Friday, December 31, 2010

A huge peeve I have is the idea that there's a minority of people who produce and the rest of us are useless parasites. Many people use social services yet produce a lot of things, such as they stock our groceries, cook and serve our food, and clean our buildings. They pay sales tax, gas tax, and tons of other taxes. Without the workers, without the people who do the making, the shipping, the paperwork, the folks on top wouldn't have any profits to gamble with.

Monday, December 27, 2010

I don't think marriage will fix an $8000 a year income. At best, you'll have two broke people who can't find gainful employment and their kids. I think that really, focusing on moral stuff like whether so and so believes in 'hard work' is pretty silly. They can work hard all they want, but if there's no jobs or they get sick doing all that labor(and not to mention: if they have no way to monitor their children, the kids may end up in trouble), they're in the same position as they were.

Education is probably a good idea, and we need to improve our educational system to work for the children's needs instead of 'reformer's' pocketbooks. Of course, that's no guaentee- black college grads have an unemployment rate double of white college grades.

BTW: You can get food stamps and work. It's just that your job doesn't pay any money.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

NOW thinks up a clever way to deal with Hooters- if you're a family restaurant, you need to follow laws against sex discrimination, and if you're a titty bar with more clothes, you don't need kids there. Of course in the comments, there's a lot of complaining about how NOW women are BAD and JEALOUS because they aren't CONVENTIONALLY ATTRACTIVE. Personally, I think the best response to that is not to say BUT I'M A SUPER HOTTY! but to notice that it doesn't matter to the argument. It's a legal argument, not a beauty contest.

Also on feminist misquotes, Andrea Dworkin corrects the record in a 1995 interview.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

This comment really captures something that has bothered me for a long time about 'time management' People always say "I just make time!" as if somehow all time is equal. As if a sleepy afternoon hour when you can barely string together two sentences is the same as a peak energy morning hour! I try to put the most energy using tasks at the best times, but on some days, I have no good hours of energy. I have a lot to spend my few hours of energy on, and when I am working, I tend to spend it on work rather than recreational writing.

Of course, the heart of this issue of who surmounts impossible odds to write and who doesn't, is that it doesn't really matter all that much. Sometimes people in fact are just talking. Everyone who says "Oh, I'd like to write a novel someday, when I have time" does not in fact need to be told about how if they just wrote a hundred words a day, they'd have a novel way before retirement or told about how they need to make time to write.

Maybe they just like to think of themselves as creative, a little more interesting than their lives have turned out to be. And that's OK.

We all have little fantasies of ourselves being the sort of person who likes doing things that we really don't like to do. We want to imagine ourselves as the sort of people who travel to exotic locations and have adventures or do volunteer work, but some part of us understands that bugs, heat and exhaustion do not figure into our fantasies.

And so it is with fantasies of being a writer. People don't imagine rereading their words over and over and over to edit it, or being up at 5 am writing that new chapter. And that's fine.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Advice for people who always complain that others don't heed their advice.

The thing is that the problem is not that people don't heed your advice. The problem is that you get twisted out of shape if people don't heed your advice. Advice is not a legally binding contract. If I tell someone not to buy brand name clothes, that they are all just made by the same sweatshops in China, and then they buy new name brand clothes, getting bent out of shape isn't going to help me at all. They probably heard my advice, and didn't think it worked for them. It's not a moral failing, they just like brand name clothing more than they like saving money.

And that's OK! This is not an epic battle for moral superiority! Giving advice is giving your opinion. Not everyone will agree with your opinion, and even if they do, everything is easier said than done.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

This story creeps me out.

Now, I can't really excerpt it for you, but basically, a guy goes on a journey, tries to help some stranger who jumped off a bridge after this guy tied a rope around his waist, and then lets the stranger hurtle down into the water after some spiel about responsibility.

As a metaphor about not taking on too much, it doesn't work since the our audience is balancing our 'hero' losing momentum towards his goals and the horrible death of a stranger whose actions are irrational, but probably not death penalty worthy. Also, there's also the image of other people as mere baggage, mere obstacles on the way to your glorious goals. Just drop them off the bridge, and go on your merry way!

*shudder* I'm not saying drop all your goals and become codependent on a crack head. But balance is the key here. We're all interdependent on each other. We're both the man going towards his goal, and the man hanging off the bridge. Maybe we're the rope too. Seeing ourselves as all the characters gives us more compassion. Say, we're the man hanging off the bridge.

We see that our own actions have been foolish, irrational, or maybe we don't see. Anyway, we're hanging off the bridge, depending on someone else. We're scared. What if he leaves? What if we're all alone, speeding towards the water, the person we hoped that would save us, walking off smugly, after giving us a lesson in responsibility. Of course, we can't really learn this lesson, as our hearts stop when we hit the water.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Using math, people figure out that the rent is so high in many places that even with two minimum wage jobs, you're barely making it. It's so high that even if you wore sacks as pants, never watched cable on that cheap tv you got from extremely suspicious merchants, and only ate stone cut lentils, you'd be in the same position, but really miserable.

Friday, October 22, 2010

I've been trying to figure out why this 'culture of poverty' stuff bothers me. Some have written beautifully on environmental factors, and some have spoken on the effects of growing up poor.

I guess one thing that bothers me is that it's not just the language of Rohan and the language of Mordor, and those who can speak both are able to move fluidly- it's the idea that the language of Rohan is somehow the language everyone should speak, forever more, and that the language of Mordor has no grace or poetry to it. I don't agree with that- the ways people live are always both beautiful and terrible, because humans are like that. By focusing on what we think is 'terrible', even if we ourselves are doing the same 'terrible' things, we miss the whole rest of people's lives.


I was reading slackitivst and people were talking about the parable of the prodigal son. And I think some of the people talking about the culture of poverty are like the older brother. Instead of rejoicing that the poor can at least have something in their bellies, even if we don't like what they eat, or can enjoy some of the good of society, even if we think that their choices are wrongity wrong wrong, we sit in resentment. If only we could change their dysfunctional culture! If only they'd see the light! But..even if we think they should live like this or that, maybe we can let go of the feeling that because someone is poor, we should be able to control their lives.

Because, at base, this is what our whole culture of poverty ideology is about. It's not about discussing people's experiences equally- it's about saying that if only poor folks had made the same choices as us, or choices we think everyone should make, they wouldn't be poor. That's why I don't like it. The idea that people who are richer are somehow better than the poor. That there's one right path to get through life, and if you deviate, you're wrong, even if you're adjusting to the circumstances of your life.

And I don't want to have that power. I don't want to be in people's bedrooms, questioning if they are having sex the 'right' way, with the 'right' person. I don't want to be at people's doctor's appointments, trying to make them not have children they want. I don't want to be in people's mailboxes, and bank accounts, trying to make them spend their money the right way.

To say that I know how you should live your life...that's arrogant. I know I'm arrogant, but to give yourself that much power, you're giving yourself an equal amount of responsibility. The world is not under our control. To say that you know the right way for millions of people! Feel the hubris of that!

