Monday Musings: Considering the Status Quo

Because this is awesome:

Here is the thing, okay? Coming into a feminist conversation with, “Have you considered that sometimes women acquire free drinks at bars?” is like walking into graduate school during Philosophy finals and saying, “Have you considered that the color blue that I see may not be the color blue that you see?”

From Harriet J's (aka Fugitivus) "A Few Things To Stop Doing When You Find a Feminist Blog" under the heading "Well, That’s Really Interesting, But Have You Perhaps Considered The Status Quo? Just My Two Cents". Which is 9 parts swearing and ALL parts awesome.

RECOMMENDS. What have you been reading and writing these days? 


chris the cynic said...

Probably not by best week ever.

I opened by saying I was sad (still am unfortunately), gave two different answers when I was asked, "Should I be worried?", made an index for the month of June.

I said that I think clothing lines shouldn't be named after colors if they're going to have bunches of stuff that don't include that color.

I begged the people who read my blog to comment on the posts, again.

I said, "Fuck you, Blogger." You can probably guess why, if not read and all will be explained.

I wrote a post about the hope that, this time, when my state goes to the polls we'll correct a previous mistake and implement marriage equality.

I wrote a Left Behind post that tried to tie together why Rayford wanted Amanda off the plane and the question of why he doesn't crash the plane.

I made an index of all my posts tagged with depression, in hopes of making navigation somewhat easier.

In response to Fred talking a pastor being concerned more about Team God than God I did the Team thing again with a mix of characters from Twilight, Left Behind, and theology.

I also talked about translation.

Dav said...

Harriet J is awesomesauce.

I took Sunday off after a Saturday of being the very model of a good student, in which I bought fruit and veg and went to study group and read a bunch of stuff and then explained a bunch of stuff to other people, which was nice and healthy. I watched the first episode of Farscape . . . which turned into like 10 episodes of Farscape.

TW: Rape with your romance?
Then I read a romance where the heroine basically slips the hero a roofie and rapes him, and it's clear that this is only wrong because she didn't want to marry him. This book has like 4.5 stars. What the fucking fuck? The thing is, this is a fairly recent romance (last 10 years), and the author is big name, and I DO NOT UNDERSTAND THIS AT ALL. I feel like I've detected some weird essentialism in this author's other stuff, but I didn't go in expecting date rape. UGH. Oh, and then someone tries to kill the hero because he's just misunderstood, and the heroine lets the hero decide whether to turn the attempted murderer in to the authorities. Instead, the hero orders the attempted murderer to be their live-in nanny! For their future kids! I just . . . I don't know, y'all, what the fuck? I mean, clearly the penal system is seriously flawed now and was seriously flawed then, but don't you think that's the sort of decision you should check in with your partner about? Like, "By the way, instead of calling the cops on the woman who nearly killed me and whose attack I survived only because of my rugged Highland physique and your round-the-clock nursing, I'm going to invite her to live with us and be responsible for our children. Also, she's made it clear that she's sorry only because she was wrong, and will continue to murder people she feels is a threat to the land, without checking in with anyone. Just wanted to make sure you're down with that." Never again, author-whose-name-I-need-to-look-up. Never again. You have passed the reading event horizon.

Then I went and read Scalzi's The Shadow War of the Night Dragons as a palette cleanser. If you're not hooked by the first sentence, then you should probably stop reading right there. (

Um . . . yeah. So that was my monthly entertainment time, basically. I probably could have spent it in a more productive way, but whatever.

And now, back to the chemicals that will drill holes through gloves and flesh and then cause cancer if you survive the flesh melting. (I am sad no one in my lab has seen The Rock, because that is more or less me right now. Except I just have to be prepared to rip off my gloves and lab coat and thrust myself under water instead of injecting myself in the heart. And it's small amounts anyway, so I'd probably be fine. And my team isn't being murdered around me. But otherwise, it is just the same.)

Xtina Schelin said...

Largely, I've been finding new blogs related to QA/testing, since that's my job and I realised I hadn't been reading up on things lately.

Lonespark said...

back to the chemicals that will drill holes through gloves and flesh and then cause cancer if you survive the flesh melting.

Keep calm and continue being badass. AND SAFE, GORRAM IT!

Asha said...

Well, last night I was forwarded an email from my mother about how Obama issued 931 executive orders. I gave her a snopes link. She told me that someone (her very conservative family members) told her snopes wasn't reliable. I wound up spending an hour or so researching the reliability of snopes. Which, by the way, is still reliable. And then she sent me to the national archives site. I spent another ten, fifteen minutes counting every executive order listed. There were 152.

