Links of Great Interest 8/28/09

Bored at work? Check out these links of great interest! ;)

Should yogis in VA be regulated by the state?

Lord have mercy. A vengeful child molester takes revenge by suing his victim for defamation of character.

I bet you secretly want to know what’s up with tribal sovereignty.

Dr. Roxanne Shante made her exploitative record label pay for her PhD.

Hard-drinking moms: The New Straw-feminist. Also, feminists hate babies. (God knows I do.) Anyways, if you want to get a man, try channeling Cinderella.

Here’s more on the politics of natural hair.

This is an interesting discussion of Canada’s attitude towards multiculturalism.

I bet you’re wondering if you’re a target or a treasure.

Is queer an all encompassing word?

Calling in fat sounds like a stupid idea.

FloJo sounds like an amazing woman.

It’s really hard to find Romantic poetry by women — here’s an archive of women writers working in this particular period.

Madonna got booed at for saying people shouldn’t discriminate.

These links are NOT safe for work, but are still of great interest!

You can now get your very own sparkly Vamp dildo.

Comments

  1. Pocket Nerd says

    That “target or treasure” article is creepy, but about what I’d expect from a religious reactionary group like Operation Keepsake. “Remember, girls, your primary value lies in your virginity, and losing it marks you as used goods that no decent man would want! Oh yeah, and respect yourself, too!”

  2. meerkat says

    What’s up with the “calling in fat” thing? Some of us are fat all the time, which I guess means we shouldn’t get jobs in the first place? This does not sound like she’s using the word “fat” in a reclamative way.

    • Maria V. says

      It pissed me off at parts because of its smugness and its assumption that all its readers are members of the enlightened (white, “real citizens”) us.

  3. says

    Yes, I think that clarifies things for me nicely.

    That, and I think it picked some poor choices to talk about multiculturalism. “We’re so much more enlightened than those bad foreigners cock fighters!”

  4. Anemone Cerridwen says

    I’m a white Canadian, educated, but not smugly rich, and I actually liked the article. It is a little slick, though. I thought what he was saying was that we don’t care what people are like as long as they don’t drag our laws down to a lower level of moral development (I mean this in a technical sense). The same stages of moral and cultural development occur worldwide and are about level of education, not culture. Hence the use of cock-fighting (which some would consider cruelty to animals) as an example. Spanking kids is going to end up being another example at some point, and treatment of women is always an issue. Religious teachings are a shaky subject, though I’m surprised most are against them, since we have publicly funded Catholic schools, and that should scare people too. I was under the impression that we have publicly funded religious schools where numbers warrant.

    I personally don’t see culture as limited to stuff like clothes, food and music, unlike some people I’ve met. I don’t know if this writer thinks like that or not. But where culture = what’s right or wrong, I’m with him all the way. You have to have standards.

    Besides, we are going to end up with a global culture at some point, and it won’t be white. It will embrace universal human rights, though, or people won’t sign on.

  5. Anemone Cerridwen says

    Oh, Anna, you’re Canadian, too. Sorry, I missed that! I wouldn’t mind hearing more about what you think of it.

  6. says

    The same stages of moral and cultural development occur worldwide and are about level of education, not culture.

    I disagree. If you think white North Carolinians don’t find animal cruelty entertaining, you need to watch some “America’s Funniest Home Videos” and count the pet injuries that get laughs from White America. Or check out how many movies in the late 90s used animal accidents as humor (and if you thought it sick or simply lacking in humor the same way a fart is not automatically amusing, you were just being uptight, because it wasn’t REALLY hurting animals).

    Nope, white Americans are as likely as any segment of humanity to think God invented animals to live and die by our whim to amuse us. It’s just that we didn’t invent cock fighting (damn it!), so it’s either:

    –Admit the brown people had a damn good idea
    –Denounce it as barbarian so we can feel superior as we continue filming cats slamming into walls because we pulled a rug out from under them, hahaha!

    And what of those white Americans, like me, who think both forms of animal cruelty are sick and barbarian? I sure didn’t learn that from my above average American education, no siree. It is COUNTERCULTURAL to believe animals deserve any sort of consideration as living beings at all in the United States.