To say you know when they should have kids, what they should eat, what they should spend their money on, what they should value... It makes me dizzy to think of it. Maybe we should try to be more humble. Instead of approaching people with "You should...", maybe we should try to listen to others sometimes.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

I'm thinking about the rat fable David Sedaris read on This American Life. BTW: Some time ago, I heard Sedaris read at the Canon Center, and he said that he had a lot of them and didn't know what to do with them. Now he does. Anyway, he's amazing, squee,etc. But yes, I really dislike people that Sedaris is satirizing with the rat character. On an irrational level, it feels like bad luck. I'm a grumpy guts, and I'm way less sick than many beautiful people who love life and help others. Thinking that they must have secretly done something wrong seems overly distrusting, especially if they are out saving the lives of babies instead of playing Civilization 5 for a zillion hours, and less logical than simply thinking that say...one can't help that they have breast cancer or lupus, etc.

The American belief that the individual has almost mystical powers bothers me on a deep level, that sadly for this blog, I can't quite articulate. All success is on an individual's shoulders, but also all failures, and that's too heavy for one person to bear.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Now, I'm not a positive person. I don't tell others to smile or that their problems are unimportant because of the starving kids in Africa. But I think that some paths to problem solving are dead ends of despair. And one of those dead ends is thinking that getting people to make decisions you approve of is the path to societal change. It can be fun in small doses- I like getting riled up and complaining as much as anyone. However, if all we got is telling our cousin Mookie, random acquaintances in the grocery store, and strangers on the internet to close their legs, to not choose to parent when they want to parent, to stop drinking all that soda, well, we're doomed to failure.

People rarely change their behavior because someone says so. For example, I hear all about how fast food is horrible. There are websites and national campaigns against eating factory farmed meat products. But I still eat it. Why? Several factors- it's quick and I can go to a fast food place without being late for work tasks, it's avaliable, it tastes better than food I make myself, occasionally others buy it for me, it's familiar and comforting.

If you want me to stop eating McDonalds, a lecture won't work. You're going to have to identify my reasons. You can't do this by arm chair psychoanalysis. If you want to change the behavior of one person, you'll have to actually try to talk to them on their level. Figure out what drives their behavior and what help they want, instead of what you think they need. Then instead of focusing on their behavior- focus on your own. How can you promote the opening of restaurants with quick, healthy, and inexpensive food? It may take work- the good part of the finger wagging is that you don't have to do anything. All you have to do is complain, and complaining is fun.

But it's passive. You're waiting for others to come around and see your obvious rightness. You feel productive, but you're standing still. In terms of social change, you might as well have been writing Gakuen Alice fanfic. In which they are all furries.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Postbougie helps me learn that just because we're both black that doesn't give me the right to start complaining that some other lady's sex life isn't the same as mine. Trying to force all black women into this one model isn't working! Marriage is consistently held up as an ideal, but women who don't fit into the ideal don't go "AHAHAHA! I'M GOING TO HAVE A BABY OUT OF WEDLOCK* TO BRING DOWN THE BLACK COMMUNITY!!!" It's not like that, and no amount of finger wagging is going change the reasons people do things that we don't like. I can say "You gotta LUUUURVE everyone you have sex with" and folks will still have casual sex, because sex is fun. I can say "You need to do a credit check, background check, and check his 401k contributions before he can even see your ankle" and folks would pretend to do a 401k check, much like religious folks pretend they never have sex outside of marriage, and then go with what actually fits their lives instead of my ideals. Yea, I said it, people will go with what fits what is actually going on in their lives rather than the ideals of people on the internet that live in totally different states!


*That sounds so judgey and old fashioned, btw?

Friday, September 24, 2010

More about how No Wedding No Womb is a horrible fucking idea.*


*Not so much about weddings- there's nothing wrong with a good marriage,but the idea that if everyone conformed to this marriage ideal, everything would be dory hunky.

Apparently scolding black women to get married hasn't been working, so we need a different approach. It's not two parent, white wedding or total chaos as our choices. There's a rainbow of opportunities out there.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The black snob discusses parenthood and I have an opinion. My first opinion is that not every child can be so easily dissuaded from sneaking out at night as the black snob. Some children are easier to parent than others, so a child who is easy to parent can be guided easily with a parent with just basic parenting skills. It's like getting a baby to sleep through the night. Some will sleep through the night no matter what a parent does almost[They won't sleep through the night if they have a rap concert every night at 3 am, but other than that, they'll sleep through anything] and some will have parents up every night, contemplating leaving their child at the fire house. People who have the easy babies can think they are better parents than those with more difficult babies, but that may not in fact be the case.

Of course, many others may have issues with the narrative about the goals and dreams of teen moms- I get the vibe that some think that if teen girls had higher self esteem or more goals or something they wouldn't get pregnant, and while it's important for girls to have goals and dreams, a broken condom doesn't go "Well, she wanted to be an ob gyn,so I'll magically fix myself!",and contrary to stereotype, 'good girls' who have goals and study hard still have sexual relationships- some with well meaning boyfriends and some with 'men' who ought to be ashamed of themselves, and some will, even if they have access to birth control,will get pregnant, and some of them either won't have access to or do not desire to have an abortion or go through the trauma of adoption.

I also have to note that the nuclear family model is not the only model- a cousin, a brother, an aunt,a friend, a teacher, a church member- all of them can raise a child. I have to admit that sometimes I think we act like women have a crystal ball and can see the future of a relationship,so we blame women for not knowing that a relationship would go south- it's not just casual encounters that lead to single parenthood, but committed cohabitation or even marriage.

Children aren't a problem to be solved, but a solution to be envisioned.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The idea that everyone should fit into a narrow box of 'adulthood' does great harm. People go without help and support they need. And the places where we need support aren't visible to others. For example, if one can only live on their own by working two jobs, and they have issues with fatigue or a need for more sleep than others consider necessary- even if the peanut gallery has a lot to say about that, it's better for that person to center their health. If a person is able to go to a few social events for maybe 4 hours a week, but can't work a 40 hour a week job, well, the peanut gallery needs to put a sock in it. You know what? Maybe learning to put a sock in it is an important ability to learn. You never know what someone is doing only at great cost that you take for granted. Maybe more STFUing is what we need.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

"Sometimes I think that the world's so small, that we can never get away from the sprawl"-Arcade Fire

George Will is an idiot. This much is true. This week I was reading both Collaspe and The Place You Love Is Gone which are both about the same thing in different ways- humans overtaking the resources that are avaliable to them.

People like George Will don't get it. We're not so much concerned about whether in a million years the carbon levels will go down. We're worried about the human population crashing due to hunger, lack of resources like water, animals, and farmland, natural disasters due to climate change, and wars over resources. Yes, people like Pierson do talk about aesthetics, which is important to humans psychologically. Yes, maybe places where the sea comes in and destroys human settlements will come back, but the people displaced have been dealt a strong blow to their psyche, and their livelihoods in the small blink of time which is their lives.

I ask people like George Will to consider the value of what they are willing to destroy things like our forests, our water, our air for. Is it another pharmacy on a road with five? Is it short term gain in the stock market, followed by a crash? We can't keep growing forever, and maybe instead of forever growing outwards, and hoping that somehow things will be alright, we need to plan for growth, and use things we already have, such as buildings empty from the last time we were convinced that that new Wal Mart was the answer to all woes- Pierson speaks of the retail economy as neighbors finding jobs taking each other's washing in- a sterile circle.

Maybe we could live in houses that do not have home theater rooms[yes, these exist. I've been in two homes that have them], and work with the huge housing stock that we already have. Of course, that's crazy talk, like building a grocery store in an area of the city that lacks one!

And anyway George Will needs to fill column inches- better invest that Newsweek salary in some oil stock. Drill in our last wild places! Spill and pollute the water and the land! The earth doesn't care, so we shouldn't.

