Links of Great Interest: Rock the BPP

(I’m at Wiscon!! I’m actually starting this LoGI thread WICKED EARLY in case I don’t have internet access. :P)

Transgriot thinks about why they’re a trans activist.

Rod2.0 reports on Charlaine Harris’ attitudes about sexuality and gay vampires.

Here’s a neat Muslim swimsuit show.

Loolwa Khazzoum talks about being a chronic painsy.

Iron Man 2 reviewed by Natalie!

What if one is born a feminist?

These hotels are refusing to provide their workers with affordable health care! ANGRY FACE.

Uhhh. Sexy CPR? From Rosemary. I think it’s a lingerie ad.

Uhhhhh. He forced a woman to become addicted to heroin, but somehow, somewhere, one of the prostitutes he helped is working at a hospital. Uh. Right. If she’s real, why isn’t she at the trial?

From Mary:

Some musing on why Fringe’s Olivia might be the best female SF character right now. Personally I think the writers might have originally written her to be male. And Peter on the other hand fits the trope of “The Mad Scientist’s Beautiful Daughter”…

Seriously, female soldiers, NO BABIES. No abortions for US soldiers either, even though an unplanned pregnancy in a war zone is a court martial-level offense.

Some reflections on the 6th Ward in NOLA.

On why comparing the BPP to Tea Partiers is a form of historical amnesia. Speaking of the BPP: One of their core values was working to maintain community health. If you can spare anything now to help a single mother not get evicted, it’d be totes awesome. Live together, die alone.

This is a hilarious review of The Time Traveler’s Wife.


  1. says

    i always love the links of great interest – i often find out about fascinating topics this way and share them with my friends – but it would be nice if a bit more care were taken with fact-checking.
    specifically, the link about unplanned pregnancy in a war zone being a court martial-level offense is outdated and incorrect. first off, it wasn’t unplanned pregnancy that was targeted – the policy was that any pregnancy during deployment could result in court martial for either party. the reason for this had to do with combat readiness – a pregnant woman is nondeployable, and will be returned to her “home” post, outside of the combat zone. this negatively impacts her unit’s ability to do its job.
    secondly, and more importantly, the order ceased to be in effect on january 1, 2010 – mere weeks after news of it hit the media.
    the way the other link about pregnancy among soldiers is presented is also troubling to me. the militaries of the various countries that allow women to serve do not have a ban on pregnancy. they do not allow pregnant women in combat zones or on deployments. if you think about this, it is a sensible policy – even if a pregnant woman were fully able to do her deployed job pregnant, the risks and lack of OB care pose serious problems. in the US, the Feres doctrine notwithstanding, the last thing the military needs is a lawsuit (or even the negative publicity) from a soldier miscarrying or giving birth to a disabled child that could potentially be linked to chemical or other deployment-related exposures during a deployed pregnancy.
    outside of deployment, there are no policies prohibiting a female servicemember from getting pregnant, should she desire to do so.
    as to the ban on abortions for US servicewomen – while i think the policy stinks, it’s completely in line with the hyde amendment, which prohibits federal funds to be used to pay for abortion. the prohibition extends to women covered by tricare, the military health insurance for civilian dependents. tricare will only cover abortions to protect the life of the mother. it should be noted, however, that these are congressional policies, not military policies, and any anger/action should be focused in that direction. and while the government won’t pay for military abortions, there’s nothing that prevents servicewomen or dependents from seeking abortions outside the military health care system.

  2. says

    Re: NOLA – Everything I hear about New Orleans after Katrina – and that’s been how long ago? – makes it seem like a poster treatment about institutional racism. Black people lived here? let it rot.

    Re: CPR – There’s nothing, and I repeat: nothing, sexier than trying to keep a person alive with CPR. Really. Ugh.

    Re: True Blood (TV) – Lafayette is awesome. That is all.

    Re: Muslim swimsuits – I actually think these don’t look too bad. It’s sort of the opposite of the micro bikini. Note though how still, all the models were pretty and thin… not as thin as typical models, maybe.

