Links of Great Interest 8/7/09

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

Learn more about present policy initiative’s impact on women [article removed]. Transgriot weighs in on healthcare here. Hormonewoman talks about it here. I do NOT like that last post, and think it’s a bit biased. (To clarify: by “biased,” I mean it’s a piece of propaganda, and is NOT representative of THL’s views. I included it in part because I’m disappointed in HW for posting that (I normally like her blog) and to archive the ways these issues get twisted around.)

Cali’s cutting domestic violence funding.

IBARW brought about some great posts. The last one (which I sneakily linked to using the word “posts” because I am quite clever and want you all to post to it) is about why Spock/Uhura is completely fantabulous. That doesn’t mean a ton of others weren’t awesome. Of course, some also sucked.

Anemone Cerridwen offers a scene re-write for Wedding Crashers. She also talks about the ideal workplace.

Oh jeez. These are some really sad pictures of what can happen when you’re exposed to radiation. Especially timely, since yesterday marked the 64th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima.

Harvey Milk will be receiving a post-humous Presidential Medal of Freedom!

Afro-Bella talks about little black girls and hair.

Racialicious talks about the craptastic casting of Prince of Persia.

I totally hadn’t heard about this kiss-in.

Remember the bi seaman who was killed a few weeks ago? THE PLOT HAS THICKENED.

Virginity scholarships? Really, universe?

Lady GaGa talks a little bit about her bisexuality. </3 I DEMAND someone find me more links on this. </3 I have The Fame, so maybe I should write a review?

FYI: Sometimes there aren’t enough boobs in video game advertising.

Also, sometimes librarians really need to show off their tats for fundraising. At least it’s not only the tattoed library ladies that end up in calendars.

Skip Gates has been receiving death threats! Looks like someone blames him for sullying their post-racial Amurrica. More on cops here.

Laura Ling and Euna Lee, the journalists imprisoned in North Korea, have been freed!

I can’t tell how I feel about this op-ed on couple dealing with the husband falling out of love with the wife.

This is a great post on how a rape culture gets reinforced. Here’s a reminder that it’s a tool of war. Here‘s a translation of some of the problematics of that piece. While not directly related, I think this demonstrates what can happen when someone feels like they’re entitled to pussy… and that sexism and racism are often related. CNN has a link to the edited blog. ABC News mentions some of the factual contradictions of this killer’s blog.

The Accidental Bard talks about gay characters in SF. He highlights Lynn Flewelling, who will soon be one of our 20 on the 20th authors! I don’t know why this is so important — clearly there’s no problem in SF/F’s canon at all.

Interesting article on the ladies behind Little House on the Prairie. Here is another, very different story of girlhood.

Monica Roberts (AKA as Tansgriot) has a great post up on why it’s really important for transwomen to perfect their feminine presentation.

Comments

  1. Anemone Cerridwen says

    I was wondering why I couldn’t find any Lynn Flewelling here, and was considering volunteering an article. Good to know she’s up soon.

  2. says

    just FYI, the email “summary” posted by hormonewoman that you’re linking to is false, misleading, and has been debunked all over the interwebs. not sure why you’re perpetuating the spread of that kind of misinformation.

  3. Nialla says

    I’m amused because one of the male librarians in the calendar has taught a few workshops I’ve attended. *g*

  4. Maria V. says

    Hi Laloca –

    Like I said above, I don’t especially like the link. I included it for the same reason I included the pro-DADT link a few weeks ago — I think it’s important to know what your enemies are saying/thinking. Knowing what kind of propaganda people are putting out there like fact is important.

    Because that’s not clear, though, I’ll edit the original post.

  5. sbg says

    … And Palin calls the healthcare proposal/plan “evil”.

    Which makes me beg the question again – why on this Earth does anyone care or listen to what this person says? What a bunch of fear-mongering.

    I haven’t read all the links yet (So. Many. Links.), but the rape one by Harriet Jones? FANTASTIC.

  6. Nialla says

    Reading my way through the links and reading the one on how rape culture is reinforced hurts.

    Even the “good guys” don’t understand how many women are automatically thinking of defending themselves against rape, or more the accusation of “she asked for it”. Trying to avoid the usual usual tropes of she was dressed provocatively, was in a bad place, by herself at night, etc.

