Thursday, December 30, 2010

Stupid Christmas Songs

Santa's not "rocking out." He's just really frustrated with some 
of the  stupid songs he has to listen to.

Christmas may have passed, but there are things about the holiday that stay with you long after it's over. Like songs that get stuck in your head. Now, I love me some carols. But there are some horrible, horrible Christmas songs out there. These are a few of them...

Monday, December 27, 2010

Weekly Joy

This week: Hamilton Wesley Wigglebottom

Monday, December 20, 2010

Weekly Joy

This week: a sleeping bunny



What can I say? Bunnies make me happy.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Weekly Joy

This week: a bunny

Image source

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Attention Whores

The idea for this post started a couple of months ago, when Lady Gaga wore a meat dress to the VMAs and spoke out about Don't Ask Don't Tell. Many internet commenters were insistent that Lady Gaga is not committed to gay rights, and that the entire effort was just to get attention. The phrase "attention whore" came up a few times. This bothered me. Since then, I've paid more attention to the way that celebrity women are talked about online.

Some examples (trigger warning for misogyny and wishes of death):

Ke$ha
I’m tired of seeing this dirty slag… can someone please inform her that her 15 minutes of fame are up?
Snooki

Snooki–because the world needs another no-talent fame-hag. 
Please dear God just make it go away..please…..
On a gif of Snooki floating through space:
Shame we can’t make this happen in reality – fortunately for me I’m not in the US, but I’ve seen enough pictures of this … *ahem* woman(?) … to know she’s a waste of oxygen!

Tila Tequila
Bitch should be kept in a damn cage.
this whore isn't dead yet?

Lady Gaga

She is disgusting, a completely irrelevant object. How can anyone look up to this woman.
god someone please set her on fire
When will this attention whore fall of the radar?

Lady Gaga and Yoko Ono

"I've been a talentless fame whore for decades. Let me take your hand and show you the way."

Most of these comments are from that pit of slut-shaming and homophobia, ROFLrazzi. The last one is from Jezebel.

There is so much wrong with the phrase "attention whore" itself, not to mention the way it is used to reinforce the dismissive and eliminationist language aimed at women who dare to live publicly, that it's taken me this long to figure out how to approach the subject. First, I'll address why we shouldn't be using "whore" as an insult. Then, why we shouldn't be using "attention seeker" as an insult. Finally, I'll talk about the implications of the entire phrase, and the way we talk about celebrities.

Foot

Wanna hear a funny story?

Yesterday, I went out with some friends to a pub, had a couple of beers, as well as a lovely time.

When I got home, I was in a fabulous mood. I was singing my favourite Christmas carol, and I thought to myself, "you know what would both express my cheer and look really cool? One of those spinning flip things."


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I have not been very involved in the Canadian politics blog-o-sphere. One blog that I do follow - and one of the first to feature me in its blogroll - is Canuck Attitude. I was shocked to read that the proprietor of that blog, Bruce McDonald, recently died, apparently taking his own life.

He designed this graphic, signifying, "no surrender" in the fight for gay rights.

My heart goes out to all those who knew Bruce. If you don't know who he is, please read Simon's tribute to him.

Weekly Joy

Ever get the feeling that life is too serious and you just don't want to deal right now?

I've decided that once a week I will post something simple that makes me happy.

This week, that thing is this tortoise:

OMG! STRAWBERRY!!!!1!1!!!!1

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Fuck FCUK


French Connection's "This Is The Man/This Is The Woman" ad campaign has been around for many months now. It has bothered me right from the start. The Man in this campaign is presented as active: the copy is in all caps, and often in quotations - he speaks for himself, in an assertive voice. The Woman is passive: the copy (with standard capitalization) makes observations about her appearance. In the example above, The Man says, "DO NOT DRESS LIKE CHILD." Apparently this maxim does not apply to The Woman, of whom it is written, "The woman is not undersized. The jacket is oversized. But the effect - it is the same." The Man asserts rigid standards of masculinity, while The Woman is infantilized and objectified. 

