Open Thread with Classic Kitten Macro

Because I’m feeling nostalgic right now for a simpler internet era, this classic cat macro aka LOLcat features for this week’s Open Thread. Please natter/chatter/vent/rant on anything* you like over this weekend and throughout the week.

A small pale kitten is being presented to the camera on two pale-skinned hands. Its mouth is open in a friendly meow.

It’s Dangerous To Go Alone! Take This.

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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81 comments for “Open Thread with Classic Kitten Macro

  1. QuantumInc
    August 23, 2014 at 11:17 am

    I am currently working on a short story meant to showcase a fictional character that I’ve invented and have been thinking about. Part of the character concept is for her to be a female action hero who avoids some of the more obnoxious

    elements of typical depictions. Of course often that means women shown with silly costumes and poses, which wouldn’t really apply to text. Though apparently there are authors who get weirdly focused on certain body parts when writing

    female characters. Either way I am looking for a few hints as to how a man such as myself might write a story from a female viewpoint, and how one might subvert the “fighting fucktoy” trope.

    Something that has bothered me before are female characters are made to be super sexy to the male gaze, but lack any sort of mention of what they actually enjoy themselves. Action heroes by definition violently dominate those around them,

    so, after a lengthy and intense hand to hand combat sequence where she is eventually able to restrain a man who tried to shooter her, I decided to include ““You know the irony is that I always fantasized about meeting some tall, dark,

    and handsome guy like yourself and tying him up, of course it’s a lot better when they’re willing, if they enjoy…submission…safe, sane and consensual and all that…I’m sure you would agree!”

    I can’t help but think that establishing sexual agency is a good way of avoiding sexual objectification. Admittedly, I am a guy who likes stories from the viewpoint of highly sexual women. I want to avoid having a character who is simply

    a male fantasy, though as a male writing fiction that’s tricky. Though simply ignoring sexuality doesn’t seem right either.

    Trigger Warning. I have a piece of back-story where she joins an elite terrorist fighting UN controlled force after college. She does well, but when in Afghanistan two of her fellow soldiers rape her. I couldn’t bring myself to write the actual moment of rape, but it’s probably for the best. Her commander refuses to help her. She decides to immediately abandon them not because she couldn’t find help from the person who was supposed to help her. This is inspired because of all of the feminist blogs with stories where a woman is raped, and then further traumatized when those who are supposed to help blame them instead. She resents the commander more than the actually rapists. She becomes a deserter, and leaves a bomb under the desk of her former commander. I want to subvert the rape-origin-story trope. I’m careful to include mentions that her violent and anti-social tendencies go back farther than this, though this event marks the point where she seeks to divorce herself from legitimate society.

    She travels to China. I am currently trying to write a scene where she bribes a Chinese border guard commander with both sex and money; it seems logical for a military deserter to have to resort to desperate measures, however it seems inevitably cliche and vaguely sexist. The scene is also a lead in to her time as a prostitute in China, which gives her a chance at independence and freedom despite being nearly penniless, but obviously means she’s servicing male fantasies, which she feels uncomfortable with. Of course prostitution is controversial, so I have to wonder how someone would react to a former prostitute character.

    The story also has a mention of bulimia. The main narrative features her escaping from a police station, towards this she smuggles a few items in her stomach, and later vomits them. She learned the technique from a bulimic friend in high school. The story has several mentions of her high school experience being sexist and traumatic in a variety of ways. Her family life being pleasant but emotionally sterile.

    Also note that all of this happens in the future, the main narrative aboard a space station orbiting Sirius. She is working for a secret agent from an alien race that presents themselves as wise and peaceful, but is secretly waging a cold war in order to contain the expansion of the comparatively violent humans. She got arrested after she committed illegal acts on their behalf, and after escaping is paid with valuable fusion reactor fuel.

    tldr: More generally I am a man who wants to learn to write from a female viewpoint, and I was hoping to get some thoughts on the subject form others.

  2. TomSims
    August 23, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    Got to love the kitty cat.

    • PrettyAmiable
      August 30, 2014 at 10:38 am

      I sent that picture to a friend having a rough week – I’m right there with you. (Thanks tigtog, for bringing that to my life).

  3. August 23, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    TW: rape, transmisogyny

    Being compared to rapists because of defending oneself from lesbophobic transmisogyny: a wonderful pasttime for trans lesbians.

