lots of people from different backgrounds, why is this so difficult to comprehend? ::facepalm::

    • Angel H. says:

      Thank you so much the link! That blog is awesome!

      • pheenobarbidoll says:

        Hey mods, can we add this to the blogroll?

      • tigtog says:

        Having just read a few posts there myself over the last few hours, I think definitely yes.

      • pheenobarbidoll says:

        I am in blog love.

      • pheenobarbidoll says:

        I think I’m just going to start linking to this blog every time a whiesplainin happens. Easier and less stressful.

      • Donna L says:

        I’m familiar with Jay’s writing because she has been the target of vicious, hateful abuse from TERFs for standing up for trans women. The overlap between TERFism and the kind of thing people are discussing here is interesting, and not at all surprising.

    • kittehserf says:

      That’s a great blog, pheeno. And zie’s an Aussie, yay!

    • jaythenerdkid says:

      I was looking at my stats and found that I had a bunch of clicks from here. What a pleasant surprise to find such lovely comments about my writing! I’m honoured and humbled by your kind words, everyone.

    • shfree says:

      Yeah, whenever I need to get my head on straight again, I’ll give it a read. Bookmarked.

  7. Andie says:

    Is there a reason I seem to be on perma-mod as of late? All my comments are going into moderation and I can’t think of any reason for this.. I’ve not really been participating too much and I don’t know that I’ve said anything egregious lately.

  8. gratuitous_violet says:

    Mac, Donna, I think the electric shakesville koolaid acid tumblr test is coming to an unsatisfactory place, what do you think? That 2/19 thread got really ugly really fast when we pointed out that shitty joke was shitty.

    • Yep. It’s a goddamn shame that even given the failtrain MM is on, a critique site can’t, you know, focus on her being an asshole instead of mocking her for her oppressions. Fuck.

      • Donna L says:

        Have you recovered yet from the devastating rejoinder telling you to “buzz off, fly”?

      • I cried for hours. Hours, I tell you.

      • gratuitous_violet says:

        I posted it over there too, but the logic just boggles my mind. So, anyone that reclaims a slur immediately gives everyone else license to use it against that person, regardless of context or intent?Someone call the dudebros, because all their favorite words are a-ok again BECAUSE SOMEONE CALLED THEMSELVES THAT…JEEZ IT’S IRONIC CAN’T YOU TAKE A JOKE? THEY USE THE WORD TO DESCRIBE THEMSELVES, WHY CAN’T I?

        hmm, in what contexts have we heard this song and dance before?

    • LearnedFoot says:

      I know this thread is a few days old now, but can you explain the context for your comment? I, too, became disillusioned with MM and Shakesville and have read a bit of Shakesville Koolaid. But for the life of me I can’t figure out Tumblr and have found it really hard to navigate that site. I think I may have missed something important. Thanks.

      • sharon m says:

        I know this thread is a few days old now, but can you explain the context for your comment? I, too, became disillusioned with MM and Shakesville and have read a bit of Shakesville Koolaid. But for the life of me I can’t figure out Tumblr and have found it really hard to navigate that site. I think I may have missed something important.

        Yes, Tumblr is a pain to figure out. I’m glad I’m not the only one!

        Here is the archive, and the second link is what we’re talking about. Click on “sort by oldest” in the comment section.

        It’s much easier to read comments then reblogs. I wish more people would enable them.
        I hope this helps


      • sharon m says:

        TL,DR, version: Friesjones joked that McEwan book title would be this “Fat Lass Shrugged”
        What would she call the book, “Fat Lass Shrugged

        Macavitykitsune, DonnaL, and gratuitous_violet called it out as fat bashing, and it went downhill from there.

      • LearnedFoot says:

        Thank you for the TL;DR! Very helpful. And… damn. That’s disappointing.

    • sharon m says:

      Yep. It’s a goddamn shame that even given the failtrain MM is on, a critique site can’t, you know, focus on her being an asshole instead of mocking her for her oppressions. Fuck.

