Thursday, April 30, 2009

Solid Democratic majority in Senate fulfills socialists' wildest dreams. Oh, wait.

How odd. Somehow, the banks still won. Handily. Sorry, former homeowners who're now shit out of house, home and luck; you know, if it weren't for the liberal fascists, you wouldn't be in this mess.

By the way, if you haven't been reading David Neiwert and Sara Robinson's comprehensive (and sobering) analysis of the increasingly dangerous rhetoric/atmosphere coming out of the right wing, you really should. (See recent entries as well as series listed in the sidebar).

Lily speaks for me.

This one goes out to Virginia Foxx, (please write your Congresscritter and ask for censure);

Miss California aka Won't Someone Please Think Of The Tiaras Children;

and of course the poor, besieged, soggy NOMmers


while we're at it, let's throw in the drool-n-bile-soaked crypto-fascist talk show hosts who're using the swine flu as yet another excuse to whip up foaming anti-immigrant hatred. Oink, baby.

"Please, don't stay in touch."

Pee. ess.

"For the first time in a nationwide survey, more Americans say they support gay marriage (49%) than oppose it (46%), according to the latest Washington Post/ABC poll.

That 49% supporting gay marriage, in fact, is a significant jump from 2004, when the Post/ABC poll found just 32% in favor.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Oh yeah, if there's one thing I think of when I think of Obama, it's "Shaft."


Sort of in the same way that Jimmy Carter reminds me of Elvis Presley.

And Kyra Phillips puts me in mind of** Xena, Warrior Princess. AIYIYIYIYIYI!!

"This is like my favorite subject matter, especially with you."

h/t matttbastard



Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Specter jumps the shark to the Dem side of the aisle, and...

Pat Buchanan sez that the Republican Party is "heavily white," and that this is "problematic."

Next up: Focus on the Family acknowledges that the church may be having some trouble holding onto gay folk.

And the Catholic Church notes they've been having some problems with the ol' glass ceiling.


Monday, April 27, 2009

Thursday, April 23, 2009

And I didn't get any candy, either.

Talking to random strangers anonymously via this site omegle, at Emmy's suggestion. I dunno, conversation-wise, I think I prefer Infocom, or at least BlogWarBot. However:

You're now chatting with a random stranger. Say hi!

You: "Hi"
Stranger: ..DO YOU?
You: Oh dear, this isn't starting off auspiciously.
You: Can you play "Melancholy Baby?"
You: Whaddya know, me neither.
You: Yeah, the all-caps thing and everything. Oh, wait.
Stranger: this is sort of awkward. let's just make with the buttsex.
You: I'd rather hear "Melancholy Baby."
Stranger: dammit why do you have to be so difficult?!
Stranger: this is why we'll never work out!
You: Like two ships passing, as it were.
Stranger: well. i think i'll go solicit buttsex from somebody else,
then....... ....BUT. I STILL LOVE YOU.
You: It really doesn't get any better than this, does it...

Your conversational partner has disconnected.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Damn right it's not just words

ETA: BREAKING: Jury found Andrade guilty of first degree murder (along with other counts)

Life in prison without parole. Thank god.

Yeah, this is the cheery fucking post, today. Recently, not one, but -two- eleven year old boys, separately, have killed themselves because of homophobic bullying.

mzbitca says:

April 21st, 2009 at 10:42 am - Edit
Everytime I see some homophobic asshole complain about how gay marriage/the “gay agenda” is hurting them I just want to fucking scream. THEIR agenda is basically killing people and they don’t want to see people fucking holding hands or getting married.

And while homophobia is not the -same- as transphobia?** (and yes, there's a separate issue about co-optation and erasure w/in LGBT organizations, but put that on hold for now) Or misogyny, for that matter? or any other form of gender-based oppression? (After all, Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover never ID'd as gay) Let the record show that they have the same noxious roots. Particularly in childhood.

little light says:

April 21st, 2009 at 9:58 am

God, it just makes my heart ache.

And it was so nearly me, too. I remember kids beating me up with teachers watching, who’d smirk and play innocent when I asked them for help. I think they thought it would fix me, you know? I hear in so many of these bullying stories that the people who think bullying is an important part of growing up say, over and over, it teaches children how to fit in, teaches them to be better, teaches boys especially how not to step out of line, and these are important lessons somehow. They think this bullying fixes kids and teaches them not to be freaks. They know it goes on, even encourage it. And some of us survive, somehow, but some of us–like, God, these poor 11-year-old children–don’t.