    • August 23, 2014 at 7:44 pm

      Being compared to rapists because of defending oneself from lesbophobic transmisogyny: a wonderful pasttime for trans lesbians.

      Did someone compare trans lesbians to rapists recently or is this an ongoing theme in transmisogyny?

      • August 23, 2014 at 8:05 pm

        Some people I used to call friends have accused me of being a rape apologist for talking about the “cotton ceiling”, the barriers that trans lesbians face due to being seen as neither real women nor real lesbians. I am extremely triggered right now because the idea of trans-lesbian-as-het-male-rapist has hurt me more than any other transmisogynistic and lesbophobic stereotype out there. I feel completely betrayed.

      • Jason
        August 24, 2014 at 1:55 pm

        *Hugs* to let you know that plenty of us out here accept you for who you are.

  4. thinksnake
    August 23, 2014 at 10:19 pm

    Seeing endocrinologist for first time this coming Wednesday for (hopefully) beginning hormone treatment.

    Also found out that the unpredictable vertigo that could have meant something really really serious was (after blood test, CT angiogram and holter monitor) just a minor virus that took a long time to clear my system.

    • thinksnake
      August 28, 2014 at 9:12 pm

      Seven vials of blood later (to work out my baseline hormones and other blood chemistry), and (assuming there’s nothing wrong there) I should be set to begin on oestrogen in just over two weeks.

      • Donna L
        August 29, 2014 at 12:25 am

        Good luck!

  5. pheenobarbidoll
    August 25, 2014 at 11:22 pm

    Stupid school in a small town near here tried to deny a Navajo boy registration because of his long hair, made the parents prove it was a Navajo religious belief, still denied him and only gave up after intervention from an Indian advocates agency.

    • pheenobarbidoll
      August 25, 2014 at 11:23 pm

      In other words, they caved because they were afraid of a lawsuit.

    • EG
      August 26, 2014 at 8:12 am

      Who the fuck does something like that? 1) Who doesn’t know that long hair is an important religious aspect for many, many NA peoples? 2) Who gives a shit about a kid having long hair?* Who thinks that’s more important than a kid going to school and getting an education? Doesn’t this school have any actual problems to deal with?

      Answer to both questions: racist assholes.

      * In the sense of objecting to it–obviously it matters a lot to the kid, his family, and their community.

      • Yonah
        August 26, 2014 at 10:56 am

        Oh, they know (many) Native peoples care about having long hair, which is part of why they love short hair policies. They just don’t think anything First Nations people believe could be dignified with the title of “religion.” Really glad in this case there was an organisation with a lawsuit ready…

      • EG
        August 26, 2014 at 11:27 am

        Forced cutting off hair is always about destruction of identity–community and personal. That’s why the Nazis did it (yes, I’m Godwinning; I think the US history with respect to NA people warrants it).

      • Donna L
        August 26, 2014 at 12:48 pm

        Kind of like forced haircuts (for men, anyway — not sure about women) in prisons and the military.

      • pheenobarbidoll
        August 27, 2014 at 12:51 am

        It’s not just about forced haircuts though. The US public school system doesn’t take Native beliefs into account when writing school rules and exception requirements. This kid had to show proof of religious membership to be exempt. Well, Navajo don’t have a church or enrollment beyond birth and Tribal enrollment. There is no preacher to provide proof of religion. If I had to prove my religious beliefs with this kind of documentation, I couldn’t. Most Tribal members not Christian, Jewish, Muslim etc couldn’t either. And that’s not even allowed for in the rules, because we don’t merit a stray thought.

      • Yonah
        August 27, 2014 at 6:19 am

        @Pheeno: 100%. When I lived in Canada I heard Native beliefs described as “customs” at best or even “superstitions,” with no sense that they were as grandiose as a “real religion.” Many people raised in secular(?)-Christianised mainstream North America absolutely cannot wrap their head around a religious belief centred on a concrete practice, rather than a statement about the nature of God. Even as a Jew, something which most people at least have heard of and think is basically a real thing, all the time I heard people describe Jewish eating beliefs as “superstitious,” especially when it got to things like what kind of plates are okay.