      I’m disgusted myself, and disappointed, and the name calling was out of line too. :(

  9. Andie says:

    Have caught some really bizarre virus that landed me at emerg today. Over the last week I’ve had fever, chills, headaches, coated tongue, dizzy spells, debilitating indigestion and full-body muscle pain and a rash. The attending physician was all “oh yeah, we’re seeing a lot of this”… I replied “seriously? At one time?”

    So, feeling pretty much horrible.

  10. shfree says:

    My daughter is going to Tokyo with her dad for a week! I’m going to miss her so hard, but I’m so excited for her, too. Has anyone ever been there? What neighborhood does she need to go to to blow her allowance on anime/manga tchotchkes?

  11. Lolagirl says:

    From this morning’s Chicago Tribune, the covering up of sexual assault allegations have finally come back to haunt a star Notre Dame football player as he heads into the NFL draft. Boohoo, you dirt bag, what goes around comes around, is the only response I can muster for this guy.


  12. Ally S says:

    Came out to the LGBT-friendly aunt and she accepts me. I’m so happy.

  13. pheenobarbidoll says:

    Oh man. Harold Ramis died. He was my favorite ghostbuster. Egon. Damn it.

  14. sharon m says:

    I’m in tears about this: a regional hardware store in my town has closed. The two full timers have job offers in the other stores, but damn it, this is still terrible.

    A few years ago, a iconic local store, Hacketts True Value closed up.
    It’d been in business since 1835 .
    The Hacketts tried to buy the business back when they saw how badly the new owners were destroying it.
    We’re still upset about it, including the Hackett family

    Too, some of the former Hackett employees worked at the now closed Aubuchon store.


  15. Question for the black women/non-binary peeps here, if anyone feels like answering: I’m seeing a lot of stuff around the internet that the use of the concept of intersectionality is reserved for black women only(!). I have also seen statements by Kimberle Crenshaw that intersectionality doesn’t only apply to black women. Where do you stand in this debate? Why? I’m trying to understand why the concept is so specifically coded black and female (unlike a term like, say, misogynoir, which is dealing with a highly specific set of stereotypes, etc, etc, and which I wouldn’t apply to an Afghan woman, for example) and tbh I haven’t been even vaguely convinced by any of the arguments I’ve seen; the most that makes sense to me is that the term (rather than the concept) is off-limits, and even that doesn’t make that much sense.


    • (Obviously that’s AFAB non-binary peeps, because I’ve seen that applied to anyone AFAB as well as to women. I meant to edit that but posted it by mistake.)

    • trees says:

      I’m seeing a lot of stuff around the internet that the use of the concept of intersectionality is reserved for black women only(!).

      I haven’t come across this. What’s the thinking behind this, is there a link?

      • http://soflyniggaswannastalkme.tumblr.com/post/77603699134 this is pretty much a textbook example, and one of the more completely explained ones.

      • pheenobarbidoll says:

        So I’m guessing the author of that either doesn’t know or count NDN slavery.http://nativeamericanhistory.about.com/od/controversies/a/The-Untold-History-Of-American-Indian-Slavery.htm

      • Angel H. says:

        No. No. Absolutely not.

        Isn’t the very definition of intersectionality to be **inclusive**? I have no idea how anyone could get “black women only” from intersectionality.

        Mac, have you (or any other nonbinary woman) ever felt excluded from discussions of intersectionality?

      • Angel H. says:

        BTW, that was in response to mac.


      • trees says:

        I can’t imagine how zie would be able to support any of the arguments put forth in that post. The context of the contention is much more interesting to me. Often times, folks benefit from Black American history of struggle, using the tactics, terminology, etc., without acknowledgement of the origins of the intellectual property. Also, people cherry-pick bits in an effort control the narrative — I’m thinking of how a purposefully narrow and context-less selection of MLK’s (African American Spokesman and Representative for All Time) words are used to shame black people.