    I have some teens, mostly girls, wanting me to escort them to an anime convention next year. We went previously, but only stayed for the day. They want to stay overnight next time, and I’m getting the shudders over trying to protect a half dozen or so underage girls from a hick town.

    Even though other adults will be there, I feel extra responsibility because I’ve been to cons for over 20 years. I haven’t been attacked myself, but I have personally seen guys stalking young girls before. I know rapes happen at cons, and again there’s always the assumption she was somehow provoking the rape because of how she was dressed, where she was (which of course cons are only for males), etc.

    Was working at one con where some of the staff told the security guys to find a guy and toss him out on his ass and ban him, because the hotel people might not like the mess friends and family left behind of him after they beat him to a pulp if they caught him. If he tried to get back in, we were fully prepared to detain him and call the cops.

  7. says

    The op-ed piece you pointed out-I think the woman who wrote it refused to go along with the “script” that Americans think they have to follow when it comes to a mid-life crisis. She admits it was hard to live with someone who’d told her he didn’t love her anymore (out of the blue) and didn’t want to give up on everything they’d built together.

    Why else do men and women who give up their long time relationships (with children) then regret and beg to come back? Why not just short-circuit that move and have an internal separation? Give it a deadline –6 mos is good, like the writer gave him– and then give it up.

    I thought it was a very effective, very *hard* thing for her to do. I wonder how they’re doing now, though.

  8. says

    The rape piece is amazing. I never quite realized until reading it just how much I was not taught that script. And I have been called every kind of “bitch” she names for standing up for myself, not taking crap, for demanding that business people do what I paid them for instead of batting my eyelashes and trying to sweet-talk them into it. Somehow I always thought if someone touched me in a way that made me uncomfortable, I got to touch them in a way that made them uncomfortable.

    I raise my voice. I hit. I use verbal insults to let men and all witnesses know I’m a “crazy frigid mean dyke bitch”, because I’d rather everyone I know think that of me than be raped.

    But then, I had one great advantage in life: no friends. I was a social outcast from my first day of school forward. I tried taking a little crap, and that only made them hate me more, or see me as a better target or something, so I decided early not to take it.

    Before anyone congratulates me, however, I have to say I did learn the script as an adult, when I became dependent on a paycheck that could be taken away from me at any time, legally, for no reason at all. When the guy insistently asking you out is a co-worker, you’re afraid of looking like Crazy Stuck-Up Bitch if you complain to your boss or HR, so you try to handle it yourself. But then you think of your normal methods – in my case, telling him off, threatening him, even hitting – and that’ll for sure make you look like Crazy Bitch at the office. So you limit yourself to tools that may or may not work, for fear of how you’ll be perceived if you do anything effective.

    And one of the worst things human beings put each other through is NOT allowing folks ever to simply not want to date. Men are supposed to be 24/7 horndogs, so I can’t even imagine what happens if a man says “I’m just not looking for a date right now.” Maybe some male readers can chime in on that. But if a woman says she’s just not interested in dating and that’s why she’s turning some dude down, she’s chided. That’s a bad attitude. Some people start trying to figure out who hurt her and made her hate men (because if you don’t want to fuck men, then obviously you loathe and despise them, right?). Others recommend anti-depressants, since obviously not wanting to date is an emotional plea for help. Others start trying to set her up with “the right guy” since obviously this case of not wanting to fuck is really just a case of not having been fucked by the right fucker yet. Others just lecture her on somewhat obscure points that, as far as I can figure, boil down to her social duty to lie back and think of England. Our boys must get laid! You’re not doing your part!

    I’ve often wondered how much misogyny comes from men feeling forced to date women when they don’t want to. Of course, society is still giving them permission to blame the women for the situation, which is wrong. Women who feel forced to date men are also more likely to resent themselves than men (“What’s wrong with me? Do I need therapy? I feel like I just want to be celibate/date women/focus on career right now, but that can’t be right because happy healthy women want to date men and get married and have babies.”) When who we should be resenting is a society that teaches us: you’re just not right until you’ve paired off with someone of the opposite sex.

    All of this comprises some of the strongest expressions of heteronormativity. We tend to criticize heteronormativity on the basis of how it marginalizes queer people, but it’s also a very big part of creating a rape culture and keeping men and women in roles that many of us do not want to occupy.