And you know–you know–there were a lot of people who knew this was going on, and chose not to stop it, because boys will be boys and that’s how kids are and hey, the kid needs to learn.

We need to find a way to give kids other, safer ways out of this. It just breaks my heart.

Little light had her own post on childhood bullying recently. Read it, if you're up for it--there's trigger warnings at the top. And then, if you're still up for potentially stomach-churning, read all the comments.

Still here? Okay. Moving on. The ongoing Angie Zapata trial, luddites and germs.

Angie Zapata was raised in Fort Lupton, Colorado, the second youngest of six children. Early in life, Angie’s family knew that she was transgender, but it wasn’t until around age 16 that she began living her life full-time as Angie. Being a woman was who Angie was - an incredibly loving daughter, sister and aunt. As a transgender woman, she faced harassment, bullying and exclusion — and eventually death. In July 2008, Angie Zapata was brutally murdered with a fire extinguisher because of anti-transgender bias. She was only 18. Zapata is survived by her mother, Maria and siblings Monica, Gonzalo, Stephanie, Ashley, and Nicole.

In high school, Angie endured harassment from other students and received little support from school administrators. In early 2008, Angie dropped out of school and moved to the city of Greeley, where she rented her own apartment. Babysitting her nephew and four nieces became Angie’s full-time job. She planned to move to Denver to pursue her interest in fashion and makeup as a cosmetologist.

A vibrant everyday Greeley teenager, Angie was an integral part of her family and community. Angie’s sister, Monica Zapata, recounted to The New York Times that, “We loved to take her out, because she got so much attention. I couldn’t even take her to Wal-Mart because people would turn around. Everybody knew Angie.” Although her friends and family were supportive, Angie was no stranger to the difficulties of life as a transgender woman. Monica Zapata said of the harassment Angie faced at school: “One time she came home crying saying, ‘Why, Monica, why won’t people accept me?’”

While the precise details of their meeting are not known, it is believed that Angie met the man who has admitted killing her through a mobile social networking site. On July 17, 2008, Angie Zapata was brutally murdered in her Greeley apartment. Two weeks later, Allen Andrade was arrested. Andrade has been charged with first degree murder, aggravated motor vehicle theft, identify theft and a bias motivated (hate) crime by the Weld County District Attorney.

The trial marks the first time that Colorado’s gender identity-inclusive hate crimes statute has been applied in the investigation and prosecution of an anti-transgender murder case.

You can follow the updates on the trial through Twitter. ETA: warning, details may be triggering.

But, so, yeah, words mean things. And in case you thought it stops when you enter the nominal world of grownups, or even that it's just limited to the "bad apples" like Andrade who actually commit the murders: here's the all-too-common-transmisogynistic trope playing out within the trial:

to wit, not only "She asked for it," but according to the prosecutor, she doesn't even get to be recognized as "she," and THAT'S -why- in this case she "had it coming," basically.

This story in the Greeley Tribune makes my blood boil. Not, surprisingly, the coverage itself, but the defense tactics in the Angie Zapata trial:

The first few times, it almost seemed like the public defenders were misspeaking.

But then, those watching the murder trial of Allen Andrade started muttering under their breaths. Witnesses on the stand continued to correct the attorneys questioning them.

Family members and friends echoed repeatedly, “my sister,” “Angie,” one by one on the stand Friday as public defenders Annette Kundelius and Brad Martin questioned them about “Justin.”

Ok, so got that straight? The defense is ungendering Angie Zapata by using a male name and pronouns. Hammering home that she had a “male” body. That she was “really a man.”

Well, what’s the difference, some more clueless cissexual people might wonder? First, this is a matter of respect. Angie lived and died as a woman. Her family and friends were adamant about that, even in the face of persistent ungendering. Of course, this is a criminal trial, not generally regarded as a place for respect. But neither is it supposed to be a place for poorly reasoned argument. Make no mistake, this is a cheap, dirty tactic.

More importantly than respect, this sets up an impossible standard for trans people to meet. Even if we out ourselves–as Angie Zapata clearly did–we are nevertheless “proved” to have been lying. It means that living her life as a woman, having the name of Angie, of itself constitutes an act of deception. In the trial’s mini-opening statements, the defense said:

“This case is not about judgment of a lifestyle,” Martin told the jury. “It’s not about whether Justin [sic] Zapata’s lifestyle was right or wrong. It’s about a deception and a reaction to that deception. … Justin’s Moco Space profile was that of a female, not of a transgender, and it certainly wasn’t that of a man.”