Friday, September 03, 2010

White feminists discuss fat [replying to this post where some lady says something stupid] Personally, I think that people are too quick to believe that large percentages of the population just randomly become less 'moral'.We think that black men suddenly just wake up and decide 'hey, let's drop out of high school- because we're lazy gits!" and that between 2007 and now, millions of people have suddenly become too lazy to work, and that people have all just suddenly decided that they want to be really fat.

It's because we're so trained to focus in on people's individual moral character that we end up being ridiculous. We also see everything in the light of moral character. If a child pees the bed, he's 'lazy'[I hear this a lot], if a person is fat, they don't have enough 'willpower', and etc, etc, and we structure our society this way- worrying about the moral hazard of unemployment benefits, etc, instead of structuring it so that people can succeed in their goals.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Problem Chlyde has a beautiful post on the view that poor people shouldn't have nice things. I connect it to the idea that you should have a horrible life unless you were perfectly moral and never did anything wrong in your life. "Wrong" is pretty loose here- it can be anything from owning a television to only working eight hours a day instead of 18. It's the sort of attitude that ends with people lecturing small children on the virtues of hard work because they asked for some chips.

I think really we should stop hewing to the whole idea that basic rights like food, shelter, health care, etc, should be doled out based on how moral we think people are. That's why they are called rights. People inherently deserve food, water, shelter, health care. We don't starve the very worst, the dregs of society- the psychopaths who have killed and raped and maimed. We don't force them to freeze in the cold.

We understand that to have a civilized society, we need to guarantee certain things even to the worst people. So why the hysteria if we see a poor person with a cell phone slightly nicer than we think they should have? Why the OMG, HOW DARE SHE HAVE SHELTER GIVEN TO HER IF SHE REPRODUCED IN A WAY I DON'T AGREE WITH? We have more moral outrage over seeing a woman put 2 for $5 bacon wrapped steak fillets in her cart than we do over the war in Afghanistan and the flooding in Pakistan.

When we have a society, people have rights. That means that poor people can have entertainment and beauty in their lives, people can work hours that allow them to have lives not just a living, and yes, families can be started, and children cherished even if the conditions aren't perfect. We just need to stop being assholes.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

On the #browntwitterbird issue:

DR Goddess reflects on how on twitter, we're a community. When I use twitter, I want a far flung wide reaching conversation not just a one way watching Kayne tweet.

Shani-O unraveals the 'mystery' of black folks using twitter- it's adapted to mobile internet.

Yep, black folks with similar interests cluster. People don't wonder why etsy folks use twitter or why manga obsessives use twitter. I mean as this lady says, there's no just one black twitter. Activists group, rap folks group, people who spend all their time on twitter obsessing about Arcade Fire and Scott Pilgrim group.

We all have our baseline 'blackness'- American blackness, British blackness, Carribean blackness, African blackness- all different. But within that blackness, there's multitudes. Multitudes who want you to know that #itsallfunandgamesuntil

Saturday, August 07, 2010

I wish we could bring up stuff without it being about white folk's feelings and shit.
Eh, welcome to the world of us plain women, lady. Many folks didn't have looks to trade off when they were young. That said, age discrimination is real. The sad part is that people are living longer nowadays, and soon we'll have more people over 60 than kids under 5.

People aren't like machines. We can't toss them out because they are old. Of course people of my generation are also screwed with huge amounts of debt, and of course, merely being young doesn't make us able to work 18 hour days without cracking, despite the myth.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

We've all been deputized into the parenting police. Should she[it's always on a she] have had so many? Should she have waited? Should she have had some sooner? The list of ticketable offenses is long- too young, too black, too undocumented, too poor, too single.

So I don't really feel annoyed that after being told that their mothering, their babies are invading the United States, that if single black women just got married all problems in the black community would vanish like a dream, that their darn hellions are the downfall of the American empire, they would embrace mothering.

After dealing with all the judgment based on half overheard conversations in grocery stores, half forgotten news articles, and whatever the relative someone hates the most supposedly did, who could blame folks for saying fuck you, I'm a mother?

Motherhood has not always been seen as an apolitical state of preventing only one's own children from eating their own poop. In fact, the root of Mother's Day was for mothers to use their moral position for political power! Let's reclaim motherhood back for feminism*!

Stand up for mothers who have been told they are too poor, too disabled, too black, too brown, too asian to mother. Stand up against shackling mothers to beds, against the crime of ripping an infant from a woman who cries "I want my baby" night after night. Let's tear off our parenting police badges. Let's refuse to use them. Let's hold out our hands instead.
*with a small f.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Posts on children in public are a hot topic. This is because we have to share public space, and everyone has so many different mores[should children have more freedom or should they be more disciplined? How well behaved can we expect a child to be? What is the role of the parent and the role of the public in this?] and most of our desires are mutually exclusive.

I try to err on the side of not being the parent police, but due to long socialisation and general irritability, I often fail. Intellectually, I understand all that about the policing of women's reproduction, and the different standards for children of color, and there's also the issue of individualism versus community and different social mores[to me, a gun shop is not a family friendly space, to others, it is], but it's all such a jumble and a mess that I can't say anything coherent about it. So here's what other people think:

Ma'ia- ain't I a mama? Personally, I don't like even being mistaken for a mother in public, but I'll think on it.

Also, Karnythia has an opinion on this too. Although I'll note that Jack in comments might be talking about alcoholism there.

Support women and children's rights!

People w/ disabilites vs moms?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I think there has been a 'college bubble'. Costs have risen and risen, so much that homeless students aren't uncommon, and the rewards have gotten so low that privileged graduates are telling stories about how they are going to India to get a job. So higher costs with many working the same jobs they were working before college, with a lot more debt. This system is unsustainable.

Monday, July 26, 2010

News With Nezua | Our Post-Racial Paradise from nezua on Vimeo.



I wish this was shown on television or something.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

You know, this is an awesome post on fear of female masculinity. How we're encouraged to go "We're not scary and masculine, oh no!" and Rachael Maddow is like fuck that! I like how I look!

But sadly, in the comments, we mostly hear about the problems of feminine lesbians, but at least we're not getting a lot of "those mean feminist hate how cute and pretty I am". Remember to make space for masculine women!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A post collecting almost everything I needed to link blog for months.

The human zoo- how humans of color are equated with animals. BTW: Have you ever noticed that cartoons with Africa as a setting always have animals as the characters?

Social Illiteracy- Why is the canon so narrow? The canon of one group might include Alice Walker, Toni Morrison, Octavia Butler, and the canon of another might be Final Fantasy, Zelda, and Metroid. Who determines which makes one more intelligent or cultured?

I admit that it can really help to have a shared canon. Fun Home was a beautiful comic, but I felt that because I wasn't as familar with James Joyce and Proust as I might be, I lost a level of the meaning.

Behind Teach For America.

On Sick Systems.

I really like how they pointed out the problems of prostitution along with their push for legalization.

This is your brain on ADD.

Stop branding- start creating.

She's just now noticing that the icongraphy of video games is a language?

The floating castles of the super rich.

How hot we are or aren't has nothing to do with our opinions and our politics.

Feminism- hurting and saving.

This guy sure doesn't get twitter.

Fuck Seal Press.

Fuck Blockbuster. They may have allowed me to explore my interest in anime, with their scattered collection of half dubbed tapes, but their late fees, and harassing us for years because my brother had some, earned them my eternal hate. Good riddance.

Woman making sustainable homes for homeless.

