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.


----------------------

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.