This article here lays out the reasoning in its title “Andrade: Stunned Victim or Homophobe.” Here, Andrade is improbably conjured as the VICTIM, not the woman he brutally bashed to death. Because obviously, a trans panic “victim” couldn’t simply walk away, couldn’t simply have been mistaken, couldn’t go “nope, sorry, not for me.” No, he’s so victimised–traumatised–by Angie’s sheer existence as an embodied trans woman with a penis, that he was forced to kill her.

Get it now?

(That's a rhetorical question. If the answer is "no," or if you're planning to argue,*** you need to -not- do it here. Yes, it's taken as granted that you're not a murderer, really. Just don't).

** fascinating. The automated spellcheck doesn't recognize "transphobia." It gives "homophobia" a pass, though.

***Kristin said...

...No matter what (and across a wide range of political viewpoints), it seems to be taken as unproblematic to center cis points of view on your experiences because cis points of view must always be validated. No matter that you're specifically writing about experiences that cis people do not have, there still seems to be this instinctive impulse to center cis experience.

...And there's a fair amount of entitlement in all of this, eh? I'm starting to think... I mean, so I've certainly fucked up in this kind of way, but here's the thing.... When cis people start to feel this instinctive urge to center *our own experiences* to the point of drowning out a story of emotional trauma and abuse... When we begin to do this *even though* we are demonstrating an extreme dissonance with the profound pain being expressed... When we can only think to engage with narratives like yours by calling the veracity of your claims into question under the guise of "objective truth"... Honestly? We ought to STFU, stop ourselves from centering our own experiences, recognize what we're doing, and deal with our blind spots without inflicting pain on marginalized people.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Overheard in the neighborhood chocolate shop/cafe today:

"I don’t drink because I do terrible things when I’m drunk. Once this guy was hitting on me, and I pushed him through a plate glass window, head first. Nothing happened though. And I say all these racist things! Only when I’m drunk. But when I get drunk I just…say anything. Is that part of me? I don’t want to be a racist, so I don’t drink."

Friday, April 17, 2009

Bitch PhD=fail.

Follow the links at Questioning Transphobia to see why. No, I'm not gonna bother directly linking, or going deeper into an analysis of -how- she's being such a total asspillbox*. It's the same old shit, basically, and QT covers it all. Just FYI.

*While -literal- pillboxes can have a certain retro charm, I feel obliged to point out that they do not, in fact, cover one's ass. No matter how ironically one tries to angle them.

ETA: What she said.

and particularly what little light said in the comments:

There’s so much to unpack just here:

I didn’t admit, because I know people can be quite sensitive about these things, that I know I wouldn’t be able to work it, no matter how appropriate with a pre-op T-girl. Pity, she was a pleasant enough fellow.

Here’s the assumptions on hand:

1. It’s a normal, understandable, obvious thing that a straight man wouldn’t want to sleep with a trans woman, or at least a trans woman with a penis. He just wouldn’t be able to “work it.” This is unfortunate, because

2. It’s particularly appropriate to engaging in teabagging, considered exotic and degrading in the context of this piece–the kind of act you’d use to hate-fuck someone–with a trans woman. They’re into that kind of thing, or can at least be paid to do it. Both 1. and 2. are really because

3. She, being a trans woman, is actually a “fellow.”

These are just the assumptions forming a baseline foundation for the joke, that Ann Coulter looks “exactly like” a trans woman. You need all those assumptions to unpack that this means that she looks like a perverted man in drag, which is degrading, which is part one of the joke. The other part of the joke is that while it might be acceptable to hate-fuck a Michelle Malkin or Michelle Bachmann look-alike, and therefore by proxy either of those women, someone who looks like Ann Coulter–and who therefore looks like a trans woman–and therefore looks like a man–isn’t even worthy of hate-fucking. She’s not even worth sexually degrading out of hostile feelings, even if she volunteers, which she would, because that’s how trans people are.

That’s the basis for the joke. That’s what’s underneath it. It’s premised on saying that no matter how much you might want to fantasize about taking a neoconservative woman down a peg or two with sexual degradation, Ann Coulter, being or being like a trans woman, is so polluted you wouldn’t even do that because it involves touching her.

Wow, I’m just all over giggling right now. That’s just the funniest joke I’ve ever head. Sorry, BPHD, that you can’t feel “safe” to make a joke like that “yet” because people just aren’t cool enough, and are still too oversensitive, to get your hip humor. Life is so hard.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

(huh huh huh "teabagging" huh huh huh)

I love Rachel Maddow. I do.

ETA: and I <3 Bint Alshamsa, too.