The moral of this is: even after years of having that side of the family send her unreliable information and urban legends, with easily diagnosed tells like more exclamation points in the text than periods, she still prefers to believe them than me and snopes.

Ah, RTCs...

Maddie said...

I just have to know...what on earth was that book?

EdinburghEye said...

I wrote a post about The Sun's Page 3 in which I attempted to explain that while I do not identify as an anti-porn feminist, I nonetheless don't see Page 3 soft porn as anything to be celebrated. (And it got picked up by Mumsnet as one of their featured posts, which makes me very happy!)

I also wrote about the hellishly inappropriate response of some pro-life organisations to the Paralympics - make it more difficult and more expensive for women who have discovered problems in late pregnancy to get an abortion. A blessed commentator provided me with interesting material for a future post - how many of the British/Irish prolife organisations are in fact largely supported on the Net by right-wing Americans?

I wrote about how, as an atheist, I can understand why Buzz Aldrin wanted to celebrate communion on the Moon (and how cool is it that the church that provided the communion bread and wine now celebrates Lunar Communion Sunday every year!) - but I cannot understand at all why some Christians have tied their faith into belief that Jesus wants them to hate gay people.

And I compiled a links-roundup of various butch institutions that represent themselves with pink - from rugby clubs to tank-hunters.

JarredH said...

One of the things I love about Snopes is that the Mikkelson's are quite up front that while they do a lot of research, no one should consider them the "ultimate authority" and should double-check what they find on the Snopes site.

Of course, I also like the creative way they go about making this point.

Asha said...

Oh that is hilarious. Thanks for that. ^_^

graylor said...

Awesome link! I've been having phone conversations with a friend about one of her novels. She's been having people read them to see if she needs to fix anything and she's gotten at least one weird reaction about a rape scene. It's along the lines of, well, it's not so bad because it was a woman raping a man and, anyway, she has reasons. My friend is understandably upset because, um, rape is bad, yeah? She wants her readers to see this character as having done something terrible, not excuse her because there is no excuse for rape, ever. She's also had trouble with 'obviously socipathic evil guy is handsome and suave, therefore he must secretly be the hero and he is destined to get the girl, tee-hee'. Which is, sadly, possibly explicable because of tropes.

Otherwise, I've been on an Austen binge and am somewhat disinheartened to find that people really haven't changed that much. No, we aren't desperate to marry for money as a culture, and we don't talk about muffs (not that kind), but... Or possibly my neighbors are stuck in a time warp/it's a southern thing.

Most of the Austen books I've been reading I've been reading on line, thanks to Project Gutenburg. I find I don't engage with the text as much on the screen as I do with paper. Possibly I'm weird, but this is yet another reason for me to hold off on joining the Kindle revolution.

Dav said...

Scandal's Bride, by Stephanie Laurens. It's a bit older than I thought (~1999), but that's still past the rose and rapier era. There's a couple WTF reviews on Amazon, but most other sites it's averaging at 90% approval. Which. Yeah.

Silver Adept said...

I managed a couple things, recently.

It's way too late to be relevant, but I did write a thing about the necessity of trigger warnings and how good intentions are not enough.

And then, I wrote a bit about how pessimistic I am about schools not encouraging creativity. It turned out to be a two part entry, after someone pointed out my original post did not cover everything.

I've been reading lots of other blogs and politics information and listening to podcasts. And trying to help Ana through the whole Blogger bit, but everyone else was able to be right at their keyboards composing CSS while I was at work.

MaryKaye said...

I just read _Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain_ by David Eagleman. There are some fun facts and anecdotes in there, and a bit of grappling with the paradox of free will in the face of a mechanistic understanding of the brain; but also a lot of sloppy thinking. He falls repeatedly into the trap of reporting a result where, say, something was 5% more common in males as "males do this, females don't". And there are a couple of places where it is painfully clear that "humans" means "straight cis men" and nothing else. I nearly threw the book at the wall twice because of this. Argh. Editors should have caught it even if the author didn't.