Today I went to the mall. At French Connection was the most gratuitously sexist window display I have ever seen.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

WUT?


Found this on a tumblr and had to share it.

Apparently your abortion affects the fertility of animated lions. 

Abortion is a serious subject. And yet, so often, anti-abortion treatments of the subject end up making me laugh.

UPDATE: I couldn't let Space-Jesus miss out on this one...

Monday, November 29, 2010

It's Not My Job To Flirt With You

Not your girlfriend.


As regular readers will know, I've worked in call centres for years.

Often, people tell me that I have a pleasant voice. Sometimes, guys flirt with me.

"Can we try to reach you some other time?"
"Only if it's you, sweetie."

"Thank you for your time."
"It was my pleasure. It's not every day I get to talk to an attractive young lady like yourself."

I've had guys ask for my phone number. "So, uh, can I call you sometime? That sounds fair, doesn't it?"

I've had drunk guys repeatedly ask me to come over.

Once, a (sober) survey respondent told me all about his business successes, and suggested that I come and join him in Saskatchewan.

When I was doing customer service, a guy called in and asked me what I was wearing. "Business casual." He hung up.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

How To Get Rid Of Telemarketers And Survey Researchers


I was bored at work today, so I thought I'd make a helpful guide for the people who are sick of getting calls from the place where I work. Here's how to get telemarketers and survey researchers to stop calling you. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

My Brain Is Not Like Your Brain



One of the annoying things about conservatives is their infatuation with the self-made myth. If people just work hard enough, they can be successful too! You try to talk to them about the systemic obstacles that people face. But if people just work harder, they can overcome those obstacles!

I want to leave social inequality aside for a little while. Lets talk instead about the fact that not everybody looks at an obstacle and sees a challenge to be overcome. Some people try to deal with obstacles and are rewarded with crippling panic attacks. Some people don't see the point of trying at all. Some people, the harder they try to accomplish something, the more the areas of their brain that are needed to complete that task shut down. Some people are incredibly brilliant and talented, but find it difficult as hell to interact in society in a productive way.

The infuriating thing about conservatives is that they chalk this up to personal weakness when it has nothing to do with will power. It has everything to do with brain chemistry.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

But You Were Right, Kanye!

So, Kanye West has said that he should not have called George W. Bush racist. Which makes me cringe in frustration. What Kanye said on the telethon was emotional and spontaneous. But not a single word of it was wrong.



One of the many things that's wrong with how USians deal with race is that they focus on whether an individual feels racist in their heart, instead of the effect of their actions. This is another example of that. Bush Jr. might personally feel that he cares about black people, but his actions in no way backed that up.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Head & Shoulders: For Hair That's Sexually Assault-able!


There is an ad for Head & Shoulders shampoo and conditioner that's about a year old. I have seen it many, many times, and it is still pissing me off. So now I'm writing about it.

Why does it bother me? Because the ad basically depicts sexual assault.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Monday, November 8, 2010

Anonymous, Sex and Relationships



I came across this on The Daily What. It's a viral video made by Anonymous, based on a 4chan post proposing a silly method for guys to get their romantically attached female friends to sleep with them. It basically depicts deception leading to sex.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Tea Party Bedtime Stories

Other titles I was considering for this post:
"Seriously,WTF is this?" and "OMG, I can't even..."

As you may have heard, some tea partiers have created a "children's book" called The Liberal Clause. Apparently, it's an allegory for the current state of US politics. You can read more about it here. The book is a mess, visually. The drawings are really, really ugly. If I was a child, I would not want to look at this thing one second longer than I had to. Which is good, because ideologically, it's even worse. It's not parable with a simple lesson to be learned. It's a rant that takes a bunch of policy issues that tea baggers get worked up about and boils them down to sheer stupidity. There's enough wrong with the book to warrant an essay, but I just want to briefly address two pages.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

I Hope These Folks Found What They Were Looking For...



