Links of Great Interest: :harry potter harry potter harry potter:

Signal Boost: Help raise money for the fight against cancer!

Signal Boost: Petition to get the FBI to change its definitions of rape.

Signal Boost: Petition against Michelle Bachmann’s anti-gay clinic.

Signal Boost: I think this is a fundraiser to make a replicating machine of AWESOME.

Signal Boost: Petition against sexist Got Milk? campaign.

Signal Boost: Black teen mom not allowed to be valedictorian.

Seven feminist take-homes from Harry Potter. I gotta say, I’ve been re-watching all the films back-to-back (my husband hadn’t seen any) and I am LOVING how Hermione’s badassness is so thoroughly heralded. I hadn’t noticed at the time, but she ALWAYS was better at DADA stuff than either Harry or Ron.

Here are my thoughts on Dragon’s Path.

Christopher Pike raised me as well.

Cats watch you have sex.

Lifting Voices works!

Food is a feminist issue… does that include raw milk?

Support female game designers!

From many: mother punished because drunk driver killed her son.

Bullying is never okay.


Oh goddamn Feministe.

No living dead are gonna break into THIS house!

Private schools are set to indoctrinate a new generation of voters.

World’s Best Fantasy list up.


  1. Red says

    On the mother being sent to jail:

    I… I have no words…

    Talk about a disproportionate sentence! What message does this send? That drunk drivers can do whatever they want and when something like this happens, they’ll get a slap on the wrist?! While law-abiding citizens like this women get punished something like jaywalking?! REALLY???

    My family suffered a similar loss many year ago. A brother I never knew was killed because of some drunk/high teen and what did she get? Practically NOTHING. My family had to live with the loss.

    Heaven help those jurors should something like this happen to them or a loved one. They’ll look back (if they aren’t now) and ask why they made the decision they did.

  2. Dina Bow says

    Why does it seem like everyone wants to only punish victims? The guy who killed someone doesn’t even get a year of jail time while the mom get three years for JAYWALKING. What logic is that? And then they want to ban women from the launch party instead of the men who stir up trouble. Its kinda like how schools solve the bully problem by moving the victim to another class.

  3. says

    Dina Bow,

    There’s actually an answer to that question:

    Nutshell: it’s a cultural meme DESIGNED to shift responsibility from people of higher social status to their social inferiors, thus perpetuating the myth that White Hetero Abled Guys deserve to be in charge of society because they would NEVER ever do anything nasty if those icky women and blacks and poor folk, etc., didn’t sometimes force them to it.

    “In his book, Ryan describes victim blaming as an ideology used to justify racism and social injustice against black people in the United States.”

    Note: Baumeister’s argument on same page is bullshit, because people also apply victim blaming to abused kids (I know this firsthand). What was the abused kid’s wrong? Getting born? Ignorant asshole.

    The “Just-world” phenomenon IS real, but it’s extremely fallacious. It’s what happens when women jurors (for example) look really really hard to find something the victim did wrong, because then they can never EVER do that wrong thing and it will magically protect them from ever being raped! It’s like when you’re 4 and decide that the boogeymonster in the closet can’t get you unless something other than your head is sticking out from under the covers, so you make sure that’s not the case, and bingo – magic safety!

    This is what psychiatry calls “magical thinking” and it’s not only logically WTF, but dangerous. Because never wearing a short skirt does NOT magically ward off rape, and unlike the boogeymonster, rapists are really out there.

  4. says

    I’d heard about the incident with Kymberly Wimberley. It’s a blatant maneuvering to reinforce that a certain kind of academic achievement can only be attained by a certain kind of person/people; which is to say, the school officials are attempting to portray and solely encourage valedictorian status from students willing and able to adhere to a set of social norms including race, gender, class, and reproductive health/capabilities and choices. If you want to be valedictorian, you also have to be xyz. If you are not xyz, for you to be valedictorian would be scandalous and shameful, because that is not what you are meant for/supposed to do. Valedictorian status is something you cannot do. This both reinforces a white supremacist, classist, heteropatriarchal status quo by holding back the “wrong” people AND serves as a “motivating” factor to keep the “right” people on the straight and narrow. The obstacles presented to Kymberly by means of her race, gender, and teen mother status (none of which would be obstacles in a culture that didn’t actively demonize those identities and lives) aren’t meant to be obstacles that are, or even can be overcome; celebration of success in the face of that adversity (as it were) is unthinkable for people whose best interests lie with keeping those identities in some way undesirable to the point of social stigmatization. In short, those guys can suck my left nut.

    4. The privilege/power matrix results in systematic oppression and relies on everyone participating.
    5. There is evil within us all.
    6. Diversify your allies.

    (From “7 Feminist Take-Aways From the Final Harry Potter Movie”) These were the ones I liked the best, particularly number 4. I think the movies have dealt with all of the points made better than the books, which I feel had some stumbling moments and inconsistencies that weren’t presented in a way where lessons were learned or characters necessarily grew from those challenges in a way that highlighted a moral or wisdom gained, but that’s just my 2c.