        I think the only way Christians and many raised in their societies can bring themselves to respect Native and other religions is by telling themselves that the actions involved are SYMBOLIC. Then they can sometimes respect the symbolic statement. But if your religion is just not about symbolism and is more about practical things or how to go about daily life, then you’re just being silly. Sweetgrass has to be a symbol of like God or peace or something, rather than it being ever necessary to actually burn physical sweetgrass, etc.

    • pheenobarbidoll
      August 26, 2014 at 12:15 pm

      The kicker here- The town is Seminole Texas.

      • pheenobarbidoll
        August 26, 2014 at 12:46 pm

        And yes, in case anyone was wondering, the mascot is the Seminole Indians. The girl teams are called The Maidens.

    • August 29, 2014 at 1:50 pm

      Personally I don’t believe in religious exemptions for anything, BUT (note the large ‘BUT,’) if you’re going to have a law that calls for religious exemption then it should apply to ALL religions, not just the ones that have been forced down the throat of a majority of the population.

      • EG
        August 29, 2014 at 6:40 pm

        I don’t believe in religious exemptions for rules that have good reasons, but I don’t believe in forcing people to follow stupid rules either. And rules regulating children’s hair are always stupid racist bullshit.

      • August 30, 2014 at 12:38 pm

        I don’t believe in religious exemptions for rules that have good reasons, but I don’t believe in forcing people to follow stupid rules either. And rules regulating children’s hair are always stupid racist bullshit.

        Same here, but I just think the family in this case has a better argument for ‘we’re being discriminated against because they think our religion doesn’t count,’ than ‘this rule is stupid, even for atheists and agnostics, (as well as religions that some people may dislike or not even consider a ‘religion’- not just Native religions- I include Christians Jews, Muslims, Satanists, Paganists, Animists, Jainists, Raelians, Scientologists, Jedis, etc. in this list.)

        However, there must be some of those religionists who support this rule, because, in my experience, people rarely seem to think ‘is this stupid?’ before enforcing a school dress code. Nor have I ever seen a school rule removed due to stupidity the entire time I attended school.

  6. Donna L
    August 26, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    My son and I got home last night, after our trip to the Hudson Valley and the Catskills — my first vacation trip in the last 3 years — had to be extended unintentionally for two days because his car broke down on a country road Saturday evening (it could have been worse, because an hour earlier we had gotten off a mountain road with no cellphone reception!), and although we had it towed nobody could look at it until yesterday because every single place in the area was closed Saturday evening and Sunday. Don’t ever break down in the country on a Saturday night. (It turned out that the car needs a new fuel pump, and it had to be towed all the way to a garage in NJ near where my former spouse lives — the car is in her name for insurance purposes, since my son is under 25.) It was an expensive extra two days (especially for an unemployed person like me!), including $180 to tow the car on Saturday and diagnose what was wrong with it yesterday, almost $300 for the extra two nights in a motel, $100 for a cab ride to Poughkeepsie for the nearest car rental place open on Sunday morning, and almost $400 charged by Hertz to rent a car in Poughkeepsie on Sunday and return it on the Upper West Side last night after I dropped my son off in NJ. At least the tow to NJ was covered by my son’s AAA account — one gets a free tow for up to 100 miles, and the trip was exactly 101 miles.

    We enjoyed the extra time — it’s so beautiful up there — and the weather was great, but still. I’m beginning to feel like a black cloud has been following me around lately.

    • August 30, 2014 at 12:25 pm

      My son and I got home last night….

      How is your son enjoying RBS? Has he run into Professor Levine yet?

      • Donna L
        August 30, 2014 at 2:33 pm

        What does RBS stand for? Rutgers something?

        He starts graduate school there, in the Art History department, on Tuesday (right after Labor Day). He’s there for a two-year master’s degree program, not a Ph.D, because he isn’t sure yet that he wants to go in that direction.

      • August 30, 2014 at 2:36 pm

        Oh I assumed he was in the Business School, because you said he was in Newark…that’s where my sister teaches…

      • Donna L
        August 30, 2014 at 2:56 pm

        I don’t think I said that — he’ll be in New Brunswick, not Newark.

        My son, in business school? Not in this lifetime! (That’s about as far from his talents or interests — or mine, for that matter — as anything could possibly be. We are definitely a humanities family!)

      • August 30, 2014 at 3:13 pm

        I don’t think I said that — he’ll be in New Brunswick, not Newark.