A different reading of freedom.

100 years of hilarious beauty ads.

Hetronormative and silly rant slammed.
Amanda Marcotte, white feminist, hates sex! I mean, she doesn't exactly think that milk enemas and yelling slurs is sexual entertainment that really advances the feminist agenda, even though there was a WOMAN in it, making it automagically feminist!

I think this whole "anyone who even thinks that porn is less than feminist hates sex" meme is played out. One can have plenty of enjoyable bedroom activities[although it is alright not to have sex, btw] even if you think that slapping a woman, calling her a cunt, and suchlike doesn't exactly become non misogynistic because there's fucking there too.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

My situation is I just graduated with my Master's degree and can't find a job in my field. I had an internship that was SUPPOSED to lead to a job, but the agency I worked for went on a hiring freeze, so after I graduated I was laid off from the internship so they could hire some fresh new interns instead (interns didn't count in the hiring freeze because they were part-time so they didn't need to pay them benefits, so it's cheaper to just hire a bunch of interns to do everything... bascially they would get the same amount of work out of two interns working 20 hours a week than one full time person, but more cheaply).

This commenter on slacktivist is discussing the intern problem. It's basically when Company X takes on 20 interns, but hires 1 or 0 graduates, and all the other companies do the same. This is a big problem as professionals can't get established, loans can't get paid back, and people with fewer qualifications are pushed out of low paying work.

Personally, I think they should have courtesy payments for interns to raise the price of interns, and make sure that the interns can buy some ramen.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Some people don't know what racist is. *shakes head* Folks hear the word racist and start repeating it even though they have no idea... It's like a little kid saying fuck.

I have no idea what's going on in Israel- apparently the ultra orthodox wants to challenge the Jewishness of people? And why can't women read the Torah at the Wailing Wall again?

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Although I am surprised that this guy turned down a 40K job, this article does give us information about the many young people who are being frozen out of the job market- such as the 37% that are either out of the labor market or unemployed.

I also wonder if they take into account people who need a full time job to pay their bills, but can only get part time. I think that older people need to understand that while wages have stagnated, the price of college and housing have gone up, so a person could graduate with $5000 in debt, and be looking at a $1000 apartment, on $10 an hour, part time.

Not to mention, I have a strange theory. OK, I'm piggybacking on hard working people who have come up with spoon theory instead of doing what I should be doing- probably coming up with some of my own. Anyway, my theory is that some people can do five jobs and raise five kids and not collapse from exhaustion, while others, the best they can do is one job, and have a messy house. There of course are various reasons- some people use their energy on navigating obstacles like places that aren't accessible for people with mobility issues, and some folks are just plain born tired- this is me. My throat is sore, my head is aching, and my bones hurt.

People who are more 'able' are judgmental towards the rest of us, but sadly, that's not really any help. What you're able to do is probably worlds away from what the rest of us can do. You wouldn't expect a paraplegic to dance a jig...ok, maybe you would, but that would be wrong to do. Use some of your energy to understand the rest of us.

Friday, July 02, 2010

In political news, a tweeter called funkywhitegirl posted these pictures: 1 2 3 of an anti semetic anti Cohen, pro Herenton flyer she received. Now, we don't need this sort of rhetoric. It's unnesscary to put down Jews to build up blacks. Let's start arguing about merits, not who is a Jew and who is a Christian.

Also,
1,500 come to a job fair at the library. Notice that a social worker[needing at least a bachelor's] can not find work, even at Walmart. I don't think this recession can be 'retrained' out of.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Redemption, my ass! I don't care if Rihanna was the most bitchy jealous whatever in the fucking world, there's no excuse for beating her ass. We are so quick to blame black women. We buy into stereotypes that we're violent, mean, unlovable, deserving of dudes whaling on us. If we 'forgive' him, what are we telling our girls? That they don't matter? Fuck that shit.
Dude, chica's working for free, and doing you a service. I mean, I'm not saying people should wear flip flops in a hospital or something, but really? You're slamming some college student who is working for free because they wore flipflops? You should be glad anyone can afford to work for free in your for profit office.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Oh hell naw, I'm not forgiving Chris Brown. No excuses for violence. No, she hit him too shit [and notice that his face ain't battered. If one person is beat down and another is just fine- that shit ain't 'mutual abuse'.] We need to stop saying it's OK for a man to straight out punch a woman. Why? Because when we say "Oh, he's young! Oh, we can't blame him forever', a less famous, but no less violent guy will think that sort of behavior is OK.

And the violence in our cities and our homes will get worse and worse, and we'll wonder why.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Yea, I've always been suspicious of pushes for more PE, because 11 year olds running around a track and being mocked for not being very good tends to turn those kids off to exercise. And the truth is that ok, as an adult, how many of you go out and play competitive sports? So the intense focus on whether you can sink a basketball or play baseball seems unwarranted. They should teach kids exercises and movement that they can do for life. And parents need to have a hand in this too. Never pull a gun or use threats about sports. This teaches children that sports are so important, you should be violent about them.

And I do think there should be more fun sports for teens and up. I stopped doing track in high school because the focus went from do your best to OMG, WE GOT TO WIN! Now, I suck at running. I'm slow. But I think that we tend to think everyone can become the best if they just try hard enough. Now, that's not true at all. But everyone can try to do their best. Nowadays I feel happy because I've just learned to hula hoop. Small children can hula hoop better than me, but I've just beat my record!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I'm amused by the advice that this dateless man gets- hey! get a mail order bride! and the like, especially as the media is obsessed with bashing attractive successful black women for not being married. While there are millions of men[ok. maybe just thousands- really really loudly] complaining about how they are 'nice guys' and why won't women look at them, the media tends not to focus on how those guys' personal deficiencies keep them from finding love. BTW- In The Upside of Irrationality, it is said that men tend to aim higher, such as a plain man trying for a beauty who is well established in her career, and often that's a problem for these guys, I think.

Now, I'd sure like a rich ripped man who loves books and musical theater delivered to me with a million dollars. But, due to social conditioning, I have learned not to complain about this not occurring. I know that it's unlikely to occur without effort on my part, and really, I'm quite plain, so I may have to go with a love of books and musical theater, and leave the rich and ripped at the door. However, despite my plainness and OH NOES BLACKNESS, I'm not going to date a homeless alcoholic with no teeth, like the media seems to believe I should. [because give him a chance! I'm sure he's good inside!]

Now, with men, people tend to encourage their pretension that unattractive and broke 40 something men with no game can somehow have any woman he wants. When that ends up not being true- there's backlash. Women are blamed for being materialistic, and amusingly, foreign women are tossed up as the answer to this issue. "American women aren't family orientated like foreign women!" they say. The fact is that American women who would love nothing more than to raise children and cook exist, but not just any man will do. The whole mail order bride thing trades on desperation of poorer people to make a better life, but I am interested that no one suggests that black women start engaging in green card marriage.

The upshot of this ramble is when women can't get the guy they want, they are expected to blame themselves[or others will blame them for them-therefore all those black women are awful for getting educations and stuff mess] and if men can't get the women they want, they are encouraged to blame women[in the original letter Cary Tennis tries to break the pattern in his own strange strange way]. So either way, women are blamed. Even if the problem is the guy smells like feet.