      • trees says:

        So I’m guessing the author of that either doesn’t know or count NDN slavery.http://nativeamericanhistory.about.com/od/controversies/a/The-Untold-History-Of-American-Indian-Slavery.htm

        Thank you so much for raising this issue! I don’t think this is very widely known, yet I come across so many references and evidence in original source material.

      • pheenobarbidoll says:

        Can’t speak for Mac, but I’ve never felt excluded until I read that link. No Black woman here has ever made me feel excluded, certainly. Not that there are many here, but still. I’d never heard of it until that link was posted.

      • @Angel – no, not on here, ever, or in any textbooks or blogs I’d read. This seems to be a tumblr-exclusive conversation, which always leaves me really leery of how valid it is. And thank you for the explanation. I’ll try not to make you into My Black Friend if I get any pushback on this, though :)

        @pheeno that link looks really interesting! I’ve bookmarked it for later. I’m trying to educate myself on First Nations issues, and looking south of the border is easier when I have resources that I can rely on not being, ya know, racist as fuck.

      • trees says:

        If I wasn’t very clear in my response, I disagree with that link and don’t really get where they’re coming from.

      • Chataya says:

        Mac: if the person who runs that blog is who I think they are, be very careful about engaging them. They’ve been known to dox people who disagree with them, including a 16 year old and a queer black person.

      • @trees – no worries, I got it!

        @Chataya – jesus fuck. Is that who that is? Don’t worry, I won’t engage them. (I don’t even have a tumblr, lol.)

      • Computer Soldier Porygon says:

        @Chataya – jesus fuck. Is that who that is? Don’t worry, I won’t engage them. (I don’t even have a tumblr, lol.)

        Oh yeah, that’s definitely who that is. It’s been a minute since I checked in with Tumblr! I used to be so on top of it. I’m surprised they still have such a following.

    • Ally S says:

      I’m neither black nor DFAB non-binary, but Kimberle Crenshaw, the pioneer of intersectionalist methodology seems to have used it for analyzing the oppression of non-black women of color as well. Here’s an example. That suggests to me that the concept is not restricted to black women, but maybe I’m missing something.

      • trees says:

        I’m neither black nor DFAB non-binary, but Kimberle Crenshaw, the pioneer of intersectionalist methodology seems to have used it for analyzing the oppression of non-black women of color as well. Here’s an example. That suggests to me that the concept is not restricted to black women, but maybe I’m missing something.

        The arguments at that link can so easily be challenged and shown false that I just sort of demised it all out of hand.

    • tmc says:

      I’m black, AFAB, and non-binary, and I don’t know what the fuck those people are talking about. I have never ever heard anyone saying that intersectionality is for black women only.

  16. EG says:

    Can we talk about this bullshit from Amanda Marcotte talking about how arresting rape victims to force them to testify is the right thing to do? Because this is some victim-blaming bullshit that is once again trying to force women to prioritize everybody else in the world above their own well-being, that holds rape survivors responsible for rapists’ subsequent actions, and that ignores police brutality and abuse. This is really not OK on any level. Not a surprise, I guess.

    • SophiaBlue says:

      Yeah, that’s a whole bag of fucked-up right there. Because if the justice system is hostile to rape victims to the point that many of them don’t want to participate in it, obviously the solution is to make it even more hostile!

    • Donna L says:

      I saw some discussion of this on twitter yesterday, and think it’s awful. I hate to say “typical Amanda Marcotte,” but good God.

    • PrettyAmiable says:

      CN: Self-involved bullshit

      The sad, unavoidable truth is that we have to decide what’s more important to us: putting abusive men in jail or letting their victims opt out of cooperating with the prosecution as they see fit.

      It’s almost like this other woman’s rape isn’t about her. How strange that she should be getting so much blowback.

