Links of Great Interest: “We are human??”

The REC Boyz Center in Detroit caught fire a few nights ago. Its clientèle are primarily young GBTQ men, and AIDS Prevention Michigan needs your help in order to continue delivering the HIV/AIDS information and testing services this population so desperately needs. Internet miracle time, people.

Saudi employer abuses woman.

DIY abortions on the rise

German pop star tried for infecting people with HIV.

DCPS fails female athletes

Girls in Zimbabwe able to access educational resources despite pregnancy

Ground Zero’s slave graves

Middle school racism

10 worst masturbation stories

From Jocelyn:

the Miss Manners of privilege

Hate crimes against Latinos are on the rise. So is state-legislated harassment.

Here’s a interesting review of Questionable Content

“Does Blizzard hate women?”

Great post on generosity and labor at Feministe

LuLuLemon posts about loving your body then gets CALLED OUT as a crap brand for women wearing a size larger than 10. I’m loving the comments.

Speaking of call-outs — Peter, Paul, and Mary told off the National Organization for Marriage for using their version of “This Land is Our Land” to support marriage inequality

Nina Hartley on porn and atheism!

Ally-ship: You’re doing it wrong. Why “We are human” doesn’t cut it.

…vh1, what the fuck? No Latin@s on your greatest artists list? Well, that seals it. I was already planning on doing USLT artists for Hispanic Heritage month (9/15-10/15) but now it’s serious fuckin’ business.


  1. The Other Patrick says

    Are we human? Or are we dancer?

    Sorry, that’s what went through my mind. If you’re interested, I can dig more into the HIV trial, it’s the kind of thing I normally don’t follow in the news.

    Does Blizzard hate women? At least they’re mighty clueless. The RealID Mega-Fail, and now the single player campaign of Starcraft2. As I wrote in my comment at the link, it’s extremely obvious that the women are depicted differently (beautiful, natch) than the men (strong and tough). In SC1, Kerrigan was left behind and turned into the zerg queen – questionable by itself, but at least she didn’t act like a victim, but like someone who was freed. She was used as a puppet, she was turned into a weapon, but she was done with following orders, she did her own thing. Now, this independence is re-fashioned into something planned – so she didn’t really do her own thing, see, but was controllable all the time. That, together with the fact that despite being one of the (if not THE) standout characters, she gets no arc, no motivation, she is just a plot device to first spread chaos and war and then be saved by the white knight.

    And as for white in that knight, there is only one person of color in the game, and that is a guy with a very thick (Caribbean?) accent who even ends up using a fricking voodoo doll (that misfires for comedic effect, of course). It’s a really disappointing development, especially since I’ve gotten into watching SC2 matches (e-sports) and it’s full of men, of course.

    Advice from a cartoon princess is awesome, by the way. I want more of this series, now.

    (and now I go read links I haven’t read yet)

  2. The Other Patrick says

    OMG! So I started reading the lululemon comments and wanted to see what size 12 even looked like, and I googled it and OMG Mom Logic? Is this right there a woman, a mother nonetheless, calling other women fat? At size 12?! Is this what you go through, not only pressure from advertisers and society? Fuck. Sorry, but I am horrified.

    • says

      YES. When I was 11 and 5 pounds above chart weights for my height, I was hassled by doctors to lose weight and called “fat” at school. Of course, even the skinny girls thought they were fat and castigated themselves for it. I think the logic was: “if I was skinny enough, my life would be awesome, and my life is not awesome, so I must be fat.”

  3. The Other Patrick says

    We are human – that is one thoughtful essay. Coupled with what I just read about Olivia Munn, this part rings very true: “Because nothing about the way I behave or comport myself does anything to change the deeply entrenched, racist views of the majority.” Just like women can fulfill the expectations of patriarchy or not, that won’t change the expecations because they’re not based on real observation, anyway.

    I’m interested whether Nina Hartley’s comment about radical feminists is controversial; when I stumbled on some blogs by radical feminists, I have certainly had similar experiences in that the arguments were very dogmatic and not too fact-based. (of course, there’s this, too)

    Miss Manners of privilege: wow. I also really like this comment there: “If I had a heritage, I would like to think that I would gladly want to tell others about it.” Like, a heritage is only if you’re not white.

    The masturbation stories: not only is vajayjay used there, but I am struck with how many of those (funny?) stories involve shame about masturbation (“catholic girls don’t do that”, “she humps her bear” for a decade, and so on). Damn, do we have hiccups over sex.