        My son, in business school? Not in this lifetime! (That’s about as far from his talents or interests — or mine, for that matter — as anything could possibly be. We are definitely a humanities family!)

        Wow, my memory is terrible. My sister is a professor of accounting…though I don’t think she’d say accounting or business are her interests. Unlike many of her students, she’s never worked in either of those fields, going straight from post grad to academia.

  7. August 26, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    I survived Vegas with my mom and aunties. More to follow.

  8. August 26, 2014 at 9:27 pm

    I just watched about 3 minutes of a video from an organization called “End Race Based Law”. That’s as far as I could stomach.

    I’m not linking here, because I don’t want to direct traffic there. Search Michelle Tittler if you’re in the mood to rage-watch, but trigger warning on huge, disgusting amounts of racism. It’s basically (from what I saw and what I’ve been told) a rant about First Nations people and how their use of the word ‘genocide’ is in describing their history (not to mention current state) is abusive and please be nicer to the poor white folks that you’re making uncomfortable by calling a genocide, genocide. Oh and tax exemptions for natives are unfair. Apparently.

    Oh, and she does this while wearing a headdress, just to be more of an asshole.

    • pheenobarbidoll
      August 27, 2014 at 1:45 am

      Yup. I just read a Facebook comment on the news article about the Navajo kid I posted about that said “Navajo kids are allowed to go to public schools….you’re welcome.” Because Indians should be thankful we’re allowed a free education like white kids, I suppose.

  9. AMM
    August 27, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    The “Lessons in smiling” post got me thinking.

    I’ve been getting more aware of when women smile, and I’ve noticed that I’ll be passing a woman on the sidewalk or wherever, and she’ll suddenly give me a broad smile, then we’ll pass one another and from what I can see she goes back to her previous non-smile. (It’s probably relevant that I’m pretty obviously male.)

    It’s always confused me a little, since we don’t know one another and aren’t otherwise going to interact, so what exactly does she mean by the smile? Sometimes I wonder if they’re at some level afraid of me and (unconsciously?) trying to placate. After reading the post, I now wonder if it’s just something women get trained in, sort of the way the Duggar children are raised to act like they’re happy all the time (according to a recent posting on the “lovejoyfeminism” blog.)

    Another related experience that struck me funny: I was at a week-long event, and a woman involved in running it came to the table I was at to talk to a man there. From what I’d seen of her and the subject matter, I would have expected a sort of business-friendly tone (this is USA Northeast), but she had a sort of “I’m so glad to be with you” or “we’re BFFs” tone. I’ve seen this sort of thing before, and am wondering if it’s related to the “women must smile” thing.

    I don’t know if there’s something going on there, or if it’s just me reading more into these things than are actually there.

    • PrettyAmiable
      August 30, 2014 at 10:36 am

      I won’t speak to those women, but when I do that (i.e. smile and drop it immediately afterwards), it’s because I don’t feel like smiling (a friend was a jerk to me, some guy broke my heart, depression is rearing its head at me – whatever), and I’ve been socialized to be pleasant to strangers. In NYC where I live now, most people are off in their own word – it’s rarely something that comes up – but I still do it if I make eye contact.

      Oddly, I’m so aware of that dynamic (the smiling and dropping), that if I’m interacting with someone in the lobby of my building, I make a point of holding a smile until I’m at least around the corner. I make a special point of it with those guys because people are exceptionally douchey in my office to the security team.

      • pheenobarbidoll
        August 30, 2014 at 12:56 pm

        Me too. But mostly that’s because I’m in Texas and it’s just considered polite to smile or nod when you make eye contact with someone. Both men and women do it. Smiling isn’t necessary, even a slight nod will do. I still encounter people who do the ” lift a few fingers up from the steering wheel” wave when we pass each other on the highway. ( note this doesn’t happen in traffic. You might see a finger in traffic, but it’s not a polite acknowledgement of your existence lol)
        It’s probably social conditioning to be polite, but depending on the individual woman it could also be a placating gesture.

      • August 30, 2014 at 2:35 pm

        The other day I was riding my bike on the sidewalk and there was a woman in front of me having difficulties with her stroller and her child who was running around a bit. I immediately popped off my bike and walked slowly behind them, pushing the bike. When I was dismounting my bike the woman turned, caught my eye and smiled, then immediately went back dealing with said child and stroller, maintaining the fraught look she had previously worn.