  3. Patrick says

    The Iron Man 2 article is interesting, and does a good job presenting many of the problematic aspects of the film. But I disagree strongly with Natalie’s reading the film as presenting everything Tony does and says as absolutely good – one of the fundamental, distinguishing features of Iron Man is that he is a very, very flawed human being. And the films do call Tony on his crap – most of the bad things that happen to him are his fault, and SHIELD ultimately decides (based on Natasha’s profile) NOT to put Tony on the team but just use him as consultant – specifically because of Tony’s character flaws, not because he’s not effective using the suit.

    Also, the “black men are interchangeable” argument? I’m calling BS on that. The need to recast Rhodes was a significant press issue during the film’s production, and every discussion I’ve heard or seen comparing the films has addressed it. (Personally, I was glad to see Cheadle replace Howard, as he’s a much more interesting actor to watch, and imbued Rhodes with a level of gravitas that Howard lacked, which is essential for contrasting Rhodes with Tony Stark).

    Hmm… looking at the above, I should probably just write my own review.

    • Maria says

      Re: fact checking…

      That’s one of the things I actually really struggle with in compiling the links. If I just did stuff I knew about, it’d be much shorter, and more focused, but also more biased, since it’d be on topics I’m invested in. Instead, they’re short, and pretty much based on the articles I get forwarded from other users of the site, from FB, my LJ, my students, etc. It’s literally a compilation of all the stuff I’ve glanced at online for the last week. That does mean they’re not fact -checked, though, simply because I don’t always know TO fact check because it might not sound off to me.

      But I like your links. :) Can you submit them using the form, so I can include them next wk?

  4. says

    Maria – i’d happily do so, but i’m not sure what form you mean… this comment/reply form? or is there another one i’m not seeing?

    • Maria says

      It’s the “Email Us” link on the righthand side of the page. Normally I’d just pull it from the comment, but because I’m traveling, I know I’ll forget and then lose them. :)

      Also: I’m glad you like the column! It’s part of our community building agenda. 😀

  5. sbg says

    Plus, the links are not meant to be endorsements, are they? They’re supposed to engender interest and discourse. So pointing out a link has problems with it not mentioned in a quick, “Hey, look at this!” from Maria is not inherently a bad thing – it is, in fact, part of what makes the LoGI posts good. 😉

    Maybe more later. Too busy being horrified by the super sexy CPR.

    • Maria says

      Oh, no, I wouldn’t consider the links endorsements at all. That’s why they’re “of Interest” and not “Links of Awesome.”

  6. says

    sbg – i wasn’t assuming the link was an endorsement – i just think it’s problematic to link to something news/policy-related (as opposed to pop culture or opinion) and present it as fact, especially when it’s six months out of date and easy to check. i also got my back up because the tone of that whole paragraph came across to me as “look how horribly the military treats its women.” i’m not saying that was Maria’s intent, but that’s how i read it. as a military spouse, i’m overly defensive about such things (and likely more informed than your average bear about how military policies affect women).

  7. Maria says

    What branch is your spouse in? My fiance is deploying soon. Anyways, I think it’s important to keep in mind that as a milspouse you don’t necessarily know how the military treats “its women” because I, at least, am not a female soldier. I think the language there is really interesting, because it’s sometimes hard to talk about female soldiers (which is wonky language too) as being separate and having separate experiences from spouses. That’s like one of the only things I like about Army Wives! 😛 :wince: That’s actually something I really should’ve mentioned in my review of Mocha Manual ( because it’s something that’s been bugging me a lot recently, this confluence of milspouses and female soldiers in this big clusterfuck concept of military women.

    Anyways, I’m trying not to get my back up now too, because I feel like you’re criticizing me as though this is my job, and it’s not. If you want a particular link to be included, you have to send it to me, since I can tell you straight up that I don’t have time to fact check every link that I find. Considering that my tone ranges from sarcastic to tongue in cheek to pithy summary, I wouldn’t say I necessarily think of myself as presenting fact all the time, either.

