Oh, I love this poster:
This is part of the CrimethInc gender subversion kit.
via Pesky Apostrophe
I copied Lauren and got a Flickr account. I also have about a million and five pictures, so it could be a challenge (and a boring one) to browse through the whole thing. But it sucked up a few hours of my spare time, so I guess it’s a good deal. More pictures (from Italy and from Seattle) will be added in the coming days, as none of these were taken more recently than May.
One of my friends recently asked me, since I criticize my education classes so much, how I address my issues with the assignments to my teachers. It isn’t so simple. Part of the education program is being able to mimic the instructor’s ideals of teaching and teachers — we are required to emulate professional teacherhood with a healthy dose of our own personalities.
This hasn’t been much of a problem for me. I speak easily in front of crowds and have no problem respectfully challenging authority once I know the boundaries in a group dynamic. But by the end of the semester I usually have one opportunity to make fun of what it is we’re expected to learn.
One of my problems with the program is all the emphasis on reflection. We’re constantly required to reflect on this part or that section of our educational experiences. While this is certainly relevant and brings a significant amount of discussion material, our instructors often ignored that we wanted to know more about specific subject material, interschool politics, classroom management, grammar, and how to write a freaking lesson plan, and instead required another reflection piece.
So, to offer my friend a bit of pictorial evidence for how I challenge the material in front of the group, here is an example of the dog poopin’ project (and its lackluster presentation) and a picture I just found of another project I was required to complete.
This is the peacock mirror that I made in response to yet another reflection piece. I did my project on what? — reflection assignments and vanity and how students are perfectly aware of what their expected response is supposed to be on reflection assignments: bullshit to impress the teacher. Many students in the secondary school are there because they have to be, jumping through hoops and doing just enough to get by, pass the class, and get out of there at the end of the day. Reflection pieces for these kids are five-paragraph essays loaded with faux growth and faux reflection on faux sentiments written for an audience of one, the teacher.
I chose the topic of vanity for one reason: the end of this project was a big exhibit of all the ed majors’ artwork and accompanying essays. It wasn’t so much for us but to impress a certain person who was about to become the head of the ed department after the seat sat empty for quite a while. We all knew it. And I, I was the one miffed enough with the assignment to turn in this horrendous mirror with a sarcastic essay about self-esteem that included trite truisms like, “I’ve realized, like the peacocks, that it is okay to be great when no one else is watching.”
For the record, I got an A on both the mirror and essay. I also sold this hideous mirror at a garage sale to a rich woman for $40.
Lots of home improvement at my house. Yesterday I got the wood floors in the front room redone, today I cut my grass after realizing the backyard had gone from having long grass to epic grass, and tonight, I paint the filthy-walled spare room in the basement.
In the meantime I have many, many excellent posts collected for your perusal.
At Preemptive Karma, Carla discusses her abortion with no regrets.
Scott Lemieux states the obvious: Overturning Roe Will Not “Return the Issue to the States”
Twisty has a very unusual afternoon indeed. Brings new meaning to “spinster aunt.”
Jacqui writes on an odd conundrum: being a feminist without female friends. I tend to have this problem myself.
SZ positively skewers a nasty book set to be published soon, a book suggested for men who are trying to “win” custody and avoid paying child support. Because it’s about the money, not the children.
Shakespeare’s Sister explains why Adam Corolla stinks. I personally find “stinks” to be an understatement.
At the Alley Notebooks, Alley Rat dissects why women cheat.
The awesome Lynne D. Johnson has a round-up of her own on feminist hip-hop blogging. Great stuff.
Do conservatives see women as inferior?
Fred Vincy discusses sexism and sports broadcasting.
Shelley takes a look at blogging, Blogher, and “terror.”
A look at John McCain on abortion.
Pornography: Objectification or Free Speech? The debate rages on, this time, with Noam Chomsky.
No authority but herself: an interesting article on anarchist feminism on a social anarchist site.
Dr. Laura’s Worst Nightmare takes a look at blogging, legitimacy, and “mommy blogs.”
And a must-read on a woman named Mina.
America’s most liberal and conservative cities aren’t quite what you’d think.
In case you didn’t know, DNA is very liberal.
Ryan takes a look at the conservative habit of questioning the patriotism of liberals.
Finally! Malkin vs. Malkin.
Chuck discusses the silliness of a White House objection to the .xxx domain.
Support our troops: Send them back to Iraq with PTSD.
SCOTUS could do without so much niceness.
At Reclaiming Medusa, an article on the corporate takeonver of and advertising to children in the public schools.
Creationism classes gear up in Indiana. Dr. Myers has the story.
The Drunken Lagomorph asks, Do you want your plumber to tell you you’re going to hell? Um, no, I want my toilet to flush.
Half-Changed World has had a wonderful series on gender, housework, and professional work.
Your mommy hates housework and your daddy hates housework
Divison of Labor
What’s the signal?
Amanda, amazingly, gets a letter from her vulva.
I feel cheated. Mine never writes home.
via the comments at Twisty’s
UPDATE Chuck weighs in with an excellent new slogan: Because you’re not that ugly: Dove.
Fake boobies: Good. Preventing untintended pregnancy: Bad.