    • gratuitous_violet says:

      Hm, maybe now that Amanda Marcotte is shitting on a group of women that mainstream feminists actually care about, someone will notice she’s a terrible fucking ally and feminist in general.

      • PrettyAmiable says:

        Ehh. She’s doubled down on racist things often enough that I think the Feministe commentariat (with the possible exception of some people I think she may know IRL) have already written her off (or maybe I’m extrapolating to everyone else). This shitty thing is a separate shitty thing from other shitty things she’s also done.

      • PrettyAmiable says:

        …Though now I’m guessing you were alluding to the fact that the whole mainstream feminist movement is still disturbingly plagued by lack of fucks given about intersectional issues, so my apologies if I was obtuse :(

      • gratuitous_violet says:

        no, that is what I meant, my apologies for being unclear/seeming to include the community here in that category.

    • gratuitous_violet says:

      yeah, not like lots and lots of marginalized people have really good reasons to avoid dealing with the State in the first place. Of course she can sit there and pretend like involving law enforcement can only make things better. Must be comfy part of Brooklyn she’s writing from.

  17. tmc says:

    Hello all, it’s been a long time. I haven’t been around for a couple of reasons: firstly, I’m busy as hell in meatspace, and it’s limited my ability to engage in the spaces I used to regularly enjoy online.

    The second reason is that even when I manage to find the time to check out Feministe, I start to write a post or comment, and then change my mind and back off. I don’t really feel like I have the right to take up space here anymore. Even though I’m nonbinary (I think? Still working through it), I have taken steps to be read as male both online and in meatspace, and even though it’s very early on in my transition, I’ve already noticed differences in the way that people treat me because of my male privilege. My online conversations have been especially different; without the cues that would out me in a face-to-face interaction (such as my voice, which is still much higher than I would like), I’m able to move in internet spaces as an assumed cis dude, and my voice is given much more weight than it ever has before, especially in conversations and arguments with other men.

    There is also the matter of feeling like I left something special behind. I grew up hating my blackness and, with lots of work, eventually learned to fall in love with my black womanhood. To lose that connection with something that I worked so hard to recognize and love within myself has been…disorienting, to say the least.

    I’m sending lots of peaceful and good thoughts for those of you who are struggling right now in any way.

    • pheenobarbidoll says:

      I’ve always enjoyed your contributions, if we’ve ever disagreed it must not have been too terribly bad because I dont recall it. So for what its worth, nothings changed on my end as far as you having a voice here. You’re as welcome as anyone, IMHO.

    • tmc, you totally have a space here, at least as far as I’m concerned (and hell, I’m not one of the modly ones, but the number of cis dudes who post here indicates that’s not a problem where they’re concerned either). Please do comment when you have the time; you’ve always been one of the most awesome commenters here in my book ^__^

      And hope the dysphoria/regret woes get better soon. *hugs* Take care.

    • Fat Steve says:

      I’m able to move in internet spaces as an assumed cis dude, and my voice is given much more weight than it ever has before, especially in conversations and arguments with other men.

      As a cis dude, I can assure that doesn’t happen around here. In fact I’m sure that even in this case of recounting the experiences of what it’s like to be a cis dude posting on Feministe my voice isn’t given any extra weight.

    • PrettyAmiable says:

      Throwing out a ditto to the commenters above – I’ve always appreciated your voice, and I can’t imagine that changing as you continue your transition. I hear you when you’re talking about new privilege that you may not have had before (mine is class privilege – I got lucky after school and found and have been able to maintain a well-paying job), but your thoughts – tmc’s thoughts – are valued.

      Here’s how I think of it – yes, it’s important to remember my current daily struggles are not the same as they once were, but it’s not like I was handed a paycheck and then turned into a giant jerkface who honest-to-god thinks I somehow deserve every cent I receive. It’s a transition (pun?) to go from part of the oppressed class to an ally, but the reframing isn’t that hard, honestly. It’s a “remember how you wish people treated you, then do it” kind of thing.