A few of the search terms that have brought people to this blog:

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Fauxgressive

faux·gres·sive
[foh-gres-iv]

- noun

  1. The type of liberal who defends this shit.
  2. Gawker.

Melissa at Shakesville says it all.

Half-Monkey, Half-Person: Evolution and Equality

Photo: Young black spider monkey
A monkey.
A human.
A bonobo.

Recently, Glenn Beck said this:
I don't think we came from monkeys. I think that's ridiculous. I haven't seen a half-monkey, half-person yet. Did evolution just stop? There's no other species that's developing into half-human?
First, we did not "come from" monkeys. We share a common ancestor with modern monkeys.

Second, I'd like to address right-winger's repulsion at the notion of our common ancestry with other primates, and its relationship to attitudes about equality.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Doing History Badly


I'm watching this show on History Television called Ancients Behaving Badly. It examines the behaviour of historic figures and places them on a scale between psychopath and goal-driven killer. It's incredibly cheesily done. The episode is about Julius Caesar.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Suspense is Killing Me ... RAGE!


Voted for Smitherman. Waiting with baited breath to see who wins. If Ford is the next mayor of Toronto, I will seriously cry.

UPDATE: Fucking fuck. How the fuck do we go from David Miller to Rob fucking Ford? HOW?!?!?!


I can't believe we've got this asshole with his shitty useless pound-stupid ideas, homophobia, killing Transit City... Ford is a god-damned fucking embarrassment to the city and people voted for him! 


WORDS CANNOT EXPRESS MY RAGE RIGHT NOW. HVGV;og3hhbnrw09H VRGEiage09w4bghng4 THAT WAS ME POUNDING ON THE KEYBOARD IN FRUSTRATION.


I'm done. Good god-damned fucking night.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Funny


So apparently some researchers determined the 50 funniest (English language) jokes, some how. Here is the list. Most of them are not that funny. Only a couple are sexist or racist. A couple of them did make me smile:
34. There was a man who entered a local paper's pun contest. He sent in ten different puns, in the hope that at least one of the puns would win. Unfortunately, no pun in ten did.
And:
48. Went to the corner shop - bought 4 corners.

Reading these made me want to share a couple of my favourite jokes. 
What's green, fuzzy, has four legs, and if it falls out of a tree and onto your head, it'll kill you?

Friday, October 22, 2010

New Comment Policy!

You might notice that I've added a comment policy (see tabs above). It's pretty simple: Don't be an obvious troll.   See the policy for examples and to leave comments.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pretty

Okay, is it just me, or does this: 


make you picture this:

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Message to Men

So, this is on Postsecret this week:

First of all, if a woman with Barbie's proportions existed in real life, she would snap in half at the waist. A real life Ken would not. Just wanted to get that out there.

But that's besides the point.

A Picture of US Politics

Not infrequently do I comment that there is no left wing in USian party politics to speak of. Not infrequently, people argue about this fact with me. The website The Political Compass has given me the means to illustrate what I'm talking about. Instead of placing people on a simple left-right spectrum, the political compass maps people's economic positions along a left-right axis, and people's social positions along an authoritarian-libertarian axis. Here is where US Senators fell as of 2008:

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Princess Boy

I might not have new posts up over the next week. In the meantime I'll just post interesting stuff without comment. Like this video, about a boy who prefers to wear dresses, and his mom, who wrote a book about it that is now being used as an anti-bullying tool. Please share your thoughts on the video in the comments.



As of this moment, the comments on YouTube are actually kind of interesting,if you're inclined to check them out. The comments at The Daily What, which is where I found this, have devolved into a flame war, and Godwin's law has even come into play.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Case For Hyphenated Identities



Back in July I read this article, "What Are We Supposed To Call White People?" by Adriel Luis, in the Race In America section of Change.org. The writer relates an incident where a white classmate got offended by the phrase "white folks". Luis notes that while visible minorities have put time and energy into debating what to call themselves collectively, the same can't really be said for whites. He lists some suggestions for alternatives to "white". The point of the article was not so much to actually raise the question of what white people should be called as to get people thinking about who gets to name whom what and within what framework - Luis points out that not being white himself, it's not really his question to raise.