LOLZ- and this is funny tooo.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Apparently it's some sort of Helen Keller day, which Renee won't celebrate because it's also Juneteenth. Now being the sort of black person who only really knows about Juneteenth because every year the news reports "And in other news, African Americans enjoy Juneteenth", I am not too worried about them sharing the date, although it would have been nice if they said 'oh and it's Juneteenth too"

The real reason I bring this up is because I read a book, and want to talk about it. You can tell my blog is about my narrow interests,eh? I read The Imprisoned Guest, and thought it was a very well described history of disability through the prism of the education of Laura Bridgeman- apparently the first deaf-blind girl to be educated in America.

I really liked how the author described how Bridgeman had been as famous of Helen Keller in her day, but as she grew older, and was no longer the cute little girl prodigy, but a mature woman who it was harder to project one's own visions of purity and gentleness while suffering on, she became forgotten both by the public and her former benefactors.

The prevalent culture had an image of the pure suffering angel girl, but there wasn't a place for a disabled woman.

Also discussed is how the super crip model affected both of them. Laura had an insistent temper, and her own way of doing things. The author notes that passing as 'normal' had never occurred to her. Helen on the other hand did have the abilities to attempt to 'pass' as she had the energy to doggedly work at passing and the means to get very skilled tutors. I liked how the author notes that Helen Keller is a tough act to follow.

Many of us disabled can't be 'super crips'. Some time ago, I found an article on partial disabilities, but I don't have it now. Anyway, my point in mentioning this is that those of us with strong fatigue, or neurological issues may not be able to 'pass' at all, and this of course doesn't even start to talk about people with blindness or deafness or both. One of the reasons Howe[Laura's main benefactor] wanted to educated Laura was that educating a merely blind girl wasn't considered impressive enough.

I'm glad to know that Helen Keller was a socialist anarchist hero, but on the other hand, many folks right now need scooters just to go into the Borders, or we may be OK today to work but have to take precious days off because of our illnesses, and people don't understand.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Here I shall link to an unrelated post. Why? Because the title "Neighborhoods' is what got me to finally write this post. Basically, I think that a real cause of urban sprawl is that we think we can buy the sort of community we want. We think if we move here or there, there won't be any crime. That we can just buy good schools instead of creating them. We move farther and farther out, but we never find that place. And of course, with more and more people moving to the new 'perfect' place, we get sprawl. Maybe, we could start using the space and buildings we have now. We could build the communities we want where we are. Maybe if we didn't work a million hours a week for the perfect neighborhood, we could connect with our neighbors.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Personally, I got no sympathy for dude who wonders why Miss Flash doesn't do X, Y, and Z. She's got a full time job being hot, probably a full time job working, and dude's like "why doesn't she cook?". If you want a woman who cooks, prioritize that. If you want a hot chick, that's your priority. She may or may not cook. You can't just expect "she's a woman- she'll fulfill my every need without me having to say anything.". Ask her! All women are different. We all have our own lives, so staying home and cooking for you might not be a priority. Especially for fun loving party girl women. Maybe fun is a priority for them.

Also, I think the sort of dude who just flounders- we let them be like that. Women have a lot more expectations on them. It's like with the boys who don't do well in school tip. Now, I have the disorganized,fidgety, etc, personality that would be associated with a male, but since I'm female, no one says "Oh, we can't expect women to sit in a seat and learn things!" where with men,people act like boys are congenitally unable to learn how to do well in school.

Women are expected to grow up faster, and we grow with those expectations.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

You know- what is it that sexually 'liberated 'folk have against the missionary position? It's a perfectly fine pathway to pleasure, and maybe even intimacy! Of course there was some good ol' hardy har har I really regretted having sex with an ugly woman, which has a nasty sort of tinge there, and I'm annoyed at the whole tone that suggests that help of any sort for people having sexual issues is just big meanies trying to cut down on sexual fun.

I'm annoyed because people do this all the time when we speak about psychological issues- they say "well, I've had a fight or two as a kid! Diagnose me with conduct disorder, hardy har har!" I think what people don't realize is with psychiatric diagnoses the behavior is extreme and life altering. With 'sex addiction'[not in the DSM 4 as a diagnosis, btw], we're not talking merely someone who gets it in the bar bathroom with some chicks every weekend, or someone who engages in sexual fetishism, we're talking the guy who gets fired from his job because he's been diddling himself with coke bottles and being sent to the hospital because of this. We're talking about someone who spends his life savings on buying sex work. We're talking someone who instead of using pornography in moderation rubs himself raw.

Most folks if their sex life is interfering with things dial it down. "OK, so having sex on that picnic table didn't go over well- I'll find some place more private next time" or "OK, I'll never stick that there again.". But the 'sex addict' for lack of a better word is compulsive. Many behaviors that in many people are normal and life improving can become compulsive. It's fine to overeat sometimes, but binge eating to the point you throw up every day is not adaptive. Shopping or gambling can be entertaining pastimes, but if you've spent your life savings on either one, they are no longer helping you.

So I can see why some people may go to self help groups to deal with these problems. It's free, and it might help. It's not a Christian plot to outlaw sex.

*Note- sex addiction is in quotes as I don't know what else to call 'those folks whose compulsive sexual behavior is hurting them and others'.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Sistertoldya on feminism- personally I think it's sad that you gotta be a hetronormative girly girl to get a positive response to your feminism. What if she was scary,masculine...would that be too transgressive? Too frightening? Must be pushed to the margins to avoid scaring? Personally, they say they only like feminists if they are cute and submissive, but any actual feminism, no matter how much you shave and giggle, breaks that rule.


On the push to be ever optimistic, smiling and bubbly for teenage girls.

I think this suicide spike is due to the our busted employment system. Due to ageism, many can't get jobs- they become depressed, and that's all you wrote.

Market based solutions probably aren't very positive for most women. I'm sure the market is happy to discriminate against mothers, put harmful carcinogens in beauty products and ruin women's livelihoods by polluting everything, but that's not feminist.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

I admit it- I'm a 'mean girl'. I think of course this insistance that feminists are 'mean girls' is a reinscribing of the narrative that women are mean and catty. I have to admit I am not an ever kind and giving person. I think feminism is an ideology. It is not synonymous with 'woman'. Just because someone is a woman doesn't mean that anyone should feel obligated to not consider their ideas on their merits. And Palin's hateful policies suck on their merits. Coopting feminism won't make her policies any better.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Quotes from the unemployment stack:

A good quote:



@alan: The cruel thing is, a lot of jobs like that really haven't changed in fifty years. Gas station attendants still have to perform the same basic function as they did the 1950s. Ditto cash-register folk. Ditto-ditto shelf stockers.

And yet the basic requirement of being human, able to breathe, and be somewhat decent with hand-eye coordination and some math has ballooned into being human, with X degree, Y telephone, Z e-mail, and to crown it off, a possible aptitude test and an interview where you get asked why you think you'd be good at being a freakin' full serve gas station attendant.

*rolling eyes lots now*


From imaginando-

In a current job posting on The People Place, a job recruiting website for the telecommunications, aerospace/defense and engineering industries, an anonymous electronics company in Angleton, Texas, advertises for a “Quality Engineer.” Qualifications for the job are the usual: computer skills, oral and written communication skills, light to moderate lifting. But red print at the bottom of the ad says, “Client will not consider/review anyone NOT currently employed regardless of the reason.”
The idea that cell phones make our poor 'rich' is demolished by a single screenshot. And also, Tvs? I see people giving TVs away for free[why? I'm in a freecycle group] and TVs are actually pretty important. Why? Because there's public health and whether that tornado is anywhere near your house information on TV. Air conditioning? In Memphis, it helps avoid being dead. Microwaves can be received from a thrift store or as a gift.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

What should we do about the long term unemployed? Many of these unemployed 99ers have kids or health problems, and we can't just abandon these people who could be contributing to the economy. I don't think education is the be all for this issue- many people come out of a program- school loans, more bills, and folks will say they are 'overqualified'.