    • SophiaBlue says:

      Agreeing with what everyone is saying above. Even if you don’t have all the privileges you had before, your voice is still valuable.

  18. Chataya says:

    Well, fuck. I’ve got PCOS.

  19. SophiaBlue says:

    Jan Brewer vetoed SB1062! She’s still a terrible person, but I’m glad she wasn’t completely terrible in this one instance!

  20. gratuitous_violet says:

    Hi everyone. I’ve been posting all over this thread and the Internet in general today to distract myself, because my sister-in-law is currently in labor in a homebirth in the next room, complete with doula, midwife, and birthing tub. My mother and I are standing by, washing all the towels in the universe, making all the herbal tea, and trying to not be nervous wrecks. She’s 16 hours in and I’m trying to channel all the positive energy I can.

    (note: this is totally not an invitation for shenanigans re: birthing choices to bust out. I’ve got no time for that shit right now)

  21. EG says:

    The Nation is fucking dead to me. Hot on the heels of that article attacking Karnythia and other black women for calling out racism in mainstream feminism, they’ve published a defense of Woody Allen. How fucking progressive.

    • trees says:

      That’s one shitty shit article. A warning to others with a history of childhood sexual abuse, it’s full of triggers.

      • EG says:

        Oh God, I’m so sorry. I completely blanked. It is awful and I’m really sorry that I neglected to tw it myself.

      • Donna L says:

        I’m glad you didn’t provide the link, because I might have been tempted to click on it (I’m bad with that). I’m sure as hell not going to go out of my way for it. Ugh. I was hoping there wouldn’t be any more of that.

  22. Henry says:

    “Mayer Brown brings you this masterpiece– a lawsuit where they are trying remove a memorial for World War II “comfort women” from a public park. You see, it “offends” some of their clients. The cause itself is a bit slimy, but how they’re going about it qualifies them as “the least honorable law firm in the world.” ” – [Marc Randazza] I won’t link his blog here due to rather graphic/inappropriate language and I don’t want the discussion derailed over whether he crossed the line in describing his viewpoint.

    Mayer Brown put its name to gems like this:

    “During World War II and the decade leading up to it, an unknown number of women from Japan, Korea, China, and a number of nations in Southeast Asia, were recruited, employed, and/or otherwise acted as sexual partners for troops of the Japanese Empire in various parts of the Pacific Theater of war. These women are often referred to as comfort women, a loose translation of the Japanese word for prostitute. (Complaint at Para. 14) (emphasis added)”


    For those who don’t know Mayer Brown is a huge mega-law firm with offices around the world. Why they would serve as plaintiff’s counsel to war-crimes deniers is beyond me – one wonders if there is a money interest beyond the case itself.

    • Donna L says:

      Disgusting and despicable is right. Under this logic, former SS members and their families can sue to take down Holocaust memorials because, you know, they’re “one-sided” on a “controversial” issue.

      The supposed legal grounds — that putting up memorials like the one in question is unconstitutional because it constitutes “conducting foreign policy” in violation of the Supremacy Clause (!) — is completely ludicrous, and I hope not only that whoever is behind it (presumably someone from the far right-wing in Japan) gets sanctioned, but that the law firm does too. There has to be some lawyer at that firm who actually agrees with this lawsuit; they certainly don’t need the legal fees. Slimy bastards.

      • Donna L says:

        PS: the comments at Above the Law (basically a website for gossip about the legal profession) could be worse, but do include claims that the women were volunteers, claims that the Holocaust was exaggerated (“you weren’t there; how do you know?”), and — of course! — Holocaust jokes. What, you expected more from a commentariat consisting of lawyers and law students?

      • Donna L says:

        One more comment: in a better world, there would be sanctions just for using the words “recruited, employed, and/or otherwise acted as sexual partners” to describe the “comfort women.”

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