Oh well. -bites lip- Blessums Wepublicans. Srsly, never change. Happy Day Of Amorphous Outrage! And, uh, huh, huh, uh...*ehem*. With the...teabags...there. Yeah.

"You should only enjoy it."

ETA: ooooops, appo polly loggies. THAT'S NOT FUNNY. So wipe that smile off your face right now.

Many conservatives were angered by the segment's bathroom humor, while others merely shrugged it off as par for the course among progressive personalities like Ms. Maddow.

..."I'm not offended by it. I expect it. They have responded to popular sentiment across the country by acting like kids on a playground," said RedState's Erik Erikson, who just days ago was earnestly speculating that Levi Johnston and his sister were in an incestuous relationship.

(I know y'all care deeply, DEEPLY, about all this shit)

Anyway. Like I said. I'm so, so, sorry. Certainly the -last- thing I would ever want for this blog is to be perceived as cheap and vulgar.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Apparently I suck at hiatuses

Well, also, I do take requests, and fastlad, my dearest friend who I haven't talked to in way too long, has asked me to snark about this stupid article, which I will because I love him and also because it's a really stupid article and I feel like being bitchy on a topic that a) merits it b) but isn't important enough to make my brain explode.

It should be short. I mean, here's the title:

Brooklyn Virgin Discovers Naked Dancing"

Here's how it starts:

Somehow it happened that in all the years I’ve lived in New York City, I’d never been to Brooklyn. But when I heard that choreographer Noémie Lafrance had a new show opening in Williamsburg, I decided it was as good an occasion as any to venture beyond Manhattan for the first time. I loved the music video she choreographed for Feist’s “1234” in 2007, and “Rapture”—her piece for aerialists staged on the side of a Frank Gehry building at Bard College—was undeniably awesome. So on Tuesday night, I boarded the L train (heading away from the West Village) and made my way to hipsterville. I’d heard from my more global friends that Brooklyn is a charming borough inhabited by cool young families, gourmet cheese shops, and creative intellectuals. It has parks! And trees! And slow walkers aren’t mowed down on the sidewalk! But I’m what you might call a bona fide Manhattanite. Or, to be more precise, a bona fide Upper East Sider. I’ve traveled the world, I said to myself—how exotic could Brooklyn really be?

Perhaps my tweed J. Crew jacket and Tory Burch ballet flats weren’t the best wardrobe choice for that day, but I overcame the fact that I was a total Williamsburg misfit and hoped my foreigner status wouldn’t be glaringly obvious to the natives. (It was)..

It gets more annoying from there. Apparently girlfriend was shocked, shocked, at the realities of downtown* theatre, from lack of proper accomodations to nekkid performers to I can't even read all that shit to be honest. Short version:

"I'm a total pointless snob with nothing remotely interesting to say and particularly not about this show I'm supposed to cover, (I don't know much about Art, but I know what I -don't- like, even if I feel totally insecure about it); but if I write this piece in an archly kidding-on-the-square 'ironic' tone (see, I AM hip, I know 'irony' is what all the cool kids do these days...maybe) people will think I'm ever so charming and clever and amusing."



The first comment sums it up really:

good riddance and don't come back. we don't need you.

just sorry I never invited her up to my former digs in Queens, and don't I feel DARING for saying that. or, um, not? i did and do consider myself damn lucky to have a (nice, at that) place to live in the city (or anywhere for that matter, look around you you stupid toff) at all?

Oh yeah, and yes, it is depressing that this is a (presumably paid) piece for Vanity Fair and not someone's livejournal, as another commenter noted. Indeed.

(*Williamsburg is often considered an extension or 'new'(er) "downtown," i.e. the East Village moving East. Yes Virginia, that certainly DOES include, nay, is probably by now OVERWHELMED by, a fuckload of privileged gentrifiers and/or other annoying UES twits faux-"slumming" it for the length of the nearly-as-inflated-as-Manhattan-by-now-lease or the evening, respectively, so girlfriend there shouldn't have felt remotely out of place unless she's really so damn insecure that a couple of equally-pretentious hipsters glaring over their black-rimmed glasses gives her the vapors)

Monday, April 13, 2009

We briefly interrupt this quasi-non-hiatus to say: Fuck

Here's why. It's not just affecting LGBT "adult" books either. Also see re: why it matters.