  9. Charles RB says

    I just read the Angry Black Woman link, and what? No wonder she’s bewildered, the guy’s arguments were all over the place and made barely any sense (“the editor just went with people he’d already read and liked” is the only one that could work, if only because it means he’s just being lazy). What did he think he was achieving there?

  10. says

    His arguments made COMPLETE sense if you accept the foundation, which is that white men are capable of representing all of humanity and its needs, whereas everyone else can only represent their own limited niche.

    That’s really what he’s saying, and he doesn’t even realize it.

  11. Charles RB says

    I think even if I accept that foundation, his argument is hideously garbled. “My ream of copy paper is all white, with no sheets of lettuce included!”, for example. This guy got into the anthology?

  12. says

    Re: this George Sodini mass killer. Beyond the obvious – that this guy thought shooting women was a fitting response to not having had a relationship he wanted – there’s a lot about this that’s driving me crazy, and I’m not sure I can sort it all out:

    People – including law enforcement! – seem to be accepting this guy’s perception that he’s so unappealing women wouldn’t look at him twice. I don’t accept it. He’s not bad-looking, and I think a lot of women I know – attractive, worthwhile women – would be quite happy to date someone who looks like him, provided everything else about him was acceptable. Human beings are not great at diagnosing what’s really troubling us – it’s very common for us to transfer our worries from the problem we can’t fathom to one we can, such as not getting dates. I think his problems most likely ran a little deeper than datelessness, based on the fact that most everyone experiences sexual frustration, and some people never have the sex lives they hoped for, but very few people go on shooting sprees. It just doesn’t track that that was his real motive.

  13. SunlessNick says

    He’s not bad-looking, and I think a lot of women I know – attractive, worthwhile women – would be quite happy to date someone who looks like him, provided everything else about him was acceptable.

    I could easily suspect that he had a creepy vibe, and that’s why women didn’t want to spend time with him.

    Regarding datelessness vs some other problem, I think it would take having some deeper problem to arrive at the conclusion that a shooting spree is a logical response to no one wanting to out with you – it reminds me of your assertion rapists must be insane, which I disputed until understanding what you were driving at – but I think he definitely did feel entitled to women, and to punish them for not responding.

    Men are supposed to be 24/7 horndogs, so I can’t even imagine what happens if a man says “I’m just not looking for a date right now.” Maybe some male readers can chime in on that.

    My case is slightly different, since I was claiming asexuality – not looking for a date ever. The response I got was generally an insistence that I hadn’t met the right person (I completely flummoxed my grandfather last year when I told him I was still a virgin).

    If a similar response occurs in the “right now,” then it might be taken to mean the man is holding out for something more romantic and monogamous and right-person-y than is assumed to be normal male desire.

    The rape piece is amazing.

    Agreed.

  14. Anemone Cerridwen says

    Re: this George Sodini mass killer. Beyond the obvious – that this guy thought shooting women was a fitting response to not having had a relationship he wanted – there’s a lot about this that’s driving me crazy, and I’m not sure I can sort it all out.

    My impression was that he didn’t want a relationship (I believe he was meeting women, just not going anywhere with it). My impression was that he was looking for an excuse to kill some, and that he wanted to badly enough that he was willing to kill himself in order to get away with it. And while he could probably have killed prostitutes with impunity (so many do), he wanted something more dramatic than that.

  15. says

    Hello there,

    I have been looking at my blog stats and I realized you mentioned a post about health care reform on our blog. And it’s been bringing a lot of traffic to us.

    That particular post was sent to me by a member of our network. I posted it for her, as my commitment to those in my network is that they can use the blog as their forum.

    I deeply respect the person who sent me the post, and stand by her right to her opinion. And since it does have my name on it I do have responsibility for what it says.

    However, I’ve found myself in the middle of some mud slinging, one friend even told me I should rot in hell for having posted it.

    Last night I finally had a chance to take a look at the actual document a little more closely. There is truth in what is posted. But the overall impression I have is that the document is vaguely worded, just enough so that staunch liberals can derive their own interpretation as can staunch conservatives. And from what I’m seeing, most people are deriving their opinions about the document from other people, not having sat down and having read the document themselves. And, not surprisingly, the person whose interpretation you choose to listen to is likely going to be someone whose bent is much like your own.