    There is some slim hope of this changing, but not via education. I know a number of staunch Republican hunters who believe it’s wrong to hunt what you won’t eat, and wrong to hunt unless you have practiced to the point you can almost assuredly kill an animal in one shot. They call themselves ethical hunters. If the more liberal anti-animal cruelty people ever sit down and talk to these guys, they’ll discover they have a lot in common. After all, I’d rather eat meat from an animal that’s had a life until it was shot by a hunter than one raised in even the most enlightened farming conditions (let alone slaughterhouses, gah). If people from such opposite sides of the fence could have a meeting of the minds on this issue, it’s just possible the dominant culture of the US would change to reflect it. Of course, ironically, this would be a return to the values of the cultures we exterminated to take over this land. Gotta love irony. /eye roll

    So I don’t think it’s education. It’s propaganda. It’s “How To Feel Superior To The Other When You’re Not 101.” It is the very essence of culture: a propagandized set of values, standards and traditions deemed superior to all others because they are yours.

  7. Anemone says

    My opinion is research-based and I stand by it. Oh, and the article is about Canada and Canadian values. The US is much more violent than Canada in some respects. Though cock fighting is illegal in most or all states, too. (Though I was told by an animal rescuer that 70% of the dogs rescued from New Orleans were pit bulls used in dog fights. Legal there – something that shocked me.) And we have that stupid UFC up here as well.

    Now if someone had objected to the author mentioning veiled women and voting, that might be a more interesting argument. I’m not as clear about the issues on that one.

  8. says

    What do you mean by “education”?

    Schooling IS propaganda – it can’t avoid being. By choosing what topics kids will learn – French and German rather than Farsi and Serbo-Croatian, shop class rather than farming 101 – we place value judgments on trades and cultures and pursuits. You cannot educate people without implying value judgments. And teaching value judgments can work as easily FOR animal cruelty (for example) as it can work against it.

    Now, the teaching of CRITICAL thinking is different. It enables people to question the value judgments their education imparted and come up with their own values. But, as there is nothing more anarchistic than people who can think for themselves, I seriously doubt Canada or any other government supports this to the degree it must be supported for real change to take place. Again: the belief that animal cruelty is a bad thing is not more enlightened than the idea that it’s acceptable entertainment. It’s two different value systems, one that places value on life and one that does not. You assume that valuing life is a good thing. And yet we all accept that it has limits. What’s “enlightened” is applying any critical thought whatsoever to your position, whether you end up on the “ethical hunter” side or become a vegan (though I’m not sure why celery’s life is less valuable than a cow’s) or decide not only do you not value animal life, you don’t distinguish animals from people and decide to go cull the herd a bit.

    Education sure can propagandize people to think cock fighting is terrible. It could also propagandize them to think it’s fine. Neither position is enlightened, if the people who hold the positions have not engaged in critical thinking to get to them.

    The US is much more violent than Canada in some respects.

    Really? On Blind Privilege you told me that you define violence as “all behaviour that harms others, including physical, psychological, verbal, and sexual abuse.” You actually think the US is more “violent” than Canada in that sense? Or, for that matter, that ANY country is more violent than any other? You know what goes on in people’s homes well enough to make that determination? You trust that all governments are faithfully and accurately reporting not only the felonies they know about, but also making accurate estimates about such things as child abuse and unreported domestic abuse and rape? You think anyone has anyway of knowing how much psychological abuse goes on in any particular country?

    While I’m obviously a critic of American culture, which I think is quite flawed, I get just as suspicious of claims that “My country is better than the US” as I do when the US tells me how superior it is to, say, Russia or Iraq.

  9. Anemone says

    By education, the main thing I mean is literacy. World wide, cultures tend to become less violent and more orderly as literacy rates go up. I’m all in favour of encouraging critical thinking, too, but I don’t know if I was being that optimistic. Or maybe the one follows from the other?

    I don’t think Canada is “better” than the US. I think my country is far from perfect and has a long way to go. I’m not a nationalist, more a globalist yearning for a better world.

    It is illegal to use corporal punishment in schools all across Canada, as of 2004, but still legal in 2o states in the US. According to Wikipedia, 24 countries have outlawed corporal punishment in the home. Alas, Canada and the US are not included in this number. I have the impression that corporal punishment is more common in the home in the US, moreso in black families and fundamentalist families (and maybe some other groups). I don’t have any numbers, though. I do know Canada does have much less fundamentalism.

