Links of Great Interest: Oh, behave.

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Signal Boost: Cherrie Moraga’s new project looks extraordinary

Signal Boost: OMG erotic post-apocalyptic SF/F.

Signal Boost: From  Finbarr:

Petition to allow a transgender boy safe access to the appropriate
bathroom in school. The story really moved me. D:

The Secret Language of Johns

From Tundra:

A hilarious review about the horrible Pride and Prejudice ‘sequel’ called Mr Darcy Takes a Wife. It turns Elizabeth into a simpering
fool, Darcy into a murderer, and has far too much sex.

Thought you might be interested.

From Nuri:

The article is from last year, so apologies in advance if you already know it. Didn’t know whether to post it here or to What Privilege.

Part of the legacy of 9/11

From Sylvia Sybil:

This Christian woman is spending one year living her life as the Bible instructs women to do, in order to illustrate how female-unfriendly the Bible is.

Orson Scott Card published a retelling of Hamlet in which the dead
king was a pedophile who turned everyone gay by raping them. I’m
linking you to my own blog because I’ve already collected half a dozen
links on the subject in that post.

From Shaun:

But holy shit. US Justice System.

From Jennifer:

A Riverside boy allegedly murdered his white supremacist father to stop him physically abusing the boy and his stepmother. This will be an interesting case to follow, since this country largely sides with abusive parents when kids defend themselves or others with lethal force (which is often the only practical defense a smaller, weaker person can bring to bear). Hardly anyone wants to publicly ally with a white supremacist, but just watch – they’ll find a way to frame this as an exceptional case in which the child shouldn’t have the book thrown at him. They won’t recognize that this man’s despicable views are completely irrelevant to whether an abused child has the right to defend himself.

From Nuri:

 I’m sure you’ll get it from other people too, but what the heck!

Annnd from the lovely Leigh — Amanda Waller, TWIG OF POWER.

Comments

  1. Casey says

    Glaming up Amanda Waller and making her acceptably thin is pretty facepalm-worthy, only slightly more facepalm-worthy than the people in the comments sections saying “WELL DC IS DOING A GOOD THING BECAUSE OBESITY IS BAD AND WE SHOULDN’T HAVE OBESE ROLE MODELS PROMOTING UNHEALTHY LIFESTYLES”.

    The gaslighting article was good too and introduced me to a great word I had only heard in passing…the comments section leaves much to be desired though, as always (too much derailing, y’know the ol’ MEN GET GASLIGHTED TOO/WOMEN GASLIGHT EACH OTHER SO THEY’RE JUST AS BAD/LOL SORRY WOMEN ARE JUST CRAZY HURFF DURFF; that kind of stuff).

  2. says

    I LOVE Sylvia Sybil’s link about the Evangelical Christian woman who’s following the Bible to the letter for a year. Part of her point is to prove that no one actually takes the Bible literally, since if they did, the women, at least, would have to live as weirdly as she is currently living. In the same passages where many Christians incorrectly believe homosexuality is being condemned, there are other laws being spewed right and left which those same Christians blithely ignore. And this devoted Christian’s point is to show people that claiming to take the Bible literally is no excuse for using bits of it conveniently as a hammer against their neighbors. Great stuff – always glad to see Christians speaking out for what their faith is supposed to be, instead of what some people want to twist it into.

  3. Dina Bow says

    About that article that said men are smarter than women:
    “Men have larger brains than women and a large brain gives more brain power” – Do they know that humans don’t even use all of their brains? And I hate it when people give a specific definition of intelligence. The definition should be more general. I think intelligence starts at the mirror test. The mirror test is used to see if an animal species is self-aware. If it is, it could be intelligent enough to develop a more specific form of communicating and a culture (like humans did). I heard that dolphins can pass the mirror test and are starting to do this.
    Human women and men can pass the mirror test, so I think that qualifies as being intelligent. Everything else is up to culture and environment. People use the same type of argument for when they want to say black people are less intelligent than white people and it makes no sense.

  4. Shaun says

    Casey,

    Not just that, they straightened her hair too. Waller isn’t even a hero, but she IS an intellectual badass so she does represent an overweight black woman who is frighteningly competent without any powers.