If you'd like to let them know your feelings, here's their express customer service form. or call 1-866-216-1072. or just join the boycott.

good a reason to patronize indies as much as possible anyway. Powell's still seems to be okay, also.

eta: "Book Depot" in the UK looks promising. free worldwide delivery!

eta again: someone cynical theorizes this is a sophisticated trolling effort of some sort. if so, as far as I'm concerned all it means is "hey, still another party is (also) an EPIC asshole!"

and, this is also not the first time this sort of thing has been discussed wrt Amazon, apparently.

but, yeah. "lulz." wtfever. well, hey, if it turns out to be the case I guess we'll hear it from the PR eventually. can't wait for it. so far the response, "skeleton crew" or not, has been less than satisfactory.

In other but sort of thematically related postage: I can't get behind lesbian comic author Erika Moen anymore, much as I've liked a lot of her cartoons in the past. Here's why. And disgusted with Annalee Newitz--another person I -wanted- to like-- for similar reasons: here's why. (including comments section).

O.K. Really, I'm...busy. no more blogging for a while. hold my calls. Really. Oh, and happy Zombie Rabbits And Candy Eating Day.

p.s. Doctor Who special was v. disappointing. why can't Tennant stick around for Moffat? whhyyyyyyy???

later to all 7.8 of my readers...

ETA okay, whether he's actually behind it or not, I think we can all agree that "Weev" is a smug entitled POS

Hay dude. Amazon removed its customer-based reporting of adult books yesterday. I guess my game is up! Here's a nice piece I like to call "how to cause moral outrage from the entire Internet in ten lines of code".

I really hate reputation systems based on user input. This started a while back on Craigslist, when I was trying to score chicks to do heroin with. My listings like "looking to get tarred and pleasured" and "Searching for a heroine to do the paronym of this sentence's lexical subject" kept getting flagged. The audacity of the San Francisco gay community disgusted me. They would flag my ads down but searching craigslist for "pnp" or "tina" reveals tons of hairy dudes searching for other hairy dudes to do meth with. So I decided to get them back, and cause a few hundred thousand queers some outrage.

I'm logged into Amazon at the time and see it has a "report as inappropriate" feature at the bottom of a page. I do a quick test on a few sets of gay books. I see that I can get them removed from search rankings with an insignificant number of votes.

I do this for a while, but never really get off my ass to scale it until recently.

[some code which I have no fucking idea about really]

...and I have a neat little list of the internal product ID of every fag book on Amazon.

Now from here it was a matter of getting a lot of people to vote for the books. The thing about the adult reporting function of Amazon was that it was vulnerable to something called "Cross-site request forgery'. This means if I referred someone to the URL of the successful complaint, it would register as a complaint if they were logged in. So now it is a numbers game.

I know some people who run some extremely high traffic (Alexa top 1000) websites. I show them my idea, and we all agree that it is pretty funny. They put an invisible iframe in their websites to refer people to the complaint URLs which caused huge numbers of visitors to report gay and lesbian items as inappropriate without their knowledge.

I also hired third worlders to register accounts for me en masse.

...The combination of these two actions resulted in a mass delisting of queer books being delisted from the rankings at Amazon.

I guess my game is up, but 300+ hits on google news for amazon gay and outrage across the blogosphere
ain't so bad.

Funny. Really funny.

More on why Amazon still isn't off the hook:

What I think is going on: there is a severe vulnerability in the Amazon flagging-for-inappropriate system, and it's been found and exploited by one or more nerds with too much time on their hands. Amazon's mistake, vis a vis the brave new world of social media, is two-fold:

Refusing to acknowledge a vulnerability. People are reaching the point not just that they like transparency in dealing with people who hold lots of important info on their behalf, but they are coming to demand it. Amazon's "nothing more to see here" approach is damaging to the relationship they have with those outraged by the exploit.
Refusing to acknowledge the pain of affected people. If you have an entire relationship built on trust (with personal info, with commitments to move products, with referrals and wishlists, etc), you have the obligation to have that uncomfortable sit-down when a betrayal is introduced to the relationship. Amazon hasn't done that yet. Yikes.
There's a livejournal blogger out there now claiming responsibility for the exploit. I won't link over, because I actually think he's full of crap, as do those who've attempted to reproduce his exploitative code. It's a well known practice for those with no skillz to take responsibility for things they have no part of to build up their hacker cred. Please. You know what tipped me off, for the record? The references to wanting to have anonymous sex with women and heroin from Craigslist. Fetishy-objectifying of women is common in the hacker community, for sure, but this guy is just… silly.

This doesn't mean that someone didn't come up with something similar– I'm almost positive they did. Which means that Amazon has a serious problem, and they better have a better explanation than the "glitch."