    I have seen numbers in more than one place (Richard Rhodes’ “Why They Kill” summarizes some) showing that violent crimes are more common in the US than Canada or Europe, even for white criminals only, but that B&E (break and enter) is more common in Canada. Murder rates before the modern period were waaay higher than anything we see today.

    You have capital punishment in some states, we don’t.

    I’m sorry if I offended you. Of course we have no way of knowing about all violence, since we only have reports on some types, but I suspect they tend to be correlated, and laws as to which violence is legal and which is not are fairly indicative as well. I was surprised in a different discussion a long time ago when an American woman didn’t believe me about crime rates and went and looked it up. I thought everyone knew.

    • Maria V. says

      Hi Anemone —

      I think you’re wrong. I think this because IME most people mentioning the idea of moral/cultural evolution as interrelated are looking to 19th and early 20th century imperialist theorists.

  10. Anemone says

    What’s IME?

    You’re welcome to disagree with me. I’ve done a lot of research on cultural evolution (because I think we’ve still got a ways to go, and I was curious as to what it might look like), but I don’t have a publisher so I don’t expect anyone to read my book. And even if you did you still might disagree.

  11. Anemone says

    Thanks.

    In my experience, the two things that contribute the most to cultural evolution and all that are (1) literacy and (2) a shift away from authoritarianism. Research published after WWII linked authoritarianism and bigotry, so parenting changed, and we’re going through that shift now.

  12. says

    Good God, it was a white Canadian who had a farm full of dead women, wasn’t it? Just a few years ago, if I recall? And everyone knew it and nobody said it because hey, they were just prostitutes anyways. Tell me how evolved *that* is, Anemone? Then tell me how treating the Iroquois and the rest of the First Nations there like shite is ethically evolved – I listen to the CBC, you know, we’re just over the border.

    And ISTR that cock fighting was a big hit in England right around the same time that Elizabeth’s court was expanding slavery – not as big a draw as the Bear Baiting Pits, but where do you think bulldogs came from and what were they bred for? What *sport* did the English breed up terriers for, eh? I guess your researches don’t extend to the 19th century, do they?

    –And what, you think it doesn’t still go on among us? You think that blood sports ain’t a Western thing? Mighty *white* of you, kiddo.

  13. says

    OT, but I’m watching the Sharpe ITV series at long last, and it’s really tragic how, in a show set in the Napoleonic Wars that is on the surface all about Manly Men doing military things, there are *more* women doing all kinds of things – including being spies, saboteurs and resistance fighters – with a *positive* focus on romance, family, and friendship between men and women that goes beyond mere sex – than in so many shows made fifteen years later and counting.

    (Seriously, it’s a long-running soap opera with swords, explosions, and more chase scenes than is common for daytime TV, is all.)

  14. says

    ISTR? Is that “I seem to recall”?

    And, just in case your question isn’t rhetorical for the point, yes, the pig farmer guy who was murdering prostitutes was in B.C. *shudder* The number of First Nations women who go missing every year is also horrid.

    Anemone , for what it’s worth at this point, I don’t really have a sense of Canada vs US in terms of how immigration works. I wish I could say that we don’t have the hate for immigrants that I see reflected in US news reports, but when I wrote about a coworker of mine being caught up in the recent “Mexicans = Evil” visa changes, I had more than one person go on a tirade about how the damned Mexicans were stealing everyone’s jobs, and there are totally a lot of anti-immigrant messages out there. I really feel this “We’re not all that awesome about immigration! We make people assimilate!” thing is part of that, but I’m not speaking from an educated or information space here. This is not my area at all.

    I do feel that Canada has such huge regional differences that it’s impossible to really talk about a “Canadian response” to anything.

  15. says

    Anemone, I was not offended with you at all. We engage in a lot of spirited, respectful debates around here, and I think you are taking it more personally than we intend. This is understandable, because you’ve got multiple people disagreeing with you – believe me, I’ve been in that position with some of these very commenters, and I know it isn’t a comfortable feeling. But it’s really not personal, so I encourage you not to get frustrated. Even if we never agree with you, that doesn’t mean you’re wrong, and even if we all think you’re wrong, that doesn’t mean we think badly of you or your right to an opinion. Okay?