I, however, am white, and I actually do think that it's a question worth raising. One that I think might possibly have the potential to de-normalize whiteness in some small way. (Equivocal!)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Rejecting Binaries: Men Have Curves Too

In my post on washroom signs, I noticed that one of the variations on the male-as-universal/female as specific trope was, men are people and women are people with waists.

the male is indicated by horizontal vertical lines topped with a circle and the female is a similar design but one of the lines is hourglass shaped the male has a simple rectangular silhouette but the female has an hourglass shape

I was reminded of that the other day when I was walking downtown and passed this sculpture, "The Pillars of Justice" in front of a courthouse:


Again the male figures do not have waists and hips.

Then I saw photos from this fashion show, the theme of which was, "men's wardrobe meets women's bodies". Apparently, this is from the designer's ready to wear collection.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

What A Picture Is Worth


This photo was taken in Copenhagen, by someone who goes by Hanjosan on Flickr. The context of the photo is not given. We don't know where the women are or what they're doing. We don't know what their relationship is or how they're interacting. We don't know what their daily lives are like.

We read our own assumptions into those blank spaces. People look at the Muslim woman's inscrutable expression and see very different things.

"She doesn't look happy."

She looks "timid."

"She looks like she wanted to cry at any minute. Maybe she knows what will come if she gets home..."

"She has a look on her face like 'Where's the stone gonna be coming from???'"

She's a "brave girl."

She's "powerful."

"This sista's got the sass!"

"This girl is a badass. I would not fuck with her."

"The girl holds onto her values but somehow makes her look and her life her own."

What we think we already know determines what we make of new information. Our prejudices are self-reinforcing. We construct other people in our minds and determine who they are before we ever meet them.

If you're reading this blog, you've likely experienced this truth. The different comments that this photo has received are just another demonstration of that.

Family, and the Conservative Inability to Conceptualize Change

Okay, so the Vanier Institute's study about Canadian families was just released, based on census data that, according to the Globe and Mail, "suggests the profile of the typical Canadian family is undergoing some surprising changes." Of course by "surprising changes" they mean, "the same changes that have been taking place for a couple of decades now, and are not surprising at all."

About 42% of Canadians 15 and older are single, though half of them were previously in a long-term relationship, and either the relationship ended or their partner died - a result that makes sense considering how long people are living and our aging population. The aging population also explains the fact couples with children are now the minority.

Couples are getting married less and living in common-law relationships more - often hypothesized to be the result of ebbing religiosity. On the other hand, the report notes that most couples see cohabitation as prelude to marriage rather than a substitute. Common-law couples with children are the fastest growing type of family - nearly 15% of children under 15 live with common-law parents, when twenty years ago that number was less than 5%. Meanwhile, around 66% of kids live with parents who are married, down from 81% twenty years ago.

You can find the entire report here. I haven't had the chance to look it over in detail yet, but it seems very interesting. But then, I'm one of those people who loves looking at statistics and charts. Especially when it comes to the changing nature of the family, I find it really interesting to observe the broad movements in our society, and examine the impact of generational change, waves of migration, economic factors, and law. Good stuff.

Anyhoo, the way that I heard about this study in the first place was that I recently cyber-sauntered over to a Canadian (C)conservative blog that I troll sometimes (called Searching For Liberty, run by a Mr. Harvie), and lo and behold saw a post topped with this image:

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Homophobic Bullying Happens In Canada Too


Canadian gay pride flag


Many of us have been shocked and saddened by the tragic deaths of gay youths that have resulted from homophobic bullying these past couple of weeks in the United States. As Montreal Simon points out, the problem of bullying and harassment has received far less attention here in Canada. This is not because there is no problem. Recent data being collected in Canada on homophobic bullying in schools shows results very similar to those in the USA.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Feminism Ruins Everything


Right Wing Watch linked to an editorial from Concerned Women for America called, "It's (Some) Women's Fault" by Brenda Zurita. It was linked to a while ago (around June 30), and the arguments are even older than that. Really the author doesn't say anything that hasn't already been said hundreds of times over the last twenty years... but I wanted to critique the article. So I did. Because this is my blog and that's how I roll.