    • says

      Screw my heritage, I’d rather brag about the things I earned. My ethnicity is the least important part of who I am, it’s just something I was born with and have no control over. I’m not particularly interested in spending my valuable time educating someone on the aspects of a culture in a country my grandparent wasn’t even born in. Use google or wikipedia and stop pestering me. Yes, my last name is ‘foreign’. There are 6 zillion genealogy / etymology websites and books out there, you don’t need to interrupt and other me.

      The Miss Manners of privilege is a middle-class WASP and has serious difficulty seeing beyond that, up to and including likening harmless etiquette practices of other cultures to slavery, cannibalism, and FGM. She’s got some issues, which is why after reading that blog post I signed out of her forums and deleted the bookmark. I prefer to discuss etiquette with people who aren’t rude boors. But in her mind, she can’t possibly be rude, so I’m just looking to be offended and I’m a horrible person for calling her out on her privilege. She did post in response to the (polite) calling out I did of her privilege on the blog even though she declined to allow it to be visible to the public. That was what her little ‘I could choose to be offended at the people calling me out on my privilege but I won’t because I’m just such a better person than them’ response was all about.

      Bah, she’s batshit anyway, that was just the last straw for me.

      • The Other Patrick says

        Wow, your experience fits and yet makes it so much sadder.

        Though I just googled “Goblin” and I must admit, there seem to be conflicting sources about your ancestors’ culture. *g*

        Totally agree about heritage vs. accomplishments

        • says

          One problem I have with strangers asking people where they’re from is: we all know white people come from lots of different places, but how often does a stranger walk up to a white person and ask where they’re from?

          And the reason is: heritage is a way of explaining yourself. White people need not explain themselves in white-dominated societies. They belong automatically.

          If you really want to know someone’s ethnicity because it’s just so interesting to you, get to know them a bit first. Save these questions for friends and acquaintances. I love the comment thread on that article, too – lots of good points.

          One final thing: in the situation described in that article, the man is also taking advantage of, shall we say, “customer privilege.” That’s where people figure a retail clerk is a captive audience who has to tolerate them. This can lead to something innocent and even pleasant, like lonely older people telling you stories. But on the other end of the spectrum, it can lead to creepy stalkers. Then there’s all the shit in between, like people who want to preach at you about something. This is not cool. Good rule of thumb: if you would not walk up to a stranger you admire and say/ask X, you should not walk up to a retail clerk and say/ask X.

          • says

            —-how often does a stranger walk up to a white person and ask where they’re from? —-

            I’ve noticed it only when the white person has an accent unusual to the area. However, in cases like that, the person is usually actually ‘from’ somewhere rather than just a native who happens to be different from the ‘norm’. I find it more justifiable to ask about an accent than an ethnic trait, if done politely. At least, when I’m the target, anyway, otherwise I’m really only inclined to ask if it comes up in the conversation. I’m not comfortable with potentially triggering unpleasant memories that may be associated with someone’s immigration. Got plenty of my own, and I didn’t even switch countries.

            —One final thing: in the situation described in that article, the man is also taking advantage of, shall we say, “customer privilege.” —

            No kidding. The truth is, had the woman in the article expressed any sort of displeasure, even polite displeasure, at being treated like an ethnic stereotype, her job would have been on the line. Between the othering and the power dynamic, I just don’t get how anyone who purports to be concerned with basic decency can condemn the woman for being made uncomfortable.

            But then, Miss E-hell has never had to actually work for a living either.

        • says

          My love of goblins is a Froudian thing.

          I could talk about my ancestors all day, some of them did amazing things. But those were their accomplishments, something I need to live up to or refuse to live down too, not something with which I should be credited.

      • says

        *muffledscream* Oh, my. I used to frequent E-Hell when it was a Delphi forum. After that, there was a break-away when many of her subjects objected to the draconian hammer she wielded (among other things) on the board-and I had the privilige of being banned, along with several others, just for checking out another Delphi forum!

        The rejects moved to LJ, started up their own E-Hell Mark II. If anything, the modding at E-Hell II was as draconian as the original.

        And now the original has a website? I’ve been out of touch! Looking through the site, other than some nice design, it hasn’t seemed to have changed much.

  4. The Other Patrick says

    Oh, and (sorry for the many posts, but I can’t edit my comments) anyone surprised at DIY abortions being on the rise? It’s not like legalizing abortions leads to so many more abortions, just safer ones, mostly, and having specialized abortion clinics, harrassing /attacking them (and never forget Dr Tiller) – yeah. Good work, Pro Life.