    Probably the only overweight black woman. At least, she was. DC is studiously screwing up every single thing they’ve got going for them inclusion-wise. >_<

  5. says

    Dina Bow,

    Actually, REAL neuroscientists know that men’s brains are bigger because MEN ARE BIGGER EVERYWHERE. Duh? That reminds me, I’ve got to review Cordelia Fine’s excellent book debunking all the really misleading “science” that tells us men are hardwired for this and women are hardwired for that. (For now, one of the big points to take away? Environment has a proven, significant influence on genes, so the idea that genes alone are responsible for anything but a vague potential that environment may or may not allow them to express is unsound.)

  6. Casey says

    Speaking about brains, aren’t women’s brains more densely coiled on average and therefore work “better”? I thought bigger wasn’t necessarily better when it came to grey matter.

  7. Shaun says

    Casey,
    Jennifer Kesler,

    Well, sort of. Men have larger brains to body size, which takes into account bigger bodies. There is a definite correlation between that ratio in a species and intelligence.

    However women’s brains are more densely packed with neurons. And we know the manifestation of intelligence and the ability to create knowledge relies on the creation of unique pathways between neurons–different pathways for different knowledges, actions, and perspectives. And a more thorough study of biology reveals that species with HEAVIER brains per body size outperform species with lighter brains even if those brains are the same size.

    This is just more selective dissemination. A matriarchal society could put in all its textbooks women’s brains are heavier and denser even when a man’s brain is the same size and the men in that society could be like “But wait our brains our bigger” and the textbooks could just blithely ignore this to continue painting the picture they want to paint.

  8. says

    My anthropology prof threw semi-dignified hissy fits whenever anyone tried to use brain size as a measure of intelligence. “I don’t want to know how big their brain was, I want to know if they used it.” He insisted we use evidence such as tool use, fire, etc. when arguing relative intelligences. This is the same person who pointed out that the stereotype of the dumb, brute caveman originated in the ’40’s in France, under the Nazis, and is rooted in racist ideas about evolution and superior breeds of human beings.

    One problem with the mirror test, though, is that it fails to account for culture. Gorillas fail because in their species, eye contact is a sign of aggression.

    Somewhere I saw a study that showed the IQs of low income children rose an average of 3 points a year when they were provided with nutritious after-school snacks. Somewhere else I saw a study that firstborn children have on average higher IQs than younger children, hypothesized to be because having 100% of the parental attention for X amount of time gives them a head start on their younger siblings, who have to share. So a variable this, well, variable probably is affected by gender in a patriarchy (or a matriarchy, I guess). But for some reason when we’re studying males and females it’s all, OMG INNATE INHERENT GAWD’S PLAN! and not, “Hey, I wonder if this is because the genders are raised in different cultural environments?”

  9. says

    Jennifer Kesler,

    Word to all of this.

    Because to a lot of non-Christians (including me), the face of Christianity isn’t your friendly local pastor running the soup kitchen. It’s the Westboro Baptist Church picketing funerals, the Mormons funding Prop 8 and the Catholic Church covering up child rape. So I’m very happy to see a Christian who is not only showing a different face to the public, but also actively calling out those other assholes on their shit. We need more Christians like her.

  10. says

    Shaun,

    Exactly. The problem with all of this is: we don’t really know precisely how brains work, so interpreting differences between them is not even really an educated guess. To use one of Cordelia Fine’s examples: when researches arouse men and women to empathy and then compare their brain scans from the empathetic moment, more parts of the women’s brains light up. Conclusion: women are more empathetic! Except that’s absurd. It could as easily be that we’re LESS empathetic and therefore it takes more brain power for us to reach the empathy level society expects.

    She also talks about a three separate collections of a particular monkey species in different parts of Asia. In one group, the males don’t help at all with childcare. In another, they do most of it and the females do other things. In the third, it’s about evenly split. This suggests their brains are flexible enough to adapt to what the environment needs instead of getting hung up on gender roles.

    This is why I’m convinced we’re doomed to extinction. :D Just kidding, but seriously – if we’re not more adaptive than the “hardwired” people want to believe, we are SO SCREWED the minute our environment changes so that the old gender roles don’t cut it.