Right off the bat it's funny how cagey she's being about which women she might be blaming, when we all know she's talking about feminists. And what exactly is "it" that Zurita is blaming feminists for, you might ask? "It" is the fact that she could not get a seat on the bus the other day on her way to work. Seriously.


Thursday, September 30, 2010

Do You Know What Time It Is?



"Do you know what time it is?"

Working in outbound call centres, I've been asked that question quite a bit, by people who are outraged at being called at 6pm, or 9pm, or whatever time they find objectionable. And I'm puzzled as to what kind of answer the people who ask this question expect.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Sex Worker's Right to Safety Vindicated by Ontario Court

Well, it looks like the new law enforcement regulations that would have made it easier to target sex-workers for "keeping a common bawdy house," that I wrote about here, aren't going to be a problem in Ontario, at least. That law, along with the criminal prohibition on "communicating for the purposes of prostitution," and "living on the avails of prostitution," all of which made it difficult for sex workers to take measures to ensure their own safety, have been found by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice to violate the Charter right to security of the person.

The case does not solve the problems related to prostitution, [Alan Young, lawyer for the claimants] said.
"That's for your government to take care. Courts just clean up bad laws."
"So what's happened is that there's still going to be many people on the streets and many survival sex workers who are motivated by drugs and sometimes exploited by very bad men. That's not going to change," Young added.
"Here's what changed. Women who have the ability. the wherewithal and the resources and the good judgment to know that moving indoors will protect them now have that legal option. They do not have to weigh their safety versus compliance with the law."

CBC reports on the case.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Toronto Privilege





Home, sweet home

I am white, able-bodied, heterosexual, cisgender, well-educated, I speak English as a first language, and I am border-line class-privileged. I am aware of these facts, and make an effort to keep my privilege in check. 

I'm also Torontonian, born and raised. 



I'm For Keeping Fear Alive



On the Colbert Report tonight, the eponymous host lamented the fact that his "March to Keep Fear Alive" only had about half as many RSVPs on Facebook as Jon Stewart's "Rally to Restore Sanity". So, I'd like to speak out in support for Colbert's march.

The reason why has to do with the way Stewart presented his competing event. And I realize that this is the third post criticizing The Daily Show in one month; I really do like the show, which is why I find it disappointing when it falls short of expectations. Anyways, the problem: Stewart positioned himself as a moderate, situated between the extremists of both the left and right, which right away made me suspicious because the left wing really has no political representation in the United States, so whatever "middle ground" there is between political parties is skewed to the right. He showed clips of political activists acting kooky. I didn't recognize most of the left-wing activists. The one clip I did recognize was of Lady Gaga (natch) screaming, "ARE YOU LISTENING?" into the microphone at a gay rights rally a while ago (the question was directed at President Obama). 

Now, I am of the opinion that marginalized people demanding their rights, no matter how uncivilly, are not in the same category as those insisting that the President of the United States is a Marxist-terrorist-antichrist. In fact, I find it profoundly unreasonable to expect marginalized groups to rationally argue that they should enjoy equal rights. As I am fond of saying, it is the nature of equality that it cannot be "given" - equality can only be claimed. I think it's presumptuous of Stewart to position himself the way he has, and that it sets up a false equivalence between activists on the left and on the right. 

Oh, and I'm also tired of hearing that only left-wing extremists accuse W. Bush, Rumsfeld and Cheney of being war criminals, as though the accusations spring from zany opinions, instead of from the fact that engaging in a war of aggression makes them war criminals, by definition. 

