Links of Great Interest: FIND. ME. SOMEBODY TO LOOOOOVE.

Signal Boost: Friends of Pine Ridge needs supplies for a school nurse. 

Signal Boost: Strange Horizons is looking for editors. 

Here’s a Spotify playlist of Whitney’s best.

A love letter to atheists.

Occupy Valentine’s Day!

From Jenn:

An article by US Rep Jackie Speier (CA), discussing her bill that deals with what the Secretary of Defense’s call the “epidemic” of rape and sexual assault in the military. “Victims deserve an impartial investigation and the opportunity to have perpetrators tried in a military court of law. My bill, the STOP Act (H.R. 3435), takes complete authority and discretion out of the hands of commanders and gives that authority to objective experts.” It’s already been done in other countries, so it should work in the US. And maybe then it will serve as a model for civilian law enforcement in dealing with sexual assault, where objective expertise is also lacking.

From Tytania:

The link will take you to the application page for Mccammon
Competition at Fort Worth Opera. Women are eligible from age 21-32.
Men are eligible age 21-35. This is an organization that receives arts
funding and they are using it to stack the deck in favor of male
singers. Nice.

This is my own post trying to explain why I feel strongly that age
limits in competitions should not discriminate by gender.

On Spirited Away. 

From Casey:

From SF_Drama, apparently the ARKH Project game is rife with iffy
shit (like how they’ve got nothing to show for 2+ years of work
besides some concept art of the two main characters, (drawn by a white
cis hetero ally) yet they’ve acquired over $5000 in donations).

From Jenn:

Recent photo spreads celebrated the beauty of plus-sized models. Good for them, but there’s still one problem: The models they featured aren’t plus-sized either!!! Most of them wear between a 10 and a 14 — all sizes you can find in a traditional store. And no one is waltzing into a plus-size store to shop unless she really can’t squeeze into that size 14.

Whitney Houston and homophobia

Is The Help totally soul-sucking or just regular?

Patricia Stephens Due died.

The anatomy of an unsafe abortion. This will break your heart. Donate to NARAL.

From SunlessNick:

Chris Brown’s been invited back to the Grammys.  Sasha Pasulka breaks down why this is gross (and the organisers somehow manage to do even worse than victim-blame Rihanna).

From Casey:

An in-depth look at the history of Lego toys and its systematic
eradication of it’s original gender-neutral play and advertising,
resulting in that awful “LEGO FRIENDS~~” girly-girl line of toys (it’s
a two-parter).

The effects of language on decision-making. Posting this one for the language nerds — interesting things about tenses there!

The science behind Adele’s “Someone Like You.”

Editing the Bible to exclude women.

“This is what God’s love feels like.”

Jesus Christ, is this “Let’s Not Talk About Consentweek? XXL editor responds.

From Jenn:

VideoText report.

A bus driver had a seizure, and the bus was running while he was more or less unconscious. A mother waiting with her kids ran alongside the moving bus, got a third grader to open the door, got onto the bus and stopped it, and then stayed with the driver until he came to. (Side note: some people are making ableist assumptions that the driver knew he was likely to have a seizure and took a driving job anyway. Truth is, seizure disorders, strokes and other incapacitating ailments usually make their first appearance without recognizable warning signs.)

The View talks feminist histories.

From Casey:

From Shakesville, “Just in time for Valentine’s Day, a Florida judge
ruled on Tuesday that a man involved in a scuffle with his wife treat
her to an evening at a local bowling alley and a romantic meal at Red
(massive trigger warning for DV and rape)

More from SunlessNick:

A Florida judge has ordered a man convicted of domestic violence to take his wife out on a bowling date.  Oh, and buy her flowers first  –
Because apparently shoving her against the sofa with his hand on her throat was very very minor.
Melissa at Shakesville sums it up succinctly as, “You are shitting me.  You have to be shitting me.”
What I especially like, for sufficiently hateful definitions of like, is how this sentence is also by definition imposed on the victim in the case, whether she wants to go on this date or not.

From Casey:

Ms. Magazine tells you 10 things you need to know about Native

What, no links to the Native blogosphere? Here’s a link round up to get you started.

Also from SunlessNick: An article on the prison industrial complex.

From Casey:

From Womanist Musings, a Black man (who may or may not be gay) is
assaulted outside a convenience store by the Pittsburgh Jack City
Gang. Even though they shouted “NO FAGGOTS IN JACK CITY!” as they beat
him, it doesn’t count as a hate crime for some reason.

Time thinks Americans are flaky flakes.

From Jenn:

Bus driver leads kids off school bus before it bursts into flames (there’s video). While some want to argue she was just doing her job, others point to the Concordia: most of the time, that captain’s job was pretty safe, but the one time it got dangerous, he abandoned the passengers who needed him.

From Casey:

A DA Journal from Danish feminist Humon, wondering if men make a
spectacle of themselves and women are passive because they’re
encouraged to do it or if it’s an innate biological urge to impress
potential mates. (personally, I think the whole post is garbage, plus
the logic used reeks of Psychology Today-style evo-psych…it’s also
annoying that people are praising her for being a feminist that
“doesn’t jump on victimizing women” so much. Ugh, she’s a garbage
feminist as far as I’m concerned.[/tangent]

 From Sarah:

Okay, in case you don’t know, Mass Effect is Bioware’s big space epic
trilogy. One of the things about it is that there’s no official
version of the player character Shepard. They have a default male
Shepard for advertising material, but he’s more of a placeholder than
anything else.
And, they don’t just have him anymore. There’s now an awesome FemShep
in the trailers! *squee!*

Buffy talks abortion.

From Casey:

From Womanist Musings, a YT video of a guy named Triple J
illustrating how to be a good ally (although the irony/hypocrisy of
him wearing a Derpy Hooves t-shirt burns).

Besides the Derpy Hooves shirt, it’s also pretty problematic that
there’s a cut-away gag where a (female) slash writer gets attacked by
a tiger (a plush tiger, but still). Because of that, I’m not surprised
this video was recommended by Neo_Prodigy, who’s gone on record saying
he wants to track down slash writers and strangle them with piano

Patient C describes a day without.

From Casey:

From Tumblr, Congressman John Fleming (R-Louisiana) falls for an
Onion article stating Planned Parenthood opened an $8 billion
“Abortionplex” and posts about it on Facebook. People have to tell him
it was satire.

From Tumblr, Dan Savage tells a lesbian stuck in a private Catholic
school to “just tough it out because it gets better” even though her
parents are probably going to send her to debilitating reparative
therapy for her gayness (also, women TOTES have more fluid sexualities
than men ‘cuz he knows some lesbians who married men).

(there’s also a link at the end to a Rolling Stones article about a
Minnesota school who institutionalized a “Just Tough It Out” policy
for queer youth who are bullied)

This person is violating the trust of his youth by posting their quotes to make fun of them. I wish I knew what org he worked with so I could contact his ED.

From Casey:

From Shakesville, another instance of Republicans cutting off the
nose to spite the face (what else is new?).


  1. Azzy says

    Re: Mass Effect 3 trailer

    Usually I try to avoid reading comments on YouTube, because I’m convinced they will one day contribute to my early death, but I took a look to see what people think about this… and it’s not as bad as I expected. There were one or two douchefucks who commented negatively, but they were promptly dogpiled by pretty much every other commenter defending FemShep! It seems generally accepted that FemShep is more badass than ManShep, which I think has a LOT to do with Jennifer Hale’s fantastic voice acting. I mean, I don’t really know who the voice actor for ManShep even is. Some Canadian dude, as far as I can remember.

    The thing is, I’ve never seen this before. I’ve never seen video game nerds actually defend a female character over a male one. I mean, it might have happened before, who knows… but on YouTube, land of douchebags and skinheads? I’m pretty sure that’s unprecedented.

  2. Casey says

    SHIIIIIIIIIIIT I didn’t realize I sent in so many links! >_>V
    I’ll try to calm down on that (also, I DO have Native Appropriations on my faves/blogroll, it’s just the last time I checked it, there weren’t any updates after late December/early January ;)).

    Anywhoo, regarding the Ghetto Hikes Tumblr (for now):

    Yikes. How completely gross and exploitative of this guy, not to mention a massive betrayal of trust. Taking nature hikes are supposed to be a GOOD thing. I can only imagine how bad/embarrassed one of those kids will feel if any of them has a Tumblr account and stumbles upon “Mr. Cody” sneering at them with supremacist contempt. Also note how the subtitle explains he “Takes urban kids ~(of all races)~ on nature hikes”, like that absolves him of any racism. Like what, you’re not saying “LOL BLACK PEOPLE TALK FUNNY AND SAY STUPID THINGS” but rather “POOR PEOPLE TALK FUNNY AND SAY STUPID THINGS”?

    A.) I highly fucking doubt it and
    B.) Even if that were the case, classicism isn’t any better.

  3. Patrick McGraw says

    Thanks for the Lego-related intro to Feminist Frequency, I expect to watch a lot more of her videos.

    As a life-long Lego fan, I too was really bugged by the new “friends” line, not simply because of the gender stereotypes, but also because, as FF notes, the “minidoll” scale separates the line entirely from the existing Lego universe. It’s telling that Lego makes plenty of living-shopping-and-eating sets aimed at adults, like the Grand Emporium or Medieveal Market Village. So why segregate “girls sets” so definitively?

    I also loved Sylvia Sybil’s “quick note.”

  4. says

    I cannot believe the Too Short thing, and while XXL’s apology sounds good on the surface, apparently they’ve done this sort of thing before, so fuck ’em. If it happens once, it’s a mistake. If it happens twice, that’s just the sort of person/company you are.

    I wasn’t a Whitney Houston fan, but it’s always really sad to me to see someone succumb to drug/alcohol issues (which seem to have at least played a role in her death). I don’t think everyone realizes what tremendous pressure entertainers endure – yes, the money and perks are great, but she was filming The Bodyguard all day and working in the studio on an album all night. No one can function like that without drugs, and even with the drugs, there’s a long-term crash you can’t avoid. But the music industry is probably the worst for not only expecting entertainers to keep up with schedules like that, but also providing the drugs so they can keep up with it just long enough for all the agents and labels to get theirs. What happens to the artist after that – well, who cares? They’re disposable.

  5. Patrick McGraw says

    Another thing that really bugs me about The Lego Group’s “Friends” line: these are actually pretty nice sets. They’ve got a number of very useful elements in rare colors (turquoise, lavendar, and pink elements were hard to come by) and would make excellent additions to the City line – except they were deliberately made in an incompatible scale.

  6. Casey says

    Jennifer Kesler: I cannot believe the Too Short thing, and while XXL’s apology sounds good on the surface, apparently they’ve done this sort of thing before, so fuck ‘em. If it happens once, it’s a mistake. If it happens twice, that’s just the sort of person/company you are.

    I read that and got squicked out hardcore. One of the comments on Madame Noir said something that needs to be repeated, about how stuff like this is a part of the reason people commit rape (and are raped) at younger and younger ages, because people like Too Short encourage it and media platforms like XXL promote/endorse it.

  7. Sabrina says

    Patrick McGraw,

    This is also my biggest issue with the sets. The “girly” colours and themes? Well, just because it’s girly it’s not inherently bad. And boys might also like those things, so why not? But the new figurines? It’s “Boys are from Mars and girls are from Venus!” as a design decision come to life. It just separates groups of kids when they should rather encourage them to play together, mix the sets and build fun new things! Like this:

  8. says


    Exactly. It didn’t even occur to me to add this one into my article on how non-NPDs can end up committing rape, because I guess it didn’t occur to me that people are giving kids tips on sexual assault. It’s always scary when something makes me realize *I* am not cynical enough.

    But there’s another underlying problem, and that’s the lack of advice about consent. If a boy hears this from some rapper, but thinks his parents might just drive him straight to the cops and leave him there to rot if he ever did such a thing, he will reconsider the rapper’s advice. But since most parents don’t talk to their boys about this stuff, it’s not that hard to imagine a boy thinking this rapper knows what he’s talking about, and that he wouldn’t suggest something that was wrong or criminal to kids, since this society supposedly filters stuff to avoid that.

    The after-the-fact apologies just aren’t cutting it for me.

  9. says

    Patrick McGraw,

    I’m flattered, but I didn’t write it. :) I only added the last comment about being a queer woman. You can see the source at the bottom of the post, in parentheses: Love Life Live Die.


    There’s a lot of stuff going around about The Arkh Project. Some of it is just plain wrong (the project started December 2011, so 2 months ago, not 2+ years), and for the rest I suspect it is based in racism/transphobia and ignorance of the crowd-funding model. They criticize Arkh for not having a design document, despite some dude named Tim Schaefer raising $100,000 for a game without one. They criticize Arkh for focusing on concept art first, not realizing that visuals are what sells the game to more donors. Etc.

    Really, the biggest thing that makes me think it’s bigotry is the constant misgendering of Riley (whose preferred pronouns are they/them), even after being corrected. SF drama avoids this, but almost no one else I’ve seen does. If Arkh’s detractors can’t even allow Riley their right to their own gender identity, I can’t take anything else the haters say seriously.

  10. Casey says

    Sylvia Sybil,

    When it comes to criticism of the Arkh Project, really, the only people who I think have valid criticisms are SF_Drama (i.e., the black main character not really looking all that black, having said black character wear a dress they ripped off from a runway show, putting a Japanese character in a Chinese dress ‘cuz HAY MY CHINESE FRIEND REQUESTED IT, IT’S NOT APPROPRIATION/INACCURATE LOL, the fact that the Squishy Wizard is a caricature of a two-spirit (and apparently looks like Shakira?), the fact that Riley went on a tirade against black people who apparently “half-ass” being otakus (and repeatedly calls them n*ggers in said tirade)…it’s all a big mess.

  11. The Other Anne says

    You know, I was raised with legos. It hasn’t really been until recently that people seem to have made such a big fuss about the whole “girl” aspect of that, whatever that means. I liked to build things with legos. I made huge kingdoms, submarines, planes, whatever. I think a big kudos must be given to my parents because they did their best not to genderize my siblings and I. We all got car racing games, legos, whatever. And yeah, my sister and I got the girly stuff too, because we wanted it too. A LOT of girls are coming into my work and buying these lego Friends, and that’s great! But it further cements “regular” legos into “boy land”, a place where girls dare not enter, where superheroes and dinosaurs and sharks roam, and all the other things so commonly found where boys products are and so rare to be found for girls.

    But then, I found “I <3 Dinosaur" and apatasaurus earings at Claire's (and promptly bought them) so in small ways maybe things are changing. Sort of. Not really. Sigh.

  12. Tristan J says

    Sylvia Sybil:
    Patrick McGraw,
    There’s a lot of stuff going around about The Arkh Project. Some of it is just plain wrong (the project started December 2011, so 2 months ago, not 2+ years), and for the rest I suspect it is based in racism/transphobia and ignorance of the crowd-funding model. They criticize Arkh for not having a design document, despite some dude named Tim Schaefer raising $100,000 for a game without one. They criticize Arkh for focusing on concept art first, not realizing that visuals are what sells the game to more donors. Etc.

    The difference between the Arkh Project and Schafer is that Schafer has produced highly-respected (at least within the adventure game community) games (Day of The Tentacle, Grim Fandango, Psychonauts, Brutal Legend). He has about twenty years experience in the video game industry, enough contacts in the industry to BE a major contact in the industry, and a cult fanbase, so people trust him to back up what he’s offering, and they have a general idea of what he’s going to make based on what he’s made before.

    Arkh, on the other hand, have zero experience in the industry, and, to put it diplomatically, have made a few amateur mistakes that give cause to question whether or not they even have goals, let alone can achieve them.

    The situations aren’t really comparable.

  13. says


    Side note: I’ve never actually seen proof that Riley was the blogger behind the screen name that posted those rants. The post being linked to as “proof” is one where Riley mentions being white-identifying in the past, with no specific screen names.

    I get that there are valid criticisms. I just don’t see how one can make the leap from “there are some problems with character design in the very earliest preliminary stage” to “so no one should donate their money to the project”. (No one here has made this leap, but a lot of people have.) I mean, I’d rather have a video game with a Black protagonist who has some design flaws than one with a White protagonist. At least Arkh is doing something, even if there are some problems with how they’re doing it. I don’t think the people criticizing Arkh are trying to constructively criticize, you grok me?

  14. Casey says

    Sylvia Sybil: I don’t think the people criticizing Arkh are trying to constructively criticize, you grok me?

    I agree with what you say to an extent, because most of the people who are “criticizing” (read = attacking) ARKH are doing so for all the wrong reasons, ie, BAWWW REVERSE RACISM/HOMOPHOBIA/MAYBE SEXISM~!!1 Whereas most of the stuff discussed in the SF_Drama post is pretty valid, at least to me. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got a bone or two to pick with a handful of people on SF_Drama for their hypocrisy; saying Riley accuses anyone who disagrees in the slightest with them as being “white-identifying” (which reeks of Neo_Prodigy accusing any queer person/POC/QOC who disagrees with him of either being a “house queer” or a “house negro”) while simultaneously dog-piling on any supposed dissenters with “OMFG STFU HOW CAN YOU BE THIS STUPID AND STILL FUNCTION BLARGH”, combined with the fact that if you’re a furry they’ll harass you so bad it derails the thread (as has already been illustrated in my link). I’ve even seen them dismiss legit comments that contribute to the thread just because you ~might~ be a furry. In another thread one person was talking about how she was emotionally manipulated/prude-shamed by her boyfriend and someone replied “I’d feel bad for you but I saw your icon” (the icon is a cartoon koala bear girl, I think).[/end rant]

  15. says

    Just a quick note on Humon: she (?) made a quite problematic strip referring to the Julian Assange case. Unfortunately, I can’t find it. Maybe there also was a trans issue some time…

  16. Casey says


    How problematic was it (ie, was it a LOL RAPE/victim blaming kinda thing)?
    She might have wound up deleting it due to TEH DRAMAZ…I know she deleted a picture or two having to do with one of her characters raping his own (underage) daughter ‘cuz he’s TEH EBIL~!!1one

  17. Casey says


    Oh great, the whole “LOL WOMEN CRY RAPE” meme? This is an aside, but I also hate how she’s constantly taking potshots at feminism/feminists as “self-deprecation” because since SHE’S a feminist, that makes it totes okay! I guess I’m a NO FUN ALLOWED kind of person but as far as I’m concerned, the last thing feminism needs is its own kind making fun of us for being “LOL MAN-HATING LESBIANS WITH HAIRY LEGS AND FLANNEL SHIRTS”. I think she drew Lilith (Adam’s first wife) as looking kind of like Andrea Dworkin in a recent strip because some people consider Lilith a feminist icon.

  18. says

    meh. I know why I don’t look at her page anymore. I mean, okay, she tries harder than most of the artists but the bar is quite low compared to all the “look, titties!” pictures on Deviant Art and OH YES, I remember something! *g*
    I’m under the impression that her take on people of color is a weee bit problematic (e.g. there is a picture “on the beach” with many of her main female characters, and (white) lesbian women are allowed to not look traditionally female and all the white women (around 5?) show a certain kind of personality in how they look at you, but the only black woman looks … seductive). Great.
    But what I just remembered was a conversation between the black guy and a white guy she sometimes makes stories about (sorry, I don’t know any names) and the white guy lectures the other one on how white producers promote a certain kind of hip hop because it cements the picture of evil black men. This is SUCH a fail because the fact that the white guy explains the motives behind the music the black guy is listening to is supposed to be the joke. *wah*

  19. Casey says


    I recall her writing a journal not too long ago about how people tell her she “can’t do/write/draw certain things regarding her POC characters (IE, the black couple)” and how she scoffed at that because other POC think she’s brilliant and she just thumbs her nose at haters or SOMETHING. It had to do with the black guy’s cousin (who he hates) having an “African heritage costume party” where they all dressed like stereotypical native Africans in feathers and jewels (and were half-naked, natch) and how LOL HILARIOUSLY AWKWARD it was of one of the White guys to dress as a big game hunter/slave-trader and he wanted to bone the black guy’s cousin or something….ugh.

    Concerning the Ghetto Hikes tumblr, according to Jeff Fecke it’s a big ol’ lie (maybe?):

    You know those awful Ghetto Hikes tweets? They’re by a wimpy white dude from Texas who has obviously never met a black person. Fuck that.

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