Friday, February 25, 2011

Bits and Pieces

Oh, look! I haven't disappeared!

The thing with Attention Deficit Disorder is that it doesn't just mean that you have trouble concentrating on things. It also means that you're prone to hyper-concentrate on some tasks.

If you're wondering why there's been a lack of posts recently, the answer is: puzzles. Lots and lots of puzzles. And a new guitar. And shopping for bridesmaid dresses. But mostly, puzzles.

So now Libya is in upheaval? And Wisconsin? I have no clue what's going on.

Anyways, here is a collection of random feminist-y observations about the unimportant things that have been filling my life. Namely: Some Like It Hot, Get Smart, and hidden object games.

Some parts of this post talk about fictional depictions of sexual harassment and controlling/abusive behaviour. Just so you know.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

New Meme Alert!

Being mocked for your ignorance? That's really sad, but everything happens for a reason. 

See the new ApologistBeiber tumblr for more. 

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Recommended Reading

On Dented Blue Mercedes: Canada: Is the Conversation Lurching to the Right?

Answer: Yes.

That has been the Conservative's plan from day one.

It is depressing. And scary. And why we cannot allow them to win a majority.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

For Trans Equality Write To Your Senators

Some good news this morning; from suite 101:
Bill C-389, introduced by NDP MP Bill Saskay and read for the first time in May 2009, provides rights and protections to the transgendered. The bill, opposed by the Conservative government but supported by the three opposition parties, passed third and final reading by a vote of 143-135. 
The purpose of the bill is to extend the concept of equality to transgendered persons in respect to all matters that fall within the jurisdiction of the federal government. The legislation is to ensure the transgendered have equal opportunity and equal access in order to better meets their needs.
So the bill amends the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code to protect people from discrimination and hate crimes on the basis of "gender identity" and "gender expression".

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

9 Reasons Not To Spank Your Kids

I just read a post by Renee at Womanist Musings, written in response to an article called, "8 Reasons to Spank Your Kids." I agree with Renee's take entirely. Corporal punishment is something I have strong opinions about, and intend to write a full post on at some point. For now I'll just say that corporal punishment is not about what's best for the child, but about breaking their will, as one breaks-in a horse. And I'll quote from an article by Anne McGillivray, in which she summarizes the results of Elizabeth T. Gershoff's meta-analysis of over eighty studies on the effects of corporal punishment:

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Crazy: Addendum

In this post, I talked about how calling someone "crazy" - even if good-natured in intent - is dismissive and derogatory. In similar conversations about other words ("retarded", "gay", etc.), it's common to see comments in the vein of, "Now I'm not allowed to say [crazy/retarded/gay/etc.]!? Censorship! Political correctness police! Newspeak!"

I have not had any such comments here, but they came to mind, as I've found that taking "crazy" out of my vocabulary has resulted in me expressing myself better. Because now instead of just saying "that's crazy!" I have to put more thought into my intended meaning. Instead of "crazy", "nuts", "insane"; it's "unpredictable", "out of control", "incomprehensible", "irrational", "illogical", it "doesn't make sense". I have to be more precise in my language. And I avoid simply dismissing an idea or person - saying something is "irrational requires justification; saying something "doesn't make sense" invites explanation.

Contrary to what those opposed to "political correctness" think, avoiding dismissive slurs improves discourse for everyone.

Image source.

Monday, February 7, 2011

An Open Letter To Lady Gaga, From A Fan And Fellow Feminist

Dear Lady Gaga,

I love what you do. The populist spirit with which you insist that pop culture is art. Your devotion to performance. The sense of community that you're building with your fans. That you're not afraid to make out with butch women in your music videos, or be photographed in drag. I love that you've taken up the phrase "born this way," not only as the title of your next single and album, but almost as a slogan. In light of the constructedness of your image, it's very post-modern, and speaks strongly to self-determination - you become the person you want to be, and no one else can tell you who you are. And I relate to you - your upbringing, your feminism, your desire to create and to be heard. I relate to "Wonderful." In other words, I'm a huge fan.

But I need to tell you something, not as a fan, but as a fellow feminist. Specifically, as a fellow white feminist.

It's about "Born This Way." You released the lyrics a little while ago. A lot of people found them inspiring and life-affirming, as they were intended to be. A bunch of people thought they were trite - but honestly I don't think that will matter once the lyrics are set to music. And some people found them offensive. Normally, you don't respond to criticism, and often that's a good thing. But you need to listen to those people.

Weekly Joy

This week: Supernatural star, Jensen Ackles (links to a YouTube vid - it's funny!)

What? It can't just be kittens and bunnies every week!

Image source

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Racism Isn't Ironic

An Idiot Abroad has been running for a while now. If you haven't heard about it, the show is premised on following a inexperienced British man on a trip around the world, so that everyone can laugh at the racist things he says. One of the creators is Ricky Gervais. Something happened recently that made me think of it. 

My partner's father has a tendency to say offensive things. My partner had a tendency to do impressions of his father saying offensive things. He wasn't recounting stories, just saying what he thought his father would say in a given context. 

It got kind of irritating. 

"You know, just because you're saying something in your dad's voice, doesn't mean that you're not the one who's actually saying it."

My partner thought about this for a moment. 

"Yeah, you're right." 

So he pretty much cut it out. 

Ironic/hipster racism - of which An Idiot Abroad is a prime example - works the same way. You can put an ironic tone on it, be all like, "This is what a racist person would say! Ha ha! We're not like that!" But ultimately, you're the one who came up with the racist stuff, and decided that it needed to be shared. 

Ironic racism really is just plain racism. 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The "No Abortions For Floozies!" Stance

Someone who deserves to be forced
into childbearing

 I was reading the comments on Sady Doyle's article on H.R.3, and came across a comment from someone calling themselves Evil Conservative:
Don't just lead with John Boehner.The abortion bill was sold to the public as a way to an abortion in the event of rape or incest. Something like 2-3% of the time. Now, abortion has become a right and a cottage industry. All those that go out and have a one nighter, or for whatever reason need an abortion-do it. It's like getting a wart removed!! There is no revererce for life.
I'd be more inclined to have rapists castrated or have ladies that want to just have sex with no consequences get fixed. I think that would be better than just worrying about funding.
Rape is a terrible crime of power.I'm not minimizing it at all. But these cases of rape should be taken case by case, and any others hopefully would take some precautions and protect themselves. 
Despite the commenter's moniker, the comment reminded me of many a conversation I've had with people who identify as liberal. The notion that there be some readily identifiable circumstance excusing the woman from carrying the foetus to term is a common one. People who consider themselves pro-choice may go so far as acknowledging that financial constraints meet this criteria, but then - just like Evil Conservative - they add the qualification that there has to be some reason to have an abortion besides "she doesn't want to be pregnant and have a kid." Oh, and she has to have used some contraceptive that failed. We can't have people using abortion as their first, last, and only line of defence against pregnancy! I've seen people take this position over and over again, in real-life and online. I would go so far as to say that in liberal circles, this is the standard, "reasonable" stance on abortion.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

To My American Readers...

H.R. 3, the "No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion Act" would limit the exemption that allows federal funding of abortions for survivors of rape and incest to those whose pregnancy is the result of "an act of forcible rape or, if a minor, an act of incest." Survivors of rape are to be scrutinized and re-victimized, not helped.

Read what Sady Doyle and Nick Baumann have to say about all this.

And take action by clicking on the banner at the top of this page post.

Edit 1: And take part in the #DearJohn campaign.

Edit 2: Palaverer at Chunky Monkey Mind has done an extremely thorough job compiling links to resources and commentary on H.R.3. Check it out.