There's a bigger picture here: cultural implications

From a tech point of view, recommendation systems and flag-as-inappropriate tools that aren't built to handle gaming the system are just no good. It's unacceptable that a masterminding giant such as Amazon wasn't prepared for this kind of attack. Especially considering how much it affects Amazon's contract and relationship with the people that provide them with the goods its users demand, and how much users trust Amazon to do the Right Thing.

On a wider cultural scale, as I'd mentioned in the article in the WMC, the cultural implications of these attacks — especially when it's big enough to get this kind of attention — are huge. Geek culture is one of the last vestiges of an overtly sexist and toxic environment for anyone who's not a straight guy, most likely white and middle-class. (Not limited to the nerds of computer love, either– check out this post on misogyny and comic books from Amptoons.) When these attacks occur, it reveals not just the hatred that the hackers themselves have for women and LGBT folk, but the wider cultural intolerance we still have running rampant.

...Some would react by clamping on the anonymity, the level of free speech and the accountability, often all at once. Sure, keeping trolls off your comments section is probably a good idea. Enacting laws making it impossible to operate independently and anonymously online? Bad idea. Very bad. We need to be addressing the root causes of our misogyny, our racism, our homophobia — not piling on bandaids, duct tape and bailing twine to keep people's mouths shut...

Thursday, April 09, 2009


I'm trying to attend to Real Life duties as well as finally catch up on some other writing, so am recusing myself from much of the blogosphere, at least, till further notice.

Okay, there's some kind of Universal Principle Of Something here, just can't quite name it yet.

Am belatedly zeroing in on the comments of a random troll Queen Emily had and was later mocking, because, well...look at this:

I really would rather be the loneliest person in the world than adapt my opinions (which you missed, by the way) in order to have friends. Fair weather friends, and those who demand compliance to some view before they will be "friends" are such a waste of time, wouldn't you agree? I'd rather have enemies than friends like that. At least with enemies, you know someone hates you. With friends who demand some adherence to a principle, you have no way of knowing where their loyalty and friendship lie. Such a lonely existence. Friends! Who cares if I do or don't? At least my friends aren't required to pass an ideological test!

I really would rather be the loneliest person in the world than adapt my opinions (which you missed, by the way).

Ayn Rand, is that you? Camille? Bueller? no, not that...

Dear Person(s): "adapting your opinions" is part of -life.- There's a fine line between "being true to oneself" and "being so ego-invested that the slightest hint of the gentlest disagreement threatens the entire fragile structure." Bless your heart.

It is an excellent distillation of the crucial ingredient in 90% of arguments (on the Internets and elsewhere) that have put these fine permanent dents in my forehead, though, so thank you.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

A trans woman totally stole my uterus in a womens' bathroom.

-deer in headlights stare- ...I got better.

(burn 'er anyway!)

...srsly, stupid people. how frigging hard is it for "progressives" and "feminists" to just agree "yes, if Focus On The Family is for it, we should probably be agin' it?" Especially if it's scaremongering over minorities? dear supposed feminists: you do remember that OH NOEZ EV0L MAN-HATING HAIRY LEGGED PREDATORY LESBEANS WANT UNISEX BATHROOMS was used to help torpedo the Equal Rights Amendment? And that the current iteration of "oh noez scary tranz, tiem for BATHROOM PANICS NAOW" is being brought to you by -exactly the same people?- Who, once again, supposedly only have womens' best interest at heart, yes. Hint: Phyllis Schlafly, despite her presumably still intact female bona fides, is -not- a friend.

Oh, yes, meanwhile, Vermont finally overturned their stupid governor's ruling and made same sex marriage legal, joining Iowa and...well, not California on account of The People Has Spoken, but well never mind. According to people who've been fighting over this for a long time, this latest ruling may well help fuel the momentum to either finally mean a whole lot of longtime together couples don't have to worry about being separated by deportation or denied hospital visitation rights and custodial rights and suchlike; or, the Forces Of Darkness are about to "impose same sex marriage on all fifty states." So, yay on -that.- Maybe in a few years, we'll actually take it for granted that yes, your gonads and/or birth-assigned gender/sex shouldn't be a detriment to marrying the person you love and want to spend your life with.

I wonder how many years it'll take for us to also take it for granted that yes, your gonads and/or birth-assigned gender/sex shouldn't be a detriment to being able to take a crap in peace in a public building.

ETA: Hello.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Asian Women Carnival-First Edition!

Over in the lj comm yennenga, go have a read.