Colbert, on the other hand, just straight-up satirizes right-wingers. And that's something I can get behind. 



Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Go Where?: Gender and Ability, Intersectionality and Constructivism



In the massive response to my post, "Go Where?: Sex, Gender, and Toilets," a couple of issues were raised that I want to follow up on. There were a number of people who noted that I left out an analysis of wheelchair access signs. I offer that analysis in this post. But to do so properly, I first have to go back to the concept of the "universal male", and my assertion that some washroom signs depict men as "people" and women as "people in skirts." It seemed like readers took issue with that part of the post more than any other, so I offer further explanation and support for the argument.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Religion Has A Place In Schools


Because I enjoy staring aghast at my computer screen, I wandered over to Glenn Beck's new blog, TheBlaze.com, just to see what was going on. The major complaint of the day seemed to be that some folks in Illinois were protesting the Republican candidate's campaign with signs, one of which depicted Beck with a Hitler mustache. *snort*

Elsewhere on the page was a story covering the shocking news that a middle school class had visited a mosque. Apparently to study it's architecture. There was a video of the kids bowing or some such. Scandal! Indoctrination! And the tour guide was recorded telling the kids that "jihad" means "struggle" not "holy war", and that women could vote under Mohammed. Lies! Brainwashing! Somebody think of the children!

Except that "jihad" does mean "stuggle" - often an inner struggle to be a better Muslim. And Mohammed did improve conditions for women at the time. And I think it would be a great idea for religion to be taught in public schools...

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Daily Show RaceFAIL: STFU, John Oliver


I'm watching The Daily Show. They just had a bit where John Oliver interviewed a fringe candidate running in the primary for the Wisconsin state assembly. The candidate was a black woman named Ieshuh Griffin.

Can you guess where this is going?

The story was that Griffin wants her statement of principle on the ballot to be "NOT the whiteman's bitch." She explained why she chose the phrase, demonstrating a grasp of critical race theory. Griffin talked about "whiteman" signifying power structures rather than individuals, and about the significance of "bitch" as a dog used for breeding. "Okay," I thought, "Makes sense. It's gutsy. But it's rather awesome that she's refusing to dilute her politics. Good for her." Oliver proceeded to mimic the way Griffin analyzed language, as though it was something that only crazy people did. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Meat Dress Vindication!

Cher tweeted:
Loved doing VMA’s ! Lady Gaga rocked it ! Meat Dress was So INTERESTING Up Close. The way it was cut & fitted to her body was AMAZING ! Meat purse was genius ! As Art piece it was astonishing ! No moral Judgement ! Back in the day it woulda been called ” A Happening” ! modern art elicits discussion, introspection & conflict ! Everyone’s talking about it! BINGO!
Thank you Cher!

I realized that I need to do a full post on the phrase "attention whore" and what is so detestable about it. Also coming soon: a follow-up to the washroom signs post, elaborating on the universal male/female as variation idea, which a number of commenters seemed to have trouble with; and analyzing signs indicating washrooms are wheelchair accessible. More substantive content, on the way!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Defending Lady Gaga, And A Personal Reflection On Why I Do



I was looking over the comments at Jezebel's liveblog of the VMAs, and what's with vehement reactions to the meat dress? Folks are saying that it was, "Disgusting, wasteful, unnecessary, yes. Edgy, no;" it was, "too much;" "there can't possibly be a point to it; just a way to get attention." Although acknowledging that it was not real meat [note: to my surprise, I found out later that the dress was in fact made of real meat], one commenter wrote, "there are hungry people in the world and you're going to drape meat all over your body?" They "disapprove."

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Lady Gaga And Being An Ally


It was good to see Lady Gaga not letting an opportunity to make a statement about gay rights slip by. But the way she chose to bring attention to DADT at the MTV Video Music Awards tonight was not the most thoughtful. She had service members, who had either quit or been discharged from the US armed forces because of their sexuality, with her on the "red" carpet. It was was like they were accessorizing her. She was wearing the issue. If she had given the mic to one of the service members to say a couple of words about why they were with her, that would have been better. Let it be about them, instead of about her.