Honestly, if the FDA approves silicone breast implants that have been proven to be safe, I don’t have a problem with it. No surgery is without its risks. Women deserve accurate information about the risks surrounding breast implants and all other medical procedures, elective or not. But it is wrong to block the approval of silicone implants if they’re reasonably safe (although let it be noted that I realize the current situation is more complicated than that, with a lot of big-money interests involved; I also certainly take offense to their appropriating of pro-choice terminology to further what is ultimately an anti-feminist cause).
The FDA’s approval of silicone implants just draws further attention to their hypocrisy when it comes to women’s reproductive health. It’s ridiculous for them to block approval of Plan B, which is overwhelmingly safe — certainly safer than Viagra, which sailed through its FDA approval. And since I inexplicably didn’t write about it before, let me take this moment to give a big middle finger to Gov. Pataki for vetoeing a common-sense emergency contraception bill.
Sure. I’m a feminist for life. I like life. I think mine is important enough to preserve, and I think yours is too. I think we should do all we can to sustain life and to make it as good (or at least as livable) as possible — I support life-affirming things like poverty relief programs, environmentalism, reasonable gun control laws, and universal healthcare. I don’t support things that result in the unnecessary taking of life, like the death penalty and preemptive wars based on untruths. Because I value women’s lives, I believe that everyone deserves access to medical care and family planning tools.
But the anti-choice group Feminists for Life is a different story. On the surface, they’re decent, as far as anti-choice groups can be decent. They promote education and childcare for women with children, and adequate campus housing for students with children. These are good things. But as Katha Pollitt discovers, they aren’t exactly a progressive’s dream (in more ways than being anti-abortion):
The problem is that FFL doesn’t just oppose abortion. FFL wants abortion to be illegal. All abortions, period, including those for rape, incest, health, major fetal defects and, although Foster resisted admitting this, even some abortions most doctors would say were necessary to save the woman’s life. (Although FFL is not a Catholic organization, its rejection of therapeutic abortion follows Catholic doctrine.) FFL wants doctors who perform abortions to be punished, possibly with prison terms.
They also subscribe to the theories that abortion causes breast cancer and birth control pills are “abortifacients” — despite all scientific evidence to the contrary. FFL claims that women choose abortion because of a lack of other options — if they had a better education, or access to childcare, or were making more money, they’d have that baby in a heartbeat and abortion would cease to exist. I agree that it’s tragic that some women do “choose” abortion simply for lack of other choices. I think it’s disgusting that right-wing legislators in states like New Jersey have created laws that limit poor women’s choice to have children — for example, penalizing welfare recipients if they give birth while on state assistance. Make the world a friendlier place for women by truly allowing us the fullest range of choices in all areas of our lives, and you can bet that the abortion rate will drop right along with the unintended pregnancy rate.
But if you don’t give women the opportunity to determine the number and spacing of their children, we aren’t going to be able to achieve things like fair pay, white-collar jobs and higher education on the mass levels that men have been able to. If you don’t believe that women are entitled to control what goes on within their own uteruses, if you don’t trust women to make their own decisions — indeed, if you think that the government should be allowed to legally force women to give birth — then you aren’t a feminist. “Feminists for Life,” aren’t. I’ll let the much more eloquent Katha Pollitt finish it out, but I’m curious if any feminists here think that you can be anti-choice (and I mean broadly anti-choice, in that you think abortion should be illegal, not just anti-abortion on a personal level) and still be a feminist.
Exposing the constraints on women’s choices, however, is only one side of feminism. The other is acknowledging women as moral agents, trusting women to decide what is best for themselves. For FFL there’s only one right decision: Have that baby. And since women’s moral judgment cannot be trusted, abortion must be outlawed, whatever the consequences for women’s lives and health–for rape victims and 12-year-olds and 50-year-olds, women carrying Tay-Sachs fetuses and women at risk of heart attack or stroke, women who have all the children they can handle and women who don’t want children at all. FFL argues that abortion harms women–that’s why it clings to the outdated cancer claims. But it would oppose abortion just as strongly if it prevented breast cancer, filled every woman’s heart with joy, lowered the national deficit and found Jimmy Hoffa. That’s because they aren’t really feminists–a feminist could not force another woman to bear a child, any more than she could turn a pregnant teenager out into a snowstorm. They are fetalists.
A great new blog by fellow NYU feminist Lauren Schreiber: Fighting the Right.
And, because I’m a facebook stalker, I read Lauren’s profile and found this quote that I enjoyed and thought I’d reproduce here:
Because women’s work is never done and is underpaid or unpaid or boring or repetitious and we’re the first to get fired and what we look like is more important than what we do and if we get raped it’s our fault and if we get beaten we must have provoked it and if we raise our voices we’re nagging bitches and if we enjoy sex we’re nymphos and if we don’t we’re frigid and if we love women it’s because we can’t get a “real” man and if we ask our doctor too many questions we’re neurotic and/or pushy and if we expect childcare we’re selfish and if we stand up for our rights we’re aggressive and “unfeminine” and if we don’t we’re typical weak females and if we want to get married we’re out to trap a man and if we don’t we’re unnatural and because we still can’t get an adequate safe contraceptive but men can walk on the moon and if we can’t cope or don’t want a pregnancy we’re made to feel guilty about abortion and … for lots of other reasons we are part of the women’s liberation movement.
~Author unknown, quoted in The Torch, 14 September 1987