    Having worked in health care for my entire career and seeing what insurance companies have done to women with PCOS (for whom my blog was developed), I don’t believe any health policy, private or public, is going to adequately meet the needs of women who have this syndrome. Liberal or conservative.

    But that is my opinion. I kept it off the blog because one of our primary goals with what we’re doing is asking women to think for themselves…and inCYST on being treated with respect. In their personal relationships. By their health care providers. Wherever.

    What I encouraged in that post, and what I continue to encourage, is that if you care about what this reform may do to your own health care, is take the time to read it for yourself. Develop your own opinions, don’t just parrot what others encourage you to parrot. Or as we would say…inCYST on getting the facts.

    The only person who knows what will work best for you…is YOU. Not your favorite op/ed writer. And certainly not me!

    Don’t waste time discussing MY viewpoint, all it is, is simply MY viewpoint, not gospel. I can’t possibly know what works best for YOU. Ask questions. Get clarification. If it works for you, advocate for it. If it doesn’t, speak out.

    Just base it on your own opinion. You’ve all got brains and I assume they’re all intelligent. Put the to good use for YOUR good! :)

    Hormone Woman
    http://www.incyst.blogspot.com

    • Maria V. says


      Last night I finally had a chance to take a look at the actual document a little more closely. There is truth in what is posted. But the overall impression I have is that the document is vaguely worded, just enough so that staunch liberals can derive their own interpretation as can staunch conservatives. And from what I’m seeing, most people are deriving their opinions about the document from other people, not having sat down and having read the document themselves. And, not surprisingly, the person whose interpretation you choose to listen to is likely going to be someone whose bent is much like your own.

      Which document are you referring to? The email forward from Karen, or the bill itself?

      Having worked in health care for my entire career and seeing what insurance companies have done to women with PCOS (for whom my blog was developed), I don’t believe any health policy, private or public, is going to adequately meet the needs of women who have this syndrome. Liberal or conservative.

      But that is my opinion. I kept it off the blog because one of our primary goals with what we’re doing is asking women to think for themselves…and inCYST on being treated with respect. In their personal relationships. By their health care providers. Wherever.

      The thing is, I don’t think you kept it off the blog. You mentioned that there are aspects to the current legislation that disturb you, said that the points your colleague brought up should alarm you, then presented your network member’s forward, which is fairly biased. While you might not have said, I, HormoneWoman, think THIS, you set it up in a way that’s a tacit endorsement. That’s totally fine, since it is your blog, but I think it’s disingenuous to do that, then say, We’re not biased.


      What I encouraged in that post, and what I continue to encourage, is that if you care about what this reform may do to your own health care, is take the time to read it for yourself. Develop your own opinions, don’t just parrot what others encourage you to parrot. Or as we would say…inCYST on getting the facts.

      Which is what you did before posting an EMAIL FORWARD to your website? TBH Part of the reason I’m so befuddled by this is that I really feel like your site is one of the few that presents reliable info on PCOS without assuming all women are trying to conceive or are invested in their periods. That you’d post something like this is just… careless, which is not a feature I associate with your blog.


      Don’t waste time discussing MY viewpoint, all it is, is simply MY viewpoint, not gospel. I can’t possibly know what works best for YOU. Ask questions. Get clarification. If it works for you, advocate for it. If it doesn’t, speak out.

      This is contradictory — you’re saying the original post isn’t your viewpoint, but then are criticizing people for criticizing that viewpoint, which seems like it’d satisfy the “speak out” suggestion above.

      You’ve all got brains and I assume they’re all intelligent. Put the to good use for YOUR good! :)

      Which is why I also linked to two other sites talking about healthcare reform.

      I’m not a part of your network, but I think a good site for you to link to would be this one: http://www.womenmatterwiki.org/allwikis

      It’s actually non-partisan, and would provide an opportunity for your readers to talk about their own ideas for policy reform.

  16. says

    Nick: I could easily suspect that he had a creepy vibe, and that’s why women didn’t want to spend time with him.

    All women? Every single woman he met picked up that he was crazy? I wish I could believe that. Ted Bundy had no trouble getting dates. And this guy did date some earlier in his life. If he was good enough at hiding the weird to hold down a job, he could’ve hidden it long enough to get somewhere with some woman or another. Remember too that women are well-trained to explain away men’s faults and blame ourselves for them – this makes it even easier for crazies to lure us.