    Now, to address your clarification of education meaning more or less literacy. If you mean strictly physical violence, you may be correct – I don’t know, but am willing to take your word on the research. But I thought you meant “violence” as you used it on BP the other day, and I don’t think there’s any possible way to compile enough data to reveal whether literacy decreases non-physical forms of violation, such as:

    –Mental and emotional abuse
    –Subtle forms of social oppression
    –Big companies/wealthy causes doing whatever it takes to change the law so it becomes “legal” for them to engage in activities that directly or indirectly hurt individuals, other companies/causes, or the environment.

    When we take all these things as “violence”, I don’t see any way to determine if literacy has reduce violence or just shifted it into more subtle forms. That was the point I was trying to make.

    In any case, I *still* feel schooling – literacy, education, whatever – is a tool of culture, and not the other way around. I strongly believe Orwell’s theories on language: eliminate the words to express a thought, and it’ll be virtually impossible for anyone to have that thought; repeat something often enough, however absurd, and the brain starts to believe it. Literacy can open up the world, or narrow it down, depending who’s teaching it. That’s why I brought up critical thinking. You can teach people “cock fighting is bad”, but if they’re only believing that because you propagandized them into it, they can be switched by the first charismatic argument they hear to the contrary.

  16. megs says

    As a recent expat to Canada (4 years, from atlanta), I agree with the main jist of the article in the Globe. For all the talk of “multiculturalism”, I rarely see much evidence that it’s any different. I’ve heard more here from white folk about how it’s “our culture, our country, they should conform” than I ever heard in the states, but a lot of that comes from the average white person I meet thinking any other white person is an ally. I’m know this goes on in the states, because I’ve seen it on the internet, but it hasn’t been my experience in the very diverse city I grew up in. People didn’t rant about blacks because the room was likely to be half black. In Atlanta, you got the odd “black people scamming welfare” where I felt comfortable telling them how my friends in school barely made it by with a single mom on welfare who were now in med school on government money. It seems worse here with the “native people scamming for government money – why don’t they just educate themselves and get a job?” when it seems to me like the double edged sword of government interference and government “respect” for First Nations cultures basically shoves them off to the side and throws money at them when there’s a problem, like, oh, undrinkable water. Multiculturalism seems like Canada is saying you can have your own culture, but you’ll be punished and excluded for it, and anything we do to help will belittle you and make the white population hate you. I’m in Ottawa now and I really want to move east to NB where despite the french/english tensions I’ve seen such welcoming of different cultures, sharing instead of enforcing, and amazing inclusion of differing sexualities. “Melting pot”, as I have so often seen it, means treating people like people. “Multiculturalism”, on the other hand, seems to be like cliques in middle school. Everybody gets their own table and being friends with a lot of different people and not ragging on the groups different from you is unheard of. Not that I really think the Canadian gov. changing their policy from “multiculturalism” to “melting pot” is really going to change a thing.

  17. Anemone says

    I know racism exists in Canada, I’ve seen a bit of it and heard stories, but there’s probably a lot more that I haven’t seen. And I’m always conscious of my white privilege. It gets me into better low income housing, something I’m grateful for.

    Jennifer, certainly, schooling is cultural indoctrination. That’s what it’s for. But you get that at home and in church, too, regardless of educational level. On the other hand, people who are more educated tend to travel more, which opens eyes. Or is it that people who can afford to be better educated can also afford to travel more? At any rate, they tend to go together.

  18. says

    As a Malaysian living in Canada, I found the Globe and Mail discussion fascinating, partly because I can see where the writer is coming from, partly because I’ve been wondering whether colourblindness really is a good thing, and partly because similar things are happening in Malaysia. It’s thought-provoking, to be sure. On the one hand, I want to be able to say Yay Diversity! but on the other, I don’t know if I want to share a space with people who don’t share the same ideology that works to hurt others. And, of course, is it a good idea to put people who’re so contrary in the same space? (Unfortunately, that’s a bit of a problem with nationhood, I think.) It really forced me to wonder what we mean by “culture” – ideology and foundations of living, as the authour believes, or is it more superficial? I say superficial because in Malaysia we’re a bit more homogenously Asian, so to speak, and our apparent differences manifest in what we see and do, as opposed to how we think.

    I really don’t think Canada has the whole anti-racism, multi-cultural thing down pat – if it really was multi-cultural, I could get a week off for Chinese New Year by default – and I won’t deny there’s a bit of assimilation going on here (yet another topic I’m fascinated by).

    Sorry for the somewhat incoherent rambling. I’m drawing from many different ideas here and it’s hard to think.

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