Friday, April 03, 2009

And while we're on the subject of vajayjay problems you didn't know you had to worry about:

(see here for earlier reference)


Best. Review. Evar. Especially since I don't even have to read the original to get the lulz. Be sure to read the comments, too.

h/t thedilettante

Chay Magaine #3 is out

a publication about sex in Pakistani society, from a feminist and gender-inclusive perspective.

Check out the latest feature articles, lots of good stuff.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Derailing for Dummies!!

It's So Easy! Just Add Assholery And Stir!

(found via helen-bop, dilettante, Ren Ev)

I had often pondered attempting something as erm multi-purpose as this. Closest I got was here, I think. This is way better.

My favorite bits:

You're Arguing With Opinions Not Fact

If you really want to excel as a Privileged Person® you need to learn to value data, statistics, research studies and empirical evidence above all things, but especially above Lived Experience©.

You can pretend you are oblivious to the fact most studies have been carried out by Privileged People® and therefore carry inherent biases, and insist that the Marginalised Person™ produce “Evidence” of what they‘re claiming.

Their Lived Experience© does not count as evidence, for it is subjective and therefore worthless.


A In B Situation Is Not Equivalent To X In Y Situation

Your Marginalised Person™ may put in a last-ditch effort to be patient and reasonable by using an analogy. If you are yourself a member of a Marginalised Community™ exercising privilege over the group you’re arguing with, the Marginalised Person™ may use an example of discrimination towards your community and how there are parallels in discrimination towards theirs. This will be to try and appeal to your basic humanity and provide you with an experience you can relate to, hoping you will use that relation to apply compassion.

Don’t worry! You can still get out of this one!

Simply become indignant and be very sure to emphasise that your experience is absolutely and one hundred per cent unique and there are no similarities whatsoever between the two situations. Be sure that you are very derisive of their experience, thereby indicating you believe it unworthy of consideration. You must also behave insulted, so as to indicate their issues are so worthless that it's deeply offensive your own would be compared to them!

Of course, the Marginalised Person™ was not trying to equate the two, simply trying to provide grounds for commonality. It’s very important not to give an inch, however, so feign utter ignorance of this at all costs.

Remember: you want them to feel they really are less than human. It weakens their position and that’s important if you want to win.


You Have A False Consciousness

In conversation, there are few things as degrading, enraging and hurtful than to tell someone their experiences are false, or that their perception of them is.

The idea behind this one is usually that oppressed people are simply too oppressed to know they’re oppressed and therefore Privileged People® have to share their wisdom and insight with them.

This one crops up a lot in issues that affect women: women who enjoy dressing in conventionally feminine ways (they’re engrained in the patriarchal construct of femininity and therefore are incapable of making a choice), women who are kinky, regardless of the gender of the person they play with (they’re engrained in the patriarchal construct of gender roles and therefore are incapable of making a choice) and sex workers who claim to enjoy their work and/or practice it with autonomy (they’re engrained in the patriarchal construct of female sexuality and therefore are incapable of making a choice).

But this also affects People with Disabilities who are routinely told they simply don’t understand what is best for them and need a Privileged Person® to make decisions for them. People with Disabilities are not able to make any decisions for their own protection. Remember to stress that: it’s for your own protection.

With the trans community, you must routinely deny their gender identity by equating their experiences as having happened to someone of the gender they were designated at birth. For example, denying the reality of gender dysmorphia means you can tell a trans woman her childhood experiences happened to a little boy, because that's how she was being raised, and so communicate your belief her reality as a little girl was false, thoroughly undermining it.

In arguments about race, it takes a slightly different form, generally in white people telling People of Colour that they’re “seeing race where none exists”. You, on the other hand, are “colour blind” and we live in “post-racial” times. It’s them who are making everything about race and their experience of racism in their daily lives is simply imagined. If only they could let it go, the whole world would live in post-racial harmony!

You really want to ignore any claims the Marginalised Person™ may make about having done thorough research, deconstructing and unpacking of these issues. You also really want to deny their autonomy. There are few things so infuriating as infantilising an adult and telling them they’re delusional about their own reality. But they need to understand that, no matter what, you know better.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

While we're on a literary note:

An lj comm for a reading challenge: 50 books by writers of color in a year (or pick your time frame).

I have a lot of books I need/want to -finish-, I suppose that would count. my attention span's shot to hell in general wrt finishing books lately, I've noticed (I Blame The Internets). Among them:

"Women, Race and Class" by Angela Davis

"Time On Two Crosses" by Bayard Rustin

and on the SF tip, I've been meaning to give Octavia Butler another go, maybe Kindred, maybe something else.