ETA: Lady Gaga's official website is now a banner encouraging fans to go to the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network website and take action against DADT. Yay! :)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Group That Thinks Jesus' Cosmic Tears Can Wash Away The Gay =/= Legitimate Charity




Via Canuk Attitude:

Mark at Slap Upside The Head has initiated a campaign to revoke charitable status in Canada to Exodus Global Alliance. What is Exodus Global Alliance, you ask? It's a US-based "religious" group whose aim is to "cure" gay people with the power of Jesus. They think homosexuality can be "treated" with religion and what is probably a traumatic bout of "therapy". Which is all kinds of degrading and harmful to gay people. Not to mention fanciful and impossible. This group should not benefit from the full registered charity status that it currently enjoys.

To learn more, and find out what you can do, see Slap Into Action.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Nuclear Proliferation: A-Okay If You Don't Stone Women?



On The Daily Show tonight, Jon Stewart made the claim that a major reason why the rest of the world doesn't want Iran to have nuclear weapons is because they stone women for adultery.

To which I say, "Really?"

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Sin-Sational!



If you've been on the internet at some point over the past couple of years, then you've probably seen this photo. I encountered it again, recently. But for the first time I noticed the website at the bottom of the sign. I thought to myself, "that website is probably a hot mess of nonsense." So, because there were more productive ways I could have spent my time instead, I decided to look it up.

You'll be glad to know that the website is now defunct. However, it has been archived. Upon visiting the archive, my curiosity and persistence were rewarded with the following discovery:

Monday, September 6, 2010

What Comes After The Gender Binary



My post about washroom signs has been hit at Sociological Images. 407 comments; traffic to their website doubled on Friday; and it's being translated into French. Yay!

The comments are a mix of thoughtful discussion and privileged "you're reading too much into this... blah-blah-blah." There was one comment that I especially want to address because it contains a sentiment that I frequently see expressed. And it speaks to an interesting difference between how feminists/LGBT activists/allies and social conservatives understand gender.

In the comments someone going by "SP" wrote:
So male/female binaries are unacceptable. Ok. ... 
Why is this idea that the two sexes are biologically different so offensive to most sociologists? If there were a biological advantage to NOT being sexually dimorphic then that’s how we would have evolved, but we didn’t.
Males and females of our species are different. There’s nothing wrong with that! In fact, I think our biological and neurological differences are what make us more interesting as a species. Why is it necessary to obliterate every difference between genders?  ...

Friday, September 3, 2010

♪ I am by no means a sexist... ♫



In the comments on my guest post on Sociological Images (of which there are 328, at last count), someone posted a link to this very, very funny song. Basically, someone takes a mansplaining comment from a blog and mocks it by turning it into a folk ballad. Making it into a song somehow highlights the incongruity of the commenter's assertion that "I am by no means a sexist" and, well, everything else he says. "Lyrics" here.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

I like The Toronto Star



Photos of a Manitoba judge in bondage and performing sex acts turned up on the internet, apparently without the judge's knowledge or consent. The judge is a woman. There are many ways that reports on this happening could take a turn for the disgustingly sexist. Based on public responses to the release of sex tapes without the consent of one of the partners, people - including a number of feminists (*cough* Mary Elizabeth Williams *cough* Jezebel commenters *cough*) - get really victim-blamey and slut-shamey.

And yet, this is the thought that The Toronto Star ends their article with:
[Bruce] Ryder, of Osgoode, believes if a judge isn't involved in anything illegal or something that could give rise to a conflict of interest - such as a citizen's crusade against city hall - their private lives should not be up for discussion. 
"We really have to start by asking ourselves, what exactly has Justice Douglas done wrong?
"Based on what we know so far," said Ryder, "maybe she deserves our sympathy more than our condemnation, because it seems she has been the victim of an egregious invasion of privacy."
Yes. Thank you.