        Basically, it’s exactly what pheeno and PrettyAmiable said, it’s a polite acknowledgement of someone else who has become part of your short term experience.

    • Karak
      August 31, 2014 at 12:15 pm

      Depends on culture. I’m from the rural Midwest in the USA, and you’re supposed to smile if you make eye contact with a stranger–it’s percieved as hostile if you do not. Like “oh hello, I acknowledge you”.

      I’ve been told my penchant for smiling at and talking to strangers is bizarre in other contexts and parts of the country.

    • whitecube
      September 3, 2014 at 3:41 pm

      I often notice the opposite. People generally pause or scowl when they look at me unless I smile at them first. The constant horrifying “game” of when to smile at who and trying to guess if they are going to freak out if you don’t smile at them or feel creep-ed out if you do is so maddening I usually opt to avoid eye contact and any facial expression while in public.

      Some times it works… other times people try to start a conversation and ‘figure me out”, from which it all goes down hill from there usually.

  10. pheenobarbidoll
    August 29, 2014 at 9:06 pm

    Life is shit. Sick of it.

  11. August 30, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    Only just realised I didn’t put up a new Open Thread for this weekend – apologies all! I’ve made this one sticky so that it’s sitting at the top of the front page, might as well stick with it until next weekend now.

  12. pheenobarbidoll
    August 30, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    So…I created a new youcaring thing and posted it on my Facebook. That in and of itself is humiliating enough, but not one person has donated. These are people I know in real life and family members. More people who are strangers donated when I first created a youcare thing. All yall here did more than people I know in real life. How’s that for a kick in the teeth.

    • pheenobarbidoll
      August 30, 2014 at 5:36 pm

      And I just fucking realized I set up a youcaring account instead of a gofundme account. Explains why I had to register at youcaring after it kept telling me I didn’t have an account.

    • EG
      August 30, 2014 at 6:18 pm

      People suck sometimes. I’m sorry.

      Maybe we can make another push here? I know I get paid next week…

      • pheenobarbidoll
        August 30, 2014 at 6:57 pm

        It’s the total lack of recognition that we are in neck deep that pisses me off. I keep hearing ” I’m sure something will turn up”. Yeah, tell that to all the working homeless here or the people actually living in storage units. No, something doesn’t always just turn up. I found my gofundme account. I edited it to reflect what we need now. I’ve called and called the 3 whole places that we can afford and no one answers or returns calls.

        Anyway here’s the gofundme thing.

        Right now, I’m pretty sure our only option is to purchase a used Rv and live in it. Which leaves my kid and her kid uncertain on where they’ll live. I did not need this to come to a head right now. I honestly wish I was just dead. Not that I want to or would make that happen, but if I had died 3 years ago I’d be happier.

      • EG
        August 30, 2014 at 8:00 pm

        I hate that “something will turn up” shit. It’s what people used to say to me when I expressed my concerns about having a baby on my own. “Something will turn up,” “The money will come from somewhere”–where, exactly?

        The worst was a blind date telling me about her plans to move to a city where she knew nobody and didn’t have a job, “The universe will provide.” Tell it to the homeless Viet Nam veterans who used to sleep on the streets of my neighborhood when I was a little girl, bud.

      • pheenobarbidoll
        August 30, 2014 at 8:25 pm

        Yeah, last week the news did a story on a homeless ex marine. Nothing came up for him, evidently. He’s living in his car.

        And right now I’m so over it. Empty bullshit platitudes have never helped anyone in a real way. Neither does my mothers habit of inserting ” just be careful about the neighborhood you’re looking in” because LIVING IN MY FUCKING CAR vs living in not the safest neighborhood is our choice right now and her ” you don’t want to live there” doesn’t help.

        It’s like people just do not fucking get the seriousness of the situation. And I just can’t take anymore of that.

      • EG
        August 30, 2014 at 8:54 pm

        Yeah. There’s a town in Sweden that has a saying about platitudes vs. action that translates roughly to “the bishop swore and doused the flames while the governor wept and prayed,” in reference to a fire that swept through in 1865 and destroyed almost everything, except the bishop’s house, thanks in large part to his fire-fighting.

        Or, as my dad says, money talks and bullshit walks.

      • Donna L
        August 30, 2014 at 7:23 pm

        I just gave something — I wish it could be more, but I’ve had no money coming in, and way too much going out, since I left my job two months ago. My very best wishes to you.