  11. M.C. says

    Barely a day goes by without me having to scream “WTF is wrong with you, DC Comics?!”
    First they de-wheelchair Babs Gordon, then they call Lois Lane a trophy wife and now they’re targeting Amanda Waller. Here’s what racialicious has to say about that: http://www.racialicious.com/2011/09/15/epic-fail-of-the-week-dc-comics-drops-the-ball-on-the-wall-in-suicide-squad/
    Sums up my feelings perfectly.
    Oh, and let’s not forget that they also greenlit that horrible racist and sexist Wonder Woman show by David E Kelly, which was thankfully not picked up by the network later on. Which btw leaves Wondy the only one of the DC’s “Big Three” without a movie or show in production. Even Green Lantern has a sequel coming out and the Flash has a movie being developed.

    I think I should just drop anything DC related. It isn’t worth getting upset like that…

  12. Shaun says

    M.C.,

    What was racist and sexist about it? All I knew about it was 1) they stuck Wonder Woman in pants so fanboys were flipping out she wasn’t in a thong, 2) they didn’t pick up the show.

    Not that racism or sexism would surprise me at this point. -_-

  13. M.C. says

    Shaun:
    M.C.,

    What was racist and sexist about it? All I knew about it was 1) they stuck Wonder Woman in pants so fanboys were flipping out she wasn’t in a thong, 2) they didn’t pick up the show.

    Oh yeah, it started out pretty racist with the young black drug addict from the ghetto and got only worse. Here’s an in-depth review of everything that’s wrong with that “Wonder Woman” pilot: http://www.fempop.com/2011/09/16/the-in-depth-review-of-the-horror-that-is-kellys-wonder-woman/

    My main problems next to the racism was that they made Diana torture someone and that they made her lust after a married man.

    Regarding the costume: the problem wasn’t that she was wearing pants, but that they released a pic of her in shiny vinyl pants. And that the corsage had no straps.
    Would the fanboys like to see her in a thong? Probably. I try to stay away from fanboys *g*. But most fangirls I know would like to see a costume like this: http://www.nypost.com/r/nypost/blogs/popwrap/201001/IMAGES/13/lois-as-wonder.jpg

  14. Casey says

    M.C.,

    *reads that whole review*
    HOLY SHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT

    That was one hot mess. @____________@

  15. Dani says

    I’m excited to read more about Rachel Held Evan’s living out OT laws for women literally. It’s great that an egalitarian theologian and blogger is being spotlighted. Her blog (http://rachelheldevans.com/blog) has some interesting posts on it, too.

    Casey:
    M.C.,

    *reads that whole review*
    HOLY SHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT

    That was one hot mess. @____________@

    Yeah, that was my reaction too O_o I am so so so so SO glad this didn’t get picked up.

  16. Patrick McGraw says

    Having already dropped DC, seeing what they’ve done to Amanda Waller just makes me more sure of my decision.

    I knew the WW show would be terrible when it was repeatedly described as being based on the 70’s show, rather than one the nearly 40 years of comics written since then, but this is worse than I thought.

    You know what would have made a great basis for a WW show? Greg Rucka’s run that focused on her role as Themiscyra’s ambassador to the UN. Lots of long-term plots along with action and villains-of-the-week who may or may not be connected to larger plots. Plus Ares is the perfect TV show villain, because he doesn’t want to kill Diana, and she can’t defeat him physically, which means a show where the hero and villain are ideologically opposed and will talk to each other.

    (In the WW show in my head, Diana is Alexa Davalos and Ares is Jensen Ackles.)

    Once again, both DC and WB have no idea how to handle their characters, despite the fact that Bruce Timm and company have been doing a fantastic job for 20 years of animation, fist with the DCAU and now with the DC Original Animated Movies. (In which, I should point out, Amanda Waller was so badass that she was voiced by CCH Pounder and shot Brainiac with a laser cannon.)

  17. Azzy says

    In other, less awful news, Amanda Waller (original flavor) just appeared on Young Justice! Hopefully this will be the first of many other appearances (I’m inclined to believe they’re going to show her working her way up the ranks).

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