    • Patrick McGraw says

      The prohibition against government funds going towards abortions pisses me off. “I don’t want my tax dollars going towards something I consider immoral.” That’s one of the trade-offs of being part of a society – there will be taxes, and you won’t approve of everything they’re spent on.

      • Raeka says

        The small, petty, vindictive part of me really wishes someone would start a movement about tax money supporting Abstinence-only education –it grates on me that my tax money is being spent on programs that are completely ineffective against lowering abortion rates, but NOT on providing those abortions.

        How about I take my money that would have gone to Abstinence-only programs and give it to a pro-choice organization, and you take your money that would have gone to state-sponsered abortions and give it to an anti-abortion organization, and we’ll call it good.

        It just all seems so unfair :(

        • says

          Yeah, really. My tax dollars support a fucking LOT of things that are immoral to me. Why don’t I get the option to fuck up every bill that goes by with my personal moral agenda? Oh, right – I don’t have a huge lobby on my side.

  5. Unas says

    As someone who was greatly anticipating the game, I too am greatly disappointed with the way in which Kerrigan was featured in the game.
    When they first revealed the art/renderings of Kerrigan (as ghost) my reaction was, “so this is what she looks like nów?” It seems like they substituted Nova for Kerrigan. Except for the fact that Nova has a small role in the game as well; so much for human female diversity in the SC universe.

    The ending of the single player campaign was an enormous let down as well. From the beginning of the final missions (a chaotic all-in attack on the zerg home-planet) I was expecting Kerrigan to close her trap on the human forces, Raynor barely escaping (or not) and Blizzard then having a set-up for Heart of the Swarm. Seeing it playing out completely as a straight ‘knight saves his princess’ had me sitting behind my screen protesting what I was seeing. To me it does not seem to fit the character (of Kerrigan) nor the series.

    On the other hand, this is just the first part of a trilogy, so there is still some way to go and Kerrigan will have a part to play. At the end of the Zeratul missions we find out that he has had visions of her having to play a part in relation to the arrival of the xel’naga (a powerful race which created the Zerg and Protoss). The defeat of the zerg also seemed way too easy, so perhaps Kerrigan planned it this way and she has something up her sleeve. Whatever the next instalment brings us though – Kerrigan somehow still controlling the zerg, a prequel, Sims: Raynor & Kerrigan + spawn – it still does not take away the fact that the final scene of WoL is Raynor in his broad shouldered marine suit, carrying a naked and dazed Kerrigan off into the sunset…

    • The Other Patrick says


      And with the visions in the Zeratul missions, it really seems as if the Overmind foresaw that Kerrigan would defy him and planned it that way, retroactively making her defiance into part of his/its plan.

      The next game is supposed to be about Kerrigan and the zerg, and with more rpg elements. I’ll be very curious how this campaign turns out. I didn’t play SC2, by the way, but there’s a great campaign playthrough on youtube with all missions, and the missions edited a little, so I know what happens and I’ve seen the cutscenes and all. I’ll probably do that for SC2, too. Because I’m too bad at playing the game itself :)

      Also, I noticed that Kerrigan even gets the typical pose in the posters where you see her from behind, her face turned back so you can see her posterior, her breasts and her oh-so-angelic face (the article is so right about the Kerrigan cutscene – other heroes get “last bullets” and similar, but Kerrigan doesn’t go down fighting, she lets go of her weapon. Ugh)

      • Unas says

        Actually she does not let go of her weapon (if by that you mean being zerg/Queen of Blades), it gets taken from her by … *drum roll* … Jim Raynor!
        During the missions prior to the finale you are collecting remnants of a xel’naga artifact, which when you complete and reassemble it becomes a big de-zerg-ifier. In the final mission you have to defend it from waves of zerg and Kerrigan herself so it can charge up and cleanse the planet and Kerrigan. So she does put up a fight.
        In the Zeratul cutscene she also says: “the end comes, and when it finds me, I shall embrace it at last.” So we may assume that returning to her human self is not the goal she is after, seeing that she tries to stop that from happening. And then we’re back to, even if there’s more going on here, it does not excuse WoL’s ending.
        Also in that cut-scene and mentioned in the article: high heels, really!? As zerg, a race constantly genetically adapting itself for survival and combat domination that seems a rather illogical choice.

        • The Other Patrick says

          Nah, I meant in the flashback scene where human Kerrigan is left to the zerg, and she just lets go of her rifle (I think it was conveniently out of bullets, whatever that means in Starcraft).

          also yeah, the zerg high heels are… I mean as a whole, I would have loved it if they hadn’t made the Queen of Blades so “sexily evil”, but more disgusting-looking. Or one of the women not lithe, or one of the men not bulky, but high heels – makes no sense at fucking all. Unless zerglings are shoe fetishists.