    The raw milk article is fascinating. After I watched Food, Inc. a few years ago, I was more upset seeing all that information gathered in one place and having to intellectually grapple with it all at once– race, class, and gender issues included with the health issues and the “small man against the machine” concept– than I was shocked by anything I saw. I also know there’s been this real backlash against the concept that what one eats can affect one’s health, particularly as far as neurological atypicality goes (I’ve seen protests against chemical synthetes, dyes, flavors, etc. being added to foods that don’t need them where those chemicals’ effects haven’t been fully tested linked to anti-vaccine sentiment by news media), as well as a generally aggressive and deliberate ignorance as to how allergies actually function. I also found the Montana and Peoria episodes of Meet The Natives (which is way better than the title would suggest; I watched the USA version) really cool, because the Tanna men are, like, “Uhhh, why aren’t your cows eating grass? Why are you giving them medicine if they aren’t sick? You still eat them that way?” and “ALL YOUR FOOD IS DEAD? HOW LONG HAS IT BEEN THAT WAY?” Overly processed and monopolized food production by way of the military-industrial complex is an interestingly American problem that, shocker, isn’t something that the rich, anti-“socialist,” anti-Obamacare politicians seem that interested in, and the Tea Partiers that have drunk the “purple-ish HFCS ‘drink'” don’t seem to be interested in much that their favored right-wing, white, Christian representatives haven’t told them to rail against with buzzwords referencing taxes, unemployment, and patriotism.

    Those Vijay Prashad and No Girls Allowed articles made me so angry I felt physically sick. And the Feministe article… yeah. Yeah. nepthys_12 said what I have to say on the subject pretty well. You don’t get to feel situationally guilty as a matter of convenience by playing the “in context” and “in comparison” games with me, particularly when cultural mandates are already in place to destigmatize less visible artifacts of historical (and specifically slave-culture-related) atrocities. You don’t get to try and guilt me into being emotionally okay with your choices by saying I’ve participated in worse-for-being-hidden displays of privilege or insinuating I don’t know my history. YOU WANT TO BRING UP MANIFEST DESTINY AND INDIGENOUS IDENTITY, HUH?! *cracks knuckles* It’s not a zero-sum “This is racist, ergo, that cannot be racist (or at least not the worst)” sort of thing. And y’all already know I can’t stand Rick Scott. I miss Charlie Crist, and it hasn’t even been a full eight months.

    …I’m going to re-read the article on the DC foster kids now to restore my faith in humanity. Also, the Kikori CNC Router project looks AMAZING, and anything that makes tools/technology accessible gives my heart the warm fuzzies. Anti-zombie tech is cool, too! And the World Fantasy Awards winners list is bookmarked.

  5. Shaun says

    Jennifer Kesler,

    Yeah but not having your body parts hanging over the bed really DOES protect you from the monsters under the bed, and the monsters in the dark can’t see you with the covers on, so not the best analogy.

  6. says

    I’ve seen the Black teen mom valedictorian story floating around and it is really discouraging how many commenters try to tie the discrimination to her parenthood rather than her race. As if it was an either/or situation. As if it’s better to be “only” misogynist rather than racist. Not to mention Ms. Wimberly provides support for how the school was prejudiced against Blacks but not much about her pregnancy and child.

  7. says


    Oh, you.

    @Everyone: I have signed the petition to give Wimberly the title she earned. I wish there was a petition to fire whoever thought it appropriate to suddenly introduce behavioral requirements into the qualifications when they never have been before. This is especially ironic since Wimberly’s generation was the first in some time to receive no birth control education. (Don’t argue that abstinence is a form of birth control; it really doesn’t work for girls who are date raped or being molested at home by their fathers, step-fathers or other male relatives/friends of family.)

  8. Robin says

    The mother being punished for a repeat offender drunk driver killing her child is atrocious. The fact that she’s being punished more than he is just defies comprehension.

    Farmageddon sounds both fascinating and horrifying. I live in a fairly food-conscious community (also in Massachusetts, as it happens), and even I have a hard time getting my hands on organic / sustainable / etc. foods. There are farmers markets and farmshares galore, but most of them take place during the work day, which makes them much harder to patronize. The fact that our own government is hassling both independent farmers and the citizens who want to buys their goods is pretty disheartening.

    The comments on the “no girls allowed” article are spot on. The organizers are victim-blaming and excluding women from their event under the (very transparent) guise of chivalry when they should be policing the behavior that’s making their event unfriendly to female gamers. It’s a clear case of Doing It Wrong. A big part of why I’ve never been drawn into WoW is precisely the attitude being demonstrated by these guys, because it’s been recounted over and over on gaming forums.

  9. says


    You know, I see the most reckless jaywalking sometimes, so when I clicked over to the story, I expected to find she had done something ridiculous – and even then it wouldn’t sit right with me that she’s getting MORE punishment than a completely selfish entitled repeat drunk driver.

    But crossing outside a crosswalk because the nearest crosswalk is 3/10ths of a mile away and you have little tiny kids? Fuck that shit, that’s not unreasonable. I’ve lived in cities that had absolutely no consideration for pedestrians, and this sounds like one of them – a city needs to take its own failures into consideration.

    I was also really disappointed to hear none of the jurors are bus riders. You really just don’t know what that’s like until you do it.

  10. Patrick McGraw says

    Robin: A big part of why I’ve never been drawn into WoW is precisely the attitude being demonstrated by these guys, because it’s been recounted over and over on gaming forums.

    It can vary tremendously depending on server, and if you go through the massive effort of finding a good guild that can mitigate it… which is to say, not being exposed to this attitude on WoW requires a lot of work on your part. Fun!

  11. Azzy says

    Patrick McGraw: It can vary tremendously depending on server, and if you go through the massive effort of finding a good guild that can mitigate it… which is to say, not being exposed to this attitude on WoW requires a lot of work on your part. Fun!

    Maybe it’s different on the American servers. I’ve only played on European servers, and I’ve never run into any trouble. I pretty much joined a guild at random, and my guildies turned out to be pretty nice people (except for one who threw a shitfit because someone made a joke about racism. S/he seemed to think that any mention of race was racist, and wrote to Blizzard to report us. It was one of the most bizarre conversations I’d ever participated in, but it was the only notable incident.)

    Maybe it’s because I don’t socialize much in-game, other than guild chat. For all I know, the server was full of mysoginists, and I just missed them.

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