Links of Great Interest: Happy Friday!

Signal Boosting: The new issue of Stone Telling is live!

Signal Boosting: Look at this nifty story calendar!

From Jenn:

This case is one of the worst miscarriages of justice ever to come to light. Makes you wonder what miscarriages never come to light (as one commenter at CNN put it: if they’d been black, they’d already have been “fried”). At least they’re finally free after eighteen years in prison.
From Nick:
From the BBC, the Shema driving case; Shema’s sentence of 10 lashes has been revoked:  Though I don’t know what it does to the status of her conviction, whether she is still legally considered to guilty of a crime.
Also, the vote, and chance to run in elections.
Rebecca Watson catalogues the shit she’s *still* getting over Elevatorgate.
From Jenn:

An officer has been charged with second degree murder for his role in beating schizophrenic homeless man Kelly Thomas to death (other officers received lesser charges).

If all the witness statements, the bus camera footage and cellphone videos weren’t enough, the officer recorded the event on audio. He says: “See my fists? They are getting ready to fuck you up.” So what do they do to people when theyaren’t being recorded? And what can the law possibly do to these officers that will feel like justice, or even lessons learned?

Thomas cried out during the beating, “I can’t breathe,” “I’m sorry, dude,” and “Dad, help me.” The beating lasted nearly 10 minutes and, by the time Cicinelli hit Thomas in the face with his Taser, Thomas was making no sounds.

He was taken off life support five days later.

From Kim:

 This site  [featuring women warriors] made me happy :)

From Ebb:

Sick of pants being the only solution? Give this Wonder Woman centric
tumblr a try.

From Aerin:

The title of this post is books by men who like big families…

I think the point about big families being additional stress on
parents (and often moms) is not lost on me. Being able to control our
fertility has been one of the greatest advances for women.

Excerpts from Upside Down. Trigger warning for violence, misogyny, and all together “realness.”

Rape culture and music

Gorgeous post on Christianity and mental health



  1. says

    WTF is it with these people who hate Rebecca Watson? I just can’t comprehend the urge to make a big chunk of your life revolve around someone you can’t stand. Am I the only one scratching my head here?

    Gorgeous post on Christianity and mental health

    I’ve heard a lot of Christians express the view that psychology is total bullshit, and mental illnesses are made up excuses for doing wrong. I have a feeling they see it as competition, because in Christianity, you’re absolutely fine, and that choice you just made is completely down to you. In psychology, you learn that there are INFLUENCES on all your choices, and there are ways to keep bad influences from steering you in the wrong direction. I think Jesus would’ve approved, given how much time he spent hanging around criminal types and trying to show them a better way.

  2. says

    re: Christianity and Mental Health

    I suspect for a lot of Christians, the problem they have with mental illnesses is that there doesn’t seem to be a coherent REASON for the person’s mental health problem. Mental illness for a lot of Christians poses a big challenge to their internalised notions of a just universe, a universe in which bad things do not happen to good people, in which their visions of an omnipotent, omniscient and above all omnibenevolent deity is compatible with lived experience. I know my depressive mental illness made it a lot harder for me to follow my father into a Christian faith – I couldn’t reconcile the belief in a God who loves me and wants me to be happy with the reality that my mind doesn’t do happiness very well, and would really prefer it if I woke up dead one morning. In fact, at least part of why my personal theology is polytheistic (or pantheistic) has to do with my mental illness – it’s easier for me, as a mentally ill person, to believe in multiple deities arguing with each other and using humans as pawns to mess up each others’ plans than it is for me to believe in a singular, all-powerful, all-knowing deity who insists I offer up limitless devotion unto them, and who has purposefully made it harder for me to do so.

  3. Patrick McGraw says

    Unfortunately, the stigma associated with mental illness finds all sorts of new variants with some religious beliefs. As someone currently trying to receive Social Security Disability for my conditions, and through group therapy in the past few months, I have received, seen and been told about a tremendous amount of decidedly un-Christ-like behavior from The Virtuous.

    The precious “Protestant Work Ethic” seems to be a big part of it, as I had long internalized the idea that my not wanting to work was being lazy. It was a long effort coming to recognize just how hard I had worked when I was able to, and the fact that it eventually became a trigger for my anxiety wasn’t due to “preferring to do other things” but due to mental illness.

    On a brighter note, I loved the collection of armored women. It needs more Legend of the Five Rings art, though. I need to collect some of that awesome fantasy samurai art and link it to the site’s operator.

  4. M.C. says

    re: Christianity and Mental Health

    But Christians believe in the Devil and that he’s trying to fuck with us, right? So why can’t they believe that God gave us psychology and psychatry to beat the devil?