Really, I think our whole system needs an overhaul. Like some of the 'requirements' for employment are not really necessary- clean credit is not necessary to work at Home Depot! If it's a file clerk job- they don't need a BS degree! But also, people with degrees can work at jobs below their 'level'- it's ridiculous to worry that people are 'overqualified'. And don't discount the disabled! Deskilling and skeleton staffs can only falsely inflate profits so long. Then you're going to have to start to work on quality.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

I feel bad about my lack of cooking skill, despite this not being the point of this post at all. The meals I can cook without a recipe are: bean tacos, spaghetti, nachos, salad out of a bag and sandwiches. I used to be able to make a stirfry, but I no longer remember how to make it. And I'm a middle class person with the privilege of the food network. It's not just poverty that keeps people from becoming the sort of person who makes shrimp lime cilantro salad... When I'm tired[and I can get tired doing maybe 3 or 4 hours of work], I don't want to eat my lackluster attempt at cookery. I want something fatty, something sweet, something delicious!

The 20 minutes to cook something just seems like more work than picking up something. I know that what I buy will be good, but I don't know what I make will even be edible. Now, I'm middle class- I can waste food, or if I mess up a meal, I can just go somewhere and eat something. I can also imagine that after a long horrible day, one would not want to eat whatever they could cobble together out of what is left in the pantry when they could get something almost filling for a dollar.

--


You know, I thought of an anology. Woman friendly porn is to mainstream porn as these films by black queer artists are to Avatar. Consider.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

...So I was innocently reading white feminist blogs, and I run across this gross story. So a young woman is being pushed into unwanted sexual activity and unwanted video taping, and what's the porno industry response? Let's sell video tapes* of this! Yea, I think I'm going to puke. Now in a perfectly feminist world, this sort of thing would not get any views because no one would want to watch someone basically get raped, but in our world, this is disgusting.

---

Blogging- it's not a hobby- it's our life, it's our survival. I say 'our', even though this blog is more of an outlet for my desire to tell everyone my opinion of everything than activism.

The soul killing potential of the internet.

--

From McSweeney's- a woman writes about porn people are actually watching.

*Ok, no one uses video tapes anymore, but you get the idea!
Personally, my reaction to this ipads for school thing is 'that's a dumb idea'. More dumb than the idea of online courses for middle schoolers. That's how dumb that is.

Isn't technology important, you might say? Well, about the online courses-part of classroom learning is learning how to follow instructions, have discipline, etc. Older adults think that my generation is unprepared for the work place- think of a generation that hasn't had to even get dressed for school or be there on time. Of course, the big problem with online learning is the amount of actual learning that will occur versus watching videos on youtube, reading manga scanlations, and checking facebook. Even with a teacher to keep them on task, the ratio is not good, and without a teacher, hahaha, actual learning! Kids have plenty of technology at home[although some may have to go to the library!] and goofing around on the internet is a home activity.

The ipads thing is of course much worse, as it's expensive, and incurs large replacement costs. A paper book is cheaper and really, nobody's going to steal your World History book, but someone's going to steal an ipad.
Who defines feminism? Personally, I don't think meaning should be Calvinball myself, but she does make good points. I don't have the personality to be super nonjudgmental and choose your own meaning like many feminists are today though. I also don't really trust Sarah Palin. There are many feminists I disagree with, but I have faith that they are making a good faith attempt to improve the lives of women. With Sarah Palin, I'm suspicious that she's trying to pull the sort of maneuver which has 'racism' and 'discrimination' meaning white people have to live with people of color existing and having rights and stuff. By draining feminism of meaning, can Sarah Palin break its power?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Eh, I won't be able to sell anything off of feminism, but if feminism's definition gets too wide, it'll stop meaning anything at all. I guess we could have extra labels like "Forced Birth Feminism", "I'm Just Here to Flash My Fanny Feminism", or "Rights for Adorable Children Feminism", but I still think Palin declaring herself a feminism is more of a publicity stunt than an actual movement. If a woman was the head of BP, and spoke against child care benefits, told everyone that rape victims were sluts and then caused a giant oil spill, I wouldn't believe her that she's a feminist either. I am a mean mamajammer, but I'm sure other people have different standards of what they are willing to call feminist or not feminist.

And problemchylde is deep.

Monday, May 24, 2010

I'm a mean mean person who hates decency and goodness, so I was not utterly surprised at the mildness of the 'bride bashing' this post references.

What bothers me is the way nice, smart, reasonable women get pressured into expecting decadent proposals, planning exorbitant weddings, micromanaging the decor/behavior/food/appearance/whereabouts of their friends and family, and then get judged for made-up etiquette breaches their friends will gossip about afterward. Almost makes you want to rethink marriage.


OH NO! IT'S BASIC FEMINIST THEORY! WITH A SHOCKING MIX OF CRITIQUING CAPITALISM! Yep, thanks to the nature of the patriarchy, even if you have great intentions, what's expected and what's done has a sort of inertia of its own. You love your future husband, and you don't want to cause a whole lot of trouble! Maybe a few compromises here, and there, and yea, your friends want this to go on, and you want them to be happy, and of course, you've been socialized to smooth things over, and of course, there's your family to deal with... and there's the wedding industrial complex pushing you with more 'needs', and before you know it, you've put down half [or maybe all of] a year's salary on a one day party.

The whole feminism is about choices thing is popular because it helps feminism fit neatly into capitalism. Modern femininity is mostly about capitalism as well, I think. Buy $300 shoes, buy this workout video to get skinny, buy this dress because being surrounded by friends isn't enough- it has to be this fairy tale. By hiding behind choices, we can have it all- perfect feminist purity and shoes that cost as much as our car note.
I'm glad dude understands how santimonious he sounds, but it doesn't really help his column. We'll sell you addicting substances from the West, and get a high off of relieving ourselves from any responsibility to help the poor in Africa or anywhere else. I mean, they'll use money on alcohol! We tried to help them!
WhyMeLawd asks what outrage is without action. I don't know, but I want to keep my outrage, even if I can't do anything. When I cry for Aiyana, I'm calling never again; I don't want this to happen again to anyone. It's not just Aiyana- it's all the children hurt by misguided police tactics, by the lockdown of the school systems, etc. If I can't do anything, at least let my outrage and compassion reach somebody. They say we can all do something, but often that's not true. Maybe I don't have the ability to create a police commission, maybe I'll never have the ability. But, let me at least say something, if I can't do anything.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

I read this post about free spaces some time ago. I think the more free spaces you have[energy level,intelligence, likability] the easier it is to look down on people with fewer free spaces. You see people crashing into invisible walls that you move through easily... It's easier to just say they are lazy, terrible, failures. If only they had worked harder, were better people, they would be able to tear down those walls that don't affect you. That's the tyranny of our individualist ideology. Every stumble is a moral failure.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The beauty industry can kill you. I'm not just saying that as a radical feminist or a person who has read The Story of Stuff and is now acutely aware that everything we do and buy will kill a)us b)the planet. No, I'm saying this because the industry pushes us to see our dark skin or our aging skin as wrong. It pushes us to see the first issue to think about when there's some dissatisfaction in our lives as beauty. Instead of am I kind to others? Is the work I doing satisfying? It pushes us to see the issue as our thighs, our hair that reaches towards the sky instead of blowing in the wind, So the first thing we reach for isn't the stillness inside ourselves, but a product. Not only is that bad for our souls, the fact that to make a bigger profit they slack on safety, so that mercury is in these creams, is killing us as well.