  8. Maria says

    This isn’t to say I don’t appreciate your adding to the discussion, particularly since I didn’t realize how closely Tricare’s tied to the government and how that links up with the Hyde Amendment, and how that connects to Congress. Nice deflection there, voices of power. I’m just more like, OMG I’m working as a full time student, blogging because I love Hathor, teaching, tutoring for reading, and trying to be a good friend, partner, and whatever, and now I’m supposed to fact check the internet? ACK!!!

  9. says

    but it would be nice if a bit more care were taken with fact-checking.

    It would also be nice if the site made enough money for any of us to earn some money and treat it like an actual job, but that’s not the case. Most of us work full-time and/or are students with heavy, time-consuming responsibilities outside this site that actually do pay the bills. This is a volunteer labor of love, and you know what? I’ve seen much poorer fact-checking at magazine sites that ARE staffed by full-time employees who have nothing to do for their living but write for the site.

    Behind the scenes, this site takes more time than you can imagine – it’s not just writing the posts, but running the site, keeping it so it loads quickly, sorting through quite a few emails every week, discussing issues like privilege and how to handle certain articles or comments that come up.

    All that on a volunteer basis. The links are offered not as fact or “correct opinion” but to start discussion, and “That’s factually inaccurate” is always welcome as part of the discussion.

  10. says

    Maria – current spouse, army; former spouse, navy. i’m also a lawyer and an MPH and have worked in health issues for most of my professional career, and while my perspective certainly isn’t that of a servicewoman, much of my work (not to mention my social circle) does involve women in the service. i’ve only watched “army wives” once and it made me want to yak, mostly because catherine bell has gone from generally-awesome marine JAG officer to sad cheating army wife (at least in the episode i saw). le sigh.
    by the way, i did send you a set of links, including an overview of issues affecting deployed servicewomen by col. cam ritchie (MD, MPH), whose presentation on psychological casualties and women in combat is particularly interesting (the whole symposium – “in the war zone: how does gender matter?” 2005 – is worth watching if you’ve got the time.)
    on a personal note, i’ve seen first-hand how the congressional ban on abortion funding affects women affiliated with the military (whether soldiers or dependents) – when i had a missed miscarriage last year and was being treated at a military hospital, the doctor could not prescribe the standard of care for medical management: a mifepristone/misoprostol combination. because of mife’s use as an abortifacent, congress has deemed that it can only be used in a military health setting as experimental therapy for PTSD.
    Jennifer: i appreciate your perspective – not to mention the herculean effort it takes to run a site like this – but your argument seems to come down to “they suck, so why shouldn’t we?” and just to beat a dead horse a bit more (because that’s what lawyers do), linking to something with a declarative statement (i.e., “an unplanned pregnancy in a war zone is a court martial-level offense” is presenting it as fact.
    that said, Maria’s LOGI is one of the most interesting (hey there!) and thought-provoking regular items in my reader, and the interwebs would be a poorer place without it.

  11. Maria says

    Haha, thanks for the compliment! 😀 Really, that’s all I ever want out of life: constructively offered advice on how to do the things I love better, and immediate validation for my general awesomeness.

    I got these links and the ones in your other comment, but dont have another email from you?

  12. says

    your argument seems to come down to “they suck, so why shouldn’t we?”

    What I bolded was actually a side point – my fault for miscommunicating. My main argument was that you’re simply asking too much from an unpaid group of writers running a blog with no capital whatsoever but the meager amounts generated by the ads.

    I do, however, find it frustrating that you haven’t commented over at Yahoo’s Associated Content site to let them know the article is incorrect. Instead you commented here, when they have a much bigger budget, actual paid staff, and a far greater audience reach than we have. It seems odd that you expect more of us than you expect of a publicly traded company. Flattering, but odd.

  13. says

    That’s because you rock and Yahoo is full of, well, yahoos. I have come to expect fact checking from blogs and similar sites, too, rather than from the news media. But that pertains mostly to original articles, not link dumps, for me.