      • pheenobarbidoll
        August 30, 2014 at 7:26 pm

        I’m sorry…I don’t want anyone to feel like they should if they can’t really afford it.

      • EG
        August 30, 2014 at 7:32 pm

        I just tweeted the link and already a friend retweeted it, so maybe some good will come in. I’m broke until my next paycheck, but when it comes in, I’ll pitch in, too.

      • Donna L
        August 30, 2014 at 8:36 pm

        It’s OK — I did it because I wanted to, not because I felt that I should.

      • pheenobarbidoll
        August 30, 2014 at 9:38 pm

        Thank you. I still feel likeva burden and a loser. I know I shouldn’t, but all I had was pride and I dont even have that anymore.

      • pheenobarbidoll
        August 31, 2014 at 11:23 pm

        We may have found a place. It’s the lowest we could find rent wise at 1600 a month plus 1600 deposit. She wants my credit report though so that could tank us. If we get it, we’ll be able to pay rent, buy groceries and pay basic utilities and that’s it. So saving will be out of the question, which means if she doesn’t renew the lease in a year or decides to sell when the lease is up, we’ll be in the exact same boat again. How I loathe this town.

      • pheenobarbidoll
        September 2, 2014 at 11:20 pm

        Nope. Didn’t get approved.

      • September 3, 2014 at 4:50 pm

        Damn. Sorry news, pheeno.

      • EG
        September 2, 2014 at 11:46 pm

        Shit. I’m sorry.

      • Donna L
        September 3, 2014 at 7:36 pm

        I’m very sorry, pheeno.

    • AR
      September 3, 2014 at 6:16 pm

      I’m sorry to hear about your situation.

  13. Viv
    August 30, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    I’m a “lurker” on almost any site I normally visit, so I apologize for any interweb faux pas. I tried googling the advice I need many different ways, but generally found advice for talking to young kids.

    Here’s what I’d like some advice about, or any personal stories if someone else has done this: I have an 18 year old niece (just turned 18 3 days ago). She grew up in a suburb, is very sheltered, street smart isn’t even in her reality. She just started at a local community college, has her own car, and started her first job. Her mom, my sister, grew up in the same shady neighborhood I did, but moved into the suburbs at 20. I’ve lived in the projects here in Toledo, in a shady part of Cleveland for years, and in several places in L.A. (including Hollywood – not the tourist part by Graumann’s).

    So, I’d like to start hanging out with her alone and gently kind of prepare her for how different being female in public is than for males. I don’t want to scare her or overwhelm her, but I do worry about her cruising around Toledo (NOT a safe city) with no real street smarts nor any clue how to react to creepers, being followed, red flags, etc.

    Any advice or stories would be very welcome. I’m not sure if I’m allowed to give my email in this comment for anyone with longer stories/advice. If I am allowed, please someone tell me & I’ll post it.

    Thanks so much in advance!

    • Donna L
      September 1, 2014 at 1:30 am

      I wish I could give more specific advice, but all I can say is that it didn’t take me very long at all to learn how to cope with being female in public, and to get used to the differences between that and being a guy in public. Paying attention to and talking to other women who were more used to it was definitely one thing I did. (For example, I learned fairly quickly that if I was going to my car late at night, especially in a deserted parking lot or parking garage, I shouldn’t wait until I got there to start digging through my bag in the dark looking for my car keys!)

      Then again, I was in my 40’s, not 18, and I grew up in New York City, and hadn’t exactly led a sheltered life.

    • September 2, 2014 at 9:51 pm

      I think one of the biggest eye-openers for me (aside from the fact that I was getting creeped on by strangers from around age 11 – ugh) was as a teen, sitting in with a group of older adult women (I felt so grown up!) and listening to them. They started a conversation about creepy guy experiences they’d had and how they dealt with them and… while I had experienced my own fair share already, I had no idea it happened to everyone or how bad it could be, and a lot of the coping strategies they discussed really helped.

      Maybe something like that? Not sitting her down for A Talk where you explain to her this stuff, but you and her and a couple trusted friends of yours and a general conversation about what it’s like? You could then take the opportunity to segue into giving her a chance to open up about any experiences she has had up until now, too. The increased numbers can also help avoid the conversation feeling awkward or embarrassing for her.