    I agree that entitlement factored in on some level – at the very least, we have a society that watches men prey on women regularly and does NOT rank this way up on our priority list of Things To Change. That alone should make killers feel entitled to prey on women. I also think he sounds a little like that commenter we had who couldn’t get a date because he didn’t look like a model and women are all about the looks, and my response to him was that if a man is only focused on gorgeous women, the more ordinary-looking women who are attracted to him are rendered invisible, so he *thinks* no one’s looking at him twice when in fact it’s just not the ones he *wants* who are looking at him twice. And, yes, men in this society frequently get the idea they deserve a supermodel girlfriend just for showing up, so it wouldn’t surprise me if that was part of his thinking.

    Anemone, that sounds more like it. Consciously or unconsciously, I think he was making an excuse, and an implausible one at that.

  17. Izzy says

    Oh, man, Sodini. And all the “nice guys” coming out of the woodwork on other blogs to talk about how of course they’d never ever do anything like that, but the poor man was in so much pain and nooooobooooody understaaaaands what it’s like to be loooonely and I just want to punch them in the face. Because seriously? While I think society’s “if you don’t have a partner, you fail” message is both screwed up and pervasive…well, first of all, if you really want a partner and can’t get one you’re likely doing something wrong. (As Jennifer says, you don’t get a supermodel just for showing up.) Second, I’ve been single for a while, I’ve known other people who were single for a while, and none of us killed anyone; if you’re a grownup and you’ve got two hands, you get no sympathy from me.

    Dude didn’t kill women because he couldn’t get a date. Dude killed women because he was an evil fuckhead who wanted to kill women. And the guys who are trying to make this all about the pain of being a single guy in today’s society? I’m tempted to use the phrase “evil fuckheads” about them too. Certainly tasteless and horrible.

    Okay, I’m going to go stick my head in the freezer now.

  18. says

    What also concerns me about the focus on Sodini’s dating life is that, once again, no one’s digging for the real answer to what the hell makes a person that crazy. There are indications that his mother was abusive. The Occam’s Razor version of this whole thing is pretty obvious: his mother made him crazy, and he transferred his conflicted feelings about her onto other women, eventually resulting in murder. This is such a common recipe for making a sociopath or psychopath that it’s described in textbooks.

    If that sounds sad, it is. But I’m not offering it as an excuse. Most abused children don’t even grow up to be abusers, let alone killers, so clearly there’s more to it than “his mother abused him” (if indeed that was the case). If we asked what more there was to it, we might learn something useful and eventually find ways prevent people from getting to the point Sodini got to.

    Instead, we accept crazed men killing women, like it’s a fact of nature rather than something society can encourage or discourage.

  19. Anemone Cerridwen says

    I’m in the middle of rereading “Why They Kill” by Richard Rhodes, which is a must-read for those who really want to get this stuff (though not an easy read). Abuse, horrification (watching helplessly while others are also abused), and coaching (act this way yourself). Then the decision not to take it any more and start dishing it out when the chance comes up.

    Criminals talk about how they don’t know why they do these things, but they’re just reciting scripts the shrinks give them. They know – it’s about dishing it out instead of having to take it anymore. Nothing crazy about it, just violent. Bleh.

  20. says

    But there’s a third option to “dishing it out” or “taking it” which doesn’t seem to occur to the abused kids who turn into abusive personalities themselves: stop taking it without dishing anything out. Many abused kids stand up directly to an abusive parent (in self-defense or defense of another family member). In adulthood, even more of us cut off or find ways to limit and control the abusive parent’s access to us. So it’s not “eat or be eaten,” as they would have us believe. You can simply choose to stop taking it. (It’s not an easy solution, especially when relatives aren’t supportive, but it is simple.)

    So why do these kids ignore that option and become abusers? Is it an inherent flaw in their characters? Is it really that they just crave the power of being abusive and have learned it from an expert? Or is it that they had no support from anyone and a sort of Stockholm syndrome set in and they really didn’t even grasp the third option? If we knew, it just might possibly empower us to do something constructive as a society.

  21. Anemone Cerridwen says

    Stockholm syndrome, I guess. I think people rise to the best example they’ve been given, among other things. And Alice Miller talks about enlightened witnesses – people who relate positively to the person growing up and who can see what is going on. Not everyone has one of those. Teachers can make a big difference that way.

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