  14. says

    Well, thanks, and that’s why I DO fact-check my articles which rely on only 1-5 facts and often take me quite a few hours to check. But as for link dumps, what’s being suggested here boils down to this:

    “Hathor, we expect you to work HARDER for no pay at all than we expect Yahoo’s paid employees to work for their salaries.”

    And that’s so wrong on so many levels. I’m quite satisfied with Maria’s presentation of links, and I believe the vast majority of readers are, too. This procedural criticism has derailed this thread completely, and I think that’s far worse for the site than any lack of fact-checking in a simple link dump post. Again, you guys are always welcome to dispute the value of the links and the information they present – that sort of debate is just what we like. But if anyone has a problem with how we operate the site, I have to say “tough.” Not because I wouldn’t like the site to be better, but because I refuse to demand more from unpaid workers than Yahoo demands from its paid ones. That just defies market forces and, IMO, basic decency.

  15. says

    Jennifer – at the time of publication (december 22, 2009), that article was correct. i’m not sure what the point of commenting over there would be. “yahoo, why aren’t you prescient?”
    i’m not sure how you get from “it would be nice if a bit more care were taken” to “we expect you to work harder for no pay…” – you’re making leaps of illogic that i certainly never intended.
    Maria – only work-related listservs. and knitting ones.

  16. says

    BTW, the issue of fact-checking is closed. No further comments on it will be posted.

    Reason being: fact-checking takes HOURS. Demanding that unpaid workers spend hours more than they already spend is incredibly entitled. In this case, it’s also derailed a thread that could’ve been about real issues instead of this total non-issue.

    To anyone: if we don’t do things well enough for your satisfaction, if the hours we manage to put in aren’t up to your standards of what unpaid laborers should produce, then I suggest you find another website.

  17. sbg says

    AJ, I think the point is more: these posts are link dumps. If Maria had to fact-check every single link she found interesting and worth sharing, hours of her life would be consumed and/or these posts wouldn’t happen at all and/or then we couldn’t have fruitful discussion.

    (Which this one isn’t, so I don’t know why I’m participating…)

    Did you fact-check all the other links in this post? No, because you see that would be ridiculous. You responded to provide your insight and clarification to something you do know and have something to say about, which is awesome. It’s the accompanying scolding for not being careful about the link contents that is derailing to the point that’s all anyone’s talking about.

    Damn it, I want to talk about how offensive and WTF-y that Super Sexy CPR link was! 😉

  18. Lindsey says

    Re: Fringe

    I want to like Olivia’s character, and she’s constantly set up and presented as this smart and capable agent who is then unable to smartly or capably agent anything while smug douche Peter goes off to get all vital information, solve all problems and even kill the season villain (I stopped somewhere in Season 2).

    Liv, meanwhile, gets kidnapped, fails to catch badguys and her bullets are generally useless. She might occasionally kick some ass in a fight but otherwise is pretty much second-fiddle to Peter even though other characters often treat her with respect.

    It’s very dissonant, how she is treated by the others versus what she is allowed to accomplish in practice. I guess it counts as progress. I also like that her best friend is her sister and not her boyfriend and the respect she does receive from the other cast members aside from Peter. He isn’t disrespectful exactly, but very clearly knows he is The Man Of The House.

    I should catch up on the rest of the show, I just didn’t much like the episodes about monsters of the week and cared about the metaplot, a reversal of the X-Files problem where the aliens were boring.

  19. says

    Originally Posted By Lindsey
    It’s very dissonant, how she is treated by the others versus what she is allowed to accomplish in practice. I guess it counts as progress.

    I don’t watch the show (did see a couple of eps way back when), but that dissonance is something I notice a lot. I’m never sure whether it counts as progress or a meta-message when women behave competently and intelligently, yet never ever seem to get the results you’d expect with their skills.

  20. sbg says

    I love Olivia Dunham, and compared to many, many female leads she is awesome.

    I also love Peter and his storyline, but I would be a lying liar that lies if I said it didn’t bother me at all when the main thrust of the arc became about him (and Walter) when I went into the show thinking Olivia was the primary focus.

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