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On Whiteness and Sustainable agriculture.

I agree with the commentators that when brown bodies bike, it's seen as a symbol of poverty, and when white bodies bike, it's a movement. When brown bodies have a backyard garden and chickens in the ghetto, it's quaint, or rustic, when white bodies do that, it's a revolution. When brown bodies go to the Indian market and eat fresh, it's unseen, when white bodies do it, it's a trend.

My family has been 'green' for a long time. My granddad had nearly a farm in his backyard, and I'm sure when white folks discover that a whole crew of cousins can fit in the same two prom dresses, it'll be on the front cover of the New York Times.
Whites are racially resentful, but blacks take the brunt of the recession.

Wealth parity seems out of reach. The expense of education keeps going up, while the real world returns go down.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Here's part of an amazing commenton the college issue:

My point is that no kid is inherently, at birth, destined to be a mechanic, a lawyer, a businessman, the President of the United States. The preferences for professions are developed over years of influence by the kid’s parents, schools, family, friends, and overall environment. Assuming that certain kids “should” pursue one path over another is validating the accumulation of privileged differences over childhood. I can see someone somewhere saying “It’s not that Mexicans aren’t smart enough to go to college; it’s that they want to be mechanics.”


You can of course read the rest at that blue link up there.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Is college for everyone? As it is now, no. The amount of debt that is incurred is outrageous. I think there should be more vocational classes, but with a whole lot of caveats. I don't want voc-tech if it's just a warehouse for 'problem' children. I also note that a lot of jobs are 'requiring' college nowadays to filter for the 'right' type of people. i.e. either folks with money, or the standouts who somehow manage to struggle through university, even if it takes 8 years. I think we also need more support on lower levels- if all high school graduates had the ability to do basic mathematics and write a sentence, we'd all be doing much better workplace wise.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

People will probably continue to debate whether parents or child free people are more privileged, whose rights trump whose in the use of public space, whether disliking small people who their parents admit are inherently noisy and unable to understand social rules is bigoted, and really, why would anyone think that a restaurant should be quiet anyway?

Personally, I think adult space is important, even for parents. Conversation that you can actually hear, uninterrupted, adult beverages and language, and behaviors that are not safe for children, but adults can engage in. Mixed space is important, and children's space is also important,but I certainly see why adults don't want kids to see them sipping a cocktail and discussing the politics of BDSM.

Unrelated: talented kids, but really, was all that booty shaking and cootchie popping nessacary?

Monday, May 03, 2010

Renee fights against Oh No They Didn't, a group of internet assholes*. The problem is that on the internet, people tend to repost things and think that it's OK as long as they are sourced. It's a big clash of ideas- the internet's ethic of spreading information and the older idea of protection of those ideas. There's a lot of layers here- the issue of women of color getting credit for their ideas, the restriction on the spread of discourse, the fact that ONTD might be full of people who are assholes on the internet.

And when you have internet assholes, many of them will be racist and sexist, which of course has its own problems completely apart from this clash of values over copyright and intellectual property.


*I am also an internet asshole. I'm really trying to recover. I'm fighting the urge to be an internet asshole about this. I'm going to be kind, gentle, and never make fun of anyone ever again. *Oh so hard*

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Does Prozac cause mental illness? In a word, no. It's just that we're more cognizant of mental suffering. There's less shame in saying I have a problem. So a lot of people who would have been suffering alone are getting help. Even if they are ill in response to stressful or oppressive issues in their lives, the medication and the treatment often allows people to deal with it. To find ways to do things. I don't think it helps our liberation to have people suffering needlessly. I do wish there was more support for therapy- drugs are cheaper but therapy keeps the drugs going, if you know what I mean?
Arizona's racist law is also a budget buster. I find a lot of things proposed by those NEVER RAISE TAXES folks wastes of money. Wars, deporting all the undocumented, harassing tons of folks in Arizona, all of this costs money. It's not free.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

There are no worthless foods! I especially enjoyed the comment discussion on whether it's really OK for people to be pushed so hard at school or work that they end up living on Twizzlers and Diet Coke for days. Accorrding to society, I'm a terrible person, so I'm going with no.
Dangerous manicure chemicals injure women.

Sex tourism- not all roses for men either. Shades of colonialism anyone?

Man, men are encouraged to have some serious entitlement. Women are chided to say 'they don't hate men', even when they point out actual violence, but men can bust on women all day for minor slights like not being 'hot' enough, having self esteem, or not fucking them. Dude, you're not entitled to shit. And have you realized you might have gotten the gas face because women are on the receiving end of violence a lot? Maybe she's nervous. Maybe she isn't even thinking about your ass, and is mean mugging about her job or her vocation. Not every woman has a head full of air.

Why don't undocumented workers come legally? They can't.
About the individual empowerment model- these folks are certainly empowering themselves by making wads of cash off the backs of other black people. However, the solutions they peddle aren't very effective. The white community has a similar number of bad actors, such as the men who defrauded everyone in the banking system, and collasped the economy. They are getting off with millions of dollars. However, just telling these guys "Don't be greedy!" isn't going to be much help, and merely serves to make us feel better about ourselves.

So does the middle class carping about the poor, or older people complaining about the young. This sort of thing doesn't help the young folks who went to college, did what they were supposed to do, but can't find a paying job. This sort of thing doesn't fund schools. It doesn't give students teachers who care. It just puts money in the pockets of the authors, because we all want to believe that things can be simple.

We all want to believe that if only someone else did their job, all would be fine. And it is someone else we're blaming, and that's what makes this narrative so compelling. I don't have to mentor children if I can just say that parents need to be doing better. I don't have to work for better addiction services, if I say they should have just said no. I don't have to do anything! I can keep doing what I'm doing, while feeling good about myself that MY pants are at a level that is considered appropriate.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

You know, on twitter, I was introduced to this as ZOMG! THEY ARE FUCKERS WHO HATE OUR SELF ACTUALIZATION THROUGH KNITTING, but you know, she has a point there. No, knitting is not going to break down the patriarchy. Knitting is in fact, a way to produce warm socks. Now, there have been recent innovations, which cause knitting to produce apple cozies and stuffed octopi, but no matter how many vagina purses are knitted, the patriarchy isn't budging. Really. No, I don't need any. Thank you.

But on a serious note, I get the feeling that gardening and raising chickens and acting like it's a super special feminist statement is not really something I like. Does everything have to be a super special feminist statement? Can't a woman just knit a Christmas stocking for her baby's first Christmas without declaring that she has just struck a blow for the freedom of all women everywhere?
Nezua is moderating your hateful screeds.

This triggering post needs to be read. If only those scumbags had the decency to get help- to think of something besides whatever misguided and evil thoughts were swirling in their brains...that woman would be alive today, and her child would have a mother.
Man, the comments to mr pro sex here are amazing. I recommend you read the whole thing. It's easy for a man to be a 'pro sex feminist'-I'm sure he can find many ways in that to service his own needs, including his penis, probably.

On breastfeeding guilt and the difficulty you being an ass poses to lactivism.
Iranian women are calling for gender equality! Can we hear them over our own self congratulation?