  5. Jenny Islander says

    Speaking of rape culture and music–

    I got into an argument here with some posters who didn’t agree with my decision to keep my primary-aged daughter out of hip hop class because the first move the teacher saw fit to demonstrate was “dippin’ the chip.” Said teacher got into a huge fight with the owner of the dance studio, who would not allow her to put the girls into extremely revealing, sexualized costumes for the annual recital, and flounced. Meanwhile, my daughter, now 7, spent the entire summer talking about hip hop. I talked with another dance mom about the new teacher and got a good report, so I put my daughter in hip hop instead of ballet this year. She is having a fantastic time! She is learning control, rhythm, and fancy footwork and she is most definitely not dippin’ her chip.

    BUT–finding music for her to practice to at home is not going to be as simple as turning on the music channel. In class they have two main songs. The theme of one (sung by a woman) is having fun dancing, making noise, getting better, and visibly excelling. The other (sung by a man) is about falling in love at first sight with someone at a dance (across a croooowded roooommm . . . ). I get three hip hop channels on basic cable and most of the time the songs boil down to “Wow, my penis is the most wonderful thing in the world, you ought to be grateful to worship my penis.” Except the songs aren’t even addressed to women. It’s more like, “See that cunt over there? I’m going to get some of that cunt tonight, haw haw.”

    Rape culture set to music.

    PS: When all of the hip hop channels are being rapey, we go to reggae.

  6. says

    Jenny Islander,

    No one disagreed with your choice to take her out of that class. Not even close. Here’s the actual conversation (for those just joining us, read Jenny’s, Maria’s and a couple of my comments addressed to Jenny):

    Maria was trying to convey that what dance moves we see as “too sexual” vary according to prejudices we’ve been taught and unconsciously retained. It seems “obvious” that this dippin’ the chip move is sexual, because it is, but then you can’t imagine how scandalous really close dancing would have looked if you saw it for the first time as an adult instead of growing up with images of nice chaste (white, upper middle class) people dancing that way without orgies resulting. The waltz was scandalous once too, because guess what? It’s sexual! It really is! It’s just we’re so used to it, we forget that.

    To that end, Maria (in that conversation) gives the example of how Irish dance seems less sexual than hip-hop to our sensibilities now, but back when Irish people were regarded by white Europeans as an inferior race, Irish dance was viewed as too sexual. Not a coincidence, there. That’s the problem with the undercurrent in the conversation, NOT your choice to do what you think is best (or least problematic) for your child.

    Maria was also trying to point out that while these little girls are being sexualized whether they choose to or not, that’s also the unfortunate destiny of black adult women – no matter how they dress, present themselves, etc., they are okay to sexualize like an object because society sees them as less human than white women to begin with.

    None of this intersects with your choice to keep your daughter out of that particular class. It does, however, intersect with your never acknowledging throughout that conversation that ALL dance has its roots in sexuality, which is why some religions ban it completely. Singling out hip-hop SEEMS perfectly fair and logical, especially with the misogyny you’re talking about in the lyrics (which is an important, but separate, issue), but the truth is, any dance the upper class likes is A-OK, and it’s only ever the dances that lower classes and marginalized groups like/invent that are scrutinized for “too much sexuality.” That’s not you personally doing that – it’s our culture, and so we wanted you to acknowledge that issue. That’s all.

    The issue of hip-hop rape culture… well, it’s definitely more overt in that genre than in some, but I really see a lot of rape culture in every genre of music that has lyrics. There’s an awful lot of treating women as things to be conquered, prizes to be won, objects that don’t have a right to say no. While hip-hop may be more overt, did you never see the unedited vid for “Girls on Film” by Duran Duran? Remember when Madonna was obscenely writhing in “Like a Virgin”, which was considered scandalous enough just from the title? Remember Michael Jackson’s crotch move? Elvis’ pelvis? It all seems so tame now, but the music industry has always encouraged and sought artists who would push the shock boundaries because they believe it sells. And it does, because shock id giggle::fun!! and people don’t really think about which shocks intersect with rape culture. (Hint: I do not think all of those “shocking” music moments contribute to rape culture, but I’m blown away by how a lot of songs slip right under the rape culture radar.)

    As I see it, hip-hop is only saying in dirty words what an awful lot of rock and country and so on have been implying in somewhat more polite words for years. If you can’t think of examples of what I’m talking about, I’ll dig up some lyrics links.

  7. Maria says

    Jenny Islander,

    I actually don’t care what dance classes your daughter takes or doesn’t take. What I do care about is frenzied pearl clutching over dance styles, when it’s not a dance style that makes one body vulgar and another body not, it’s structures of power marking one TYPE of body as fuckable and another type as not. That, again, is why it’s important that Jenn originally used “sexualized,” to highlight the social processes make some bodies sexual and others not.

    Also, referring to “some posters” when I’m one of the posters in question and you’re responding to a post I made? Rude.

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