I think that if you are going to talk about the Y chromosome and behavior you ought to be obliged to talk about chromosomal gender versus biological gender versus psychological gender--not just pretend that having an Y chromosome makes you a psychological male, which it very clearly does not. (Fun fact from a genetics class I teach: it's fairly common in cases of unexplained infertility for karyotyping to reveal that either neither partner has a Y, or both do. Biological males with no Y or females with a Y are not that uncommon, as the sex-determining locus has a tendency to wander off onto the X. In some non-human species this is common and can be fertile: a labmate of mine had a charming photo of a South American mouse, XY karyotype, with her huge litter around her.)

The book isn't mostly about gender, and it's sloppy about other things as well, but gender is where it really hit me. I hate it when the author's "we" is suddenly revealed to be "we straight men." Okay in a book of advice for men, I guess. Not okay in a general science work. Also, I tend to assume that if I can see holes in areas where I am knowledgeable, the rest probably has holes I just can't see.

Mime_Paradox said...

Today I used the first issue of DC Comics' new <em>Amethyst</em> series to discuss some rape culture 101 in "Sword of Sorcery" Amethyst, Beryl, and "That Scene".

Also, this is sort of late, but this short story my brother wrote and which subsequently won a prize from The Sartorialist. It can be read in less than a minute here.

Tigerpetals said...

Here's a post I read a few months ago that helped me, at least in my mind.

How to Care for Your Anxious-Depressive:

Ana Mardoll said...

This is a test comment. Do not be alarmed.

~ Ana

Aidan Bird said...

I wrote this:

I've been really struggling with depression, triggers (seriously wish people would just shut up with the rape jokes when I ask them to politely. That way I don't get triggered....), and feeling worthless. Then a friend reminded me that self-love is more than just eating well and maybe exercising (mentally, physically, whatever you are capable of), but actually doing things that are loving toward yourself - which caused me to think about self-love and how healing it is to talk to people about your pain and have them listen and acknowledge it. So I wrote a blog post about all the ways people could share stories and other inspiring things about sharing stories.

Makabit said...

I had my mind blown by the stupidity of my Human Sexuality textbook.

Their theory goes like this:

1. Attractive women were historically described as 'fair'.
2. Women are supposed to meet a 'tall dark stranger'.
3. Men are very slightly darker-skinned than women, overall.

THEREFORE, it makes perfect sense that in the majority of black-white couples, he's black and she's white. That's why.

Never mind that men were also called'fair', and the 'tall dark stranger' thing goes back to the Victorians at the earliest, and...aaaaah. No, it must be that white women's brains simply go into mating overdrive on seeing all of that fabulous melanin, assuring them of a superlative hunter.

Rakka said...

Agagjkbwhat? The ridiculousness of that claim on top of the "only white people count" premise is anchovy icing on shit cake. Just... what? How could anyone with the brain activity of a dead salmon have accepted that into a textbook?

Isator Levi said...

I have, in fact, been reading The Hunger Games, based on some of your own statements (though not exactly for nice reasons; the depictions of survivalist and oppressive society are something that I'd be looking to crib from for some later work).

I'm also trying to give my copy of Dunsany's Time and the Gods more attention. That thing is just rich in ideas for weird mythology and cruel deities.

BaseDeltaZero said...

He falls repeatedly into the trap of reporting a result where, say, something was 5% more common in males as "males do this, females don't".

I remember reading 'Delusions of Gender', a book on the subject of neurological differences between males and females (or rather, the lack thereof), and it spending like 60% of its time shooting down things like this. The rest was basically people observing something and jumping to a completely unrelated conclusion. Also, an entire chapter dedicated to the famous Monkeytruck study.
(If you're not familiar, that experiment basically goes like this. A group of scientists wanted to determine if (that) gendered play preferences were innate. So they got a bunch of monkeys, and gave them toys - a mirror, a pot, a picture book, some blocks, a truck, and... I forget the last. Since the male monkeys seemed to like the truck (that is, they played with it something like 25% of the time), GENDER ROLES ARE THEREFORE INNANTE AND HARDWIRED FOREVER AND EVER AMEN.

Yes, it is every bit as dumb as it sounds.)

Never mind that men were also called'fair', and the 'tall dark stranger' thing goes back to the Victorians at the earliest, and...aaaaah. No, it must be that white women's brains simply go into mating overdrive on seeing all of that fabulous melanin, assuring them of a superlative hunter.

That... that doesn't... I believe that is what we refer to as a 'SWAG'.

Silver Adept said...

@Makabit - that's blisteringly awful. And, to ask a whose state standards is your textbook calibrated? I suspect I know, but there's always the chance for an unpleasant surprise.

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