      I’m suggesting it that way because when I was 18 I think a lot of people pegged me as a very naive teen with no street smarts or experiences dealing with such issues, when in reality I’d tackled a LOT more stuff than most people gave me credit for, and being Explained A Thing about something I believed I already understood generally came across poorly to me. And even when I really was naive about something, I know being seen as inexperienced by others generally made me hypersensitive to anything I interpreted as condescending, even when it wasn’t meant that way.

  14. Schmorgluck
    August 30, 2014 at 11:50 pm

    Playstation Home is a virtual reality environment you can access from a Playstation gaming console. You can design your own 3D avatar, run around in various settings, play games, etc. Many parts of it are designed to may you buy stuff, to be honest.

    Anyway, recently I’ve been playing around with how my avatar looks, and I’ve met with an interesting event. Once, when I was using a black female avatar, I got a very concise private message: “bitch”.

    I mentionned the event on a forum I frequent, in the thread it has about racism, but after a while the moderators ended up relocating my post and the ensuing discussion to the thread about sexism. Yet I’m pretty sure it was at least as much about racism than sexism. I’m a white male, and I don’t have any woman of color in my frequentations, but it’s my understanding (that I may have acquired here, by the way) that women of color are more likely to face blatant sexism than white ones. So ultimately, I tend to think that message was more about “my” race than “my” sex. Any thought, folks?

    (as a side note, I also got a concise, and far easier to evaluate, message when I “was” a black man: “nigger”)

    • pheenobarbidoll
      August 31, 2014 at 11:16 pm

      It’s both. One of the many wonderful ways sexism and racism intersect.

  15. August 31, 2014 at 12:11 am

    TW: rape, transmisogyny

    I have decided that I must stop participating in Feministe for good. There are some people here who also participate in a community (that I don’t feel comfortable naming) in which I was recently falsely accused of rape apologia (because of bringing up the dreaded “cotton ceiling” discussion), attacked for calling my body female, and told that I was manipulative and abusive for asking cis folks to not use transphobic language. Perhaps they will never come back here, but because of them I no longer feel comfortable participating here.

    Despite its occasional flaws, I have always enjoyed spending time here, and it was the first feminist blog I ever visited. And ever since first visiting, I’ve been fond of many of the regulars here, particularly Donna, who was essentially the first trans woman I ever interacted with, and EG, someone whose perspectives and understanding of feminist issues I continue to find very insightful. So I assure you that Feministe itself isn’t the reason I want to leave. I simply feel that I need to stick to communities in which it is less likely I’ll face relatively privileged people who are hostile towards me. There is also the issue of recently exacerbated trauma making it difficult for me to interact in multiple online spaces frequently, so in any case it’s hard for me to be a regular here, anyway.

    There is a chance I’ll come back, but it’s unlikely. I will most likely remain a lurker for good. In any case, if any of you would still like to be in touch with me, feel free to use my email, which you can find in my DreamWidth profile. It’s really hard for me to let this place go, but I have no choice. Best wishes to everyone here and I hope Feministe, despite its flaws, continues to be a place full of warm, supportive people and insightful perspectives. And also continue to have excellent moderators like tigtog.

    Goodbye, everyone.

    • Donna L
      August 31, 2014 at 12:50 am

      Ally, I’m very sorry to see you go. I am disappointed that there are people here who participate in online communities where transphobic rhetoric (not to mention excruciatingly stupid, intellectually dishonest arguments designed to portray trans women as violent male rapists) is considered acceptable discourse — whether those people engage in such discourse themselves, or stand by silently when it occurs. (Obviously, any such people know better than to try to get away with similar rhetoric here.) But of course I’m never surprised by anything of the kind.

      I certainly hope that wherever that place is, you no longer participate there yourself. I try my best to avoid such places; they are not good for my always-precarious mental well-being.

      You have my very best wishes for the future (including continuing to extricate yourself from your father’s baleful influence.) You deserve all good things.

      I will be emailing you to send you my own email address — feel free to get in touch with me anytime.


      • Donna L
        August 31, 2014 at 12:53 am

        PS: And thanks for what you said; the positive feelings are mutual. You are only a few years younger than my son, and I would be proud — as anyone should be — to have someone like you as a daughter.