I want Toni Morrison's essay collection "What Moves at the Margin;" I liked "Playing in the Dark" a lot. ( "Writing Without Whining" is something I could probably learn more about: )

and I think I must be the last person who hasn't read "The God of Small Things," so, one of these days.

In other news: the Klassik Arthers are better enjoyed if we don't have to know they had Teh Homosexshul. It's True You Know.

Okay, literary meme time

Via the lovely Natalia.

1) What author do you own the most books by?

Was gonna say Neil Gaiman or Shirley Jackson, or possibly Somerset Maugham; and then I realized, fuck me, I have all seven of the Harry Potter books…

2) What book do you own the most copies of?

I actually got rid of my duplicates in the last purge I think.

3) Did it bother you that both those questions ended with prepositions?

What for?

4) What fictional character are you secretly in love with?

…mind hazy, ask again later.

5) What book have you read the most times in your life (excluding picture books read to children; i.e., Goodnight Moon does not count)?

Probably “Of Human Bondage” by Somerset Maugham.

6) What was your favorite book when you were ten years old?

When I was -ten- I was reading the friggin Sweet Valley High series. srsly. I had better taste when I was five (The Wizard of Oz and so forth). uh besides that probably Harriet the Spy was up there.

7) What is the worst book you’ve read in the past year?

I don’t think I’ve completed anything that godawful in the past year. Life is short and so is my attention span.

8) What is the best book you’ve read in the past year?

Un Lun Dun by China Mieville.

9) If you could force everyone you tagged to read one book, what would it be?

Collected essays by George Orwell, the one including “Politics and the English Language.”

10) Who deserves to win the next Nobel Prize for Literature?

fuck if I know, I’m so not paying attention…

11) What book would you most like to see made into a movie?

“Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell,” if they could actually do justice to it (I’m dubious)

12) What book would you least like to see made into a movie?

See above re: dubious.

13) Describe your weirdest dream involving a writer, book, or literary character.

Have dreamed at least once of writing a great story that of course I forgot once having woken. Not that weird, but deeply aggravating.

14) What is the most lowbrow book you’ve read as an adult?

I’m going to have to go with the National Enquirer book about Michael Jackson (”Freak!”)

15) What is the most difficult book you’ve ever read?

I’d say “Ulysses” or “Gravity’s Rainbow,” but truth is I never read either completely through or even close. Can tell you all the dirty bits in both of them, though.

16) What is the most obscure Shakespeare play you’ve seen?

It was so obscure I’ve forgotten it.

17) Do you prefer the French or the Russians?

The Russians. They’re funny even in their angst. Or especially. The French are just insufferable.

18) Roth or Updike?

…I guess Roth for “Portnoy’s Complaint,” but I’m not really interested in either.

19) David Sedaris or Dave Eggers?

Not interested in either.

20) Shakespeare, Milton, or Chaucer?


21) Austen or Eliot?


22) What is the biggest or most embarrassing gap in your reading?

A whole shitload of “classics” apparently. A lot of WoC writing I’ve been meaning to get to. Pretty much everything ever really.

23) What is your favorite novel?

Probably “American Gods” at the moment. Used to be “Of Human Bondage.”

24) Play?

Would’ve said “Angels in America” once, seen too many mediocre productions to still think so. “Skriker” by Churchill, maybe, although “favorite” isn’t exactly right.

25) Poem?

“The Queen of Wands” by Judy Grahn.

26) Essay?

“Lear, Tolstoy and the Fool” by Orwell. A couple by Joanna Russ from “To Write Like a Woman” come close.

27) Short story?

…can’t think of a “favorite” off the top. Some I’ve liked a bunch: “Bliss” by Katherine Mansfield, “Grail” by Neil Gaiman (actually quite a few by Gaiman), “Come Dance With Me In Ireland” by Shirley Jackson

28) Work of nonfiction?

Jon Ronson, “Them!” for the lulz

29) Who is your favorite writer?

Orwell or Joanna Russ for nonfiction, Gaiman currently for fiction.

30) Who is the most overrated writer alive today?

Judging by what little I’ve seen of his work, I guess I’d go with David Sedaris. I don’t get it.

31) What is your desert island book?

I’d be too busy freaking out to settle down with a book, sorry.

32) And… what are you reading right now?

Couple of books on leadership by Arnold Mindell, “Love Belongs To Those Who Do The Feeling” (Judy Grahn’s newish collection), Perdido Street Station finally, the latest “Angel” comic (shut up)


I tag whomever the spirit moves, here, there, or anywhere. Here is fine. MOAR COMMENTS PLZ /subtle hint