Also, protests against banning the veil in Quebec.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

On boobquake, brainquake, femquake, whatever, I say bah. I don't think feminism is really good if we focus only on self empowerment, as everyone can try to be 'the exception' without really changing the status quo. I want to lift everyone up, not just the few.
Help POC bloggers with your cash! We can't depend on the hope of a book deal or parties where the professionally unemployed have their admission comped, so we need to support each other!
Treat veterans with respect, regardless of their gender!

Monday, April 26, 2010

This is a stupid piece of writing. Even if we were all money saints, the issue of scapegoating young folks who have been 'thrown off the ladder' is still important. When people see a group as a trash, etc, they tend to do things that are not only bad for that group, but bad for themselves as well. See the moral panic about welfare queens.

An intersex woman discusses gender.

As a prude, I'm shocked by the idea of hetrosexual couples barebacking...
I don't think appropriating Native American struggles for your point about the horrors of teaching kids the scientific method is cool. I don't seem to remember beating children with sticks and separating them from their families, but oh noes! some children learned about the scientific method before getting into groups and learning how to use a microscope!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

About how feminism doesn't have to be cute, fluffy, or sexy.

But learning about those SCARY second wavers would be work! And that's not cute and sexy! Good on this woman for taking down this fluff. You know, this is how feminism is being coopted. Feminism is WOMEN, SO it has to be cute, like shopping! No no no! I know you can sell tons of this crap, but please don't call it feminism.
I think the vanity thing seems a bit blaming of those trapped within the prison of beauty.

Feminism, performance, and doubt.

Instead of being any help on the immigration tip, I am merely enjoying the quality of the writing about it.The bile returning to one's liver, the teabaggers bootstrapping themselves to their own private destinies! Good writing! Let no one say that us POC don't have amazing writers, and that's why we have David Brooks and George Will, with their limp, hateful sentences in our national magazines and newspapers.

Sick professor tries to hide the fact that he is a child abusing sex touristing asshole. It doesn't work.

On condoms as 'evidence' of sex work.
One of the best thoughts on the ongoing moral panic about single black women.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Why focus on lawyers while calling us hairy women privileged to make a statement? What about waitresses in certain restaurants, strippers, etc? I mean...what? lawyers? That's not the best example. I don't know why I don't see lawyers as very marginalized? I know that marginalized women can be lawyers, but when talking about priviledge, I personally would have started with the working class or the poor, and then went on to lawyers as an example.
Time Wise's If the Tea Party Were Black...

What can doctors do about lactation failure?

This post about dirty pictures[personally I think some people would find this a bit triggering. I felt vaguely violated reading it] is pretty interesting. It's about how someone doesn't have to put a gun to your head to be coercive. People who are predators seem to be able to sniff out the person who wants to be accepted, and find a situation where they can maintain plausible deniability. They know that the perfect victim, doesn't exist. Every woman can be accused of something. And they use that knowledge to their advantage. They know they have so many defenders. But, I think every time we say "That's bullshit!", we diminish their power a little. Every time we say- no, that doesn't give you the right! Their power fades a little. not a lot, but a little.

BTW: Sick! This fashion photographer is way over the line!
Man, this is a great post on this boobquake silliness. The booty shorts I wore with writing across my bottom that shocked my mother aren't helping Iranian women at all. They aren't any freer because of my immodest dress. What is helping Iranian women is their own efforts and hard work. Iranian clerics are an easy target, but maybe we should work hard to fight Islamophobia here, which is much harder than wearing clothing we would have worn anyway....

Friday, April 23, 2010

Jay Sennett expands on the theme of loving your body powerfully.

BTW: Hell yeah! Being black ain't a sin, being a woman ain't a sin. I REFUSE TO APOLOGIZE!
Despite some problems with this article[it just has a sort of looking down on the third world tone], it's important to know about the rapes of nuns in Asia and Africa.

On a lighter note, yuck. A list of gendered expectations paired with some illustrations.

How do they rate huge salaries for doing this again? While people working like a dog all day get $8 an hour!
What is this shit? Not only is it fatphobic[a perfectly attractive fat woman is apparently a 'lower number'. and what's with this combs break on my hair nonsense? You busting on our hair texture, dude?], ok, ok, reading further, this shit is complete patriarchy filled nonsense! A respectful attitude, my ass! Where are the quizzes to show if a black man is marriageable? What's with the assumption that if you were worthy, you'd be 'wifed up'? And what's with this old fashioned christmas cake ass, OMG, you're over 30 that's a strike, mess?

Where are the posts telling black men to step up and support their kids, instead of treating having a kid as a strike against a woman? What are the posts telling black men that domestic violence makes you unmarriageable?[it's certainly a factor in the break up of many relationships] Shit, where are the posts telling men to get to the gym? This whole thing is such a bunch of sexist twaddle!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Women struggle with various things. Personally I don't like women are like this and men are like that, since I end up being in the woman pile doing stuff I don't like, while sighing enviously at the men pile which looks like fun.

ETA: I don't like the narrative that women shouldn't be 'insecure'... It rubs me the wrong way, like one is blaming oneself for other people's behavior. Like it's an internalization of the idea that men can't change their behavior, so women should just be along for the ride, trying to reshape themselves so they are 'fun' and not 'insecure'.
I probably should trigger warn more, but I am lazy. I agree with trigger warnings, as I don't really want to harm anyone's mental health with my terrible bloggy writings. If your mental health has been injured by my writings, I apologize. Of course, that's no help.
The work of performing femininity is acknowledged by white feminist Amanda Marcotte. I bet she'll get a bunch of BUT IT'S SUUUUPER DUPER FUNSIES in response.

The work of performing femininity is very obvious to me because I am so very bad at it. It requires a sort of detail orientation that I am not good at and also fine motor coordination and the remembering of rules that make no sense whatsoever. And the rules are all different. Like old people think you should wear stockings, but stockings have various rules like what shoes and skirts you can wear them with, and they tear up, and then there's some other random rule about matching things, and anyway, it's all a confusing ball of weirdness that makes no sense. It's like the offsides rule or the infield fly rule, both of which I think probably exist. That's how arcane and absurd the rules are.

I am sadly not sold on the idea of hyper fun femininity to blow the old repressive femininity out of the water. I think that instead of folks saying "Yea, break out of those gender roles, baby", it'll be "Why aren't you like those good proper feminine women? They aren't angry harpies like you."[don't worry, the second those good feminine women open their mouths, they are evil harpies too]. But they'll be hurt by being used as sticks to beat the rest of us with.
Bareback porn[pretty common in het too] is risky for performers. It's not censorship to say hey, this stuff is unsafe for the participants. People always jump to OMG, YOU'RE GOING TO BAN IT to avoid critically thinking about whether dangerous pornography is good for our communities and our society.

BTW: A hate of lolis is not like the Holocaust. LOL.

Friday, April 16, 2010

...Underarms. Magazine editors are against women having underarms.

Maybe body hair is 'unfeminine'. It's not demure, it's not submissive, it exists for itself. Maybe we should explode the concept of feminine, and kick its ass.
The blogdiva is breaking up with twitter. Twitter enables my ADD- you may notice that many of my blog posts are link spams or otherwise very short. This is because I like to gather things and show them, but I don't like to talk at really long length. I just like to talk a lot, if you can get the difference.

Black feminist womanistmusings' son is racially oppressed at school. She is NOT PLEASED.