    • EG
      August 31, 2014 at 7:02 am

      I am selfishly sad that we are losing you here, Ally, but I think that prioritizing self-care is so important, particularly for you, given the stress your father puts you under, and his long-standing refusal to respect your well-being. I echo Donna’s sentiments–her disappointment in learning that others here accept such cruel transphobia and her good wishes. And to echo what she says about anybody being proud to have you as a daughter, I think I mentioned once that I keep your face in my mind when advocating for trans students at my college’s Women’s and Gender Studies program. Your intelligence, compassion, and bravery would make anybody proud to have you as a student and to advocate for you.

      You’re a good person, a good woman, is what I’m saying, and I have learned from talking with you. Please please take good care of yourself, and I’ll send along an email address.

      • EG
        August 31, 2014 at 7:11 am

        Oh hell, I didn’t mean that to sound condescending, the part about advocating for trans students–I know you’re not my student and I was really surprised when you first mentioned your age! I just meant that you’ve inspired me to go on when I’ve gotten tired of the transphobia in my school’s program, and that, while I know you have anxieties about your ability to succeed in college, should you eventually go back, I think you are exactly the kind of person whom professors would be delighted to find in a classroom. I’m sorry if it came off as anything else.

    • trees
      August 31, 2014 at 8:58 am

      I’ll really miss you Ally, ugh.
      Be well.

    • gratuitous_violet
      August 31, 2014 at 10:03 pm

      Ally, without wanting to pique everyone’s curiosity, I know what youre talking about and I dont comment there, but what you were put through was appalling and I’m so sorry that happened to you. Be well and I wish you all the best.

    • Matthew
      September 1, 2014 at 2:16 pm

      I just wanted to wish you luck and thank you for all your contributions at Feministe in the past.

    • Ledasmom
      September 1, 2014 at 2:54 pm

      I’m so sorry you were put through that. Best wishes and best of luck to you now and in the future.

    • September 1, 2014 at 4:32 pm

      Ally, I’m sorry to see you go, but I understand your reasoning and hope that everything goes well for you.

    • September 5, 2014 at 11:48 pm

      I support your decision, and I would probably do the same. I’m sorry you had to go through all that; it sounds like some old bullshit. I wish you well, and will miss your input. You’ve taught me a lot.

  16. August 31, 2014 at 6:02 pm

    I just got back from pride, and I’m exhausted. Too hot, too sunny, and too much walking. But it was a lot of fun.

  17. August 31, 2014 at 7:37 pm

    I am preparing for volunteering for a blood donation campaign.

  18. Sharon M
    September 1, 2014 at 11:19 am

    Trigger warning r*pe: So an officer who assaulted/raped 8 African American woman has a GoFundMe page and a Facebook page supporting him. I haven’t seen much about this, so I’m throwing it out there.

  19. Angel H.
    September 1, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    At a cookout with my Dad and stepmother’s family…

    Thank God for Xanax.

  20. September 3, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    I’m glad we still have a stack of spare roof tiles around the back. Came in handy the other week when a heavy downpour revealed that one of the tiles had split some time ago, and first there was a leak in Sprog The Elder’s bedroom and then the ceiling fell down.

    The spare tiles meant that the make-safe guy from the insurance company didn’t have to put one of those tie-down sheets over the roof, he was able to just replace the broken tile (and a couple of others he saw with cracked corners) so that we were waterproof again, which has been a huge relief.

    Now we just have to wait for the builders to come and repair the ceiling (and pay the $500 excess on our policy to them in cash before they’ll do anything). Given that it’s a relatively small job to replace some plasterboard and paint it, I don’t know how long that will be, so in the meantime Sprog The Elder is sleeping under a plastic sheet tacked around the hole.

  21. crypto-woman
    September 3, 2014 at 6:27 pm

    Hi. :) Just wanted to drop a little intro here (hope it’s ok):

    Name’s Layan, trans lesbian of color (Desi), documented and raised middle-class. I have autism and PTSD, and I’m a survivor of emotional, physical, and sexual abuse (mostly from my childhood). I’m an anti-capitalist radfem and I focus mainly on trans women, for lots of reasons. I’m saying all of this cause I think it’s important for folks to know where I stand and what social factors shape my perspective. I’m sorry if I’m too wordy. Hope everyone’s doing well.

    • Donna L
      September 3, 2014 at 7:57 pm

      Welcome. It’s always good to see another trans person here.

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