          Wings of Liberty (the current SC2 game) is pretty much done, but Blizzard still might to an awesome second part with Kerrigan. Hopefully.

        • The Other Patrick says

          Just for the other readers here: This is the cutscene where Kerrigan is betrayed and left to die.

          This is the oh-so-happy ending.

          Just for completion’s sake here we first see her eyes and then her full luscious lips (beginning at 1:48).

          And just to complete things, this is the voodoo doll scene.

    • Patrick McGraw says


      There’s just so much wrong there that I don’t even know where to start. I haven’t played SCII (my computer can’t run it), but I loved the first game.

      Okay, I’ll just start with the music. SCI had an cool, distinct soundtrack. The music in those cutscenes seemed to be: “You know that that’s popular in soundtracks? Do that, but make it sound exactly like what Lisa Gerrard did in Gladiator.”

      So much for the wonderfully understated relationship between Kerrigan and Raynor from SCI.

      So much for Kerrigan being one of Blizzard’s two great tragic villains. At least Arthas got a proper end.

  6. Patrick McGraw says

    I find the “Advice from a Cartoon Princess” videos very funny in how they pick apart underlying messages in Disney films, but this one was very problematic. “I rejected (Gaston) because he wasn’t a big enough challenge.” No, Belle rejected Gaston because he set off a ton of warning bells.

    They shouldn’t have broadened the critique to include Gaston, because there weren’t any bad underlying messages there. The message there was “Guys like this are bad news, stay away from them. It doesn’t matter how wonderful everyone else tells you they are.”

    • Casey says

      When you think about it, Belle was trapped between a rock and a hard place, either choose the OBVIOUSLY abusive/controlling/manipulative Gaston or work to change the Beast, YECCCHH.

      ….still one of my favorite Disney movies, though. XS

      • Maria says

        Your analogy of rocks and hard places is a good one — she could have literally gone SIDEWAYS and not picked either. She began the movie wanting “a great wide somewhere,” and picking a good man wasn’t really on her radar.

        • Casey says

          OMG I forgot about that…all that “I want adventure in the great wide somewhere/there must be more than this provincial life” thing…how odd is it that all the Disney princesses have an “I Want” song about all the intangible greatness they want to achieve and apparently they gain it by falling in love with/marrying a prince? 😐

          That’s why I think Mulan is the most feminist of the whole lot of them, she had a crush on Shang and they ultimately married but it wasn’t really a big thing on her list of important stuff to do and she proves her capability as an equal soldier.

          (I’m still waiting for a female Disney character to just go her own way by herself, though)

          • says

            The meta-message I always got was, “You can’t possibly realize your dreams, silly girl. Here, have a man who’s been so privileged and pampered he thinks like a two-year-old instead. When he’s not lighting his farts on fire, he’s really not so bad. Honest.”

  7. Elee says

    I like the little Mermaid video better, but Belle was also pretty good. Now I am officially a fan of “Cartoon princess” series. (At least some good use for my Facebook account). The Sassy Gay are pretty nice too, their take on Romeo and Juliet as two suicidal teenagers is what I would like to see more often than the typical Oh how romantic!reaction. The Nadja Benaissa article made me think about the scandal again. On one hand, I understand that it is a lot to bear with 17 and the need to strike out and hurt someone, but on the other hand, there was always something that rang the alarm bells in me. From what I understand she had casual encounters with men who she infected. Even without AIDS there are a lot of things I would rather not be forced to deal with afterwards. It takes two to make the decision to forgo contraceptives (well, at least, if it is a consentual encounter), and to do it with someone who is a stranger? I so don’t buy this whole innocent unknowing act from her partner. What I suspect is, he saw someone semi-famous, pretty, young and in a vulnerable emotional state and wanted to exploit it.

    • Shaun says

      Unprotected sex is a stupid decision, especially with a (near-)stranger. It doesn’t mean, though, that you deserve a death sentence, something which she reasonably knew she could be inflicting on others (whatever attempts she made to convince herself otherwise). Whatever your suppositions about her unknown partner’s mental state, her being “young and pretty” doesn’t absolve her of that responsibility.

  8. Patrick McGraw says

    The series of Questionable Content reviews was excellent and spot-on. QC is my favorite webcomic, for many of the reasons addressed.

    I was also pleased to discover the term “non-evident disability.” As someone with NED, I’ve been looking for such a clear term for some time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *