Links of Great Interest: Keep the Reader Submissions Coming!

Signal Boost: Becky Thompson‘s new book is out!

Signal Boost: Really fantastic discussion of the pitfalls of OWS

Signal Boost: Michelle Murrain is looking for funding for her novel.

Signal Boost: Help underprivileged you have a safe space to read. 

Rates of abuse in lesbian households –> 0%.

Women banned from speaking at an OBGYN conf.

Thank goodness this woman was able to get her abortion funded.

A bit of help for the bicycle-riding ladies.

Not everyone is laughing, but that MIGHT be because they suck.

Oh, Santorum.

A critique of the mental health industry

<3 RuPaul! <3

From Casey:

Here’s something from Clutch Magazine (I found the link on Womanist
Musings) about black women’s biopics we’d love to see.

My personal choice: Biddy Mason. She’s remembered now as a philanthropist, but to be one of the first black land owner, a business woman, etc., in nineteenth century CA suggests to me she was hardcore.

“Education cuts aren’t smart”

Why don’t women care that Common is ignorant? <– Not so sure how I feel about this: from what I remember, several black feminist bloggers did some really great posts on the misogyny in progressive rap. I can’t find them right now, because I’m still unpacking/moving in, but someone help me out here.

Oh, Christ.

From Casey:

Courtesy of SF_Drama on Livejournal:
, controversial journalist Jim Sterling wrote an article on Destructoid about why
Nathan Drake of the Uncharted game franchise would make for a
fantastic homosexual character. Somebody on N4G liked it and re-posted
the article, which resulted in an eruption of comments along the lines
of “Homosexuality is just as bad as rape and murder”, “homosexuality
is a sin”, “just because I don’t want a character to be homosexual
doesn’t make me a homophobe” and “WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO BE GAY WHEN

Hooray for Snowy Day! 

From Spartakos:

I have been hearing a bit of flap about whether the portrayal of
Irene Adler in the new updated version of “Sherlock” is sexist or not.
From what I’ve heard, I think it pretty clearly is, but Moffat appears
to be defending it.

Some relevant links.

Watch out, pregnant ladies!

A review of the American version of Girl With a Dragon Tattoo

A review of The Dovekeepers

The last Rosewood survivor remembers.

From SunlessNick:

One brother sticks up for another’s preference for a female character-centred game (and female-gendered coloured controller for it).

From SunlessNick:

A public proposal rejected.
Of course the story is all about his humiliation, nothing at all about how she must have felt running out as the enture stadium booed her.  The comments are mixed, but there are a few that point out what a pressuring tactic he used on her.
Hooray for Adam Beach
More on hazing, the Army, and service members of color.
… that’s just poor lesson planning.
On politically charged, racist rhetoric.
If only an orange ruled the world.
Uh oh… A strain of TB is saying NO to drugs.
Keep it classy, Republicans.
From Jade:
A fascinating article on one teacher’s approach to gender.
From Spartokos:
Caught this on Radley Balko’s blog (, but it seems
relevant to feminist issues.
From Jade:
I have no doubt that someone else will send you this link, it’s
equally heart-warming as it is heart-breaking. The little kid is
choosing his identity, the older brother is helping him, and the
father — obviously deeply entrenched in the type of false narrative
that Jennifer was talking about — cannot appreciate his son for what
he is.
…there’s a really interesting discussion here about privilege and NPD…


  1. says

    When I first clicked the Sherlock Holmes link, I thought it was going to be the new movies, not the new TV show. Never fear, though!

    dependent on the advice of Holmes’s arch nemesis, James Moriarty. A move that, blogger Stavvers noted, neatly reduced her from “an active force to a passive pawn in Moriarty and Holmes’s ongoing cock-duelling”.

    Apparently the TV show has the exact same problem as the movies do! Isn’t that nice, we can have the same discussion about two different adaptations. *eyeroll*

    The bit about having her as a lesbian with a crush on a man is problematic no matter how you slice it. Is she an actual lesbian who’s “saved” by Mr. Right? Or a bisexual who doesn’t identify as such due to…whatever ridiculous reason the producers have dreamed up?


    Rather irritated at the commenters saying the public proposal woman “should” have said yes in public and no in private…while that is one way out of a humiliating situation, it’s hardly the only one. Yeah, I feel bad for the guy, but it was his idea that backfired. I feel worse for the poor woman put on the spot like that.

  2. Casey says

    Maybe I’m just a bitter prude (LOL), but in Hugo’s post about facials, I guess I agree with CookieMonstress and Purdue’s comments.

    BTW, thanks for posting some of my links! I’m sorry I kinda wound up bombarding you with like 20 links over the course of a week. >_>

  3. Casey says

    …I’ve never met anyone IRL who identifies as poly (and as far as I know, I’m monogamous), so I really don’t know what to make of that video.

    I think you posted the same article twice about the big brother sticking up for his little brother wanting a purple controller and a game with a female player-character. Anyway, it’s scary that the dad was threatening to beat his kid into conforming to gender norms. Makes me worry about other kids being stifled through fear and abuse.

    • Maria says

      Hi Casey —

      Yup, we got so many readers submitting that link that I decided to just keep re-posting it as long as there was interesting text in the message.

  4. TansyJ says

    Can I tell you how happy I am that I am not the only one who noticed the massive Irene Adler fail? I am so happy. By which I mean grinding-my-teeth-frustrated.

    Not to mention that after I saw the movie and was going off on a mini-rant to my BF about how fail Irene’s role was he started going on about how absolutely brilliant her television appearance was. My interest was piqued.

    Me: So, in the television show she completely outsmarted Sherlock and got away with what she wanted?

    BF: Well, she thought she did, but then Sherlock figured it out.

    Me: Argh! was she at least working completely independently?

    BF: Not…exactly, but it was really well done!

    Me: No, no it wasn’t.

    BF: But it was!

    Me: No.

    BF: But she outsmarted Holmes by being completely naked so he couldn’t pick up clues from her clothing!

    Me: NO…just no.

    Like Sherlock couldn’t pick up a million other details from her hair to her grooming to her nails.

    Of course, he hasn’t obsessively read all of the Sherlock Holmes stories like I did as a kid, so he’s less attached to their characters. But it’s annoying beyond all belief to me that we’re finally having decently faithful portrayals of Dr. Watson after years of “portly comic relief” and they just can’t let a woman beat Holmes.

    And a poly/bi Irene Adler could work really well in the modernized Sherlock, but no. The lesbian who falls for the male lead. That’s a much better fit.

    The list of bicycling rules reminds me of Kate Beaton’s awesome cartoon about women cyclists:

  5. says

    That Rick Santorum stuff was comedy gold. Or rather, it would be if he weren’t actually getting votes. So instead, it is vitally important information for American voters.

    The stuff about Romney and Christie are equally good to know…man, I don’t know how the Republican party still exists sometimes.

  6. says

    Maria, I’m not seeing a discussion about privilege and NPD in that article or in the several dozen comments I read before giving up. Or did you mean there’s room for a discussion about that HERE based on the article? Because I so totally see that!

    I haven’t seen this particular Sherlock ep, but I’ve read ASIB and seen the Jeremy Brett version which is rather true to it. The whole damn point of that story is that she is an INTELLECTUAL match to Sherlock. It sounds like they’ve completely undermined that by having Moriarty be involved – he’s the REAL intellectual match. And in the original, she doesn’t use her sexuality to beat Holmes; she uses her brains. There’s no reason for her sexuality to come into it at all. You could also argue there’s no reason for it NOT to come in, but there is: Chekov’s gun. Western filmmaking/TV very carefully follows the rule that you can’t introduce a gun without it later being fired – stories, especially stories told in an expensive medium, cannot waste their time with non-essential details. So by introducing her sexuality, at the very least you push the audience to speculate about how it’s relevant to the story. And this would get very problematic.


    I really think they might be imploding, finally. I’ve long thought a schism was coming between the religious/extremist side of it and the people who are truly conservative. This current crop is so deeply out of touch with most people… I mean, Santorum’s remark about how gays can turn straight so why can’t blacks… turn white? Or whatever the hell he was on about? That should offend racists as well as anti-racists! Or are people even listening? Do they just kind of tune in, hear a few words they liked, and knit them together into something they wanted to hear?

  7. Casey says

    Jennifer Kesler: Maria, I’m not seeing a discussion about privilege and NPD in that article or in the several dozen comments I read before giving up. Or did you mean there’s room for a discussion about that HERE based on the article? Because I so totally see that!

    There’s already a massive discussion of Hugo’s privilege and NPD tendencies surrounding that JIZZING ON WOMEN’S FACES HELP MEN FEEL VALIDATED! article on SF-Drama, if anyone’s interested:
    (hope that link works)

  8. Sabrina says

    Re: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
    I couldn’t bring myself to watch this movie. My bf saw it yesterday and said it was definitely the right decision for me. (I’m just too empathic for horrible rape scenes and other kinds of brutal violence.) For some weird reason the movie got a FSK 16 here in Germany and he said it rather should’ve been a FSK 18. This is particularly egregious cause just a few weeks ago they rated the teen romance “Romeos” FSK 16 as well cause of some trans-/homophobic knee-jerk reaction. After a big controversy they changed it to FSK 12 but still. Somehow these asshats think brutal rape/violence is equatable to a fluffy transgender/gay romance movie. smh.


    I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels that way. The jizz article reads like all that “BJs are empowering!!1” bullshit all over again. EWW, do not want.

  9. says

    “I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels that way. The jizz article reads like all that “BJs are empowering!!1″ bullshit all over again. EWW, do not want.”

    I didn’t read it that way, personally…since the “BJ’s are empowering” argument is usually about how a sex act is SO GREAT FOR THE WOMAN (even if it is somewhat submissive), whereas this is about how this sex act is SO GREAT FOR THE GUY (and not at all a way of dominating/degrading the woman).

    Re: facials…I have mixed feelings.

    1.) I can see how women would see it as degrading, and that is the key point to me, not how the guy sees it. If one partner feels degraded, it’s a degrading act, even if the other doesn’t feel that way.

    2.) That said, there are valid points why it’s still an acceptable practice, DONE CORRECTLY. Some people enjoy sexual submissiveness and even humiliation; some people don’t consider it a big deal, and are willing to do it for their partners; some people may actually enjoy it. And one thing I took away from the article (that I feel it was trying to get across) was really “just cause a guy wants to jizz on you, it doesn’t mean he’s a misogynist”. Which I feel is true.

    3.) By “done correctly”, I mean with discussion and consent by both partners first. Any guy who does it “by surprise” is a complete douchebag. Honestly, this is true for just about all sex acts. Likewise, no acts should be considered “default” or “expected”.

    4.) I admit I find it kind of hot. My wife doesn’t, so we don’t do it. Nuff said.

    5.) I admit I don’t know WHY I find it hot. This could very well be a societal influence through porn I’ve watched.

  10. Gabriella says

    Regarding the rejected proposal: Dude, you propose to someone in public, you risk a rejection in public. Why should she say ‘yes’ just because you were dumb enough to say ‘I do’ in front of the biggest audience you could find? I’ve a nagging suspecion that public propsals are sone so by emotionally cripple men who can’t accept ‘no’ gracefully’ so find the figgest audience they can that a woman can’t possibly say ‘no’ to’.

  11. Casey says

    Sabrina: I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels that way. The jizz article reads like all that “BJs are empowering!!1″ bullshit all over again. EWW, do not want.

    It didn’t come off so much as BLOWJOBS ARE TOTES EMPOWERING to me personally, but rather THINK ABOUT THE MEN’S ICKLE FEE-FEES! HE JUST WANTS TO FEEL BETTER ABOUT HIS “UGLY” PINGAS~!! Which makes me give a massive side-eye (I guess this makes me a selfish and uncaring lover).

  12. Katherine says

    Well, there’s an awful lot of material out there telling them that a big, public proposal is romantic and what women want (TM). I still can’t have any sympathy for him because like you said, it was his decision to propose in public. The top rated comment on the article at least is sympathetic to her point of view.

  13. Sabrina says


    Regarding BJs most reasoning I read is more in lines of “I feel empowered because I give him so much pleasure!”. Likewise Schwyzer’s article and many comments that agree with it read pretty similar – like “I feel great because I make my partner feel clean and awesome!” Not that much difference to me.

    That said, if both partners are into it have fun! It’s just these kind of articles that don’t sound right to me.

    Also, yes, there’s a bit too much “BUT TEH POOR MENZ!!!11” in it.

  14. says


    I agree with Hugo’s point that the facial itself doesn’t automatically mean misogyny and desire to degrade. What I keep questioning is why he felt that point needed to be made, because I’ve never heard anyone suggest that degradation and misogyny would be the only possible motive for a man wanting to do that. Maybe I’m weirdly surrounded by women who bend over backwards to give men the benefit of the doubt, but most women I know are not IMO quick enough to read misogyny in certain incidences of male behavior.

    But Hugo goes one step further and concocts a rather far-fetched rationalization (that maybe spraying somebody’s face makes men feel like their bits aren’t so filthy), and worse, it reads like a guilt trip to any women who don’t care to supply this service.

    Can you imagine there being a big trend toward dominatrix play, and someone writing an article saying “It’s not about misandry, it’s about women trying to feel better about their bodies that don’t look like airbrushed pinup girls”? No, because such a trend would never happen (because women are conditioned to internalize our problems, not expect a man to subject himself to whatever makes us feel better) and because if it did happen, the Republicans would pass a 30-year sentence law against it in record speed, and there would be a public outcry about women abusing men.

    That’s what’s bugging me about the article.

  15. says

    Hugo talks (in Casey’s link) about being diagnosed with BPD, NPD and ASPD. I used to question the NPD part, because he has a record of self-harm that’s inconsistent with that diagnosis (but not with BPD). While he could be narcissistic at times, so can anyone – privilege makes us all behave that way, to some extent, at some times. There just weren’t any of the red flags that scream “NPD” to me.

    Until I read the story Casey submitted recently about him deciding to off himself and his girlfriend. Family annihilators – or any murder-suicide – are understood to fit a narcissist profile:

    The casual ability to decide not only that your life should end but so should someone else’s requires a thinking pattern that just wouldn’t even occur to most personality types.

    This will sound like a nitpick, but Casey, I wouldn’t say he’s “admitted” he has these diagnoses because the diagnoses are not shameful. He has admitted to DOING some shameful things, which I think is what you meant. But having these diagnoses didn’t force him to do those shameful things, and I just want to break down that link, because it functions as an excuse for many NPDs.

    On a side note: it bugs me that people swoon and fall at Hugo’s feet when he tells these stories, because that is the last thing he needs if he’s seriously trying to change his narcissistic tendencies. This is a weird tendency people have with narcissists, and it’s one way I believe society contributes to the problem. It’s very worrying to me not just for the NPD, but for society at large. Had Hitler not killed himself and gone on to launch one of his famous propaganda campaigns detailing his side of the story, how many people would have forgiven him for murdering millions? People seem to get off on forgiving people who haven’t wronged THEM, which dismisses victims as mere props in a drama between Society and The Bad Boy. And people seem to prize folks who do bad things and later confess them over people who manage not to do bad things in the first place – to the extent that sometimes the admission is a brag, and people just ASSUME it’s a confession complete with genuine repentance. So warped.

  16. Copper says

    Jennifer Kesler:
    And people seem to prize folks who do bad things and later confess them over people who manage not to do bad things in the first place – to the extent that sometimes the admission is a brag, and people just ASSUME it’s a confession complete with genuine repentance. So warped.

    Ugh, yes. You always get people crowing about how he’s so brave to admit being a rapist and attempted murderer, and that we should be nice to him because of it (not just in relation to this guy, but any time this kind of thing comes up). They completely ignore the parts where he says it’s OK for him to admit this because he’s talked to his lawyer and he can’t get in trouble for it, or the fact that the place he admitted this was as a comparison to someone feeling guilty because they left the door open and their dog ran away. Or that his anecdote is completely unconcerned with his victim’s welfare, and is all about how he felt.

    And with the NPD thing, I wouldn’t be surprised if he did try to use it as a get-out-of-criticism-free card. He’s already saying anyone who criticises him isn’t a ‘real feminist’, it wouldn’t be a stretch for him to start claiming ableism too.

  17. says

    Copper: it wouldn’t be a stretch for him to start claiming ableism too.

    Fortunately, yes it would be. Shaun pointed this out a few weeks ago, and it’ll be covered in the NPD series if I ever get the emotional headspace together to start posting it, but basically:

    –Civilization is all about people accommodating each other. “Able” people are accommodated all the time, we just take it for granted.
    –“Disabled” people are merely those folks society can’t be bothered to accommodate. These people experience social barriers due to lack of accommodations the rest of us take for granted.
    –NPD does not create social barriers. Studies show selfish aggressive people get ahead at work, and rise to positions of power and influence. And as we’re discussing, people looooove getting taken in by NPDs and their narcissism. While wheelchair use closes career doors and makes like more difficult in many ways (due to lack of accommodation), NPD just helps people get ahead.
    –NPDs, who take the normal desire to believe we are special to a pathological level, and will do almost anything to preserve the delusion that they are extra special, are responsible for a lot of bigotry. Anytime you can wipe out whole groups from the competition for specialness by making them second class citizens, that’s an efficient way for the NPD to serve his own needs.
    –NPDs don’t even experience narcissism as a bad thing. Many report loving who they are and thinking they’re superior to the rest of us, and feel we just slap on the diagnosis because we envy them (yes, I’ll be presenting quotes).
    –The only reason NPDs ever seek therapy is when they have OTHER problems – depression, other PDs, etc. – that really ARE causing them to experience a lack of accommodation from society.

    So NPD is a “disability” how?

  18. Shaun says

    Jennifer Kesler,

    I absolutely LOVE how you broke this down, especially the part about society being all about accommodating people, which I already knew but hadn’t put into those words.

    Also I had trouble explaining this to someone recently, who argued that NPD causes problems in relationships and is therefore a disability (as if one’s bad behavior in a relationship qualifies one as disabled!).

  19. says


    LOL, NPD causes problems in relationships that are, according to the NPD, entirely the other party’s fault for not accommodating the NPD enough. If Girlfriend #1 doesn’t perform properly, he just dumps her and moves onto Girlfriend #2. If any of this was bothering NPDs, at least some of them would seek therapy, but none do.

    Disabilities are things that cause other people to mistreat YOU for no logical reason. NPDs, frankly, are not mistreated enough because just when you get firmly decided “This guy is an asshole who needs a lesson”, they mimic Mr. Nice Guy for a bit and confuse you. This is how they escape the consequences of their bad behavior.

    It’s a damn shame they can’t form relationships for purposes other than mirroring themselves or obtaining narcissistic supply, but you know who actually suffers from that? Non-NPDs who find themselves in relationships with NPDs.

    That’s another point I’ll be making in the series – NPD is a disorder that inflicts suffering on the people AROUND the NPD, not the NPD himself. That makes it totally bass-ackwards to the vast majority of mental illnesses, and that’s why we non-NPDs have a vested interest in talking about it and understanding it.

  20. Shaun says

    Jennifer Kesler,

    I’ve read a lot of interesting things about a trend in SJ communities to center the feelings and experiences of oppressors as equally valid, which is kind of ironically mainstream. This is the narrative that says a rapist is mentally ill, and therefore disabled, and therefore an equal victim to the people he rapes, but I’ve also heard it used to excuse rapists as victims of “society” and merely perpetuators of rape culture.

    These are not the kind of communities I wish to associate with, but some of their ideas may spread beyond those circles into other communities. As well, NPDs and other rapists have a vested interest in using these ideas to defend themselves socially or legally if there actions become known.

  21. says


    NPD is explicitly NEVER a basis for a mental health plea. The law calls it “Narcissistic Character Disorder” because in no way is an NPD unable to control his actions. They don’t even have impulse control problems. They routinely make sure not to rape people in front of witnesses; clearly, they could choose not to rape people when there aren’t any witnesses around. But they don’t. That’s character, not mental health.

    As for non-NPD rapists, I’m not aware of anyone ever experiencing a command hallucination to go rape somebody, but that’s the sort of thing you need for a mental health plea.

    And socially, this make sense too. The best stats indicate that only 1 in 8 abused kids go on to be abusive adults. While they probably ALL end up mentally ill to some degree (at least some depression or PTSD to work through), most of them don’t develop a taste for doing the same thing to others (nor would it make them feel better if they did). It insults all those people who manage to deal with their troubles without harming others, to suggest that abused people can’t help but bring hell on others.

  22. Sabrina says

    Jennifer Kesler,

    I think what Shawn was getting at is that regardless if it actually makes sense or not someone with NPD could try to spin the story around to make it yet again all about them and how they have it so hard because of that diagnosis and can we please now continue worshipping them!!?11
    While I haven’t seen a post like that by Schwyzer himself there are actually some of his fans accusing critics of ableism and how dare we criticising one of the bestest feminists of all time, yadda yadda. /facepalm

  23. says


    I know that’s what Shaun was getting at, and that’s what I responded to…? Sorry, I’m not clear on why you’re pointing this out.

    I’ve lived with NPDs, and the behavior you describe is pretty much 24/7 (except most aren’t diagnosed – they just have it hard because no one understands them, everyone is jealous and out to get them, etc.). The solution? Get the fuck away from them.

    I was offering talking points for Shaun to use when discussing NPD with people who might possibly be reasonable (unlike NPDs, who are never reasonable) and just not quite grasp that diagnosis does not equal disability.

  24. says


    No, I was disagreeing with the people Shaun has encountered who support the idea that NPDs are helpless in their decisions to commit crimes… carefully, without witnesses, while employing multiple forensic countermeasures. 😀

  25. Sabrina says

    Jennifer Kesler,

    Haha, yes, I get it now. 😉

    “that NPDs are helpless in their decisions to commit crimes… carefully, without witnesses, while employing multiple forensic countermeasures”

    From what I read recently Schwyzer himself noted that he has (“had” in his book of course!) a kind of “Jekyll and Hyde” personality – he’d be a totally nice guy in public but very different in private. He fits your description to a t. *schudders*

  26. SunlessNick says

    Something’s only just hit me, regarding the manner of Hugo bringing up his attempt to murder an ex-girlfriend – that he was comisserating with a guy who was feeling guilty for shutting his dog out of the house. The anger I’ve seen at that is about the comparison of a woman with a dog. But presumably the guy shut his dog out accidentally, while Hugo’s description of the attempted murder was clearly one of a deliberate crime, and deliberate attempt to cover it up after. So hidden behind the comparison between woman and dog is an equivalence of crime and accident. Hugo invoked the same logic that’s used to equate rape victims to people walking in traffic. I can’t possibly be the only person who’s made that connection, but I’ve not seen it made elsewhere, and it seemed to be worth voicing.


    But it’s annoying beyond all belief to me that we’re finally having decently faithful portrayals of Dr. Watson after years of “portly comic relief” and they just can’t let a woman beat Holmes.

    They managed it decades ago in the Jeremy Brett series. They should be able to manage it now.

  27. says


    Good catch. Equating accidents with deliberate crimes is a classic NPD strategy. It’s worth mentioning that no one has ever been cured of NPD.

    There’s an online writer called Sam Vaknin who (plausibly IMO) claims to have NPD, to have found motivation to treat it, and to have had some success with that treatment. He doesn’t talk like Hugo. He hasn’t “worked his ass off to overcome” and all that glory talk. He says flat out he’s still a narcissist, even if the PD part has been improved via therapy, and he always will be, and writing about the disorder is his narcissistic supply – finally, an excuse to talk about himself ad nauseum! And yet, he expresses that for the harm he’s done in the past, which he’s now able to regret intellectually if not emotionally, he hopes his writing will help people understand this disorder, whether they’re trying to treat NPDs or just figure out how to get away from them.

    Vaknin, I find plausible. Schwyzer still sounds rather narcissistic to me – which is a problem if he’s not aware that he still has a lot of work to do in that area, and is cultivating himself a little audience of fans who don’t get it.

    As for Jeremy Brett as Sherlock Holmes, I think that portrayal still wins hands-down for me. I really like a lot of elements in Sherlock (particularly the lead actors), but even the first series had enough problems to make me rate the Brett series higher. It’s just the best, and Jeremy Brett REALLY had a handle on the character.

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